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