Saturday, March 16, 2013

Gloom and Snow 

For the second day in a row, I awoke to a ringing phone. The Acme wanted me to stay late, until 10. Someone called out sick. I wasn't happy about it, but I said 9:30. I know, I know, I should be taking all the hours I can. That would be a lot easier if I were used to working 40 hours. I usually work between 20 and 30 hours a week. I really wish they could be more consistent. It would be a lot easier on my legs and knees.

I spent the rest of the morning watching Snow White and the Huntsman. This was the other version of the original Snow White fairy tale that came out last year. The only things it has in common with Mirror Mirror are the bare outlines of the story and a stronger Snow White than usually seen in fairy tale adaptations. Here, the evil queen (Charlize Theron) is a beautiful sorceress who was found by a grieving king after he and his men slew an army made entirely of black stones. He's so bewitched by her loveliness that he marries her right away...but she kills him, takes over his kingdom, and imprisons  his daughter Snow White (Kristin Stewart) in a tower. Snow is horrified to discover that her stepmother is bringing young women in from the local villages and draining them of their youth in order to retain her beauty. She escapes from the castle, getting lost in the Dark Forest. The queen sends a drunk huntsman (Chris Helmsforth) to fetch Snow White...but he just can't do it. He can't let the queen take her heart and innocence. They band together with a group of dwarves (lead by Bob Hoskins) and Snow White's childhood friend Duke William (Sam Clafin) to convince William's father to lead a rebellion against the wicked Ravenna.

Not bad at all. Better than I thought it would be, actually. Stewart's a decent actress when she's not pining over sparkling vampires, and she does nicely here. The men don't come off quite as well. Helmsforth is too stiff for a roguish hunter; Clafin doesn't get enough to do. The dwarves don't turn up much, either, considering the emphasis on them in most versions of Snow White.

Once again, the Evil Queen steals the show. Theron relishes the chance to play a villain and goes to town as a woman who has been scorned by one too many men...and now just wants to continue taking beauty and power for as long as possible. The other stand out is the amazing, Oscar-nominated costume design. Theron in particular wears some awesome medieval get-ups, but everyone has at least one eye-catching outfit.

Definitely too gloomy and gruesome for anyone under the age of 13. This is a very dark fairy tale, with lots of fantasy violence and frightening imagery. It's also sags a bit in the middle, when Snow White is in the forest with the dwarves. For teens and adults who enjoy darker takes on fantasy, this is worth seeing at least once.

I switched to a couple of Hello Kitty fairy-tale shorts while making Chocolate Chip Cocoa Muffins to go with my bean soup leftovers lunch. Grinder is her only protector in "Snow White and the One Dwarf;" Chip the Seal is a far more cowardly huntsman. My Melody and her crystal ball replace the magic mirror. Kitty is the sweet beauty in "Kitty and the Beast." Catnip, for once, isn't the main villain, just Kitty's bratty sister. Catnip's mother Fangora is the villain here, a wicked witch who has turned Prince Sam (Tuxedo Sam the Penguin) into a beast.

The weather was almost as glum today as it was in Ravenna's kingdom. It was cloudy all day. It actually snowed this morning, but was long done by the time I finally headed to work. Work was crazy-busy up until about 7:30. After that, it died so fast and so much, I wondered why they even bothered keeping me late. I had no problems getting in and out.

Found out why it had quieted down so quickly when I got out and discovered a fine, soft mist falling around me. It must have snowed earlier in the evening; there was a very light dusting of slushy flakes on my porch when I got in.

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