Saturday, September 29, 2012

Movie Review For "The Hunger Games"

Directed by Gary Ross, The Hunger Games is an adaptation from the book of the same name written by Suzanne Collins. It is a breathtaking, heart racing film in which the characters are believable and easy to identify with. The music was written by James Newton Howard, the same composer that worked on Snow White and the Huntsman, Batman BeginsKing Kong (2005), Hidalgo, The Fugitive, Treasure Planet, and The Dark Knight. All of which those movies are known for their great musical scores and The Hunger Games is an awesome addition to that resume.  The role of Katniss Everdeen was played by Jennifer Lawrence and the role of Peeta Mellark was played by Josh Hutcherson. Together theses two relatively new actors are joined by Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman), Wes Bentley (Seneca Crane), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Lenny Kravits (Claudius Templesmith) and Donald Sutherland (President Snow). Together, this cast makes the film come to life in a way most people would think impossible but they work amazingly well with each other and truly bring the book that the movie is based on, come alive.

The movie starts off with an excerpt written in white on a black screen saying "From the Treaty of the Treason: In penance for their uprising, each district shall offer up a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18 at a public 'Reaping.' These Tributes shall be delivered to the custody of The Capitol. And then transferred to a public arena where they will Fight to the Death, until a lone victor remains. Henceforth and forevermore this pageant shall be known as The Hunger Games."
Caesar and Seneca discuss the Hunger Games

We then go to an interview between Caesar Flickerman (Tucci) and Seneca Crane (Bentley) where they discuss the origins of the Hunger Games and what it means for the country and their people. After Flickerman asks Crane what defines his personal signature as Gamemaker we immediately jump to District 12 where we hear a girl screaming as she wakes up from a nightmare.

Katniss comforts Prim after she wakes up from a nightmare

 She is calmed down by her older sister Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) who assures her that it was only a dream. Prim (played by Willow Shields) tells Katniss that in her dream "it was me." Katniss assures her that it won't be her since it is her first year and her name is only in there once. "They're not gonna pick you." Prim is still upset and asks Katniss to sing to her so that she might be able to get back to sleep however Katniss does not stay long and leaves to go and slip out of the district's boundaries and go hunting with her bow and arrows. She almost shoots a deer when she is startled and stopped by Gale (Hemsworth) her hunting friend.

Since he scared off her deer, Gale helps flush some birds out of the underbrush and Katniss shoots one. Then they see an odd silver airship flying over head and they run and hide under the brush so that they won't be seen. We jump to a woman in a magenta colored outfit carrying a parasol over her head. She obviously does not belong here with her very vibrant and outlandish outfit and makeup. Everyone else in this district is wearing pale colors that remind me of films i've seen of Nazi Concentration camps. This whole ordeal taking place also reminds me of that. There are other people from the Capitol around setting up a screen for the villagers to watch the Reaping and lights and fences and other things are being set up to go along with that.
We go back to Katniss and Gale in the forest where Gale is trying to convince Katniss to not watch the Hunger Games and that if they could convince everyone else to do so maybe they could stop it from happening. Then he suggests that they run off together and live in the woods away from society. Katniss refuses and reminds him of his brothers and her sister. Gale then pulls out a small loaf of white bread that Katniss can't believe is real. Then he wishes her a "Happy Hunger Games" and she replies with the normal response but affecting it with a British accent "and may the odds be ever in your favor." She then asks him how many times his name is entered into the reaping bowl and is surprised well more upset that surprised when her tells her that it's in 42 times.
Jump to Katniss selling the bird she shot in a dingy market for some yarn and then sees a Mockingjay pin which the seller just gives to Katniss for free.
Mockingjay Pin 

We go back to Katniss's house where Prim is dressed up to go to the reaping with her hair in two braids but her shirt isn't tucked in in the back and Katniss fixes it. She then goes and bathes before putting on one of her mother's dresses that she laid out for her. Her mother then braids her hair and helps her pin it up into a nice knot on the back of her head. Katniss then gives Prim the Mockingjay pin that she got at the market and promises her that as long as she has it she will be safe. Then they all hear the sound telling them to come out to the Reaping.
The Reaping
They are herded into be registered using blood as identification. Katniss holds Prim's hand. Prim starts to freak out when she sees that they are going to take some blood from her finger but Katniss calms her down and they make it to the table and are separated into their proper age groups so that Prim is with other 12 year olds and Katniss is with other 16 year olds. When everyone has been sorted and identified the woman in magenta Effie Trinket (Banks) comes up to the microphone and proceeds to show then the annual video of why the Hunger Games take place and what will happen. This video helps solidify what the writing at the beginning of the film really means. When it's over Effie goes over to the girls' bowl of names and picks out a card. She takes it to the microphone, opens it up and reads out the name, "Primrose Everdeen." This is Katniss's sister, Prim, and she is paralyzed by shock. Meanwhile, Prim starts to walk up to the stage while tucking in the back of her shirt which has come untucked again. She is walked towards the stage with 4 peacekeepers guarding her. Then Katniss unfreezes and runs toward her sister calling her name. She is stopped by other peacekeepers until she yells "I volunteer! I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!"
Katniss volunteers to take Prim's place in the Hunger Games

Katniss hugs Prim after volunteering for her in the Hunger Games
 The guards let her run to Prim where she tells her to go and find their mother and that she is sorry about leaving her. Prim won't leave and starts screaming no repeatedly as Gale comes forward and forcibly picks her up and takes her away while Prim continues to scream no in increasingly higher pitches. Katniss climbs onto the stage where Effie congratulates her for being the very first volunteer in District 12. She calls for the audience to give Katniss a round of applause. Not a single person does so. Instead they all kiss the 3 middle fingers on their hand and turn them towards Katniss. It is a sign of respect and significance and sadness. They all applaud what she has done by sacrificing herself to save her sister but they mourn losing her and this gesture says that to her. After the awkward pause from Effie clapping by herself and the people showing the gesture of respect to Katniss, Effie moves on to the boys bowl and pulls out the name "Peeta Mellark." Peeta (Hutcherson) is escorted up to the platform where he stands beside Katniss as they are announced the Tributes from District 12. Effie tells them to shake hands and we see Katniss and Peeta in a flashback for a moment on a very rainy night outside the bakery where he lives and works with his parents. Then we are back in the present and Katniss and Peeta shake hands. Then they are both escorted inside the Hall of Justice.
Katniss waits alone in a room for her sister and mother to come and bid her farewell. Prim is crying and Katniss promises her that she will try to win and Prim gives her the Mockingjay pin to keep her safe in a reverse role scenario opposite the one that took place at their house. Katniss tells her mother not to tune out like she did when dad died. She has to stay in the present to take care of Prim. Then the 3 minutes they were allotted were used up and they were escorted out of the building. She is alone in the room when all of a sudden Gale comes in to bid her farewell also. Katniss asks him to keep her family safe and please don't let them starve. Gale gives her a sort of pep talk assuring her that she can and will win the Hunger Games because she is smart and knows how to hunt. He is escorted out and Katniss is alone again.
Gale: "You're stronger than they are. You are."
Then we jump to Peeta, Effie and Katniss riding in a car towards the train station while Effie talks about how wonderful everything is Katniss tunes out and Effie's voice and comments become indistinct. They arrive at the station and get out of the car and into the silver train where there is tons of food, crystal dishes, silver/platinum decor and more very nice and expensive things. The train starts and off they go at 200 mph heading to the Capitol of Panem. Peeta and Katniss meet their mentor, Haymitch Abernathy (Harrelson) who is a drunk man who won the Hunger Games from District 12 many years ago. Katniss is not impressed with the man and barely talks to anyone on the first day. When she gets up in the morning she sees Haymitch and Peeta talking and comes over to investigate and demands to be told the advice he has shared with Peeta. He finally tells them that the best way to get sponsors so they can win is to get people to like them and that Katniss isn't off to a very good start. They reach the Capitol where they escorted to a facility in which they are bathed copiously and have leg/arm/any hair removed. Afterwards Katniss waits alone in a room for her stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), to come and help her get ready for the tribute parade that night.
Katniss and Peeta make quite an impression on the sponsors and the world by wearing costumes set on fire

