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Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (DVD)

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      05.08.2014 10:37

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      great film full of action!

      Hansel and Gretel with Hunters is a brilliant film which was released in 2013 and directed by Tommy Wirkola.

      The film, starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare, is about two witch hunters, that travel the world killing and burning witches.

      The film begins with a clip of the siblings past, where as children they go into a house made of candy, where they are trapped by a witch. The children escape their cage and kill the witch that put them there which is where there witch killing started. The children's parents are both killed, which left the children orphans.

      The brother and sister duo are hired by a small town that has had children taken, only to find that it was witches that had taken the towns children. Hansel and Gretel's task is to find and return the children, but their task leads them on a path that will tell them about their own past. They find out that her mother was a white witch, and was burned at the stake, and their farther hung in front of their mother.

      The story continues, where the dark witches are trying to make a potion that will make them immune to fire, but they need Gretel's heart to complete the potion. In the end, Hansel, and his helpers, attempt to stop the witches plot and save Gretel.

      This is a thrilling story which i really enjoyed, it is defiantly worth a watch in my opinion. The film is available to buy online for only £4 including delivery, so it is very cheap to buy!

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      10.03.2014 09:06
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      A yawn of a movie!

      Both me and my boyfriend have a love of films and love nothing more than a quiet night in (usually with him cooking!) and a few dvds. He lent this one off his brother and I must admit prior to watching it, it was a film I that I had wanted to see however I am not a Gemma Arterton fan so did go into this rather dubious to be honest!

      Film Only Review:

      Abandoned in the forest buy their father in the middle of the night, young Hansel and Gretel come across a gingerbread house with a witch inside it. Looking like they are doomed the young children overpower the witch and survive and 15 or so years later are strong adults and very apt witch hunters.

      The pair get hired by a sheriff in the town of Augsburg to find out why children are going missing just in time to save Mina a witch according to the accusations of the village to which the pair declare she is certainly no witch and rescue her.

      Soon the pair come up against the very powerful grand witch Muriel(Famke Janssen)who is preparing for a ritual for the grand moon, does she have anything to do with the children going missing suddenly?

      With the pair usually working alone soon they have a team behind them of Ben and Mina and a Troll to try to save local children from being sacrificed but is Muriel and her merry band of witches too strong for them to defeat?

      My Opinion:

      Urgh another load of time I wasted! Gemma Arterton was annoying in the role of Gretel to me I'm afraid. Ok she looked fierce in a skin tight leather get up and Jeremy Renner who played Hansel looked hot too but that's about it. The story bored me and I lost interest half way through and the only person I thought was great on screen was the ever fabulous Famke who played Muriel. Yes the special effects were rather good in this to be fair to them, the music was unmemorable and as expected yes the story was far-fetched. The idea of a grown up version of a childhood story most of us are familiar with though was a good one, that can't be knocked but I felt not only was the story not all that great but the acting from most of the cast wasn't great either. Shot well but with a long runtime of 85 minutes (rated 15 by the way) I just felt this was a bit of miss mash and Nope I didn't enjoy it at all!

      Available new from Amazon for about five pounds but if I was you I wouldn't bother buying this and watch it if you really feel the need to when it airs on the tv and there really is nothing else on!

      This review is also posted on Dooyoo under this same username.

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      11.01.2014 23:47

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      I actually didn't expect much from this film - Hansel and Gretel grown up and witch hunters??? Happily I was wrong, this film is really enjoyable. From the fight scènes, the humour and the bad guys who are actually bad, no conscience, no sobbing just plain bad.Some scenes aren't suitable for younger children but everyone else will enjoy this story of what happened after the House of Gingerbread. Fantastic weapons, excellent costumes with some great scenery from the beginning with the house we'd all have Fallen for as children, to the villages, witch burning and the payback to the village bullies is just excellent if too bloody for children.I enjoyed this film, to Watch it you have to imagine the fairytale characters grown up with adult lives, a good fantasy film.

