Snow White

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The Ingredients is a column devoted to breaking down the components of a new film release with some focus on influential movies that came before. As always, these posts look at the entire plots of films and so include SPOILERS.  By the end of Breaking Dawn — Part 2, it’s clear that the Twilight Saga, as one long story about vampires, werewolves and a chaste teenage girl, is first and foremost a romance picture. This may not sound like a revelation, but in the past four years we’ve all looked at the series in terms of how it transcends the traditional “chick flick” ghetto to dabble in elements of superhero and horror genres, potentially wooing male moviegoers in the process. Interestingly enough, the finale features a sequence that is very much aimed at fans of genre cinema just before pulling a 180 and concluding with an ending that the same audience will find mushy and sappy as (their personal) hell. While romance figures into most film genres and even dominates the conventional Hollywood denouement for movies no matter what audience is targeted, most of these features are not classifiably romance pictures. The love stories are secondary or even tertiary in importance to plots primarily concerned with adventure or disaster or some treatment of good versus evil. And although there are antagonists strewn throughout the Twilight films, there aren’t really good guys and bad guys in proper terms. Instead there is simply love and family versus threat to love and family. […]

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For those of you who didn’t dig on Tarsem Singh‘s giddy Mirror Mirror, here is what you thought you wanted. Do not expect characters to be joking around or having a good time in Snow White and The Huntsman, as all that fun stuff is simply not cool and edgy enough for this grim universe. Mirror Mirror was for the sophisticated and playful child version of you, while talented commercial director Rupert Sanders‘ dark modern take is for that goth High School you, the person who prefers everything — even the kiddiest of things — to be dragged through an edgy, gritty filter. Dour Snow White and The Huntsman certainly is. In a fifteen minute cliff notes introduction, we’re quickly, and yet slowly, introduced to the reactionary Snow White (Kristen Stewart) as a child. We’re told she’s best friends with a boy named Will, who later pops up as a runner in the competition for most disposable character of the year. We’re told she’s famed for her beauty. We’re told her kingdom is dying. We’re told far too much, while hardly ever being shown. After the death of her sickly mother and the murder of her father she’s banished to a jail cell by the evil Queen: the bird heart-eating Ravenna (Charlize Theron).

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Reel Sex

It only takes five minutes to realize Snow White and the Huntsman is going to be a storytelling disaster, and then another ten minutes to accept that short of taking a nap or switching your ticket out for the next showing of What to Expect When You’re Expecting that you are stuck watching as the fairy tale of your childhood is ripped apart in the most unsettling of ways. Normally, the twisting of classic stories for new audiences thrills me to no end, and I have to admit regardless of how terrible the trailers looked, I couldn’t wait to see Huntsman. A world where Snow White rejects her meek personality by embracing battles and carnage sounded better than Christmas.

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If you weren’t a fan of the kiddie nature of Mirror Mirror, screenwriter Evan Daugherty has helped craft the film for you, in a near 10-year process. Daugherty began Snow White and the Hunstman as a pure labor of love. While fellow NYU students were most likely telling the same tales about a struggling artist, Daugherty began to write his epic and serious take on the tale of Snow White, with complete control and freedom, in his dorm room. What he ended up with is a dark and atmosphere-oriented take on the Snow White tale, thanks to the twisting and spinning of the staples of the story we all know. Snow White and The Hunstman, at times, even bridges on becoming a horror film, clearly showing this isn’t your grandfather’s Snow White. Here is what screenwriter Evan Daugherty had to say about the visual wonders and horrors of the Dark Forest, director Rupert Sanders‘s painterly approach, the power of simplicity, and the genesis of this very, very serious Snow White:

