Thursday, July 19, 2012

Snow White De-Disneyfied

The movie Snow White and the Huntsman turns out to be quite a surprise. I went to watch the movie to not only ogle at Chris Hemsworth, who played the huntsman, hoping he would once again exhibit his six pack asset that made him famous. Well, in this movie , he didn't. Nevertheless, I forgot about his abs because I was so drawn into the story. No it's not your typical fairy tale with seven little people singing hi-ho. Instead it's like Lord of the Rings meets Robin Hood, meets Joan of Arc. Epic battle on Snow White? Who knew. The biggest surprise for me, however, was Kristen Stewart herself. Okay I must admit I am not a fan of the girl mostly because I am not a fan of the vampire movie series where she plays lead female role. I am not a fan of the series in the first place. Based on the trailers of those movies, I thought she only has one facial expression throughout. Dreamy eyes- half opened pouty mouth, I thought she'd play the role of an ornament to this movie to Chris Hemsworth strong and bold presence, figuratively and literally speaking, that is. This movie I should say was where she truly impressed me. Here she shows she is prepared to take on the lead role even while pitted against the veteran Charlize Theron who played the wicked stepmother.


This is a rather late review. I got a copy as a gift (thanks, bro!) and with my busy time it was only recently that I really listened to the album in its entirety. Actually, this morning even while at work. 

U2 is known to produce special albums for their fans who are ever-hungry for anything the band will produce - from the requisite tour shirts to coffee mugs, to car stickers or even a voodoo doll replica of Bono  (okay I am just kidding but you know what I mean).  They also love to experiment on their own songs and thus turning to the services of well known producers of remix music such as Trent Reznor and William Orbit. I have a few of these special editions that come out as double album, with B-sides songs forming  the other half. Having listened to them when I am in a U2 mood, I have noticed that there are some songs that are frequently featured on their B-sides.  These are what I would call the permanent B-side hangers-on of which I think these are the top three
1) Staring at the Sun
2) Happiness is a Warm Gun (cover of a Beatles' song)
3) If God Will Send His Angels
Runner up:  Elevation (being a more recent work only).
Having said all that,  I think Artificial Horizon  sounds more like B-side collection on a separate late release.  Now that's again proof of another brilliant marketing of U2 and no wonder its fans has remained loyal to them.  However, music-wise I'd give it a three.  I usually give U2 albums 4 at the lowest. It's three for me because some of the remix are not as exciting as the previous ones they did for their albums and they are b-sides at that. Experimentation is a good thing but trying the same formula or being predictable can be a bit tiring. Predictable because for the past fifteen years or so, every album that they produce are usually followed by a B-side collection.  I'd rather that they do an acoustic version of their recent hits or even some of their not so commercial songs, especially the ones from their Pop album which the band and the fans consider their first real experimental album.  Just some sort of going back to the basics - the major instruments and the Bono vox.

Best cut on the cd by the way , for me is, City of Blinding Lights (Hot Chip 2006 remix).