Tag Archive: snow white


Back in 2009 unless you were a die hard Home And Away fan it’s very unlikely that you would have had any idea who this Chris Hemsworth guy was. But now, it seems like every big film that gets announced Hemsworth is linked with the role and more than likely getting it as well.

Chris Hemsworth has undoubtedly been the break out star from all of Marvel’s success. Obviously, Hemsworth is best known as Thor to mainstream cinema goers; first of all picking up the hammer in his individual solo outing alongside the likes of seasoned pros Natalie Portman and Sir Anthony Hopkins, he then appeared in the third highest grossing film of all time, Marvel’s The Avengers, or Avengers Assemble if you like. And of course, it goes without saying that once again Hemsworth will be donning the cape and armour for 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, and who’s to say we won’t be seeing him in Captain America: Winter Soldier as well? It’s a role that Hemsworth has played almost perfectly so far and as he is only 29 at the minute he could have a lot more outings as Thor left in him.

As well as the continued affiliation with Marvel Chris Hemsworth also had a small stint in Star Trek where it is unlikely he will return considering he died in the first fifteen minutes, he featured in the critically acclaimed genre defying project Cabin in the Woods and then took on the mentor/protector role of Huntsman in the re-imagined telling of Snow White, Snow White and the Huntsman. With Kristen Stewart (Snow White) seemingly dropped from the sequel to the fantasy fairy tale the sequel is rumoured to focus on Hemsworth’s character, putting him at the helm of another franchise.

Along with the franchises Chris Hemsworth has managed to not get stuck in one role as he varies his projects with various stand alone movies. He stars as the main character in the remake of 1980s film Red Dawn alongside Josh Hutcherson (another rising star) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Then there is also Rush, the biographical drama of Formula 1 driver James Hunt where again Hemsworth is leading man. Then there’s one of the most anticipated and sought after movies in Hollywood today: Steven Spielberg’s Robopocalypse, a sci-fi story set in the aftermath of a robot uprising. This is already being anticipated as a huge hit and with Chris Hemsworth in the staring role it is hard to estimate just how high the success will be that Robopocalypse reaches.

So that’s Robopocalypse, The Huntsman franchise, Marvel’s continually expanding universe with Thor making Hemsworth’s schedule more than just a little busy so you could forgive him for slowing down a little bit, yet that does not seem to be his plan. Word has it that Hemsworth has an offer to play Mitch Rapp in American Assassin, an adaptation of Vince Flynn’s novel. Rapp is a recurring character in Flynn’s work so it seems as though another franchise beckons for this already huge star.

Soon enough, Chris Hemsworth will be one of the biggest stars on the planet, it’s just a matter of time.

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As we know, there is a trend of bringing fairy tales to the big screen at the minute. So far there have been Little Red Riding Hood, Mirror Mirror and Snow White & The Huntsman. There is a Beauty & the Beast film in the pipeline but here we have Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which is not by the same people as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, although it sounds as though it could well be. When this update of the classic fairy tale was first announced it did worry me a little as the title sounded a little corny and the set photos didn’t inspire much confidence. However, now that the trailer has been released I have changed my mind completely.

The casting for Hansel & Gretel does look very good, despite the big age difference between the actors playing the title characters even though they are both shown to be around the same age but we can overlook that. Jeremy Renner is the ‘it’ man around Hollywood right now and has recently given a restart to both the Mission: Impossible franchise and the Bourne franchise (I think he was a great replacement for Matt Damon) and he also played fan favourite Hawkeye in Marvel’s The Avengers. Alongside Renner as Hansel there is one of my favourite British actresses Gemma Arterton playing Gretel. Arterton has shown over the years how incredibly versatile she is and just how wonderful an actress she can be. Now we finally get a chance to see her kicking ass and in real fight scenes which is good news.

