Monthly Archives: June 2013
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (2012) Director: Rupert Sanders Starring: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins Rating: PG-13 for scary CG creature stuff, fighting with pointy objects, and full sized men pretending to be dwarfs.
Forget everything you know about the Disney masterpiece Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!
That’s right, banish every detail from your mind! Be gone Snow White, Prince Charming, the Wicked Queen! Take a hike Happy, Sleepy, Crunchy, Scabby, and all the other dwarfs!
There’s a new version of this timeless tale on DVD called Snow White and the Huntsman, and not only is it a dramatic retelling of the classic fairy tale, it’s got a pinch of Lord of the Rings, a dash of Willow, and a drop of Legend thrown in for good measure.
Think of Snow White and the Huntsman as a hearty and flavorful stew with lots of different ingredients that you pour into your DVD player and enjoy. Mmmm. I loves a good movie stew!
In medieval England (you can tell its medieval times because every road, dwelling, and peasant is covered in mud and feces) King Magnus and Queen Elanor have a daughter and name her Snow White after the Queen’s grandmother, who was a blizzard or something.
Things go well for Princess Snow for a couple of years, then her Mom dies and Dad quickly remarries a beautiful blonde chicky he rescued from a marauding army of scary dark warriors. Ravenna (Charlize Theron) seems like a decent woman right up to when she murders Magnus on their wedding night and takes over the kingdom with the help of the dark scary guys. Turns out Ravenna is an evil sorceress who wishes to stay beautiful for all eternity, and since botox won’t be invented for another 700 years, she drains the lifeforce of the kingdom’s young girls to keep herself looking totally hot.
Believe it or not, Nicole Kidman uses this very same technique to stay young! It says so on her Wikipedia page! Well, it will right after I post it there.
A decade or so goes by and little Snow White (who has been locked away in the castle tower) grows up to be Kristen Stewart, who was in those Twilight vampire movies the kids were so crazy about a couple of years ago. Snow hopes to be released one day or at least given a bath, but since her evil sorceress stepmother still hates her guts, it seems highly unlikely the smelly princess will ever see the light of day.
When Ravenna learns from her magic mirror that eating Snow White’s heart will make her live forever, she dispatches her equally evil brother Finn (Sam Spruell) to bring her down from the tower. But snow escapes Finn, flees the castle and hides in The Dark Forest; a scary place with creepy bugs, slimy trees, and terrible picnic facilities.
Ravenna orders a local huntsman named Eric (Chris Hemsworth) to lead Finn and his soldiers into The Dark Forest to track down the fugitive Princess. Ravenna would gladly join them on their quest, but evil magic powers don’t work in The Dark Forest because the evil signal strength is poor and there simply aren’t enough evil magic hotspots. If Ravenna had only switched to Evil Verizon!
Eric quickly tracks down Snow White (probably by smell since the girl hasn’t showered in a friggin decade!) but decides to help her escape because Finn is a treacherous class “A” dickhead with a pageboy haircut and Eric is a medieval bad boy who plays by his own rules!
Snow White and Eric travel cross country evading Ravenna’s army looking for the Kingdom of Duke Hammond (Vincent Regan), the former right hand man of dead King Magnus who will help Snow defeat her bitchy step-mom. Along the way they meet up with seven dwarfs in a magic forest populated by magic fairies and all kinds of cute and furry animals that smile a lot and fart rainbows and other My Little Pony type crap. Fairies are weird, ugly little creatures. There, I said it!
The dwarfs in this movie are portrayed by a pack of veteran British character actors and are more Lord of the Rings style dwarfs than Disney dwarfs, which means they’re gross looking but they know how to kick ass, and that’s a good thing because Snow needs a hard fighting army to take back her kingdom, and kindly dwarfs who break out into a song and dance number simply will not cut it!
Snow White and the Huntsman finishes up with a big battle as Snow straps on some armor form the Joan of Arc collection and leads Duke Hammond’s men on an all out assault on Ravenna and her evil army. As our heroine squares off against the villain in the thrilling climax, one cannot help but wonder if all of this violence and bloodshed could have been avoided years earlier with a few visits to a good family counselor. You know, one who understands how difficult it is for a child to adjust to a new family member, particularly one that is an evil life sucking sorceress, and who could have explained to Ravenna that raising a step child involves patience and give and take, not imprisonment and black magic fueled rage.
I guess we’ll never know.
Today DVD Critics Corner opens the doors to our Hall of Fame to induct another illustrious member!
This large former wrestler turned large movie star has set the world of action cinema on fire, with such films as The Scorpion King, The Rundown, and Journey 2: Mysterious Island. In a few short years this muscle bound thespian has cemented his place at the top of the box office heap, and a coveted spot in the DVD Critics Corner Hall of Fame!
