Sunday, August 31, 2014

In August

Peter Pan
from Peter Pan (2003)


books:
Sword Song, Rosemary Sutcliff - Sutcliff has a gift for words. I'm not a fan of all of her works but I did like this one.
Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland,  Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan - It's a kid's book that teaches mathematical terms; it's cute and I liked it.
*Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie 
Tintin, Herg√© - Every once in a while I find all the battered up Tintin books my family possesses and reread them all, it's an annual event. ;)
Orthodoxy, G.K.Chesterton
Napoleon and the Battle of Waterloo, Frances Winwar
The Taming of the Shrew (1967)
*Mirror Mirror - This one's cute. And I love the costumes. 
*The Christmas Card
The Amazing Spiderman 2 - I found it rather disappointing.
Finding Neverland  - I love stories - movies, books, anything - that make me write. I love things that give me ideas and inspire me to think hard. I stayed up very late (too late) after watching Finding Neverland, writing til my hand hurt and I couldn't anymore. 
Peter Pan (2003)  
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  
The Rescuers - It's a sweet movie, with the lovely - beautiful - old animation
The Black Cauldron - Didn't much care for it though there were some likable things about it. 
Muppets Most Wanted - I loved this one.

The Hollow Crown, parts 2 & 3, Henry IV & Henry V - Loved this very, very much. Especially Henry V.
The Sword in the Stone - It's cute and fun. And ends abruptly.  
Mr. Ed 
Lassie (the tv series)
*Cheyenne  
The Lone Ranger (the tv series)

*books & movies I've read before 

† Landmark Book



|| Well, school has begun for me, I'm rather looking forward to it. Has school started up again for you all (if you're still in school)? Thank you all for your comments and views last month, they each one made me happy. :) 
This "month" post, by the way, is the thirteenth I've done. More than a year of books & movies. That was fast. haha What books and movies did you enjoy especially in August? 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cocoa + Hey nonny nonny + Things

I'm drinking hot chocolate right now. That makes me happy. This is good cocoa - usually it's too sweet. Another thing that makes me happy is the soundtrack of Much Ado about Nothing (1993), by Patrick Doyle. I love the first track on the CD (which I've been listening to a lot), it's not really a song but a short poem read by Emma Thompson. I love her voice. 





You know how I like watching things while I do math? Well, I've been watching a lot of TedTalks recently, here're some favorites: How to speak so that people want to listen  & Hip-Hop & Shakespeare? & Tom Thum & The hidden meanings in kids' movies. Do you have a favorite TedTalk? 

Oh, and to those of you who watch (or watched) Merlin, do you remember this scene? Look at Arthur's face. ehehe
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My hot chocolate's gone. Some things for you: this and this and this. I hope you're having a fantastic day (or night - whatever time zone you're in). xx

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Finding Neverland Review

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(this review is spoiler-free)

Rated  PG for mild thematic elements and brief language (MPAA)
Director  
Time 106 min
Release year 2004
Soundtrack Jan A. P. Kaczmarek



(Watch the trailer here) Finding Neverland is the story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with the family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. It is loosely based on real events, many liberties are taken to make the story simple. The movie opens in Edwardian London on the opening night of a play by the well known playwright Barrie. However the play is a failure and further performances are cancelled. Barrie is dejected at this but does not seem surprised. He knows he's been struggling for inspiration in his writing. The following day he goes to the park with his dog Porthos and meets four boys and their widowed mother: the Davies family, with whom he immediately becomes good friends.


At the time this story opens James Barrie is married to Mary, a former actress, and their relationship is falling apart. Mary doesn't appreciate James's interests and he never succeeds in opening his innermost heart for her and taking her to his Neverland, a place she had dreamed of going with him, if only once. James spends more and more time with his new friends in the park, helping them as a neighbor and playing with the boys, and less time with her. She eventually leaves him after having an affair with another man. The movie is rated PG and all of this is told subtlety but I would not call it a kid's movie.

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Throughout the movie the four Davies boys are principle characters. Of them the oldest and second youngest are the most dwelt on, especially the younger, Peter. The boys' mother becomes very ill at one time and the older boy, John, grows up because of it. He becomes a man quite suddenly and stands up as such for his family. I admired him for that. Peter has a hard time letting himself grow close in friendship with 'Uncle James'; he's broken with the loss of his father. The friendship between James and Peter seemed a lasting theme throughout the movie. The question as to whether the inspiration for the boy Peter Pan was Peter Davies or James Barrie, Finding Neverland never answers, and it leaves both possibilities open, though hinting at the latter.  


