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|Index||26 reviews in total|
I have probably watched the movie 4 or 5 times. Every time, i get more
and more impressed by how far the wish of a young heart can go, and the
strenght of both Kai and Gertha to struggle for what they believe in.
And the whole story is presented in such a way, you just get transfered into the plot and before you know it, you are there. you can see... yeah, there's Kai... working hard on the mirror... a little jump.... there's Gertha, fighting for her love..... and there's the Snow Queen...
it's just a wonderful mix of love, adventure, tension.
it's brilliant 10 out of 10
This is possibly one of my favorite films. It tells the tale of a girl
named Gerda (Chelsea Hobbs) who lost her mother at a very young age, so
has been bought up by her father. She falls in love with the bell boy
named Kai. However, on her birthday the snow queen (Bridget Fonda)
comes the the hotel which her father owns and kidnaps Kai. Gurda then
goes after Kai, and follows him through the four seasons in an attempt
to rescue him.
I thought that this was an excellent adaption of the story with great performances from all the cast. It has wonderful special effects and the story fits together very well and is easy to follow. I think that it is a great film for all the family to enjoy. I have watched it every time t has been on since it came out and have never tired of it which is why I have given it a 10!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sometimes Hallmark can get it right - like The 10th Kingdom - but many of
their fantasy films plod, and this falls into the latter category. The
version I saw may have been cut (a demon [?] shown in the trailer and
publicity stills didn't appear), but anything that made the movie shorter
can only be a blessing.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS IF YOU ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE ORIGINAL FAIRY TALE:
Anyway, the film updates the story to the early part of the 20th Century (?), and makes Gerda and Kay (here called Kai - being a Lexx fan, I kept expecting him to say, `The Dead do not solve puzzles') 18 year olds. Hans Christian Andersen's basic story is followed: the boy gets a shard of ice in his eye, goes bad, is taken off by the Snow Queen to solve a puzzle in her palace and Gerda goes to find him, having various adventures on the way.
As the two main characters are older than in the original, a lot of time is spent getting them together and `in love'. Unfortunately, I was never convinced that they were particularly in love, and certainly not enough in love to make sense of Gerda's quest. By the time the main plot kicks in, the movie's pace has slowed to a crawl. Alas, when Gerda begins her search for Kai, it only manages to pick up the pace to a leisurely stroll.
There are a few odd additions to the story that seem to go nowhere. At the start of the film the Snow Queen kills Gerda's mother, but no explanation for this is given. A polar bear living in the Snow Queen's palace is more than he seems (though this is possibly because the producers realised that the bear's feelings towards the Snow Queen would be OK in a Fairy Tale, but not in a modern film). Again, this is never explained. Also, hints that the Snow Queen has an erotic desire for Kai are dropped, but never followed through. The script is also full of anachronisms that really jar you out of the `fairy tale' mood.
The production looks good, though there is evidence of penny-pinching: the Snow Queen's palace is the hotel where Gerda and Kai lived covered in ice. The three main characters are played with varying degrees of success: Kai comes across as bland as does Gerda initially, but once she sets off to find Kai you warm to her. Bridget Fonda looks great as the Snow Queen, but seems to be in a different movie to everyone else.
Ultimately, the film is unsatisfying. It looks good, but drags and lacks magic.
This 3-hour made-for-TV miniseries came home with us from Blockbuster's this weekend. The production company clearly spent a lot of money on sets, costuming (Bridget Fonda, especially), and special effects (including a great Jim Henson talking polar bear & reindeer). They should have spent a bit more money getting a coherent script. The story line was so loose that it really never came together. One can overlook Irish-accented Germans, but not herky-jerky storytelling. With senseless loose ends which included a special guest appearance by the Devil, this one is certainly not destined to be a Christmas Classic. A shame that they wasted good performances by the two female leads.
Although a fine production with top notch visuals, Snow Queen ultimately is a disapointment. Too long and miscast in several roles, the main problem is the opening hour which sets up a love story between Gerda and Kai. In the original, the main thrust of Gerda's quest to rescue Kai from the Queen was friendship that was revealed to be love at the end, but casting the leads as 18 year olds defeats that revelation.
