Escape to the Movies: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

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Man, people weren't really listening to Bob when he said that his thoughts about the misogynist tones about the movie were just an interesting thought and nothing more. It's not like he was calling for a boycott of the movie or anything, folks.

Also, I totally forgot just how much of a Starbucks hipster JJ Abrams looks like.

It probably got lost in the one-third of the entire review spent elaborating on the interesting-thought-and-nothing-more.

TheSchaef:

MacNille:
edit. And if a women kills a man? It is not misandry. It just show her as a strong independent women.

I think you just reviewed Enough in less than 25 words.

Didn't she get raped in that movie or something? It's misogynistic to, even if she gets her revenge, everything is misogynistic if a bad thing happens to a woman. Even if a woman just gets gently nudged during a foot-chase, the movie is misogynistic. Heck if the movie even has women in it, it's misogynistic.

J.J. Abrams: okay, so his lens-flare porn is irritating, but he's a decent director, otherwise. Colour me cautiously interested.

Teh Movie: yeah. Pretty much what its trailers promised. A brainless, fluffy Medieval Steampunk action piece because... fuck it, it's January, we're all either stuck with the flu, a cold or staring down the barrel of the Holidays' credit bills. It's not like anyone has two brain cells to spare on anything clever, right about now.

Oh, Jeremy Renner. You were awesome in "Dahmer". I miss your character pieces.

Sorry bob, but I, like quite a few others actually LIKE abrahams star trek. The TREK franchise died long ago, bogged down by too much continuity some really dreadful films (every film post generations) and at least one series that stinks like the rotten garbage it is (Deep space 9, you have to be a child molestor to like that series). Enterprise started to revive the series with some interesting episodes but by that point too many people jumped ship.

Abrahams Trek was the kick in the rear the franchise needed, it cleverly managed to sidestep being bogged down by a ton of continuity and make trek fun and exciting to watch again. Hopefully if we can get the same treatment for star wars that'll be great.

I suspect JJ abrahams is another expendables, bypasses the film cirtic in moviebobs brain and sparks up the outraged nerd. Scot pilgrim tanked, but then made a shitload of cash on home video (like most people predicted), noone actually thought expendables was EVER going to be a good movie, just a fun one, and abrahams managed to drag star trek out of the nerd ghetto it found itself trapped in and most likely found a whole bunch of new fans who probab;y thought they wouldent like trek.

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Man, people weren't really listening to Bob when he said that his thoughts about the misogynist tones about the movie were just an interesting thought and nothing more. It's not like he was calling for a boycott of the movie or anything, folks.

Also, I totally forgot just how much of a Starbucks hipster JJ Abrams looks like.

Yeah and it's not like he filled half the episode with that rambling either.

Oh wait, he did.

Based on the trailers it looked dumb but potentially with some fun bits, and it's supposedly dumb with some fun bits. And people say that trailers aren't representative of the actual movies. Heh.

Probably going to see this sometime soon.

DVS BSTrD:
I mean, it's not like anyone was going to this movie expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Back on topic, I had no idea about this film, but after Bob's review it's definitely on my "To rent" list. I've always had a soft spot for Anachronistic Action films (does that even count as a genre?) having liked both Brothers Grimm and Val Helsing so will definitely get round to watching this at some point.

Sylveria:
Didn't she get raped in that movie or something? It's misogynistic to, even if she gets her revenge, everything is misogynistic if a bad thing happens to a woman. Even if a woman just gets gently nudged during a foot-chase, the movie is misogynistic. Heck if the movie even has women in it, it's misogynistic.

Like every revenge movie, violence by a female is justified by past abuse. You can also assign it to Julia Roberts' final scene in Sleeping With the Enemy. And basically every Lifetime thriller aired in the last twenty years.

I'm not necessarily saying it's good or bad, I'm just saying that's the pattern laid out by movie writers.

erttheking:
And the only vibe I get from that complaint Moviebob is that you should always make the villain a white man to avoid unfortunate implications. Screw that.

Well obviously the best way to avoid sexism is to make sure that white men get all the best parts.

You just can't comprehend the amazing mind of Movie Bob, a man who spent his Phantom Menace review telling everyone to get over it but is clearly still mad about the Star Trek reboot, a man who supports feminism but thinks anyone who disliked Metroid Other M is racist.

