Saw two movies on Saturday. Snow White and the Huntsman and Men in Black 3. Snow White and the Huntsman Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron Writers: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Han**** and Hossein Amini (Based on the story Snow White by the Brothers Grimm) Director: Rupert Sanders Distributor: Universal Pictures. Fairy tales, you’ve all been told of them since childhood. You either read them or your parents told them to you to get you to go asleep. Then again, you probably watched a dozen Disney films based on various fairy tales though they’re sanitized when compared to their darker counterparts by the Grimm brothers. Either you, you no doubt know about the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Come on, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how the story went even if you haven’t read it. The Evil Queen wants Snow White dead because her beauty threatens hers. After running away to the forest, she comes across the seven dwarves, the queen tries to kill her with a poisonous apple, the queen dies and the handsome prince kisses Snow White and brings her back to life. Okay, I’ll be honest, I don’t know how the Grimm version went but the point is, you all no doubt know the story. Here’s a major difference concerning this film, the Huntsman is one of the protagonists this time and has a much larger role. The story is basically similar, Snow White is born into the world. Later on during her childhood, her mother had died and his father while battling an army, married who would soon be the evil queen Ravenna (played by Charlize Theron). She kills the king and takes over the kingdom. For a long time, she was considered the farest and most beautiful out of all the women in the land until one day, Snow White has taken her title. Snow White, now grown up (played by Kristen Stewart), escapes the kingdom after years of imprisonment. Outraged by her escape, she sends in a huntsman by the name of Eric (played by Chris Hemsworth) to kill her. However, he finds out she’s bound to betray him so he decides to help her. This movie was basically average. Nothing terrible but nothing really great. It kind of feels like “been there, done that.” But it had a huge amount of potential especially regarding the intention to make a dark fairy tale film especially one that aides in reflecting the original story by the Grimm brothers. The casting seemed great and the CGI effects looked very cool. In some ways, it accomplishes what it wanted to do and in some ways doesn’t. In terms of what worked, the actors seemed like they gave everything they got even Kristen Stweart who let’s face it, fared better in this film than the Twilight movies. So unlike Bella Swan, I tolerated Snow White in a lot of ways. Chris Hemsworth, again pretty good. Honestly, I did think I was basically seeing Thor as a drunk but at least that’s the only comparison I can make and like I said, he wasn’t bad. Charlize Theron made a pretty good villain. Characterwise, Spoiler I liked how she came to power with basically tricking a king and his army into fighting a fake army and when she was married, she kills the king and takes over as the sole ruler. Actingwise, while I felt some of yelling was tv movie quality but for the most part, she was impressive and made herself look quite threatning. The drawves themselves played by Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Johnny Harris, Nick Frost and Brian Gleeson were actually the best part of the movie. They were fun and they showed much they kicked ass. Every other actor was either fine or servicable. As for the CGI effects, they were very good save for one bad shapeshifting effect. But otherwise, they were impressive to look at, one in particular being a very brightly lit forest that seemed something straight out a novel illustration but with a Studio Ghibli influence, I was especially reminded of the Forest Spirit from Princess Mononoke when it came to one of the creatures. Not to mention the climax was well done and the first half of it felt pretty refreshing to see basically to see a CGI-less fight. As to what doesn’t work however is that it feels like it’s been done before, literally I guessed where the film was going and it shamlessly uses the old cliches in the book. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind cliches in fact even the best films and tv shows tend to use various cliches and I personally believe cliches can work if done right. However, I feel the film didn’t have an advantage and thus kind of feels tired as a result and that’s the major problem with the film. Not to mention at times, it tries to use big set pieces and special effects as a crutch which is normally not a good sign if they want to prevent the audience from loosing interest. Overall, it’s an okay film. If you like any of the actors or you’re very interested in seeing a darker take on a fairy tale, it wouldn’t hurt to recommend it. If you’re not and expect at least something interesting to come out of it, then I don’t think this film is for you. I give it a 6/10. Men in Black 3 Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement and Emma Thompson Writer: Etan Cohen (Based on the Malibu Comic created by Lowell Cunningham) Director: Barry Sonnenfeld Distributor: Columbia Pictures July 2nd, 1997. Once upon a time there was Science Fiction summer blockbuster film based on a comic book of the same name from the now-defunct Malibu Comics, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith about a highly secret organization that monitors alien activity on Earth, all while taking on the so-called intergalactic scum of the universe. And they do it in style too. Come July 3rd, 2002. A sequel was made, which was basically a rehash of the first film but taken up to eleven. Not all for the best mind you but it made money. 10 years later, we have Men in Black 3. The latest sequel in the Men in Black franchise after the ten year hiatus. By this time, the cartoon is cancelled, there are literally no more comics being published and the second film still sucked. And have ten years passed by enough for the filmmakers and the studio to make a decent film? Let’s start with the premise… Boris the Animal (played by Jemaine Clement) has escaped from a high tech prison on the moon to get revenge on Agent K (played by Tommy Lee Jones) by killing him in the past via time travel which he not only sucessfully does but in doing so unleashes an invasion from his race the Boglodites. It’s up to Agent J (played by Will Smith) to time travel to the past and teams up with a younger K (played by Josh Brolin) to prevent future Boris and present day Boris accomplishing their missions. That’s the gist of the entire film because there’s more to what was going on than what I wrote. In a nutshell, the film is a huge improvement over the second film. Finally, they made a sequel that was done right. What works the most is that the stakes were higher and time travel was a good way to ante up things a bit, if not more. The three leading actors did an excellent job portraying their characters. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith still have very good, if not great chemistry between each other. They were still a hoot to watch and honestly for me, it was great to see them again as if I met my old friends again. Josh Brolin was an excellent young Agent K. He looked the part and had the mannerisms and voice down, hard. He acted like his older counterpart and sold it big time. Jemaine Clement made a very threatning and very amusing villain. He felt like a threat and somebody you wouldn’t want to screw around with. And for some reason, I felt at times Jemaine was channeling Tim Curry, even attempting to emulate his mannerisms but there’s nothing wrong that, I think it made his performance more entertaining. The only problem I had with Emma Thompson as Agent O was just that her character was underutlizied even when it came to the younger O played by Alice Eve but both actresses performed their parts well and I looked forward to seeing them. The alien makeup and CGI effects are a step up from the second film’s. They didn’t feel lazy and uncreative. They were interesting to look at and were pretty creative at times. The film’s jokes worked pretty well for the most part and the pacing this time didn’t feel too short, it actually felt natural. As for what didn’t work, maybe some of the film’s jokes didn’t work well as it should and the first half did feel either kind of slow or kind of rushed but I can overlook those problems. Overall, it’s not perfect but the end result turned out very well. It didn’t feel like a rehash up to eleven, it was different from what the original had done and had utilized very creative concepts and designs for the aliens and vehicles. If you’re looking a decent film to watch this year besides The Avengers, this is for you especially you’re a fan of the Men in Black franchise or just science fiction, comedy and action in general. Or you happen to be a fan of Will Smith. If you prefer the original and still feel ripped off by the sequel and this particular one doesn’t look worth your time, you might not like it. I give it an 8/10.