The Man who Laughs Post-Script

Well, this is embarrassing, a Monday a didn’t account for. Well to put it rather simply, I hated The Man who laughs as a book and as movies.

Now I can officially move away from it and start the next book except I’m not. You see I have plans for October so I don’t want to start the Phantom posts in September only  to break the next month, so except something new next week.

 

 

 

 

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Ella Enchanted Review; Who wears a Hoodie to a Ball?

Ella Enchanted picture image

Ella Enchanted

This movie confuses me, I’m not really sure who it’s for. If I had to venture a guess I would say Ella Enchanted is for eight year girls who liked the Princess Dairies and like to shop at Claire’s. So if you fit that description you MIGHT sincerely like this movie but I can’t really imagine everyone else liking this movie. I sort of used to like this movie in a guilty-pleasure way but it’s really chaotically goofy and not in a good way as it takes itself seriously.

Anne Hathaway as Ella and Hugh Dancy as Prince Char Ella Enchanted picture image

Anne Hathaway as Ella and Hugh Dancy as Prince Char

Main plot goes a little like this, sweet little baby Ella who lives in a place called Frell gets a special gift from a well-meaning but incompetent fairy named Lucinda. Lucinda  gives Ella the gift of obedience which means Ella has to whatever she is told whether or not she wants to or if she is physically capable. Only her mother and their house-fairy know and before Ella’s mother dies she tells Ella not to tell anyone about the gift/curse.

Ella grows up to be a liberal-minded teenage and her father gets remarried to a vain woman with two daughters, meanie Hattie and dum-dum Olive. One day the handsome Prince Charmont a.k.a Char comes to Frell for a Mall opening, Ella and her pal take the opportunity to protect for Ogres which Char’s evil Uncle, Edgar is persecuting. Hattie gets mad and sends Ella off on her way but Ella then runs into Char and since she is the only girl to not fancy Char they have a snarky attraction. Hattie then finds them and sends Ella back to the mall where Ella gets into trouble because Hattie caught on to Ella doing what she is told and Hattie and Olive made her steal stuff.

Ella decides that she need to get Lucinda to take back the gift, so her house-fairy, Mandy gives her a special book named Benny who is also her boyfriend to help Ella find Lucinda as he can show people and not where they are, though looking at context Ella sees that Lucinda is going to a wedding in Giant-ville. So she off with a Book and along the way she runs into an Elf who wants to be a lawyer, some ogres and Char. They go to the wedding but miss Lucinda. Char recommends Ella looks at census stuff at the castle.

As the castle Edgar gets wind of Ella doing what she is told and orders her to kill Char when he pops the question because they are in love. Ella tries to break it off with Char and chains herself up to a tree. Her plan might have worked but Lucinda shows up, frees Ella and gives a dress for the ball. Ella goes to the ball and nearly kills Char but breaks the gift by telling herself not to obey anymore, that never crosses her mind before? To tell herself not to obey?  Ella is  arrest but her crew of oppressed magical friends help her, fight scene and Edgar inadvertently poisons himself. Ella and Char get married and they end with a song and dance number.

Anne Hathaway as Ella  Ella Enchanted picture image

Anne Hathaway as Ella

Just so we’re 100% clear Ella Enchanted was based on a book of the same name by Gail Carson Levine from 1997. I haven’t read the book but from what I can gather the movie is nothing like the book, like you can’t even compare the two they are do different. So the movie wasn’t for fans of the book.

Also I have to wonder about the whole gift giving thing. The movie seems to indicate the giving babies gift was commonplace but we never hear anyone else talking about their gift. Maybe the book explains it but the movie doesn’t. Also is a fairy an occupation? Like what is the difference between Lucinda and Mandy. Mandy says she is a house-fairy but what does that MEAN? Do other houses have house fairies? Is she employed? Are any fairies good at the their jobs? These little things just take me out of the movie.

Cary Elwes as Edgar and Heston Ella Enchanted picture image

Cary Elwes as Edgar and his useless snake goon

There is one thing I liked about this movie but I kind of hate that I like it, the actors. There are so many actors I love who are in this movie, from Cary Elwes, Eric Ideal, Joanna Lumley, Heidi Klum, Jim Carter ect. I don’t really have a issue with Anne Hathaway, Vivica A.Fox, Minnie Driver or Hugh Dancy but most of these actors have been in things I have liked and yet they somehow are in this movie? I mean they wasted Joanna Lumley who is awesome in AB Fab. The trouble is expect for Elwes who is just chewing the scenery everyone is playing this movie fairly straight when the idea is supposedly to be taking jabs at fairy tales.

