Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Snow White & the Huntsman (Rupert Sanders, 2012)

I did not set out to see Snow White & the Huntsman. I was not opposed to seeing it, but to be honest it was flying under my radar and I could not have told you when it would be released, or if it already had. Aside from Kristen Stewart as the titular character, I knew nothing about the film. Fortunately, the wife was interested in seeing it, so I went with little to no expectations.

First off, a lot of people I have talked to are against seeing the film out of a hatred of Twilight. I can understand this. I did not hate Twilight, but was in no way compelled to go past the first book or movie. Stewart is panned as a rather emotionless doormat because of her role, but I think we can either blame the story or direction for that. She was not so bland in The Runaways, and is not in Snow White & the Huntsman. So, if Stewart is the cause of your desire to avoid this one, that might be best pushed to the back of your mind.

Now, the reason to see it for many of us is that this is a D&D movie. Sure, it is Snow White, but you can really see that there is some Dungeons & Dragons shit going down. The supporting cast is pretty awesome, particularly the dwarves which are played by quite the unlikely band of Ian McShane (Deadwood, Lovejoy), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Spaced), Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Hook, Unleashed), Ray Winstone (The Departed, Sexy Beast), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes, V for Vendetta), Toby Jones (Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets, Captain America), and Johnny Harris (The Imaginarium of Dr, Parnassus, Rock N Rolla). For the most part the actors heads were used with digitally enhanced bodies to make a classic fantasy dwarf character. Much better than I seem to remember from the Lord of the Rings films.

Some of the Dwarven cast, along with Hemsworth

Aside from the dwarves, the rest of the cast is pretty solid, and the feel is pretty good. There is some CGI background, but also a great deal of outdoor shooting. I have seen "making of" videos where much of the castle will be green-screen walls, and there are a few time where it is plain that the actors are in front of one, but it is not so sterile as, say, the Star Wars prequels.

On thing I found both odd and amusing was in the manner that Charlize Theron aged. I am not overly familiar with previous versions of the story, but in this one the Queen is a bit of a Countess Báthory, who needs the youth of others to maintain her own. I was surprised at the way she looked, even at her most aged, to be not that supremely old as you might think. Maybe this was a comment on our youth-fixated society, or maybe it does not take extreme age to seem extreme anymore? Either way, it was fairly humorous to this shriveled-husk of a blogger.

So, to wrap up, I rather enjoyed this one. Best movie of the year? Probably not. Better than The Avengers? To me, yes. Worth the ticket price? Sure, but I imagine it will be fine on home-video as well. Just don't avoid it solely based on the Twilight stain. You'll be cheating yourself.


Nathan said...

I was surprised at the way she looked, even at her most aged, to be not that supremely old as you might think.

Well, the story DID come from a time when people didn't live anywhere near as long as they do now.

StephenB said...

I enjoyed it despite its flaws. Particularly loved the Sanctuary scenes with the fairies/spirit of the forest etc... even if it did remind me a little too much of Princess Mononoke (which I love).

Darius Whiteplume said...

True, but I think there was some fear of aging in our society going on there. She was centuries old in the story, if I am not mistaken. :-)

Darius Whiteplume said...

I thought that the moment I saw the white hart. I guess if you have to ape something, it should be something good. :-D

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