Cinna's view of what she should wear tonight is different than past years and so when the tribute parade starts Katniss and Peeta find themselves dressed all in black with flaming wings on the back of their suits. They capture everyone's attention with these outfits and to make the picture even better they grab each other's hand and hold them intertwined up in the air for all to see. President Snow (Sutherland) welcomes them all to the Capitol and bids them a happy Hunger Games and "may the odds be ever in your favor."
President Snow welcomes the tributes
Haymitch and Effie meet Peeta and Katniss after the parade and escort them up to their home for the next 4 days on the 12th floor since they are from District 12. It is a very posh and decorated apartment with luxuries neither of them have every had before in their lives. The next morning they are taken to the training facility in the Capitol where they will be taught different means of fighting as well as multiple survival skills. They will be evaluated after the 3rd day and given a score on a scale of 1 to 12 with one being the worst and twelve being the best.
That evening they have dinner with Effie and Haymitch where they are both given more instructions and advice. Katniss tells Haymitch how strong Peeta is and he tells Haymitch that Katniss can shoot very well. So they both start arguing with each other when Peeta bursts out "I have no chance of winning! None! All right? It's true. Everybody knows it. (to Katniss) You know what my mother said? She said District 12 might finally have a winner. But she wasn't talking about me. She was talking about you." Peeta leaves the dinner table after that and Katniss goes back to her previous flashback where here are now more details. Apparently Katniss was weak with near starvation and Peeta gave her  some bread that not only kept her alive but her sister too.
Peeta about to throw bread to a weak Katniss

After that memory Katniss leaves the table as well. Then we are back at the training center where they continue to learn new things and practice older ones. We then go out to a scoreboard that is posting up the odds against each tribute. Haymitch is there and sees a boy's birthday party where the boy gets a play sword for a present and proceeds to "stab" his sister with it. We skip forward to dinner where Haymitch is advising them on what hey should do for their evaluation on the morrow. He gives them a final piece of advice "Make sure they remember you."
We jump forward where Katniss and Peeta are waiting for their turn to be evaluated. Katniss is called in and she picks up the bow announces her name and district then aims for a target body's head and misses. The judges laugh and pay no more attention to her even when she hits the bullseye on her second arrow. Katniss gets angry at their indifference and to get their attention she shoots an apple out of their roasted pig's mouth and then she says with a mocking bow "Thank you for your consideration." Then she walks out without being dismissed. We see Effie berating her while they wait for their scores to be announced but Haymitch comes in and tells her it was brilliant. Then the scores are announced. Peeta gets a good score of 8 and Katniss is given an 11, the highest rating of all the tributes.
Seneca: "What do you mean?" Snow: "I mean, why do you think we have a winner? ... Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear."
We jump to Seneca talking to Snow about the ratings and why they have a winner in the Hunger Games in Snow's rose garden.
Katniss's interview with Caesar
Then we are back in the dinning room for District 12 where everyone is except for Peeta. Haymitch comes in and starts talking to Katniss when she asks about Peeta and Haymitch tells her the he wishes to be trained alone from now on. We jump from Katniss's hurt facial expression to Caesar Flickerman's show where is is interviewing the tributes one by one live onstage. Since Katniss is from District 12 she will be next to last to be interviews and at first she is overcome with a little bit of stage fright and Flickerman has to repeat his question to her. But she gets through her interview with a little help from Cinna by showing the audience how her dress is on fire when she twirls. After her interview, Flickerman interviews Peeta about how he found the Capitol and if he has a special girl back home. Peeta says no but Flickerman presses him into admitting that there was a girl on whom he'd had a crush on forever but he didn't think she recognized him until the Reaping. Flickerman encourages Peeta by saying that when he wins the Hunger Games and returns home she will have to go out with him. Peeta shakes his head and replies "Thanks, but I don't think winning's gonna help me at all." Flickerman says "And why not?" Peeta answers, "Because she came here with me."
Scenes of Katniss and Peeta in a timeline from beginning of the film to its end
Back at the 12th floor the moment Katniss sees Peeta she shoves him against the wall and starts yelling him. Haymitch has to pull them apart and explain that Peeta did her a favor and then sends them both off to bed separately hoping that he can deliver them in one piece to the Arena the next day. Night falls and Katniss can't sleep so she gets up and wanders through the apartment towards the windows overlooking the city where Peeta is sitting. She apologizes for attacking him and they both talk about how the Capitol is toying with them and how to stop that from happening. Peeta then leaves to go to bed as does Katniss. Night turns into day and all the tributes are put into a plane with covered windows and flown to wherever the Arena is located. Katniss waits in a small room underground where Cinna is and he helps her put on her jacket and shows her where he has hidden the Mockingjay pin. He tells her goodbye and says "I'm not allowed to bet, but if I could I'd bet on you." He stays there as she enters a glass tube that immediately closes shut behind her and cuts off all sound. Soon she is rising out of the ground into the Arena where the 23 other tributes are arriving. They are all set on pedestals in a very large circle around a weird looking cornucopia surrounded by supplies and weapons that can help them all survive. Katniss sees the bow and arrows and despite Haymitch's instructions not to go for it it looks like she has decided to do so anyways. However, as she glances around the circle Peeta catches her eye and subtly shakes his head as if telling her not to go for the bow and to follow Haymitch's instructions to turn and run from the cornucopia, find high ground and water. This movement distracts her so that when the countdown is over she is not off her pedestal as soon as she would need to be if she were to get the bow. She sees the bloodbath of all the tributes fighting over supplies but she sees out of the corner of her eye, Peeta turning and running away just like she was told to do but she doesn't want to leave without something so she heads for the closest backpack and grabs it but is attacked by another tribute boy who suddenly goes limp when another tribute kills him by throwing a knife and Katniss is obviously the next target. She throws a knife at Katniss but Katniss blocks it with her backpack and the knife only gets stuck in the pack and Katniss runs into the surrounding woods where she soon collides with another young girl tribute and they stare at each other before the other girl runs away from Katniss. Katniss continues to run through the forest with the sounds of the fighting fading behind her. She pauses after awhile and looks through her backpack to see what she has. She has a lot of rope, an empty canteen, a coil of wire, a flat sleeping bag, some matches and the knife that got lodged in her backpack when the other girl threw it at her. While she is looking at the matches she hears a cannon go off marking the end of another tribute's life. Katniss counts them and there are 12 shots so out of the 24 tributes that started in the Arena, half of them are already dead. Katniss gets up and continues to hike through the forest and she finds water so she fills her canteen, sets a snare for catching an edible animal, then climbs a tree, ties herself to the tree with her rope and leans back to go to sleep when she hears a mechanical sound and it is of course a camera watching her.
The Gamemaker's Control Room at the very beginning of the Hunger Games
We go to the control room where the controllers are looking at Katniss's image on one of the screens. Seneca stands watch as they do this. Then a female worker shines a light on the edge of the screen surrounding the map of the Arena which plays the anthem of Panem and we go back to Katniss as she sees this list of all the tributes who have died. Peeta is not on the list. Katniss settles back to go to sleep when she hears another tribute nearby. This young girl tribute has started a fire very close to Katniss's tree. Katniss's face gives the "what an idiot" expression right before she hears the girl scream, a cannon go off and some other tributes laughing about killing the little girl. We go back to Caesar as he says, "Well, that makes 13 gone in the first 8 hours. (to his co-host) And Claudius, I think I see an alliance forming." We are back in the woods with Katniss overhearing the other tributes that are the ones making an alliance that Caesar is talking about coming closer to where Katniss is. They do not notice her since she is extremely high up in the tree and it is very dark but she sees them and is shocked and hurt when she sees Peeta is one of them and apparently he is helping the others find Katniss. She hears Cato (Alexander Ludwig) talking to Glimmer (Leven Rambin) and Glimmer is asking why they don't go ahead and kill Peeta and Cato says he's the best chance of finding "her." Katniss rightly assumes that they are referring to her and she also sees that Glimmer is the one who successfully retrieved the bow and arrows at the cornucopia at the beginning of the games. They move on and Katniss goes back to sleep. The next day we see her hiking along through the woods along the edge of a cliff. A worker in the control room tells Seneca that she is at least 2 kilometers from the nearest tribute and Seneca orders them to turn her around.
Katniss running from the forest fire

That night, high up in another tree, Katniss is awakened by a forest fire rapidly moving towards her she quickly unties herself and starts to run but the fire is faster and she is soon running in the midst of it doging this way and that to escape burning. Then the wall of fire starts throwing large fireballs at her which shatter whatever they hit, a tree, a boulder, and one of them injures Katniss in the leg and she has a very painful very severe burn on her upper right leg. She falls to the ground next to a large rock and is there only moments before she sees another fireball headed straight for her. She jumps up and runs until she reaches water where she gratefully falls into. Seneca tells the workers to prepare another cannon because she is discovered almost immediately by the alliance of tributes. While the tributes joke and laugh and stake the claim of killing her, Katniss gets out of the water and starts to run but she can't get far so she starts climbing a tree and the alliance catches up to her and Cato grabs his sword and starts climbing too which shouts of encouragement coming from all the tributes below except Peeta. Finally Cato grabs a rotten branch that breaks and he falls to the ground so Glimmer gets out her bow and shoots at Katniss but misses, then Cato grabs the bow and shoots and also misses Katniss who yells down, "Maybe you should throw the sword." Then Peeta suggests they wait her out. She has to come down sometime for food/water. They reluctantly agree and Cato tells someone to light a fire. Meanwhile, Katniss is in serious pain from her burn. She pours some water on it to clean it and manages to do so without screaming although she is in tears because of the pain but she does not cry out. Back at the Capitol, Haymitch sees this onscreen, takes pity on her and starts talking to sponsors who eventually send Katniss medicine for her leg which heals it almost immediately. She tells them thank you and goes back to sleep as do the tributes below her.

