Snow White and the Huntsman Review by Buffy Kennedy

Snow White and the Huntsman Review

by Buffy Kennedy

After seeing the trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman, I was eager to go out and see it!  It helped that I’m a Chris Hemsworth groupie…I had debated whether or not it was worth seeing because I was worried about Kristen Stewart’s potential and how on Earth they were going to make her prettier and more desirable than Charlize Theron.  Seeing an opportunity to review it for y’all, I jumped at the excuse to go see it, even if it meant seeing it alone.

Now, where to start?!  My first impression as the movie began was only one word: eerie.  That impression continued through many parts of the movie.  The magic mirror in particular was another decidedly eerie element.  The way it came off the wall and stood there draped in gold was oh so weird.

However, that’s not even the weirdest part.  The dark forest is creeptastic, and I think there were pools of sludge that poofed up clouds of LSD because when inhaled, the victim started getting wicked hallucinations.  In contrast though, the woods that the dwarves lead her and the huntsman into are so peaceful and bright and whimsical.

There’s a lot of magic in the world created, and yeah that’s to be expected, but it still requires a great deal of “suspension of disbelief”.  I’m usually pretty good at that, but there were times that I had trouble during this particular 2 hours.  Maybe it’s just that Kristen is so branded as Bella and that character that it’s hard to really grasp her as any other role, but it just wasn’t consistently plausible.  It doesn’t help that there are similarities in that she’s pretty helpless for most of the movie, annoyingly so!

Here’s a pretty basic rundown of my take on all the characters and beasties:  The Queen was extremely beautiful, even as psychotic as she was; the dwarves were hilarious and probably one of my favorite elements in the movie; the troll is boss, before being reduced to nothing more than an angry puppy; the fairies were adorable and very pixie-like in appearance; Snow White is fairly worthless and whiny until the very end (and I have to admit KS does step up and actually give a decent speech, and occasionally sheds tears, holy crap!); and the huntsman (my CH =D) is pretty badass and sexy, even when covered in mud, and OMG the accent…

Sure there were little things that bugged the crap out of me, such as the queen’s frequent screaming, the fact that Snow’s costume kept coming off her shoulders occasionally when it’s obvious there’s no reason it should (except to take an opportunity to show a little gratuitous skin on her bare shoulders), the battle sequences seeming a little frantic, and the fact that the huntsman is old enough to have been married and widowed while Snow White JUST turned 18 (talk about barely legal…just sayin’), but overall it’s really not a bad movie.  I’m not saying it’s in my favorites, but I can’t call it bad.  For one, I’m a music person, and I fully believe that music can make or break a movie (such as the awful music in Watchmen *shudder*).  SW&tH had great music!  I ran home and got the soundtrack.  I suppose it’s even more important to note that the cinematography in this movie is magnificent.  The makeup, the special effects, it was just superb.

I am cutting back on my movie owning, but this one definitely sticks out in my mind enough for me to debate getting it when it releases to DVD.  And on that note, I shall simply leave you with a little piece of yum…damn he can protect me any day!


I’m a stay home wife working on writing a book (or three). I have a passion for reading, especially romances, so I always have a book or e-reader with me. When I’m not working on writing my own books, I’m writing reviews on many of the books I read, and I do so for several blogs. I got started from a friend’s nudge in the right direction as a way to improve my writing, find new books, and meet people. It’s worked wonders on all fronts! Anyway, the bottom line about me is that I have a wicked sweet tooth, an obsession with books in general, a music addiction, and a dream to join the ranks of published authors. –Buffy Kennedy

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#17: Once Upon A Time

Our last Fae Awareness 2012 watching party is for another TV series, Once Upon a Time. Take it away…

#16: Snow White and the Huntsman

And now for one released, oh, a few weeks ago. Still in theaters, too. Snow White and the Huntsman, the latest reimagining of a much-reimagined fairy tale hero.

