"Mirror, Mirror" (Relativity): You don't have to consult the mirror on the wall to know that "Mirror, Mirror," Tarsem Singh's revisionist retelling of Snow White isn't the fairest of them all. In a portrayal that some have described as out of character (or is it?), Julia Roberts portrays the evil Queen, who raised princess Snow White (Lily Collins) following the disappearance of her father the King (Sean Bean). During the Queen's reign of terror, Snow White has been relegated to her bedroom tower. The villagers have been taxed to near-death and live in fear of a beast that patrols the woods. And a band of seven dwarves – Napoleon (Jordan Prentice), Half Pint (Mark Povinelli), Grub (Joe Gnoffo), Grimm (Danny Woodburn), Wolf (Sebastian Saraceno), Butcher (Martin Klebba) and Chuckles (Ronald Lee Clark) – spend less time whistling while they work than they do pillaging and plundering.
One of the seven dwarves' early victims is Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) and his valet Charles (Robert Emms). Left hanging and partially naked in the woods, they are discovered by Snow White when she secretly leaves the castle for a stroll. Back at the palace, the Queen can barely conceal her attraction to the Prince (or his riches) and makes a plan to win him over. But the Prince is far more into the Princess. Enlisting her personal attendant Brighton (a wasted Nathan Lane), as well as her deadly mirror and reflection, the Queen concocts a scheme, involving the banishment and death of Snow White, as well as a wedding to Prince Alcott.
Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, in fairy tales either. Unbeknownst to the Queen, Snow White has survived her death sentence and is taken in by the magnificent seven. They train her in the art of fighting and survival (a la "The Hunger Games") and she is soon able to take on any comers (including the Prince). But it is a fairy tale, after all, and there's a happy ending just waiting to be revealed.
Roberts displays an unexpected gift for camp, although her inconsistent accent verges on distracting. Lane, however, falls short, overdoing it in virtually all of his scenes. Collins, in spite of those eyebrows, is pleasant. But she's no Audrey Hepburn, despite what the make-up crew thinks. The movie actually belongs to Armie Hammer, who lights up every frame in which he appears, particularly those in which he is shirtless. The costuming is also spectacular, potentially destined for Oscar noms next year. Now, we just have to wait to see how first-time director Rupert Sanders' forthcoming "Snow White and the Huntsman" fractures this fairy tale.