Bobs ability to hold completely contradictory opinions makes it clear that he exists on a higher plain of existence than us mere mortals, and it is not for us to judge him.

MacNille:
Oh good. Another fucking Lens flare joke. It is like it was not played out in 2009....
image

THANK YOU !!
And in all fairness, JJ was able to make Star Trek interesting for me, and I didn't even care (at all) about Star Trek.. So with material I genuinely want to see come to life, I do believe he is gonna do very well.. I hope x

Star Trek vs Star Wars debate is going to have a lot of added fuel XD

And right on schedule, the Escapist forumites rush in to completely miss the point...

GrungyMunchy:

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Man, people weren't really listening to Bob when he said that his thoughts about the misogynist tones about the movie were just an interesting thought and nothing more. It's not like he was calling for a boycott of the movie or anything, folks.

Also, I totally forgot just how much of a Starbucks hipster JJ Abrams looks like.

Yeah and it's not like he filled half the episode with that rambling either.

Oh wait, he did.

From what I gathered from his review, there wasn't much else to say about the movie and he had to talk about *something* for five minutes.

Crappy lens flare joke? Followed by an even worse review centering not on the movie, but why the idea of hunting witches should be taboo? Sure, there is a review eventually, but it's lost after 2 minutes of uselessness. Bob, what were you thinking in making this? You have lost me. Your constant complaining about the Spider-man movie (which was ok) didn't do it, your over the top love of the Tim and Eric movie (which was terrible) didn't do it, but this? Abrams made an interesting star trek movie, and I think the second is going to be great from what I've seen. I think his style would actually fit better into the star wars universe, so I see this as a good thing. And even HE admitted the lens flares went a little crazy in star trek and won't make the same mistake again, so your biggest criticism of him is something that won't... freakin... happen. I am actually going to go and watch this seemingly terrible movie now just to spite you... yes, spiting you is worth 10 dollars plus overpriced beer and nachos.

Hmmm, to be honest I don't agree much with either of the central "issues" here. In a fantasy context if you have evil monsters/sorceors having heroes that fight them just goes with the territory. In this case them fighting witches in a world where they, along with monsters like trolls, are real is pretty cool. It's by no means unique of course, while "The Brothers Grimm" is mentioned, I tend to look back to the old Julian Sands movie "Warlock" as an example of
a literal witch hunter being the hero (and it got several sequels). As far as a girl getting beaten up in movies, well, to put it bluntly if your going to have women out there kicking butt, there is no reason why they shouldn't get their butts kicked also, equal presentation all around. I find it laughable to not have people complain about movies where a girl clobbers a bunch of dudes, but then scream for justice when dudes beat up a girl, especially if the girl was trying to be violent first.

On the latter point I think it goes back to the general understanding that in RL girls are generally a lot weaker than guys, and as a result it's typically better for them to run away than trying to fight some dude. Given equal training and time working out a guy will just about always win, not to mention maxing out higher and yeah... it's unfair but true, as much as people might wish otherwise, as demonstrated by most of the times when groups like ESPN have given female martial arts champions chances to fight against similarly ranked men and "prove a point". Thus when we see a girl getting hammered by a really rugged dude it seems kind of unfair. In a fantasy context though where we're omitting all of the reality of women in combat, and have some girl clobbering dudes that outweigh her by a hundred pounds of more in addition to being tough/trained, it's less of a big deal because of the character. You step into that arena, you open yourself up to be on the receiving end.

To be honest I feel things like the "Hitman: Absolution" trailer are kind of refreshing actually, even if the outcry is going to probably move things backwards. Right there we saw equality with women being used the same way guys are in an action scene. Compared to other even more obnoxious and definatly sexist "tropes" where girls can only fight other girls for the sake of a male character retaining his purity, it's kind of refreshing. In a lot of movies you can pretty much assume that if the bad guy has a girl working with him and doing stuff, by the time the credits roll the hero's love interest will probably have taken her down in a cat fight. Sometimes even leading to painful scenes where a guy doofily proclaims "I cannot hit a girl" (despite this girl having like mass murdered 20 people), right before his girlfriend steps up and says something like "but I can!" as the cat fight commences... which is exactly what we'd be going back to if guys like Bob get their way.