Unlike the previous adaptations of fairy tales what we have in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is not a retelling of the original story. This is why I think it could be better than all other fairy tale films that have been recently. Whereas both Mirror Mirror and Snow White & the Huntsman both told the origin story of Snow White so people knew what was coming, however Hansel & Gretel takes place 15 years after the fairy tale, fifteen years on from when Hansel & Gretel were almost killed by an evil witch. This means that there is a lot of space to play with as there is no specific end in mind as there are with other fairy tale stories.

The trailer has filled me with excitement about this film. There is a voice over from Jeremy Renner which isn’t your ordinary emotionless narration that you often get in trailers. The whole film looks like it really has got it’s genre nailed on, the scenery looks fantastic and it visually is a treat for the eyes. The trailer is action packed and you can clearly tell how the event fifteen years prior to the film affected Hansel and Gretel and it is fantastic to get a taste of the fight scenes that will appear in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

 

 

How well Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters will do when it is released in January is difficult to estimate. I think that it could go either way but if marketed correctly it could go well, especially with Renner and Arterton in the main roles. Hopefully it will pick up the teenage audience which it appears to be aiming for but I know that I will be looking forward to it. I just hope it is as good as I want it to be!

Rumours are flooding the internet today surrounding the topic of the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel and whether Kristen Stewart or director Rupert Sanders will return for a second film. With the recent news coming out that Stewart and Sanders were having an affair it is clear this would cause more problems than its worth if these two worked again together, therefore it seems as though the sequel will not be happening with Kristen Stewart playing Snow White because Sanders looks set to return to direct. The attention instead will shift towards Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman and create a sort of spin off from the first Snow White fantasy film. This was always the plan to do so in the third film but have two films about Snow White precede this. They could always hire Lily Collins to replace Stewart in the lead role, she made a fantastic Snow White in Mirror, Mirror and really looks the part, but if they’ve decided to tell a story based around the Huntsman then so be it; but it better be of a much higher quality than X-Men spin off, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

There seems to not be a week go by at the minute when Marvel and its film properties aren’t in the news: be it Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy or this week Daredevil. Work had apparently been moving forward on a reboot to the Daredevil film franchise at FOX and a director was even pretty much set to go for it; Joe Carnahan (director of The A-Team and The Grey) was tweeting about his excitement to adapt Daredevil in the world created by Frank Miller’s successful run on the comic books back in the late seventies/early eighties which had a darker film noir feel about them. Now it seems as though those ideas have gone up in smoke as FOX are clearly in no rush to get the project off the ground and are apparently willing to let the rights go back to Marvel come October. As soon as Marvel gets the rights back (even before probably) work will be done to get a film reboot going and it would be my guess that he would be set in the same universe as Marvel’s Avengers series probably. I hope that Ben Affleck comes in to direct the reboot, he loves the character and even though his starring role as Matt Murdock wasn’t very good he should be considered to direct, I think his Daredevil would be great and have a similar feel and tone to Gone Baby Gone.

And now here’s the latest casting news that has caught my eye this week: first of all, Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame has landed himself a lead role in Nick Hornby adaptation ‘Long Way Down‘ which follows four people who plan to commit suicide by jumping off a building on New Year’s Eve, but become friends with each other before the jump. Keira Knightley has gone and landed herself a part in her first franchise since Pirates of the Caribbean in Kenneth Branagh’s new Jack Ryan film in which Branagh also plays the villain to Chris Pine’s hero. It will be great to see Knightley swap her corsets and what not for a more modern attire in this film. And finally Scrubs‘ Donald Faison or ‘Turk’ has signed on to appear in comic book sequel Kick-Ass 2:Balls to the Wall as Dr. Gravity, a hero who is inspired by Kick-Ass and becomes an ally of his in his new team ‘Justice Forever’. This looks like a fun piece of casting and it is fantastic to finally see some real signs that the sequel is moving ahead!

If you hadn’t heard already the Kristen Stewart helmed film Snow White and the Huntsman has come under criticism from a dwarf theatre group in Los Angeles (Beacher’s Madhouse) and dwarf group The Little People of America for casting famous regular size actors in the role of the

Huntsman and the ‘dwarves’

dwarves in the recent fairy tale adaptation. Before this row emerged I, and I expect the large majority of people, hadn’t given this a second thought; I saw the casting of people like Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and Ian McShane and though “oh, cool”. Since the fallout though I have pondered the situation and I do believe that these groups, who are also supporting a protest march over what has happened, make some very good points indeed.

Earlier in the year Mirror Mirror, another retelling of the Snow White story, was released and in the roles of the seven dwarves were cast shorter actors. However, the Rupert Sanders’ directed Snow White and the Huntsman opted for famous regular height stars. Why? No doubt it was for box office attention; but with Kristen Stewart of Twilight, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth coming off the back of the success of The Avengers, was more box office draw really needed?

Mirror Mirror does it best.

The dwarves in Snow White and the Huntsman were barely even on screen that much and featured very little as the focus was on Snow White and the Huntsman as you would expect from the title of the film so what harm would it have done to cast dwarf actors in these roles. In Mirror Mirror the dwarves played a much larger and more important role in the overall story arc and yet were played by shorter actors.

There isn’t exactly a lack of talent in dwarf actors; in Mirror Mirror they all did a very fine job. Peter Dinklage, one of the most famous dwarf actors, even won an Emmy and a Golden Globe award for his role in the very successful television show Game of Thrones and yet he wasn’t even considered for a role here. The dwarves are written to be just that, dwarves and as such you should be casting dwarf actors to play the parts; the same way in which a male written part is played by a man and a female part is played by a woman, there is no difference.

Davis described the casting of the dwarves in Snow White and the Huntsman as ‘inexcusable’

Warwrick Davis, dwarf actor who has appeared in two of the most successful movie franchises ever: Star Wars and Harry Potter, perhaps says it best when he told E! News “It is not acceptable to ‘black up’ as a white actor, so why should it be acceptable to ‘shrink’ an actor to play a dwarf?”. There would be outrage if a white actor ‘blacked up’ as there was with Tropic Thunder when Robert Downey Jr. did so (even though his character in the film was doing it and not the actor himself there was still complaints surrounding it) so why is there not that same outrage with average height actors ‘shrinking’ with camera angles and special effects.

I think that Mirror Mirror went the right way about casting the seven dwarves because they used actors that were suitable for the parts and, even though it was the better film, Snow White and the Huntsman should have done the same. A huge insult has been shot at the dwarf community with Snow White and the Huntsman and there can not be a suitable reason as to why dwarf actors were not cast. Parts written as dwarves should be played by dwarf actors. End of story.

Snow White and the Huntsman is the second incarnation of the classic fairy tale to hit the big screen this year after Mirror Mirror earlier in 2012. In this fantasy action adventure take on the world renown classic the Huntsman ordered to kill Snow White ends up becoming a friend, protector and mentor in her quest to vanquish the evil Queen.

The film opens with a narration and a series of flashbacks in order to provide the audience with some of the back story. It feels as though the film makers tried to just feed us information that we didn’t really need and it sets a very slow pace for what is to follow. The narration also wasn’t filled with any kind of emotion and played quite tediously through the speakers. What follows is a lot of the Queen and Snow White doing pretty much nothing at all which forces the first act of the film to trudge along slowly.

Charlize Theron plays the evil Queen and a lot of the attention in the run up to release was focussed on her and her portrayal of the character, however I was left pretty disappointed by her performance; it wasn’t exactly bad but it wasn’t anything to shout about either. There were points of the film where we hadn’t seen the Queen for so long that I had genuinely forgotten she was a part of the film and as an actor that is not something you want the audience to forget. Kristen Stewart becomes the famous princess and does a sturdy job, again though there is something lacking from her performance, she doesn’t exactly ooze charisma on the screen and I’m not sure she does enough to justify the title role in a film expected to be as huge as this.

