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Hansel and Gretel harmless fun, but not for kids

Paul Peterson

There are times when you hear a title and it just sounds like a sure fire hit. I remember the first time I heard someone utter the phrase “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle”. I was blown away. Brilliant.

I had a similar experience when I heard there was a series of films coming out with titles like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Cool right?
Great titles.
Regrettably, Abraham Lincoln was terrible. Way too violent and just didn’t capture my imagination. For the record, these aren’t the same movies. Just part of someone’s brainchild – different director, different writer, better movie. I don’t know how they got Jeremy Renner to star in this given that he’s “it” right now. My guess is that  they locked him up before it became law in Hollywood that every action film had to have a Renner sighting. Mission Impossible, Avengers, Bourne.
Further research proves that’s exactly what happened. Originally, this film was scheduled to be released in December of 2011 but the studio kept rescheduling and in fact, cutting the heart out of it, in favor of a more kid friendly version.
Here’s the thing.
It’s fun.
It’s not terribly violent.
The witches are pretty scary. In fact, the witches are great, and dark and nasty.
Our story so far.
Hansel and Gretel have lost their parents and are on a tear through the forest for Revenge? Redemption? Candy? It’s not clear.
What I know is this is a lot of fun. It’s not a great movie and it may even be hard to sell it as good. But Tommy Wirkola, who helmed this huge gory cult hit with Dead Snow about Nazi zombies (before zombies were au courant) has a way with exploding heads.
Its hard to believe this is the toned down version of this. There’s a lot of guts and gore. The story is actually pretty good.
The witches are black witches and need the heart of a white witch for immortality. Well, as it turns out.  wouldn’t you know…
Spoiler alert: I’m about to reveal one of only two plot points that have any relevance in the movie.
Well, never mind.
Let’s just say that there’s more to her than meets the eye.
It’s only 90 minutes and while critics have almost universally panned this film, I thought it was fun.
Gemma Arterton, who plays Gretel, is sexy and fun and owns the screen.
Renner seems to understand just how goofy this role is compared to where he’s been, or in this case going to go, and I just like him as an actor.
Look, the story is 200 years old, it’s been made into a film at least four times and there’s already another one in the works.
Just have fun. Not really kid friendly. I wouldn’t recommend for the under 8 crowd or anyone who understands string theory physics.
For the rest of us, game on.. Hansel and Gretel is harmless fun and helps beat the February blahs.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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