My main attraction was that I absolutely love the original Snow Queen
story and always have done, for me it is one of Hans Christian
Andersen's best stories. So naturally I would see any adaptation of it,
regardless of the company or who was in it. I was a little dubious
though as for me Hallmark's output have been a very mixed bag. The good
news is that while it is miles away from being perfect Snow Queen is
really quite decent and one of Hallmark's better efforts.
It does have a number of good things. The best asset is by far the visuals. The scenery, settings and lighting look absolutely stunning, easily one of Hallmark's best-looking movies, and the Snow Queen's costumes and make-up are an absolute knockout. The cinematography is basic and maybe some of the slow-motion shots get too much and unnecessary, but on the most part it is focused and fluid. The music score is very good also, it has the sparkling motifs that you'd associate with a fantasy score, the darker moments have a haunting musical undercurrent and it does all this without ever sounding generic.
Snow Queen's lead performance I did think were quite good. The acting honours do go to Bridget Fonda who I think is wonderful as the Snow Queen. She looks breathtakingly beautiful, and while she is cold and icy at points she also has a humane side which she delivers with a surprising amount of pathos. Jeremy Guilbaut showed a lot of potential as Kai, he does bring genuine character and natural intensity to him proving that he is more than just a pretty face. Chelsea Hobbs is a little bland to start with, but I didn't worry too much actually as it fitted with the "character going on a journey"(literally and in character development) and later on she is easier to warm to.
Oh and before I forget, I was surprised by how good the special effects were, the reindeer and the polar bear looked great. Snow Queen began and ended well, the darker moments providing a lot of promise for the telling of such a timeless story.
Unfortunately, for all the good things that Snow Queen it does also have debits. The rest of the acting is uneven though with one exception nobody is exactly bad. That exception though is Kira Clavell's Summer Princess, who acts and sounds like she is participating in a high-school production. But the main problems are the script, the pacing and the story. The script once the darkness shifts dissolves into anachronism and modern vernacular, which against the production values proved to be quite a stilted mismatch.
At this point as well, the pacing does get tedious and save for some inspired moments never really picks up- some of the action sequences like with the Summer Princess' minions and the Autumn robbers are quite nifty though-, which is a shame considering how promising the beginning and end proved to be. The story showed a lot of potential and I personally did find Gerda and Kai's love for one another and together convincing, which took a nosedive in the tone shift. For a programme of this length, I was disappointed at how forced the Autumn scenes seemed to be and by how certain events were introduced but never explained satisfactorily and consequently coming across as confused instead.
So in summing up, Snow Queen was decent and watchable with the art direction being the best thing about it, but there were a number of things that stopped it from being great. 6/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
DANGER: Watch for falling spoilers...
Boy, was this a bad movie. I know that they were going for a "true love conquers all" kind of thing, but about all this film conquered was about 3(which felt more like 9) hours of my afternoon which I will never get back. The movie is about two young lovers named Kai and Gerta who live in a remote town in a fantasy world. Kai is the much-abused bellboy at a hotel owned by Gerta's father. At first Gerta ignores Kai's advances but she eventually warms up to him much to the disgust of (You Guessed It!) Gerta's father. As if this obstacle wasn't enough to overcome, an evil snow queen shoots a shard of glass in Kai's eye and he becomes a mean person treats Gerta poorly. Kai is eventually taken to the Snow Queen's fortress (Which is the same set as the hotel just covered in ice, because the good people at Hallmark like to go all out) and Gerta sets out on a mission to get Kai back. Along the way she runs into the 3 other seasons that are evil in their own special way, but Gerta escapes them with the help of some dull and forgettable characters she meets along the way. (All the while you will want to turn it off, but can't force yourself to do it. It's probably the most evil and most effective spells cast by the Snow Queen) Anyways, I will spare you from the ending because anything you can think up in your head right now is probably better then how they ended it. So, in conclusion, the Snow Queen is an incredibly boring movie, which takes the fan out of fantasy.
