Snow White and the Huntsman
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the sexiest hunk of all? If given a choice between G.I. Joe or Ken, who do you think Barbie would choose? It’s a rhetorical question, but the answer is obvious all the same. And even though the handsome Prince in Snow White and the Huntsman isn’t exactly a Ken doll, he’s still hopelessly out of his depth here. A woman’s quest to stay forever young and beautiful can go to some pretty obsessive lengths depending on the woman (so I’m told), and in the kingdom of Tabor, the Evil Queen Ravenna is taking it to the harshest of extremes. Snow White, total hottie and legitimate heir to the throne, poses the last remaining threat to the queen’s eternal beauty and supreme rule, so drastic measures are called for.
When Snow White escapes into the Dark Forest, where only the bravest dare to tread, Ravenna enlists the help of the local hunksman…excuse me, huntsman, to track her, find her, and kill her. But as you no doubt already know, things don’t exactly go according to plan. When the seven…excuse me, eight dwarves show up, they certainly are a far cry from Doc, Dopey, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, and Bashful. But where they score beaucoup points is in the Grumpy department. You could even unpack some other choice adjectives like stinky, creepy, surly, homely, and homicidal. Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth of Twilight and Thor fame, respectively, star as the titular couple, and Charlize Theron chews up the scenery as the vampiric Queen Ravenna who literally sucks the youthful life force out of nubile maidens to keep herself perpetually young and beautiful. Too bad Lancôme can’t bottle that and sell it. They’d make a fortune.
This Blu-ray features both the theatrical version and an extended cut that runs only four minutes longer. I’ve watched both versions and am still uncertain where those mysterious four minutes are. The film heavily borrows elements from Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones but with only moderate degrees of success. Where it really triumphs is in its presentation. The HD picture exhibits marvelous clarity and detail all the way through. Colors and textures are consistently sharp and vibrant, most notably in the lush and green enchanted forest sequence.
The DTS-HD Master Audio is rendered for a truly immersive 7.1 surround mix and boasts innumerable opportunities to seduce and tantalize your ears. It thrills with an onslaught of thundering hoofbeats, clashing swords, and an angry rampaging troll. It also has moments of quiet finesse and subtlety with oars dipping into still waters, creaking wood, and crunching footfalls in the snow.
Extras include numerous behind-the-scenes featurettes, feature-length audio commentary, and an interactive, 360-degree, virtual tour of five different sets in the film with various points of interest that you can click on and view. There’s also the Second Screen application via pocket BLU, the U-Control picture-in-picture mode, D-Box motion code feature, exclusive content through BD-Live, and a bonus DVD and Digital Copy via UltraViolet.
Snow White and the Huntsman is grade B entertainment at best, but it does serve as a temporary fix while we continue to wait for The Hobbit and season three of Game of Thrones.
Studio: Universal, 2012
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Length: 128 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth