Who doesn't love an evil queen? From the real-life rotten royalty ala Elizabeth Bathory or Catherine de Medici to those of the fictional sort, all these lethal ladies are missing is a mustache to twist. But, most do have a talisman. In the case of "Snow White & the Huntsman" Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) has her magic mirror.
The mirror is a bit different in this retelling of the tale — it's kind of a molten blob which can take on a myriad of shapes — as are quite a few of the other conventions we know and (most of us) love. While "Snow White & the Hunstman" is definitely not your run of the mill fairytale and it does in fact deserve pixel-space on Horror.com (menacing monsters, murder, mayhem, black magic), it was too much like a Lord of the Rings movie to ever involve me much from a suspense or romance standpoint. (I was expecting and hoping for something more along the lines of Neil Jordan's spooky, sensual retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, "Company of Wolves".)
While I never was invested in the story and didn't really care about any of the characters, I will say "Snow White & the Hunstman" is a good-looking film. It's well-made, and finely acted. Theron is the standout, by far. Kristen Stewart, as Snow White, is her usual wooden self, while Chris Hemsworth plays the Huntsman as a bit of a buffoon, but a likeable one at least. The monsters and creatures are impressive: there are animate trees, supernatural bats, bloody birdies whose hearts are the queen's morsels, gigantic trolls, skulking spirits, and more. CGI is not too obtrusive, given the obligatory nature of such things in spectacle films these days.
I was most impressed by the makeup (beauty, and otherwise) and the costumes. Ravenna's regal rags are resplendent to say the least. My favorite frock is black with metal chains, sports a corset of snakes, and is topped by a crown of bones and thorns. At the fur-lined collar is a row of tiny sparrow skulls. While that last element might seem a bit extreme, it actually takes a cue from history (I remember being fascinated years ago by my first look at hummingbird-head jewelry at the British Museum; taxidermy as fashion is nothing new).
The Blu-ray looks and sounds amazing. There are 7 featurettes (just as many as the dwarves! Cute), as well as a director commentary.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson
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- Blu-ray™ and DVD Bonus Features:
- •A New Legend Is Born
- •Feature Commentary with director Rupert Sanders, visual effects supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and co-editor Neil Smith
- Bonus Features Exclusive to the Blu-rayTM
- •Reinventing the Fairy Tale
- •Citizens of the Kingdom
- •The Magic Of “Snow White and the Huntsman”
- •Around the Kingdom: 360° Set TourUniversal’s Second Screen: An innovative viewing experience that allows viewers to control, interact with and explore Snow White and the Huntsman with groundbreaking features on a networked tablet or computer, in synch with the movie on the television screen! As the movie plays, experience features such as:
- •Flick View: Move content from the tablet to the TV screen, and compare storyboards, animatics, and other exciting bonus material with a “flick” of the fingers.
- •Behind the Scenes (Picture in Picture)
- •Around the Kingdom: 360° Set Tour
- •Virtual Flip books
- •Cast of Characters
- •UltraViolet™: The revolutionary new way for consumers to collect movies and TV shows, store them in the cloud, and instantly stream and download to TV’s, computers, tablets and smartphones. Consumers can now truly enjoy their movies anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice. Currently available in the United States only.
- •Digital Copy: Viewers can redeem a digital version of the full-length movie from a choice of retail partners to watch on an array of electronics and portable devices including computers, iPad®, iPhone®, iPod™ touch, Android™ and more!
- •pocket BLU™ App: The popular free pocket BLU™ app for smartphones is now even better with newly updated versions for iPad®, Android™ tablets, PC and Macintosh computers, with features made especially to take advantage of the devices’ larger screens and high resolution displays.
- •Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player.
- Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.
- •Video Timeline: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
- •Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
- •Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
- •Keyboard: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.
- •BD-LIVE™: Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to access the latest trailers, exclusive content and more!
- In this spectacular action-adventure, Kristen Stewart (Twilight) is Snow White, the only woman in the land fairer than the evil queen Ravenna (Oscar® winner Charlize Theron). Ravenna wants nothing more than to destroy her young rival, but she doesn’t know that Show White has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) the queen dispatched to kill her. Together with a handsome prince (Sam Claflin) enchanted by Snow White’s beauty and power, they assemble an armed force to recapture the kingdom. This breathtaking new vision of the legendary tale from Joe Roth, the producer of Alice in Wonderland and acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist Rupert Sanders is, in the words of Shawn Edwards, Fox-TV, “A film that soars with creativity, stylistic genius and amazing battle scenes.”