Anne Hathaway as Ella  Ella Enchanted picture image

Anne Hathaway as Ella

It seems like the movie is parodying fairy-tales with it quirky stye but the basic story is being true to yourself and that is what Ella does while being perfect. I mean she is pretty and has no emotional hang-ups, she is smart and proactive. She is damn perfect that she is not very interesting. The only thing that makes her interesting is her curse which is the source of most the film’s weak attempts at humor.

Lucy Punch as Hattie and Jennifer Higham as Olive Ella Enchanted picture image

Lucy Punch as Hattie and Jennifer Higham as Olive

Then we have come to another major issue with this movie, the costumes. Execpt for Ella, all the costumes are AWFUL, they are trash. I don’t know how this movie managed to make Heidi Klum look bad but they did. The movie has this weird sense of fanasty fairy tale costume but they give them weird modern cuts with gross fabric. Olive at one point has to wear a purple hoodie that is the fuzzy and glittery at a ball. Also Ella’s ball gown was a snooze.

Anne Hathaway as Ella and Hugh Dancy as Prince Char Ella Enchanted picture image

Anne Hathaway as Ella and Hugh Dancy as Prince Char

Ella Enchanted has somethings going for it like the good cast and not abysmal pacing but the humor, style, tone and plot are corny as heck. But in classic this movie let’s go out with a song which is also a clue.

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An Interview with Jeremy Scott Lapp

Jeremy Scott Lapp was the Asst. Director- Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical. It’s an interesting interview though it’s a little out-of-date since the show has no plans of going to broadway. I sort of wished they had mentioned the influence of the German Musical but it’s not a big deal.

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Songs of Notre Dame de Paris Part 16

Donnez-la moi (Give her to me)

Garou as Quasimodo and Helene Segara as Esmeralda performing  Donnez-la moi Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo and Helene Segara as Esmeralda performing Donnez-la moi

Donnez-la moi is a bridge song. It’s Quasimodo literally fighting guards to get to Esmeralda’s body to claims it. It’s roughly thirty seconds long but it so sad.

Danse mon Esmeralda (Dance my Esmeralda)

Garou as Quasimodo & Helene Segara Danse mon Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo and Helene Segara performing Danse mon Esmeralda

Speaking of sad. Danse mon Esmeralda is the show tear-jerking finale. I challenge you not to feel sad during this song because it is heart-breaking. Quasimodo sings this to a dead Esmeralda and begs her to dance and sing for him and to let him go with her as in death they will unite.

Quasimodo learns that his deformity has lead him to this moment and that to die for Esmeralda is not death but an expression of his love.

This is beautiful and heartfelt. I get chills listening to it and it also leaves my misty eyed. The three dancers that are lifted in the airt gives this songs a even more transdential quality.

Musically, lyrically and contextually this is the best song in the show and was the perfect way to end it. Though the curtain call does have the whole cast singing Le Temps together in a super happy way so the audience doesn’t go home too bummed but Danse Mon Esmeralda fit the ending of the book and way a great note to end the show. A+++

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

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The Man who Laughs Conclusions

There are actually a few other version of The Man who Laughs including one from 1921 and 1971 but the 1928 is the most well know, the 1966 is the most infamous and the 2012 is the most recent, so that covers the major base.

Before I end The Man who Laughs I just wanted to discuss its impact on popular culture.

The Joker, Batman, the man who laughs, picture image

The Joker

Have you ever heard of the Joker? The Joker’s look is based on Conrad Viedt’s make-up from the 1928 movie. In fact a one-shot Batman comic from 2005 is called “The Man Who Laughs. ”

but there are some more (got these off of Wiki and there is more)
-In H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), Moreau refers to L’Homme qui Rit when explaining the nature of his experiments to the protagonist.
-A short story by the name of “The Laughing Man” (first published in 1949) is featured in J. D. Salinger’s Nine Stories (1953). The story appears to be influenced by The Man Who Laughs, featuring an individual facially disfigured in his childhood by criminals who have kidnapped him.
-The novelist and essayist Ayn Rand adapted Hugo’s term “comprachicos” for her own purposes in a noted essay, published in The Objectivist in 1970.
-In James Ellroy’s book The Black Dahlia (1987), the mutilation murder of Elizabeth Short is partially inspired by a painting of Gwynplaine.
-In the 2003 “Wild Cards” episode of the Justice League animated series, The Joker infiltrated a TV station by using the alias “Gwynplaine Entertainment”.
-Laughing Man, a character in Japanese anime TV series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002–2003) and inspired by J. D. Salinger’s short story “The Laughing Man”.
-In the 2010 Rob Zombie album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, the last song is titled “The Man Who Laughs” and is based on the story of the same name.

