Battle of the Snow Whites: To the Pain!

For some reason, two studios had the same idea to remake something that doesn’t need to be remade at all, ever again. How very studio-like of them. In the next several months we will be treated to two different versions of Snow White. Elena and I are each championing a different incarnation for this point by point discussion; may the best useless fairytale re-imagining win.

Why are you interested in this adaptation?

Rachel: Snow White and the Huntsman-

According to Wikipedia, Snow White actively leads a rebellion and fights the evil queen with swords and armor. That could be cool! How can that not be exciting? ACTION MOVIE! It’s been a while since the last awesome action movie involving Americans wearing armor and faking British accents. I could go for that. I can’t sit through one more film where some waify actress sighs and frets her way along while some talentless muscular meat-head blunders around being unimpressive. This is also a more traditional telling of the tale for those of you who may not be into Bollywood-inspired flights of fancy. No, this movie is about an evil evil queen and her evil quest to remain young and beautiful for evil ever.

Director Rupert Sanders has absolutely no previous works, according to IMDB, so that is also interesting. What kind of movie gets a bunch of big stars, a 70M budget, a potentially kick ass plot plus a no name director? I’m hoping Mr. Sanders intends to make a splash with a classic fantasy action movie featuring not so classic strong female characters leading the plot. Kristen Stewart will hopefully be attempting to make up for the last few years as weak and boring Bella. Viggo Mortensen was almost in this movie so lots of sword fighting in the script? Winner!

And, let’s be honest there is a high probability that I will get to see more than a few minutes of horses in armor. BATTLE PONIES!

Elena: Mirror, Mirror

If I had to sum up my interest in a couple words, I could do it in two:  The Fall.

I loved that movie.  And not because Lee Pace was in it (although that was awesome, too, and seriously, Lee Pace’s agent, call me, love the kid, would love to talk Thranduil goes through Pon Farr with him) but because the movie itself was fucking awesome.  First, the visuals were amazing.  That movie was like a two-hour painting.  Second, the depiction of the childhood imagination was spot on.  I loved watching the little girl’s imaginary landscapes shift when the storyteller gave her more details.  So creative, and such a subtle way to put you literally into her mind and her world.  Third, I found the movie to walk the line between innocence and maturity very well.  I know a lot of people found it boring and some found it cloying, but I loved it.  And I love the fact that a movie like that, and like Mirror, Mirror looks to be, can come from a director who with his R movies pushes the boundaries of what the R rating really encompasses.  That to me says that if he chooses to do a movie about innocence that he’s doing it for a reason, because he’s passionate about it, not because he wants to make more money by widening the audience (cough * every Steve Spielberg PG-13 movie * cough).

Rachel-

Uh, Elena? Can we go back to Thranduil goes through Pon Farr? Elena?

Elena-

Now, as to what specifically draws me to Mirror, Mirror…that I can also answer in two words if need be:  the costumes.  Holy hell, those costumes.  I am in loooooove with the costume design.  And the art direction.  And the set design.  But mostly the costume design.  This looks like…the kind of kids’ movie that I wanted to watch when I was a kid, because it would make me want to grow up and play dress up in costumes like this.  Well, now I’m grown, and I have chosen as my permanent home New Orleans, AKA the most dressing-up city in the States, and the dressing up for any old reason is a definite part of why I love living here.  I HAVE GROWN UP TO BE EXACTLY THE PERSON I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS A KID.

I am not sure I care what the story is as long as it happens in these costumes.

Snow White, as a fairy tale, was middle of the road for me.  Not a favorite but one I liked more than not…like second-tier for me.  I am actually really excited about this being an innocent retelling of the story, because Snow White seems to be one of the fairy tales that is most often turned to really kinky sexual deviancies purposes (group sex with the dwarves, necrophilia when the prince thinks she’s dead and marries/rapes her corpse anyway, pedophilia with the huntsman, et cetera ad nasuem).

What would make it suck?

Elena: Mirror, Mirror

If it takes the Shrek Effect too far.  By which I mean…if it tries too hard to be hip or funny.  I don’t necessarily mind the modern social mores in the fairy tale setting, as long as it’s done well.  That conflation is really easy to do not well, however, so I will admit that, like Fred Savage during the Electric Eels scene, maybe I’m a bit concerned.

Rachel: Snow White and the Huntsman-

Perhaps the prevalence of fairy tales in media right now is some sort of sign about the gestalt or maybe tales by the Grimm brothers have recently become available to everyone else that isn’t Disney. For whatever reason there are quite a lot of fairy-tale-based television shows on the air right now and they are all really, really, REALLY bad. If this film is like those terrible re-imaginings…it will suck. Boring, squeaky clean plots that appeal to old ladies and 12-year-old girls. Blegh.

