Skip to main content

Movie Review: Snow White & The Huntsman (2012)

We were all there for the Queen. We sat in the darkened room, enraptured by her flawlessness, rooting for her to defeat Snow White and become a revisionist fairy tale villain triumph. We sent Care Bear stares of love and good will into her perfect eyes. And then she opened her mouth and crushed our dreams, and not in a good way.

Dialogue turns out to be the main weakness and the greatest strength of Snow White & the Huntsman, Hollywood's latest gritty interpretation of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale. Charlize Theron plays Queen Ravena, whose mandatory giant mirror is pimped out with a spectral golden figure that gives her beauty advice (of the "Eat her heart, never use foundation again!" variety). She's a career evil queen who travels, kills kings, takes over their kingdoms, and destroys the land itself, presumably by yelling. Charlize shouted so hard during filming that she pulled a stomach muscle, true story. That's role dedication right there. The best part is she wanted to lie and say it was from doing "a bad-ass stunt." No, Charlize, you yelled too loud and hurt yourself. There is much honor in that, spear-sister.

Anyway, the problem is that Queen Ravena has a one-track mind. She's on a beauty train, and the railroad is made of crazy. The woman wants revenge for what happened to her, and her face is her weapon. Since no one is powerful enough to challenge her, her warped viewpoint just keeps getting validated. So she goes onnnn and onnnnn about how her beauty is super important and she's gonna destroy everything and blah blah blah. Fortunately, even if her whine-bellow gets tiresome, her costumes are always fabulous! Just tune her out and marvel at Colleen Atwood's costume designs. I had no idea evil crowns came in such an assortment of shapes, sizes, and colors!

Meanwhile, in brunette land, Kristen Stewart plays Snow White, who is gifted with princess-ness, basic human decency (the first thing she does after her jailbreak is try to free the other prisoner), and (this is key) not very many speaking lines. For example, a moment comes when the epic music swells, and everyone looks all shiny and brave and determined, and Snow White is exchanging emotion-laden glances with her hunky dreamboat hunter-man, and she...just smiles. Nothing about loving him, or promising to win, or any other deadly dull cliché. Her constipated smile says it all: I'm in full armor and I'm gonna kill an Academy Award winner and I need a sandwich!

Where Snowy had the best non-lines, the dwarves had the best lines. They were cool and competent and funny, and Snowy's damn lucky to have them.

The other two standouts in this film are the soundtrack (check out this moody ending theme), and the special effects. Honestly, it should be called Snow White & the Mushrooms, with all the LSD imagery going on. Some seemed derivative, though. The Dark Forest reminded me of Pan's Labyrinth, and there was a bit in the Forest of Fairies that came straight out of Princess Mononoke. Also: very lovely cinematography and set designs!

Props to this film for being dark, refreshing, and having a great ending. The showdown girl-fight scene was especially awesome, with Snowy being hopelessly outmatch at first and just grimly trying and trying until...well, I shan't spoil it. And in the end, at her obligatory sunny coronation, did she say one word? No. No, she did not. Long live the queen! 

Popular posts from this blog

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!


Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.

Hah!

There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:


The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…