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HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS
I was fully expecting this to be a disappointment just like Red Riding Hood but I could not have been more surprised. This was such a great film I loved it!
Hansel & Gretel kick some serious butt in the movie.
The film had such a strong start, that I thought that it was going to be one of those films that has a strong start to get you hooked and then slow down and be a bit dull throughout but it was full on action through most of the movie. And even when it was not fighting scenes and magic, it was a good story too.
The characters were amazing I actually grew to like Hansel & Gretel their relationship was so strong as brother and sister that you could see they were there for each other all the way through (mostly).
Also, there was a fantastic character named Edward. He was a huge ogre that was being controlled by witches.
He was such an awesome character.
One of the things I really liked about this movie is it looked like there was not much CGI it felt like a classic old movie because of the effects they used but it was not a bad attempt at the effects. Everything looked great.
Edward, for instance, looked like he was made of animatronics.
The magic was obviously CGI, but looked really good also.
The acting was really good the movie stars Jeremy Renner as Hansel and Gemma Arterton as Gretel.
Famke Janssen played the lead witch Muriel.
Everyone in the movie did a great job.
Hansel & Gretel might be a fairy tale, but whatever you do, don't let your kids watch this.
It is really adult orientated. The language is full on there are a lot of obscenities and even some nudity also the violence it gory. There is a lot of blood. I loved the way some of the people died in this film it felt like a great horror film.
I will give this film 8 out of 10.
A great surprise and I can't wait to see it again.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yep, it's ANOTHER old childhood favourite that Hollywood has updated
for a 'modern audience'. Whoever said they were short of ideas?!
Sooo... after Hansel and Gretel pushed that nasty old crone in the
cauldron at the end of the fairytale, they became world renowned witch
hunters. Sure, I can buy that. They develop a huge range of weaponry to
assist them with this quest, including guns that fire multiple crossbow
bolts at once and more swords than you'd find in an armoury. Er... a
little outlandish, but still possible.
Then, we discover Hansel is a diabetic (from being forced to eat all that candy in the house as a kid), a disorder for which he's invented the first regular injection (about 500 years before it came on the market). Plus, the REAL reason their parents abandoned them in the forest was their mother was a witch herself (a WHITE witch that is, which means GOOD), and she knew her daughter had inherited the talent. It was to protect her, ya see. From all the bible bashers, and their evil magic using counterparts. Yeah. That's when I realised... they've perhaps revised the story a little too much...
It runs exactly as you'd expect... with ugly, green old ladies on broomsticks being torn asunder in a variety of grisly ways. We also meet an ogre, who may not be the bad guy he first appears , an obsessive fanboy of the central duo who nevertheless proves useful in their escapades, and a mysterious woman who they save from being executed by religious zealots. AANNDD don't forget the Big Bad, here portrayed by Famke Janssen as the nastiest witch of them all. You know she's tough, because it looks like she dies about six times... only for her to survive each one. More comebacks than Rocky, this one.
It does the job, has some humorous moments and never takes itself TOO seriously... which is essential to it's success. I mean, with so many anarchisms and over-the-top violence, any attempt to play this straight would probably have been doomed to failure. Flaws include some rather stiff acting, and the overuse of our old friend... deus ex machina. But if you're looking for a splodgy horror where the blood cascades rather than dribbles, and you don't mind your memories of mum reading to you forever corrupted by soulless men in suits, then give it a go. 6/10
There's something of a trend going on today in cinema. And that is
gritty, violent reboots and re-tellings of old stories, whether they be
fictional fairy-tales or real-world figures. Yes, over the past couple
of years, audiences have been given odd reboots of old stories.
Everything from dark takes on classics like "Snow White", to even silly
"What If's?" featuring the likes of Abraham Lincoln... fighting
vampires. (Which ended up producing quite a fun, quirky little action
film, but I digress)
So I wasn't too surprised to learn that Hollywood was planning on unleashing a new take on the classic fable of "Hansel & Gretel", this time telling the story of how after escaping the witch who tried to kill them, the siblings went on a lifelong conquest to hunt other witches for profit. What I was surprised about was how much fun that film is. Yes, it's time to take a look at "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters", a goofy, loud and very stupid action movie that is loaded floor-to-ceiling with rampant entertainment value, thankfully because it never takes itself too seriously.
