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Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman

What She said:

She

Where should I start with this movie?  Well, I’ll say, it had a lot of promise.  I eagerly anticipated seeing a darker take on the classic story of Snow White. We all know the Disney cartoon; lots of singing, fluffy animals, and brilliant colors.  And then there’s the other Snow White movie that came out around the same time as this one, Mirror, Mirror.  Maybe someday I’ll catch that one on cable, but I’m certainly not going to pay to see it.  By the looks of Snow White and the Huntsman it was sure to offer pure evil, lots of fighting, and great special effects.  It actually does all that.  In fact, the cinematography in this movie is, at times, breathtaking.  However, the miscasting and foundationally shaky acting of our heroine sticks a knife in the film and doesn’t allow it to ever really form the emotion it needs to succeed.

Snow White and the Huntsman

I’ve got nothing against Kristen Stewart.  Actually, I have a little bit against her.  I don’t think she’s a very accomplished actress beyond making faces and sighing.  I had hoped that as Snow White (a role I also didn’t think she physically embodied), she’d break the mold and establish herself as a powerful leading lady.  But in Snow White and the Huntsman she, again, does little more than give puppy eyes and sigh a lot.  Oh, and can she try breathing through her nose for once?  It’s a total bummer, because she’s supposed to being this inspiring heroine.  I think what really draws attention to her poor acting is Charlize Theron’s performance as Ravenna, the evil queen.  Theron captures the essence of the role so well, that Stewart pales by comparison.  Maybe she’s learned a little something from her elder brethren.  Poor acting also sabotages the relationship between Snow and the Huntsman.  Stewart and Chris Hemsworth don’t seem to have much chemistry, and so their bickering and friendship seems contrived.  It’s still unclear to me if there was supposed to be something romantic there, but I know there was supposed to be the development of a strong friendship, and it was hard to imagine that happening between them. 

Another issue with Snow White and the Huntsman is that the plot doesn’t quite live up to the visual appeal of the movie.  The story makes sense, but it’s a bit lumbering and slow.  In fact, despite the action in the film, I was actually bored at times.  It just wasn’t interesting enough. 

I hear they’re making a second one of these, but frankly, they shouldn’t.  I’m not saying this is the worst movie in the world because there’s so much that it offers for the eye and the concept is pretty neat.  Not to mention that Charlize Theron is really fun to watch.  Her scenes steal the show.  Unfortunately, she only makes up about a quarter of the film and so I have to not recommend this one.

Thumbs a quarter up.

 

What he said:

He

The very first time I heard about this movie was when I saw this picture of Kristen Stewart. Right off the bat, I had negative feeling about the film. I don’t think she’s the best actress in the world. In fact, I often find her to be very bland. She doesn’t have much emotional range and the little bit that she does have, she looks annoyed and inconvenienced. Despite her ridiculous popularity and paycheck, she doesn’t exactly have the qualities you’d want in a leading lady. She’s not someone who you really want to cheer for or rally behind.

Then the trailer came out and I was blown away. I thought it looked epic. I was excited to see a dark, gritty, and visually-stunning retelling of a classic fairytale. Sign me up.  I was going to see this one in theaters. Kristen Stewart isn’t my favorite actress, but the trailer didn’t give be the vibe she was ruining the movie or anything.
Charlize Theron plays Ravenna, The Evil Queen. Much like with past versions of this story, she’s one mean, cold-hearted, and vindictive bitch. She travels from kingdom-to-kingdom seizing control as she sees fit. Her latest victim is Snow White’s father. This chick is like a Siren from Greek mythology; she lures you in with her beauty and then eats you alive like a female praying mantis after a date. So after finishing her father off, she locks Snow (Kristen Stewart)  away forever.

That is until one day the Magic Mirror (voiced by Christopher Obi, but sounds an awful lot like Gus from Breaking Bad) that Snow White is “the fairest of them all” and in order to stay eternally beautiful, she must eat Snow’s heart. She sends her creepy brother Finn (Sam Spruell) to bring Snow to her, but she escapes to the Dark Forest; where Ravenna has no power. This forces her to hire The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to retrieve her so she can consume her heart and become immortal.

Snow White and the Huntsman

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think Kristen Stewart is a particularly good actress. She looks like she doesn’t even want to be in the movie half the time. But for her, I actually found her to be ok. I don’t know if this is a fluke or she’s growing as an actress, but I didn’t think she was awful in this movie. God knows she’s better than she was in Twilight (never saw past the first one though). Both her performance and the movie itself are better than the franchise that made her the highest paid actress in the world. I thought Adventureland was a pretty good movie and she had me wondering why the hell the main character wanted to be with her. That’s how unappealing her performance can be. But I didn’t feel that way this time around. I’m not saying she was great, I just found her to be better than I have in other stuff I’ve seen her in. I didn’t openly dislike her this time around.

My counterpart mentioned she didn’t have the best chemistry with Chris Hemsworth and I agree with that. I like him. In fact, I might have a bit of a bro crush on him. He just seems like a cool dude and I like the way he plays his characters (Thor especially). So, I had no problem with his performance in this movie, the two just didn’t mesh together particularly well. It wasn’t a deathblow to the movie since  it isn’t quite clear whether he is or isn’t her love interest.

My counterpart also mentioned Charlize Theron stole the show and she really did. She was a powerful, mean witch, who wasn’t afraid to have a diva moment if appropriate. I think of the other big movie she was in this year – Prometheus – and I can’t help and think she was 100 times better in this movie. She was so bland in Prometheus and so colorful in this one. Her performance and the awesome visuals save the movie.

This movie wasn’t as epic as I had hoped for when I saw the trailer. I thought it looked fantastic and it wasn’t. It did drag in several parts. Sidekick characters like the dwarves weren’t as funny as you’d hope; nor did you feel as much as a connection as you would want out of these types of characters. But it wasn’t all bad either. I did find it entertaining in parts. Theron was simply awesome, the visuals were amazing, and it did entertain me enough to where I can at least say I took away some enjoyment. This movie could have benefitted from some polishing. Maybe a little editing here and there, a more emotional factor inserted during a few parts, and probably a more appealing main star; and this movie could have been awesome.

Rating: Thumbs half up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on October 16, 2012.