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Lakeshore - [movies] Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-02-17 05:49
Subject: [movies] Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Security: Public
Tags:child, friends, movies, reviews
Yesterday afternoon, [info]the_child and I went with a friend to see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters imdb ]. This was mostly at the blog recommendation of the magnificent Howard Tayler. We were highly entertained by a movie so very bad that it transcended its own misbegotten tropes and acquired a weird magnificence. If Walt Disney and and Russ Meyer had been conjoined twins, and Quentin Tarantino their go-to director, this is the kind of fairy tale fare we would have seen from Big Mouse.

I'm not going to talk about Hansel & Gretel's contributions to the American cinematic oeuvre. The plot was linear but not quite running on rails, the cinematography was Matrix: Faux Medieval minus the Wachowski's incredible sense of design, the acting was competent (which was probably better than the script deserved), and Jeremy Renner was Jeremy Renner. But it was fun, in a sort of bloody-handed way.

It's perfectly possible to complain about the movie's gender politics and apparent position on female empowerment. There's more than a whiff of racial issues with respect to the troll character, though there's also a surprising redemption. The politics of the movie's rendition of Medieval Augsburg are sort of High Noon crossed with low cunning. And historicity got tossed in the same rubbish bin as continuity when they made this leather-clad, red-stained monster of a film.

On the plus side, the opening credits were worth the price of admission. The music was quite good. The running gags, including Renner's riffs on John McClane in stylish ahistorical drag, were funny to the point of inspired. The witch costuming and makeup, especially in the final scenes, were straight out of Hieronymus Bosch.

Did I mention it was fun? Sort of the way Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter was fun, but without that movie's nuanced treatment of historical issues and complex characters. Don't go unless you're prepared for blood on the walls and gingerbread house induced diabetes (really), but, man... We liked it.

Howard, I think you owe me one. Or maybe the other way around.

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Bruce E. Durocher II
User: bedii
Date: 2013-02-17 16:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I sort of wish that you'd read another blog post first, namely the Genevive Valentine review at http://glvalentine.livejournal.com/360927.html. I like Howard Taylor's stuff, but when it comes to film reviews Genevive Valentine rules.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-02-17 17:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
ZOMG that is a heck of a review.
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Bruce E. Durocher II
User: bedii
Date: 2013-02-17 18:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
ALL her reviews are first-rate: I spent a couple of days going through the backlog at her LJ. (There are usually more comments there than at her site, and they're good ones.). She also auctions off reviews for charity as well: you pick it and she'll review it, although if it's too scary she might have to do the review peeking through her fingers. She's got one up for grabs now--if I wasn't unemployed I'd put in a bid, perhaps for The Sargasso Manuscript.
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Julie, JulieInTheGreen, "Squire!": Renner-Thumbs Up
User: brickhousewench
Date: 2013-02-17 16:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Renner-Thumbs Up
On the plus side, the opening credits were worth the price of admission.

Agreed. The credits were brilliant. I went in expecting low-brow fun, and got a wee bit more than I expected.
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shelly_rae
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2013-02-17 18:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
H&G made me happy and that's pretty much what I was hoping for. Ridiculous, beautiful, silly, fun. They even were pushing 'steam punk' edges. I had a great time--with popcorn!
Last night I saw Beautiful Creature--Jeremy Irons! Emma Thompson! Southern gothic! Take B and go to a matinee. Few boyfriends ere ever so beset upon.
Anon
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Button
User: supersniffles
Date: 2013-02-17 20:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I went and saw it opening weekend, because I'm very fond of Jeremy Renner, and try to do my part to keep him employed as an actor.
I loved it. It was exactly what the pre-views had led me to expect. I've been asking people, "Did you like Van Helsing, with Hugh Jackman?" "Are you okay with exploding heads?" Yes to both? Go see it.
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tommycruises
User: tommy50702
Date: 2013-05-06 12:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This movie would have been better without the sister in it.
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Button
User: supersniffles
Date: 2013-05-07 08:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
But then we wouldn't have had the weird sexual tension!
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