Every so often, Hollywood gets on a kick and two or more movies on similar topics are released in the same year, sometimes quite close together. In 1998 for example “Armageddon” was released on July 1 while “Deep impact” was released on May 8th. The former queried the possibilities of an asteroid hitting Earth while the latter focused on what would happen if a comet was headed toward Earth.
This year, the classic fairytale Snow White, gets two very different treatments. In order to make the films stand out, both give the old tale a new twist. These two films couldn’t be at more opposite ends of the spectrum if they tried.
“Mirror, Mirror” – The family friendly film with the PG rating takes a comedic look at the jealous relationship between the Evil Queen (Julia Roberts) and her beautiful stepdaughter Snow White (Lily Collins). Pomp and pageantry exude in the palace where Roberts reigns supreme and snark and sarcasm are the rule of the day. As for our damsel in distress, simply discard that notion altogether. In a bit of irony, it is she who saves the prince while in distress in one scene. She also studies martial arts and swordplay.
The dwarves are diminutive in size but more akin to the Brothers Grim vision of them. They are portrayed as a band of outcasts and thieves with a soft spot for the princess. The dwarves teach Snow White how to fight so she can battle the Evil Queen and recapture her kingdom.
Roberts, once the fairest of them all, plays her villainous role exceptionally well. Still a pretty woman herself, Roberts is pitch-perfect in her characterization of the jealous older woman seething over the new, young beauty in town. Armie Hammer stars as the Prince and is at the center of a tug of war between Snow, as she is now called and the Queen, adding yet another twist to the classic story.
The film opens today and southern Illinois residents can see it at AMC Centre 8, AMC Showplace Carbondale 8and Grand Twin – Du Quoin. (Follow link for show times). Check out the trailer here.
“Snow White and the Huntsman” – In a much darker telling, this version of the story is an action-packed tale of betrayal and rebellion. The action scenes are on par with the likes of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Queen Ravenna, a sinister Charlize Theron, learns from her magic mirror that she must consume the heart of Snow White to vanquish her and achieve immortality. Enter the Huntsman, Chris Hemsworth who is to take Snow White to the woods and finish her off. As in the original tale, he takes pity on her and spares her life but this is where the Brothers Grimm story and the film part ways. The Huntsman teaches Snow White, Kristen Stewart, how to fight. She, in turn, creates a rebellion and lays siege to the castle.
While the dwarves still feature in the story, there are now eight of them. The prince is also involved in helping Snow White defeat the queen. Magic spells, otherworldly creatures and an ominous tone set this movie apart from any other telling of the classic fairy tale. This is nothing like your Disney favorite.
The film does not make its appearance at theaters until June 1 but you can watch the trailer on the left now.
Leave a comment and let us know which movie you’ll be checking out.
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If you are looking for other things to do in southern Illinois or have an interest in self-sustained living, check out my other columns:
· Southern Illinois Day Trip Examiner
· Southern Illinois Self-Sustained Living Examiner
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