We begin with a brief re-telling of the classic, with some alterations. After a young Hansel and Gretel are lead out to the woods by their father, and survive a struggle against a cruel witch inside of the infamous gingerbread-house, they are unable to find their way home, or figure out what happened to their parents. Now grown up, having assumed the roles of bounty-hunters who kill witches for payment, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) find themselves in the town of Augsburg, which is being terrorized by witches that have been abducting local children. They are hired to figure out what is happening, return the children and slay the witches responsible. However, they soon realize the true threat, a witch named Muriel (Famke Janssen), may be a bigger threat than any they have ever faced, and that their journey may hold the keys to solving the leftover mysteries of their past.
The acting is a tad mixed, I will admit. Renner is a lot of fun as Hansel, but is a tad wooden on screen. Almost as if he is unsure what to do with his limited development as a character. Arterton is great, however, giving Gretel a fairy fun, complex personality and enriching her role quite a bit. Janssen is a one-dimensional villain for sure, but she seems to be having a lot of fun hamming it up during her scenes. And supporting roles by the likes of Thomas Mann and Peter Stormare are decently played.
The script by writer/director Tommy Wirkola is quite fun, albeit flawed. I cannot tell if it's the fault of the script of over-eager editing, but the film does move way too fast at times. At only 88 minutes, it really feels like the film could have used a bit more footage to give it a more organic flow. Characters are also under- written and the storyline is very predictable. However, there is a lot of fun to be had in the quirky, not-taking-itself-too- seriously tone, and the over-the-top style. (When our heroes casually toss around "f-bombs" while lopping off the heads of witches in gloriously gory sequences, you know the film is aiming to entertain first and is not taking itself too serious) There's also a surprising amount of humor here that works quite well, and gave me some good belly-laughs. (Which is somewhat unsurprising upon learning that funny-man Will Ferrell and his frequent collaborator Adam McKay are producers here.)
Wirkola's direction is a lot better than his writing, though. The film is dripping with style, giving us some very cool action sequences, a lot of great visual touches and a fantastic eye for design. (This film for me has the most iconic "Gingerbread House" I've seen in any adaptation of the story.)
And it's mainly that kinetic, stylized, over-the-top style of the film that makes it work so well. Something about this flick just clicks, despite the under-written characters and rushed pace. That fact it doesn't take itself too serious, and is full of such fun direction really makes up for the other faults, and makes this an enjoyable sit for audiences.
It's pure dumb-fun fluff at its finest. All style, jokes and action. And I appreciate films like that from time to time.
And because it is such a fun time, I give it a pretty-good 7 out of 10.
I have to admit, that the movie never felt like it was dragging. The
running time seems to be perfect, though I only have watched the
theatrical version up to this point. I was a bit surprised that we got
a bit of nudity in the movie, because Hollywood Blockbusters tend to
avoid that sort of thing. Don't get too excited though (unless the
extended cut offers more of that, that is).
But the movie does live off the performances. Not only the lead characters, but also the supporting cast. A twist towards the end of the movie is predictable, but still fun to watch. It's sort of roller-coaster ride. Short and fast, some will like it and some will hate it, because they might feel sick afterwords (good effects).
Even with no expectation this still didn't quite live up to anything at
all. None the less it is still mildly entertaining and pretty well
made. Good for the boring afternoon that you have nothing to watch.
This is the retelling of the children classic book Hansel and Gretel and makes it darker for the adult viewer. I must say the story is pretty decent and not at all complicated. There is a good enough background story with loads of action sequences.
Well that got to be the best part of this movie because action is almost non-stop and the fact that it is rated "R" killing and slaying is delivered all the time.
The casting of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Bond's girl Gemma Arterton is probably the smartest move. I suppose this really drawn in many viewers (including myself) - Gemma Arterton really looks good here.
