Month: May 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

Yesterday, Snow White and the Huntsman was released in cinemas. Curious by this certain film due to the trailer, I decided to go and see it.

Usually, this film is not one that would take my fancy, but considering I had seen the trailer, it intrigued me. The producers had taken a fairy tale and changed some of the conventions that we’d usually expect, from the norm of Disney fairy tale films. The film, on a whole, worked.

However, the finer, nitty gritty parts were not so brilliant. Compared to the Disney tale of Snow White, there are no imitations at all, which I really liked. Instead, they chose to opt for the Brothers Grimm style, made obvious by the gritty and grimness witnessed throughout the film.

Rupert Sanders, rather than have the simple paradigm of having Snow White being cast out, helped out by the seven dwarfs and then marrying the prince, chose to change conventions, which I found more interesting. Firstly, some part of the narrative focuses on the evil queen Ravenna, played by Charlize Theron. He decided to opt for a more psychological sense of this character, showing her need for youth via her magical powers. This was interesting as this characterisation bought the viewer closer the movie and showed added depth.

Rather than having Snow White have this characterisation of a hapless young princess who cannot fend for herself, Sanders opted for that of a strong independent woman, as when we see Snow White of age, we see her escape from the castle rather than being led out to the black forest, which happens in the fairy tale. My only issue about Snow White’s character would be the actress playing her, Kristen Stewart, although my opinion cannot count to much as I’ve only seen her in Snow White and the Huntsman and Into The Wild. Chris Hemsworth, playing the Huntsman, playing the action man role is quite typical as he has played, Thor and George Kirk in the opening sequence of Star Trek, the 2009 version. Playing a man grief stricken man he does fantastically as he tends to be the hero, which is the typical convention inside this genre.

CGI-wise, the film is brilliant and does not hold back, but yet does not overload completely on the area of CGI. Most notably, the CGI is in the black forest where we see a number of close ups revealing the grimness, which adds to the uneasiness and grotesque feature of the black forest, the viewer will be taking away a feeling the black forest is a place to avoid. Also with making the dwarf characters played by actors such as Ray Winston, Eddie Marsan and Nick Frost, in which they added the comedic value of the film as they bought light-heartened feel on the situation with the songs of joy.

One thing that is possibly left unmentioned in a lot of films, is the score to accompany the film. Although there were no advances in this particular score, it was correct and really impacted the mood of the particular scene it corresponded with. This worked very well and I feel this was one of the triumphs for the film, and for some reason, stuck out for me the most.

Overall, the film worked, however it was not fantastic, but nor an awful cinema watch. Unfortunately, the timing of the cinema hit was unfortunate as there, in my opinion better films in the cinema currently such as Moonrise Kingdom, Prometheus (shortly) and Men In Black 3 which will more than likely storm the box office.

A Song of Fire and Ice: A First Reader’s Review

Generally, I enjoy a good read, but due to the university work and the wider reading involved, I’ve not been able to let the passion blossom further. Well I’ve finished university for my first year now, so it leaves a decent amount of free time. This has led me to start reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series after hearing good things, via Twitter and reading decent reviews. Another factor is almost definitely due to the television series that has appeared as an adaptation of the book.

As I’m a huge fan of fantasy reads, A Song of Fire and Ice: A Game of Thrones did not shock me as to what it contained, but all the same, it still has the “cannot put down” factor that is key for me inside a book. However, me being only 7% in (thanks to my Kindle for helping me know that) I have not reached a point as to where I fully understand what is happening. Unlike Lord of the Rings, A Game of Thrones increases the amount of characters and the reader is immersed more so into this world Martin has created due to the great amount of detail surrounding each character, their thought patterns, their home life and more importantly how they feel. This helps for readers to connect with the characters. A reader’s connection is key for myself as I need a reason to keep reading on, for example, being only 7% I do not know much, but I have just found out that someone has been murdered which means Ned, the steward of Winterfell (I think I’m right there?) has to accept to be the King’s hand to use that authority to found out what happened. Now, I want to read on furthermore to find out what happened, but there is another thing I want to know about.

The very first chapter is opened with an odd description, but action packed. As I wasn’t too sure what really happened I had to re-read the first chapter a couple of times before I fully understood it, however, it got me gripped all the same. I want to know what it is, what happened and why did it happen (I don’t want to spoil it for everyone else). All in all, I feel as though I shall be reading the seven novels that have been proposed for A Song of Fire and Ice, simply because it has the factors I enjoy inside a novel. I enjoyed the immersion into a new world that is called Westeros and Essos I believe and it is reminiscent of Middle Earth which J R. R. Tolkien created, however, George R. R. Martin has expanded on this by giving a more characters rather than the nine of the fellowship. Martin has given us the option of rooting for a family that wants to throne rather than rooting for the favoured family. Also, I strongly recommend this to anyone who has spare time and enjoys a fantasy novel.

Thank you for reading. Any comments or thoughts you have on the matter are always welcome! I do enjoy other’s opinions.