December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

March 29, 2013

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

When it's over, there's plenty of action, but not much story. All blood and guts, but no substance. In this fairy tale twist, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have grown up to become bounty hunters. When they take on a job to rid a town of its witches and rescue the town's kidnapped children, they learn secrets about their past from an evil witch (Famke Janssen), who they must defeat. I like Renner and Arterton as actors, just not as Hansel and Gretel. With all the wannabe toughness from both its leading characters, the film simply feels fake. I was so looking forward to seeing this film, and afterwards, I felt deflated, disappointed by how hard it was trying to be tongue in cheek when all it really had to do was tell the story straight. The story allows for too much convenience. Everything happens in and around walking distance from the town the siblings are protecting. For example, Hansel and Gretel just happen to stumble upon their childhood home and the witch's house, the very candied house they were held captive as children. If the filmmakers are going to fracture the fairy tale, I think they should do it with some creativity, like diversifying the locations and authenticate the time and place with proper accents. Arterton is English, but completely lost her accent. I think her accent would have added more to her character. Renner is a solid actor, and he could easily have taken on a European accent. The role of the white witch, Mina (Pihla Viitala), is pointless, and could have easily been cut. And, the biggest fault to this film involves Gretel. (Spoiler alert) When Gretel finds out she is a white witch, the film should have shown how she harnesses her new found powers. This would have definitely taken the film to a new level. After all, if the filmmakers are going to tell us something as important as Gretel being a witch, they should allow the viewer to see her in action using witch powers. A battle between witches is something I would have liked to see. 

My rating: 2.5 out of 5


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