For the newcomers to this series, I’ll sum it up quickly: I love bad movies, love watching them as long as I know in advance that they will suck. And a couple months ago, I decided to write about one of them, keeping a live blog, in order to be productive. The end result was a massive net loss of productivity, a loss great enough to make me want to do it again!
Because the wonderful fairy tale our parents read to us just wasn’t long enough or violent enough or apparently featured enough cleavage,* Warner Bros. decided to unleash a REAL version of “Red Riding Hood” for us, starring Amanda Seyfried. And Amanda Seyfried isn’t just a girl who wants to visit her grandmother. She is trapped in a love triangle that is as arbitrary as it is requisite for the makeup of any bad movie. But it gets better. This isn’t just a love triangle. This is a love QUADRANGLE, because the big bad wolf must get involved at some point. Interest piqued yet? Don’t worry the 89 percent of critics who panned the movie didn’t find anything about it worthwhile, either.
*Length, violence, cleavage – the three nouns most often brought up in Hollywood studio meetings
Now, on to our feature presentation…
9:23 – Snow lots of snow. And credits. Gary Oldman is, apparently, in this movie. COMMISSIONER GORDON! I hope we get to see a Red Riding Hood signal.
9:25 – More credit goodness: Leonardo DiCaprio is a producer, which means the director who made this mess must have begged/blackmailed him until he threw a couple of million dollars at his feet.
9:28 – Grandmother, says the narrating voice of Amanda Seyfried, has always told our heroine that you stay in the forest and stay away from the edges. You know, just do good, right, normal things, like listen to your agent when he tells you that horror movies based off children’s books aren’t the best of career moves. But Seyfried likes to go into the woods alone. She does so to hang out with some Peter Pan looking guy who chops wood in a very MANLY fashion. He also has hair gel, gobs of hair gel. I knew those deep-forest Bath and Body Works franchises would find customers.
9:29 – I can’t think of Amanda Seyfried without thinking of this ridiculous over-the-top profile of her written in Esquire a couple years ago. Check it out.
9:32 – Gelly-hair guy is asking Seyfried, Red Riding Hood, to run away with him. This will get her out of some arranged marriage. But oh no, the bells are ringing. The wolf is coming. Damn, what terrible timing. That’s exactly what happened the first time I asked a girl to leave behind her family and friends and run away into the frozen, God-forsaken wilderness with me.
9:33 – Oh snap, the person who broke the peace, aka fucked with the wolf, is Amanda’s sister. She’s dead, and now more snow, lots of snow, is falling. This is the coldest movie I’ve seen since Vertical Limit.
9:34 – This hair stuff is really starting to bother me, not so much because it is wildly inaccurate for people to have such clean, well-groomed hair in a medieval village but because I am actually noticing their hair. I think I’ve been reading too many Mindy Kaling books.
9:36 – Seyfried’s mom, who bears a striking resemblance to Linda Cohn, says that she didn’t love her father when their marriage was arranged. That part will come later, she says, presumably after years of scornful arguments about front-yard landscaping and a decision to sleep in different beds not because they don’t love each other but because of SPACE ISSUES.
9:38 – Uh-oh, sounds like Seyfried’s sister died via wolf-suicide, which is actually the leading cause of death in Nova Scotia. She was in love with the guy Seyfried is arranged to marry. When she found out, she threw herself into the wolf’s teeth.
9:39 – Obligatory extra with overly scratchy, deep voice that no one would ever have speaks. He, of course, wants to hunt down this wolf.
9:39 – A mob erupts, yelling “Kill the Beast!” If I were Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, I would totally sue.
9:41 – Seyfried’s arranged husband gives her a medallion. They have a heartfelt moment until deep, scratchy voice guy interrupts with his overly deep, scratchy voice. Seyfried sneaks away and follows the mob into the woods.
9:43 – We see Seyfried’s grandmother. She looks like she is 34. But I guess these are the Middle Ages when you were usually dead at age 21 and had to have kids at age 7.
9:44 – Grandmother gives Seyfried a red cloak. She was going to give it as a wedding gift but I guess now will do. Folks, let’s keep this in mind, we are twenty-plus minutes into the movie. The book Red Riding Hood is literally about 320 words or 12 pages with massive illustrations. This movie is going to last another 80 minutes. Awesome!
9:46 – Background music sounds like a diggerie doo, mate.
9:47 – The music stops. The wolf strikes, and he ain’t no dingo. He does reek of CGI, though.
