Warning: If you hated the Wizard of Oz, then you will hate Nutcracker 3D. In other words, the reviews you quote were not written by kids - but by jaded hack writers who tend to fall into line - sheep style. Perhaps they were expecting the familiar ballet and just didn't get it that this film was based on the original Nutcracker story. As to limited release, that raises several questions.
Despite seeing a ton of Christmas decorations go up this weekend, people didn't seem to be in the holiday spirit -- at least not enough to actually go to see "The Nutcracker in 3D."
The holiday film was actually held over from last Christmas, so that the studio could make some tweaks. Could those tweaks have actually made this crapfest worse? That seems to be the case. The film's limited release snagged a paltry $89,000 and a 0 percent rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. That's right -- a big whopping zilch. Of course, there are currently only 18 reviews in there. It sounds like a whole lot of critics out there were pretty darn lucky. Some, not so much.
Here is what Freestyle Releasing says:
"From the imagination of acclaimed Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky, the cherished story of The Nutcracker will be brought to life in spectacular 3D this holiday season. THE NUTCRACKER IN 3D follows nine-year-old Mary (Elle Fanning) whose dull Viennese Christmas is suddenly filled with excitement and adventure following the arrival of her beloved Uncle Albert (Nathan Lane) and his gift of an enchanted nutcracker. On Christmas night, Mary's new friend, The Nutcracker (Charlie Rowe) or NC, comes to life and takes her on a wondrous journey into his magical world of fairies, sugarplums, and other Christmas toys which come to life. Mary soon realizes that this fantastical kingdom is facing danger from the tyrannical rule of the evil Rat King (John Turturro) and his devious mother (Frances de la Tour). When NC is taken hostage, Mary and her newfound toy friends must uncover the secret of the Rat King to rescue NC and his kingdom. Based on the story that inspired acclaimed Russian composer Piotr Tchaikovsky to create the music for the iconic ballet, the film includes eight exciting new songs penned by Oscar-winning lyricist and librettist Sir Tim Rice (The Lion King, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar)."
Here is what reviewers say:
"Awkward pacing, clunky dialogue, stiff acting and pointless 3D are woven together to create something even more appalling than that sweater your aunt gave you last Christmas." - Matt Stevens, E! Online
"Never does anything purposely go out of its way to pop out of the screen. That said, there are times, such as the aforementioned introduction of the gigantic Christmas tree, where the absence of 3D visualization is kind of baffling. It’s used sporadically and it’s never forced, but there’s also zero astounding or noteworthy moments that warrant wearing annoying glasses for an hour and a half." - Christopher Bell, The Playlist
"This non-balletic adaptation by the Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky is something gnarled and stunted and wrong, something that should never have been allowed to see the light of day. How's that for a holiday-ad pullquote?" - Dana Stevens, Slate Magazine