Finding Neverland
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The movie is a beautiful piece of art as such; I think that's what I loved it as mainly. The music fits beautifully and is quite lovely. It stood out to me how well told the story was. The script is well written and the characters beautifully drawn out, carried and handled skillfully. I liked Kate Winslet as Mrs Davies very much, which I had not been expecting to do. Johnny Depp was wonderful as J.M. Barrie. I could easily imagine his portrayal of Barrie writing Peter Pan. The acting on the part of the four boys was great, especially Peter's (played by  who played Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). I liked the way in which the story and writing of Peter Pan was mixed with James's own story and life. The pieces we saw of the play Peter and Wendy were enchanting. Finding Neverland was funny at times but more often it was beautiful in its little moments. I liked how accurate certain aspects of humanity, friendship, and writing were. I liked the characters and the actors who played them. And I loved the ending, and maybe it's sad, but I didn't find it so. 

my rating 4.5 / 5
favorite line Magnificent. Somewhere in the last 30 seconds you became a grown-up. 



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

anon

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||| Why did you write it anonymously?
||| Because I wanted what I wrote to be what you read, and nothing more.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Liebster Award from June

Hullo. I hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday so far. June from A Curious Pisces very kindly nominated me with the Liebster Award. That's her blog linked above so you can go check it out. Her questions were fun to answer - thanks June! 

Post eleven facts about yourself
Answer the eleven questions provided by the person who nominated you
Create an eleven question set for the next group of nominees
Choose some people to nominate and link them
Let your nominees know they've been tagged


Eleven facts (or fact-ish things)
  1. I loved the Josh Groban cameo in The Muppets Most Wanted.
  2. Also the Tom Hiddleston cameo.
  3. And the James MacAvoy cameo.
  4. The oven in my house has this very jazzy beeper to tell when food is done. Unfortunately I tend to groove a little to its beat oftener than I respond to its call. It's going off now. There goes my older sister to turn it off. 
  5. James Bobin is directing a sequel to the 2010 Alice in Wonderland. It's called Through the Looking Glass. Happy.
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  7. That Benedict Cumberbatch is going to play Shere Khan in Jungle Book: Origins directed by Andy Serkis for Warner Bros makes me very exceedingly happy. It's set to come out October 2016. His deep voice is the only one I've ever heard that matched , who voiced Khan in Disney's wonderful, perfect, 1967 adaption of the book. 
  8. I'm doing ballet this school year. I really like the instructors but it's hard because I'm not quick at footwork and dancing. So I'm glad I'm doing it, if only to get better.
  9. I was sure I wanted to get a Canon camera, but then started wondering about Nikon. This kind of indecision is so difficult. 
  10. Hamlette is hosting a "Piratical Blogathon," on September 19th, which is Talk Like a Pirate Day. So click on this link if you're interested and join.
  11. I want to learn either German or Russian. Also either French or Italian. 
  12. That Idris Elba (Heimdall) voices Shere Khan in Walt Disney Pictures Jungle Book which is apparently a mix of live action and animation and is to be released next year also makes me very happy. 

June's Questions
1: Favorite Quote?
I'll type out the last one added to my quote book. Okay, here it is. It's from Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton:

A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for them he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.
2: Worst song?
I don't usually remember the ones I don't like so I'm at a loss here.

3: Favorite Month?

I never tried that question before, always wondered which was my favorite season but not month. I like December, even if only because Christmas lies at the end of it.

4: Would you wear black(shirt, pants, socks etc.) for a whole year or white? 

Black, definitely. 

5: Pinterest or YouTube?

Pinterest is good for lots of things, including inspiration; but I think I'll go with YouTube because I love learning all kinds of different things watching videos. I like watching TedTalks and interviews and searching for lessons on random things. Like cinematography, HTML, or make up tutorials. 

6: What is your lucky number?

I don't know. I just like numbers.

7:My sister/brother deletes your posts for next week! You...

I don't plan posts ahead (but I'm planning on changing that), I just publish them when they're done so I'm not sure how this question would apply. Saying they delete the top seven posts under 'Draft,' I'd...I don't know. Be sad. haha I'd rewrite them eventually. 

8: Do you have your phone?
Not on me at the moment.

9: Have you seen a cat on a leash?  

Come to think of it I don't recall that I have.

10: Pizza or Tacos? 

Pizza. 

11: Do you have a bucket list? 

Yes. It's right here.


