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Friday, June 15, 2012

Snow White & The Huntsman (Release Date: 6-1-2012)

        Dear god, I know that nothing under the sun is original, but really? Ever since Twilight first exploded onto the big screen way back in 2007, pop-culture has been obsessed with fairy-tale re-thinks, especially those with a faux-dark tinge. It's a fad that has reached its greasy, cash-grubbing fingers into the likes of film, television, and literature without showing any signs of stopping soon. Those who need evidence need look no further than Snow White & the Huntsman, a sinister-looking Mother Goose re-hash featuring the trendy genre's biggest star (Kristen Stewart), and a big, hunky up-and-comer (Chris Hemsworth). If that simple description sounds like the carefully calculated blueprint of some tinsel-town hot-shots, just wait until you see the movie.

        People will look for a variety of reasons to defend Snow White, from prickly gothic aesthetic, to the admittedly inspired performance of Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. Personally, the cynicism of the whole project seems only slightly removed from the wrong-headedness of Battleship (albeit with waaay better craftsmanship, and execution). The story is boiled down to the rudimentary stuff of a Hollywood playbook, from the protagonists' unlikely pairing, to the nauseatingly familiar epic-battle beats that Stewart and director Rupert Sanders badly mis-handle. No, Snow White & The Huntsman isn't awful: It's adequately made in measures of dialogue, acting, and art design. It's just completely, 100% impossible to invest an ounce of care into, and when those been-there, done-that 'epic' battle sequences would hit, I felt myself starting to slowly nod off. I understand that there's more to a movie than just a story, but since when did, 'Making the audience care about the characters,' slip to the bottom of the list of directors' priorities? This is a soulless cash-grab that commits the most fatal known to moviedom; it puts its viewers to sleep.

Grade: D+

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