The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – Fresh Out of Fairy Dust
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is everything wrong with modern-day cinema. It takes a classic property—in this case, both a beloved ballet and story—and turns it into a paint-by-numbers adventure tale. Folks, this is a literal CGI-invested hellscape of banal ideas and idiotic plot.
Worse, it's essentially a template that Disney has beaten to death—think Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland or The Chronicles of Narnia. One of those at least did its property justice. Point is, we've treaded this ground before, and we've done so in the far too recent past.
This film is creatively bankrupt. Obviously, that wasn't by design, so what went wrong? For starters, there's zero need to turn The Nutcracker into a swashbuckling, realm-saving war movie—let alone one filled with over the top effects. With a budget of $133 million—approximately $100 million more than was necessary to bring this to contemporary audiences—it's clear they understood neither the beauty, nor the grace of the ballet.
I'm not alone in thinking this. It grossed just $174 million, netting Disney an over $60 million loss on the project. Critics shared in our collective scorn. It sits at 32% on Rotten Tomatoes with 202 reviews; the users were slightly more kind, 34%.
Listeners, this one is a mess from start to finish. So as you watch it, just think about fonder things and attempt to identify the scenes they reshot (there were 32 days of reshoots on this). Try as we might, it was all so bland, we couldn't figure it out.
But that's nothing a fine beer won't fix. So sit back, unlock an I'll Have What She's Having from Evil Genius Beer Co., and snack on a lock of your own hair! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese, are bounding through the four realms as a collection of killer acrobatic clowns!
This Week’s Segments:
- Introduction/Plot Breakdown – This film is a muddled mess of pilfered ideas, bland design choices, and a plot as hollow as the empty vessel that is the tin soldier. (00:00)
- Lingering Questions – How many beers does it take to endure this disaster? And, on a more interesting note, which of our child toys would we bring to life? (1:08:18)
- The Nutcracker Trivia Challenge – Capt. Cash challenges the field to trivia about the movie, as well as about its more famous inspirations. (1:34:20)
- Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week, and coming up in "Hops and Holiday Flops," the Bill Goldberg Christmas classic, Santa's Slay! (1:46:45)