-

As far as the real witch hunts go, my opinions are mixed. The political correct brigade has pretty much taken the worst excesses of the entire period, and the cases where we suspect the wrong desician was made, and used that to create a portrayal of what the entire thing was like, all the time, which isn't entirely accurate.

At the end of the day remember differant morality prevailed, and things like the US's "seperation of church and state" did not exist. Following a non-christian religion was pretty much a crime, and at this point all punishments were pretty heinous. What the church did to Pagans seems unusually bad, but wasn't all that singularly unusual, the authorities torturing people for crimes of any sort was a matter of course and why nations like the US have created laws against "cruel and unusual punishment". Truthfully the church was just as bad, if not worse, to other Christians than they were to the so called "witches", if you look at some of the crap that went down between the Catholics and Protestants (which still fuels conflicts today) that should be obvious.

On top of this a lot of those early pagans were pretty bloody nasty when you get down to it. Today when a liberal goes off about this, they try and draw analogies to modern new agers and such, but truthfully that wasn't what it was like (and everyone knows it, even today you can find some remaining records of what people believed was black magic and such, and people in New Age shops and such might not practice it but have an understanding of it, you can have some interesting conversations on the subject). If you watch TV and a lot of the stuff on the history channel or whatever they occasionally do shows going through sites of mass graves where dead babies and such were buried in early pagan rituals, and find all kinds of wierd crap in basements in rural england and such. I remember seeing one show where they had this room in one basement where there were hundreds of skulls in the walls, some of which dated back to the middle ages, and an altar-pit in the middle of the floor. The bottom line is that in many cases The Church was going after some really, really, bad people who were basically engages in seriel murders in the name of their religion... which isn't surprising when you look at what some of those religions were like before the civilization of the area. The portrayal of say a "Druid" tends to vary with whether someone wants to defend it in connection with New Age traditions and tolerance, and say talk about it in context of Celts going to war against the Romans all of the horrible things they did to the soldiers they brought down as part of religious observances (and to their own people when they didn't have prisoners).

The point I'm getting at here is that I don't find The Witch Hunts to be inherantly offensive, it was a differant time, with differant principles, and by modern standards everyone on all sides of things like that were morally abhorrant. Sure, innocent people probably died, but that can be said about most things, and I honestly don't think that most of the people on the receiving end were innocent by the standards used, and a lot of them were probably people that would fall into modern seriel killer profiles (with a religious motive), the kinds of people that we sometimes wish would could regress society on to punish them more adequetly. Over the years I've heard both sides of it, as well as some stuff not intended in this context that can be applied. Rather than QQing about the Inquisition and any mention of it it's better to just summarize it as "the ancient world sucked, I'm glad I didn't live then".

To me, being a good Witch Hunter is no differant than say an exorcism movie. I'm not a big believer in empowered witches or demons possessing people. In the context of a movie the mythology of it can be fun though. Hansel and Gretal killing witches, or the time travelling antics of "Warlock" are really no differant than a movie like "The Exorcist" or any of it's numerous imitations and knockoffs where girls are pretty much tortured in the name of getting the evil out of them. It's based on real practices, but instead of a wayward daughter, we're making a movie where actual supernatural evil is involved.... same thing pretty much.

PsychedelicDiamond:

So, yeah, Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters? Not gonna watch it. That whole "We're making edgy fantasy movies based on fairytales" has gotten really old by now and wasn't exactly interesting to begin with.

Especially considering most fairytales have much darker origins than children are familiar with. The edgy revamps completely ignore those themes in favor of action and digital color saturation, rendering them less mature than even the kids' versions.

I have to say, bashing Abrams and pointing out anything that could be remotely perceived as misogyny are pretty close to the top of the list of "Boring Opinions that Movie Bob Has." That and "Sucker Punch was a good movie, really."

Gemma Arterton is very cute.

I'm also very happy I ain't a starwars fan right now. Just saying. :P

MovieBob:
...mostly women...

Wrong. Incredibly, monumentally, unforgivably wrong.

