Chet Greason, Popcornucopia
Today’s theme is “Let the chicks pick.” Here are two reviews for films my girlfriend dragged me to see.
The first pick was Snow White and The Huntsman. After seeing Hollywood’s first foray into the world of Snow White earlier this year with Mirror Mirror, we were both a little curious how the two would differ. While they both featured the traditionally helpless princess as a butt-kicking warrior (although Kristen Stewart’s Snow is more of a Joan of Arc-like empath than a swordfighter), Huntsman was decidedly darker than Mirror Mirror. It was also significantly better, largely because of two factors: its imaginative visuals and the superior performance of its evil queen.
Snow White and the Huntsman is a very visually striking film. A great deal of creativity was put into the setting’s design, and whoever it was who made the mushrooms with eyes and viscous tar fashioned from injured crows was obviously trying very hard to make something that had never been seen before. It will remind you of Lord of the Rings one moment, and Pan’s Labyrinth another.
Charlize Theron’s performance as the evil queen is also a highlight. Whereas Julia Roberts in Mirror Mirror slowed the pace with her dry and uninspired queen, Theron throws herself at the role, screaming and cursing and seething menace.
An overall enjoyable film, although you should be able to review a movie without having to compare it to one that came out months before.
The second film was Rock of Ages and, though I was fully prepared for corn, I was not ready for this much. Once again, the mainstream has attempted to embody the spirit of rock and roll and has failed miserably.
Rock of Ages’ shallow characters lip-sync their way through hair rock power ballads of the ’80s which, thanks to the vapid nature of their lyrics, fit in perfectly with the uninspired plot and dialogue.
According to the filmmakers, the crux of rock and roll is drinking and premarital sex. That said, there is no sex in Rock of Ages; in fact, a lot of the trysts were edited out from the original Broadway musical. These “rockers” conduct themselves like it’s 7th Heaven; case in point: one of the female leads goes to work at the world’s worst strip club — where the strippers wear their grandmothers’ underwear and never take it off.
A Tipper Gore-style mayor’s wife, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, leads the charge against the rockers due to the apparent content of their songs, but these songs are all top-40 Mickey Mouse. Gone are the Darling Nikkis and the Judas Priests that led the real-life charge of the PMRC against rock music in the ’80s and ’90s.
Also, it was hard to swallow when New Kids on the Block-style boy bands are presented as the antithesis of glam rock. As in, “Man, this colourful checkerboard oversized jacket and fade haircut make me look like a dork! I’m going to go back to my eye make-up, feather earrings, and jaguar-print bandanna. That look will stand the test of time!”
But I digress…it’s about the music, right? So, if you’re one of those rare people who don’t reach for a pin with which to pierce your eardrum every time Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi comes on; if you still manage to get goosebumps when Don’t Stop Believing by Journey plays, you might enjoy Rock of Ages. You’re also probably 12.