Red Riding Hood (PG)
IMDb; Tag Entertainment (archive); Wikipedia
First of all, upon looking at Wikipedia's page, I want to say that apparently, there's some kind of revolutionary new special... filming techniques, or whatever, used in this film. Well, I don't really understand what it's talking about, I certainly didn't notice anything unusual when I watched it. (Edit: A few years after writing this review, I looked at Wikipedia's page again, and all that stuff has been removed.) I'll also say that this movie is not to be confused with the 2011 film Red Riding Hood, which was substantially better.
Anyway, I suppose you know the classic fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Put that on hold a moment. This movie starts with a girl of about 14, named Claire, who's watching a music video, and talking to a friend on the phone. They're planning to sneak out to go to the concert of the band on TV at the moment (I probably should know who they were, but I don't). Meanwhile, her little brother Matt wants to play a video game, and threatens to tell their parents about Claire's plans unless she lets him play. And the parents go out for the night, leaving the kids' grandmother to look after them. And she wants to read them a fairy tale, though Matt would rather play video games and Claire, obviously, has her own plans for the evening. Besides, they both think they're too old for fairy tales.
But, Grandma promises to let them each do their thing if they just listen to one story, and use their imagination. The book she's reading displays some vaguely magical properties, but that's soon abandoned in favor of just seeing what the kids are imagining. The main point seems to be that the kids get to alter the story in whatever ways they want. So it becomes both a bit stranger and a bit more modern than the classic. And, naturally, more interesting for the kids. Also naturally, the same actors playing these "real life" characters also play characters in the story, so Red Riding Hood looks like Claire, and a new character made up for the story, Red's little brother Rusty, looks like Matt. And their parents look like... the parents, their grandmother looks like grandmother. And Red's family live in a lighthouse, and Grandma lives in a house on a cliff and does yoga in a treehouse. And Red rides a bike, or actually pushes it through most of the movie. And everyone has some songs that I didn't find particularly good, for the most part. Not particularly bad, either, just... I dunno. Meh. People had decent enough voices, I guess, but... whatever.
Where was I? Um... well, Red meets a Hunter. And the wolf is a werewolf. And... I dunno. I guess I can't really think of anything else to say about the plot. Like the songs, I didn't think the movie was particularly good or bad. Just kind of "meh." Not at all surprising that it seems to be essentially direct-to-video. Still, it had its moments I guess, it could be mildly amusing or whatever. And you might be interested in checking it out for various people in the cast. The wolf was played by some dude from 'N Sync (maybe they're the ones Claire was watching on TV, I dunno). The kids' mom was played by Debi Mazar. Their dad is played by the guy who played Arzt on Lost. The Hunter's dad was played by David Kaufman, whose voice work in cartoons I enjoy. Pretty minor role here, though. His mom was played by Cassandra Peterson (aka Elvira!) And you might know some of the other actors from better stuff than this. I doubt you know Morgan Thompson, who played Claire/Red (I've certainly never seen her in anything else), but I thought she was pretty much the best reason to bother seeing this movie.