Well I do think the characters could have been richer or just more interesting it does that Gwynplaine’s look does inspire people, albeit more villainous than the character or what Hugo was going with the character’s laughing face as mirror to an elitist society but whatever.

Moving on, the next book is about a deformed French guy who lives in a Paris Landmark and the story has been made into a famous musical and lot movies. Yeah, it’s Phantom of the Opera. (though there will be a hiatus till then )

 

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The Thief of Bagdad 1940; Ahmad and Aladdin shop at the same store

The Thief of Bagdad 1940 picture image

1940 Version of The Thief of Bagdad

The first time I watched the 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad, I recalled liking it more than the 1920’s version but when I thought about it recently I couldn’t remember why.It could have just been the superficialness of color and sound, or I might have just liked the characters better. I will say that yes I like some of the characters better but this movie has a very odd way telling the story and you can see the Disney version of Aladdin all over this movie.

John Justin as Ahmad and June Duprez as the Princess The Thief of Bagdad 1940

John Justin as Ahmad and June Duprez as the Princess

So the movie at first is told in flashback, Ahmad, a blind beggar with a talented dog tells his story to a group of ladies. In his flashback we learn that Ahmad was the king of Bagdad and the dog was a young thief named Abu. Ahmad was kept at a distance from his people by his royal vizier, Jaffar. One day Jaffar convinces Ahmad to go out among the people and Ahmad learns he is not well liked and that there a prophesy about a hero descending from the sky on a magic cloud-like thing and golden crossbow. Jaffar then has Ahmad thrown in a jail where he meets Abu. They escapes and become friends. They leave Bagdad and head to Basra.

In Basra, Ahmad sees the princess, who doesn’t have a name. Ahmad and the Princess meet and fall in love. However Jaffar also travels to Basra intent on marrying the Princess. Jaffar gives the Princess’s father, the Sultan a mechanical flying horse as he loves toys in exchange for the Princess. The Sultan concedes and the Princess flees Basra however off-screen she is captured and sold in a slave market. Ahmad then confronts Jaffar and he turns Ahmad blind and Abu into a dog which they will remain till he holds the Princess in his arms.

That ends the flashback part. As it turns out, Ahmad was brought to the house where he just told his story because the Princess ( I wish she had a name) is sleeping a sleep which she can’t wake from till Ahmad shows up. The Princess is then told there is a doctor that can cure Ahmad’s blindness so she goes and she is told the doctor in one a ship. When the Princess boards the ship with Abu, it sails away. It was all a scheme by Jaffar. Jaffar was the one who bought the Princess and cared for her while she slept. He tells her that he can cure Ahmad if he holds her which she allows and Ahmad and Abu are cured. Prior to Abu changing back to a human he stow-a-way on the boat but was thrown off and changes back to human on reaching the docks.

Abu reaches Ahmad and they go after the Princess but Jaffar conjures up a storm and they are left shipwreck. Abu finds a magic lamp on the beach and a Djinn comes out. Abu’s first wish is a sausage. The Djinn then takes Abu to get an all-seeing crystal mainly because Abu claims he can steal it but the Djinn doesn’t believe him and he does steal it and uses it to see where Ahmad is.

As that is going on, Jaffar tries to magically make the Princess love him but can’t bring himself as he want her to love him truly. He then ask her to command him and she asks him to bring her back to Basra. Once there the Princess begs her father to not force her to marry Jaffar which he agrees to but Jaffar has the sultan killed with a mechanical toy called the Silver Maid which stabs him in the heart.

The Djinn takes Abu to Ahmad and they look through the seeing crystal, which is called the All-seeing Eye, to see the Princess. Jaffar arranges for her to smell the Blue Rose of Forgetfulness which causes her to forget her love and agony. This cause Ahmad to lash out on Abu and Abu wishes Ahmad way which is his final wish and he left alone.