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My nominees
Sarah
Rosie
Katrina 
+ anyone else who'd like to do this

My questions
  1. Rain or sunshine?
  2. What do you do when you're feeling down?
  3. The beach or the mountains?
  4. Travel or home? Where's somewhere you'd like to go?
  5. Chocolate or vanilla (or what's your favorite) ice cream flavor?
  6. Do you prefer small or big pets? Do you have a pet?
  7. How are you today?
  8. What's a random nice thing that somebody (anybody) did?
  9. One thing that makes you happy?
  10. Would you rather visit Neverland or Wonderland?
  11. A gif that you can relate to?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Peter Pan 2003 Review


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(this review is spoiler -free)

Rated  PG for adventure action sequences and peril (MPAA)
Director   
Time 113 min 
Release year 2003
Soundtrack James Newton Howard


Peter Pan (2003) tells the well known story of Peter and Wendy. It is based on J. M. Barrie's play and book of the same name. The movie stays fairly close to the book, with a few exceptions. I reread the book and was impressed by the fact that almost every spoken line in this movie is a direct quote from it. But the really wonderful thing is how this movie carries the same fierce, wonderful, spirit that makes the book so loved.

All children grow up, except one. No. 27 is the home of Mr and Mrs Darling, their three children Wendy, John, and Micheal, and the Saint Bernard Nana, the children's nurse. One night Wendy wakes in her bed to find Nana barking at a strange boy. The boy jumps out the window to get away from the dog and the window slams behind him, cutting off his shadow. A few nights later Wendy again wakes, she sits up in bed and again sees the boy, this time sitting on the floor holding a shadow in one hand, crying. She asks: Boy, why are you crying? Nana, tied up outside, was this time unable to fend off the strange boy, the one boy who never grew up.

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The story was told enchantingly. The narrator, the colors, the costumes. The imagination and magic of it all was wonderful. The CGI was rather noticeable at times but it wasn't bad. I liked the music by James Newton Howard very much; I noticed multiple times while watching the movie how beautiful and fitting it was. My two favorite songs were Flying and Please Don't Die. The cast was excellently chosen, especially Peter, Wendy, Mrs Darling, and Slightly. Peter was perfect and his smile crooked and cocky and gleeful, perfect for thimbles from right-hand corners. I loved the "I believe in fairies" scene, and how Neverland was attached to Peter and changed according to how he felt.

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"Mother and Father are fighting again," quoth the lost boy Tootles. Wendy found Peter fascinating, yet deficient, because he was only a boy. She believed that there was something greater than fighting and flying but did not know what it was and believed that grown ups did, or at least that it became clearer when you grew up. Peter did not understand this and was frightened by her with her thought. He did not understand why she had to ruin everything by wishing to grow up. Part of the story of Peter Pan is his invariable forgetfulness. I think he was afraid of forgetting. But for the moment that the parting with Wendy and the rest lasted he accepted it and left worrying to grownups. He's given, for a brief moment, the understanding that the one joy he could not have was indeed a good thing. Perhaps that sounds sad, but I don't think Peter found it so. For he wanted always to be a boy and to have fun, and he would, in the Neverland.

my rating 4.9/5
favorite line To live would be an awfully big adventure.


(spoilers) I loved when Peter and Wendy danced in the tree tops. And the moment when Hook and Peter fight near the end and all the moments after that until Hook falls to the crocodile. (end of spoilers)

Click here for more reviews.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow | Review

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(This review is spoiler-free.)

Rated PG -13  For intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material. (MPAA)
Staring Tom CruiseEmily Blunt,
Director Doug Liman
Time 113 min
Soundtrack Christophe Beck


Edge of Tomorrow opens with the announcement that an alien race has invaded Earth and taken over a large portion of Europe. Major Cage is a public affairs officer in the US army. He's terrified of combat and avoids it and danger at all costs, whether paid by his honor or by the lives of other men he doesn't care. After instances which I won't spoil, Cage finds himself strapped into an exoskeleton war suit in the front lines of a war with an alien race. But a war isn't what this movie's about. It's about living and dying, and repeating the process a hundred times over. More specifically, it's about Cage living and dying over and over again.  


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The storytelling and editing were remarkably well done. The whole movie takes place in one short piece of time and that time is repeated over and over again. Which means that the same conversations are held, repeatedly; the same actions made over and over, etc. Yet none of it ever gets old, and some of it manages to be honestly funny. The story works backwards in time yet manages to move forward. I liked that in some ways the story was understated; the directer knew where to draw the line, when to stop, how to effectively use less. Though the story is told from the perspective of Cage we don't see all he goes through and are never told exactly all of what happens to him, room is left for thinking and understanding on the part of the audience. Making apparent that the important thing wasn't his experiences but what they did to him. 


