Thursday, June 14, 2012

mysterious badness

I've been scratching my head trying to figure out why I don't like Snow White and the Huntsman. The acting was tremendous. The cinematography was breathtaking. The special effects were awesome. The story was pretty good. Put all that together and I'm sitting there during much of the movie hoping it will be over soon.

A lot of it had to do with pacing. It was slo-o-o-ow. A few good long mood-setting scenes are great for a movie of this type, but you don't want half the scenes to drag on like that. You especially don't want those pacing scenes to be dragging down the pace as you build to the climax. That makes people role their eyes and think, "Is this ever going to end?"

But pacing was not the only problem. There were also the two great beauties, neither of which really carried it off. Now, I'm not the kind of guy who will pan a movie just because it didn't have enough really hot women in it ... no, wait, I am that kind of guy. But in this case the movie was all about the two most beautiful women in the world, so you expect to see someone breathtaking in those roles. In Snow White and the Huntsman, the women who played those roles, while attractive, were not breathtaking. I want Sophia Loren, or Raquel Welch from 1 Million BC, or Erin Gray from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, or Vanity from The Last Dragon, or Jessica Alba from, well, anything.

But although pacing and hot women are essential to achieve excellence in a film, there is more that was lacking. It's a little hard to pin down, but it has to do with genre and the viewer's expectations. It was as if the film couldn't decide whether it was a fairy tale or a gritty realistic film about cruelty and war. It wavered back and forth between fancy and realism. The combination just didn't work.

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