New options for your home viewing this week:
The little details of Snow White and the Huntsman reinvigorate a story that has been told countless time before (including the blunder Mirror Mirror earlier this year). The evil queen (Charlize Theron) is simply insecure after being jilted by one man too many and wants to exact revenge upon a society that has shunned her. The huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) is a drunken widower with a death wish. Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is still the fairest in the land but because she has a kind spirit and can rally the troops when she becomes a figure like Joan of Arc. This is a bleak adaptation, colored with impressive production design and a sense of the grotesque at seemingly every turn. Forget the stupid gossip that has come out from behind the scenes; this sets a foreboding stage upon which an old tale comes to life in sometimes inspired ways. My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
In a small Lebanese village, there is a tentative truce between the Christian and Muslim inhabitants. All that it will take to begin aggressions again is the slightest news of the outside world, where there is no such compromise–only violence and retaliation. The women, aided by religious leaders, come up with a plan: They will keep word from the outside from coming in and, when that becomes more difficult, they bring in a troupe of dancers to keep the men’s minds on sex. Where Do We Go Now? is one of those well-intentioned movies that simply cannot get by on good intentions. The tone is all over the place, and a tragedy late in the story is completely, insensitively underplayed for the old standby of supplying people with drugged snacks. This is an oddity and not in a good way. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Someone surely has pointed out how antithetical to the cause of promoting religious freedom the story of For Greater Glory is. It seems no one involved in the movie considered it, because here is the story of a group of “freedom fighters” who kill a lot of people in the name of their faith. It makes no sense, but at least the movie has the ability to question its characters’ motives once or twice before giving into a discomforting spirit of martyrdom. Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and DVD/Blu-ray Combo.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a lazy attempt to cash on a series of self-help guide books, and that should be enough. Five women are expecting a baby, and only one of them is sympathetic. In a despicable turn of events (apparently “punishment” for not fitting into a certain mold), her pregnancy becomes fodder for a cheap, mind-boggling dramatic turn of events. Even if you can get past that, this is annoying stuff. My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.