Mini-Reviews: “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” & “Movie 43″
Today, here are two quick mini-reviews for the afternoon. One is of the twist on the classic tale of Hansel & Gretel entitled Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and the other one is of the star-studded comedy entitled Movie 43.
Directed by: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Jeremy Renner (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time), Famke Janssen (X-Men: The Last Stand) and more.
Rating: R -for violence, nudity, language and stylistic gore
Synopsis: After getting a taste for blood as children, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell-bent on retribution. Now, unbeknownst to them, Hansel and Gretel have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches… their past.
Review: I wonder what the Grimm brothers would have to say about this continuation to his classic tale of so long ago that features their two young heroes as weapon-wielding, vengeance-dealing, justice-seeking siblings who hunt down witches as a team 15 years after their infamous escape from the witch house made of candy. Grimms, I wish you could see Hansel and Gretel now!
In a style that blends a little bit of Van Helsing and Sherlock Holmes with Blade and Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a fun mix full of action, adventure, violence, blood, humor, romance, witches, trolls…well, it’s just plain fun! With subtle references to other fairytales along with a few characters such as a pining sidekick who resembles and acts like a live version of “Hiccup” from How to Train Your Dragon, this spin surprisingly was more enjoyable to watch than I thought it would be.
Most times, child stories mixed with R ratings tend to be misses rather than hits. The R-rating in this situation actually contributes to the films enjoyment as you may either cheer in celebration or grimace in disgust as blood, brains and broomsticks riders splatter across the screen (See it in 3D! It’s even better!) hahaha. The film walks the line between seriousness and cheesiness quite well. It keeps you laughing at things intentionally and unintentionally meant to be funny, all the while keeping you interested in how it will end.
While no awards will be given for makeup, original screenplay, costume design, performances or even soundtrack (as it all ends up blended together in a rather forgettable way), it is fun watching good ol’ Hawkeye from The Avengers and the princess from Prince of Persia get beat up a lot…because they sure do take on the beatings! With plenty of predictable plots and laughable events this Not-Family-Friendly Fairytale accomplishes what it set out to do: be a fun R-rated story that easily entertains in the field of “What Ifs” in our mind. Face it, you always wanted more of the Hansel & Gretel story other than just “and they lived happily ever after.” Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters gives you the “ever after” and is far better than the psuedo-spin fairytale movie Red Riding Hood. Give it a shot.
Oh, and don’t stop by any houses made of candy. There. There’s your PSA of the day!
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
SCORE: (3/5 stars)
Directed by: Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner, Jonathan van Tulleken. (I’m not kidding, there’s that many directors…check out all the actors)
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Seth MacFarlane, Kate Winslet, Liev Schreiber, Will Sasso, Common, Halle Berry, Chris Pratt, Emma Stone, Kate Bosworth, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Anna Faris, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Kristen Bell, Chloë Grace Moretz, Gerard Butler, Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Josh Duhamel, Elizabeth Banks, Tony Shalhoub and more!
Rating: R -for vulgar situational comedy, graphic nudity, rude and crude language.
Synopsis: From the twisted minds of producers Peter Farrelly (Hall Pass, Shallow Hal) and Charles Wessler (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb & Dumber), comes Movie 43– the outrageous new ensemble comedy starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Movie 43 is not for the easily-offended and contains jaw-dropping, sometimes shockingly disturbing, but always entertaining intertwined storylines you’ll have to see to believe.
Review: Did you read that entire cast list? Everyone on that list has gone down a step or two on my “respect” list after seeing this movie.
Warning: The taglines are true.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get more offensive.
Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it.
Against my better judgment, I went to attempt to watch this movie. I knew what I was getting into after seeing the trailers (Both greenband and redband versions) for Movie 43, but the idea of so many A-list stars in a movie that looked to be about absolutely nothing and already looked bad still had my interest.
I went and stayed much longer than I should have (for the record, this movie now holds the title of “The 1st Movie I Ever Walked Out On”). I stayed for a while, hoping that it would get better…it couldn’t get any worse, right? I mean, after all of the raunchy antics, the gross depravity, the satirical jabs it takes…it had to ease up and get better. Right?
After sitting through about 20-30 mins of individual stories all connected through one and told through the lens of an aspiring, yet deranged movie writer (Quaid), I had had enough. I’m sorry that this isn’t a full review for you and for sake of spoilers I will not go into detail with what the movie contains. You can settle your own curiousity by seeking out info such as the redband trailers on YouTube. But the taglines are true. There is something for everyone in this movie: something for everyone to be offended by. Sure, I laughed a couple times, and I can handle lots of things in movies, but the raunchiness in this film made me get up and leave.
It’s no wonder that so many of the stars in this film avoided giving interviews and praised the actors that were able to avoid being in the film. Don’t believe me? Read this article entitled “Why Guilt-Tripped Stars Won’t Promote Movie 43.” HERE. (I will say that it is admirable[?] though that someone in Hollywood would dare to make such a testy non-p/c movie in this day of censors, political correctness (p/c) . Perhaps admirable isn’t the choice word, but you know what I mean.) This film is nothing but filth, coated with a tad bit of comedy, and covered in more raunchy filth. Avoid it.
Well, there you have it folks. The first movie I EVER walked out on. Perhaps that means Movie 43 is right up your alley…and that’s okay if it is. but for me…I stayed much longer than I should have.
Movie 43 (Score: 0.5/5) Yes, I still scored this film, even though I didn’t finish it. (the .5 is a pity score for its daring boldness)
***And I’m not alone in my thoughts. Read this article from The Huffington Post for more.
(Consider this your 2nd PSA of the day!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
-T, The Focused Filmographer
up next: Review for The Impossible