If you’re a rabid Neil Gaiman fan, you’ve probably already seen this, so it doesn’t matter. Don’t read it because it will just make you froth at the mouth and scream for my head on a stick. I have read most of what he’s written and I consume everything by Dave McKean that I can get my hands on. I don’t think they’re infallible, though.
That being said, I was let down by this. There’s a lot of stunning visuals, and for that alone, I would say that it’s worth seeing, but everything else, the plot, the acting, the dialogue, some of the sets and costumes, editing and pacing shows that this is a first time effort for many involved. Some of the circus troupe actors look and sound like they went to a local LARP meeting to recruit them. I was watching it late at night, but I fell asleep before the end, which is very rare for me.
I hate to be that guy, but I have to point out a few things that are common misconceptions. The last comment says that anyone with a Mac can make movies. Right… Anyone with a Mac, a ten million dollar budget, and the assistance of the Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop can make MirrorMask. Also, I believe Frank Miller wrote “Sin City,” though maybe he was involved in some movie version of the video game SimCity, I could be mistaken. Also, MirrorMask has nothing to do with comic book movies. It wasn’t based on a comic, or on anythng.
Ultimately, I’m very glad for McKean that this did far better than anyone planned. It was originally planned as a direct to DVD release, and the fact that it made it into theaters at all is an accomplishment. But people talk as if it’s the Dark Crystal or Labyrinth of this generation, and I don’t think it lives up to either of those or other work of Gaiman and McKean’s.
I will say that it does make me extremely excited to see more movies of McKean’s in the future.