I bought this film thinking it was a foreign import that I had seen
many years ago, but nonesuch was the case. The film I was looking for
was "The Polar Bear King", a Norwegian production dealing with a very
similar story about a young princess searching for her abducted prince.
"Snow Queen" however, is not set in the middle ages, but circa 1900 in the cold reaches of a Nordic landscape (even though everyone speaks English). We're presented with a sprawling magical epic of young love challenged by the callous heart of a queen who herself seeks to conquer what she already had, but failed to see.
There's a lot of subtext and other themes going on here. We see the Snow Queen, and witness her cold manifest itself on both physical, emotional and even spiritual levels. She goes forth and sees that another wants, and covets another's possession. She exercises her power, and so our tale begins. Is she really evil and cold, or is there something missing from her life? Perhaps there's even more to her that we as yet fail to discover? Again, the story reveals all.
During the unfolding of the tale our young protagonist ventures forth into a realm that lies "straight on til morning", to borrow from Disney's "Peter Pan". There she meets eccentric antagonists and other characters, mostly female, and mostly with an agenda. Our young heroine must brave, challenge and escape those who pose a roadblock to her ultimate objective.
The production values are the usual top notch from Halmark. They don't spare expense when it comes to filming their intimate epics, nor do they waste money on extravagance that will not be used nor seen. We see a town that's in transition from becoming a small intimate affair where everyone knows everyone else, to becoming more of almost a small city ready to latently embrace the industrial revolution that's occurred in the outside world. We see vast wastes of snow capped mountains, and lush green forests and gardens. We see bandits and soldiers and a whole feast of visuals as our gallant heroine moves from one episode of her adventure to another.
The cinematography is basic, but unlike a lot of other made for TV movies, is not bland for the sake of expediency. The camera angles are a bit more dynamic and inspired, but not quite the caliber of theatrical release. A combination of good camera usage and quality art direction gives the audience a very sumptuous TV film production.
My critique is that it's not the film I wanted, but I enjoyed it for what it was. It's an American film made for American audiences based on some Scandinavian folklore, in regards to a tale that has some role reversal from the familiar tale of Gilgamesh.
Everything aside, it is worth a night's viewing if you have nothing better to do.
Gerda (Chelsea Hobbs) lost her mother when she was a child. Her father, musician as a hobby and owner of a hotel, lost his happiness with the loss of his beloved wife. Close to her eighteenth anniversary, Gerda meets Kai (Jeremy Guilbaut), the bellboy of the hotel, and they fall in love for each other. On the day of the party of her birthday, the Snow Queen (Bridget Fonda) kidnaps Kai and Gerda commits suicide, jumping in the river, trying to recover Kai. This is the beginning of Gerda´s adventure through the reigns of the four seasons. This confused story has some crazy parts that recall Alice in the Wonderland. Although having good special effects, the story is very confused, cold, slow and too much long. It is not clear why many things happen. My vote is five.
"The Snow Queen" is based on the famous and very beautiful fairytale by
Christian Andersen, about a girl, Gerda, who goes on a dangerous journey
rescue her friend Kai from the clutches of the Snow Queen. This adaption
attempts to capture that story's sense of adventure and luminously
imagery through lavish sets and production design, but fails on a number
Like so many Hallmark productions, the potential of the story is completely undercut by heavy-handed scripting and direction. The two actors playing Gerda and Kai are blandly pleasant but forgettable; Bridget Fonda as the Snow Queen looks the part but is otherwise miscast for the role. There's a notable lack of dramatic tension to this meandering three-hour miniseries. At least some of the pacing problems can be attributed to the addition of filler scenes that add very little to the original story, particularly in the opening hour that introduces the main characters.
That said, "The Snow Queen" would be just about ideal for pre-teens with a liking for fantasy and a bit of patience. It's great eye-candy without being scary, and the acting is pitched at the sort of pantomime over-the-top level that spells out the storyline in very, very bold text. Just make sure you read them Andersen's story too.
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