“Breathtaking” and “It will totally blow you away.” are some quotes on the box….they are not accurate. I don’t want to be misquoted, someone picking those blurbs from my review and thinking I am of the same opinion would be, um, inaccurate. At this stage of the process I will start my own personal opinion, it’s not as glowing as the box quotes.
Snow White and the Huntsman has some good things going for it, it looks great, good special effects, a classic story told from a different perspective, and Charlize Theron. The style of the sets and costumes is kind of mesmerizing, so that’s a good thing. The special effects, including making the dwarfs be dwarfs with performers who aren’t dwarfs, a milk bath, a very cool mirror mirror on the wall, and a few more things that made it a fun adventure.
The story is what it is, Snow White, but with a few adjustments. I don’t mind twisting a classic here and there as long as it makes it equally or more interesting than the original. Adding the huntsman as a major character replaces a lot of the face time of our maiden in distress, and that’s fine with me. I realize I should be more sympathetic to this young woman who has been trapped in a grungy tower for most of her life, and yet I was kind of hoping she would be put back in the tower occasionally. That’s the down side of the whole movie for me. Snow White doesn’t give me reasons to feel bad for her, want her to be important, interesting.
I have liked Kristin Stewart in other movies, but this time she wasn’t given much to work with in terms of her character development. YES I know it’s Show White and that should be enough, but it’s not. It’s a modern take on the tale with lots of other additions to existing characters, but not her. She was trapped in that tower, as I said, and yet from the moment she escapes it’s as if those 10 years had no effect on her at all. I’m gonna say this and you might raise and eyebrow, but here it goes. Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled a couple years ago is a well developed young lady who has been held captive, deprived of worldly experiences. She reacts to new things, expresses her astonishment and amazement at many different things. Our Huntsman’s Snow White is less charming, less emotive, trying to be too cool, and way way way too blazee.
In stark contrast we have the Huntsman, the evil queen, and even the queen’s brother who are all very interesting, compelling, well rounded folks who kept me hooked from scene to scene. Theron throws herself into this performance at every chance. She writhes on the floor, rises from the milk bath, creepily charms the young Snow White. She is clearly the star of this show, no doubt.
The Huntsman doesn’t really interest me, his history at war, then a wife who tamed him, and then she died, and now he’s a rogue and troubled hunter. That’s it for him as a character, but then there’s his intensity that makes up for that semi-boring back story. Well, boring is a bit harsh, but he does at least show signs of how his life has affected him, unlike his snowy counterpart.
The adjustments to the story are fine with me, the dwarfs aren’t Disney dwarfs, the evil queen is demented and damaged, not just evil, the world has crumpled, dark, and dying, all this along with a very fantastical forest builds a world I enjoyed very much. Overall the movie is visually interesting, takes me into a fantasy world with familiar characters and themes, all along with the best part….it’s SNOW WHITE!!! 🙂
- Reinventing The Fairytale – A look at the history of the Snow White story and how it has been retold throughout the years.
- Citizens Of The Kingdom – Four EPK style featurettes that take a look at the various characters in the movie. My favorite was the one about the dwarfs.
- U-Control (PIP) – Universal bring back U-Control which has been sadly missing from the last few large releases. This time the Picture in Picture mode offers some short interview segments and pre and post production materials.
- The Magic Of Snow White & The Huntsman – A 13 minute look at the visual effects of the movie which are excellent by the way.
- Around The Kingdom 360 Set Tour – Remember those apple quick-time 360 images from 5 years ago? Think those but on the set of the film and controllable with your Blu-ray remote.
- A New Legend Is Born – A 20 minute featurette that examines how the book was translated into something more modern for the screen. Some great interviews with the director and cast here.
- Feature Commentary – The director talks about the onset antics, no not the ones with Kristen Stewart.
- Second Screen – Universal’s second screen option lets you see concept art and details about the movie on your phone or tablet as the movie plays.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
The cover is boring, and does nothing to represent the movie. I could find many images from this film that I would have as a poster, but not this cover. The menu is themed, but it’s just navigation with some images from the movie, nothing special.
Audio & Video: 9/10
The 1080P AVC transfer here is nothing short of stunning bringing this dark fairy tale to life. Greig Fraser’s cinematography looks incredible with major depth and shadow detail. The scenes in the Queens throne room are the standout here with so much detail in the set you can see everything clearly. You might want to pause to take it all in.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is as outstanding as the picture with amazing LFE and surround separation. If you are looking for something that will wake the neighbors this is the movie to watch. The scene where the Huntsman fights the troll is not only visually incredible the thumping sound makes it seem like it’s in the room with you.
Not to be corny here but I could say Snow White & The Huntsman is the fairest of them all on Blu-Ray.
You can find this flick to buy for under 20 bucks, which is fine, but for me it’s more of a rental. I enjoyed it, had a good time, however, it doesn’t need to live on a shelf in my house. If you want to watch it over and over and over, you can find it online for a fair price, cheap enough to rent Tangled along with it 🙂 .
Overall Score 7/10