Have you ever noticed that shows and movies often come in duos? Remember when Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip premiered right next to 30 Rock? Or how about Deep Impact and Armageddon? The Truman Show and EdTV? Chasing Liberty and First Daughter? How about the recent Grimm and Once Upon a Time? Yeah, this happens a lot. Whether it’s separate companies taking advantage of similar trends or just blatant theft, this sort of thing is common from time to time. Speaking on Grimm/Once Upon a Time, we’ve got two movies coming up that fall into these guidelines — Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror, Mirror.
Both movies have very similar plots: the evil Queen is evil and preciously pretty Snow White must take arms against her. But once you take a look at the trailers, they have very different overall tones.
Let’s break down the aspects both trailers share.
Snow White and the Huntsman has Charlize Theron as the wicked Queen, and she does seem pretty effective, bad accent not-withstanding. The beginning of the trailer features her suggesting she once felt remorse for destroying young women to make herself beautiful, although that guilt has faded as she has gained more and more power; it’s a nice complexity to her character that she wasn’t always pure evil. She’s also pretty intimidating, even if most of her scenes in the trailer remind me of perfume commercials.
Not so intimidating is Julia Roberts as the Queen in Mirror, Mirror. This is about the hammiest acting I’ve seen outside of Tim Curry performances, but she doesn’t quite pull it off. Her Queen’s main motivation is to marry the Prince … that’s it. With this sort of hammy villain, the stakes are not nearly as high as Theron sucking out young ladies’ souls. I’m expecting plenty of filler scenes of Julia Roberts doing stupid crap to get the Prince to love her.
It’s hard to tell anything about either Snow White character because they barely speak and they’re mostly just talked about … kind of like Bella from Twilight. Hey, speaking of Bella from Twilight, goddamn Kristen Stewart once again stands there trying to look dramatic and comes off looking like a nimrod. Maybe I’m still rage-rolling from last week’s review of Breaking Dawn, but she just makes me so angry. I’ve heard tell she’s been decent in other films like Adventureland, so maybe getting her away from the worst role model for young girls ever will improve her performances. As it is, I’m not holding my breath.
Mirror, Mirror‘s trailer does a better job of showcasing Snow White, even giving her lines to say (gasp!). It took me a while to figure out, but Lily Collins looks so much like Audrey Hepburn, doesn’t she? Seriously, right down to the bangs. It’s also nice to see her smile every once in a while. Believe it or not, you want your heroine to have an actual personality.
The supporting characters:
I have a feeling both sets of dwarves are going to be pretty damn bad, although the goofiness of the ones in Mirror, Mirror seem worse … their names include Grub, Half-Pint and Chuckles. After looking at IMDB, the SW and the Huntsman‘s dwarves have more dignified LOtR-esque names like Muir and Coll. We see about .1 seconds of the Prince in SW and the Huntsman, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman ends up being the love interest. Come on, the Huntsman is Thor and the Prince is the lame pastor from the last Pirates movie … do the math, people. Mirror, Mirror has the blandest Prince I’ve ever seen. Dear Lord, he’s so white bread you could make toast! He’s even played by Armie Hammer, the guy who played the bland twins in The Social Network … not a good sign.
Just from the trailers (which I do realize may not be great representations of the finished products), it seems like both movies are lacking what the other movie has. Snow White and the Huntsman seems to be taking itself far too seriously and Mirror, Mirror is super over-the-top goofy.
I also find the “Princess-turned-warrior” thing to be odd. I appreciate the filmmakers trying to make the heroine pro-active, but with certain traditional characters in their traditional setting this feel off. It’s exactly what they did for Alice in Wonderland … which shares producers with Snow White and the Huntsman … imagine that. But at least Alice didn’t have a love interest to entice the Twihards. If you want to do something different with Snow White then sure, make her a soldier, but how about be bold and take out the Prince entirely – that would be taking the story to another level. But these movies … they’re looking to just be estrogen porn.