Snow White and the Huntsman
Some movies look better on paper than they do in theaters, but Snow White and the Huntsman is the rare summer blockbuster that lives up to most of its potential – although one senses that an even better film might’ve been possible with a better script. Elevated by Charlize Theron’s juicy performance as the wicked Queen Ravenna, Chris Hemsworth’s rugged charm (he’s more soulful here than in The Avengers), and some fabulous art design, Snow White basically delivers the goods in revising the Grimm Brothers’ dark fairy tale to the more slick sensibilities of today.
And since girls’ stories are now finally getting the summer blockbuster treatment they deserve, it’s also worth noting that Snow White and the Huntsman is a helluva lot better than much of what the boys have been dishing out of late. (The Avengers was fine, but does anybody remember Green Lantern? Or Green Hornet?) If Snow White and the Huntsman is any indication of what it would be like if gals got equal time during summer blockbuster season, I’ll gladly take it.
What Snow White and the Huntsman does not do, however, is make sense of Kristen Stewart’s Snow White character as being some sort of Joan of Arc-style warrior or mystic visionary. Stewart simply doesn’t have the depth for it, even if she and Hemsworth do make for a wholesome and handsome on-screen couple. Also: the film feels like it’s trying a little too hard to be ‘literary’ in the vein of Lord of the Rings, when it should’ve been campier and fun like Willow. After all, do we really need to take the Seven Dwarves so seriously? The Christopher Nolan template doesn’t work for everything. Snow White needed much more humor and a lighter touch to balance its otherwise dreary Germanic material.
Still, if lavish, old-fashioned costume spectaculars are to your taste, or if you want a good look at either Charlize Theron or Chris Hemsworth in their prime, this is the film for you. Charlize in particular is in a major career groove; she’s suddenly Angelina Jolie, minus the National Enquirer lifestyle. Like Theron’s recent Young Adult, Snow White fetishizes her blonde good looks, turning her into a colorful, raving, age-obsessed narcissist. It’s great fun to watch her strutting around having jealous fits – like a watered-down version of Bette Davis, only taller.
Jason’s LFM GRADE: B+
A travesty! As regular LFM readers know, French director Alexandre Aja’s 2010 horror-comedy Piranha 3D is a favorite of mine – easily one of the best cult/B-movies in recent years. Yet even with cameos from David Hasselhoff and Gary Busey, and with the return of Christopher Lloyd and Ving Rhames (packing prosthetic shotgun legs) from the original, Piranha 3DD is a total disaster – nothing more than an embarrassing, quickie cash-in on the original film that pleased critics and grossed $83 million worldwide.
The basic rule with Roger Corman-style films of this sort is that they have to at least try to take themselves seriously in order to work. Piranha 3DD doesn’t even make the effort. A lame, slapped-together pastiche of inflated breasts, chewed limbs and only intermittently funny jokes, Piranha 3DD is basically just an extended gag reel about a semi-nude waterpark savaged by the same devious, snapping piranhas from the first film … with the noticeably aging Hasselhoff consigned to playing himself, and otherwise winking at the camera every 2 minutes. It doesn’t work.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, not only are Piranha 3DD’s breasts fake, but so is its running time: the movie is barely over an hour long, artificially padded-out to 83 minutes with footage from the original film, plus an extra-long credit sequence featuring goofball outtakes. You’d think they’d throw in some extra skin there, but pretty much all we get is Hasselhoff singing a new tune of his called, “The Love Hunter.” And believe me, in this case “Love” hurts.
Recommended only for Hasselhoff obsessives, Piranha completists, or maybe just fans of Russian swimsuit model Irina Voronina. Anybody else is out of luck.
LFM GRADE: DD
Posted on June 5th, 2012 at 4:26pm.