It sounds like you've been listening to half-educated idiots on Tumblr instead of studying the actual history of medieval religious persecution, which in the final analysis claimed the lives of far more men than it did women. You would be correct to point out that most of those men were convicted of "heresy" rather than "witchcraft" (because women were not generally considered to be legally capable of espousing the kind of doctrinal positions which the label of "heresy" was supposed to describe), but they were hunted by the same organizations for the same reasons, given the same sham-trials, tortured in the same prisons and subject to the same methods of execution.

Also, while it sounds like this may have gone overboard in the other direction, Hollywood's culturally-ingrained fear of having women, especially female protagonists, harmed on screen for anything less than a dramatic tragedy is one of the reasons most English language action movies centered on female leads are so bad (the exceptions being Doomsday and Kill Bill, which were't afraid to let their leads struggle and sustain injury). Can you think of a really good male lead in an action movie who didn't take a lot of (often pretty horrific) punishment by the end of the film? John McClane had to crawl over broken glass. Jackie Chan takes five punches for every one he dishes out. James Bond gets tortured, burned, drowned, stabbed, and shot. Django of Django Unchained is humiliated, beaten, tortured, and threatened with probably fatal sexual abuse, and his namesake might have actually had it worse off by the end of the original film. The action hero is by necessity a character who reaches the end of the film having sustained so much violence that you're amazed they can even stand. Because of that, as long as you view violence sustained by a woman as uniquely terrible, you prevent women from taking similar roles and further the endless succession of interchangeable damsels in distress.

Sylveria:

TheSchaef:

MacNille:
edit. And if a women kills a man? It is not misandry. It just show her as a strong independent women.

I think you just reviewed Enough in less than 25 words.

Didn't she get raped in that movie or something? It's misogynistic to, even if she gets her revenge, everything is misogynistic if a bad thing happens to a woman. Even if a woman just gets gently nudged during a foot-chase, the movie is misogynistic. Heck if the movie even has women in it, it's misogynistic.

I have to say, you're really only making your side of the "argument" seem very unattractive.

Anyway, :/ shame about the movie. I was hoping it would be a bit fun, but then again I guess even a one trick pony can be fun at least once.

Also, lets hope Mr. Lens Flare can dial it down a bit for Star Wars. I liked the Star Trek movie, but there were times in it I had to shield my eyes, or go blind.

I don't understand why everyone hates on JJ Abrams. Sure he's no Ridley Scott but personally i thought the new Star Trek movie was pretty great, certainly miles better than all of the other ones since first contact. I see no reason to expect any less from his treatment of Star Wars. He clearly cared about the source material and paid it due respect while creating something new. Sure it wasn't perfect but it was a whole lot of fun, and really what more can you ask for from a reboot of a tired decades old franchise? Plus, it could have been Michael Bay. Think about that.

You with the Snow White movies, now Hansel & Gretal, and the upcoming Jack the Giant Slayer movie, I'm beginning to wonder just how many fairy tales can be re-imagined into goofy action movies?

Also, J.J. Abrams isn't THAT bad.

I like J.J. Abrams though!

I never watched Star Trek before his movie, and I really enjoyed it, enough to go back and have an appreciation of the old franchise (especially Bones).

Maybe lightning will strike twice with Star Wars. I've always viewed them as an overrated B-Movie.

Aww, I was hoping you'd review John Dies at the End. I mean, I knew Hansel & Gretel would be bad, but I have no idea what to expect with JDatE.

BrotherRool:

My instinctive reaction is that JJ Abrams made a very shallow action film out of a franchise that rightly or wrongly praises itself on being intellectual and with that in mind, choosing him to direct the opponent franchise whose main struggle for the past three films has been good effects with weak plotting was an incredibly wrong move. But then, I guess Abrams isn't actually didn't write Star Trek and he's not going to write this one either. And Star Wars is a more suitable place for the over-the-top visuals (I'd say cliche but I'm not sure if it's the director who would be responsible for the death pits and platforms without handrails). So I guess you're right, maybe the backlash is a bit of a knee-jerk thing

