Probably looked good on paper. A “grown-up” retelling of Snow White, featuring the stars of THE TWILIGHT SAGA and THOR, with additional star-power in the casting of the wicked queen and the seven dwarfs and a lush, stylish mounting courtesy of the director of many, visually innovative commercials, here making his feature film debut — what could go wrong? Well, forgetting to put the term “entertaining” into the precis for SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN may have been the first problem. Ripping off concepts from far better films such as NEVERENDING STORY and TIME BANDITS for no particular reason certainly didn’t help.
Come join Cinefantastique Online‘s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they discuss how one film manages to confound not only the talents of the easily susceptible, such as headliners Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, but also such seasoned performers as Charlize Theron, Ian McShane, and Bob Hoskins. Then: Steve gives his capsule review of the satiric gore-fest PIRANHA 3DD, and Dan weighs in on the animated adventure A CAT IN PARIS. Plus: What’s coming to theaters.
Here’s something new to me— a trailer for a trailer. This is for the much-anticipated PROMETHEUS, 20th Century Fox’s semi-prequel to the ALEIN films.
Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green
Directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof.
Due in theaters June 8th.
According to The Hollywood Reporter , Charlize Theron (AEON FLUX) is in final negotiations to play one of the female leads in 20th Century Fox’s PROMETHEUS.
Noomi Rapace (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) is already signed for the other role in the Ridley Scott science fiction thriller, which began as a prequel to the ALIEN films.
Over at MTV, the also signed Michael Fassbender (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS) revealed (or at least re-confirmed) that some link to the ALIEN films does in fact remain, as seen in the video.
“There’s a definite sort of connecting vein, it’s just that, you know, you realize you’re part of something else, but yeah, it’s definitely in keeping with the old ones.
When I read it I was like, ‘Well, okay, another ALIEN. Where do you go with this idea?‘ And then I sort of read the script, and it’s new, yet it’s in keeping with the old traditions as well. But there’s a whole new revelation within this film.”
Rumor has it that one of the characters may be an android, and/or the first film’s deceased “Space Jockey’s” alien race or their technology will be involved.
Prometheus, we remember, was the titan who stole fire from the gods, and gave it to humans—a mixed blessing.
Anyone who has suffered through the feature film version of AEON FLUX can see why distributor Paramount Pictures kept it hidden from the press before releasing it. The film is a strange anomaly for a piece of 21st century cinema — it has the feel of an old drive-in flick from twenty or thirty years previous. At the time of its release in 2005, one would have expected something this cheesy to go direct-to-video — or at most to Showtime, on late at night.
There are a few good sets and a handful of special effects, but most of the film takes the approach of old-fashioned, low-budget sci-fi movies: find some campus or development with futuristic-looking architecture and film everything there, with a bare minimum of extras in costumes that are supposed to suggest the fashion sense of four hundred years hence.
It’s hard to imagine what Oscar-winner Charlize Theron saw in the material that made her want to sign on for this junk, but she and Pete Postlethwaite (who gets a couple minutes of screen time) stand out like slumming stars amidst the otherwise no-name cast. Which wouldn’t be so bad if Theron did a good job; unfortunately, she’s frightfully dull in the title role.
The visuals have all the stylistic flair of a Nike commercial — which is fine for a commercial, but doesn’t work as big screen entertainment. Worse, the overall tone is stolid in its attempt to feel serious, in spite of the script’s manifest absurdities. The story is the usual big-brother formula; to be fair, there are a handful of twists and developments that are reasonably surprising, but they raise as many questions as they answer, and it’s clear that the whole plot is just an excuse to string together a bunch of shoot-outs and fights showing off the prowess of the lead character.
The results are not effective, even on this lowest-common-denominator level. Theron is supposed to look really hot in her black leotards, and it’s supposed to be mega-cool seeing her kick ass; but in fact, she just looks skinny, not the least bit threatening. Perhaps there’s supposed to be some visual irony in seeing such an unimposing chick beating up well-armed guards, but the fight sequences are indifferently directed — lots of fast cutting to hide the absence of convincing action.
What this film needed was a director as kooky as Ken Russell — someone who would have realized that the whole movie was junk and taken an outrageously campy approach that might have made the results good for some cheap laughs. Instead, we get the worst kind of bad movie — one that’s not bad enough to be funny, just bad enough to be dull.
This film is based on an animated series created by Peter Chung, which originally aired on MTV’s “Liquid Television.”
Aeon Flux (2005). Directed byKaryn Kusama. Screenplay by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi, based on characters created by Peter Chung. Cast: Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo, Frances McDormand, Pete Postlethwaite, Amelia Warner.
Copyright 2005 Steve Biodrowski