Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why they hate us: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters gets a lousy trailer that feels no better than a SyFy Channel premiere.

Well this looks amusingly terrible.  This is frankly why so many people claim that movies stink nowadays.  It's the kind of 'take an old tale and turn it into an action picture' shtick that was tired the minute Van Helsing debut nearly nine summers ago.  Starring a flavor of the month actor (Jeremy Renner) and a random 'she's a movie star because we tell you she is' would-be starlet (Gemma Arterton), this can't even muster a decent trailer.  It looks dull, it looks cheap, and it looks like the kind of thing that would perhaps justify itself as a guilty pleasure as a Saturday night SyFy movie.  But this would-be franchise-starter is the kind of film that would-be audiences and critics are talking about when they decry the death of Hollywood.  Just as obnoxious, the film pertains to be about a brother-and-sister witch killers yet establishes what appears to be a stock 'rescue the damsel in distress' third act which sidelines Arterton for large chunks of the picture (notice how little she appears in the last third of the trailer).  I'm happy to see Famke Janssen in a high-profile project, but she seems to be the only source of entertainment, even with a somewhat surprising R-rating.  Although I will gladly eat crow if the film finds some way to incorporate IKEA into the narrative, perhaps making Mr. Ikea the would-be Q who builds all of their snap-together weapons ("There's an extra screw that doesn't go anywhere!  We're doomed sister!").  Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters debuts on January 11th. 2013.  As always, we'll see...

Scott Mendelson   

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