Ahmad appears at Jaffar’s palace and the Princess regains her memory. Jaffar then orders them both to be executed. Abu the shatters the All-seeing eye and is transported to the Land of Legend. Abu is thanked for freeing the inhabitants who had been turned to stone and is gifted a magical golden crossbow and is named the king’s successor. Abu however steals a magic carpet to save Ahmad.

As Ahmad is about to be executed as the Princess is forced to watch, Abu comes flying done on the magic carpet. This sparks a revolt. Jaffar tries to flee on the mechanical flying horse but Abu shots him with the crossbow. Ahmad and the Princess get married and Ahmad names Abu as the royal vizier but Abu peaces out on the carpet for more adventures.

So much narrative.

Sabu as Abu The Thief of Bagdad 1940

Sabu as Abu

This movie is presented with a lot of narrative and to be fair it could have a lot more. I would have loved to seen the Princess’s journey but the movie wasn’t about her it was about Abu’s adventure saving Ahmad who was in love with the Princess and Jaffar’s scheming. It’s a little weird but that the titular character is spend a fair chunk of time on the side and the other characters are not concern with him. The heart of the movie centers on Ahmad’s and his dilemma but it’s Abu who saves the day. It defiantly a weird direction to go in.

June Duprez as the Princess and Conrad Veidt as Jaffar The Thief of Bagdad 1940

June Duprez as the Princess and Conrad Veidt as Jaffar

Despite all the narrative, there isn’t a lot of character development in this movie. None of the character grow and change. They are all static. They are likable enough but they don’t have  any arcs. Personally, I enjoyed the interactions between Jaffar and the Princess over Abu and Ahmad.

June Duprez as the Princess The Thief of Bagdad 1940

June Duprez as the Princess

I got to say, I found the Princess a interesting character. Yes, she is a damsel in distress but she did try to take her life in her own hands as she ran away and does resist Jaffar. She tries to be an active player. I wish she had gotten more screen time and a name.

Sabu as Abu with Rex Ingram as the Djinn The Thief of Bagdad 1940

Sabu as Abu with Rex Ingram as the Djinn

I think this movie much like the 1920’s movie was more for style. This movie is impressive for the 1940’s and it did some great chromo work. You can see a clear style over substance in scenes like the Silver maid and Abu stealing the All-seeing eye. These scenes go on for a while but instead of character development it just a neat scenes to look at.

Also the costumes were lovely. Ahmad main costumes is like a reversal of Disney’s Aladdin costume. But for me everything the princess wore was like beautiful.

June Duprez as the Princess The Thief of Bagdad 1940

June Duprez as the Princess

The 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad is an entertain movie that while doesn’t have the most development characters and the plot is all over the place is fun to watch and enjoyable.

Clue 1 and Clue 2

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Would Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame won the Best Animation Movie Award?

This post has been like a roller coaster. At first I was going to write on a different idea which I still going to do on why Hollywood should make a new Hunchback movie but that idea lead to this question, If the Best Animated Movie Award was existed in 1996, would Hunchback to have been a contended?

Frollo and Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Frollo and Qausimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

The Best Animated Movie Award for the Academy Awards was introduced in 2001 and that year the winner was Shrek. Since then you’d think a powerhouse like Disney would win a fair number of times and technically since they own Pixar they have but Pixar is the darling of the Oscars and not Disney so much. In fact Disney has won two times and been nominated for eight whereas Dreamworks has two wins but eleven nominations. Pixar has seven wins and nine nominations, Cars and and Monster’s INC didn’t get the award.

Getting back to the question would Disney’s Hunchback has won the award? Well before we can even answer that question we need to know what was the competition that year. In 1996 the animated movies that came out in the United States were All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (I’m surprised this got a theatrical release), Space Jam, Beavis and But-head Do America, and James and the Giant Peach. I doubt All Dogs Go to Heaven, Space Jam and Beavis and Butt-head Do America would have won so that just leaves James and the Giant Peach.

James and the Giant Peach picture image

James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach has some weird live-action chunks and weird songs but the animation is imaginative and it met with critical praise when it was released. Hunchback was more mixed with critics. James and the Giant Peach also won Best Animated Featured Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Annecy is a French based Film Festival which Hunchback of Notre Dame was not nominated BUT no Disney movie has been nominated for an Annecy. Hunchback of Notre Dame did get a lot of Award nominations, including Best Music at the Academy and several Annies. It did win a few award including a Golden Globe for its music and Best casting at the Artois Awards and Best Motion Picture for the Satellite Awards. It was also nominated for a Razzie for Worst written Film grossing over $100 Million, talk about mixed bag.

