Snow White And The Huntsman ***1/2

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Now this is a fantasy film. It is dark, scary at times, with bizarre and twisted special effects and fully realized characters. This is not a “Snow White” film for the kids.

Most Fantasy films seem to get lost in computer generated effects and mediocre stories. Director Rupert Sanders is interested in telling a more red blooded story than that. He sticks pretty close to the original “Snow White” but makes it jump off the screen with an amazing production and beautiful locations.

There is a gorgeous castle that is on it’s own island that can only be approached when the tide is out. Then there was the dark forest, where the ground and trees are so menacing that it doesn’t take long for you to lose your mind or get eaten alive. Then there is the fairy tale land where fairies and other mythical creatures roam.

Snow White is played by Kristen Stewart, who I thought was an odd choice based on her resume up until now. She is a strong actress and I think maybe I lost sight of that because of four straight “Twilight” films. Chris Hemsworth, fresh of of his duties as Thor, plays the Huntsman. Charlize Theron plays the evil queen who is bent on destroying Snow White. All of these actors give strong, well rounded performances but the whole show is nearly stolen by the Dwarves played by Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones and Brian Gleeson.

“Snow White And The Hutsman” is director Rupert Sanders first film and I think that he really gets it. I did find the film a bit action heavy at times, but he doesn’t let it drown out the whole film. He gives the story room to find a tone and create atmosphere without hammering us over the head with chop shop editing.

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