Good morning everyone,
Now that Halloween has past and Solomon E has departed, it’s time to return to normal operations here at There She Grows. Accordingly, today’s post will examine a movie meant for widespread public viewing which happened to also involve size themes. Some may argue that this was too low-budget to be labeled “mainstream.” Nonetheless, it was clearly intended for a general audience and thus was more mainstream than the adult fetish content normally examined at There She Grows.
Specifically, let’s discuss “Avengers Grimm: Time Wars” from The Asylum. Science fiction fans, particularly those who watch the Syfy channel, should be very familiar with Asylum. (NOTE: Asylum produced “Z Nation” for Syfy and many of their films also appear on the channel.) This studio has earned a reputation for creating low-budget “mockbusters” which benefit from the publicity created by bigger budget productions. For instance, Steven Spielberg directed “War of the Worlds” in 2005 and Asylum released “H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds” that same year, Michel Bay directed “Transformers” in 2007 and Asylum released “Transmorphers,” Disney released “Jungle Cruise” in 2021 and Asylum released “Jungle Run,” etc. etc. Some of their films like “Sharknado” and “2-Headed Shark Attack” have garnered multiple sequels with the latest being “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time” (6th in that series) and “6-Headed Shark Attack.” (NOTE: There was no 4-Headed Shark Attack, 5-Headed Shark Attack had both a four-headed and a five-headed shark. Maybe that’ll help you win money on trivia night at your local bar!)
“Avengers Grimm” was released in 2015 and was intended to ride the wave of free press generated by “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and the ABC TV series “Once Upon a Time.” Avengers Grimm: Time Wars was released in 2018 to coincide with “Avengers: Infinity War.” Nonetheless, while Asylum’s films lift titles from more famous properties, it must be stated that Asylum creates unique scripts. Avengers Grimm: Time Wars has little connection to Marvel Studios Avengers series with only their shared use of super-powered heroes and the word “Avengers” tying them together.
The first Avengers Grimm must have had a larger budget as they hired Casper Van Dien (best known for 1997’s Starship Troopers) and Lou Ferrigno (famous bodybuilder who played the Incredible Hulk in the CBS series during the late 1970s and early 1980s). And not just for cameos, they both played important characters. Alas, neither of those men returned for Avengers Grimm: Time Wars. (NOTE: Not for nothing, but the price at Amazon, $4.99, for renting Avengers Grimm was the same as purchasing its sequel.)
It’s not strictly necessary to have watched the first Avengers Grimm to understand Time Wars. It’s only required to know that Snow White’s magic mirror served as a portal to take fairy tale characters from their world into ours. The mirror was shattered in the initial film, but those fragments retain their power and can still take people to not only different worlds, but also different times.
In Time Wars, Alice (as in the protagonist from Alice in Wonderland) runs Looking Glass, an organization tasked with combating fairy tale threats. The Mad Hatter supports Alice as well as a few recurring characters from the first film, namely Red Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. Joining those ladies are Prince Charming and Rumpelstiltskin. Of note, this Rumpelstiltskin is a different character than the main villain from the first film.
Opposing the good guys is Magda the Mad, ruler of Atlantis, who wants to marry Prince Charming (Snow White’s boyfriend) in order to achieve dominion over the entire world! Magda has a small army of mermen who all wear masks which undoubtedly come in very handy when the director needs a lot of disposable goons, but only have a limited number of actors. Ergo, with masks the same person can play multiple thugs and wouldn’t be recognized. (SIDE NOTE: The mermen look more like extras in a Roman gladiator movie than underwater dwellers, but presumably the costume budget was minuscule.)
Perhaps the first challenge for the viewer is understanding who can do what. Each of the heroines have special abilities. Thus, viewers will see Red Hood act like a bad-ass assassin, Snow White create icicle daggers, Sleeping Beauty put others to sleep with a wave of her hand, and Alice shrinking and growing!
In comparison, most of the super heroes who formed Marvel’s Avengers had already appeared in their own standalone films which established their motivations and super powers, with the notable exception of Hawkeye. (NOTE: While it wasn’t centered on her character, Black Widow did appear in Iron Man 2 before the Avengers.) Thus, people understood what the Hulk could do, what Thor could do, same with Iron Man, etc.
In contrast, folks may wonder why Snow White has ice powers. (I guess because her first name is Snow?) That wasn’t an insurmountable obstacle, but still I’d have appreciated proper introductions.
In general, this was a fun watch only brought down by the lackluster effects and weak script. Alice got a lot of screen time, albeit mostly at normal size. Christina Licciardi played the part well and put effort into her English accent. Additionally, fans of DC Comic’s Silver Age Atom may enjoy the scene of tiny Alice fighting mermen!
Overall, I recommend Avengers Grimm: Time Wars. However, I must warn folks that this film had only a tiny budget and thus this is likely to be appreciated only by dedicated super hero and size fans. I was a bit bored during the middle act, but still found this enjoyable.
That’s it for now folks, Thursday’s review will cover The Shrink Ray Jamboree from Dark Heroics. Until then, keep growing!
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