Me and My Nine Iron

March 22, 2012

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 3D review

Filed under: Movie reviews — BJ @ 4:49 pm
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Seen at a pre-release screening in Hollywood:

I had the pleasure of being one of the first to see this film at the Paramount lot, which hopefully, is the first of many visits for me. They have their own small, intimate theater with movie-quality 3D glasses that need to be activated and display better 3D than you can ever find in a theater. You know, the kind that would actually make the surcharge worth it. Right before the movie started, Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton and who I believe to be their Norwegian director popped in the back to join us.

I have to say that the movie didn’t sit well with me. It seemed all too formulaic in its storytelling (i.e. the kids’ first encounter of witches at the gingerbread house turning into killing witches for a living; this whole movie being about killing one big one), and the action scenes, which were the best part, never put the protagonists in any real danger – which might be the most critical error to make in an action movie, and the reason why I hated Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. When Gretel was tied up at the end, I didn’t once feel like she was close to death. When Hansel took a baseball swing from a shovel to the face, he only got as hurt as any other time. As bloodied as they always got from every battle, these characters were invincible.

But it still felt weird overall, having the characters talk modern English in a centuries-ago setting. It’s like I appreciated the modern take on an old fairy tale, yet was turned off by it at the same time. I think the ‘cool’ factor got lost somewhere in the execution from Tommy Wirkola, who wrote and directed his first American movie – with a $60 million budget, no less. Story experts would probably claim there wasn’t enough depth–it ran under 80 minutes, which is unheard of for an action movie–and I just found it a subpar action movie.

Up until January, this movie was scheduled to come out on March 2nd but fell into post-production problems–it’s still without a trailer or poster–so it was pushed back to next year, giving them time for a 3D marketing campaign. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are co-producers under their Gary Sanchez Productions, who are eying a franchise for these flawed characters.

The ratings were generous given that the overall production value looked good. Shot on location in Germany.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters opens in theaters on January 11, 2013.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: n/a
What it should be: 6.5

Pass

BJ

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5 Comments »

  1. […] few good action movies. (Two glaring examples that come to mind are Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.) The hand-to-hand combat was pathetic, slow and mundane. Some better fight scenes and a bigger […]

    Pingback by Total Recall review « Me and My Nine Iron — August 5, 2012 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

  2. Tough to say without seeing a trailer or the marketing campaign, but I’ll usually put my money on branded action movies doing well.

    Something to note: Only three movies released in January have ever topped $100 million, which is less than what the studio expects to rake in to justify the $60 million budget.

    Comment by BJ — April 25, 2012 @ 9:24 am | Reply

  3. Do you think it will do well at the boxoffice?

    Comment by specialist — April 21, 2012 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  4. I forget if I got a paper invite at another screening or if I found it online. gofobo.com is a good place to start, and you’ll come across a dozen other sites while searching for its codes. Hope that helps!

    If I remember correctly, it should be an ‘R’, as there were also probably more F-bombs than are allowed in a PG-13.

    Comment by BJ — April 10, 2012 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

  5. Thanks for the review! How did you get to see the pre – release screening? I keep missing them and want to see what has been done so far. I read somewhere else that it looks like it might be an R-rated fairy tale due to violence and gore.

    Comment by Megan — April 3, 2012 @ 1:38 pm | Reply


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