Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

My sister-in-law gave Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters a go recently and really enjoyed it. "It was fine. I mean...you know...it was just fun and light." I made note and gave it a go and she was right - it was just a fun film.

You know the drill - Hansel and Gretel story with a new twist where they continue their witch killing as youths, teens and into adulthood leading to the resolution where there is a major witch happening that they need to take on. There are "Van Helsing Style" steampunk weapons, a troll, bad humans and enough fighting and spell casting to make things interesting throughout.

The cast is fine and doing what they need to do to sell the story. Jeremy "Hawkeye" Renner is dashing and tough, the delicious Gemma "Quantum of Solace" / "so damn cute" Arterton is her so damn cute self and tough and the age defying Famke "Jean Grey / Xenia Onatopp" Janssen chews up everything in her path and plays the evil up to 13 in a fun, nasty witchy way. Man, she looks the same as she did in 1995. It's amazing.

The film follows the Van Helsing path, switching up the old tale with some new, alternate history madness where Gatling guns and tricky, self loading crossbows are weapons of choice. But, you know what? I'm totally fine with both films, really. At least someone is doing something interesting, fun and new-ish. And, they make use of some practical effects here as well. Good old fashioned makeup, prosthetics and costumes mixed in with computer effects. The troll was a lot of fun and felt like some of the Henson Dark Crystal work.

A small rant:
A recent view of THE BELL WITCH HAUNTING made me want to kick a...well...whoever greenlit the project, really. :::grin:::  It was more of the same, found footage nuggetry that is all over the place. All hell is breaking loose, yet people are still compelled to point a camera around. DEVIL'S DUE is running into the same madness. A man's pregnant wife is speaking like a demon and he doesn't fail to continue rolling tape. Mind boggling.  Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is just playing around. Tommy Wirkola knows what he's doing both behind the keyboard (writer) and behind the camera. However, as with his previous feature DEAD SNOW, I'm not sure people get that he's playing and having fun. I'm not sure what they are expecting, but to rail against this film is just silly. If you saw the trailer, you knew what you were getting into straight away.

It would be like me complaining if I went to see DEVIL'S DUE after seeing the trailer. I know it's not for me - why rip it more than I have already? :)

If you're not afraid to take in some fun, try out Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. It's a hoot. :)

Some fun PRACTICAL effects work in here as well. Like this fun troll, Edward. :)

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