She wakes up before the other tributes and sees the small tribute girl from District 11, Rue (Amandla Stenberg), trying to get her attention. Rue points out a tracker jacker wasp nest about 7 feet above Katniss hanging out over where the alliance tributes are still sleeping. Rue uses gestures to tell Katniss to cut down the wasp nest so that it falls on the other tributes so that she can escape. We are pulled to Caesar who tells us that tracker jacker stings cause, "searing pain, powerful hallucinations, and in extreme cases, death." Back to Katniss who is preparing to cut down the nest to escape. She uses the serrated side of her knife to saw the limb that the nest is attached to off of the tree.
Katniss about to cut the tracker jacker nest off the tree

 She works fast hoping she won't get stung but she does by about 3 or 4 tracker jackers before the nest falls onto the other tributes and they are awakened by wasps stinging them. They scatter but Glimmer gets stung too much and passes out before she dies. Katniss makes it to the ground right as she starts hallucinating. She does manage to get the bow and arrows away from Glimmer's severely stung and swollen hands however she doesn't do anything from there until 3 Peetas who turn into one yell at her to get out of there. Katniss gets up and starts running but keeps falling down and eventually passes out. She has a hallucination regarding her father's death before she wakes up a few days later to find leaves all around her wrists and her neck where she was stung. The bow and it's quiver of arrows are leaning against a fallen log right by her. She looks up and notices someone watching her from behind a tree. It is Rue who Katniss promises not to hurt and they make a sort of alliance of their own. Rue used the leaves to help heal Katniss's stings while Katniss was passed out. So Katniss talks with Rue after she hunts something down for them to eat and cook. While they are eating she asks what's happened and Rue tells her that 2 tributes have died, Glimmer (from District 1) and the tribute boy from District 10. Katniss finds out that Peeta is still alive and Rue asks Katniss if their romance is real but Katniss side steps the question by asking what happened to Cato and the alliance. Rue says they are camped by the cornucopia beside a huge pyramid of supplies. That night Rue sleeps with Katniss high up in the trees. The next day they devise a plan to destroy the alliance's supplies. While Rue will set up a diversion Katniss will go to their camp and figure out how to destroy the supplies. They hug and while Rue is definitely scared she and Katniss devise a signal using Mockingjays to let the other person know that they are okay but are being held up. One last hug and the split up and we go with Katniss to the alliance's camp. She sees that there have been numerous holes dug and refilled around the pyramid of supplies which we hear Caesar say is a boobie trap. Suddenly, the tributes see smoke in a direction away from camp, decide to hunt down whoever it is and leave their camp guarded by only one young boy tribute holding a spear. While Katniss watches and tries to figure out what to do she sees Foxface (Jacqueline Emerson) sneak up to the pyramid in a bizarre way while the guard sees nothing. When Foxface runs off into the woods after stealing some of the supplies the guard is lured off after her. Katniss notices now that not only have holes been dug around the pyramid but they have also been dug around each pedestal that the tributes started on. Katniss figures out that the bombs under the pedestals have been dug up, reactivated and buried around the pyramid. She looks at the pyramid and sees a way to destroy it. She uses two arrows to shoot a bag of apples on the top of the pile until it splits and apples fall down around the pyramid onto the bombs.
Katniss successfully blows up the alliance's supplies 
This blows the supplies sky high into millions of pieces, nothing useable is left amidst the ashes. The alliance returns to camp and Cato kills the tribute who was suppose to be guarding them. Katniss leaves to look for Rue and sends out her Mockingjay signal. When she reaches the agreed on meeting spot, Rue is not there and Katniss hurriedly searches around trying to find her when she hears Rue screaming for her help. Katniss runs to find Rue trapped in a net. She uses her knife to cut the net so that Rue can get out and Rue gives Katniss a huge hug because she was so scared. Everything is fine for a moment until another boy tribute throws a spear at them and it pierces through Rue's stomach. Katniss's reaction to seeing the spear thrown is immediate and she shoots the boy with an arrow before turning to see Rue pull the spear out of her abdomen. She falls into Katniss's arms where she asks if Katniss blew up the supplies and she is glad that Katniss succeeded. She also tells Katniss that she "has to win." Rue then asks Katniss to sing to her and Katniss starts singing the same lullaby she sung to Prim at the beginning of the movie. When Rue dies, Katniss gently sets her body to the ground and gathers up a ton of wildflowers, mostly Queen Anne's Lace, and makes a bed of flowers for Rue to lie on before the gamemaker sends a hovercraft to pick up the body. Katniss finishes by placing a bouquet of Queen Anne's Lace into Rue's hands. She gets up and starts to leave but a few feet away from Rue she turns and kisses the 3 middle fingers of her right hand and gives the salute tothe cameras so that the people in Rue's district will see and know that Katniss is remembering them and is as upset as they are about Rue dying.
Katniss salutes Rue's district and the lullaby lyrics she sang to Rue as she died
As Katniss does this we are taken to District 11 where the people of the city watch Katniss give the salute onscreen and they all send back the same salute although Katniss does not see it. We see the man who must have been Rue's father start a rebellion against the peacekeepers in that District and he is joined by most everyone else in District 11.

We jump to the Capitol where Seneca rushes into the control room and sees Katniss onscreen crying. Then we are in a hallway where Haymitch is talking to Seneca telling him not to kill Katniss or he will make another martyr. He tells Seneca to give the people something to root for if he cannot stop them with fear. Seneca asks what that would be and Haymitch responds "young love." Next, we see Seneca talking to Snow in the rose garden about getting permission to do something regarding the rules for the Arena. Snow talks to him carefully hinting that he is straying away from the safe path and that while he likes Seneca he tells him to be careful of what he is doing as Gamemaker.
Snow and Seneca in the rose garden
We jump back to Katniss in the woods. She has stopped crying but is still sitting down with the "why should I continue doing this" air about her when the Gamemaker announces a change in the rules of the Hunger Games. He announces that "the rule requiring a single victor have been suspended. Two victors may be crowned if both originate from the same district." Katniss immediately says, "Peeta" and goes out to find him. She discoverers a blood trail on some rocks by a river she follows it and is discovered by Peeta grabbing her leg.

