You either love the fantasy genre or you don’t. In my thirty-plus years of life experience, I’ve realized that about people and their preferences in books, televisions, and movies. Those of us who love a good tale of make-believe, filled with imagination-required scenes, characters, and story lines, are lucky because new pop culture events are popping up for us constantly. One of the most recent additions to the genre opened in theaters this past Friday – The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
Did you see the first movie, Snow White and The Huntsman? If you did, you know that Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth kicked ass in their respective roles of evil queen Ravenna and hottie ax-wielding huntsman Eric. But it really doesn’t matter when it comes to seeing Winter’s War if you know the plot line from the first movie or not. But as one can guess – it involves an ominous queen, a magic mirror, and a girl as fair as snow.
Despite the fact that critics are less-than-thrilled with Winter’s, I really enjoyed it. Here are five reasons why you should leave the house to see this flick. Especially because if you’re going to see a fantasy movie like this, at least see it on a big screen.
1. Emily Blunt
It’s a truth universally known that everyone loves Emily Blunt. This has been true since the first time she wowed us as the cruel yet somehow sympathetic (and beyond fabulous!) Emily in the 2006 movie adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada. Since then, she’s cranked out numerous great roles (including Rita in Edge of Tomorrow, the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, and the starring role in the critically acclaimed Sicario). But even if she didn’t do a good job acting, we would still like her anyway, because she’s super sweet, funny and one half of an awesome celebrity couple (married to The Office-star hubby John Krasinski). BUT she IS a great actress, and is excellent as the Frozen-like ice queen Freya. I won’t give away much about her character, because the trailers did a great job of keeping secret whether she was good or bad or something in between. But Blunt does a perfect job and will help keep your eyes glued to the screen and her ice-gray hair.
2. The Costumes
Every one of Freya and Ravenna’s costumes in this movie could each be their own reason to head to the theater, particularly if you are a fashion or costume lover. Each one is more intricate and stunning then the next. Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood designed the drop-dead extravagant looks for the film, which took my breath away repeatedly.
In order to create Theron’s exquisite gold winged cape, Atwood had to make a “feather room” in her work studio, she told Entertainment Weekly. She estimates that 5,000 Coque feathers were hand-foiled in gold to create this ethereal yet earthly piece. For reason’s I won’t give away here, Ravenna’s outfits are all gold metal inspired and are just perfect. The makeup seen here is also just too gorgeous for words.
This blue headdress and the beautiful goddess wearing it are just too amazing.
For Freya, Atwood kept to an appropriately cool palette and used a variety of unusual materials. “We made this dress out of aluminum fabric,” she told EW. “The bodice is cut plastic — like the tubing they use in aquariums—and silver leather. It’s a fun combination of odd material, but it marries together in an interesting way.”
And how stunning are these owl-inspired head pieces?! Beyond gorg! And Ravenna’s crown is perfect for a wicked royal woman like herself.
Check out Freya’s amazing military-themed ensemble.
The costumes for the huntsmen were fantastic too – perfectly cut leather ensembles that one could actually fantasize about incorporating somehow into their wardrobes.
3. The Comedy
Winter’s War actually offers tons of laughs mixed in with the drama and action. Primarily responsible for the funny are the dwarf characters, who use humor and sarcasm to combat being shorter than other species. If you’ve ever seen a Simon Pegg movie (i.e. The World’s End, Paul, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), then you are most likely very familiar with his right-hand man, Nick Frost. Frost is one half of Winter’s main comedy duo, along with impressions master Rob Brydon, who you might know from co-starring with Steve Coogan in the independent comedy gem The Trip. British actress Sheridan Smith also helps brighten up the movie’s mood as well, as an elusive female dwarf. Surprisingly, you will experience as many chuckles in Winter’s as you will any other reaction, as there were lots of great jokes scattered throughout.
4. This Hunk of all Hunks
Chris Hemsworth is mega-, ultra-, crazy hot. And he’s a great actor to boot! He cares passionately about doing his own stunts and does a perfect job portraying the hero of the movie (a usual for him in his movies) and executing believable action after action after action. “It gets a little easier each time you do a fight scene, or a different film, because it’s like any sport or athleticism,” Hemsworth told Get Into Film. “But it is an entirely new set of steps each time. But it was nice in this film to develop a new unique fighting style that had a continuity with the other huntsmen and Jessica [Chastian’s] character.”
The harder Eric fights and the dirtier and more sweat-soaked he gets, the better! Hemsworth was born to be a movie star and he is a hell of a good one.
5. The Love Story
The heart of the movie’s plot is a beautiful love story, which was a fun, unexpected change from the first movie. No spoilers here, but if you love a good romantic tale, this movie will not disappoint. The Huntsman was a bit of a wondering loner and helper-for-hire in the first movie but in Winter’s, he is driven by love to save the day. Seeing Eric as a die-hard romantic in addition to a skilled warrior was a treat this time around since Hemsworth is a bit of a dream boat (as already discussed!). And Chastain is naturally great in everything and encompasses the role of hottie Huntswoman Sara perfectly.
Bonus Reason! The Girl from the Train trailer
It is not new movie news that there is an adaptation of Paula Hawkin’s best-selling fiction thriller, The Girl from the Train, with Winter’s star Blunt playing the lead. So when I went to the theater, I hoped to catch my first glimpse of the film version of the best Gone Girl-type story since Gone Girl. I was not disappointed. If you haven’t seen the Train trailer yet on Youtube, then hold off and see it first in the theater. It’s fun seeing the movie’s star in a different role before the movie and Train looks awesome. I personally don’t know the story and it looks like one filled with taut suspense and crazy twists.
Editor’s Note: Hi Readers! It’s been quite some time since I’ve written, due to planning my wedding (free time = planning) and then getting an all-consuming job (free time = R&R). But I’ve missed it very much and am coming back full force. Thanks for coming back to the site, as I truly appreciate the support!