9:48 – Take that, wolf. The mob got you. But again, there are 76 minutes left so my guess is they got the wrong wolf. Maybe the real one is played by Gary Oldman. I haven’t seen him yet.
9:50 – Only one person died from the wolf – the father of Seyfried’s soon-to-be arranged husband. Her soon-to-be husband is named Henry, btw. The reason why Seyfried’s mom wants her to marry him is for a better life. He is a BLACKSMITH. The guy Seyfried loves is a WOOD CHOPPER. A step up? It’s not like Henry is a software developer.
9:52 – Some sort of king arrives into the village. He has two black men pulling his carriage, and I’m guessing both are somehow played by Cuba Gooding Jr. The king is Gary Oldman, though. Yes!
9:54 – Gary Oldman denounces the wolf they caught. It is not the right wolf – “No disrespect but you have no idea what you are dealing with,” he says. He launches into a tale of going out on a wolf hunt during a full moon while he and his friends were drunk. Sounds like my normal Tuesday night (rim shot!).
9:56 – Oldman’s explanation about werewolves lasts for two minutes. C’mon studio, you know the average 14-34 year-old male’s attention span isn’t long enough for that. More wolf blood and exposed Amanda Seyfried midriffs please.
9:58 – Key plot note: Oldman reveals that the wolf is actually hidden amongst the village. The wolf is a human by day and a wolf during certain times like full moons. Villagers begin eyeing each other suspiciously. Weird old man who bares a slight resemblance to John McCain doesn’t believe Oldman and wants to celebrate. My guess is that he will die, right studio?
10:00 – Awkward, awkward party going on to celebrate the “death” of the wolf. One woman is standing up wrapped around a tree, some people are wearing Guy Fawkes-like masks (seriously) and another guy is passed out in his own vomit. Sounds like my normal Tuesday night (rim shot, again!)
10:03 – Seyfried is starting to do some dirty dancing with a female tribe member for no apparent reason. I can’t even make a joke here.
10:04 – Major fight going down between Henry and Seyfried’s true lover. It ends with Seyfried chasing after true lover and getting it on, while Henry spies from a distance, pissed.
10:07 – This party scene is officially longer than that terrible rave scene from the Matrix Reloaded. The women have started donning horns.
10:08 – Party’s over. The wolf has arrived, which is like having a parent come home when you were having a party in high school, just worse because the wolf chops you to pieces instead of bans you from going to Town Center mall the next weekend.
10:09 – Oldman tries to joust the wolf. The wolf kills his horse. Now he’s all mad, telling the villagers he warned them. Chill, man.
10:10 – The wolf is cornering Seyfried. The wolf is speaking to her and knows her name. ZOMG. The wolf wants to take her away, says that Seyfried is a killer for killing some rabbit when she was like four. Talk about petty.
10:12 – Gary Oldman would be a good archbishop. He certainly has the look in these multihued robes he’s been wearing.
10:13 – Oldman’s accent has changed three times so far. If he can do it another eight times, he will equal Kevin Costner’s “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” record, which I previously thought was unattainable. Half of this movie has been Oldman lecturing these damn villagers. I feel like I’m in an entry level college course. Seriously studio, we need one of those Seyfried grinding on another woman scenes pronto.
10:16 – Has Amanda Seyfried actually been in a good movie? I never saw “Dear John,” and “Jennifer’s Body” and “Chloe” sucked. But oh yeah, “Mean Girls.” Great movie.
10:20 – Henry, the arranged husband, tells Seyfried they’re through. She doesn’t care. I think the rest of this movie is going to be villagers incorrectly accusing other villagers of being a wolf, kind of like 1950s America and senator Joseph McCarthy.
10:22 – Gary Oldman has silver fingernails so he can kill the werewolf. I thought werewolves were killed by silver bullets? UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH. A young girl tried to seduce Oldman. Just creepy. Commissioner Gordon would NEVER let this happen.
10:24 – Welp, not surprisingly, Seyfried is now being accused of witchcraft or something because it was revealed she talked to the wolf. Oldman recommends human sacrifice, because the only other alternative is something that might make sense.
10:26 – And we have a new subplot on our hands. Jilted lover Henry and true lover Wood Chopper are going to get together to try and rescue Seyfried. Imagine that in a movie: two men aligning begrudgingly for the sake of the woman they love but only one can have.
