By Nathan M Rose
Mar 10, 2011 11:11 AM EST

Red Riding Hood Theatrical Review

Red Riding Hood Theatrical Review
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Back in 2008, an indie film director, Catherine Hardwicke, made a big splash in Hollywood with the first film in the Twilight saga.   Although not liked by all, her perception of showing teenage angst and true love rocketed the film to stardom and has now become part of Hollywood lore.  She tries to strike lightning twice this spring with Warner Bros. Red Riding Hood.
Loosely based on the Brothers Grimm story, Red Riding Hood follows the life of Valerie (Amanda Seyfried; Jennifer's Body) who lives in a small town plagued by a werewolf.  Aside from the town's werewolf issue, Valerie is confronted by giving in to an arranged marriage or being a castaway running away with the one she loves, Peter (Shiloh Fernandez).
The film starts off slow enough, but the movie starts to gain momentum when Solomon (Gary Oldman; Harry Potter, Batman) arrives into town to help the folks deal with their werewolf problem.
Director Catherine Hardwicke, taking her cues from Twilight, improves on the supernatural love story formula she helped establish.  Gone is a lot of the awkward moments and acting replaced with some real tension that takes place on the screen. Gary Oldman shines as always as the obsessed werewolf hunter taking his role to the extreme the way only Gary Oldman can, while Amanda Seyfried gives her best performance to date.  Originally Jacob Black (Twilight's Taylor Lautner) was to be cast as the love obsession of Valerie, but the decision to go with relative newcomer, Shiloh Fernandez, was a much better match.
While not taking the Brothers Grimm Red Riding Hood fairy tale word-for-word, the story still holds some key elements that will bring laughter and joy to the audience, e.g. a visit to Grandma's house, the classic  "what big eyes you have" spiel, and also the presence of the red hood.
Red Riding Hood is exactly as it presents itself, a teenage drama/love story, nothing more nothing less.  If this is your cup of tea, then this is a movie for you.  If you are sick of all the Twilight imitations in your life, then I suggest you skip this movie and wait for the Blu-ray.
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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 109 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.

For more information about Red Riding Hood visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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