Beastly Review by Sue Penkivech

Beastly Review
by Sue Penkivech

Director:  Daniel Barnz
Release date:  March 4, 2011
Rating:  PG-13
Running time:  86 minutes

 Beastly

When KV Taylor first approached me to review  Beastly, I was at first reluctant.  I’d loved the book when I read it last year, and was concerned that the movie version, starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens (who I’d hated throughout my daughters’ million viewings of High School Musical), would be disappointing at best.

I was both amazed and excited to discover just how wrong I’d been.

The movie begins with Kyle Kingson (played by Alex Pettyfer) campaigning for the presidency of a committee about which he admittedly cares nothing, but thinks will look good on his college applications.  At this point, I was prepared to write off the movie – Kyle’s speech about how it’s more important to look good than to have substance was off-putting and more than a little heavy handed.  But I persevered, and was glad that I did.

Enter Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), a pale, fae-like high schooler, who first defaces Kyle’s campaign  posters and then disputes his points, observing that Lindy (Vanessa Hudgeons) would’ve been a far superior president but instead ran for Treasurer because she didn’t believe she stood a chance in the popularity contest.  Why?  Granted, Lindy’s a scholarship student, but she meets Kyle’s superficial criteria – she’s certainly beautiful.   In any case, Lindy denies either knowing Kendra or any interest in the presidency.  Case closed, and Kyle goes home to be ignored by his image-obsessed anchorman father.

Unfortunately, Kyle decides to get even with Kendra, apologizing for his attitude and inviting her to a formal dance.  At first, it’s unclear as to why.  At the dance, Kyle’s rebuked by his girlfriend for having bought the wrong type of corsage, offers it instead to Lindy when he congratulates her on winning the Treasurer position, and has his picture taken with Lindy for the school paper.  But Kyle’s motivations become clear when Kendra arrives and he publically humiliates her – and she curses him to find out just what it means to be ugly.  By the time Kyle returns home, he’s learned; he looks like a bald, veiny, tattooed, punk rock version of his formerly clean-cut self, and Kendra’s voice explains that he will look like that forever, unless he can find someone who will say she loves him before a year is out.

(Personally, at that point I had to wonder why he just didn’t add a few piercings, find some girl at a bar, tell her that he was the lead singer in a band, and promise to put her in his next video.  It seemed as if it would’ve saved everyone a lot of trouble.  But I’m a cynic at times.)

The next parts of the movie closely follow the Beauty and the Beast story, with modern day modifications.  Kyle’s father moves him into another house, to be cared for by their housekeeper Zola (LisaGay Hamilton) until they can figure out what to do.  He hires him a tutor as well, a blind man named Will (Neil Patrick Harris), who isn’t afraid to tell Kyle exactly what he thinks of him and his attitude.

Kyle encounters Lindy again when he drug-addict father falls afoul of drug dealer and shoots one – and makes him a deal.  He’ll keep quiet about the shooting, and take Lindy and keep her safe.  Lindy’s fathert father agrees, and Lindy very reluctantly moves into the house of her father’s “old friend” for her own protection.

And, of course, Kyle (who Lindy now knows as Hunter) learns to care.  He worries about Zola’s family, whom she hasn’t seen in years, and the loss of Will’s sight.  And about Lindy, who gradually warms towards him, never realizing he’s the same guy she’d known at school (who she admits to him that she was interested in, before he suddenly “disappeared”).

All seems well, until Lindy’s father overdoses.  Kyle, while realizing that the year is nearly over, insists that she go to him – and that she go to Manchu Picchu, a trip she’d been saving for and looking forward to for years.  He gives her a long love letter as a parting gift, then regrets it when, before reading it, she tells him that she considers him a good friend.  Heartbroken, he ignores her calls until Will and Zola prompt him to go and see her off at the airport.  Where, in true fairy tale form, she tells him she loves him.  And leaves.

