Posts Tagged ‘summer blockbusters’

Summer Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman Lacks Heart

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

In the Disney version of Snow White, the title princess is a bit, well, boring.  Or is tame a better
word?  This summer’s Snow White and the Huntsman throws all of that sweetness out the door and exchanges it for a fierce, feministic tale.

Snow White and the Huntsman is as grim as the brothers’ tales themselves.  The story is the same,
young girl’s mother dies and father is taken in by beauty of a mysterious woman.

The twist is that Charlize Theron plays one of the most evil queens possibly ever to grace cinematic history.  Sadly, Ravenna has a tragic past, and a few good points too, about how men in that time used women and disposed of them without a second thought.  The problem?  Ravenna and her creepy, equally evil brother have one too many screws missing.

Theron takes her role seriously, too seriously perhaps, as she channels Ravenna’s pain through her tortured stare and her rage as well.  Theron is an exceptional actress, and this film no doubt belongs to her and Kristen Stewart (who plays Snow White), but it seems as though she is in a different movie as her performance is over-the-top.

Stewart is one of the most underestimated actresses of her era but she is given little to do in terms of dialogue.  The saving grace to the unevenness in performances and film itself is Chris Hemsworth, otherwise known as the Huntsman.  Hemsworth brings a necessary humanity and warmth that is otherwise lacking as both the lead actresses are a bit cold.

The special effects in Snow White and the Huntsman are excellent, as are the costumes.  Theron
is stunning in articles like elaborate headpieces and even a long, black, feathered “crow” coat.  These two aspects of the movie are worth seeing even though the film itself is far from perfect.

There are two last notes that are worth mentioning about the movie.  First, the prince (or William,
the Duke’s son here) would have been better left out as he does not even garner a part of the movie poster.  Rightfully so it turns out, as his role and consequence to the storyline are severely
limited.  The love triangle in this way is lopsided.  Second, the battle scenes could have lasted longer especially towards the end of the film (for example, galloping down a beach does not a fine battle make).

Overall, Snow White and the Huntsman takes on far more than many summer blockbusters as it shows the remnants of a war-torn land and gives us a fierce look at how strong princesses and queens can be.  Sequel anyone (as it looks like there may be one)?

 

 

2011 Summer Blockbusters

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

With all of the summer blockbusters, or lack thereof, out it can be hard to navigate and decide which ones are worth the ten dollars (sometimes even more with 3D, and they all seem to be in 3D).  There is nothing worse than coming out of the movie theater disappointed, with a headache, or even worse, frustrated due to the lack of fluidity and feasibility in the plot.  Leave that last feeling at the door and just enjoy yourself when seeing Cowboys and Aliens and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  First up, Cowboys and Aliens is a fun, albeit strange, ride.  There is some good fun with the Clint Eastwood-esque gun-wrangling, bar-clobbering cowboys but throw in a bunch of random, funny-looking aliens and you have got an interesting blockbuster (I was going to say “movie” but decided against it).  All in all, Harrison Ford is at his best again and Daniel Craig is not too shabby to look at.  There are plenty of seat-jumping parts as well.  The best part possibly?  When the cowboys are about to have a throw down and all of a sudden in fly the alien ships!  Next up, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  When I saw the previews for this film at the start of the summer I said to myself with a snort, “I am not seeing that.”  My bias stemmed from flashbacks to the cheesy Mark Wahlberg remake and I had only heard of the original with Charlton Heston.  I thought, “Eh, what the hay,” and took a chance.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I found myself actually rooting for the apes sometimes (I am sorry, but they do not turn to violence until pushed and *spoiler alert*: humans actually bring the virus that wipes out mankind and leads to ape rule on themselves).  Caesar, leader of the apes, is more sympathetic than many of the people in the film.  There are even some obvious questions brought to light about how far invention should go and how finding compassion and kindness for those who are different than us can be difficult at times.  Standouts in the film?  James Franco does a solid job in a role that generally seems to fit him-vulnerable protagonist.  Tom Felton also does a wickedly good job as a spoiled, mean son of an animal shelter’s owner.  One last thing, the CGI effects really are amazing.