This take on the fairy tale bases as much emphasis on Snow White as it does the Huntsman and when the Huntsman arrives it is as if the movie shifts up a gear; played by Chris Hemsworth the Huntsman injects some much needed pace and emotion into the film. It seems as though the Huntsman is the only character the writers decided to take their time on, giving him a very emotive back story and motives, something which other characters (particularly the evil Queen) are lacking. You get a real connection with the Huntsman because of Hemsworth’s performance as he continues to make a name for himself following up three great movies: Thor, Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers.

The majority of scenes without the Huntsman aren’t really worth watching but one in particular is worthy of any fantasy film ever. The first time we meet the adult William is when he ambushes a royal carriage and the fight scene that follows is fantastic; the fight scenes throughout the entire movie are actually a joy to behold. William is played by Englishman Sam Claflin who is relatively new to the acting world but previously appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Based on this performance though, is Claflin doesn’t get more high profile acting work then a terrible injustice has been done in the acting world.

Snow White and the Huntsman is a real treat for the eyes. Everything about it just looks fantastic: the landscape, the costumes, the special effects. It all just looks so perfect and Rupert Sanders, the director, creates this incredible fantasy world so well. You never want to take your eyes off the screen.

In my opinion, this is a much better film than the earlier Snow White retelling Mirror Mirror. Whilst some of the characters aren’t as well developed as others the visuals and the Huntsman and William themselves are worth watching this film for alone. As the film goes along it gets stronger and stronger and climaxes very well. It’s definitely worth a watch.

My Rating: 7/10.

Disney is undoubtedly one of the biggest companies in the world, period. It is a huge mass media corporation and runs its own movie business, television channel,  huge advertising and publicity department, theme parks and as if that isn’t enough Disney also own Pixar and now Marvel. They are a huge powerhouse of a company and with the majority of their products aimed at children it is no surprise that children of today are influenced by Disney; in particular the Disney princesses that little girls know and love are what girls aspire to be these days and because of this, a lot of criticism has been levelled at Disney and their representation of women in their children’s films, so what is all the fuss about?

Let’s start with Snow White and the first ever full length animated feature film and one of Disney’s most successful films still today. The problem with Snow White is simple, she is a stereotypical woman waiting for a man to come and save her (this will become a familiar theme as I talk about more of Disney’s princesses); when she finds a little house in the woods that is empty what is her first instinct? To clean it. Snow White is a pretty woman relegated to the role of home maker who must carry out all housework for the seven dwarves in return for them letting her live there. And when she is rescued by the prince at the end of the film she instantly falls in love and rides off with him into the sunset, no doubt to clean and cook for him in future.

Ariel in The Little Mermaid is a bit rebellious of her father to begin with and her red hair symbolises that, maybe she is a good role model for young girls, sticking up for herself, showing how strong willed she is. But why does she want to rebel? To go on land and marry a handsome prince because that is the focus of all her life ambitions, oh Disney you surprised me there. Ariel, despite being a teenager, goes through pretty much the whole of the film half naked and must give up something she treasures (her voice) in order to find true love and of course, without her voice she must use her body and her womanly figure to win the man over. Disney promoting a strong campaign of ‘women should be seen and not heard’ right there. And when she finally gets her prince and he voice back, Ariel stays on land and leaves her family and friends of the sea behind because she has found romance. That’s pretty bad, isn’t it?

Disney tried to buck the trend of negative female role models, after so much criticism of The Little Mermaid, with Belle in Beauty and the Beast and said that Belle would be a more active woman and even a feminist. What actually changed? She enjoyed reading, that was all. The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t judge someone’s personality because of their appearance; Beast is a beast of a man but inside he is soft natured. Yet Belle just happens to be the most beautiful girl in town so it is her that must get the chance with the prince and must change him. It has been claimed (almost out of hope than anything else) that Beauty and the Beast promotes a message of ‘if you get beaten by your man, it is your fault for not changing him’, although I feel that this may be stretching it a little bit.