Without further ado, DVD Critics Corner! welcomes its newest and largest member:
Don’t call him The Rock anymore, he’s left that name far behind! Johnson first came to our attention in 2004 with his starring turn as a former soldier turned sheriff who cleans up his hometown in Walking Tall.
Johnson has had little trouble jumping from family friendly fare like The Game Plan and Tooth Fairy to action thrillers like Faster and Snitch. The folks behind the Fast and Furious movies saw the colossal awesomeness of Johnson and brought him on board in the fifth installment of that franchise: Fast Five!
With four big movies out in 2013 alone, Dwayne Johnson shows no signs of stopping, so get out of the way or get mowed down. We salute you Dwayne Johnson, newest member of the DVD Critics Corner Hall of Fame!
The DVD Critics Corner Hall of Fame is located in Tom’s basement between the water heater and the unused Soloflex. Visiting hours are every other Sunday from 11AM – 12 PM.
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012) Director: Peter Jackson Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian Mckellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis. Rating: PG-13 for sword fights, scary CGI monsters and lots of long beards.
Hey. Ever hear of The Lord of the Rings?
Of course you have. Nerd.
No, you’re not a nerd. Everyone likes Silver Age Green Lantern as much as you do. You’re fine.
Even the most non-nerdiest people have probably heard of the epic LOTR film series directed by Peter Jackson based on J.R.R. Tolkian’s epic book series because it was and still is a pretty darn big deal.
How big a deal is The Lord of the Rings trilogy?
It was eight years in the making, took over a year to film (that’s all three movies back to back to back) and grossed almost 3 billion dollars!
Everyone in the country of New Zealand either worked on or has a part in it!
The Expanded Edition Blu-Ray is longer than a Kim Kardashian marriage!
It’s very big, is what I’m trying to say.
So after taking a few years off to catch up on his sleep and direct a few movies that didn’t involve guys with hairy feet and swords, writer/producer/director Peter Jackson has returned to dungeons and dragons land to direct three more films based on the The Hobbit, the prequel novel to the LOTR books.
For you youngsters out there, a book is a paper thing old people read before someone invented the Kindle.
The first movie in the Hobbit trilogy is An Unexpected Journey, and it tells the story of Bilbo Baggins when he was a young hobbit of the Shire kicking back in his tastefully decorated hobbit house that is way too nice for a guy who doesn’t appear to have a job.
Bilbo’s (Martin Freeman) tranquil jobless life is interrupted when his old wizard buddy Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen reprising his role from the LOTR trilogy) shows up one night with Dwarf King Thorin (Richard Armitage) and twelve of his dwarf buddies who proceed to raid Bilbo’s fridge and do unspeakable things to the bathroom plumbing.
They have come to make the B-man an offer her cannot refuse: help this collection of dwarf warriors take back the Dwarf kingdom inside Lonely Mountain from the evil dragon Smaug, who evicted the dwarf race from their home years earlier without even serving them with an eviction notice and giving them a few days to clear out their stuff and send out change of address cards.
For some reason, Thorin and Gandalf think boring Bilbo is some kind of master burglur who will help the dwarfs slip quietly past the huge fire breathing dragon and change the locks on the doors so the dragon can’t get back in or something; it’s not really clear how Bilbo will help the battle hardened dwarfs in their quest, but Bilbo decides to go along because a quest is fun and it’s not like he has a job keeping him around the Shire.
Seriously, what does Bilbo do for a living?
Anyhoo, much like the LOTR films, An Unexpected Journey is about a great odyssey across Middle Earth where our heroes run into all kinds of creatures brought to life with the amazing CG magic you expect from this film series. You can almost smell how foul and horrible the fat disgusting trolls who capture Bilbo and his party must be. And the Goblins! My lord, those computer effects guys really captured their detestable grossness. I almost vomited.
An Unexpected Journey isn’t all hideous abominations endangering Bilbs and his pals. Several of your favorite characters from the LOTR trilogy show up to aid our heroes:
Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) an Elf leader who may or may not have dated Gandalf and knows magic.
Other Elf Guy (Hugo Weaving), who speaks mostly in subtitles.
Saruman the White (Christopher Lee) who totally stole his look from Greg Allman.
And if course who could forget good old Gollum (Andy Serkis) who bless his little heart is still as batshit crazy as he was in the other movies.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a fine addition to the Lord of the Rings movie library. It’s chock full of action and adventure as Bilbo and company fight their way out of danger a bunch of times to get to a far away place that’s at least two movies away.
Hopefully in the next installment Bilbo is able to talk those huge CG eagles that helped them escape the Orcs in the movie’s climax to fly them a little bit closer to their destination instead of just dropping them off a half a mile from where the Orcs almost killed them.
Stupid giant eagles. Couldn’t take Bilbo and his friends all the way to Lonely Mountain. Are they not allowed to fly there? Is Lonely Mountain not in their region?
Do they work for Jet Blue?