Your Off-Season Weekend at the Movies

01/25/2013 12:00 PM |


Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters: To think that at this time last year, we lived in a world without two additional revisionist takes on the “Snow White legend”—and that by this time next year, we’ll have been blessed with no fewer than three big-scale “reimaginings” of fairy-tale-type stories: we’ve got a big-budget Jack and the Beanstalk movie in March, followed a mere one week later by Sam Raimi’s new Wizard of Oz prequel. But right now, it’s January, so you’ll have to make do with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, the poor man’s any of those movies, at least if studio treatment is any indication. Paramount bounced the movie out of last spring and all the way into the January graveyard—though, to be fair, they may have just realized that (a) plenty of movies have made money in January with less competition in their way, and (b) they have a Hansel and Gretel movie on their hands that more resembles the off-season Underworld or Resident Evil series than, say, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which is the clear reason for most of these movies existing. I don’t want to get all contrarian before I’ve seen the movie (and I’m not convinced said movie screened for much of anyone before Thursday or so, if then), but if Hansel and Gretel really does take more of an irreverent, semi-fractured take on the story, hey, that’ll put it above Snow White and the Huntsman almost by default. Then again, it could also basically be Van Helsing all over again; Gemma Arterton, who I like for reasons as arbitrary as my desire to see this movie, certainly seems to be gunning for Kate Beckinsale’s old job.