He was too well camouflaged for Katniss to see but now she helps him remove his camouflage and discovers that he is severely injured. He tries to tell Katniss to leave him but she won't let him get the words out of his mouth. She asks what happened to his leg and he told her that Cato gave him a sword cut. Katniss can tell that is not healing and he can't even walk without Katniss's help. She helps him into a nearby cave. She tells him that they'll have to get him some medicine but he tells her that he doesn't get many parachutes. She tells him they'll figure it out somehow nd gives him a kiss on the cheek. We jump back to District 12 to see that Gale is watching this happen on a screen as he does some work. His emotions are a bit difficult to tell but he seems a bit upset. Back to the cave in the woods. Peeta is asleep but Katniss hears the parachute beeping at them so she goes out carefully and finds it. She opens it to find a bowl of soup and a message from Haymitch that reads "You call that a kiss?" She brings the soup at Peeta and spoon feeds some of it into his mouth and reminds him that he once fed her by giving her the bread. Peeta talks about his long-time crush on her and after awhile he falls silent and eventually tells her to say something. Katniss says, "I'm not good at saying something." Peeta replies, "Then come here. Please." And Katniss lies down beside him with her head resting on his chest below his chin. A while later another annoucement is said by the gamemaker. He tells them that there will be a feast at the cornucopia at sunrise but it is no ordinary feast. Each of the tributes out there needs something badly and it will be at the feast for them to get. Katniss immediately knows that there will be medicine for Peeta there and starts to leave but Peeta begs her to stay. She won't listen until he asks her, "Why are you doing this?" Katniss looks in his eyes for a short time and then gives him a real kiss on the mouth. Jump to Gale's reaction to this in District 12. He looks sad. Back to the cave. When Katniss sits back up Peeta says, "Now there's no way I'm letting you go." And she finally agrees to stay with him and she lies down beside him with her head on his chest to go to sleep. A little while later after Peeta falls asleep he starts getting sicker with shills and a fever so Katniss gets her bow and arrows and heads for the cornucopia. She gets there and successfully retrieves the bag for District 12 with the help of Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi) the male tribute from Rue's District 11. He kills Clove (Isabelle Fuhrman), the female tribute from Cato's District 2, making Katniss and Peeta the only intact team in the Hunger Games. Clove was about to kill Katniss when Thresh heard her brag on how she killed Rue causing him to kill her. He lets Katniss go this one time just for Rue. Back at the cave Katniss returns with Peeta's medicine. She puts it on his wound and he sees the wound that Clove gave her on her forehead. He insists that she put some of his medicine on it and then does it for her. Back in the control room everyone stops to watch his take place and then they cause the sun to rise again. Peeta wakes up and sees Katniss's face almost totally healed and she sees his is too. Katniss says, "We could go home. We could. We're the only team left." Peeta disbelieving and happy says it too, "We could go home." They have a big hug and we jump forward to them crossing a river discussing the remaining tributes other than themselves who are Cato from District 2, Thresh from District 11, and Foxface from District 5. They decide to pause and Katniss will hunt will Peeta picks berries. They separate but only a few minutes go by before Katniss hears another cannon go off and thinks it means Peeta's dead. She runs back to find him and they run into each other and Katniss sees the berries he was picking and shoves them off of his hands because they cause almost instant death. They go back to where Peeta had been putting the berries he was collecting and find Foxface dead with some berries in her hand.
Foxface died from eating the nightlock berries

Katniss takes the berries and puts them in her pocket telling Peeta that they might be able to use them on Cato. Soon after it starts to get dark but it's only a little bit past noon. Katniss tells Peeta that the controllers "Must be in a hurry to end it." Jump to the control room where Lucia shows Seneca a dog/wolflike creature that resembles a pit bull. He tells her to put it in the middle of the room and he compliments her on it. Back to the Arena where Peeta and Katniss are walking through the woods towards the cornucopia. They hear a disturbance and then a person's yell and a cannon go off. The face of Thresh appears on the sky screen. They they are being chased by the same animal only there are more of them. They run for thier lives to get to the cornucopia and barely make it. Peeta gives Katniss a step up and she's on top of the cornucopia pulling Peeta up when a creature grabs his ankle. She manages to pull him free only to be attacked by Cato who is also up there. They fight while the creatures wait below until Cato has Peeta in a headlock with Katniss aiming her bow at Cato. However, Cato is standing on the edge of the cornucopia and if Katniss shoots both he and Peeta will fall to the creatures and die. Katniss will be the lone victor. Cato talks about how he's been tricked. While he talks Peeta indicates that Katniss should hit Cato's hand holding him and she does so. Cato releases Peeta and falls off the cornucopia and is attacked by the creatures. Katniss takes her bow and gives Cato a mercy kill. Then they hear a cannon and know that they have won. The sun rises and they get off the cornucopia and look around.

Then they hear the voice of the gamemaker saying, "Attention. Attention, Tributes. There has been a slight rule change. The previous revision, allowing for two victors from the same district, has been revoked. Only one victor may be crowned. Good luck. And may the odds be ever in your favor."

Katniss and Peeta turn to look at each other and Peeta says, "Go ahead. One of us should go home. One of us has to die. They have to have their victor." Katniss shakes her head and throws down her bow as she says, "No. They don't. Why should they?" Then she pulls out the poisonous berries and holds them between them. Peeta sees them and says, "No!" but Katniss says, "Trust me. Trust me." and then she gives him half of the berries and keeps the other half for herself.
Sharing the berries
A quick cut to Seneca in the control room getting out of his seat and staring at the screen as he realizes what they are going to do. Cut to District 12 watching Katniss and Peeta onscreen. Gale is watching as well. Cut to sponsors in the Capitol watching and then the camera moves and we see Haymitch is watching.
Peeta: "Together?" Katniss: "Together."
 Back to the Arena with the tributes from District 12.  Katniss and Peeta look at each other and Peeta says, "Together?" And Katniss responds, "Together." Peeta, "Okay. One..." Katniss looks up at the Arena screen and says, "Two..." Peeta reaches over to her and brushes his fingers over her braid and they look up at each other and Peeta says, "Three." They lift the berries to their mouths but before they can put them in their mouths they hear the gamemaker yell, "Stop! Stop! Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the winners of the 74th Annual Hunger Games." Katniss and Peeta grab each other in a huge hug and an airship appears above them. There is a slow fade to black where we hear Haymitch saying to Katniss, "They're not happy with you." The darkness lifts as we see them on top of the roof in the Capitol and Katniss responds, "Why? Because I didn't die?" Haymitch, "Because you showed them up." Katniss, "Well, I'm sorry it didn't go the way they planned. You know I'm not very happy with them either." Haymitch stops her and tells her that what she did was dangerous and is dangerous for everyone not just her.
We cut to see Seneca walking down a hall escorted by two peacekeepers. They lead him to a room and shut the doors behind him and lock him in. The only thing in the large ornate room is a gold table with a crystal dish on it under a chandelier. After finding out that the doors were locked behind him he walks over and looks into the crystal dish and sees the berries that would have killed Peeta and Katniss. Obviously, he is being sentenced to death for letting that happen. We jump to Caesar Flickerman but we do not hear him. We hear Haymitch talking to Katniss and telling her how to keep everyone safe. She has to tell everyone that she was so in love with Peeta that the thought of being apart was unthinkable. She has to do that to keep everything and everyone she cares about safe. Jump to their interview with Caesar and to all the questions she does exactly as Haymitch told her. They are announced by Caesar, "The star-crossed lovers from District 12, this year's victors of the 74th Annual Hunger Games!"
President Snow crowns Katniss
They are crowned by President Snow. After he sets the first crown on Katniss's head he notices her Mockingjay pin on her dress and compliments her on it after she says it's from her district. He says, "They must be very proud of you." (If you've read the book you know that he isn't really complimenting her because the Mockingjay pin in and of itself is mocking the government he is in charge of. He's really telling her that he is not stupid and will be watching her carefully.)
Katniss and Peeta on the train ride home
We jump to Peeta and Katniss on the train ride home where they discuss what will happen next. Katniss says, "I don't know. I guess we try to forget." Peeta says, "I don't want to forget."Jump to them being greeted as they arrive home. They stand holding hands and waving at the crowd. The camera goes through the crowd and we see her mother waving to her and Prim blowing her kisses while sitting on Gale's shoulders who is smiling at Katniss but in a way that we can't be sure what he's thinking although we see the conflict on Katniss's face. Peeta looks at her and then raises their joined hands up just like he did in the tribute parade. We watch this happen from the control room where it is now controlled by President Snow who is staring thoughtfully at the screen as Katniss and Peeta do this. The last scene in the movie is the camera watching him as he turns away from the screen where Katniss and Peeta are being shown with an expression hinting that he has had an idea come to him and we watch his back as he walks up the staircase out of the room and there is a blackout before he reaches the top and the credits roll.

The actors played the key roles very well but Jennifer Lawrence did an exceptional job portraying hers. All of her expressions were complex but understandable and easy to identify with. What she was thinking was absolutely clear on her face and in her actions and this did not make the film seem boring but rather more engaging. It was amazing and it more than exceeded my expectations since I went to see it with very low expectations since it was an adaptation on a book that I'd never read before. However, instead of turning me away from the book, which I had tried to read in the past but never really got through it, it caused me to go back to the book and I was able to read it and I was astounded at how true to the book the movie was and it was the portrayal of the characters onscreen that helped me read the book and understand it better. I'm sure the fact that the author of the books was one of the screenwriters that adapted it helped it tremendously on that level. Still, without their performances I might still be sitting around not reading it.
Being "Escorted" through the Training center

The film techniques used in this film were a bit different than in most movies. There were a lot more jump cuts between frames and that helped make the movie more personal to me and I could feel what the character was feeling. For example, the Reaping scene, when Prim is chosen to be tribute and Katniss volunteers for her, I felt inside the horror and desperation of Katniss and was in tears by the time the scene was over. And this scene is at the beginning of the movie! Usually for me to feel that much empathy or sympathy with or for a character it takes a much longer time for me to make the connection necessary for that to happen. In The Hunger Games, that feeling was almost instantaneous and remember I had never read the book before seeing this. So I was shocked out of my seat. The music also helped me make the connection and it definitely made me feel more emotions watching this film than any other I've watched before. Normally, whenever I'm watching a movie, I have to be doing something with my hands like playing solitaire on the computer or coloring/painting a picture on paper or even crocheting.  Even taking notes on a movie is easy and sometimes not enough for me to do. I get bored easily. There are very few movies that I can sit down and just watch. Even with my favorite movies or especially with my favorite movies I have to be doing something else. However, this movie definitely took a place on my very small list of movies that I can just watch. One of the movies is Avatar and now The Hunger Games has joined that top tier which consists of a very short list of movies. Even taking notes while watching this movie was difficult because sometimes I'd just want to sit and watch what was happening rather than write down some stuff which might have been what made this review harder to do.
The Hunger Games Movie Stills

Go see this movie! I cannot repeat it enough! Go see this movie! See it for the characters, the special effects, the scenery, the costumes that were amazing, the relationships between the characters, the music that made it wonderful, the plot, the action, the lighting, the sounds, the editing, and everything else in between that I don't have the time or patience to list since I want to go and watch the movie again. Go see this movie! Go and see it NOW!

