Thanks to last week's new releases, my Charlize Theron viewing history is now all the way up to three films total. (The first was Aeon Flux, which, yeah, ask me about that sometime. It's the worst.) I won't be posting a review of Prometheus until it's been out for a little longer, but the one thing I will say is that if you're planning on seeing it, you should read this (non-spoilery) warning first. Following the advice therein will, I think, improve your Prometheus experience.
the marketing was so gosh-darned appealing (surprisingly so, considering the content and audience) and I am of the opinion that Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron should be the next Bogart and Bacall. Unfortunately, SWATH was nowhere near as good as I expected, dragging on longer than it should have done and including several completely superfluous characters. In some respects it succeeded (ie, visual effects and Awesome Ladies, both of which featured prominently in the trailer) but the end result was an action movie that could've done with more action, and a drama that needed tighter drama.
|This movie may not have been very good but KRISTEN STEWART IS STILL MY KHALEESI.|
|screencap from here.|
Stardust, a movie that, while different in tone, stars a similarly image-obsessed witch as the villain. Another place where SWATH fell down in comparison to Stardust was the cast of cameo characters, headed up by Bob Hoskins as a blind dwarf soothsayer. Hoskins had the unenviable role of saying things like, "She is... the one," in portentious tones while making it abundantly clear that he was only there for the paycheque. While the ghostly princes in Stardust provided witty comic relief, the dwarves in SWATH (all of them famous character-actors, and all utterly wasted in the roles they were given) were embarrassing and could just as well have been cut from the film entirely. Not to mention how uncomfortable it was to realise that eight average-sized actors had been hired to play dwarves, something that seems dangerously similar to racebending.
If this post seems overly negative, it's only because I had such high hopes for this film before I saw it. In fact there were many things that I did enjoy once I got past the clunky pacing and the inexplicable inclusion of terrible characters like Ravenna's ambiguously incest-y albino brother (ugh). Charlize Theron's intense/camp supervillain meltdowns were awesome, and I have a lot of admiration for Kristen Stewart's ability to work so well with what she was given. SWATH would have benefited hugely from a scene or two where Snow White either learns some more tangible skills or gives a Game Of Thrones-esque speech to her troops before battle, but Kristen Stewart still came across as an appealing and unusual hero. This film had many flaws, but casting wasn't one of them. I haven't seen Twilight, but I'm beginning to see why Stewart was chosen to be Bella Swan. I've heard that Bella is a character whose success hinges on the actor's ability to silently emote for five movies in a row while still retaining audience interest, and having seen Kristen Stewart's Snow White I'm inclined to believe that she can do it. I only wish that she'd been given more dialogue in this movie, for all that she managed to wring as much emotional truth from her running-and-fighting scenes as possible.
the kind of attention-grabbing work that gets nominated for awards year after year.
|Detail shot of Ravenna's beetle-carapace dress.|
|Fairytale by way of Gareth Pugh?|
Kristen Stewart's Snow White and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games are the only mainstream blockbuster heroines I can think of who really have no idea of personal vanity or prettiness, which is kind of marvellous. Now all we need to do is work on making more movies like this that don't implicitly demonise women who like to dress up and look pretty.
(Alternatively, the kisses were just coincidental and Snow White woke up of her own damn accord because the Force is strong with her.)
|photo from here.|
Photo gallery of Colleen Atwood's costumes for Snow White & The Huntsman.
HuffPo: 'Snow White and the Huntsman' Is A New Twist On An Old Tale.
Early concept art for Ravenna.