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Mirror Mirror |vs| Snow White and the Huntsman: Movie Trends Talk

Sarianae

Infinite Dreamer
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Location
Storybrooke, Maine
I'm bringing this discussion up on account of not one, but two Snow White movies coming out around the same time. Mirror Mirror I believe just started playing, while Snow White and the Huntsman will be coming out in June. Because of this unusual circumstance, people have been saying a lot of things about these two movies that I thought I'd bring up.

When I'd only just heard that two were being produced at once, I couldn't fathom what the movie producers must have been thinking. Two movies at once with the same exact subject matter sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, because the targeted demographic would likely be split in half; many would only bother watching one or the other, considerably damaging the success of both movies.

That was until I actually watched the trailers; if you haven't seen them, you'll probably be startled by the enormity of difference between them. Oddly enough, even knowing in advance that their stories must be about Snow White, both of them managed to surprise and unhinge me, albeit in very different ways, starting most prominently with Mirror Mirror.

Mirror Mirror bewildered me to the point of confusion. I really can't figure what made them decide to attempt such a peculiar approach. It appears to be an overdone comedy, with a lot of rather awkward attempts at humor in places unfit in the original story. In theory, I like the intention to twist some originality into the tale and make it something unseen before, but in practice, I can't say I think they're going about it the right way here. The Evil Queen is meant to be a far darker character than they portray, and while I appreciate a shot at something unique, I think that keeping such an important characterization is something they should have adhered to. Nevertheless, since watching the trailer at first, I think I've slightly grown into their ideas here enough to give it a chance.

Julia Robert's laughing face here actually gives a good representation of what the entire trailer is like.

[video=youtube;FCdMHUx59mQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCdMHUx59mQ&feature=relmfu[/video]


After seeing that, I lost my grounds for what to expect of a second Snow White movie. What next, a horror movie? (Oh wait...they already did that.)
However, as soon as you start the trailer for it, the sheer captivation in the darker mood of the trailer almost immediately makes apparent the level of enormity in difference.

Snow White and the Huntsman is on the complete polar other end of the spectrum with regards to Mirror Mirror. In fact, if both movies weren't based on the same story, I would never even have considered placing them in the same category. Mirror Mirror is full of Glee; Snow White and the Huntsman is full of Grimm.

I'm impressed by Charlize Theron's portrayal of The Evil Queen, whose depiction of her character doesn't seem as if it could be any more perfect. However, there's a lot of backslash talk about Kristen Stewart playing Snow White since everyone just thinks of her as Bella from Twilight now. I've actually never bothered to watch the movie for Twilight though (although I've read the books) so I'm completely neutral on her and have no opinion of her acting, meaning I have no reason to doubt her myself. But besides that, I think that a lot of people are judging her rather harshly, and its rather unfair to judge her entire career and acting skills on Twilight (I see a lot of condescending comments such as "Wait, are we supposed to believe Kristine Stewart is prettier than Charlize Theron? LOLNO" and "Thor is chasing Bella with an ax? PFFT") My only real gripe with casting Kristen Stewart for Snow White is that from the trailer, she looks far too serious. While the Queen should be emitting that kind of somber attitude, Snow White should not; she should be characterized by her innocent demeanor--she has to look like the kind of cheerful girl that would sing to birds. In fact, the casting of Snow White herself is actually something I feel Mirror Mirror has done better, because Lily Collins who plays her in it seems to depict her with much more the right touch of softness, and done so without having to compromise fencing skills in the process since she still manages to become a bandit leader. In other words, I think Mirror Mirror appears to have a better Snow White, while Snow White and the Huntsman has a better Evil Queen....too bad they couldn't be in the same movie.

On the whole though, I think Snow White and the Huntsman looks fantastic, or at least the trailer gives me goosebumps. (Although that's probably largely due to the mind-blowing audio.)

[video=youtube;0Moa6lGuhw4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55Dq2psogSw[/video]Lips red as blood
Hair black as night
Bring me your heart
My dear, dear
Snow White



Now to get to what I most wanted to address: what people are saying. Some people talk about how Mirror Mirror looks terrible while Snow White and the Huntsman looks like the real deal; likewise some people think Snow White and the Huntsman looks absolutely horrid on account of Kristin Stewart, and say they'd much rather watch Mirror Mirror. Many people seem to be immediately throwing the movies together with generic condescending comments about the idiocy of making two Snow White movies, and the fact that they're so unoriginal and out of ideas now that they can only resort to reusing old concepts; I disagree.