All 24 Tributes in the 74th Annual Hunger Games

Friday, September 28, 2012

Media Literacy Topic #3 Subjective or Objective Part A: Bias

List some Movies you really like and some of the things they have in common:

My Favorite movies: 

Star Wars Original Trilogy, Harry Potter Series, Hunger Games, Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, Hercules, Beauty and the Beast, Avatar, Twilight Series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Chicago, Cats, Apollo 13

What they have in common:

They are mostly fantasy or science fiction taking place in a world where things they do there are impossible to do in the real world or are very different from my own.  Most are adaptations from fantasy books that stay true to the book in the actual movie. They all have a protagonist that is vulnerable to adversity but overcomes it in the end. They all involve powers or abilities more advanced than what we have now such as things we might call "magic." Movies made of certain musicals.

My Least Favorite Movies:

I know there are many movies I hate but right now I can't think of many. I try to repress movies that I hate. I can say what they have in common, though. The few I can recall are The Knowing, Gone with the Wind Eragon, and sequels to the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

What they have in common:

Some are poor adaptations on books, horror movies, movies without a plot line the can be followed, gory and extremely bloody movies that are not ridiculously bloody, really stupid characters, movies with people having sex on screen while we see all of their bodies naked, movies that use a ton of cuss words, unresolved issues left at the end of the movie and I'm not talking just about cliffhangers when i say that because i can deal with those but when they leave half of the issues hanging just so they can make a sequel to it is rude and stupid. I also hate sequels made to movies that would have been better off alone. I mean, they do exactly the same thing if you think about it. The end of the 1st movie was happy and the male and female lead were normally deeply in love with each other and you automatically assume they will live "happily ever after" and then they make a sequel where they ruin the romance by creating a triangle and that's just unbearable to me. It's why I hate the sequels to the original Pirates of the Caribbean.

List the Qualities that would make you want to see a movie:

Fantasy worlds, female protagonists who end up doing things better than men, magic, an interesting world and culture, some romances that are not redundant and stupid, movies adapted from books as long as they don't ruin them

List the Qualities that would make you avoid a movie:

Lots of sex and nudity, lots of cussing, derogatory remarks on the female gender, horror movies, bad plots/no plots. Huge continuity errors.

Pick one medium you use regularly, such as a magazine, TV show, or blog. 
I don't really use any of the above except my own blog but in looking at the other people in my class's blogs I can tell there are biases.

What biases can you find? 
Some people blame an actor/actress for a writing problem and others blame a writing problem for bad acting

Are they similar to your biases?
Not really.

If so, how?
I try to keep an open mind whenever I watch a movie. I don't go in to watch a film like Snow White and the Huntsman, expecting Kristen Stewart to be a bad actress like most people approach any film she's in. And since they are so biased they cannot see her do anything well if they don't want to.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Okay so today, well, Thursday actually, we ended day 4 of filming for "A Poker Hand" and with a wrap tentatively set for Friday night and a planned Waffle House celebration afterwards. Today was not a very good day for any of us in cast and crew. And speaking about crew, There are ONLY TWO OF US to make this entire film ourselves since our cinematographer, Michael Rodriguez dropped out of our group with no warning and good riddance to him because he never did anything at all to begin with, NOT ONE SINGLE ITSY BITSY THING! Christina and I have had to film this whole production by ourselves. We started out shorthanded since we were a group of 3 people instead of 4. Now, we're worse than shorthanded, we're missing an arm or something. I'm use to multitasking. I mean, I'm a woman, of course, I can multitask and I do it on a daily basis. But this is RIDICULOUS! I've had to be Cinematographer (Camera Operator), Director, and Boom holder at one time. I held the camera with one hand, directed with my mouth, while I held the Boom in my other hand! I also now have to do ALL OF THE EDITING for this film which takes FOREVER just to edit one minute worth of footage not counting watching all of the other takes to pick out the best shots to use and then putting them together which shows you how much CONTINUITY can cause trouble. I mean, one prop sitting two different ways in two separate takes means one whole take is now useless and can't be used if you want to use the other one. ARGH!!! I'M JUST SO MAD & FRUSTRATED RIGHT NOW! And I have NO TIME to do everything that I need to get done BY MIDTERM! I have to DIRECT this film, EDIT this film, FINISH filming it, CREATE the DVD, write a MOVIE REVIEW, put together a DESIGN PROPOSAL for my Design for the Camera class midterm, do a PHOTO JOURNAL for the aforementioned class, DIRECT two actors in a Scene from "Hamlet," CAST & DIRECT a two person establishing scene from "Harvey,"not to mention the fact that tomorrow I have a MANDATORY GTC MOCK AUDITION tomorrow/today at 12:30pm which will cause me to be late for my Video Production class that not only STARTS at 1pm but is ALSO going to be held in LAUREL GROVE CEMETERY which is over 20 minutes AWAY from campus in the middle of Savannah! I also just received an EMAIL from my Advisor asking me about the progress of my SENIOR CAPSTONE and that I need to meet with him to discuss and go over what I have already done before midterm and there is a LONG LIST of things that I should have done by said meeting or else I'll get in trouble and I'm already having problems with that! I AM SO SHORT ON SLEEP THAT IT ISN'T EVEN FUNNY! AND THE ONLY REASON I'M UP RIGHT NOW IS THAT I HAVE TO MAKE THIS BLOG ENTRY BEFORE CLASS TOMORROW AND IT HAS TO BE ABOUT FILMING! So here is my blog on filming! Enjoy and be happy that your life is not mine right now! Thank you for your attention and I hope that at least you have a nice day. Oh, and one more thing to rant on before I pass out from exhaustion. MY WHOLE VIDEO PRODUCTION CLASS IS SUPPOSE TO BE FOLLOWING MY BLOG AND ONLY SIX OF THEM ARE CURRENTLY DOING SO, AND THAT'S LESS THAN HALF OF THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE, EVEN THOUGH MY TEACHER WALKED THEM THROUGH THE STEPS ON HOW TO DO THIS LAST FRIDAY IN CLASS! Thank you. That is all.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman was a good adult twist on the original "Snow White" fairytale. The idea was a good one but I thought that the screenwriter could have put in some more lines for Kristen Stewart, Snow White, to work with. Maybe that's why people didn't like her performance but unlike live-theatre the lines in films are always recorded the way they are written in the script unless the director changes it at the last minute which is frowned upon by most film people because you can do so many takes of one scene to get it right, although that does get more and more expensive with each take. So I think that Stewart played Snow White well with what she was given. I know everyone will not agree with me but that's not my problem. This is my review, if you don't agree with it or like it, I do not care and will continue to annoy you with as much purpose as before so get over it. Anyways, the movie had nice names to put on their list of actors in the credits. Charlize Theron was amazing as the evil queen and Chris Hemsworth was a good Huntsman. Throwing in an equally evil brother, Finn, for the evil queen played by Sam Spruell was a twist I didn't expect but it had nice qualities and pulled more elements from the evil queen's side of the story and why she wanted to kill Snow White, (and eat her heart). The Duke's son, William, was played very nicely by Sam Claflin and he was obviously the character with whom you would identify as the prince in other versions but then again things are not always what they appear, more on that later. The music was well written by James Newton Howard and the film was directed by Rupert Sanders.

