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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Snow White & the Huntsman


Starring: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth and Sam Claflin
Universal Pictures (UK)
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 12
Available 01 October 2012

Snow White is the princess of Tabor, daughter of King Magnus and Queen Eleanor. After his wife's death, King Magnus marries the beautiful Ravenna after rescuing her from the Dark Army. The king, blinded by her beauty is unaware that Ravenna is in fact a powerful sorceress and Ravenna kills King Magnus on their wedding night. Ravenna soon learns from her trusty Mirror, that Snow White is destined to destroy her once she comes of age, and enlists the help of the Huntsman, to kill her...

Snow White & the Huntsman is an interesting modern take on the old fairytale. The story starts with the young Snow White and how sorceress Ravenna (Charlize Theron) ends up worming her way into becoming the Queen and Snow White's step-mother, and imprisoning the young Snow White in the castle. Years later, Snow White (Kristen Stewart) escapes and flees to the Dark Forest and Queen Ravenna employs the service of a local Huntsman to track her down - with the promise that his dead wife will be resurrected and returned to him. The Huntsman ends up saving Snow White from the Queen's men, when he realises the Queen is evil. The also manage to accidentally recruit eight dwarfs into helping them on their quest to travel to Duke Hammond's castle to recruit an army to take down the evil queen.

This is director Rupert Sanders first major motion picture. His background is in beautiful, lavish advertisements and to be honest that shows here. Almost every scene is painstakingly crafted to be as pleasing to the eye as possible. But, thankfully, it's not just a visual feast, the tale has some interesting twists and incredible set pieces. This is an old fashioned family film that delivers something for everyone.

Also worthy of note is James Newton-Howard's beautiful score. Even in the triumphant moments, where most composers would have produced a loud, chest beating theme, Newton-Howard covers everything with a little melancholia - something that really helps to add another layer to the visuals.

There are two versions of the movie: Extended Edition (2 hr, 11 min, 33 sec) and Theatrical Version (2 hr, 07 min, 14 sec).

Extras include an audio commentary with director Rubert Sanders, visual effects supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and co-editor Neil Smith; U-Control (picture-in-picture features that are accessed while playing the movie); A New Legend is Born (20 min, 54 sec behind the scenes with interviews with cast and crew); Reinventing the Fairytale (6 min, 08 sec look at how the director's vision took shape. It also includes samples of the short he shot to illustrate his style to the studio); Citizens of the Kingdom (four featurettes that look at the main characters: Fairest of them all Snow White (5 min, 49 sec); Deliciously Evil: Queen Ravenna (5 min, 37 sec); The Huntsman (5 min, 05 sec); and Motley Crew: The Dwarves (6 min, 42 sec)).

The Magic of Snow White & the Huntsman (13 min, 24 sec looks at the effects for Mirror Man, The Dark Forest, The Troll, The Enchanted Forest and Dark Fairies); Around the Kingdom: 360° Set Tour (This is an interesting feature with a number of introductions from the director. It shows photos from five large sets (King Magnus' Castle, Village Near Castle Tabor, Duke Hammond's Castle Encampment; Queen Ravenna's Throne Room; and Queen Ravenna's Mirror Room) with an option to pan around the entire set or watch additional featurettes based on that set - including additional 360° photos from parts of that set).

Snow White & the Huntsman is a visual feast for the eyes, but also one that gives us three dimensional characters that the audience can truly believe in.


Darren Rea

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