1) As I walked out of the cineplex late Friday night after watching the 10:15 showing of Snow White and the Huntsman, I wondered . . . what was the last decent film that I've seen by Universal Pictures? Huntsman consists of a jaw-droppingly disparate mixture of bizarre casting, pretentious dialogue ("You have travelled far--with a great burden"), and a disjointed committee-written storyline that keeps stopping dead as it cuts back and forth between Snow (Kristen Stewart wandering about various magical lands) and the evil queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) as she rages and/or ages rapidly (or not. I got confused by the transitions between aging makeup) in her castle.
2) As a fan of Charlize Theron, I was okay with the movie until it cut to dirty Cinderella-esque Kristen Stewart starting a fire with two rocks in the castle's north tower. She's supposed to be the put-upon "innocent" emblem of "purity," but I just saw her lose her virtue to a vampire in a much ballyhooed bed-breaking scene in Twilight Saga: Eclipse, so stomaching her as Snow White was nigh impossible.
3) Eventually Stewart resembles Juliet, Joan of Arc, and Greta Garbo in Queen Christina (1933), so I can see why she chose the role, but not why the filmmakers gave it to her. At one point (minor spoiler alert), both the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and some guy named William compete for her love, so I immediately jotted down "Team Thor" and "Team William" in my notes. Will Stewart ever live down her Twilight associations?
4) I did see Mirror Mirror back in March, and found it pretty but harmlessly forgettable as Julia Roberts tried too hard to be a funny and likable evil queen. That movie kept finding reasons to show off Armie Hammer's (Prince Alcott's) muscular chest, but the movie's light jokey tone did not mesh well with the more serious aspects (i.e. the starving villagers) of the fairy tale.
5) The corresponding hunk in this film, the huntsman of Snow, proves to be a rabble-rousing drunk corralled by the evil Queen to retrieve Snow from the Dark Forest. A blank drunk he remains. I couldn't see why he's mentioned in the title, or what he's doing in the film except to look handsome backlit by the flames of a nocturnal fishing village set afire by the Queen's henchmen. He wields an axe much as Thor wields a hammer. He gets to kiss Snow later on, so I guess that's something.
6) For much of the latter half of the movie, all I could think of was Monty Python's Holy Grail (1975) and the Cate Blanchett-riding-on-a-horse-into-battle scene in the 2010 Robin Hood.
7) When the dwarves finally appeared, I wondered how the filmmakers got such major actors (a blind miniature Tiresias Bob Hoskins (!), Ian McShane, Nick Frost, and Toby Jones (I just saw him in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy!)) to appear altitudinally challenged. When Snow sees some holy deer in a magical fairy-land scene, Hoskins says "No one's ever seen this before" as everyone gazes dewy-eyed at all the benign and twinkling CGI. When Hoskins realizes that he's in Snow's presence, he says "She is life itself. She will heal the land. She is THE ONE. Where she leads, I follow. She will bring an end to the darkness." Perhaps so, but Mirror Mirror's Snow played by Lily Collins was better cast, in part because I've never seen her before. No one behind Snow White and the Huntsman seems all that concerned with any of the actors' over-familiarity.
presence, the film had the opposite effect on me than what was intended. Who wouldn't root for the evil campy Queen? Snow White can go fly a kite.
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