Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman (PG13 - 127 minutes)

The original tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was included in the first Brothers Grimm publication of collected stories that was released in 1812.  The story was dark and frightening, and was "cleaned up" in later children's story collections.  Here's the wikipedia link to the original story page, it sums it up pretty nicely if you're interested.
The story was first brought to the screen in 1916 in a silent movie called "Snow White", and then made most famous with Disney's first full length animated feature in 1937, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves".  The Disney version was not the first one to name the Dwarves, but it was the first one to give them names based on their characteristics.
Earlier this year, Tarsem released his "Mirror Mirror", which I chose not to see.  I don't like Julia Roberts, I don't love Phil Collins enough to support his daughter, and my jury is still out on Armie Hammer.  Tarsem's movies are usually visually brilliant, but nothing I heard about that movie made it look good, and I have yet to see/hear a truly positive review of it.
I may check it out when it gets Netflix-able. 
That brings us to the directorial debut of Rupert Sanders, Snow White and the Huntsman.  This version sticks much closer to the original dark and scary Grimm version than most of the other screen versions.  It is rated PG13 - and I wouldn't recommend bringing kids.  There were several kids in the theater when I went, and I definitely heard one of them telling their parents they were scared, there were also some crying. 
In this version, Snow White is born a princess, after her mother, the queen, wishes for a child with "skin white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as night".  Her mother dies when she is still young and her father remarries Charlize Theron's Ravenna.  Ravenna then murders the king and locks up Snow White and with the help of her creepy albino brother (played by Sam Spruell)decimates the kingdom in her quest for eternal youthand beauty.  She routinely checks in with her magic mirror to verify that she is the "fairest of them all".  On the day Snow White "comes of age", I assume that means turns 18, the mirror tells the queen that eating Snow White's heart will make her permanently young and beautiful.  Snow White escapes - the queen hires the Huntsman to go after her and bring her back.  He has a change of heart, the two go on the run, meet a village of scarred-face fisherwomen, and a group of dwarves (there's 8, apparently Disney has the propietary rights to "seven dwarves", so no one else can have that number).  The queen stalks them, gives Snow the poisoned apple, and she "dies".  The huntsman and the dwaves get her to a neighboring Duke's castle, who's son (Prince William, played by Sam Claflin) Snow used to play with as a child.  He kisses her, nothing happens, the huntsman kisses her, she wakes up and suits up and leads the army into battle against Ravenna.
Kristen Stewart is fine as Snow White - in all honesty, she has almost no lines.  She spends most of the movie breathing heavy while looking concerned or uncomfortable. 
Hemsworth is developing into a better actor and looks to have a great career in front of him - also - he's really good looking, that never hurts, plus between this, Avengers, and Thor 2 - which might be next year already - the guy is set for life.
Claflin's prince doesn't have a lot to do - but he's fine in what he does.  He seems to mainly exist as a 'red herring' to the Snow/Huntsman relationship.  The only other thing I had seen him in was the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie where he fell in love with the mermaid.
Spruell is crazy weird as the queen's brother.  He is really creepy, and pompous, and shifty - enough that when his comeuppance comes (and it does come), I was cheering inside my head.
The dwarves are all played by regular-sized actors, and the choice was made to use CGI and other effects tricks to make them look small.  An interesting choice, because there are plenty of smaller actors, but perhaps the director wanted a specific actor for each of them?  Who knows, I found it a little distracting, but there are some wonderful actors as the dwarves:  Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Johnny Harris and Brian Gleeson.  It also struck me as strange that with that calibur of actors as the dwarves, that the dwarves didn't feature as much as I expected them to.  They have a few major scenes, and are excellent in those scenes, but were a bit underused.
The true star of this picture is Charlize Theron - I don't think I'm surprising anyone by saying that, you can tell from all the trailers.  She is scary and vicious and over-the-top and chews the hell out of the scenery.  All of which plays into one fantastic villian performance.  I'm not sure I've ever seen her play "the bad guy", but she should do it way more often if she's going to do it this well.  She reminds me of Hudson Leick's Callisto (big props to you if you get that reference), menacing and blond!
In terms of drawbacks of this movie - I would say that any time I wanted to complain about things, I could attribute it to having a first time director.  The movie is a little choppy and disjointed, some of the shots are strange, and Kristen Stewart's mouth is open the whole time.  The Whole Time!  And for someone with teeth as odd as hers, that was maybe something the director could have mentioned.  The visuals were great, if sometimes ill-fitting.  It was enough to make me want more from Rupert Sanders and it did make me think that he has great potential as a director.
See it - on the big screen, but maybe don't pay full price!
7 out of 10.  Lost points for all the dead or dying birds...there are a ton of birds in this movie.  Gained points for the troll - it was cool.  Lost points for Stewart's central incisors, sorry.  Gained points for the white hart - it was awesome.
Bonus Video 1:  Charlize's Aeon Flux - it wasn't good, but it was interesting...plus, you know Martin Csokas, yay!  It's the last movie of hers that I can think of that I was excited to see.
Bonus Video 2:  Dark Crystal trailer...pieces of Snow White and the Huntsman reminded me of the Dark Crystal...not sure I can figure out why.  Big gothic set pieces maybe?  It might be worth checking out the trailer again...

Bonus Video 3:  SWATH (new abbreviation) interviews in front of a castle!


  1. You may want to check out (rental is good for this one) Mirror Mirror for the little people. They are a key part of the movie with quite a bit of screen time. I recognized some of the actors from Pit Boss. This is not an serious epic, it is more of a childrens film with somewhat simple characters painted with a large brush, but what used to be The Seven Dwarves was turned into a band of woodland thieves. It was nice to see a good ensamble cast with more of the cool factor of Robin Hood instead of being treated as cute and silly. The film is not great art, but I enjoyed it, and the best part was the band of thieves.

    Check out the Wall Street Journal article http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304636404577291393994531090.html

  2. your review cracked me up, I especially liked how you broke down the losing and gaining of points at the end ;-)