Nov 16, 2011

FAIRY TALE FACEOFF! Snow White And The Huntsman vs Mirror Mirror

The phenomena of dueling movies is nothing new.  Antz vs A Bug's Life, Deep Impact vs Armageddon, Capote vs Infamous...there's a Marylin Monroe movie hitting theaters next weekend and another one set to begin filming in the new year.  Now Hollywood has set its sights on Snow White.  That's right, we've got not one, but two reinventions of the classic fairy tale and, as the below trailers make clear, they could not be more different.

First up is Snow White And The Huntsman, which makes Snow into the heroine of a dark and gritty Tolkien-esque fantasy epic that's almost unrecognizable.

Imagine watching that for the first time in a theater, with no context.  You literally get almost halfway through the trailer before Charlize Theron's evil queen says "Mirror, mirror on the wall..." and you suddenly realize just what it is you're watching.  While the imagery is certainly stunning and Theron looks to be dripping with malice (and buttermilk?) Kristen Stewart looks typically bored/annoyed to be in the movie at all.  She's a very frustrating performer, what I've decided to dub a "hipster actor."  Give her an angsty role in a low-budget indie movie that few people will see (Welcome To The Rileys, In The Land Of Women, The Runaways) and she'll give you her very best.  Put her in a tentpole/franchise film that will make her millions of dollars (Twilight, Snow White and likely the upcoming Akira remake) and it's as if she's being filmed against her will.  I want to like her, but I just...don't.  Anyway, while I admit that Huntsman looks slick, I guess I just don't understand why Snow White needs to wear armor and fight monsters, other than the fact that Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland made a pile of money.

Secondly we've got Mirror Mirror from director Tarsem Singh, the man who gave us last weekend's Immortals, as well as The Fall and The Cell, all movies which could not feel more different in tone from what I'm about to show you.


I don't even know where to start.  This looks like a comedy from someone who understands the theoretical concept of humor but has never actually laughed a day in his life.  The "puppy love" scene looks painful to sit through and every line spoken by a dwarf makes me want to shove pencils in my ears.  "Snow way!"???  REALLY???  Is this from the same screenwriter as The Smurfs?  (Hilariously, IMDB lists the Brothers Grimm as the primary writers, as if no one wants to take the bullet for this thing.)  I guess the it should have been obvious when they hired Nathan Lane, but I had hoped that Julia Roberts would bring some class to the proceedings.  Man was I WAY off.  Amazingly, this trailer actually engendered some good will towards Disney's troubled/misguided Lone Ranger movie, if only so as to see Armie Hammer in something I don't outright hate.

While Huntsman fills me with apathy (much like Presidential candidate), Mirror Mirror looks so astoundingly awful that I'm convinced the latter exists only to make the former look good by comparison, like that sort-of-attractive girl in high school who looked even hotter by hanging out with her fat best friend.  Ultimately I think both movies are probably a waste of time, but I'll take extra time out of my day to hate on Mirror Mirror for sullying the title of one of the best episodes of the original Star Trek.

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