Kurt Loder on Snow White and the Huntsman

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Snow White and the Huntsman is a CGI confection spun around the bones of the Grimm fairy tale. The picture has moments of familiar digital beauty, writes Kurt Loder, but many more passages of effects and conceptions borrowed directly from earlier films. An otherworldly white stag strongly recalls Harry Potter's guardian Patronus; the sight of a fellowship of humans and dwarves hiking along a rocky mountain ridge is one of several lifts from the Lord of the Rings films; and, going way back, there's a spooky figure erupting into a flock of black birds that seems derived from Madonna's old Frozen video. Not to mention echoes of Braveheart and various Joan of Arc films, as well as a truly lamentable incursion of neo-Disney bunnies and butterflies and adorable, big-eyed pixies. What the movie lacks, Loder writes, are any surprises: being an expensive inflation of one of the best-known of all kiddie tales, it's basically Much Ado About Snow White.

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