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      30.10.2013 14:34
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      Seriously below par extension of a classic tale

      Goodness me, I seem to be picking right horros (no pun intended) to watch at the moment. Billed as a grown up fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters is the sort of film that has to be taken at face value and looked at as a slightly tongue in cheek film. To regard it as a serious horror film would be wrong...yet it seems that the director attempts just that.

      To its credit, topping the billing are Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, who do an able job of having a good bit of fun as opposed to aiming for the aforementioned erroneous serious film. Arterton's American accent is dire, but the two of them balance each other very well. The film opens with them as kids who are captured by a witch as per the original fairy tale, eating the house made of sweets and cake and getting lured in by a witch. Escaping, they burn the witch and return home to find their parents either dead or missing, I couldn't work out which to be honest.

      Anyway, they grow up, and a brief passage of explanation of the intervening years tells us they become legendary for fighting and killing witches. ALL witches. When they return home and save a woman accused of being a witch as she doesn't show the signs, you just know there'll be trouble. Big bad witchy comes along, threatens them all, kills a few people, brings a troll whose loyalty is full of confusion to accompany her and her witch minions who hiss and crouch a lot, and they all have a big fight.

      There's slightly more to it, if I'm honest, and I don't want to be excessively harsh on a film that does have its moments. The special effects are decent for the most part, with the occasional slip reminding you just how false everything is. The action and fight choreography is the same, but the bad bits are hidden well by some clever camera angles, zooms and scene editing. And it's violent, quite aggressively violent if that makes sense. It goes over the top. Heads get completely squished or even separated from bodies, and the blood is all over the place. The troll, Edward (!), has the most violent parts, able to decapitate and squish at will and does so, despite his Jim Henson-like external visuals. It's hard to believe in an era of digital special effects that clear external costumes are expected to be good enough. I can see they probably wanted to remain traditional and impress on the viewers the light hearted take on a classic tale, but it just didn't fit.

      It was all just a bit disappointing. I fell asleep twice waiting for the end. After their recent successes, Renner and Arterton have hit a low moment with this film. They shine through above all else, with Famke Janssen, once a decent movie regular, taking an even further step down with an awkward show as the main villain. Naturally, the plot is completely predictable, with their back story holding a few secrets of their own, although once you expect this then it stops being quite such a disappointment. It's a bad film that tries to pretend it's good, apart from its two stars who are very clear about the sort of film they're leading. Not one I'd bother with, if I were you to be honest.

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      29.09.2013 19:08

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      More an expensive TV pilot than a Hollywood blockbuster

      It is very hard to like this film but somehow is garners enough good will that I can't dislike it.

      The Good:
      The cast are good. Both Jeremy Renner and Gemma Aterton know what this film is and seem to be having fun with it. The tone is fun and frantic not wanting to give you time to think to hard about what is going on or why. The violence is cartoonish and over the top, as the are ridiculous weapons (which do look like left overs from Hugh Jackman's Van Halsing).

      I would also like draw attention to the marvelous practical effects used for Edward the Troll. These effects are wonderful to see and hark back to some of the best practical effects committed in children's cinema, such as "The never ending Story" or "The Dark Crystal". more about the effect in the bad section.

      The bad:
      This never feels like a film that anyone in charge had any faith in. If you want to pull of a convincing fantasy world on screen I believe that the best way to do it is to go all out. through out the film I couldn't shake the feeling that they had wanted to go further but were being pulled back by the studio.

      Much of the CGI is used to polish up the practical effects and work well but when the film relies on them, for gore or the magic it looks very cheap.

      Overall:
      I would recommend giving this film a go and enjoy the fun and practical effects, but don't expect too much. The film feels more like an expensive TV show pilot than a Hollywood film. The need to expand the universe as a TV series is confirmed by the early closing credits scene.

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      15.07.2013 12:32
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      A gory take on a children's scary tale.

      Hansel and Gretel - Witch Hunters

      --

      After a tiring day I found myself wanting to watch a movie that didn't take much effort and I thought that this movie might just fit the bill. It did in that sense and although not a brilliant blockbuster it was interesting enough and most certainly entertaining. I label it in the non-existent genre of Children's adult flick.