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Usually time and change are so interconnected in a story that it's almost impossible to separate them or to have the one without the other. Change, the act of passing from one state to another, for a character, is usually a main theme of any story. That's true of Edge of Tomorrow, though it doesn't happen in the usual way. At the end of the story it's still the edge of tomorrow, but the main character has changed immensely.

In a way, Edge of Tomorrow is a story of second chances. Second and third and fourth and hundredth chances. Allowing Cage to make a decision, experience the consequences, and try again. I liked that Cage never stops being scared, he simply finds a reason to be brave. Then learns to handle his fear and not let it control him. 


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The acting on the part of Cruise and Blunt was good and whenever their characters interacted was great. I liked the Emily Blunt character. The exoskeleton suits were cool; the aliens are not gone into too much detail about, which was good, and they look interesting. The second half of the movie felt like an entirely different movie (for reasons that are clear when you watch it), it was strange how different it became and how different it felt watching the second half. The ending was very good, leaving one content. The directer was wise enough to let it speak for itself. The story, as a whole, was very satisfying. By the end of the movie Cage has definitely changed. In the first scene, seeing him in his uniform, my first thought was that he didn't fit it (as in deserve it), and in the last scene I suddenly thought he sure fits it now


favorite line: "I wish I'd never met you."
my rating: 4 out of 5 stars

(Spoliers) I love the scene in the abandoned house, Cage trying to convince Rita not to fly the helicopter; makes her coffee, three sugars.  Then, "How many times have we been here before?" And one suddenly wonders how many times he's been through this. (End of spoilers)

Click here for more reviews.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

finding friends

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 I feel so overwhelmingly loved
              when a stranger is kind.
               

|| It makes me want to do the same.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Sunshine Award from Amy

The sweet Amy from Perfect Imperfections tagged me with the Sunshine Award. Thanks Amy! Your questions were great and fun to answer.

The rules:
Thank the person who nominated you.
Answer the questions the person who nominated you asked.
Nominate some other bloggers (11 being standard.)
Question the people you nominated.
Tell them that you nominated them.
Put the award picture on your blog (if you so desire).

Amy's questions:
1)  Coffee or tea?
Tea, coffee smells wonderful but as yet it's never tasted that way to me.

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2) What is your favorite store?
Hmm. I like malls (the ones that are very well kept and big), they're fun to wander around in, but not to actually buy stuff at. I like craft supply stores, they have so much fun stuff. But no particular store comes to mind as a favorite.

3) What is your favorite color?
Blue.

4) Who is your favorite singer/band?
I don't really have one. I like lots of music but the genre I like to listen to changes constantly. Right now it's music from the 60s through to the 80s. That music is sweet. Stevie Wonder, the Commodores, Earth, Wind & Fire, Micheal Jackson, Elvis Presley, etc. And I like Michael Bubl√©. And jazz.

 5)What do you like best about blogging?
I like the people. And I like the writing. 

6) Which do you like better: cats or dogs?
Well, I love meh dog.

7) What kind of books do you like? (If you like any)
Fiction/Fantasy (that includes faerie tales and mythology), Historical fiction, and Historical. 

Ons huisje op negen hoog
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8) What is one of your favorite Etsy shops? (if you have one)
I don't have one at present, I'm not active on Etsy, though I do have an account.


My questons:
What's the last book you read?
Is it easier for you to multiply or divide numbers mentally?
Do you trust people easily?
What age group do you find it easiest to hang out with (of people you don't know well)?
What do you do when you're stressed?
What's a strange thing you like doing that most people don't like or don't do?
Favorite animated movie that comes to mind?

Nominees:

Monday, August 04, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy | Review


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(This review is spoiler-free. Links are to songs.)

Rated  PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language MPAA)
Staring  Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro
Director  James Gunn
Time 122 min
Soundtrack Tyler Bates


Around 8:30 pm on Friday, August 1st, I called my brother asking him to come pick me up from work. A few minutes later he drove up in his cute new little red car and I got in, commenting on his nice ride, and asked if I remembered correctly that he had said there was a nine o'clock showing of Guardians. "It's eight-thirty," I said. And he said: "Right!" Driving to the theater I had to lean forward every now and then to wipe the fog off the inside of the dashboard. I noticed my brother fiddling with something in his hand and suddenly the small space inside the car was filled with vibrations of "Who-gha cuck-ah, who-gha chuck-ah, who-gha who-gha cuck-ah chuck-ah cuck-ah ." I sighed. Gave in, and sang along diligently. I [insert loud thumps]'m hooked on a feeling; I'm high in believing....