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Let’s come right out with it: Mirror Mirror is a disaster; a jokey, stagy bomb that sputters around like the worst faux-clever high school play you’ve ever seen before it mercifully comes to an end. After 10 minutes, I’d had enough. By the time Armie Hammer licks Julia Roberts’s face, I envied the old lady in Airplane! who hanged herself rather than listen to the rest of Ted Striker’s story. There’s nothing worse than a movie featuring material that everyone involved clearly found hilarious, forgetting to let us in on the joke. Director Tarsem Singh (The Fall) is a great visual stylist, but he’s the wrong director for a campy Snow White rehash that’d barely qualify for ABC Family. The movie looks like a grandiose pageant, boasting the filmmaker’s trademark outsized visual compositions and some ridiculous costumes, but it’s tongue-in-cheek slop, with a bunch of phoned-in dramatics and sprinklings of vaudevillian humor that would have been dated during the vaudeville days. Roberts delivers an annoyingly self-absorbed turn as the evil Queen, who appoints minion Brighton (Nathan Lane, giving the exact performance you’d expect) to kill her step daughter Snow White (Lily Collins), the famed “fairest of them all.” A proud young woman, Snow naturally escapes her fate, finding her way to the seven dwarfs in the process. Together, they engage in banditry and plot to take back the kingdom, while winning over a hopelessly slow-witted handsome prince (Hammer) in the process.

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Machine Gun Preacher is a biopic that does not sugarcoat its violent lead. Unlike most bio films, this is not about a common man rising to become a perfect hero, but instead, a true anti-hero. Sam Childers — biker turned preacher turned freedom fighter — is not the most likable man in the film. Not only would you never want to hang out with him on a weekend, but even after finding Jesus, he commits inexcusable acts. The violence of Childers, at least when he is in Central Africa, is not part of those inexcusable acts. Many critics have said the film takes a very right-wing stance — and perhaps it does, at times — but the methods Sam uses are very black-and-white. He’s an eye for an eye guy. When Sam uses violence to save children, that’s when he becomes his true self. However, when he’s asked to be the father of his own family, that doesn’t come as easy. Again, not your average hero. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with screenwriter Jason Keller about his dynamic lead’s acts, as well as the themes of the film, not making a lifetime movie, and the process of writing for a true visionary.

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The saga of the three Snow White movies continues. While most of the media attention has been going to Universal’s Snow White and The Huntsman and Relativity’s Lily Collins/Julia Roberts starring Snow White project up to this point, that’s because they got a bit of a head start in the Snow White game. Disney announced a while ago that they were going to be throwing their hats into the ring and turning this battle of the Snow Whites into a three-way affair, and there appears to be some motion on that front. When last we reported on this film it was going to be called Snow and the Seven, and it was about a 19th century Englishwoman traveling to Hong Kong for her father’s funeral, along with seven deadly companions. That concept seems to still be in place, and we also know a bit more about it. This Englishwoman, it seems, is being pursued by an ancient evil, and the warriors accompanying her are not only from an ancient order of fighters, they are also a multi-national group of colorful characters with different fighting styles.

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Having not spent my childhood as an eyeliner-wearing outcast, my knowledge of the Emily the Strange character is quite limited, leading to lots of personal speculation, such as “how do you find narrative in a lunchbox?” The truth is, you don’t, but luckily for fans of Ms. The Strange, there’s actually a wealth of material to mine for a feature film that goes far beyond cheap tee shirts from Hot Topic (but I don’t put it past anyone to make a film about based on a tee shirt). That’s good news for screenwriter Melisa Wallack, who has just signed on to write the Emily the Strange feature film script. Wallack most recently penned the script for Tarsem Singh’s untitled Snow White project over at Relativity (that’s the one with Lilly Collins, Armie Hammer, and Julia Roberts), but she’s also got two Black List projects under her belt, 2007’s Meet Bill (which she also co-directed) and Science Fair (currently in development). If you’re going to turn a logo into a film, signing on a talented screenwriter is a good way to start.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collector of film and television news and links that is currently working for the weekend. It certainly wants a little romance. You won’t catch it goin’ off the deep end. Da nanana na na… We begin tonight with more photos from The Amazing Spider-Man. Sony is hoping that its Comic-Con presence next week helps the webbed wonder get back into the public eye, as they’re counting on this franchise reboot to be a big earner. In the mean time, we get a few looks at a slick new costume, practical web-shooters and an intimate moment between our bloodied hero and his blond dame. All this and more in the gallery found over at /Film.