10:29 – Seyfried’s lover, the wood chopper, tells her father he wants to save her and then marry her. He says sure and then whispers something we can’t hear in his ear. The suspense builds.
10:30 – Henry, jilted lover/previously arranged hubby, accuses Seyfried’s grandmother of being the wolf. DUH. Hasn’t he read Little Red Riding Hood before?
10:33 – Now Seyfried’s dad is in some sort of trouble. As for Seyfried, she is about to get killed, while wearing a mask similar to those the robbers wear in The Town.
10:34 – FYI, the name of the girl who snitched on Seyfried and said she spoke to the wolf is named Roxanne. That is not a medieval name at all!
10:37 – Indecipherable Oldman yell. I’ll call that his fourth different accent.
10:38 – The snowy ground has caught on fire. Meanwhile, Seyfried is still tied up, waiting for her impending human sacrifice. But someone is trying to untie her. It’s Henry the jilted lover.
10:40 – Here are my two predictions for the end: True lover is in fact the wolf and he and Seyfried do run away together in happiness. Or, grandmother is the wolf and is just some crazy ass old woman who got really bored of watching Golden Girls and decided to become a werewolf. I’m not sure why Seyfried would run away with her, unless Grandma was played by Betty White or the rapping grandma from “The Wedding Singer.” In a cruel twist of fate, Grandma is played by neither.
10:41 – Henry and Seyfried are running somewhere and Henry gets stabbed twice for no logical reason.
10:43 – Wolf is back, talking to Seyfried. Asks her to run away again. She says she will go if the wolf leaves the village alone. The villagers unite, saying they now do not want Seyfried to sacrifice herself. The wolf runs away because there are still another 25 minutes left in this movie. SIGH.
10:44 – Oldman is dead, killed by one of his black servants. Lecture time is finally over.
10:45 – NOOOOOOOO. This line just happened as Seyfried for some reason wakes up in a bed next to her grandmother: “Grandmother, what big eyes you have?” “The better to see you with my dear.” And on and on and on. But it was only a dream because again, there is plenty more time to fill.
10:47 – After waking up from that dream, Seyfried’s mom asks her what she is doing out of bed? She was out of bed herself. What was MOM doing out of bed?
10:47 – Seyfried tells her she needs to visit her grandmother. She’s afraid Grandma is in trouble.
10:49 – Seyfried runs into true lover on the way. She thinks he is the werewolf and stabs him in the chest. He promptly disappears from screen. Snow is falling again.
10:50 – Seyfried makes it over to grandma’s. Everyone in this damn village actually lives in the village except for Grandma. Grandma lives in the middle of the freaking woods by herself. I wonder why people think she is a wolf.
10:51 – Seyfried’s dad is at grandma’s house rather than grandma. I have utterly no idea what has just happened unless Seyfried’s father doubles as a community actor typecast as roles of grandmothers.
10:56 – Oh no, the father is the wolf and he is pissed because it turns out that Seyfried’s sister, who we forgot ever existed, is actually not his daughter. His wife was cheating. He goes on to reveal that his father was also a wolf. So in a way, this is kind of like Teen Wolf. The wolf is a genetic trait. New final scene prediction: Seyfried forsakes her werewolf heritage to star in a basketball game.*
*Damn it. A Teen Wolf reference? Twice? My apologies. I swear I didn’t mean to sound like Bill Simmons.
10:57 – Father invites Seyfried to become a wolf with him. Really? Seems a bit incestuous to me.
11:00 – Seyfried has a basket. It has the silver nails of Gary Oldman in it and Seyfried stabs her father. Uh-oh, father werewolf bit Peter the true lover, though. He did this at some point in the movie we either didn’t see or weren’t paying attention to.
11:03 – All of a sudden true lover and Seyfried are on some type of raft with the corpse of her father. They roll the corpse into the water.
11:04 – True lover says he has to leave because he is a werewolf. I think this was the first time someone ever used the “It’s not YOU. It’s ME” breakup story.
11:05 – Seyfried says she will wait for him, and I won’t wait any longer to turn this off. But wait, it’s not over. Seyfried is narrating some silly epilogue, and we learn she has decided to live on her own in the woods like her old-maid Grandma.
11:07 – The wolf arrives. It’s her lover!
11:07 – That’s a wrap, folks. Thanks for reading all 2,400 words of junk, and good news: I hear there is going to be a sequel to “Red Riding Hood.” It will just be shamelessly interwoven into the next “Twilight” movie.