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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN Blu-ray/ DVD combo Steelbook

Review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  128 minutes (theatrical)/ 132 minutes (extended), audio commentary, featurettes, 360 degree set tours, trailers, digital copy, DVD

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 DVS, French 5.1 DTS, Spanish 5.1 DTS

AUDIO (DVD):  English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1, Spanish 5.1 DD

Subtitles:  English SDH, French, Spanish


STUDIO:  Universal Pictures/ Roth Films

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  6-1-2012

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE:  9-11-2012


SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN is a beautiful gothic visual fantasy.   Ravenna and the huntsman are the two most developed characters in the film.  You feel the most for the tragic turns each of their lives took while William (the boy that was separated from Snow White) and Snow White are less fleshed out.  William and Snow White feel more like distant untouchable characters- you never quite feel connected to either of them.  Meanwhile, I cared more for the hate Ravenna feels for men as her heart was turned cold by the men who took advantage of her as she destroys all men and becomes obsessed with staying beautiful (and in fear of the fairest blood will break the spell).   Also the mirror she talks to could be just a delusion- a madness brought on by her cold heart.   A scene hints that she is the only one who can see the figure that comes from the golden mirror.   She is also given an evil and faithful brother whose past is interweaved with the story of the other characters.    The brother is one of the bad guys you love to hate. 


SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN is more interested in the visuals, the battles, and the tragic things that happen to people than developing Snow White into a heroine you can love.  She is more of a symbol than a person- someone so remote that you can hardly are given someone to care for.   The writers and the director should have developed Snow White more into a person you can care for instead of a character who has bad things happen to her and bad things happen around her.  She is a symbol that people look to for hope to bring light to destroy the darkness of Ravenna’s empire.


The film begins with Snow White being born and giving a quick tale of how she lost her mother and then her father (who was murdered after marrying Ravenna).    The film switches to years later with Snow as a prisoner and she escapes with the first chance she is given.  She wanders into the Dark Forest and soon Ravenna hires the Huntsman (with the promise of bringing his dead wife back to life- a MacGuffian that lasts less than 15 minutes and it leads to a rather unexciting journey to the Duke’s castle except the usual being chased by the bad guys bits).  Snow is supposed to be pure of heart only to have a character who feels like a cold fish and Ravenna has more emotion than Snow in this entire movie.   One reviewer of this movie noted they should have made the movie more about Ravenna and I agree.  


On a second viewing, I find the movie does flow do to the other characters around Snow White and how they react to her.  I couldn’t tell any difference in what the four minutes added to the movie for the extended version upon viewing, but the audio commentary points out what scenes are in the extended version only.



Audio commentary with Director Rupert Sanders, Visual Effects Supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, and Co-Editor Neil Smith


A NEW LEGEND IS BORN- Making-of featurette that begins with cast and crew praising Director Rupert Sanders and going into casting, production design, costumes, and music (the music changed from their original ideas to make it more orcheastral).

REINVENTINNG THE FAIRYTALE- how the film came to made from the script and the three minute visual poem that the director did on a shoestring budget to show Universal what he could do with the movie (they gave the movie a green light after seeing Rupert Sander’s short video).   The video is featured, but I wish they included an option to view it without the interviews interrupting and/or cutting away from it.


CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM- various featurettes include FAIREST OF THEM ALL: SNOW WHITE, DELICIOUSLY EVIL: QUEEN RAVENNA, THE HUNTSMAN, and MOTLEY CREW: THE DWARVES.   They have interviews with cast and crew as Charlize Theron says the costumes made her get into character for Ravenna and see the various tricks to capture tall actors as dwarves (platforms that actors walk on and stand-ins with latex masks for the faraway shots).


THE MAGIC OF SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN- a look at the various CGI visual effects and green screen work for the film


AROUND THE KINGDOM is a 360 degree set tour based on photos taken on the set during the production.   The director introduces each tour with a short video and you can take a tour around two castle sets, the village, and two major sets for Ravenna (the throne room and the mirror chamber).   If you click on certain parts of each set menu, you gain access to mini-featurette relating to that set.


Also included in the Steelbook case set (the steelbook is exclusive to Best Buy) is the DVD of the film (which has trailers, the audio commentary, and the A NEW LEGEND IS BORN featurette as the only extras), and a code for a digital Ultraviolet copy that expires in 2017 if it isn’t redeemed.


FINAL ANALYSIS:  Despite the character of Snow White not being cast with the best choice, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN works as a gothic fantasy action adventure film.  The extras are a detailed look at the making of the movie.


This review is (c)9-14-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com