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4.1 out of 5 stars51
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 21 November 2012
This is a rare film: one that has almost no redeeming qualities. The real travesty is that those who know and enjoy Tchaikovsky's music will find themselves bitterly disappointed. No ballet, very little of the original music, dreadfully fey lyrics poorly set to some of the greatest symphonic melodies the world has ever known (although totally unrelated to the original Nutcracker) and rather wooden acting are the best bits; the inane and unsubtle plot - such as it is - is complemented perfectly by ropey dialogue, abysmal direction and a sense of purposelessness that permeates every strand of the production. In fairness, the actors do the best they can to combat the overwhelming weaknesses of the project but their efforts are doomed to failure, confronted with the unevenness of direction which blights the thing.

One redeeming feature is that the film overall is so bad that it may - in time - achieve a sort of cult status, but that's not enough reason to waste money on buying the DVD.
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The beginning of the movie starts off well enough. There is a good Victorian Christmas atmosphere. And for about half an hour there are some reasonable images with good special effects. There are good sets, a Christmas tree and magical elements all with the hint of music from the original Tchaikovsky" score. I actually thought this might be ok.
But then it goes badly wrong. The original story from the Tchaikovsky Ballet becomes distorted and altered. Tchaikovsky's music hardly appears and there are even very bad lyrics added to some extracts when it is there. The rats become ugly Nazi stereotype characters complete with Nazi like uniforms. A poor, weak and predictable characterisation. The story gets more and more silly, The ending is different to the original story and the whole thing is an embarrassing wasted opportunity. Why they couldn't have just made a live action acted movie version of the story I don't know. Don't waste your money. Wait till it comes on TV when you can watch it for free. Its worth looking at once but its not a great movie.
If you are a fan of the Nutcracker story or the ballet I would reccomend you stay clear of this film. Don't stain your mind with this version.
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on 26 November 2011
It said on the cover of the DVD, 'an opulent fantasy spectacle for the whole family'. If that extravagant hype raised your expectations for this movie I'm afraid you are in for a big disappointment. The movie is littered with not very subtle overtones of the Third Reich. Rats dressed in quasi German uniforms, the King Rat addressing a rally of rats and long files of refugees being marched off guarded by soldiers to god knows where to mention a few. What you have here is in fact a warped vision of a classic children's Christmas fairytale by the director and screenplay writer, Andrey Konchalovskiy. The wonderful music by Tchaikovsky is ruined with absurd lyrics by Tim Rice. And where in the original tale is a black Jamaican drummer? One not to waste your money on.
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on 14 November 2012
This is truly dreadful!!! I am so disappointed I was expecting a lovely Christmas film for the whole family to enjoy, instead I got a film dominated by the Rat King who bizarely looked like John Lennon in a Nazi outfit in some kind of Nazi kingdom. This beautiful ballet and music has been utterly destroyed.
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on 26 December 2011
This is by far the worst kid's movie I have ever seen, and I have been held hostage to many goofy movies (mostly with dogs and small animals) which have bored me to death. This one is simply appalling. The director, who is also the producer and screenplay writer (!) butchered the nutcracker story, pushed his anti-German agenda (all rats are dressed like Nazi soldiers) and destroyed beautiful ballet music with the stupidest lyrics I have ever heard. That actors like Turturro and Nathan Lane should see it fit to act in such a ridiculous movie is beyond me. I certainly don't reccommend it.
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on 10 November 2013
For some reason they have taken this beautiful christmas story and turned it into a german war story. The rats and rat king are in Nazi uniforms sending humans to a 'smoke house' and prancing about to badly arranged songs. The music would have had the composer spinning in his grave with cheap lyrics that make no sense put to it. The nut crackers voice is stupidly high and doesn't fit and Miss Fanning is abysmal and quite clearly only has the role because of who her sister is, as she shows no likeability or talent. The wizard of Oz theme of finding people in her own world turned into people in the dream world is done in a really cheesy way ("You look just like my mum!" "Well I'm not") and for some reason Mary feels the need to overdress for every occasion when she told to get dressed by a nutcracker. My faveourite part of the fiilm is two rats seen coming from behind a wall, both doing up their zippers who are then heard to remark "It's hot in here.". Don't waste your time, I can't even describe how bad this film is!!
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on 21 December 2013
Surreal, strange and rather disturbing, where the forces of the Rat King are dressed as Nazi Stormtroopers, and the oppressed people struggle to revolt under the inspiration of Napoleon Nutcracker and overthrow the tyrannical regime with cries of "To the palace. To the palace" whilst clutching, large bunches of, given their situation, surprisingly well cultivated flowers.

The sets for the town where the toys of children are burnt to provide a permanent cover of smoke to shield them from the sun would not look out of place as candidates for a remake of Blade Runner or Fritz Lang's Metropolis. While the motorcycle hardware would grace James Bond prior to the Daniel Craig incarnation. Indeed, the special effects are reminiscent of a final showdown at the lair of a James Bond villain. I see also some hints of the style of Guillermo del toro behind this work from director Andrei Konchalovsky.

To say the array of characters is bizarre would be an understatement. Uncle Albert Einstein is played by Nathan lane, with a somewhat dodgy accent to enunciate such lines as "Everything is relative" and "Reality is really an illusion, albeit a persistent one" As the production is set in 1920's Vienna perhaps Freud was a neighbour? John Turturro as the Rat King appears to have chosen an Andy Warhol wig from a local fancy dress emporium for the role, whilst adopting an acting characterisation positioned somewhere between Julian Clary and Tim Curry.

Lyrics are courtesy of Sir Tim Rice and other notable actors present are Richard E Grant and Frances de la Tour, but the presence and performance of Elle Fanning as 8 year old heroine Mary really puts then all in the shade. Like her older sister Dakota, she is genuinely an amazing talent.

This is a real hoot to engender a somewhat alternative festive spirit. That it feels as if it could have been created by Terry Gilliam following indigestion after a blow out on one of Nigella's favoured recipes only adds to the overall mix. The consideration that it may appear even better after imbibing a few too many Sherries and helpings of plum pudding, should leave you requiring no further encouragement to purchase a copy and establish it as a seasonal tradition!
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on 25 January 2016
The Nutcracker ...a little odd but a nice twist on a classic. Not stuffy although a couple of moments can make anyone jump!! The mouse King - in my opinion is the exact copy of the 'Kiddi catcher' in chitty bang bang - very creepy! All in all though it was an interesting movie
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on 18 April 2016
This dvd is 2 minites shorter version from the original film.
UK company cut out 2 minutes from no reason.

Just make sure of that before buying this dvd.
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on 4 March 2016
Should have read the write up more , the action destroyed almost all of the music. The violence was a bit over the top. So sorry, but not really enjoyable at all.
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