Friday, June 1, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

My View:  Snow White and the Huntsman  (2012):  In this retelling of the fairy tale, the Evil Queen (played by Charlize Theron) plots to kill Snow White (Kristen Stewart), the only person in the land who is fairer than the Queen. The Queen sends a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to kill Snow, but when he can’t bring himself to do the deed, he decides to train her to take on the Queen and her evil minions.  My biggest problem is that while Kristen Stewart is a pretty girl, she isn't the great beauty that they make Snow White out to be in the film, nor does she possess the charisma that her character needs to inspire an army to overcome the odds.  Plus, she just doesn't impose an impressive picture of a fighter, which you are supposed to believe that she has become (with very little training) by the end of the film.  I did like Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen, as she milks her scenes for everything they've got.  Hemsworth makes a fine huntsman and does well in the battle scenes but the film lacks an overall air of excitement that a film of this scope needs.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Snow White and the Huntsman Website
My View:  Chernobyl Diaries  (2012):  Six tourists hire a guide to take them to the abandoned city of Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Soon after arriving, they realize that this isn’t any normal tour and discover they may not be alone...something was possibly left behind after the disaster.  People love being scared, and that's why Hollywood keeps making Horror films.  If you want to be scared, go see anything else, but don't see this film.  Horribly acted, badly written and worse yet, boring, this film isn't scary at all.  It tries to build a sense of foreboding with dark shadows and things that go bump in the night, but this film is highly predictable, and you'll want a refund from that shady travel guide from whom you bought your trip.  My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Chernobyl Diaries
Indiefest:  High School  (2012): After a night partying with a childhood friend, Henry (Matt Bush) realizes that, by agreeing to smoke the joint that Travis (Sean Marquette) gave him, he just kissed his valedictorian/college career good-bye. That is until Travis hatches a scheme to get the whole high school high on high grade pot before the mandatory drug test on finals day.  This is a stoner film with a capital S, with our heroes trying to outwit the principal (played by an almost unrecognizable Michael Chiklis) who makes it his mission to rid the school of drugs while trying to dodge the drug dealer (played by Adrien Brody).  This film is a one joke movie, and it just doesn't have the wit or wisdom to carry it off for longer than the first fifteen minutes.  While it's fun to watch an Oscar-winning actor (Brody) go absolutely nuts with his role, this film gets old very quickly, and it has an ending that most of the audience (even the stoners) could have written while watching the opening credits.  My Rating:  Cable   High School Website
The 50 (A Movie From My Best/Worst Films of All Time) 
#20 Best Film 
Lawrence of Arabia  (1962)  This epic film won 7 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean, and the film probably should have won more, with, at least, Best Actor for Peter O'Toole for his outstanding work as the title character of the film.  The film is based on the historical figure T.E. Lawrence who, as a young British intelligence officer working in Egypt, rises to power leading an Arab revolt against the Turks during WWI and defeats the Ottoman Empire.  O'Toole is mesmerizing as the charismatic Lawrence who brings together unorganized Arab tribes to mount a successful guerrilla campaign.  Lawrence, though, is a flawed man, and his bravado eventually is his undoing.  This is a sweeping film with brilliant cinematography that shows what a vast open space the desert can truly be. It's truly a film that can be watched again and again.    Lawrence of Arabia Info
Forgotten Film:  King of Hearts  (1966)  Near the end of WWI, the German army is in retreat and has left a small French village booby trapped, set to blow up the whole town.  A Scottish solider (Alan Bates) is sent to the town to disarm the bomb.  When he arrives, he finds the town has been abandoned, with the exception of inmates from an insane asylum.  To escape a few remaining Germans, the soldier hides in the asylum and releases the inmates when he leaves to dismantle the bomb.  The inmates promptly take over the town and make the solider the King of Hearts, the leader of their ragtag bunch.   This is smart, funny film that is one of those films that will have you smiling from start to finish.  Bates is a blast to watch as he has to continually react to his new friends, and Genevieve Bujold is just beautiful as his love interest, a girl who is quite happy living in her strange little world inside the asylum.  My Rating:  Full Price   King of Hearts Info
In Case You Missed it (A Film Just Released on DVD):  Man on a Ledge  (2012)  I found the leads of Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks lacking in this caper of a film about a man who is trying to clear his name while pulling off a heist.  I did enjoy the performances of Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriquez, who play a bickering couple and the mostly unlikely of cat burglars you will ever meet.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Man on a Ledge Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Film I've Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks like a Bad Idea):  Step Up Revolution (2012)  Do we really need any more of these Step Up films?  How about Step Off the Cliff?   Step Up Revolution Website

Weird Credits:  From the film Chernobyl Diaries:  The Producers wish to thank the Antiterrorist UnitSerbia

Coming to Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Safety Not Guaranteed  (2012)  Three magazine writers head out to interview a guy who places a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.  You had me at time travel and classified ad.   Safety Not Guaranteed Website
Until Next Time!

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