Sports movies are awesome, aren’t they? Well, they are if they are done right. Why? Because everyone can relate sports to life in some way. That’s the beauty of Ron Howard’s new film, “Rush”, an exciting and in depth look at the competitive fire that burns in race car drivers.
If you are a race fan, you know how dangerous Formula One Racing is and just how crazy you have to be to do it. The year is 1976. Great Britain’s James Hunt and Germany’s Niki Lauda are two of the best drivers on the circuit. They hate each other, but they also respect each other. It’s that desire to out-drive the other, and to be the best that sparks the passion that fuels this race season and cements their rivalry as one of the greatest in sports. Continue reading Ron Howard celebrates rivalries in sports with brilliant ‘Rush’→
The only thing worse than remakes is dealing with multiple remakes of the same source material in the same calendar year. Okay, so “Snow White and the Huntsman” isn’t exactly a remake, per se. It’s a live action telling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, which just happened to be made famous by the 1937 Disney classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. Of course, there was the other version of the Snow White story just a few months ago, Mirror/Mirror.
In “Snow White and the Huntsman” we get a darker version starring that zombie chick from Twilight, Kristen Stewart; and Chris Hemsworth, who played Thor in “Marvel’s The Avengers”, as well as Charlize Theron (Prometheus). Let this be a lesson, that darker is not always better. The film looks cool. The effects are solid. But it’s kinda boring. Part of the problem is Stewart, who fails to make us believe that she is “fairer” than anyone.
It’s glaringly obvious from the get-go that Stewart has been miscast here. The entire movie we’re told the kingdom loves this girl because of her fiery spirit but we never really see it. As with every other movie K-Stew has been in, she is in full zombie mode, nearly sleep walking through every scene. It may have been more fun if someone like Mila Kunis was cast as Snow White. Kunis has proven adept at action and comedy and would certainly have had more chemistry with Thor than Stewart.
The good news is that Charlize Theron is amazing in this movie. She’s the only one who seems like she was allowed to have fun with her role. Even though her character gets a little muddled by a mid-movie attempt to make the audience feel sorry for her, she’s terrific from start to finish.
“Huntsman” also treads dangerously close to trying to be a new “Twilight” series for Kristen. No doubt Universal will go forward with a sequel and “SWATH” is left with an ambiguous ending that never settles which man, the Huntsman or the Prince, this girl will end up with.
There is so much going on in “Snow White and the Huntsman”, but it never slows down enough for you to care about any of it. A lot of things feel forced and wedged in to add depth but if there is not heart to begin with, it doesn’t matter how deep it goes. Blame Rupert Sanders for that, as this movie is his directorial debut. He seems very comfortable with making the movie look good– and it is beautiful– but never really knows what to do with these characters.
While the movies aren’t always perfect, Marvel seems to have it figured out. Audiences want consistency. It’s worked for the Harry Potter movies and now, Marvel Studios is working it on a whole new level that DC Comics just doesn’t seem to get. I checked out “THOR”– finally– this weekend. Coming into this summer, this was one of the movies that I thought could really suck it up. Thankfully, while it’s not exactly a thought provoker like, say– Inception– it entertains both as a movie and as a set up for next summer’s The Avengers.