These are only a few examples of why the Disney princesses are seen as bad role models and I am not, for one second, saying that I agree with all of the points raised above but it does consider thinking about. Pretty much all of Disney’s heroines are in search of true romance and only that will make them happy and this idea that you NEED to have a man and a happy marriage to feel fulfilled is absolute rubbish of the highest calibre. I am not saying that these are bad films because I think that some of Disney’s Princess based films are very good, Beauty and the Beast in my opinion is almost as close to perfect as a film can get, but these princesses are not exactly the sort of role models that we need.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Mirror Mirror is the first in a long line of fairytale remakes heading to the big screen over the next couple of years. But while its competition in the genre, and natural main rival Snow White and the Huntsman, plan on setting a much darker tone on their stories, Mirror Mirror opts for a lighter, more comedic take on the classic tale.

So the story is pretty obvious. Mirror Mirror is of course about Snow White and her wicked step mother, the Evil Queen. Snow White is sent out to the forest to be killed, yet she is instead let free and ends up living with seven dwarves. However, in this version Snow White learns how to look after herself and become a skilled fighter and thief with the help of the dwarves whilst trying to win back the Prince who is under a love spell condemning him to long for the Evil Queen.

The cast really only carries one big hitter and that is Julia Roberts in the role of the Evil Queen. Roberts does a very good job really; you’re not supposed to like her character and the way that she is played makes you really see what a horrible character she is, not just as a villain but as a human being in general. You will probably find yourself wondering how much you could slap the Queen before you got bored. Lily Collins looks the part as the Evil Queen’s step daughter and heroine, Snow White; she is a perfect fit for the beautiful and innocent young girl and although her acting skills are not fully developed quite yet she certainly has potential.

The laughs are there in Mirror Mirror which is pretty handy considering it is being marketed for its comedy value. Arnie Hammer and Nathan Lane both offer up some laughs in their roles as Prince Alcott and Brighton respectively. But really the dwarves are the main source of comedy and that seems to be their main purpose within the film. A couple of the dwarves in particular, Grub and Half Pint will stand out.

So thats the good parts done with, now for the bad. The dialogue at times is really forced and chunky, placed within the film in order to blatantly feed the audience with information to a point where it is almost insulting the intelligence of the viewers. It felt like people were talking a lot more than they needed to be and the script could have been sharpened up slightly. There were several parts of the film where it felt as though the film had been clumsily put together and instead of flowing seamlessly from one scene to a next it just didn’t fit right.

I also have a problem with Snow White as a heroine. In the Disney film she wasn’t brilliant but that was many years ago now and people’s attitudes and expectations of the character surely would have changed but here she is still that naive princess. Despite learning to fight and look after herself she still needs the help of eight men at the end of the film to overcome ‘the beast’ and throughout the film it seems as though she is easily manipulated and as for the scenes getting her ready for her first kiss, it was very much playing up to little girls’ ideas of being a princess I felt and wasn’t really needed. She just is not a great heroine, but anyway I digress.

The biggest problem was the ending and the less said about how surplus to requirements it is, the better. We are told at the beginning that the King (Snow’s father) was never seen again. That was roughly ten years before the movie took place, the audience can and have accepted that Snow has not got a father anymore so there is really no need to bring him back at the end of the film, let alone let it turn out that he is ‘the beast’. How pointless is that. Really?!

Mirror Mirror, for all of its flaws, is enjoyable and it will probably make you laugh here and there. Its worth a watch at least once, maybe rent it once its out or just wait for it on television, but still worth a watch.

My Rating: 5/10.

Hollywood currently seems to have a thing for rebooting fairy tales. In 2011 we saw Red Riding Hood released to, at very best, mixed reviews. In the pipeline are Hansel and Gretel and Beauty and the Beast, but this year we are being treated (sort of) to two versions of possibly the most famous fairytale of them all: Snow White. Snow White has been adapted many times since the birth of film and television, even being incorporated into an episode of Supernatural. For many people it will be difficult to forget Disney’s romanticisation of the classic story but Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror will be hoping to achieve this, but which is more likely to do so?