What would make it awesome?

Rachel: Snow White and the Huntsman-

SEXY SEXY TIMES! What? Come ON… I want to see some gore, some sword fighting, a showdown between the evil queen and her magic and some pissed off sword-wielders. I want Snow White and the Huntsman to get it on. Yes! That would be an awesome movie! RIGHT?

I’m also looking forward to some girl-power. Not like, omg Snow White is a secret ninja and can beat everyone up and we should all be so impressed River Tam kind of girl-power. I just don’t think Kristen Stewart can ever pull that off, ever. No, I think she should cultivate a quiet determination to kill a bitch. The outsmart the Queen kind of girl-power. No sentimentality. Do it. Is Sean Bean in this movie? Sean Bean should be on set at all times to provide killin’ guys and dyin’ good advice.

Elena: Mirror, Mirror

If it implements the Shrek Effect with the same effectiveness as Shrek.

Or if it turns out to be not quite as modern-values-meets-fairy-tale-structure as the trailer makes it seem.  It could be going more in the direction of Ever After, which is a movie I can watch endlessly, which might seem like it’s trying to be really modern and hip in the previews but in fact blends those elements in so seamlessly that you don’t ever think “this is some anachronistic-ass bullshit” while watching it.

So, basically what I’m saying is, if the story and characters are even halfway interesting then it’s going to be awesome, because, you guys…THOSE COSTUMES.  I cannot stress that enough.

Additional thoughts on casting?

Elena: Mirror, Mirror

Queen:  Julia Roberts actually seems kind of awesome as the queen.  She doesn’t seem evil so much as put-upon.  She’s a MILF slowly losing the battle toward GILF, and that upsets her.  I am going to be upset about that when I’m that age, I have no doubt, so I really can’t blame her for wanting a rich, studly young prince to solve her money problems AND make her feel young again.

What’s funny, is I could actually see Roberts playing a truly evil queen very well.  She has a wicked cackle, and her eyes are very expressive—always important when you spend copious amounts of time giving underlings the “you’re dead to me” look—and I think she could have made a good run for Evilest Queen in the Universe.  Maybe not won, but at least placed.

Snow White: Isn’t Lily Collins in the new Hobbit movie?  And isn’t everyone upset about this?  Who is, she again?  What do I know her from and why do I care?  Here she seems fun.  I’m not sure she has the charisma to pull off becoming the dwarves’ ringleader…she seems a bit of a sub.  At least she’s not as annoyingly helpless and innocent as the Disney Snow White.

I will have to see a bit more of her swordplay before I can decide if she’d hold her own against K-Stew’s battle-armor Snow, however.  But at least Lily Collins isn’t limited to two facial expressions, so she should win that battle….

Rachel-

Psssst – Lily Collins is Phil Collin’s daughter, she’s not in The Hobbit. That’s…uh…the other actress named Lilly, the one that used to be on Lost and dated Merry the Hobbit IRL. (I may be a little ashamed to know that last part.) I’m not certain Lilly Collins has ever done anything before?

Elena-

Evangeline Lilly?  Lilly isn’t even her first name other Lilly?  Damn.  How did I get them confused?

Oh, right because I don’t know who either of them is.

Prince: I also do not recognize this prince from anything.  Should I?  He’s…inoffensive.  A cutie but not like drop dead gorgeous.  He’s not Damon Salvatore, and he wouldn’t look good with eyeliner, is basically what I’m saying. But cute enough.

I don’t have much of a read on his personality from the previews, though.  Is he charming?  Is he the biggest douche in the universe?  Is he dumb?  Is he a fighter not a lover?  HE’S UNDER A SPELL FOR THE ENTIRE PREVIEW, I CAN’T TELL WHO HE REALLY IS!

Hm.  That also leads to an interesting question about what happens after Snow White falls for bespelled prince and then meets the real one?

Dwarves:  They seem…really dwarfish.  And more realistic than the Disney dwarves.  I mean, Disney gave us no reason why these honest, hard-working, upstanding citizens would go live alone in the forest.  At least here they’re a bunch of outcasts—as they probably would have been, barring the Tyrion Lannister advantage of being, you know, born a LANNISTER—and so they’re brigands and thieves.  Makes sense.  Society turns its back on you, you rob it blind, all’s even.

But it also seems to me they used real little people instead of getting actors to be CG’ed to little person size?

