Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Little Mermaid (2018)

Number Rolled: 21
Movie Name/Year: The Little Mermaid (2018)
Tagline: A new twist on a classic tail.
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Conglomerate Media, Kingsway Productions (II)
Producer: Kevin Adler, Ed Arenas, James Bernstein, Carrie Lynn Certa, Christopher Dosen, Armando Gutierrez, Andrew M. Hart, Chip Lane, Peter A. Lees, Robert Molloy, Dominick Robinson, Robert Kelley Roth, Corey Saccone, Fabio W. Silva, Jessica Steinbrenner, Ean Sullivan, Anthony Varner, Claudia Vilches, Kyle White
Director: Blake Harris, Chris Bouchard
Writer: Blake Harris, Hans Christian Andersen
Actors: William Moseley, Poppy Drayton, Loreto Peralta, Armando Gutierrez, Shirley MacLaine, Gine Gershon, Shanna Collins, Chris Young, Jo Mari Payton, Tom Nowicki, Lexy Kolker, Claire Ryann, Jared Sandler, Hunter Gomez, Peter Groverman, Alexis Balliro, Joey Martinez, Antoni Corone, James Bernstein

Blurb from Netflix: In this take on the classic tale, a captive circus mermaid transforms the lives of a skeptical journalist and his wide-eyed young sister.

Selina’s Point of View:
I liked the concept of this story, but it really didn’t translate to screen as well as it should have.

There were a ton of problems with The Little Mermaid. It was plagued by bad dialogue, poor direction, and bad acting/casting.

As the main villain, Armando Gutierrez (When the Starlight Ends, Reach Me, London’s Finest) was laughable at best.

If your villain is supposed to be an all-powerful, diabolical, wizard – they should command fear whenever they’re on screen. Or, at the very least, make people believe that they could command fear in others. Gutierrez seemed sure he could accomplish the feat by always tilting his head down a little and putting on his best imitation of a Batman voice.

It troubles me that he’s set to play the villain again in the upcoming Anastasia live-action remake.

William Moseley (The Royals, Friend Request, Carrie Pilby) and Poppy Drayton (The Shannara Chronicles, Writers Retreat, Down Dog) were good with what they had to work with. Even Loreto Peralta (Guardians of Oz, Instructions Not Included, The Prophet) was decent for her part. Unfortunately, they had to deal with dialogue that often sounded like it was written by a fifteen-year-old and then not edited.

As for the effects, I can ignore the occasional costume issues and the bad effects. I love B-movies, so that stuff never fazes me. With a different director and script writer, some different actors, the movie would have been fine, even with those issues.

I’m disappointed. I wanted The Little Mermaid to be good.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was excited when this movie was first released. I love the story of The Little Mermaid (1989). 

There’s been all sorts of talk about a live-action mermaid movie from the mouse house, but this was not it. For all I can tell, that adaptation is still somewhere in development.

That being said, the trailer even made it pretty clear this was not the same sort of story. When I first watched it, I had a mixed reaction of ‘meh’ with the underlying hope that the sneak peak was just edited poorly.

Alas, it was a fair representation of the film as a whole.

I felt that with Shirley MacLaine (Bewitched, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Last Word) and William Moseley attached to the project, it might have more oomph. I’m even a real fan of Poppy Drayton’s work on The Shannara Chronicles (2016-2017); so, I knew there was great potential there. There were a few other cast members that tried their best to elevate the material. It just wasn’t enough.

I think tween-age kids or thereabouts will get a bit more out of this movie. Adults that have grown up with Ariel’s siren songs, dinglehoppers, and thingamabobs will find this production considerably lacking. Though, I could swear that the musical score gave a nod to ‘Part of Your World’ during one of the carnival scenes. Considering this wasn’t a Disney project, that must have taken a chunk out of their budget to license that.

A large part of what undermined the experience for me was that some of it just felt lazy. There were unnecessary ‘pauses for effect,’ the choreography didn’t flow very well, and the majority of the acting on the villain’s side fell absolutely flat.

The best thing I could say, if asked about this movie, is bless their hearts – they tried.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 20%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 26%
Metascore - 40/100
Metacritic User Score – 3.5/10
IMDB Score – 4.2/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2/5

PS: We're trying out a new Tuesday/Friday schedule. Let us know what you think!

Movie Trailer:

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