Snow White and the Huntsman: Released 1st June 2012.

Snow White and the Huntsman is an action adventure film. It is a twist to the classic fairytale where the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White to the forest to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the evil queen.

Kristen Stewart takes up the role of Snow White in this adaptation with the evil queen being portrayed by Charlize Theron, a very talented actress. Chris Hesworth, of Thor fame, plays the Huntsman and many people will be anticipating his performance as he was recently nominated for the Rising Star award at the BAFTA’s.  Snow White and the Huntsman even manages to pack in the stars to play the dwarves, who have only been seen in set pictures so far, and famous names such as Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins and Ian McShane all take up the short mantle of being a dwarf. This film sees Rupert Sanders make his feature length debut as director, being known mainly for his work in commercials and short films so there is a heavy weight upon his shoulders as this is one of the most anticipated films of 2012.

The trailer really sets a dark theme for the movie with its beginning looking more like a fantasy war epic than an adaptation of a fairytale, which is good due to the original darkness of the Grimm brothers’ story. We are treated to the evil Queen’s narration and her conversation with the Magic Mirror really giving the storyline to the audience (needlessly perhaps as the story is very well known). The Huntsman looks particularly good and strong and we see him wielding his axes and maybe shown why he will help Snow White as he is bullied by the Queen. There is no hint at a love story in the trailer but we will have to wait and see what comes of that. There is a shot of a fantasy monster confronting Snow White which is interesting; do these creatures exist in this world? Or is it a manifestation of one of the Queen’s spells?

The trailer really focusses more on the Queen than on Snow White and this helps to give a strong indication of how evil the Queen really is. We see her torturing and sucking the life out of her subjects and her power when the Huntsman at first shows slight refusal of what she demands of him. It has been said many times that films are remembered by how well their villain is portrayed and Charlize Theron’s version of the evil Queen could be one of the best characters of the year.

 

Mirror Mirror – The Untold Adventures of Snow White: Released 2nd April 2012.

Mirror Mirror is an adventure comedy movie. An evil Queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright.

Julia Roberts is the biggest name attached to this film and she leads the cast as the evil Queen. However, before meeting the director of Mirror Mirror Roberts stated that she thought the film was a terrible idea and was a thousand per cent against it (let’s hope it’s not as bad as she thought it would be). Where Snow White and the Huntsman went for recognisable names among their cast Mirror Mirror went for more upcoming stars with Lily Collins portraying Snow White and Armie Hammer playing the Prince, who will have a more prominent role in this movie. Tarsem Singh will be directing; he split critics with his 2006 film The Fall but has failed to impress really with his last attempt Immortals receiving negative reviews from critics. This is his fourth outing as director.

From very early on in the trailer you can see this is a lighter adaptation than Snow White and the Huntsman. It gives the audience a taste of the comedy featured within the film, mainly from Julia Roberts’ character who seems, to me at least, a little more weird rather than evil. Some of the comedy in the trailer comes across as poorly written and forced at times (the ‘puppy love’ potion a fine example of poor comedy) but no doubt it will pick up a few laughs and people will find this sort of thing funny. The trailer really gets going when we get to see Snow White and the dwarves. Lily Collins looks fantastic as the young princess and looks as though she was built to play this part, so fingers crossed the film does that justice. We do get to see the dwarves in this trailer and it looks as though they will be there for comedy relief in places but their kinship and relationship with Snow White looks as though it will be worth watching for.

 

 

Whilst there is a couple of months separating the two films so that they are not in direct competition with one another it seems unlikely that most movie goers will take two trips to see what is, in essence, the same story so it will be interesting to see which film comes out on top. Will audiences choose the comedic elements of Mirror Mirror or the more action driven Snow White and the Huntsman. Either way, the successes or failures of both films will have an effect on the future of Hollywood’s fairytale adaptations.