The set is very small but they did a good job here (thought many scene look very setup). Overall the movie is good for the first time viewer. It is not all bad. Worth a try out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fairy-tale stories and the fables that we remember from our childhood
are popular subjects for film and television right now, you only need
to look at programmes such as Once Upon a Time and the 2011 flop-film
Red Riding Hood to see that. Why is that, I wonder to myself? Is it
because Twilight opened up the gates for a reinterpretation of
traditional stereotypes the vampire who is good
Or maybe because
Hollywood has run out of original ideas? Or is it, just maybe, because
everyone enjoys revisiting a familiar tale
The interesting thing about
this tale is, though we remember it vaguely, it was never something
brought to screen (not to my knowledge, anyway) for our childhood
innocence to enjoy, meaning this film right here can do pretty much
anything it wants which is where the fun begins.
Rather than rehash a familiar tale writer and director Tommy Wirkola has transported the audience into the future, taking us on a journey set after the brave Hansel and Gretel defeat the terrible child-eating witch, and puts a unique spin on the story. The fact that Wirkola has made our childhood heroes adult is very important to the plot, because let me tell you right now, this film is NOT for kids. As our protagonists grow and their lifestyles morph into bloodthirsty witch hunters with a passion for slicing and dicing, so do their language. Innocence and precociousness take a back seat to the "F#!*cks" and "Sh*#s" that come (in a hilarious nature might I add) from our protagonists mouths. Not to mention the odd dash of sex they add from time to time. As I said, not for kids. This places the film in a unique position and could very well have been the one thing that ruined it, though happily it didn't if the plans for a sequel are anything to go by, because it very much isolates the audience and relies on sentimentality for the childhood tale to draw cinema-goers in. If my opinion is anything to go by, then it is very much worth the purchase. Which brings me on to the cast and film portion
If you would like to read the rest of my thoughts on this film then visit this site (filmrambler.blogspot.co.uk)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a movie where the main characters,
instead of killing the witches while they are down, decide to pose
majestically with their weapons as the witches get away. The good news
is that the movie pretty much sets up this over the top formula right
off the bat, and if you go in expecting that, you will have a great
time watching this movie.
There are some great story aspects in the film, but it seems as if they were just ideas that were never fully developed unfortunately. The fight scenes can get a little repetitive at times. There's only so many times Jeremy Renner can get the crap beaten out of him, but he seems to have a good system of grunting and wiping himself off after being throw at a tree and crashing through the floor of a ginger bread house. Hansel and Gretel fight the witches, they get thrown down, the witch attacks, Hansel and Gretel counter with some outrageous solution, and the tables are turned on the witch. This pretty much happens during every fight. The visual effects get the job done. The witches themselves aren't very scary or very smart for that matter. But who really cares?
The movie isn't pretending to be anything. It is what it is and it is entertaining and fun. There are a far share of sappy moments that might leave you rolling your eyes, but there will soon be some 3D gore to cheer you up. I don't think this is on the level of a Evil Dead or Dead Alive in terms of the over the top comedy/horror flicks, but Hansel and Gretel has it's moments. And I would suggest it to everyone I know.
There's a recent trend in Hollywood of films that have to do with
hunters and slayers, starting with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
coming out last summer and Jack the Giant Slayer coming out on March
1st. The current addition to this "killing mythological characters"
craze comes in the form of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.
I wanted to see this because Jeremy Renner, who plays Hansel, is a great actor, and I thought it was a cool idea to have a "where are they now" of fairy tale characters. I also wanted to see it because I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. They both have over-the-top violence, but Hansel and Gretel makes Abe Lincoln look like one of those lame PG-13 horror remakes that have come out in recent years. The gore is gratuitous and the action is aplenty. In fact, some pussies in the audience were so squeamish that they had to look away during some parts.
The film opens with a brief retelling of the classic story, with Hansel and Gretel's father leaving them in the woods, and subsequently they are lured into the witch's candy house, where they shove her into an oven and ultimately burn her alive. Fast forward 15 years later (although it looks more like 25 in the case of 40-year-old Renner), and we find the sibling duo living the life of hunters who slaughter witches and helping rescue children whom the witches abducted. Gretel is played by the gorgeous Gemma Arterton, who reminds me of Jennifer Garner, except even hotter.
The witches were very frightening. Children who have parents dumb enough to bring them to see this will be freaked out by the witches, not to mention scarred by the blood and guts. I liked how, aside from the traditional witch in the opening sequence, the rest of the witches were unique-looking, such as one with spiky hair that looked like horns. The towering and beautiful Famke Janssen is perfectly cast as the head witch, Muriel. Having played villains before in films such as Goldeneye, The Faculty, and parts of the X-Men franchise, she exudes the right amount of evil and sexiness.
