Thursday, July 5, 2012

review: Snow White & the Huntsman (movie)

I was on the fence about this movie. I mean sure - it looks with amazing, gorgeous, expensive special effects. Hell, even the actors are pretty (minus Kristen Stewart - ironic since she's supposed to be the fairest of them all). But, I'm not a huge fan of the Snow White story either - it was always my second least favorite of  the Disney movies (with Alice in Wonderland being my least favorite). I guess I was hopping that the awesomeness of the special effects would balance out my dislike for Kristen Stewart and my preconceived notions of the Snow White story.

So the hotness quotient is there: Chris Hemsworth plays the Huntman - a total hunk; he played Thor in both the self-titled movie Thor and The Avengers. And then there's Charlize Theron, GORGEOUS, who plays the queen, Ravenna and she's been in so many movies I'm not going to bother listing more than her two of her recent ones: Prometheus and Hancock. You already know my opinion on Kristen Stewart and, needless to say although I'll say it anyways, Kristen Stewart makes me want to hurl, particularly for her involvement in The Twilight Saga, although her performance wasn't all that inspired in Snow White and the Huntsman. She's no the fairest of them all in any stretch of the imagination. Actually this comic describes my feeling perfectly. Kristen Stewart is perfect playing a frozen, sickly, depressed, prisoner princess but hopeful or inspiring or even happy isn't exactly her cup-o-tea. 

And while Chris Hemsworth is a very pretty man, his dialogue with Stewart is less than stellar. In fact it's so jilted and awkward, it makes me wish for the silent parts where there's just pretty special effects. Stewart's mouth hangs open almost the entire movie (no covering her buck teeth for that would ruin the "fairest" bit) and there are so many shots of face and over-acting eyebrows it's a little disturbing. There's also no depth to either of them. Theron's Ravenna has a lot of depth but then she just kinda goes off the deep end which means that there are no relateable main characters - the closest of which is William, Snow White's childhood friend and other love interest.

There were things I liked in this movie: the effects, the costumes, the music, the explanation for the step-mom evilness and the Disney nods that were included. The music was great and fit well with the film's composition. James Newton Howard was the composer and he's done some great soundtrack (Treasure Planet, I Am Legend, both of Nolan's Batman movies [with Hans Zimmer], and The Hunger Games). The Disney nods within the movie included Snow White's puffy sleeves with red inserts and then the run through the dark forest with the trees with creepy faces  - although in this version it's the fault of some "magic" mushrooms. The biggest draw for this flick were the special effects. No matter how stupid the rest of the movie is, the effects were amazing. It's like Avatar, plot wasn't great but you saw it for the amazing effects or the first movie with a wide-spread 3D release. Ravenna was one of the saving graces of this film. She had Charlize Theron playing her, kick-ass costumes, and an interesting twist from the classic "evil step-mother" Disney vibe.

The thing that really bothered me was the Christian prayer that Snow White says in the tower. It sets the theme for the entire movie. Any good magic is then considered righteous and probably one of God's miracles while Ravenna is seen as evil (well, to be fair she is) but her magic is a perversion. The only exception is the weird, Mononoke-esque deer in the forest which is obviously a good portent. That and the weird fairies... So, basically only Christian miracles are good magic. Ug, pissed me off so much.

Anyways, I give Snow White & the Huntsman 2 out of 5 stars for beautiful special effects but crappy plot, bad acting, and stupid, unnecessary Christian overtones.

Check out the trailer here!

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