Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Running Time: 2 hours 8 minutes / Extended 2 hours 12 minutes
In the epic action-adventure Snow White & the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart (Twilight) plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Oscarr winner Charlize Theron) who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, Thor) who was dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White's beauty and power. The breathtaking new vision of the legendary tale is from Joe Roth, the producer of Alice in Wonderland, producer Sam Mercer (The Sixth Sense) and acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist Rupert Sanders is, in the words of Shawn Edwards, Fox-TV, "A film that soars with creativity, stylistic genius an amazing battle scenes."
One of the most anticipated films of the year, Snow White & the Huntsman was a well spent two hours but was still unusually underwhelming. Right off the bat, it is ridiculously hard to believe Kristen Stewart as Snow White. And then halfway through the film, you start to believe it for this world and are rooting for her... but it still feels odd. Then there's the epic level of action and the dark undertone that viewers were expecting but not at the level that it is indeed at. This is probably the most grim re-imagining that I have ever seen and a fantastic piece because of this alone. But I did not know that they were taking grim to hear going in, so I was not prepared to be taken down that road.
While undoubtedly the best fairy tell re-imagining in recent years, this is a film that is visually stunning but its beauty drains the heart and soul after awhile. There are quite a handful of scenes that were truly unnecessary other than its visual aspects. This could have been left on the cutting board for the special features. If only the screenwriting was as satisfying as the visuals and the world building. It seems as though they barely touched the surface of what this could have been. It is clear that the characters have so much depth to share but more time was spent on creating a grand film that the words may have gotten lost in the whirlwind...as did the heart. It's too bad because this could have gone down as one of my favorite re-imaginings of Snow White. It is still high on the list but it could have been higher. I still do recommend this film though I do want to prepare you for a viewing experience that will leaved you drained. Also, if you're not watching Once Upon A Time on ABC, rectify that immediately.
A New Legend is Born (20 minutes) – This feature brings together all of the elements that make the film what it is. In it, the cast and crew first praise Director, Rupert Sanders and discuss what it is like working with a director who is so visual and also so very open to collaboration. Costume designer, Colleen Atwood receives much deserved recognition for her work as well as well as the set designers. Stunts come next and it was refreshing to not only hear everyone talk about an actor or actress doing their own stunts but actually seeing it! Those bruises Kristen Stewart got were no joke! The attention to detail bringing this gritty world to life is what makes this film what it is so this type of feature is to be expected and was very well executed.
Reinventing the Fairy Tale (7 minutes) - In this feature, the writers and producers discuss the creation of this "revision" of Snow White, creating the tone and getting the deal to create this story on the epic scale that they wanted to. This could have been fit into the special feature before this but either way, it is an interesting viewing.
Citizens of the Kingdom (14 minutes) – Broken into four parts, this feature takes a look at the actors behind the characters as we go deeper into their heads to see how they grew comfortable in their roles. We follow Kristen Stweart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, and the actors and doubles playing the dwarves. As a big fan of character development and depth, getting to see the actors analyze these beloved characters and incorporate their own interpretations was a treat.
The Magic of "Snow White & the Huntsman" (13 minutes) – This features goes behind the scenes of the special effects from the mirror man to the dark forest (the creepiest part of the tale in my opinion). There's plenty to be fascinated by here because the effects are a major part of what makes this world and they pull it off so well, so take a look if you enjoyed the visuals. You know you did!
Commentary – The commentary is conducted by director, Rupert Sanders, visual effects supervisor, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, and co-editor, Neil Smith. If you made it through the entire film once and think you are up tot he task of another viewing, definitely check out the commentary to get deeper into the film.
*Around the Kingdom 360° Set Tour (Introductions by Director, Rupert Sanders)
Own Snow White & the Huntsman: Extended Edition on Blu-ray and DVD today.
Written by Melody Simpson at 2:49 PM