I also loved the contradiction between the modern-day guns and bows and arrows, and fighting sequences, taking place in a setting of 300 years ago. It was even more bizarre hearing fairy tale characters say modern-day swear words. Look out for some witty one liners from Renner.
Both Abe Lincoln and Hansel and Gretel involve a mash up of genres. They differ in that the serious tone and more subtle humor found in Abe Lincoln is appropriate for a history/horror film, while more straightforward comedy of Hansel and Gretel suits a fairy tale/horror film. As I previously mentioned in that movie's review, Abe Lincoln would not work as a comedy.
As was the case with Abraham Lincoln, Hansel and Gretel received scathing reviews from critics who were expecting it to be something it's not, and what it is, is a B-movie fantasy/action flick whose job is to be bloody ridiculous. They refuse to give it credit for succeeding at what it set out to do. They also don't get the sense of humor. For example, Hansel is a diabetic as a result of eating the candy house as a child, and he has to give himself an insulin injection, centuries before it even existed in real life. Anyone who can't see the humor in that seriously needs to get a life.
Some reviewers questioned why a respected actor like Renner would take on a role like this. Sure, he's a two-time Oscar nominee, but there's nothing wrong with him doing a fun film every now and then. His career is currently much more on track than many Oscar winners. Anyone remember Cuba Gooding, Jr.? Exactly. Plus, this movie was originally supposed to come out last March, but the studio pushed back the release date in order to allow time for Renner to film a couple of more blockbusters while he rose to become an A-list star. This was a wise decision, because Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters debuted at number one at the domestic box office, and it's been making a boatload of money around the world. So forget the haters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The bad news: it's a shallow, outrageous, horror/comedy/fantasy mashup.
The good news: You get exactly what you paid for.
Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are Hansel and Gretel, a young brother and sister who are abandoned by their father in a woods, only to stumble upon a witch living in a house made of candy. Ganging up on her, the youngsters shove her into an oven, and thus defeat her. After this youthful encounter, they devoted their lives to tracking down and killing witches. If a village had a 'witch problem', the standard solution would be to hire Hansel and Gretel...basically, they are supernatural bounty hunters.
It doesn't take long to see that this movie isn't serious (for instance, when Gretel threatens to shoot somebody and "blow his brains all over you f****** hillbillies"), and it doesn't get much better. Blood, guts, and brains are the preferred special effects, corny jokes and stylized poses and fights are in every other scene. One scene where a mildly wounded Hansel is coaxed into 'healing waters' by a good witch amounts to an excuse to see Jeremy Renner naked.
It's violent, irreverent, thoughtless, and yet I enjoyed it. If you're expecting a fairy tale, don't watch it. If you're expecting any kind of depth, don't watch it. If you're squeamish, don't watch it. But if all you're looking for is a couple hours of entertainment from a popcorn flick and you don't have anything better to do, this is an acceptable option.
There are many kinds of movies. Movies are like food. You don't go to a
fast food restaurant waiting to get a wonderful, elegant and
nutritional meal. Maybe, you just want a hamburger like those they
make. That does not mean that you can't enjoy good food, even that you
are acknowledged of the art of the best cuisine, but neither that every
"happy meal" is by definition "scrap".
This is an entertaining movie: well manufactured, mostly pretty well directed and constructed in a very simple, coherent and "easy to tell" story that does not intend to be a classic children's tale, or a state of the art piece of the immortal cinematography.
Grimms' tale is just a starting point of a new story, addressed with a lot of fantasy, which keeps you interested as the time goes by, showing a resourcefulness variety of creative fighting scenes, funny situations, and great art and character design, among others worthy to watch things.
Indeed, like any "commercial" movie, has some weakness in acting, very unintelligent dialogues, and clichés, however, they are just a few.
Finally, for those who wrote that there is plenty of "gore" in the movie, I have to say that blood is keep within decent parameters, far away from Anime, zombies, Spartans and recent Stallone's features. Certainly, it is not a movie for children under 10, in my opinion.
Buy your ticket, grab your popcorn, and open your mind to have some fun.
P.D. Hope my English is good enough for you. Thanks.
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