Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

The now infamous film that drove a wedge into idiot tween couple Robert Pattinson and Kristin Stewarts manufactured relationship isn't a horror film in the traditional sense. But all you have to to do is watch Stewarts' psyche-up speech at the the end of the film to understand that her acting may be one of the most scary things captured on film - ever.

Stewart (for some reason) has may apologists for her so called "acting ability." I've sat through every hideous 'Twilight' film and heard every explanation in the world, character wise, as to why Bella would spend an entire film looking like she just stepped in dog shit. Yet, no one has been able to explain to me why whichever character she is playing would do the same in both this film and 'Adventureland' (her other big "starring role" since 'Twilight ' broke. Plain and simple she can't act. The last scene of the film, newly crowned Snow looks over her subjects, is supposed to be played like the medal ceremonies at the end of the first 'Star Wars' film (A New Hope you heathens). Instead Stewart plays it like she's the center piece of a new 'Human Centipede.'

A lot of that blame can be placed at the foot of first time director Rupert Sanders, who's previous movie directing experience included...well, nothing, but he did direct some video games, so there's that. One his jobs as a director is to get halfway decent performances out of his cast and when Chris Hemsworth, 'Thor' himself, turns in the most noteworthy acting performance, you know you are in trouble. But Charlize Theron plays the evil queen, and she's won an Oscar right? Yes, but she was also in 'Aeon Flux', so counterpoint. Theron is not as bad as some say, but she's certainly not good. Her performance wavers between insane and merely over the top. Clearly a director with a stronger hand could have reigned her in and focused her performance.

The other big acting tragedy in the film is its waste of a bevy of extremely talented actors. Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Nick Frost, and Ray Winstone (among others) make up the 8 dwarves. Sounds great right? I'd probably watch a film starring just those four actors. Something like 'Snatch', but with Hoskins as some sort of British mob boss, sorry I digress. Unfortunately, in this film, they are so underutilized that using them in this way should be a considered a crime. The few scenes they do get are head and shoulders above the other crap on the screen.

For what it's worth, the film looks beautiful. The CGI is certainly some of the best ever seen on the big screen and it's one of the best looking films since the 'Lord of The Rings' trilogy. But that leads to another problem inherent in the film. No one knew when to say when in the editing room. Beautiful landscapes and shots all over the place, but they go on, and on - forever.

Clearly a style over substance film, to say it's short on story would be an understatement. Even when there is some sort of character development or something that moves the narrative forward, it doesn't make much sense. For example, why is William still alive at the end of the film? Conventional story telling uses his death as the catalyst  for Snows armies assault on the castle, but here he just fades into the background. It's like the writers just forgot he was there. But that's symptomatic of the movie as a whole. No character development, no depth, no narrative, it feels as though Sanders just culled a bunch of cut scenes from 'Skyrim' and put them together.

'Snow White and the Huntsman' is clearly the type of film made for the new generation of movie goers. Folks who are more into watching something pretty on screen rather than seeing good performances or having to think about weather a script makes any lick of sense or not. If you need to shut your brain off and stare at pretty colors for two hours, this is a great film for you. Or if you are going to be popping some 'shrooms for the first time, throw this puppy in and you will be golden. Other than that, don;t go out of your way to see it.

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