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One of the “Snow White” projects just got its title character even if it doesn’t have a title yet. Lily Collins – who played Sandra Bullock’s character’s daughter in The Blind Side – will star as the fairest one of all for Relativity Media’s version of the fairy tale being directed by Tarsem Singh. The movie already has Julia Roberts signed on as the Evil Queen who creates the Sleeping Death, and Armie Hammer as the handsome prince who saves the day with a kiss. All of it seems like the formulation of a fairy tale, but Singh is gauranteed to make the thing look eye-bleedingly beautiful even if the story and acting sinks. This might be sacrilege, but I guess I never realized there was much of a story to the story. Snow White is left in the forest, hangs out with a bunch of dwarfs, gets attacked for being too pretty, and then gets kissed, right? Is there really much going on to create a feature narrative here that doesn’t feature a ton of songs? I ask this honestly. [THR]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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It has been previously reported that both Universal and Relativity are vying to put together competing live action Snow White Films for 2012. Universal has been hard at work on Snow White and the Huntsman which reportedly is going to star Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Viggo Mortenson, and Relativity is putting together The Brother’s Grimm: Snow White directed by Tarsem Singh, who made 2000’s The Cell. This has made Disney very angry. Sensing a couple of upstarts treading on their fairy tale turf, they have hired Oscar nominated Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt to pen a Snow White film of their own called Snow and the Seven. This version of the popular tale will take place not in its traditional setting, but in 19th century China. The story will center on an Englishwoman who travels to Hong Kong for her father’s funeral only to find that she has become the target of her evil stepmother’s scheming. Oscar winning production designer John Myhre has also been brought on to begin to create the look of the film. While Universal and Relativity will theoretically have the chance to get their Snow White projects made and out to theaters first, this new flurry of activity from the Disney camp can only be sending one message: “Get off of my land!” Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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The Armageddon vs Deep Impact of old German folktales is currently raging, and the production teams behind both are busying themselves trying to find the pure unadulterated embodiments of evil. Universal is looking to Charlize Theron to play their nasty witch queen for Snow White and the Huntsman, while Relativity is looking to Julia Roberts for The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. (And just for fun, the movie Maleficent is also in development to provide yet a third actress the opportunity for the role to play a totally different witch from a different story.) Both are perfectly fine actresses, and Roberts scared the hell out of everyone with her performance in Eat Pray Love. Plus, it will be a sight to see these two veterans give us their own spins on an iconic character within a few months of one another. Who do you think is going to be scarier? [Cinematical]

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While there’s no title for it yet, the prospect of Relativity Media doing an adaptation of the Grimm Snow White isn’t exactly something to whistle while you work about. The story has been done before, and promising that it will be “edgy” is comical, because I doubt the wicked queen will be eating what she thinks is a human heart (just like in the heartwarming tale of our youth!). Or maybe she will now that Tarsem Singh has signed on to direct. The man is a visual master, and a dark fairy tale is exactly the kind of project that sees him rubbing his hands together and cackling in sheer delight at the possibilities. This is exciting news. The production is aimed at families still, and it’s not to be confused with Snow White and the Huntsman which is set up over at Universal, but there’s assurance now that even if the story is terrible, the film will look spectacular. [The Wrap]

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This week, on a very special Reject Radio, Scott Weinberg drops by and watches the Philadelphia Flyers game.

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Brett Ratner will produce a live-action retelling of the classic fairy tale Snow White through his Relativity Media offices. This is not a joke, so stop laughing.

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Disney has announced that they’re going Blu-ray on our asses, bringing their platinum standard over to the new format with some quite impressive improvements.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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