Huntsman: He reminds me of a less creepy Wormtail or a slightly more effectual pudgy courtier that Jacqueline ends up with in Ever After.  Basically, he is the quintessential hapless servant in powdered curls and a waistcoat.  He is a walking stereotype.

Also, I don’t think he’s much of a hunter.

So in all I’m pretty okay with this cast being a bunch of people I’ve never heard of, and Julia Roberts.

Rachel- WAIT A SECOND? Nathan Lane is…THE HUNTSMAN in your movie? I thought he was the Queen’s…Major Domo? HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE AN AXE ELENA. HE CAN’T POSSIBLY BE THE HUNTSMAN!!!!

Elena-

Well, I mean, he’s not literally the huntsman, but he gets the “it’s done” line so I assume he wears the huntsman hat for a bit.

Rachel-

Let’s go to my film…I can’t look at that picture of Nathan Lane as the DANDY BUTLER HUNTSMAN anymore.

Rachel: Snow White and the Huntsman-

Queen: The role of evil, scary queen goes to Charlize Theron who has never impressed me ever except in being a forgettable thin blonde lady. HOWEVER, she is quite beautiful (so much so that I’m not sure I’ll believe it when K-Stew is eventually crowned “fairest of them all”) and even though I think she’s way too young for the role she did win an Oscar once right? For being ugly? So she could be awesome because maybe she’ll just let it all hang out and she can be this horrible neurotic and paranoid lunatic who eats villagers and does all kinds of occulty nonsense!

I don’t know if she can top Sigourney Weaver’s evil queen in Snow White: A Tale of Terror (how could she? That movie was demented in all the right ways) but she can try!

Elena-

She was not just ugly in her makeup in Monster. She was seriously murderous and uncompromising.

Rachel-

That’s exactly what I’d like to see from Charlize in this movie. In fact, let’s just alert the ladies and gentleman of the Oscar committee right now.

Snow White: Yes, let’s get this out of the way. K-Stew is in this one. It’s most likely that she will yammer and mumble her way through this film while biting her lip and refusing to meet anyone’s eyes. BUT she could surprise us! If she is smart she’ll act against her type. It’s already against type to cast Snow White as an armor wearing revolutionary, and K-Stew needs to distance herself from the insecure teenager stuff if she ever wants to do anything more challenging than sit in high school classrooms.

Oh K-Stew, maybe if you have someone more charismatic to act with than some old Hufflepuff you will appear more interesting by default? I’m going to admit that her casting makes me think the film makers are more concerned about getting teen girls to come see the movie than they are with making anything awesome, and that is discouraging, but I still harbor a great and eternal love for films like A Knight’s Tale and so I know that the teen fantasy action film can be a thing of beauty!

Prince: Um, I guess there’s a prince in this movie? I found him listed on the IMDB page, one Sam Caflin. This distresses me because I really want K-Stew to get it on with the Huntsman. (We’ve talked about this, remember?) I’ll bet he’s a secondary bad guy because he’s awfully evil-looking. There’s always been an aspect of the fear of older women’s sexuality (hence, the evil Queen is always poaching on the handsome prince when he should REALLY be with the young and beautiful Snow White) so it would make sense that the Prince is some sort of deviant if he’s having sex with the Queen (even though the Queen is Charlize Theron and pretty much everyone would have sex with her.)

If he IS a good guy and K-Stew goes for him well…that will just be disappointing. Like getting sorted into Hufflepuff disappointing. I’m pretty confident in my prediction though, because why else would it be called Snow White and THE HUNTSMAN? If not because the Huntsman deserves prizes in the fields of lovemaking and being studly? Probably also hunting things…for a living.

Dwarves: I have no idea. Wikipedia says there are dwarves. They are all played by non-dwarf actors of minor fame (Bob Hoskins, Eddie Izzard (!!!!) and Nick Frost) and they all have Roman names or possibly Shakespearian. Are they going to be animated? Are they going to be filmed like The Hobbit with tricksy ways and slight of…eye? No idea. I’m just suddenly very excited that Izzard is in this film. Huzzah!

Elena-

How can you not mention Ian McShane! AKA Al “Cocksucker Is My Favorite Word” Sweringen from Deadwood and King Silas Benjamin from Kings (and, yes, NBC, I am still pissed you cancelled it!).  He is going to pwn this whole dwarf group. I wish he was one of my dwarves.

Rachel-

HEY, lay off my dwarves! You’ve got your own dwarves, you don’t see me poaching your dwarves. Don’t be jealous. (EDDIE!!!)

