Once upon a time, a fairy tale adaptation was a tired concept for a movie.
Then theaters were flooded with movies adapted from comic books (“The Avengers”), movies adapted from action figures (“Transformers”), movies adapted from board games (“Battleship”) and movies adapted from movies adapted from comic books (this summer’s “The Amazing Spider-Man”). Now, suddenly, a fairly tale movie seems almost refreshingly simple.
Of course, these movies have to be modernized in some way. When I went to the multiplex to see “Men In Black 3” (which I loved, to little surprise), I caught the trailer for “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which opens this weekend. While an evil queen, dwarves and a fair princess were present, as expected, so too were giant trolls, flying axes and some sort of civil war, which might have replaced the part from the Disney movie when woodland creatures do the dishes. Trolls have been popular ever since “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, so I can’t say I was necessarily surprised, but it got me to thinking: What would other fairy tales be like if they were remade today?
There have been other recent takes on fairy tales, most notably “Alice in Wonderland” and “Rapunzel” (least notably: “Red Riding Hood”), so I stayed away from those. Hollywood, you’re welcome to steal any of these:
‘BEAUTY AND THE BAMBOO’
Starring: Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Crystal
Stone plays Clarabel, a new zookeeper assigned to the panda exhibit after the previous keeper disappeared. Little does Clarabel know, it’s an enchanted exhibit, and she can only break the enchantment by keeping the panda (Galifianakis) awake for an entire day. Crystal plays a talking koala, which doesn’t make sense but was included anyway because the studio believed that people love koalas. Spoiler alert: Clarabel and the panda fall in love.
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Justin Bieber, Glenn Close
Directed by: Eli Roth
Brother and sister Hansel (Bieber) and Gretel (Breslin) are separated from their family while on vacation in a wooded area in this “Hostel”-esque horror film. Close plays a witch who lives in a house made of confections and plans to serve the siblings to her now diabetic children. Spoiler alert: The kids escape not due to breadcrumbs, but by being located on GPS from the tweets they sent.
‘TYLER PERRY PRESENTS: MADEA LIVES IN A SHOE’
Starring: Tyler Perry
Perry stars as the title character as well as off-the-wall architect Adam Dassler in this hilarious-yet-thought-provoking discussion on the corporal punishment of children and abstract exterior design. Spoiler alert: At the end of the movie, you realize that all you need is family.
Starring: Matthew Fox, Michael Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Fox, as gambling addict Pete, promises his bookie (Pitt) that his daughter Sara (Lawrence) is psychic and will correctly predict the next three football games in exchange for his life. Sara assumes Pete is done for until she meets a short, nameless fellow (Dinklage) who offers her a deal she can’t refuse. Spoiler alert: It’s all an elaborate police interrogation to identify a murderer — Ron Pulstil-Skane. (Yeah, that’s the twist. I know. They haven’t been good since “The Sixth Sense.”)
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, the kid from “Two and a Half Men,” Drake, Hayden Panettiere, Tommy Chong
Directed by: Seann William Scott (in his directorial debut)
In this stoner comedy, college roommates Ace (Jordan), Jason (Half-man) and Ricky (Drake) come back from a party to find Ricky’s cookie jar empty and a blond-haired stranger (Panettiere) asleep in Ricky’s bed. Instead of being upset, they take a pot-induced trip to visit Chancellor Gordon (Chong) to see if he knows where she lives. Hijinks ensue. Spoiler alert: It turns out she’s the boys’ next-door neighbor. And they live happily ever after.
Andy was upset when the “Candy Haus” role he auditioned for was given to Bieber. Email Andy at email@example.com.