Tune to The 2 Guys Named Chris Show every Monday to get the scoop on the latest new films and releases to DVD from a Canadian point of view. Julie Crawford, Film Critic for The Vancouver Courier, gives her two cents worth every Monday morning on Rock 92.
April 2, 2012
by Biggie Josh Ellinger,posted Apr 4 2012 8:38AM
You won’t find Snow White dusting and singing into a wishing well in this film: while Lily Collins masters those pretty princess hand gestures, she is pretty bad-ass with a sword, too. Julia Roberts plays the queen of a kingdom that has fallen on hard times thanks to profligate spending and over-taxation of the people. The King mysteriously disappeared years before and left behind a daughter, whom the Queen keeps as a prisoner in the palace. But when she turns 18, Snow White ventures outside the palace walls. She meets a prince (Armie Hammer) who’s headed for the palace, and the seven dwarfs – no Doc nor Sleepy in sight – who teach her how to fight in order to overthrow the queen. The film is gorgeous in terms of the color, costumes and set designs, and the effects aren’t half-bad. Unfortunately the script is more mundane than magical, and as a result, the dwarfs share more chemistry than Snow and the Prince.
Wrath of the Titans
Sequel to last year’s big-effects godfest Clash of the Titans, starring Sam Worthington. It’s been 10 years since demi-god Perseus defeated the Kraken, and he’s living peacefully with his son, trying to lay low. But thanks to the immorality of the people, the power of the gods, including Perseus’s father Zeus, is weakened. That leaves room for Hades, the god of the underworld, to unleash the Titans and all sorts of hellish creatures and destroy mankind. Perseus teams up with a warrior queen, another half-blood god and a fallen god to help save the world. There are an awful lot of characters to keep track of, so you can be forgiven if you get your Ares mixed up with your Agenors. The effects have greatly improved since the first film, and the creatures and settings are much more varied and interesting. It’s all about the effects and the video game potential, after all, and on that level, it succeeds.
A big-budget Steven Spielberg-directed film based on the hit London stage play, about a teen who befriends a horse. When they are separated by hard times and the First World War arrives, Joey the horse journeys through England and to the battlefields of France. Best seen on the big screen, War Horse is a deliberate throwback to the days of the sweeping family epic. A lovely film.
We Bought A Zoo
Matt Damon stars as a widowed dad who moves his kids out of the city into a space he shares with 47 species of animals. While the film succeeds in tugging at the heartstrings and making us laugh, there are a few characters here – a zoo inspector played by John Michael Higgins and a crazy Scottish zookeeper who seems to be off his meds – who seem like they should’ve been in Kevin James’s Zookeeper movie instead, throwing off the tone of the film. Minus the stupid slapstick scenes, We Bought A Zoo would’ve been a much more satisfying film.