But what really comes down to is the voters of the Academy, which is made up most of people in the Film business and mostly actors who for the most part don’t know anything about animation. In fact according to this http://www.cartoonbrew.com/award-season-focus/proof-that-oscar-voters-are-clueless-about-animation-109456.html the voters don’t even watch all the movies up for the award and two didn’t even watch any. I’m glad they take their prestigious jobs seriously.

Quaismodo Bells of Notre dame reprise Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quaismodo Bells of Notre dame reprise Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Basically it doesn’t come down to a well crafted story as told with animation, it’s what ever movie a given person liked more, though some voters take in to account the entirely of the movie. I think that in 1996 the clout of Disney would have made Hunchback of Notre Dame won over James and Peach because name recognition means a lot. Even though James and the Giant Peach is under Disney, it’s not Disney’s James and the Giant Peach.

At first I though this would be an easy question to answer but them looking into the question I thought maybe it would be harder and then that voter website and it because easy again. Talk about a roller coaster.

What do you think? Do you think Hunchback could have won Best Animated Movie if the ward existed in 1996?

Disclaimer, I might hate the Academy Awards.

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Songs of Notre Dame de Paris Part 15

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame (Attack of Notre Dame)

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris picture image

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris

This songs just hits like a ton of bricks after Vivre. Maybe that was the point but like I have said half the songs in the show are bridge songs that lead into the next song. Maybe that was the point to lull the audience in with nice flow and then break it but it seems to me that songs or scenes were cut between Vivre and L’Attaque de Notre-Dame and that whistle line was proof enough of that.
However how is L’Attaque de Notre-Dame? As a song it’s has a cool melody, though it’s mostly Le Sans Papier with another melody overlay over.

The song has two parts the first part is mostly Clopin and Phoebus singing. Phoebus and Frollo attack Notre Dame to get the Court of Miracles out as both Frollo and Phoebus want Esmeralda dead because Frollo couldn’t get some and Phoebus wants some, (wink wink.) Frollo at the start has a part where is gives Phoesbus the right to break the right of sanctuary, because he can do that. Phoebus’s main part is line line about outing the outlaws while Clopin sings the chorus of Le Sans Papiers.

The first part ends when Clopin is beaten to death and before dying asks Esmeralda to take over The Court of Miracles. Esmeralda then takes over singing Le Sans Papiers and Gringoire sings some verses from La Sans Papiers. However Phoebus and crew win.

While the music is very powerful, there is a weird context issue. Considering how accurate this version is regarded, this part is one of the least faithful versions. I’m not saying it doesn’t work within the show but I must mention it.

-Frollo in the book makes up the rumor that sanctuary is being suspended for a day but in the musical he can just do it.
-In the book the Court of Miracles attacks Notre Dame to save Esmeralda and get riches but in musical they are the ones defending the Cathedral with Clopin leading the charge.
-In the book Quasimodo defends Notre Dame to protect Esmeralda from people he thinks want to harm her but in the musical Quasimodo is not in this number at all.

I think for me that is a big little misstep, Quasimodo who loves Notre Dame isn’t there to protect it. It works in the musical but it seems off. The whole of this scene feels off, it’s a cool number but it is rushed and odd.

Déportés (Deported)

Esmeralda about to be hung Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda about to be hung

The bad guys win! Everyone who wants Esmeralda to die got their wish. In this song Phoebus passes the sentence on Esmeralda and the Court of Miracles. The Court are all deported and Esmeralda is dragged off to be hanged. Fleur-de-Lys and Phoesbus leave together happy with their scheme and Gringoire is powerless to help. This is the last we see of these characters in the show.

Frollo has moment of remorse but he is too far gone.

Déportés isn’t that much, just really two lines, exile and deported but Phoebus and the chorus sing the the lines with coldblooded authority that it’s crushing and chilling. It’s an effective number that gets you into a less than happy mood.