      The theme and the story is essential a child's tale. I'm sure you're all familiar with Hansel and Gretel. Here though the similarity stops. What you have here is essentially a children's story that is filled with violence, swearing, blood and guts and bucket of gore. It should definitely not be viewed by young children. It is a dark fantasy with a whole quota of black comedy to lighten up the gory element.

      I thought that if the movie turned out to be a dud, then at least I could enjoy Gemma Arterton on screen for an hour and a half and what's not to like? Famke Janssen is not bad either and surely Pihla Vitala would absolutely walk the rear of the year after her naked walk into a pool. Jeremy Renner does his bit for the ladies.

      Before I talk about the direction and acting, let's take a look at the plot.

      --

      The Premise

      --


      The story starts with a young Hansel and Gretel being abandoned in a forest by their father. As you would expect, they come across a house made of sweets. After defeating the witch they embark on a career as witch hunters and become infamous across the land. The major of a village asks the now grown up Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) to find the children taken from there and he tells them that he suspects witches. Hansel and Gretel find out that a blood moon is soon due.

      A blood moon is fabled among witches for being the one thing that can give them the power to withstand fire. With fire being the most used method to kill a witch it is paramount that they make sacrifices of a certain amount of children while the blood moon lights up the sky. The witches are led by a high witch named Muriel (Famke Janssen) who can change to human form at will. It is up to Hansel and Gretel to foil these plans and save the villages children.

      --

      My Thoughts

      --

      The filming locations were set in Germany and took place in Berlin, Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Babelsberg, Potsdam, and Brandenburg. A studio was also used in Babelsberg, Potsdam and Brandenburg.It was a joint US/German production with Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Paramount pictures on board.The movie was directed by Tommy Wikola who directed the German movie 'Dead Snow'. I have this movie but have yet to watch it.

      From watching Hansel and Gretel, one thing I know for sure is that Dead Snow will be gory if nothing else. There is an extended un-cut version of the movie available with an extra nine minutes footage. There is a scene were a baby is killed and after receiving shocking reactions from a test screen audience, Tommy Wikola decided to remove it from the theatrical release.Like I said earlier, this movie isn't going to win any awards (maybe in effects or make-up) but it is a movie that can entertain you for an hour and a half.

      It's fun and it's full of violence against horrible witches, which is no excuse I know but it is rather satisfying seeing one of the horrid creatures meet their doom.The special effects whether it be CGI or make-up is really well done and the blood and gore is very realistic. Be warned, there are crushed heads, exploding heads and grey matter awash all about this movie. If you're a horror fan or fan of mindless gore, you will probably enjoy all the more.The acting for the best part is well done albeit somewhat tongue-in-cheek at times.

      Renner is funny without trying to be and Gemma Arterton plays the kick-ass beautiful heroine quite well. I like Gemma and hope she goes far as she is one of the best young actresses to come out of England for a long time. It doesn't hurt that she is easy on the eye either. Famke Janssen puts in her usual sturdy performance and looked like she enjoyed her role as the head witch.

      Pihla Vitala is sure to be a star. The Finnish actress is already making heads turn and no wonder as she has a great screen presence and is a natural beauty.

      Peter Stormare is also good as Sheriff Berringer. You will probably recognise him as John Abruzzi from Prison Break. He often pops up all over the place on TV and in films and has to be one of the hardest working actors around.

      I think Renner and Arterton must have had lots and lots of bruises and cuts after working on this movie.

      OK, they will have had stunt doubles but a lot of the fight scenes they did themselves. You will do a lot of wincing while watching this movie.One of my favourite things in the movie is Edward the Troll. He is played by Derek Mears, who underwent all the make-up and essentially walked around as Edward but the voice of the troll was recorded by Robin Atkin Downes. It is a little stereotypical of trolls in movies in many ways but it is still nice to feel for him and relate to his sadness at being bossed by the head witch.

