Snow White, Some Dwarfs and A Million Pieces of Coal

It’s clear that Hollywood is pretty well tapped-out when it comes to new ideas.  Heaven forbid they consider coming to WordPress and looking for some fresh writing talent.  Instead, they’ve rehashed a fairy tale and added a generous batch of special effects to spice it up.   I know my loyal readers will point out that I recently did the same thing with the Three Little Pigs in my erotic opus, Forty Seven Shades of Pink.  In my defense, no one is paying me buckets of cash to write anything, original or otherwise, and I didn’t actually use any special effects except the pigs being able to dress themselves in lingerie.  Let’s face it, they could already talk and build houses so that’s not exactly a quantum leap in believability.

It’s all in the wrist: you swing your broadsword thusly and…Boom! Nothing but a pile of coal where the knight used to be. (Image from Hotnerdgirl.wordpress.com)

I don’t have too many clear memories of my early childhood, largely because it was a long damn time ago.  I’m told that my parents and grand parents read me fairy tales from time to time.  Though my memory is admittedly a tad vague until early puberty,  I’m pretty sure I would have recalled the part in Snow White wherein evil doers are sliced in half with swords and immediately turn into a million chunks of digital coal.  I certainly would not have forgotten a witch who looks like Charlize Theron, spins in the woods and turns into a swirling flock of ravens like some bad-trip, M.C. Escher print.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I haven’t actually seen the new Snow White movie, and I likely won’t.  I’ve seen the trailer a couple of times, and that’s more than enough for me.  The special effects certainly looked dazzling enough, but to be honest, when you’ve seen one evil henchman reduced to a scattered pile of black rocks, you’ve pretty much seen them all.

Fairest of them all?! I mean it’s really, really close! Hottest of them all? Well, yeah, it’s still realllllly close. Do I have to choose? Maybe we could get that guy out of the picture so I could focus?  Thanks, dude…why don’t you take 5 and go grab a coffee or a danish, I got this.  (Image from justjared.com)

Compared to most fairy tales, the traditional storyline of Snow White is not particularly reliant upon special effects.  There’s an evil witch with competition issues and a talking mirror.  The mirror tells her about a more beautiful woman, named Snow White (we’ll save the speculation about Hitler youth ideals for some other blog).  The wicked witch can’t deal with being the second fairest of them all.  She fails in putting a hit out on Snow White who escapes into the woods, eventually shacking up with seven miners who happen to be dwarfs.  The queen hunts her down and slips her a poison apple which puts Snow White in a coma.  Aside from the talking mirror, there’s absolutely no reason for special effects in the story.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen  talking mirrors on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond, in case you’re interested in getting one of your own.  Bear in mind, those sassy bitches are on the clearance rack for a reason.

The new movie, if the title is accurate, focuses more on the early part of the story and the huntsman’s role as failed hit-man.  Certainly there is room for the character to deal with the turmoil of his task.  Again, no real reason for additional special effects, unless the film makers decided to go with the miniature angel-huntsman on one shoulder and the little devil-huntsman on the other, but I didn’t see that in the trailer.  A quick consult with some blog writers and we might have had the angel-devil on the shoulders scene, but nooo, those big wheels out in Hollywood couldn’t be bothered.

See? We could put these on the Huntsman’s shoulders, or on the Queen’s. As long as these she-devils/angels aren’t fairer than Charlize. These two might not be tied for 4th, but they could make the top ten, depending upon the kingdom. (Image from reviews.partycity.com)

Obviously, Snow White as a story doesn’t really need special effects, gratuitous or not.  Another part of the problem is the special effects themselves.  With the advent of computer generated imagery, the wonder of special effects is no longer wondrous.  Once upon a time, movie-goers would speculate for days about “how’d they do that?”, scanning the edge of the screen for tell-tale silouettes of wire or looking for the zipper on the back of the Godzilla suit.  Today, we don’t even bother wondering how the magic happens.

I know how to use my computer like a typewriter to write these dopey blogs and to look at porn research online.  There are hundreds of thousands of twelve year olds people who can do so much more with a computer than me.  They can do things like make Spiderman swing from buildings or create dog-beasts from thin air to chase the last few Hunger Games contestants to the final fight scene.  Hell, computer experts can even see about getting me an upgrade on my airline tickets (though they can’t consistently get me an emergency exit row or bulkhead seat).  I would love to say how much I appreciate their facility with the keyboard and mousepad, but as long as Spidey doesn’t break up and freeze into a pixilated mess of red and blue, midswing, I don’t even notice their work.

