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Thread: Christmas Favorite 'Nutcracker' Gone Horribly Wrong

  1. #1
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Jul 2006

    Default Christmas Favorite 'Nutcracker' Gone Horribly Wrong

    Christmas Favorite 'Nutcracker' Gone Horribly Wrong - MOVIE TALK on Yahoo! Movies

    There are bad movies and then there are spectacularly bad movies. In the former category, 2010 suffered from a bumper crop of middling, mediocre duds -- from the inert "Valentine's Day" to the eerily joyless "The Last Airbender." Yet none were as transcendently terrible James Nguyen's "Birdemic." With its painfully wooden acting and screen saver-like special effects, this flick is so awful in a what-the-hell-was-that sort of way that it's become a perverse hit of sorts on the cult cinema circuit.

    This past weekend saw the release of another contender for the worst movie of the year: "The Nutcracker in 3D."

    By every conventional yardstick, "Nutcracker in 3D" is a complete and utter failure. Though it screened in 42 theaters, it made a scant $89,000 at the box office. By comparison, "The King's Speech" made over $355,000 on just four screens this weekend.

    On top of that, the critics hated it, and I mean really hated it. Roger Ebert lamented, "From what dark night of the soul emerged the wretched idea for 'The Nutcracker in 3D'?" Dana Stevens of wrote that the movie "is something gnarled and stunted and wrong, something that should never have been allowed to see the light of day." As of this writing, it received a 0% freshness rating on

    So what so infuriated the critics? Let's just say that anyone walking into the movie expecting to see sugarplum fairies pirouetting to Tchaikovsky were in for a grave disappointment. What they got instead was, by all accounts, an unsettling $90 million special-effects-laden mishmash of treacle and terror. There's little dancing, less Tchaikovsky and what's left has been given lyrics by Tim Rice of "Evita" fame.

    The movie starts out as a gentle tale of a lonely young girl (Elle Fanning) in 1920s Vienna who receives a magical nutcracker for Christmas from her uncle Albert Einstein (Nathan Lane). Yes, that Albert Einstein. Exactly why the famed Jewish physicist was celebrating Christmas is not discussed in the film. The doll, of course, comes alive, reveals himself to be a prince under a curse, and leads her Wonderland-like into his world.

    And here's where the movie makes a left turn from a Hallmark Christmas special into a bizarro version of the Third Reich. The prince's land is occupied by rat-faced Nazis. Their leader, the Rat King (John Turturro in an Andy Warhol wig), espouses the complete purification ("Ratification") of the population while throwing piles of children's toys into a crematorium. There's also singing and dancing. A little kung fu. An electrocuted shark and at least one beheading. And it's in 3D!

    This flick was reportedly a passion project for Andrey Konchalovsky who dreamed of making "Nutcracker" for over 20 years. Yet, unlike "Birdemic"'s James Nguyen, who shot his magnum opus during his free time while working in Silicon Valley, "Nutcracker"'s helmer is a respected award-winning director. Konchalovsky was the screenwriter for Andrei Tarkovsky's masterpiece "Andrei Rublev"; he directed "Runaway Train" -- starring Jon Voigt and Eric Roberts -- which was penned by none other than Akira Kurosawa; he's been nominated twice for the top prize in Cannes. He also directed Sly Stallone in "Tango & Cash."

    Just what exactly drew Konchalovsky to this project is unclear. And, judging from the director's comments to the Los Angeles Times, he doesn't really care who likes his reputed kid's movie. "Sometimes," he said while making the flick, "I stopped myself and said 'Who will appreciate this?' Then I said, 'Big deal.'"


  2. #2
    Silver Member Jadestone's Avatar
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    Nov 2008


    This sounds so bad it might actually be funny to watch. Konchalovsky ain't all that, anyway.
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