      The cinematography of the movie is beautiful and the landscapes in German look lovely. I've been to three different parts of Germany and it is a beautiful country so it didn't surprise me in the least. The forests and woodland used were a good choice.

      I would recommend this as an easy watching movie and adults will appreciate the black comedy. I would definitely, without the slightest hesitation, recommend that children under fifteen are not allowed to view it. Call me old-fashioned, but I think this is perfectly acceptable. I know that most teenagers would balk and laugh and the gore these days due to the internet and what is available to view, but I am talking about normal children who have had a good upbringing and don't spend Friday nights drinking and smoking on street corners at fourteen. Many kids might be desensitised to it all but the gore in this film really is quite strong and could shock and give young children nightmares. Believe me, I am dead against Mary Whitehouse and think she is a prude but I also agree that young children should be shielded from too much violence and gore.

      It's not a fantastic film, but a good watch and entertaining enough to watch through.

      I give Hansel and Gretel - Witch Hunters three out of five stars.

      The 'Wiatch' in the title is not a spelling mistake by the way before any of you biatches have a go at me :0)

      ©Lee Billingham

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        28.05.2013 17:35
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        A strong and dark fairytale adaptation!

        I've been looking forward to this movie for a long time as it pairs two of my favourite stars Gemma Arterton (Tamara Drewe, The Disappearance of Alice Creed) and Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy, Avengers Assemble) in a dark take on the Brother's Grimm tale.

        After escaping from the witch's lair of candy at a young age, siblings Hansel (Renner) and Gretel (Arterton) become witch hunters, killing witches for a living. As the night of the blood moon approaches, a small village summons the pair to hunt witches who have kidnapped several of the villagers' children to be used in a sacrifice led by dark witch Muriel (Famke Janssen), granting witches fire immunity. Hansel and Gretel must save them before it is too late.

        The pace was slick from the artistic opening sequence. At one hour and a half, the movie was very concise and the action was full on throughout. With dramatic moments interspersed between quieter ones, the movie works extremely well in balancing storytelling with the thrilling and at times gory destruction of witches.

        Set in Germany, the vibe of the whole movie is very much in a realm of a fairy tale atmosphere, which made the film that much more beautiful, especially the misty forests.

        Thematically and visually, the movie was much darker than other fairy tale takes such as Tim Burton's artistic 'Alice in Wonderland' or the floppy 'Red Riding Hood'. This worked well to establish a different cinematic style in a genre saturated with colour and CGI. The coldness of the atmosphere contrasted with the flash of blood was surprisingly refreshing (visusally, of course!).

        As we reached the climax and the end, there were a few twists and turns which was nice, but it followed an overall straightforward direction which was finished off well in a dramatic and tense finale fight sequence. I thought the ending was somewhat too neatly concluded and slightly too cheery.

        ~~~CAST~~~
        Gemma Arterton- Gretel
        Jeremy Renner- Hansel
        Famke Janssen- Muriel

        Action man Jeremy Renner is no stranger to this type of role and demonstrate an ease at what he's doing, whilst Gemma Arterton who has always been strong at feisty strong femme fatale roles fit right into this witch hunting movie.

        The two share a great chemistry which works well in their sibling relationship and the dynamic is equal most of the time. Both have strengths and weaknesses and they compliment each other, so neither dominates in the action or the plot which is commendable as it might be easy to write Hansel as the lead character and Gretel as a sidekick, but here, they are both equally important and I praise the writers for this.

        ~~~OVERALL~~~
        Despite negative reviews, the dark tone of the movie and the artistic visuals, matched with slick action made this a really thrilling movie. Yes, the plot is quite linear and the whole idea is kind of abstract, but being an adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, it was done very well. This isn't a movie for kids and I love that about it.

        Both leads are strong in their roles and definitely carries the movie successfully. They also demonstrate a believable sibling relationship which is essential in this movie. Overall, 'Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters' is better than expected and will offer you some gory (but not disgusting) thrills throughout.

        ~~~FUTURE~~~
        Due to box office success, a sequel is being discussed and will perhaps reunite Renner and Arterton in another witch hunting movie, only time will tell.