Scene Shots from "Snow White and the Huntsman"

Snow White's Mother during the opening narration

Young Snow White
The film starts off with a narration by the Huntsman (Hemsworth) on how much a queen wanted a child that was "as white as snow, with lips as red as blood, hair as black as a raven's wings and with all the strength of [the] rose." And soon after a daughter was born to her and she named her Snow White. Snow White grew to a young girl (Raffey Cassidy) who brought an injured bird to her mother.
She and the young William (Xavier Atkins) went and played in an apple tree where William tricked Snow White by saying that he picked the apple for her only to pull it away and take a big bite of it himself. He dropped the apple and Snow White chased him off screen and there was a slow fade out on the apple. The next winter Snow White's mother, the Queen, died. The King's mind was affected by grief and an enemy was able to lure him out into battle while in that state of mind. He and his men rushed up to fight an army of men all dressed in black armor who stood so still on the battlefield that one might think they were statues until the King's army ran into them and they started to fight. But all was not what it appeared. The King's men were able to hit them with sword blows that seemed to turn them into thousands of black glass fragments. The army of "phantom" men were defeated and a "prisoner" was found in a black carriage with chains around her wrists and ankles.
Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen Ravenna in her wedding dress

 Her name was Ravenna (Theron) and the King was so enthralled by her beauty that he married her the next day and that night she took his life and his throne from him. She welcomed a real army into the castle led by her brother, Finn (Spruell), and a fight ensued in which the Duke (Vincent Regan) and his son William were able to escape but as they tried to bring Snow White with them the man holding her on the horse was shot with an arrow and he and Snow White fell in the courtyard and the Queen's men captured her while she was screaming at William to save her and he was in turn yelling at his father to go back for her but the portcullis was shut and there was nothing that the duke could do and so they fled. (Note: this following part is only in the Extended edition.) The Queen ordered everyone that remained to be killed except Snow White for "one never knows when royal blood will be of value." In the theatrical version this is implied and later confirmed except that Snow White was alive. Back to the Theatrical Version.
The Evil Queen and the Mirror Man

 The Queen goes up into a room in which a mirror, which is the shape and color of a cymbal/gong, is brought and hung up on the wall. The evil Queen speaks the words "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is fairest of them all?" She looks at the mirror and it sort of melts onto the floor and forms the shape of a man under a sheet except it's all in gold colored metal, this Mirror Man (Christopher Obi) tells the Queen that yes, she is the fairest of them all. The camera goes back to where the apple fell below the tree where William and Snow White played and Eric, the Huntsman, continues his narration while we watch the apple and its surroundings slowly die; "So poisonous was the reign of Ravenna that nature turned on itself and people turned on each other. The land died and with it, hope. And all that time, she kept Snow White imprisoned high up in the north tower."

Snow White imprisoned in the North Tower

Evil Queen in Beauty substance
The narration ends and we are in the cell at the top of the north tower where Snow White (Stewart) is kept imprisoned. A woman is brought and locked into a cell opposite of Snow White with whom Snow White speaks with. Meanwhile, the Queen is down in a chamber with a large tub being filled with a watery clay-like milk colored substance. While she waits for it to be full she speaks with her brother about how they were once wretches begging in the streets for scraps. When the tub is full she takes off her robe with the camera behind her so that we can only see her from the waist up as she wades and then sinks into this substance over her head which still has her crown on. She emerges coated in this substance that looks like it is making a plaster cast of her body with her arms crossed over her breast so that they are not revealed. This was obviously suppose to be some sort of beauty treatment but I don't think the writer thought that out enough for the audience to understand. She sort of looks like a white Statue of Liberty without holding the torch or the book. We do not see her emerge farther than her waist before we cut to a scene in the throne room where Ravenna is presented with two prisoners who have been captured leading a raid on one of her supply trains. They are a father and son. The Queen walks over to the son who is kneeling on the floor and he grabs a knife from the guard(who is next to him)'s waist and plunges it into the Queen's side in an attempt to kill her. She pulls it out of her side and there is no blood on it. She then kills the son by only putting her hand on his chest over his heart and you heard the blood pounding and then he is dead on the floor. The guards move to kill the father but the Queen stops them and says to "Let him return to the Duke and speak of the generosity of his queen." We go with the camera and see the waves beating on the cliffs by the castle as an indication of time passage and then we are in the mirror room with the Queen staring at herself in it and using her claw-like finger ring traces the shape of a wrinkle that has appeared under her eyes and she is almost fearful of it as her brother comes to console her and to tell her that he brought her something to help take the wrinkle away. It is the prisoner who was put in the tower opposite Snow White and she is obviously scared and almost sobs as the Queen comes toward her. The Queen lifts her up with her magic and consumes her youth and beauty turning the prisoner into an old woman. We see the wrinkles go away and her face is perfect again.
Evil Queen consumes beauty and youth
The guards then throw the prisoner back into the tower where Snow White calls to her and gets no response. Back in the mirror room the Queen is talking with the Mirror Man who tells her that the reason her powers are fading is because Snow White has come of age, (It's her birthday! in other words), and is more fairer than she. He tells her that to gain immortality and never need again to consume youth or beauty she must eat Snow White's heart. So the Queen sends her brother to fetch Snow White out of her prison cell. We jump to Snow White who sees a bird calling on her prison barred open window. She goes to the window and he hops onto a lose nail in the casement and then flies away. Snow White tugs and finally pulls out the nail only to hear the queen's brother coming up the tower. She rushes to her bed and lies down on it while concealing the hand holding the nail. The brother comes in and tries to almost feel her up but when he gets close enough she slashes his face with it and runs out of the cell closing and locking the door behind her. She goes to try and unlock the other prisoner's door when she sees the old woman that that girl had become. She tells Snow White to go without her and Snow White runs.

She almost gets captured by guards before she escapes through the sewer that leads out to drain in the ocean with a very long drop to actually reach the water however, only after a slight hesitation does Snow White jump in and washes ashore on the beach near the castle entrance. The same bird as before shows her the way to a beautiful white horse on which she gets on and escapes into the Dark Forest only for the horse to get pulled into a muddy bog on the edge of it. She is forced to abandon the horse as the queen's men get closer and then their horses balk at going into the bog and they lose her. Snow White runs into the Dark Forest with really creepy things and branches around her. She accidentally falls into some sort of plant that releases a hallucinogenic gas causing Snow White to see monsters where there are none. She runs and runs until she falls down and passes out. We return to the severely unhappy evil queen berating her brother for betraying her. She tells him to find her someone who can hunt Snow White. Cue quick camera change to a very dirty man getting thrown out of a pub and beat up by a man to whom he owes money. He passes out and is woken up by being dumped into a water trough by the queen's men who take him, clean him up a bit but not too much, and bring him before the queen who tells him to go hunt an escaped prisoner in the Dark Forest. After some "haggling" she promises to bring his wife back from the dead if he brings her Snow White but she does not tell him who she is or why she's valuable.

So the Huntsman leads the queen's brother and his men into the Dark Forest. We move to Snow White who is still passed out on the ground in the forest but then she wakes up and appears to hear the men moving towards where she is. She starts to run again but the Huntsman quickly finds her trail and within a minute or two has caught her by the arm and Finn and his men approach them. As they approach Snow White tries to convince the Huntsman to help her because the Queen is going to kill her. He doesn't  believe her but does a double take when he sees her beauty and this makes him hesitate to give Snow White to Finn and his men. So he asks them what they intend to do with her and Finn says it's none of his concern and that he should keep his word and hand the girl over. This angers the Huntsman and he demands that the Queen keep her side of the bargain before he'll hand over Snow White. Finn stops and makes fun of the Huntsman for actually believing that the Queen could bring back his wife from the dead and that causes the Huntsman to let Snow White's arm go and instead attack Finn and his men with his axe. Snow White runs while this takes place and the Huntsman quickly gets rid of the 2 men Finn brought with him and hits Finn in the stomach with his axe. However, this does no good and he pulls it out of his side and continues to fight. He almost wins but gets knocked down onto the same plants that Snow White hit and they release their hallucinogenic gases which cause Finn to see things and he calls out to the Huntsman or Snow White or both saying "I will find you!" before he passes out. The Huntsman covers his nose and mouth and runs away from the fumes and catches up to Snow White. She starts to scream but he covers her mouth and tells her to stay calm and he releases her. She quickly steals a knife off of him and holds it between them so she is ready to fight if necessary. The Huntsman wants to know who she is and why the Queen wants her. Snow White replies "You should know, you're the one hunting me." The Huntsman winces and feels his chest and finds a bleeding wound so he walks away from Snow White and she goes after him. She finally convinces him to help her get to Duke Hammond's castle without revealing who she really is.

