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What We Know So Far: A prequel and sequel of sorts to Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), this film adds backstory to Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsmworth) and The Evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) from that story. The Queen has a sister called Feya, known as The Ice Queen, who was betrayed and fled the Kingdom to live in a far away palace where she raises an army of huntsman, including Eric and a warrior named Sara (Emily Blunt) who defy her one order to harden their hearts but instead all in love. When Feya learns that her sister has been defeated, she steals the magic mirror to resurrect Ravenna and combine powers to forever rule the land.
The Trailer: (Official #1)
Dan: “Winter is coming.” Erm, I mean Winter’s War is coming. This fantasy sequel takes the dark approach – not Game of Thrones “dark”, but this ain’t Disney neither. Charlize Theron returns as the vicious Queen. She’s paired up with two other Oscar calibre actresses Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt. Chris Hemsworth is along for the ride as the titular “Hunstman.” Thor doesn’t say much, he more or less throws axes at the screen like they were his mythical Marvel hammer. Hemsworth more or less reprises his role so this movie can rely on brand marketing, as they try to franchise the crap out of this concept. Wait, that’s too cynical. Let’s look at the positive. Refreshingly, this trailer is marketed towards women, with a ton of fantasy action and a couple of romantic scenes. Thor gets to kiss Chastain (with his shirt off McConaughey style) in his his acid flashback cave from Avengers 2. Seriously though, it’s great to see a big budget fantasy adventure with strong women leading the way. Chastain gets her Katniss on, throwing in a little Rebecca Ferguson from Rogue Nation. (How many times have we seen this sort of martial arts leap and twirl takedown with the legs?) We also get to see Theron and Blunt use all these crazy magical powers. Blunt features in an epic image, riding on top of a polar bear. The hyper stylized visuals are another big draw. There are also some inventive concepts in the sneak peek, like the chess-board crashed to pieces. The dark twist on a fairy tale, the talented cast, and Maleficant visuals could help make The Hunstman: Winter’s War a fun time at the movies.
David: Snow White and the Huntsman was a slightly uneven film that couldn’t find the right tone, that, while often looking good, was marred by a stoic, dull performance by a talented Kristen Stewart who was miscast. The film itself was inventive and very imaginative with some truly great visual and production design that kept it very watchable. Much was said about Theron’s role as the Evil Queen, though I was not as taken by it, seeing as a bit over-the-top. I did, however, like Hemsworth and I’m glad to see the sequel take on his side of the story. Of course, the question is, where is Snow White, and that is apparently answered by the on-set affair and subsequent scandal that occurred between her and the film’s married director Rupert Sanders. Neither are involved in this sequel, at least by publicized accounts. Personally, I had forgotten about the original and hearing about the trailer hadn’t really ignited any interest, but then, watching it and seeing the great cast, which includes Blunt, Jessica Chastain and Nick Frost, I got a little more onboard. The only concern really, as is for any of the re-imaginings of classic fairy tales, is that we know the endings already, though this looks like it has more opportunities for creative expansion and from this trailer, has a lot of potential.
Dan Says: With the wave of her hand, Blunt’s frozen warrior queen turns a lake into ice, startling a bear who was drinking at its edge. The entire forest is frozen in its place. Everything is on pause, even a howling wolf. Like the trailer says, “If it’s a fairy tale you’re hoping for, prepare yourself for a whole lot more.” Get ready for some imagination, freed from all reins. Moody music pulses through the set-up phase of the sneak preview. The music adds to the thick atmosphere and rich visuals. The overall look is amazing. I still love the imagery of Theron’s golden cloak. The fabric almost looks liquid, moving like waves on the ocean. The stylized cinematography makes this feel like a Brothers Grimm Chanel No.5 commercial. My Sneak Peek Moment comes when Theron’s Golden Queen screams out in rage. A horrific blackness oozes from her gaping maw, unleashing a magical force. A new song by Lorde kicks in on cue, paired with Theron’s burst of agony. The funky relaxed rhythm coats the imagery complimenting it beautifully. Perhaps this movie will be all style and no substance, but at least we’ll have all this twisted beauty, gnarled like the roots of a spooky forest, to stare at.
David Says: The trailer introduces The Ice Queen straight away, and Blunt looks great in the role, though I will comment that, much like how Theron does in the previous film and this one apparently, the speaking style is really off-putting with every sentence dolefully spoken and uttered as if trying to make an incantation with every phrase. It really strips away the necessary emotion, I think, each of the characters need. That said, my Sneak Peak Moment, like Dan’s, is of the Queen screaming, but not Ravenna. It’s Freya getting a little angry and flinging her arms out while a thick trail of ice pushes up and out of the floor heading straight for the camera. This hints at some fiery (icy?) rage and should serve as some power in the film. Blunt is one of my favorite actors working in film right now and she looks to dominate this cast. I’m thinking this one could be better than the original.