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          07.05.2013 18:26
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          2 stars

          Watching a few movies on my longhaul flight at the weekend made the time pass by quickly, although the film choice wasn't perhaps what I would have chosen. Hansel & Gretel was the most obvious choice for me out of the four available. I hadn't fancied it at the cinema but knew I would most likely catch it at some point. I had hoped that the film would be really dark and haunting in a way, however this wasn't to be and despite no links with Disney at all, I sat down to watch this very 'Disneyfied' film.

          In a new spin on the classic fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel are now all grown up and are bounty hunters, earning plenty of gold and notoriety along the way. In the beginning, the film is told mirror image as the fable, the two stumble across the house made from candy and after beating their captor, an incredibly ugly witch, they spend their lives searching for retribution and saving children captured by the evil witches across the land. The story is bulked up somewhat by the witches that they are chasing, turning their heels and doing the chasing.

          To be perfectly honest, this film doesn't have an awful lot going for it. I spent several minutes trying to expand upon the synopsis part of the review, however there really isn't that much more to add. Add to the pretty basic storyline, is the feel of a very much recycled film. It feels like a copy of several films, the chase scenes and the way they leap up the trees feels like Twilight, the set feels like Little Red Riding Hood and the story, well we all know that's been copied.

          One of the only thing that kept me going through to the end, is the cast. The cast comprises mostly of Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, yes there are a few faces that you may recognise but glancing at the cast list, I certainly didn't recognise any other names. Renner seems to be a golden boy in Hollywood in recent years, and despite not being 'Hollywood handsome', he does seem to have something about him that makes him right for these kind of action films. He is certainly believable as Hansel, although it is a far cry from the film that shot him to fame, Hurt Locker. Arterton is a good choice as Hansel, and again, believable. She isn't overshadowed by Renner and can hold her own in this big role, most likely one of her largest in a big budget film since she made her mark on the industry in The Disappearance of Alice Creed. The two gel well together and look good together although with the over use of leather and the odd looks at each other, I did expect them to start kissing in several parts of the film (which would have been weird!).

          With an estimated $50 million budget, the producers are already in the black after earning nearly $60 million at the box office, and the film is yet to be released on DVD. It's a decent return so far and at least it's not a loss, but I do wonder where the $50 million went. Yes its heavy on CGI, and although I was watching on a small plane headrest TV which was hardly the sharpest of quality, I do remember realising that the effects weren't amazing. They weren't bad per se, but they weren't blow your mind wow either. I suspect Renners salary had something to do with the large budget, but I may be wrong.

          I did notice one or two goofs, but not nearly as many as I expected, with such a lazy and predictable storyline I expected far more.

          This predictable and extremely average film was like a jigsaw puzzle already done for you. Watch if you really feel the need to, or if you need to kill some time, but don't expect anything beyond 'okay'.

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            03.04.2013 19:07
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            Not great, but not so bad you can't get through it

            ~Film only~

            Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare, Famke Janssen
            Director: Tommy Wirkola
            Genre: Action, fantasy
            Rating: 15 (violence and gore)
            Run Time: 88mins
            Release date: 2013

            [Plot]
            The story starts with the basic premise of Hansel and Gretel, two young siblings taken into the woods by their father and left. Alone and scared they wander around and chance upon a gingerbread house. They eat some, enter and are captured by the witch who lives there.

            In a cage Hansel is force fed candy to fatten him and when the witch attempts to put the children in the oven, they in turn overpower her and she goes in instead.

            The story does not include any of the additional touches of the original fairytale such as the original reason why they were abandoned, the witch being blind or that Hansel would stick a bone through the cage in order for the witch to see if he was getting fatter.

            Throughout the beginning credits, the story of their life is played cleverly with old style "newspaper" articles showing the children leaving the cottage, being welcomed at a village and then going on to save lost children and fight witches.

            This all leads us nicely to the start of the film when Hansel and Gretel are both adults now and professional witch hunters.