Huntsman: As you may know Chris Hemsworth will be playing the part of the Huntsman. Early rumors were all about Viggo Mortensen playing this part, which would have been salaciously delicious come sexy times, but I guess they decided to go younger. All I know about Hemsworth comes from the fact that his younger brother is playing Gale in The Hunger Games (Team Gale!) and also dated Miley Cyrus (embarrassing factoid admission) and that he played Thor in…Thor. A movie I spent the entirety of thinking how he was much too big to be a real person and how I felt that things could not possibly go well for teeny tiny Natalie Portman but also…his muscles are kinda hot? So…I think that all just boils down to Sexy Times.

I don’t know what this will mean for the part of my brain that despises damsel in distress stories involving musclebound idiot heroes saving the day because the part of my brain that likes big muscles and violence may be shouting too loud for the other parts of my brain to think clearly, but at this point I’m pro Huntsman. TEAM HUNTSMAN!

Elena-

This is off-topic, but JV Hemsworth has a different name, right?  Cause I thought Gale was being played by the kid from Zathura/My Girl III Bridge to Terabithia and his name is not Hemsworth.

Rachel-

No, Liam Hemsworth is playing Gale. I swear to you. I don’t know if JV Hemsworth was in Zathura (Jumanji in Space…JUST CALL IT JUMANJI IN SPACE), but I can tell you his name is Hemsworth.

Elena-

(Checks IMDB.)  I stand corrected.  JV Hemsworth is Gale, as you stated.  The one I was thinking of is playing Peeta.  I got confused about which was which in the Hunger Games trailer.  Probably because I don’t really know the difference between Gale and Peeta.

Thoughts on trailer?

Elena: Mirror, Mirror

This movie better not be too silly to watch.  I will admit, the trailer was not what I was expecting from the publicity stills that came out first.  I mean, the pictures looked like a highly stylized but somewhat straightforward adaptation of the story.  The trailer seems to imply a mood of not-taking-itself-seriously that seems…a little out of place?  There is a difference between whimsy and silly, and the trailer came down a bit more on the side of silly than I would like, but pursuant to my comments about Singh as a director, I think the movie as a whole will skew to whimsy, and be charming.

Rachel: Snow White and the Huntsman –

ALL HAIL CHARLIZE THERON. THE BESTEST EVIL QUEEN EVAH!!! If this movie is as lacking in K-Stew as this trailer was, and as full of Charlize Theron being friggity frakkity AWESOME…well, then, we will be friends. I will even sing it the friend song from The Golden Girls during special occasions.

Plus, did you guys see all that battle pony porn? OHHHH YEAAAHHH. There was not enough of The Huntsman in this movie called “Snow White and the Huntsman” that probably should have been called “The Snow White movie where you will root for the Queen”. I’m going to go watch it again. The milk bath! I MUST HAVE A MILK BATH! Someone get me a vat of half and half I can rise majestically out of so that I may appropriately order the death of peasants…and some ravens!

Yeah, I’m on the winning team, yo! No one wants to go see that hokey piece of cheese wiz in a 17 C costume dress made of nylon! COME SEE THE MOVIE WHERE CHARLIZE THERON HAS SEX WITH EVERYONE AND KILLS K-STEW! That’s what going to happen right?! RIGHT?!

Elena-

What Rachel doesn’t realize is that living well is the best revenge.  Her movie is going to be like Hamlet and end with everybody dead, except the dwarf named Horatio (seriously if one of them is named Horatio then you heard it here first) who is left to carry the tale to the next kingdom.  Where…the only things being suffered are hangovers and dyspepsia from having stays laced too tightly.  The queen has thrown over the prince for his daddy, who, she realized, actually controls the coffers, her servant/huntsman Lumiere is romancing a maid behind the curtains, and Snow White is introducing her uptight prince to the wonders of playing dress-up. And the last scene is this bedraggled dwarf running in to talk about how the entire court of the next kingdom is dead, and Julia makes a “let them eat cake” joke, and everyone laughs and raises their champagne while pink cotton candy spins overhead. It. Is. Awesome.

Rachel –

BEEEP. Hey, you’ve reached Darth Rachel’s voicemail, she’s not available right now because she’s taking a bath in half and half while pondering how best to torture villagers. Leave a message and she’ll get back to you when your heart is ripe for devouring. BEEEP.

 

3 thoughts on “Battle of the Snow Whites: To the Pain!

  1. Lauren

    I just want to know why KStew’s shield has the Tree of Gondor on it. Actually no that isn’t all I want to know. I also want to know what moron decided that talented hack should be in the movie.

    Reply

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