Firstly, contrary to my initial thoughts, I do not feel that the release of these two Snow White movies near each other is necessarily idiotic on account of them being the same. If anything, the tremendous difference between them should be enough to prove that seeing something done one way should not automatically make it unworthy of reinventing in others. People are too quick to dismiss two things as the same, or a ripoff of one another, on account of a similarity that is often hardly a sufficient reason to do so (I'll admit I see less point with the Spiderman remake though). In my opinion, the backstory that both these movies happen to share here is largely outweighed by all the other factors that lead them to ultimately diverge. These may both be movies based off Snow White, but the prominent contrast between them has me thinking that they are hardly even targeting the same audience.

Secondly, I cannot put much stock in the view that they are bending low with desperation here. I think it may be an unusual phenomenon that movies with a similar subject matter would be coming out around the same time, but I don't have a hard time believing that such an honest coincidence can occur. In the first place, Screenwriters, Authors and Playwrights and such have a certain level of integrity that I can't imagine them willing to compromise by stooping knowingly to the dishonor of stealing work that isn't theirs. I think they strive to write something that will give them pride as writers, else why would they be writing in the first place? They must be passionate if they're in that profession, and they'll want to be proud of work they can call all their own; the mentality of a writer or an artist is something that I think many people tend to overlook when they begin such accusations, and it's really insulting to the individual visions of each that are undermined when someone insists that one is only a copy of another. I see it as inevitable for people to unknowingly think along the same lines at times, as it can be a surprisingly small world. When you're creating a new username on a forum, or a new email address of sorts, at certain times, don't you try to think of something that wouldn't be taken yet, only to find to your surprise and dismay that someone, somewhere, somehow already has? That's just how it is sometimes.

I also disagree with the notion that using an old story as a basis for something new is necessarily unoriginal, and done as a last resort after running out of ideas. Fairy Tales are being redone quite a bit right now, what with Alice in Wonderland, Red Riding Hood, as well as the show currently airing on ABC titled Once Upon a Time, and the comic book series Fables. There's Jack the Giant Killer coming soon as well (looks good, very medieval fantasy) and next year Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. So, what's going on? Everyone's out of ideas or something? I don't think so. As I've just mentioned, a writer would strive to write something they can be proud to call their own, and I don't believe they feel they are compromising that by using a known story for basis, because they mean to reinvent it with a new vision that is very much their own design; when this is done successfully and masterfully, I cannot see the result as inferior a work of art to one that might have been started from scratch (it's far too interesting at times to dismiss seeing something historic flipped inside-out and spun on its head in a way that raises eyebrows). I believe screenwriters are choosing fairy tales not because they're out of ideas, but because they are genuinely interested in redesigning them. They are attractive stories to begin with that hold a certain amount of appeal, rooted in fantasy and a tickling amount of familiarity as they are, so a large audience is likely to enjoy them. Perhaps not everyone, but there are people like me who are really interested in fairy tales, and are happy to be seeing them restyled how they are, often with a darker, more Gothic twist ALA Grimm's originals. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing more as well.

And so, my verdict:

Mirror Mirror looks like the "family-friendly" kind of movie you could watch while boisterously eating dinner with your family--a lighthearted fun romp.



Snow White and the Huntsman however looks like the kind of movie I'd want to watch with the lights shut out and surround sound up, no talking or interruptions please.



They look completely different. I'm more interested in Snow White and the Huntsman.
I'll probably see both.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Location
United Kingdom
In the UK Mirror Mirror is showing but there's been little to no promotion for it, so until reading this post I really didn't even know it existed, and after watching that trailer I'm pretty uninterested in it. However, Snow White & The Huntsman I've seen plenty of publicity for and from the trailer it looks rather Narnia-esque but also closely related to Red Riding Hood which was a darker take on a commonly known fairy tale released last year that I found extremely entertaining. So, all in all I can see myself going to see Snow White and the Huntsman but not Mirror Mirror.

On your other points about comparing them, it's going to happen they're both based on the same story, no matter how different they are they're ultimately share the same core so are easily open for comparison. However, I totally agree with you on the lack of originality claim. Just because they're remaking fairy tales does not mean they've run out of ideas or you could say the same thing about Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings "Oooh, have Hollywood run out of ideas, so they have to make adaptations of books now?" but in the grand scheme of things there are a handful of fairy tale movies coming out this year amidst many, many other films. So, yeah, I agree this is not proof that movie makers are running out of ideas in the slightest.
 

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