I had rather high hopes for Snow White & The Huntsman, but I tried to keep them realistic. I heard before I saw the movie that the film makers took inspiration from The Lord of The Rings, but I wasn’t expecting anything that good. More of like a summer blockbuster version of that. I knew the idea had potential to be a great epic movie and I wasn’t expecting anything on the level of a classic. The movie fell short of what I hoped for though.
I enjoyed the fact that they were reimagining a fairy tale that was the basis for a Disney film. It seems like whenever Disney makes a movie based on older stories their version becomes the standard and no one ever uses these tales again. Although Mirror Mirror is doing the same thing this year, I know that movie wasn’t made for my age group. I hoped that Snow White & The Huntsman would be better suited for my age group, and it was closer, but didn’t quite reach.
This Snow White movie definitely pushes the violence and dark overtones a little more. It seems the film makers knew they wanted a PG-13 rating and were sure to stay within those confines. Compared to Snow White, The Lord of The Rings seems more like a mature movie even though it has the same rating. I thinks this may be because the source material to LOTR has more depth and character development. But I never felt that LOTR compromised the film to make a PG-13 movie. I do, however, have a feeling that Universal Studios made Snow White with the idea to capture a wider market and earn more revenue. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I would have liked to see them make a film with a tone that matched the imagery.
Also, the effects are pretty good in Snow White. The effects aren’t as much fun as LOTR because they are all CG, but they look good. The forests they created for the movie are interesting and a lot of the creatures in them look cool. There are some creatures that are exceptions, however, like the fairies. I feel like my opinion of the movie dropped a little when the showed up on screen. It was also right around the time the Dwarves are introduced and I was surprised that they showed up as late as they did. It seems the writers focused so much on the build up of Snow White going into the forest that by the time they got to that part in the story I was already wrapped up in wanting the conclusion. It made the movie seem long and blew a lot of the steam that it built up.
Overall I say go see this if you have young teenage kids and are looking for a family movie that isn’t strictly for children. Otherwise, this seems like a good movie to catch on television some time down the line.
I may not have felt a whole lot after leaving SW&TH but there is certainly a lot to be said for the film from first time director Rupert Sanders. It’s a beautiful movie that does a wonderful job visually bringing a storybook to life but fails to tell a compelling story on screen, ultimately wasting a lot of really great stuff. The film’s issues are easily boiled down into three core issues: (1) Style over substance, (2) being a slave to the source material and (3) poor casting of the main character. I went into the movie with no expectations one way or another but with so much potential squandered I left the theater feeling more dissapointed than anything.
Let’s talk about he performances first. On the majority, the film has an interesting cast that truely takes their roles to heart. Charlize is delightful and full of eneregy. She commands every scene with her beauty and brutallity, exactly like the Evil Queen is intended to. Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman is a perfect fit. It seems as though his character was always intended to be in the classic Snow White tale and therefore doesn’t need a lot of backstory. Unfortunately, Hemswoth is vastly under utilized as the movie marginalizes his character’s importance throughout the course of the story. Aside from the strong main performances, there are some nice moments to come from the dwarves as well. Again, they seem to be cut short within the story though, wasting some really fine actors. There’s also some dude that plays an archer/prince who gets to do some real badass stuff with a bow and arrow. I’m not sure if you heard, but those are really in this year. Anyway, I feel like I’m missing someone… oh yeah, then there’s Kristen Stewart as Snow White. Barring previous atrocious performances Stewart has put in via the Twilight franchise, she’s not exactly the WORST working actress today. But even though she does about as well as she can in the role, the problem ultimately lies in casting. Stewart does quite well with her emotionaly charged and more stoic scenes, but when it comes time to soften up (which contrary to the trailers is about 75% of the movie) she never illuminates. Her character is supposed to be a young woman that exudes goodness and kindness and warmth tenfold to anyone that lays eyes on her. But Stewart plays the character too cold and ends up looking like a pretty but unremarkable girl in the forrest.
Above all the film’s biggest dissapointment is it’s inability to marry an interesting story to it’s top notch visuals. The effects and atristic vision give most of the momentum to the film, but for whatever reason, the screenwriter plays it about as safe as possible. The movie isn’t so much a reimaging as it it is a retelling, which for a story that’s as old as time, isn’t so exciting. I agree with Rob that this movie could have either went ballsy with R-rated embellishments or heavily benefited from some deviation from the classic storyline. It’s a shame really. SW&TH had a lot of great ingridients and easily could have become the next Lord of the Rings. Overall, there are just too many missteps for this to resonate with audiences. Though on a positive note, I am interested to see how Rupert Sanders handles his next directing project, hopefully really expanding on his creative visual style.