Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

Snow White and the Huntsman

Release Date: June 1, 2012

Director: Rupert Sanders

Stars: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron

Runtime: 127 min

Snow White, the daughter of the late King, escapes from the clutches of the wicked Queen Ravenna after years of imprisonment. She has just escaped when the Magic Mirror informs Ravenna that Snow is the only one who could defeat her, because of her innocence and purity. If the Queen obtains and eats Snow’s heart, she won’t have to feed on any being’s life source ever again, and she will achieve immortality. The Queen sends a squad of men, led by the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), into the dark forest to get her back. When the Huntsman learns he is being played like a fiddle, he turns against the Queen’s men and teams up with Snow in the process. Meanwhile, Snow’s childhood friend, William, learns that she is alive and he sets off on the road to find her and offer some assistance to the situation.

Ah, Snow White and the Huntsmen, you fulfill your purpose, and you do it well. Snow White’s purpose is to offer a nice twist on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, and it does just that. Almost so well, that I forgot what happened in the general source material (but that may because I haven’t seen it for a while), and this became a film of its own. It’s so convincing, that this may as well be the source material itself.

The character of the Huntsman is okay, because one could understand his motivations, but he wasn’t anything special. He was pretty sweet in war, and he’s likeable enough that one would be upset if he died. Hemsworth offers an okay performance at the same time, and says, “Hey! Forget Thor’s hammer, I’m pretty good with an axe, too!”

Ughck, why couldn’t the filmmakers have found a better person to cast as Snow White? Oh yeah, that’s right, Sanders wanted a good candidate to sleep with after the film finished. Seriously, Stewart is such a boring screen presence. As for the looks, she’s pretty fitting as Snow, but as for the acting skills and presence, not so much. What happened to her potential flare in 2002’s Panic Room? She has gotten so boring since that time, and she really should not have had the chance to be in another potential teen franchise. Please, Bella, stop it, and no one believed that phony accent (whatever the Hell it was) for a second. It’s sad that I liked her best when she was sleeping. Two battles were being fought in this one: the obvious one, Ravenna’s forces vs. King Magnus’ forces; but, there was also a not-so-obvious battle between Kristen Stewart and Sam Claflin (William), entitled “Who’s Going to End up Being more Boring?”[.] I think Claflin won, but not by much. That one scene where it was just those two, I almost fell asleep. The real person who truly shines through is the always-fantastic Charlize Theron. She’s just great and sometimes truly eerie as the wicked Queen Ravenna.

Most of the characters are just okay for me, Ravenna is the best. Snow White in the source material is great, but she isn’t as good now, mostly because Stewart is the face of her. The dwarfs were pretty great. There’s a number of known actors as the little people (like Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, the great comedic presence Nick Frost, and Toby Jones). It was sort of cool how they made them look so small, too. I like the characters of the dwarfs, but I wasn’t a fan of the appearances. I just couldn’t help but pick on their hair. As a kid, their parents must have given each of them a bad haircut. And to add onto that, they went to Kindergarden class and a class bully took safety scissors and thought they were a hairdresser, and he made the hair even worse, and it never grew back. At least, that’s my theory.

Snow knows where it’s going, but at times it feels like it’s a struggle getting there. It does get there, but after some effort. I must add, the finale was great. It’s a little better than that battle scene of Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but it pales in comparison to any battle scenes of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The make-up is great, the finale is great, and the characters were just okay. The action, when it comes, is purely great, and the human Mirror thing was actually very cool. Charlize Theron steals the show, and at times, she’s almost as ugly as she was in 2003’s Monster.

70/100

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Release Date: December 9, 2005

Director: Andrew Adamson

Stars: Tilda Swinton, Georgie Henley, William Moseley

Runtime: 143 min

Tagline: The beloved masterpiece comes to life December 9.

It’s a pretty great fantasy children’s and family film.

I wasn’t aware that this was actually based upon a literary masterpiece until I saw the film, but I never read the book so I’m not sure how great of an adaptation this is, but I’d think it would be because this is a pretty sweet flick that children will enjoy and some older people.

The Pevensie children are relocated out into the England country to stay at a professor’s mansion to protect them from the dangers of World War II. They are very unaware of the adventure they are about to encounter. When young Lucy finds a wardrobe, she enters it (and later all of the siblings) and finds a magical kingdom called Narnia. Narnia has been plunged into winter for years, as the citizens feel threatened by the White Witch (played by Tilda Swinton) They learn of their destiny with the help of Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) a lion who is the rightful ruler of Narnia. They must restore peace to the kingdom of Narnia, and eventually enter a war between Aslan’s army and the White Witch’s army.

Some of it’s moderately boring, and it’s a little lengthy for a film that isn’t completely incredible, but still is good. It’s really a great fantasy film for children, though. I liked it for the most part, as it had some pretty good action sequences, the occasional fantastic moment, and the big war was pretty great (not Braveheart or 300 great, but as good as war scenes can be in a PG film).

It isn’t in the same great franchise ranks as Harry Potter, but it’s enjoyable for a watch (or two, but not necessarily ‘desert island’ movie status) and can be generally memorable. This is really the only film in the Narnia franchise I cared for on a moderately high level. Liam Neeson lending his majestic Irish voice to the character of Aslan was the film’s real masterwork.

The film stars Tilda Swinton, Georgie Henley, William Moseley, Liam Neeson (voice of Aslan), James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Skandar Keynes and Anna Popplewell.

I just think there could have been more action, and just a little less lengthy. I loved it much more on initial viewing, but it still is enjoyable after seeing at my age (of seventeen) after all of these years.

Many adults may enjoy it too, and if you have a kid with a running imagination, it might make a wholesome flick for a family movie night that surpasses two hours. And, this film might be a good tool for babysitters, it should keep the attention of the kids for a near two-and-a-half hour experience.

75/100