The film appears to be influenced by many different stories and ideas with the most notable being Snow White (obviously), but there is also a lot of Joan of Ark in there as well as a little Twilight, Game of Thrones, Royal Wedding and the visual styling of an acid trip. The castle appears to be modelled on Mont St.Michael in Normandy. The film’s design and effects are amongst its most successful features. Debut director Rupert Sanders has created a sumptuous world of dark forests, great castles, dancing fairies, giant trolls and medieval towns. The film looks stunning.
Monday, 4 June 2012
Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is the daughter of King Magnus (Noah Huntley) and is known as a great beauty. Her mother, the Queen dies when she is young and her father remarries a freed prisoner called
(Charlize Theron). On their wedding
kills the King and takes the Kingdom for herself. Snow White is locked up in an
isolated tower for several years as the Kingdom is left to rot under Ravenna ’s cruel rule.
When she comes of age it is revealed to Ravenna
that she is no longer the fairest of them all and that Snow White’s beauty has
usurped hers. Ravenna
tries to eat Snow White’s heart in order to stay forever young but Snow White
escapes. Ravenna Ravenna sends a drunken widower
Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to bring Snow White back but things don’t pan out
Saturday, 2 June 2012
"A king has his reign, and then he dies. It's inevitable"
It’s 2089 and two archaeologists, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover the same star map amongst paintings and artefacts from various different ancient civilisations which had no interaction with each other. Convinced that this map is somehow connected to our origins the two enlist the help of Weyland Industries and visit the moon LV-223 aboard the ship Prometheus. Four years later they and the crew, totalling seventeen are woken from Stasis by robot David (Michael Fassbender) and with specific instructions from Weyland representative Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) not to interact with any species they might encounter, set off into an unidentified structure on the Moon’s surface.
Firstly I’ll get the Alien stuff out of the way. It definitely helps if you have seen the Alien franchise but is in no way a necessity. The film can be viewed as both a stand alone movie and as a prequel. I’ve only recently watched the series for the first time so it is still fresh in my mind. As such on a few occasions I thought to myself “ooh I recognise that” and “aahhh, so that means…” but the film also made me want to watch the original Alien again as I was a little confused at times. I think that my confusion was due to two reasons. Firstly the plot is fairly complex and you have to pay close attention. Secondly, there are far too many plot holes. I won’t go into them here in order to avoid spoilers but if you’re interested then fellow blogger Life vs Film has compiled an extensive list here.
For me the film’s biggest strength was its atmosphere. The film isn’t as tense as I’d expected it to be but is rather more like a mystery. Unlike say Alien you aren’t waiting for something to jump out and scare you but rather it unfolds very slowly, creating more questions as it progresses. Many of the questions are subsequently answered but some are left open which I liked but left me feeling slightly frustrated. The tone was much less about horror and more about what, why, where and how and tone wise it is closer to Scott's Blade Runner than Alien. I loved how slowly the plot unfolded but wonder if the Transformers generation will have the patience to stick with it?
Friday, 1 June 2012
"You think I come from another world, don't you?"
In the years following an unspecified apocalyptic event a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) spend life on the road, constantly moving south in search of food and shelter and hoping to avoid bands of hungry cannibals.
I first saw this film in the cinema a couple of years ago and was blown away by its bleakness and beauty. I’ve mentioned before how much I love the look of decaying beauty and there are few films that show that so much as this. The screen is filled with various shades of grey and the sun never shines. The backdrop to the family’s struggle is filled with decrepit landscapes ruined by an unknown catastrophic event. These scenes are further heightened by flash backs to before the event in which Mortensen and his wife Charlize Theron are seen to be enjoying life in a colourful and vibrant world. Other flashbacks show life in the years after the apocalypse during which Theron is pregnant and subsequently where she struggles to deal with her harsh new surroundings.
Monday, 6 February 2012
I had heard great things about Young Adult but after watching it, I felt let down. While I didn’t think the film was a masterpiece, Charlize Theron’s performance was excellent. I haven’t seen Monster for which the actress won an Oscar in 2003 but this was the best I’ve seen her.
Theron plays a 37 year old divorcee, author of a young adult book series who upon receiving an email from her High School boyfriend featuring a photo his new baby decides to go back to her hometown in the mistaken belief that they are soul mates.
Theron’s inability to properly enter the adult world is the main theme of the film. Despite a reasonably successful career we see that her apartment looks like a college dorm, her car is filthy and she drops clothes, makeup and rubbish wherever she feels like it. Her diet consists of Diet Coke, whiskey and ice cream. She is basically living the life of a teenager and as the film progresses we begin to suspect that she is also like a teenager on the inside. As a character study, the film is brilliant. Unfortunately, I was just expecting more from the rest of it. Perhaps if I’d gone in without great expectations I’d be writing a glowing review right now.
The other actors do a fine job of supporting Theron but are complexly outclassed by her. You can see minute details in her face such as a slight glimmer of hope when she believes she may have a chance to win back her ex. If not for her I wouldn’t have enjoyed the film. The script is reasonable and features some good lines for Theron’s character. I also liked the character of the geeky, fat guy from high school who becomes Theron’s confidant.
What annoyed me most about the whole film was that it was like one 93 minute Diet Coke ad. I understand that sometimes the drink was used as a device to show that Theron doesn’t look after her body and only drinks coke but it featured in about half the scenes in the film. Sometimes there would be a can on a table, its label facing the camera. In another scene, Theron bends down and the camera goes to her feet which are next to two large boxes of Diet Coke. I understand that some films are part financed by product placement but when it’s that obvious it just gets annoying. Other product placement in the film included Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell. It was a bit OTT and the fact that it was so obvious shows how little I cared about the characters and plot.
When it comes down to it, I didn’t dislike Young Adult; I’m just finding it difficult to think of reasons why I did like it.