Sorry Hollywood, adding a bunch of eye candy and razzle dazzle is no way to fool us into thinking we didn’t already know this story line since we were 4 years old.  Now when “Jack and Jill, Terror Hill” comes out, I may have to change my stance and go see it.  Rumor has it the scene where Jack breaks his crown is incredibly gruesome, plus we finally get to find out what a crown is.

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30 thoughts on “Snow White, Some Dwarfs and A Million Pieces of Coal

  1. A quick IMDB search shows that this is the 22nd version of a snow white movie, the first of which was from the 30’s, when Hollywood was first starting to run out of ideas.

  2. I’m not a fan of fairy tales, but I did actually see this movie, because it had a dark flair to it and seemed more intriguing than the usual yawn fest. It was pretty good, but a little long. Good special effects. As for who’s the fairest of them all? I have to disagree with you. It’s the brawny guy for sure. 🙂

  3. I’ve never heard of the huntsman referenced as a failed hitman before, which is entirely accurate. Is it bad that I would watch the movie if it was only about him?

    1. Hollywood! Are you listening?! Imagine you went to see a movie called, I dunno, “The Huntsman”, and forty-five minutes to an hour into it, you find out he’s THAT huntman! Holy Shit! I know this story!!…or I thought I did…

        1. My daughters both go see anything related to Twilight and Harry Potter. My youngest quotes Harry Potter like it’s scripture and then remembers that Dad hasn’t seen or read a single word of it. She looks at my blank stare with a mixture of sadness and contempt.

            1. I’m something of a pariah. No Potter, no Twilight, no Star Wars/Trek.

              As a rule, I tend to shy away from anything with characters named “Bumbledorf” or “Wookie” in them. I’m fussy that way.

                1. It’s amazing the drek we devoted spouses have to watch due to the whims of our significant others.

                  It’s not a two way street though. I have to sit through “The Big C” week after week, but if I turn on “Chasing Classic Cars” or “Wilfred” my wife just gets up and goes to bed.

  4. Hollywood is now producing movies to satisfy their dumb down audience. Again, it’s just proof that we live in the land of backward where ridiculous people are paid ridiculous amounts of money for nothing, while we sit home penniless with our brilliant ideas. Now there is plot for a movie…The People of Backward Land Unite

    1. It’s tough for sophisticated, witty intellectuals such as ourselves to accept that we live in a land of bottom-feeding chuckleheads.
      I remember as a child when someone told me that the number one show on TV was “The Love Boat”. At first I thought the person was being sarcastic, but eventually I realized that number one meant that the most people were watching it. The show sucked, ergo, most people have little if any taste, and I had to accept it.
      I understand now, that another name for “top rated” is “lowest common denominator”
      On the bright side, my younger brother works in editing and directing. He’s promised to get my “lemon-scented garbage” post into the hands of someone at some cable network. I’m assuming the person will be a janitor and they will put it in the circular file, but still, I’ll have made it in the door.

    2. Yeah! I totally agree! Any one of us could come up with something better.

      By the way, when are we all going to get paid for this blogging crap we churn out day after day? I sweat blood for my blog and I get bupkis.

  5. Yeah, there’s no way they can drop the “Dwarfs” from the title and that would make me more interested in the movie. The title change just isn’t a good trade off: I’ve never personally traded dwarfs, but if I did, I would absolutely go for more than one lousy huntsman. For the record, I would trade seven dwarfs for three pigs in lingerie.

  6. Looks like your observations got plenty of feedback. I saw the movie and all I can say is that I came close to a yawn. Interesting, yes… sort of. But, you are right about special effects. It seems that that is all that hollywood is good at doing. Where is the story? pathos angst and ya ya.

    1. I didnt see it, but I felt like I could guess what it would be like. While I don’t think the angel/devil on the shoulders would have been very original, I’m sure they could have done more. It seems that Hollywood spends huge money on actors, atresses, directors, special effect and promotion, and drops spare change on writers.

  7. I just saw The Avengers and it was chock-full of special effects. My husband was on cloud nine. (I actually liked the movie a little and I am a huge critic of most movies) But you’re right, you’ve seen one alien freak get blasted into bits, or the entire world blow up in flaming Armageddon and you’ve seen them all. It’s the same ol’, same ol’ and people LOVE it.

  8. “Bear in mind, those sassy bitches are on the clearance rack for a reason.”

    Oh crud, you really got me with that line! I’m so with you. My spirit was worn down by the 8,000 previews I saw for this movie, and I really thought I was missing something (re: the original story).

    1. Actually, the trailer for that Snow White was the one I referred to in an earlier post (“The Things You Don’t Do For Love”). In truth, it did look better than what I was going to see, but that was because that movie stunk to high heaven.

      I think that we increasingly live in a Twitter culture, where people can’t be counted on to like much of anything which requires more than 5 minutes of their time (I know, slow readers on Twitter, right?)

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