When is an Alien movie not an Alien movie? When it’s a sci-fi movie, it seems.
In preparation for Prometheus I watched Alien, Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection during the week*. Truth is, I was never massively into the first two Alien films. I don’t have a problem with them per se, my hazily remembered impressions were positive… I just don’t care about them. I’d never seen the last two so now seemed as good a time as any to “get around to it”.
It’s funny how things work in the world of cinema sometimes… Now Snow White is of course a popular tale for adaptation, but Snow White and the Huntsman is the second big studio version this year.
This version looks to be an altogether darker take on the story than Mirror Mirror, the Julia Robert’s family friendly affair we saw back in March. Of course, dark is just the way I like it but the biggest surprise about this is that Snow White and the Huntsman is the version from the “Producers of Alice in Wonderland” while Mirror Mirror was the one from Tarsem Singh, director of Immortals and The Cell… I guess everyone likes to try something different from time to time.
Just in case you didn’t know, Snow White is one of the many European fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm back in early 1800s. There are many variations but the best known version of the tale is probably the Disney one from 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
In the Disney version, Snow White is the step daughter of an evil Queen. Obessesed with being the most beautiful in the kingdom and jealous when she hears Snow White will surpass her, the Queen sends a huntsman out into the woods to kill Snow White and bring back her heart as proof. The huntsman however finds it impossible to kill her, he sends her away and brings back an animal heart in an attempt to fool the Queen. Meanwhile, Snow White meets a group of dwarves and hides in the forest. Eventually the Queen, through her magic mirror, discovers Snow White is still alive, poisons an apple and disguises herself as a hag in a plan to feed to apple to Snow White and send her into an endless slumber. The plan is successful but the dwarfs find out what the Queen has done, find her and, after a struggle, the Queen falls to her death. The dwarfs place Snow White in a glass coffin where she sleeps on until, one day, a Prince finds Snow White, kisses her and awakens her from her sleep… and everyone lives happily ever after.
I get the impression that Snow White and the Huntsman is going to be a little different from the Disney one. For starters it appears the Huntsman (played by Chris Hemsworth) has a bigger role. And somewhere along the way Snow White appears to be raising an army! I certainly have no problem with a bigger role for Hemsworth and I’m intrigued to see where they go with Snow White as a warrior Princess. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a bit worried that we’ve got Kristen Stewart as the lead… but who knows, she was alright in Welcome to the Rileys, maybe she’ll pull this one off…
… oh, and Charlize Theron looks fantastic. All things equal, I think this could be fun.
I guess all will be revealed on 30th May.
In the meantime I’ve assembled all the clips and trailers I could find. What do you think? Are you looking forward to this darker take on the traditional fairytale?
And I enjoy a lot of films, every week generally there’s a something out that I want to see. But that doesn’t mean I think they’re going to be great films. Looking forward to a film like Battleship just means that I think that it has the potential to be a decent 2 hours of entertainment. The truth is that in any given year there’s only a handful of films I’m properly looking forward to. A handful that I think may have the potential to be great.
Sure, Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection may not be up there with some of the greatest genre films ever made… but Alien and Aliens are. The pedigree behind Prometheus cannot be denied. Coming back to that world, with the original director… well… this could be the stuff of dreams. Or nightmares, as it were.
Which is why I’m a little scared of Prometheus.
I am a sci-fi nerd. It’s true. I may seem to lean to horror but that’s just because it’s been so long since there’s been a dark, hard-edged sci-fi flick. I’m honestly starting to wonder if people have forgotten how to make them. Prometheus might be everything I’ve been looking for… or it might be a completely disaster. There’s more than a couple of warning signs to suggest that we could have a problem child on our hands.
Firstly, there’s the obvious problem with the fact that Ridley Scott’s output since 1979 has been somewhat patchy. That doesn’t mean Prometheus is going to suck… but ups the chances.
Secondly, you can’t have any kind of conversation about Prometheus without hearing the discontented rumblings over the fact that there’s a fair chance it’s going to be PG-13 rated. A PG-13 would mean that it’s unlikely the film will come close to capturing the horror of the previous films in the Alien universe.
Thirdly, there’s the writers. I’m neither here nor there on Lost’sDamon Lindelof. I never watched past the second season… because I was getting the impression that they had no idea where they were going and it would all in end in tears. Mainly from the audience. I guess I wasn’t entirely vindicated on that one, but it could hardly be called a resounding success either. Then there’s Jon Spaihts, who wrote the story for The Darkest Hour. A film notable for the fact that it appeared that there was a better story happening on the side streets of our protaganists journey. I am not filled with confidence.
By the way, I know I’ve talked about Alien a lot but this isn’t an Alien film, not a prequel, sequel or spin off. It’s just set in the same universe. Clues thus far have not shed light on how closely tied it will be to Alien series, if at all. That’s just a by the by, it makes no odds to me how close it is or not.
Despite all this, I’m hopeful. I have to be because, as I mentioned, this is one of the few chances for a truly great film this year… but also because I’m always hopeful. I always go into a film with an open mind. I always hope for the best. I want to believe.
… besides, it’s got a great cast.