Mon Maitre, mon sauveur (My Master, My Savior)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon saver Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon sauveur

More death. As dawn breaks, Quasimodo begs Frollo to stop Esmeralda’s execution but Frollo reveals to Quasimodo that he organized the hanging. As Esmeralda dies Frollo laughs and Quasimodo pushes him to his death. In the show it’s down the stairs instead of off Notre Dame de Rock Climbing wall.

Mon maître, mon sauveur is a simple song without a lot of orchestration but that gives way for Frollo’s craziness to come through. There much to it except the deaths of Esmeralda and Frollo. Esmeralda is harnessed and lifted up so the sight of seeing her hanging lifeless in the air is disheartening. Frollo’s death is done with a silhouette falling down various stairs of Notre Dame. I’m going to guess it was done with doubles tumbling on cue and Lavoie appears out the bottom.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

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2012 version of The Man who Laughs

This version is so unremarkable. Nothing about this movie stands out in way that is appealing. It is one of the most tepid movies I have ever seen. It’s so bland and that is slightly amazing. Typically movies have something about that makes them standout even if its negative point but this is so under-whemling, that at 25 minutes I felt we should have been at the thrity  minute mark and nothing happened.

Marc-André Grondin as Gywnplaine and Emmanuelle Seigner as Josiana The Man Who Laughs picture image

Marc-André Grondin as Gywnplaine and Emmanuelle Seigner as Josiana

The plot does follow the book, though it has it differences. Like Barky just seems to want to keeps his position, Josiana is aged and is Gywnplaine’s cousin (I think) and they do sleep together which causes Dea’s depression and suicide by arsenic. Homo does very little and he not really a plot point like in the book. The movie puts a lot of focus one the performances of  Gywnplaine, Ursus and Dea.  Gywnplaine  tries to quell his love for Dea not because of the blindness but because of their sister/brother being raised together  relationship. Barky doesn’t send Ursus and Dea away in fact he brings to  Gywnplaine and Dea hears Josiana and  Gywnplaine going at it. Also no David and the Queen wasn’t present or seem to care about screwing over Josiana.  That is all the differences I care to recall.

So how is this movie unremarkable. Well first off the acting. If these people were acting they either were directed terribly  or they didn’t care. I also thought the casting on Dea and Josiana were way off. Dea is supposed to be a celestial ethereally young lady and do not get me wrong, the lady they cast is lovely but she had the wrong type for the role. She seemed earthy and natural. Mary Philbin was better cast. I hate to even say this but the lady who played Josiana was too old. I thought Josiana was supposed to be like Esmeralda, careful and full of life. This women just seemed like a bored housewife. It was a decision the filmmaker made that I neither get nor like though she was the best actress so there is the tradeoff.

Marc-André Grondin as Gywnplaine and Christa Théret as Dea The Man Who Laughs picture image

Marc-André Grondin as Gywnplaine and Christa Théret as Dea

The we have the colors, or rather lack of them. This movie likes grey, black and white. So the acting is dull and boring and so is the color palette. I won’t say that movies can’t have this style but you need to make it visually interesting and its not. The shots are pretty basic and when it tries to have an interesting shot it just seem like uninspired.

Marc-André Grondin as Gywnplaine The Man Who Laughs picture image

Marc-André Grondin as Gywnplaine

The costumes were also boring but what is really was flat,  Gywnplaine’s make-up. It literally looked like they just drew on red paint to make his smile. This make him humanized but it looks so lazy. I can’t see why people would find it fascinating the same way as the 1928 version.

 

Also the music was inappropriate. At ending where Dea and  Gywnplaine die the music during the credits is like super happy and carnival-esque. It was like a slap in the face.

At least Homo was a wolf but that is the only positive thing.

One more thing, I don’t want to give the impression that I know a ton about art history on a whole but at one point in the movie Barky brought out portraits of  Gywnplaine’s parents. The first one was of his mother and it was a John Singer Sargent Portrait of the Duchess of Sutherland. Lovely portrait but it took me right out of the movie.

 

Do not recommend this version.  Just watch the 1928 version.

 

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Snow White and the Thor Review; I know it’s Huntsmen

Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image

Snow White and the Huntsmen

It takes a lot for me to stop watching a movie midway through but Snow White and the Huntsmen I stopped watching about forty minutes in the first time I watched it and it was the right decision, I never regretted it. But for you people and this blog I bravely watched the whole thing, and it was act of bravely never known before in this world because this movie is beyond stupid.