We leave them and find ourselves at Duke Hammond's castle where the man who's son tried to kill the evil queen is reporting what happened to the Duke and telling them the very bad news that the Queen cannot be killed. He adds one more thing that they did not expect. He revealed that instead of dying all those years ago, as previously thought, Snow White is alive. The Duke immediately asks "Where's my son?" Cut to a supply train led by the queen's men traveling through the woods and an ambush occurs led by the Duke's son William (Clafin). They ambush succeeds and we cut back to the Duke's castle and see William and his men bringing in the spoils. The Duke tells him that Snow White is alive and had been kept prisoner by the queen for all these years but she has now escaped from the castle into the Dark Forest. William declares that he's going after her, his father tries and fails to stop him with William telling him that he "Will not abandon her a second time" so he will find someone to help him in his search through the Dark Forest since he does not know it well.

We cut back to Snow White and the Huntsman as they travel through the Dark Forest. Snow White gets caught between to fallen tree limbs that suddenly turn to snakes and she starts to yell and the Huntsman comes and cuts one of the branches in half with his axe which shows her that there weren't really any snakes there and he says "The forest gains its strength from your weakness." He pauses to take a drink from his drinking bag and Snow White asks him why he drinks but he doesn't tell her and instead comes up to her and starts to rip her skirt off of her dress. This causes a bit of stress for Snow White and she tries to keep her skirt and backs away from the Huntsman afraid that he's going to take advantage of her but he only ripped the skirt so that it wouldn't get in the way while they are traveling and she has pants on underneath. When he sees the look on her face he remarks, "don't flatter yourself."
Do you need a bowman?

We go now to one of the villages between the Queen's castle and the Dark Forest where Finn is leading a group of men through the middles of town in the pouring down rain. This is a hunting party. They are stopped by a hooded man who asks if they need a bowman. Finn does not like being stopped and tells his bowman to kill the one blocking their way but the other bowman misses and the one blocking their way shoots two arrows into the current bowman who falls off of his horse and dies. Then the hooded man, whom we now see is William, repeats his previous question. "I said, do you need a bowman?" We see Finn's mouth give a twitch that plainly says umm yes... now we do.

We go back to Snow White and the Huntsman as they travel on through the forest a bit more before he stops her and shows her how to use a knife to kill someone. Snow White says she doesn't think she could do that and the Huntsman tells her that she may have no choice.

Cut to a shot of the evil Queen in the castle garden pulling a small flower (the only flower) off of a tree. She curls it into her fist and opens her hand again as we see black ash/dust fall out of her hand where the flower had been.
Back to Snow White and the Huntsman who have reached the edge of the Dark Forest. There is what looks like a small stone bridge over a ditch filled with water and bones and armor. They pause and the Huntsman pulls a large knife/dagger into a hand where he can quickly use it before starting to go over the stone bridge. They go cautiously and with good reason. Once they reach the middle of the "bridge" it moves and we see it has been the back of a troll they were crossing who now attacks them. The Huntsman tells Snow White to run and turns to battle the troll while Snow White actually stays behind a tree stump and watches the fight and sees that the Huntsman has lost and as the troll raises his fist to kill the now unconscious Huntsman she runs out screaming a sort of imitation roar back at the troll. He stops and his focus changes to Snow White who backs up and falls when the troll roars back at her. However, a curious thing happens and she and the troll stare at each other as the troll calms down and then lumbers away from them just as the Huntsman regains consciousness. He sees she didn't run like he told her to so he repeats it saying "I told you to run." She replies, "If I had, you would be dead."

Snow White and the Troll
We go forward a few hours or so and Snow White and the Huntsman are wading through reeds on the edge of a large lake when they encounter women in boats with bows and arrows aimed towards them. The leader of them says "Only demons or spirits pass through the Dark Forest. Which are you?" and Snow White and the Huntsman tell her they are fugitives of the Queen and the women take them to their village for the night by boat. When they arrive at the village the Huntsman notices that there are no men present and they are told the men are all at war. We also notice as the boat pulls up to the dock that all of the women have scars on their faces resembling tear tracks on their cheeks. Later we find out that they scar their faces on purpose so that they can raise their children in peace without the fear of the Queen taking their girls away to use as beauty victims. After they get to the village Snow White plays with one of the young girls and helps her make a doll while the head woman treats the Huntsman's injury. She finds out that the Huntsman still does not know who Snow White really is and then it is implied that she old him because he comes over to Snow White and the girl and after the girl leaves he confronts her about it and asks why she didn't tell him before. Snow White simply says "I didn't trust you." Later that night when everyone is going to sleep for the night the head woman sees the Huntsman leaving the village and she goes after him to ask him why he is abandoning Snow White now that he knows the truth. He believes that Snow White is safer with the woman and then continues to leave. We go back to the room in a the thatched hut where Snow White is sleeping and an arrow suddenly shoots through the roof and hits one of the supporting posts in the hut but it is a fire arrow and the whole house soon goes up in smoke. Finn and his men have finally come to the village to get Snow White and so they try to burn her out so that they can get her. Snow White quickly helps all of the women and children evacuate into boats that they row away from the burning village. The Huntsman turns around where he is and sees the glow of fire coming from the village. He automatically starts running towards it and when he gets there he tries to find Snow White meanwhile William is in the group of Finn's men while pretending to be a helper to them. He is also looking for Snow White and at one point he sees her and runs after her but she sees him and runs faster then a burning tree branch falls in between them and for a moment their eyes lock on each other's and we see that William recognizes Snow White but she doesn't recognize him and she turns and runs off. As she is getting in the boat to leave with the others one of Finn's men grabs her and starts to take her away but he is stopped when the Huntsman comes and saves Snow White and he takes her and they wade through the edges of the lake away from the burning village and from the scarred women.

We leave that seen and return to the castle where the evil Queen is in her room alone. She has aged and no longer looks very young or beautiful. We see her back with the bones visible as we start the scene and most of the scene is a memory of the queen's own mother being capture and taken away from her and of the spell that her mother put upon her. She made beauty her daughters power and protection by using fairest blood and she warns her daughter that the spell can only be undone with fairest blood and that she should be wary. We leave the Queen with a tear running down her cheek.

We arrive back with the Huntsman and Snow White crossing a small river in between mountains. They fall down in exhaustion when they reach the other side and the Huntsman tries to apologize for leaving Snow White but she keeps saying "You left us!" and she is greatly distressed. Finally the Huntsman promises to take her to the Duke's castle and strokes her face but then they are greeted by the eight dwarves (Yes EIGHT dwarves not seven) in the fashion of being strung up by their ankles and beaten while the dwarves look for valuables on their persons.

The Eight Dwarves
Now this is a moment where I want to say when you look at this movie and you want to find the gems in the cast look at the dwarves and you'll find buried treasure there. There are eight of them, not seven as most people assume since the Disney version is named Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I will start with Muir the sort of Seer/Priest/Soothsayer. He is played by Bob Hoskins who has played many roles but the one i recognized the most was the character of "Winston" in Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. Coll is played by Toby Jones whose most recognizable and very famous character played was the character of "Dobby" in the Harry Potter movies! Beith is played by Ian McShane who was "Blackbeard" in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Gort is played by Ray Winstone who was "Mr. Beaver" in The Chronicles of Narnia. Nion is played by Nick Frost who was "Flynn" in  Ice Age: Continental Drift. Duir is played by Eddie Marsan who was "Sgt. Fry" in War Horse and "Etheridge" in V for Vendetta. Quert is played by Johnny Harris who was also in War Horse playing the recruiter. And last but not least is Gus played by Brian Gleeson the son of Brendan Gleeson who was "Mad-Eye Moody" in the Harry Potter movies. So all in all, a very nice line up of dwarves that, unlike most movies with dwarves, were played by normal sized people made to look like dwarves.