            The story revolves around a town were a large number of children have gone missing in a short space of time and witches are to blame. Hansel and Gretel are called in by the mayor to calm the hysteria, rescue the children and kill the witch.

            It some becomes clear that this is no ordinary witch snatching children to eat and so the pair must use all their skills and help from some villagers to complete their duty.


            [Characters]
            Hansel is played by Jeremy Renner who as long as being very nice to look at (IMHO) has done a decent job at some roles in larger movies (Avengers Assemble / Bourne Legacy). His portrayal of Hansel as the confident and somewhat impatient brother comes across well.

            Gretel is played by Gemma Arterton and while she looked familiar it took some searching on imdb to realise she had been in Prince of Persia (hated her in that). However she managed to pull off a decent performance in this, with the great looks and strength of character you don't often find written well for women. She came across like a female Van Helsing and surprisingly it worked.

            The other main character was Famke Janssen who played the bad witch Muriel and brought all her dark eyed, sensual strength to this piece. Famke is known from films such as (Golden Eye, the X-men trilogy). In this image her as Jean Grey (X-Men) gone super bad.


            [Scenes/ costumes and weapons]
            While the costumes looked good, the scenery was just okay are there did feel something "wrong" like they were trying too hard with all this and missing it completely. For example the village scenery just LOOKED like a set. The extras who played villagers, had the feel of actors rather than the characters they played. Obviously more time and effort was needed but was not given.

            The biggest flaw I had with this movie was some of the weapons. Most were okay, funky multi-firing cross bows and an item that produced an electrical charge but had to be "powered up" - these would good and looked great. It was the guns that felt completely out of place for the era. While the designers did their best to great "weird" looking guns they were still, in the end, guns and just jarred with the whole "age-image" of the movie.

            There was also no mention of where they got these. A silly point I know but it works better if there is something. Whether you liked the movie Van Helsing or not (I personally did) I liked that you saw that monks worked on different methods of engineering to alchemy to produce weapons. It felt like this story could have used something like that (just a personal preference).

            The second biggest would be some of the dialogue that again jarred with the assumed time they were going for in the movie. This mostly came from the swear words but there were others too that just didn't work at all and so stopped you from getting "into" the movie and lost in the fantasy.


            [Effects & fight scenes]
            The fight scenes were good, not up there with Bourne but they were impressive if not very "busy" with lots of shaky camera movements. This was compounded by the often "running through the trees either chasing or being chased" and the fact the witches appeared to be able to run on all fours, jump high, vanish and reappear...so there was a lot of motion to deal with.

            The 15 rating made sense with the amount of gore thrown in and bodies torn apart / exploding etc. It seemed the director liked the idea of lots of blood. However for those who are squeamish most of the "gore" bits are built up so you have a fair idea when they will happen should you wish to avert your eyes.


            [Music]
            The musical score was okay, working well with the atmosphere without overwhelming the film, but not being so great as to make me sit up and take notice or want to buy the soundtrack.


            [Story]
            The story was pretty basic, two abandoned children turn witch hunters after getting captured and defeating a witch when they were young. However the so-called plot "twists were about as surprising as an unwrapped birthday present....you bought for yourself! I will be astounded if people don't see exactly where the story / character revelation are going well before these twists are revealed. The writers/director sure could have tried a little harder to make things more.... surprising.


            [Conclusion]
            Overall an okay fantasy film, it won't wow you and you certainly don't need to think so just enjoy the fighting, effects and attractive main characters clad in leather.

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            02.03.2013 09:11
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            An ok film

            About the film
            Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a fairy tale retelling/ continuation film that was released at the cinema in the UK on 27th February. The film is rated 15 due to language and bloody violence and it has a run time of 88 minutes.

            Plot
            Following the Brothers Grimm's famous tale Hansel and Gretel, as young children they are abandoned in the woods leaving them to fend for themselves. However, they come across a house made out of candy and are soon lured into the home of a witch who tries to fatten up Hansel so she can eat him. Not being your average children, Hansel and Gretel manage to fight and kill the witch themselves, learning that burning them is the best way to ensure death.