Kristen Stewart as Snow White Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image

Kristen Stewart as Snow White

Snow White basic tale, Queen wants a kid that has skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as ebony. Spoiler alert this Snow White has none of that. Queen dies and King gets remarried to an evil woman named Ravenna. Ravenna kills the king on their wedding night and successfully pulls a coup but she breaks the first rule of a coup and leaves the heir to the throne alive because of royal blood, hey lady that is why you should have killed her. And instead of like manipulating the young child through Stockholm syndrome or candy she locks Snow White up. All Hail Ravenna, our Royal Dummy.

Ravenna is a terrible queen as even nature doesn’t like her and she steals youth and beauty from young girls. One fine day her magic gong on the wall, erm I mean mirrior? No, it’s a gong and it tells her that Snow White is now prettier than her because of some bullshit called “Fairest Blood.” This “Fair Blood” is the ONLY thing that can kill Ravenna (oh that name is dumb) but it can save her if she can eats Snow White’s heart. Ravenna sends her brother, Finn to get Show White. Snow White gives Finn the slip and escapes thanks to magical bird and she is shown the way out via sewers which leads to the sea and from there it a jump off the cliff (twilight style) and then she finds a horse. She then goes into the Dark Forest, a place that no has ever gets out a live except when they do. Ravenna enlists the help of a Huntsmen whose name is listed as Eric but because it’s way too tempting and I lack maturity I’m going to call him Thor. Anyway Thor is a drunk widower who has survived the Dark Forest and Ravenna tells Thor she can bring back his dead wife if he brings back Snow White. However Thor sides with Snow White when Finn tells him that Ravenna can’t bring people back from the dead. I should also mention that Snow White lost her horse, Artax-style but it’s in no way as sad as Artax, oh Artax…. I cry every time I think you.

So Thor and Snow White give Finn and pals the slip and run into a fishing village but prior to that Thor gives Snow White a combat lesson that will be important later on because the screenwriter once learn about set-ups and pay-off and doggone-it  he is going to prove that this is a good script with basic screenwriting 101, for the record I never took Screenwriting 101 (Donate to theHunchblog so I can take it and i can be even more snarky to screenwriters who are more successful than me. ) So at the fishing village there are no men because Ravenna took them and the women are all scared because Ravenna won’t take their beauty if they have imperfections, OMFG Movie are you serious? I hate you but I will get back to that later. Anyway Thor tries to leave even though he promised to get Snow White to her pals the Duke and his son. But Finn attacks and Thor and Snow White leave.

They then meet the eight dwarfs and the Blind one recognizes that Snow White has the blood. They then go into a Hayou Miyazaki movie, I’m not shitting you at all and they  learn that magical fairy possessed those birds that helped Snow White and some magical deer lets Snow White touch him which means something like Snow White is like the embodiment of purity or something. This was also set-up with a random monster encounter earlier where Snow White subdues a troll with a stare much like in Twilight.

Anyway Finn attacks and one of the dwarfs die and you by god are supposed to care but you the audience doesn’t because he had like one scene where Snow White dances with him. I think Finn might have died then too.

So they make it to the duke’s place and Snow White reunite with William, the duke’s son who I guess Snow White and him had like a childhood sweetheart type of thing. If I can be honest I like half paying a attention at this point. Ravenna then takes the form of William and poisons Snow White via the apple but opts for Villain mistake number 2 and talks instead of killing or TAKING HER HEART. Thor gives us some monologue about how Snow White reminds him of his dead wife, I guess because they are both dead and then he kisses her and voila that is good enough and Snow White is better. Then it’s a Braveheart style speech. Snow White dons armor and leads and army and she uses the dwarfs to go through the poo to open the gates. She then takes on Ravenna and Snow White sucks but she uses that block move that Thor taught her and she kills Ravenna. Snow White is crowned and love-triangle is never resolved, hoo-fucking-ray.

Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna  Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image

Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna

Let’s start with SOME positives, Ravenna’s costumes are cool and the CG work isn’t that bad, could be worse. And there is a Florence and the Machine song at the end. It’s sad when a credit song is the best thing about a movie. I also thought that moss covered turtle was cute but it had no place in this movie, so it doesn’t count as a positive.

Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna  & Kristen Stewart as Snow White Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image

Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna & Kristen Stewart as Snow White

Now here is the real question, where do you start with this movie? I kind of respect what this movie TRIED to do, a new take on Snow White but why do all the new takes on fairy-tales just fail so much? Pretty much everthing about this movie is stupid, expect Ravenna’s wardrobe.