Ok now back to my summary. Snow White and the Huntsman are captured by the dwarves and strung up by thier heels whilst the dwarves talk about them and beat them. After Snow White tells them not only who she is but that she's being hunted the dwarves take her and the Huntsman to a place called "Sanctuary," it is the home of the fairies. Now this set and set dressing are the best out of all of the ones in the movie. You have to see it to believe it. They settle in there for the night and they have a peaceful evening and go to sleep. In the morning, Snow White wakes up first and finds out that 2 fairies were the influencers of the birds who helped her out of the castle. They beckon to her to come with them and then head into more of the sanctuary. The dwarves slowly wake up as she gets closer to the tree in the middle of sanctuary where an extremely large white deer waits for her to come to him. His rack of antlers is not only huge but also looks like actual tree limbs instead of antlers. He is extremely large and putting two and two together you will find that he was the horse that helped her escape into the Dark Forest. The dwarves and the Huntsman stand and watch with awe as the deer blesses Snow White in an antler embrace sort of. This moment is so beautiful and then the deer is shot with an arrow meant for Snow White by one of Finn's men. They have found her again. A chase sequence ensues with everyone running in opposite directions to confuse the men. Each man falls eventually to one of the dwarves or the Huntsman or William who reveals his true identity to Snow White and helps her defeat the rest of Finn's men. As this happens the Huntsman goes straight for Finn and they have a fight where in Finn tells the Huntsman that he was the killer of his wife. Finn is about to win when suddenly the Huntsman shoves and holds him onto the sharp root end of a tree. Finn's sister, the Queen, is affected by what is happening to her brother who asks her to heal him but the Huntsman shoves Finn harder onto the tree and the Queen can't do anything without losing her beauty and youth and so she asks his forgiveness before pulling his youth out of him as he dies. Back in the castle the Queen crumples onto the floor crying. Back with Snow White, William, and the dwarf Gus we are startled as one of Finn's men who is somewhat injured come and shots an arrow at Snow White but Gus leaps between them and takes the arrow instead whilst William shoots the other man with his bow. Snow White cries and sobs as Gus dies making the eight dwarves only seven. That night they burn him on a funeral pyre and they promise to stay with Snow White and accompany her to the Duke's. During a celtic sounding song they show a series of shots of the company traveling through mountains and hills in the mist and rain. They eventually reach a forested area with snow everywhere. We see everyone asleep in a circle except for Snow White who is walking through the woods alone. She hears a twig snap and looks up startled to see William walking behind her. They talk a bit about what will happen when she's queen but when she asks him a question and his answer does not match her memory then she kisses him and pulls away to see him holding an apple, like he did when they were very young. Snow White grabs the apple from him saying "I remember that trick." William says in an odd sounding voice and with an odd expression "What trick?" Snow White just smiles at him smells the apple and then suddenly takes a big bite out of it. Then Snow White realizes that this apple is not right, it is poisoned and she can't believe that William would do this to her but as she is coughing and gagging and trying to breathe William takes on a different persona and talks to her while she stumbles through the woods. The camera cuts back to the fire pit where everyone is sleeping aoundand the Huntsman wakes up and sees Snow White isn't there he then turns and shakes William's shoulders to wake him up.
The Evil Queen appearing after giving Snow White the poisoned apple
We cut back to Snow White and when she falls for the last time William comes closer and turns into the evil Queen who brought the poisoned apple to the princess. The Queen gloats to Snow White that she ws the only person in the world that could have destroyed her for good but now Snow White shall be the Queen's deliverance to immortality. And just as she pulls her knife to stab Snow White William and the Huntsman race up and William shoots at her with a arrow but she turns in to a flock of crows when the arrow hits and eventually flies way. Then the men see Snow White on the ground, she's still breathing but only just. William falls to his knees and cradles her head and begs her to stay but it is in vain for she stops breathing and all the forest is silent in a state of disbelief. William is crying and sobbing but he finally holds her head softly and kisses her. Nothing happens.
Snow White while the Huntsman talks to her "dead" body
The dwarves and men decide to keep their promise and they take Snow White's body to the Duke's castle where she is cleaned up, put in an ivory dress and lies on  white fur covered bed-like platform in the center of a room filled with candles. Here, the Huntsman sits against a pillar drinking from a wineskin as he looks at Snow White's dead body in despair. He gets up and speaks to her telling her about his deceased wife and how he loved her and when she died he became a person he didn't like until he met Snow White. He walks over to her body and tells her that she reminds him of his wife and that they both deserved better than him and better than the deaths they died and he is so sorry that he couldn't save her.  His tears are flowing down his cheeks as he speaks to her and tells her that like his wife she, too, has gone. "You both deserved better and I'm so sorry I failed you. I'm so sorry. But you'll be a queen in heaven now and sit among the angels." He leans over and gives her a short kiss during which his tears fall down upon her cheeks and then he turns and walks away leaving Snow White's body alone. Almost one second after he is gone does she start breathing again and she reopens her eyes.
We cut to William arguing with his father in one of the military tents outside the castle saying "She died for us! For our cause! We cannot just hide behind these walls and watch this land die with her!" but his father says "You grief clouds your judgement, my son." and walks outside of the tent. William follows and begins to try to again convince him to go and battle the queen and her forces. The Duke starts to reply but there is some sort of commotion coming from the center of the yard and the Duke goes to investigate followed by William and they see Snow White in her burial clothes walk out of the open door. Of course everyone is shocked by this and William walks towards her and she takes his hand for a moment before going before the Duke and requesting help to defeat the evil Queen and basically do what William was trying to convince him to do but she has a better reason. She knows how to kill the queen and she is the only one who can do so. She makes a stirring speech to the soldiers during which the Huntsman hears her and rushes over to the crowd and listens with everyone to her and they all agree to help her.

We go back to the evil queen's room where she has landed after placing the spell on Snow White. Female bodies lie around the center of her room drained of their youth and beauty and we see the Queen looking as young and as beautiful as she was in the beginning of the movie.
Snow White's Army heading for the Queen's Castle

Back to Snow White and her army as they ride out of the Duke's castle and head for the Queen's. The dwarves went ahead of them to try and infiltrate through the very sewer through which Snow White herself escaped. They manage to get in the sewer and Beith says "Hi-ho lads, its off to work!" Quert says to the others "If he starts whistling, I'll smash his face in." This of cousre is a refernce to the Disney version of this fairytale. Anyways the dwarves mangae to get into the gaehouse and are almost successful in raising the gate before the army gets there but a queen's soldier comes up and cuts one of the ewieghts loose and this makes the gate close again so that Snow White's army is stuck there under a barrage of arrows and other deadly items. Finally, the dwarves get the gate up and everyone rushes in. Snow White manages to see where the Queen is and goes hunting for her. William and the Huntsman son follow. Snow White gets to the queen's room in which the Queen is standing alone with no weapons visible as if she were not dangerous. Snow White marches up to her and as she gets closer some of her men make it upstairs to back her and the Queen uses her magic to make characters out of black glass that fight the men as Snow White tries to kill the queen but she is no match for the queen and is quickly caught and held so that she watches the men die one by one. Then when almost everyone is dead the queen goes to kill Snow White for good and knocks her sword way out of the way and draws a knife to stab Snow White with. Just as she is about to stab Snow White uses a knife she has hidden in her hand to stab the Queen in the move that the huntsman taught her. The queen dies and Snow White is crowned Queen.
Snow White's Coronation
The actors played the key roles very convincingly given what they had to work with. I was very upset with the writer who left too many loose ends at the end and did not give Snow White much to work with for character development. The role of the queen was probably the best played character in the movie. Charlize Theron truly brought the evil queen to life and made her 3 dimensional. My expectations were not as filled as I would like that to be but I believe that to be the fault of the screen writer and not the actors. he scene between the Huntsman and Snow White as she lays as if dead is very moving and sad. Chris Hemsworth made that scene perfect. The speech Snow White gives to the men when she asks for help is also very moving but where did it come from? The writer suddenly gave a good piece of work for Snow White but had not built up to it so that it was not very normal sounding. It seemed a bit surreal instead of life like given the lack of character development written in the script. I think the actors did well given what they had to work with.
In Sanctuary

I liked the scene in the fairytale forest the best. It had such awesome detail and attention paid to it that everything that happened there seemed magical. All of the sets for this film were amazing and built to scale for he actors which isn't the normal thing they do when using castles and haunted forests. Normally miniatures are used but they aren't in this film. I like the use of light when Snow White wakes up in "Sanctuary," it makes her green eyes glow. The phantom army in the beginning made of black glass that shatters was visually dynamic as were the black glass figures during the fight between Snow White and the Queen. I liked the slow motion when the first black soldier if fractured in the very beginning. It made sure you saw what happened. The music was fitted to the mood of the movie and had both Celtic influences and modern influences in it.
The King fighting the Phantom Army
I like Snow White and the Huntsman and I think everyone should see it but just don't expect much from the writer. Watch the movie to see the awesome sets and costumes, hear the good music and ambient sounds, and Charlize Theron's portrayal of the evil Queen. I really think that the screenwriter is the cause of everyone's problems, NOT the fact that Kristen Stewart was cast as Snow White because if she were given a better script, Snow White would have more to her. So go see the show but you only really need to see it once or twice. Don't buy the movie, rent it. That's the better deal.

Beautiful Green Eyes of Snow White