            Years later, the siblings are now famous witch hunters, with towns all over seeking them out to rid them of their witch problems. In the town of Augsburg 11 children have already gone missing. Hansel and Gretel arrive just in time to stop a young woman being accused of being a witch being burned to death. After talking to the townspeople and finding out a few things, they learn of the Blood Moon and realise they may finally be in over their heads.

            Cast
            Jeremy Renner as Hansel
            Cedric Eich as young Hansel
            Gemma Arterton as Gretel
            Alea Sophia Boudodimos as young Gretel
            Famke Janssen as Muriel
            Pihla Viitala as Mina
            Derek Mears as Edward
            Robin Atkin Downes as Edward (voice)
            Thomas Mann as Benjamin "Ben" Wosser
            Peter Stormare as Sheriff Berringer
            Rainer Bock as Mayor Englemann
            Bjørn Sundquist as Jackson
            Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Horned witch
            Joanna Kulig as Redhead witch
            Zoë Bell as Tall witch
            Monique Ganderton as Candy witch
            Thomas Scharff as Hansel and Gretel's father
            Kathrin Kühnel as Adrianna

            What I thought
            After writing my dissertation on fairy tales, I'm pretty addicted to anything to do with them - they're a bit of a passion of mine now. Although I'm not the biggest fan of retellings that go too far, I still wanted to see this film just to see what it was like.

            I really liked the opening to Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters as it stuck quite close to the original story. Well, with Hansel and Gretel being left on their own and finding a house made out of yummy things. The young actors playing the characters do a great job, especially young Gretel as she fights like hell to save her brother from a fiery furnace. The opening really sets the scene for what is about to come: a hell of a lot of fighting and some bloody ugly looking witches.

            Jeremy Renner as Hansel and Gemma Arterton as Gretel, the grown up versions of the characters obviously. After what happened to them as children, the siblings are out for blood and travel all over in search of witches to kill. The pair get on well as siblings, with a healthy banter between the two and I thought Renner and Arterton worked well together on screen. However, Renner lacks conviction and likeability as Hansel while Gretel is likeable and definitely kicks ass. I was sad to see that Renner wasn't all that good in this role though as I have liked him in quite a few other films. Arterton seems to be great at whatever she does though and the boys will enjoy her in some tight leather costumes at the same time as watching her do her thing.

            This is a film that doesn't lack in blood and gore. Set in a strange looking time, a mix of old and the future, Hansel and Gretel have some pretty interesting toys for killing witches with. This is mostly the reason why this film is rated 15. The filmmakers have come up with some very inventive ways of killing people which will satisfy those who like this kind of thing. I saw the film in 2D so I didn't get to witness the full effects of 3D. I can only imagine how many bits of flesh would come flying at you at full speed. I'm not the most squeamish of girls and I did actually really enjoy the action and the fight scenes. My cousin is 15 and wanted to see this but I did have to warn her about what it was like because she definitely wouldn't have the stomach for it.

            Famke Janssen is a wonderful actress and in my eyes, she always plays an amazing baddie. She does so here as Muriel, the big bad witch. Janssen's character is partially shown as herself while a really ugly witch at others. The make-up of all of the witches in this film was spectacular and I would think that anyone coming across one of them would want to run for their lives. Janssen plays the role with so much determination and perfection, that she is incredibly creepy, scary and evil all at the same time. While there were some other good cast members/ characters, Janssen plays the best hands down and she also gives the best performance by far.

            As for the plot, it is a little farfetched and make up in regards to the original fairy tale. However, I did like the twist that the story was given. If Hansel and Gretel did ever survive, I can imagine that they would want revenge, especially when the witches are so evil. The script tries to be funny, while failing most of the time. There were a few humorous lines here and there but mostly, the lines came across as extremely forced, especially from Renner. Unfortunately, this is a film that tries too hard in the wrong places. It is clearly an action film and tries too hard to have a substantial plot line and a clever script but this is where the film fails badly.

            Overall though, I did really enjoy Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters but it's probably one to wait for when it comes out on DVD.

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