Monday Morning Critic – Bored to Death – Snow White and the Huntsman, Tim Burton & Tarsem Singh
by Scott "Kubryk" Sawitz on June 4, 2012

Every Monday morning, InsidePulse Movies Czar Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings an irreverent and oftentimes hilarious look at pop culture, politics, sports and whatever else comes to mind. And sometimes he writes about movies.

I kept thinking of one thing after watching Snow White and the Huntsman this weekend. It stuck in my craw something fierce and I just couldn’t let it go as watching the film. As the credits rolled I was stilled somehow surprised, even though I knew the tale of both of the “Snow White” films coming into 2012.

This was the film I was hoping Tarsem Singh would’ve made instead of Mirror, Mirror.

When it comes to trying to adapt the tale of Snow White into a sort of modern myth against Snow White as a sort of screwball comedy you’d think they’d have hired someone like Tim Burton for the latter and Singh for the former. Singh’s specialty, I’ve though, is that he creates tremendous visuals as well as has a grand story to tell. Mirror, Mirror is just a screwball comedy, more or less, that manages to try and take a story that really isn’t suited for comedy and makes it into one. It’s something I’d have expected from someone like Burton, who has a knack for developing comedy.

You’d have thought that this would be something he’d have been keen on; you get to redo Snow White but all trippy. Heck, you could’ve had Johnny Depp in a trippy performance as Prince Charming and there’s a $50 million opening weekend waiting to happen.

Singh is kind of a director who works best with dark tones when it comes to film-making. Watching Immortals may have been tough but when it comes to crafting a tale he works well with harsher themes. It’s why I didn’t like Mirror, Mirror; it felt too screwball when it didn’t have the material to be screwball. Screwball comedy is really tough to pull off and requires a certain type of director to do so successfully; Tarsem’s not that guy.

Watching Huntsman it just struck me as a film that I’d have loved to seen Singh take a crack at instead of Mirror, Mirror.

A Movie A Week – The Challenge

This Week’s DVD – Bored to Death (Season 2)

Whenever my father and I tend to find a show we both can tolerate, and at the same time, it ends up going off the air. First it was Entourage and now Bored to Death, which ended a hilarious three season run on HBO. It’s a fairly simple premise: Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) had a fairly successful first novel and now has writer’s block while writing his second. To get inspired he moonlights as an unlicensed detective on Craigslist. Mentored by George (Ted Danson), a magazine editor who likes marijuana and loose women, he’s recently dumped by his long term girlfriend (Olivia Thirlby) and figuring out his life with his comic book artist best friend Ray (Zach Galifianakis).

When we start the second season Jonathan is struggling, big time, with his writing career. The book he’d begun work on, and finished between the first and second season, has been rejected and now he’s struggling for inspiration. Teaching creative writing at night, the big themes of the second season are his writing, Ray’s newfound success after being dumped by his longtime girlfriend and George’s struggles with prostate cancer. And the urologist who happens to be both his doctor and sex partner, as well, and you have a remarkably strong follow up to a humorous first season.

Bored to Death is essentially a 30 minute television series about a detective/writer and his wacky friends as imagined by Woody Allen … but without nearly as patently neurotic of a lead character. It’s what I enjoyed most about the show; Jason Schwartzman gets to play the Woody Allen role without being nearly as much of a putz as Allen would be in a similar spot. That’s part of why Allen’s films have declined in quality over the years; his ability to rein the character he plays (or would play) hasn’t been nearly as good as it used to be.

The second season is about on par with the first, which I loved. At only eight episodes it’s a really quick viewing, as well, so you could knock it out in an afternoon without breaking a sweat.

Recommended.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 Pints of Bass Ale and community college co-eds with low standards at the Alumni Club

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – More animated shenanigans because there’s still money to be made.

Skip It – The sequel stunk, the first was ok and this has all the look of one small children will like and their parents will slit their wrists too.

Prometheus – A prequel to Alien, maybe … not really sure what it’s about so far.

See it – Ridley Scott may be hit or miss, but lately he’s been more hit than miss.

Lola Versus – Greta Gerwig gets dumped three weeks before a wedding. So she does what every 29 year old who gets dumped before a wedding does: get her whore on. In Limited Release

See It – Gerwig is usually really entertaining in these sorts of small films.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .



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