Several months back, my husband and I stumbled across The Tenth Kingdom while at the store, searching the bargain shelf for a movie to watch. We didn't end up getting it (we bought the Lord of the Rings trilogy instead). I stumbled across The Tenth Kingdom again while weeding/sorting the Teen Department's dvd shelf and thought I'd give it a try. From the synopsis, I thought it would be similar to Chris Colfer's Land of Stories. A book I found charming and enjoyable. Also, the film featured lots of big names. How could I go wrong?
The verdict: I'm glad I rented the film instead of buying it, because I didn't finish it.
Originally a TV miniseries from the late-1990s, The Tenth Kingdom centers on Virginia, a 20-something New York woman, and her greedy, bumbling father They get sucked into the fairy tale world by way of a magic mirror/portal. Before they can return home, they must find a way to defeat the Evil Queen and restore the heir to the throne, who has been transformed into a dog, to his true form. They are aided/hindered in their quest by a werewolf who is in love with Virginia. Meanwhile, the troll king and his idiot children are wreaking havoc on the land. The heroes travel across the countryside, encountering various fairy tale characters and making new friends (and more than a few enemies).
I got about halfway into the film before losing interest (I'm sure there was a "Happily Ever After," so no need to prolong the torture to find out what happens). My excuse was the plot was dragging along at a snail's pace. I got bored.
Another complaint I had was I'd be hard-pressed to define an actual audience for the film. Some parts were so silly and juvenile and cheesy (the annoying cheesy) I couldn't imagine anyone over the age of seven really enjoying it. Then, without warning, it would suddenly flip gears: Visually scary and/or violent images, mature dialouge/innuendo.... The switching back and fourth was so jarring it really disrupted the flow of the film. I'm not certain whether the writers themselves had a clear idea of what they were trying to achieve (at times it seemed like they were just feeling it out as they went along).
Overall, I really can't recommend this one. But if you want a great movie recommendation, stop by the Teen Desk. We have a ton of other movies we think are awesome. --AJB