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26 years after being abducted from Earth, Peter Quill gets into trouble, suddenly finding himself the target of a manhunt initiated by Ronan, one of the most powerful and fearful beings in the galaxy. As he gets deeper into trouble he becomes fast friends with two thugs, an assassin, and a maniac whose original purposes were to a, rob him, b, sell him for bounty, and c, kill him. The new and shaky team which they become struggles to avoid Ronan, finally and reluctantly realizing that they must face and conquer him if they wish to save the galaxy. The galaxy which they happen to live in. 

My favorite piece of the whole movie is contained in the first seven minutes. It displays easily and humorously the personality of the main character, Peter Quill.  The moment and image when the Guardians of the Galaxy logo comes onto the screen is priceless. But the first parts of the movie being my favorite isn't to say that the movie has a downward slope, though the minutes - about ten - after those first seven were a bit slow. The movie is full of small moments, moments that exhibit humor and heart, and even tell us a little about the backgrounds of characters.


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Peter Quill is a Terran, an american, and a thief. But he's also more than that. And he constantly talks about people, music, and movies from Earth and uses terran hand signs, all of which is lost on beings who simply don't understand. (Well, one did.) These things keep him connected to Earth and provide a touchstone of relation and understanding for viewers. The character cast of a raccoon and Groot, his houseplant-slash-muscle, an assassin, maniac, and thief is perfectly balanced. The understanding between the raccoon and Groot reminded me of that between Han Solo and Chewy. Guardians constantly reminded me of both Star Wars and Indiana Jones, which is in no way a bad thing, in my mind. Groot is the sort of unashamed heart of the company, though not much sentiment is expressed by him.

If you've seen the trailer than you know it's full of golden music from the 70s and 80s. That music is entwined in the movie and not only supplies an entertaining soundtrack but also has an element of importance to the plot. That it is mixed with the plot allows the music to be humorous without mocking people, custom, or sentiment. The music makes a story set in faraway galactic places warm and fun-filled. 


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When Guardians started I didn't realize at first that it had; I thought it was another trailer. (The same thing happened when watching Days of Future Past.) The movie feels a little long at times but overall maintains a steady balance. The climax of Guardians which is followed closely by the ending is awesome, hilarious, and fully satisfying. The ending of the movie, something I always count immensely important, is good. Guardians left just enough open and raised just enough interesting questions for a sequel, so that when the screen went black and then filled with the words, "the guardians of the galaxy will return," I was quite happy.

It's easy to understand why someone wouldn't like Guardians. Some people will get it and some won't. But for those that do get it, it's such a treat.

As always with Marvel movies, remember to stay to the end of the credits. I didn't 'get' the last aftercredits scene but the first, it's one of my favorite scenes period.


favorite line I'm distracting you, you turd-blossom! 
my rating 4 / 5



Sunday, August 03, 2014

moments & memories

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|| Do you ever wish you could remember something more clearly? The tone of encouragement in someone's voice. The intonation of their words. The knowledge that it was is a beautiful thing. But sometimes I wish my mind was stronger and not so invariably forgetful. And yet the little that remains - the knowledge and the memory, though the moment is gone - is indefinably precious. And though the memory be lost for a score of years still the moment somehow returns every while or so to gladden you.

But I do love those moments.



08/02/14

Friday, August 01, 2014

Into the Woods


I just saw the trailer for Into the Woods and it looks awesomely imaginative and fun. It's a musical fantasy by Disney combining many the Grimm brothers' fairy tales including (from what I saw in the trailer) Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Jack and the Bean Stock, and Cinderella. What looked like straw turning into a gold dress made me think of Rumpelstiltskin and the way the woods look reminded me of the story of Hazel and Gretel. I love fairy tales. Into the Woods is set to come to theaters this Christmas. The cast looks awesome:

Meryl Streep as The Witch
Emily Blunt as The Baker's Wife 
James Corden as The Baker (Craig from the Doctor Who episode The Lodger)
Anna Kendrick as Cinderella
Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince (he really looks the part in the trailer)
Johnny Depp as The Wolf (Johnny Depp is awesome)
Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood
Daniel Huttlestone as Jack
Tracey Ullman as Jack's Mother
Christine Baranski as Cinderella's Stepmother
Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel
Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel's Prince


(list from Wikipedia

What do you think of the trailer? 

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