But the curse is broken.  As a bonus from Kendra, Zola’s children get their green cards and Will’s sight is restored.  In a nice twist, when Lindy returns, Kyle goes to meet her – but she blows him off, because she’s looking for Hunter.  Only when she calls Hunter and Kyle’s phone rings does she realize the truth.  Scenes shown during the credits depict their life together after high school – where they’re very obviously living happily ever after.

There are several notable differences between the movie and the book.  The first is the most obvious – while Kyle’s appearance in the movie is certainly odd, he’s definitely no “beast” – no fur or claws, just a lot of veins, scars, and tattoos.   Zola, in the book, was actually Kendra in disguise, there to watch over Kyle in the hopes that he’d learn his lesson.  By comparison, I rather liked that Zola was a character in her own right, who just legitimately cared about Kyle despite his initially horrible attitude toward her.  And finally, the end of the movie shows Kendra at Kyle’s father’s station, having just been hired as his new intern and suggesting that he was her next target.  It would have been interesting to see in the ending credits just what had happened there.

In any case, the movie was spectacular, with a great soundtrack that was exactly what you wouldn’t expect in a fantasy film, but which fit it perfectly nonetheless.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Sue Penkivech is a substitute paraeducator, a former school librarian, and an aspiring writer.  Her work has been published in Spec the Halls: 2011 EditionBarren WorldsFantastic Pulp Magazine, and the recently released Eighth Day Genesis: A Worldbuilding Codex.  She’s prone to rambling on about what she’s reading to anyone who’ll listen – which might be why she has so much time to read!  Visit her on the web at suepenkivech.wordpress.com!

#15: Beastly

Rich, good-looking, and popular, huh buddy? Welcome to Beastly, today’s movie, based on Alex Flinn’s book.

Spirited Away Review by Alexandra Seidel

Spirited Away
Reviewed by Alexandra Seidel

Spirited Away is an Oscar-winning production from Studio Ghibli, written and directed by Miyazaki Hayao. It was released in 2001 and shall be reviewed here, as spoiler-free as possible.

Spirited Away is a classical to-Fairyland-and-back adventure. All the elements we love so well are there: bravery, friendship, shape-changing, and the discovery of the main character’s inner strength (that was just sitting there, ready to be discovered all the time). There is of course also a little bitterness in this, for those who visit Fairyland will eventually have to go home again.

The main character is Chihiro, a young girl (on a personal note, seeing a strong female main character makes me just love this anime that much more). She gets inadvertently pulled into the fairy realm (not European Fairyland, this is the home of the Japanese gods and spirits) where she works hard to save her parents who foolishly ate fairy food and got turned into pigs as a result.

Now, Spirited Away is full of all these little details that we know and fervently love from myth and folktale. For example, we will find the evil witch/good witch dichotomy here that so many fairy tales contain, the magic of one’s own name, the trials of the hero, and how she always finds her own creative ways to come through in the end.

Chihiro and No-Face

Spirited Away combines these well-known elements with its very own visual flair. Settings and characters are created with love and great care for detail. The bathhouse Chihiro finds herself in would just be highest on my list of places to visit if I ever got the chance to travel to Fairyland.

To summarize, Spirited Away is a lovely tale, something that you can watch as a child, and then re-watch as you grow older just to see new things in it every single time. This anime is just like a good book that way, and really, that should be saying everything.


Alexandra Seidel is a Rhysling nominated poet, writer, and editor. She has a powerful affection for the unreal and strange, the weird, the wicked, and naturally, the beautiful. She loves speculative writing because all these things come together there with the power to create universes. Oh, she also likes tigers, who doesn’t.

Alexa’s work has appeared in Jabberwocky, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, and elsewhere. Her first book, “All Our Dark Lovers,” is forthcoming in 2013 from Morrigan Books. She is the poetry editor for Niteblade and the managing editor of Fantastique Unfettered. You can read her blog (which she really tries to update once or twice a month) at  www.tigerinthematchstickbox.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @Alexa_Seidel.

#14: Black Swan

The latest riff on the Swan Lake theme, last year’s much-talked-of Black Swan.

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