So let’s just start with the elephant in the movie, though an elephant would have help this movie, but no I mean the casting. A lot of people complain that the suspension of disbelief was too much to believe that Kristen Stewart was prettier than Charlize Theron.

In all fairness to Stewart, who is pretty I get that wasn’t the point of the fairest of all thing. It had to with blood and inner beauty because let’s face it, Ravenna was not a nice person. But Snow White doesn’t really exhibit any inner beauty as in she doesn’t do things that exceptionally nice, so as a way out and as mean of not REALLY giving Snow White any characterization, she has special “fairest” blood that is given no explanation to how it works. The movie hints that is has something to do with royal blood but it doesn’t really matter, it’s a movie mechanic that makes Snow White a character without having to do much.

Kristen Stewart as Snow White Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image

Kristen Stewart as Snow White

But there is another problem, the film wants Snow White to be an active player that has leadership skills and is a good fighter. This is Bull-Shit. Snow White literally does nothing for most of the movie but then she takes the vanguard and people just listen to her and her only experiences of the way out and the block are enough to save the day at the end? There is the real suspension of disbelief. Basically the TWO things she learns are enough. But I have another issue, Snow White is static character, she doesn’t really grow or change. I guess The Huntsmen does but after the kiss he is useless to the story and his only change is that he gets nicer towards Snow White, not a big arc. So if the point of this movie is to have a more kick-ass Snow White the movie only succeeds because the script lets her and it’s not the character doing much.

Kristen Stewart as Snow White & Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsmen Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image

Kristen Stewart as Snow White & Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsmen

It’s apparent that the script and the characters all sucks and the Snow White elements are REALLY shoe-horned in but how was the acting? Well there is a range from underacting to OVER acting. Everyone but Charlize Theron underacts to the point of sleep, I mean aside from K-stew’s weak british-ish accent she is sleep-walking. Theron is just crazy. But really they got paid anyway.

Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna  Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image

Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna

Speaking of Ravenna, I now have to mention her motive and the script’s perception of beauty. I would like to point out that this script was written by a man and while I don’t think men are incapable of writing female characters or having an understanding of beauty this guy does not.

Ravenna’s main motivation is staying forever young because old age sucks. I think the idea is that beauty is power and Ravenna’s self-identify is linked to her beauty, so she consumes youth and beauty. However the movie acts on the belief that beauty is just the surface for Ravenna and when women mare that beauty they are no good to her. But for a movie that promotes beauty as being something that is inner even if it blood, it seems off. I don’t know maybe that was the point but for a woman who sucks the youth out of girl I don’t see why a few scars would be a deterrent. And let’s not forget she was after Snow White’s blood, I mean she kept her alive because of her royal blood and scars keep away from women?

Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image

Kristen Stewart as Snow White

Before I end, I want to just mention SnowWhite’s main costume. First off, it looked ill-fitting for Stewart like it wore her. Second I know the costume designer Colleen Atwood, said something to effect that it was armor-like in that it has metal elements but it would have helped Snow White’s character and given her a sense of development if she was given that article of clothing or found it somewhere along her journey. Like she starts as prisoner wearing like a shift or something that makes her look weak and helpless and then she works up to the metal element and then the full armor to  complete her leadership transformation. It would have given her a character development without really developing her as a character. But no, we  have  believe that Ravenna gave a prisoner nice and rather warm looking clothing.

Also why didn’t Ravenna ever consume Snow White’s youth prior to the events of the movie? I mean when she ate girls’ outer beauty they were still alive just old looking, apparently to the screenwriter old women aren’t beautiful, jerk-off. I mean she could have gotten Snow White’s beauty and then ate her heart when the magic gong told her about movie’s plot. I hate this movie, everyone is a dummy, there isn’t a REAL smart character in this film.

Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna  Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image picture image

Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna

Snow White & the Huntsman is a chaotic yet tedious mess of movie that wants to offer a kick-ass take charge Snow White but gives her no sense of character or interest. It’s no wonder that this movie’s advertisement went with the Evil queen as the marketable figure, though that is more because of the scandal of Stewart sleeping with the director than the movie but Ravenna is a the more interesting character.

Also how did the director of this movie gets to direct Ghost in the Shell? Gah, that makes me mad!

 

 

Time for Clues;
Clue 1 and Clue 2

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