You kinda made my argument for me a little better than I did. I am not saying that Abrams is a great director and played out lens flare jokes aside (I personally like that bokha effect but I work in cameras so I am biased) I think the argument is quite a bad one. There are lazy directors and ones who make bad decisions. A lazy director will play it safe and not put themselves out there. A lazy director would take the job no questions asked, but Abrams turned it down because he wanted to be part of the audience. I am guessing here but I think that maybe he didn't want the burden of such a cherished ip. The guy cares, and out of all the complaints I'd level, lazy is not one of them. I also thought that the sense behind the design of the ship effects (crazy, chaotic, dirty) maybe did not fit Star Trek but it would be amazing in Star Wars. He knows how to sketch a character and relationships very quickly and easy and he does damn exciting action. And personally I want the next Star Wars to have that sense of fun and energy Star Trek has, people might disagree with that but Abrams will use his whole ass

It's a movie about hunting witches, and you're complaining about it having too much violence towards women... Wow. I guess we should have women never take a punch and just stay away from fighting instead, eh?

Oh, Bob... your obsession with forced claims of misogyny as a way of fulfilling your self-importance quota in the eyes of women continues to be shockingly misguided.

It's also cute how the intro about JJ Abrams talks to the audience as if we share your opinion of the 2009 Star Trek movie. An overwhelming majority of people thought it was great. It's fine if you don't like it, but don't be delusional enough to talk about that as if it's the general consensus.

I actually liked the Star Trek movie. There. I said it. I pretty much like all of Star Trek. I will probably go see the next one, too. I hope I'll be able to see more of the scenery as opposed to lens flares, but I'm pretty sure that won't critically ruin the movie. As far as Star Wars goes, I'm almost completely certain that it can't be ruined by lens flare. Especially if there are more lightsabers than main characters in it.

As far as witch hunts = misogyny goes: maybe I've played way too many video games, but witches in this context seem more like "generic evil bad monster"-du jour. You could replace them with thematically similar warlocks/necromancers/monsters that are traditionally male and I think it would probably have the same effect (I honestly haven't seen the movie, but unless the witches are women first and monsters second, I doubt it would matter much), you'd just lose the joke. Maybe the idea of them was misogynist, but the idea of a "witch" as a supernatural baddie has been diluted so many times, it feels completely divorced from the real instances of witch hunts to the point of them being two separate things in my brain. Maybe I'm not looking at things from the right perspective, but I just lump monster-movie witches in with zombies, vampires, succubi (and other various demons), Lovecraftian horrors, etc. into the "these bad guys often have X traits and do Y things (eat souls, kill children, lead people to their doom, tempt people to sin, whatever). They are traditionally killed by Z implements, and the good guys must do this before they suffer from Y things." box. Most monsters, I suppose, don't really have a historical background of innocent people being put to death for potentially being one, either.

As far as the main female character getting hurt a lot and having to be revived by the dude? I'm kinda tired of that, honestly. I'd really like to see a main female character do some butt-kicking and help out her male partner (who is awesome, but gets his tar kicked a few times and needs to be revived by the female main). It could be I'm just not watching the right movies though, so what do I know?

Between the lines it sounds like Hansel and Gretel was vaguely tolerable if formulaic. One of these days a normal movie that isn't specifically about women's rights is going to figure out that it's possible for a woman to get hit by a man in a fight without being destroyed (perhaps even winning said fight!) but apparently not this month. I was hoping to hear about Parker but I understand it may not have been screened for critics, which may or may not be a bad sign.

PSA: Don't watch Movie 43. It's not funny, it's not clever, the 'tasteless joke' bits are completely missing the joke part of that equation and it somehow feels too long for its relatively compressed 90 minute runtime. And yes, every single famous person who shows up on camera just proves that literally no actor could have possibly saved it simply by their presence. Don't see it on Netflix if/when it shows up there, don't download it off a torrent site, really just completely ignore it.

If any woman living near bob is reading this, I will pay you to beat him senseless and then yell at him for being misogynistic if he tries to stop you and yell that he should be able to take the beating because he is a man.
/end terrible joke or statement

This movie isn't even set in the times he talks about, someone is using a Gatling gun in the trailer and I am sure both sides use explosives.This is supposed to be a fun action movie, not some deep artistic statement or exploration of those themes. You want that, play the original Witcher or Witcher 2, specifically the part right before Garalt is asked to say weather a witch is guilty or not right before he exits the first village. In the second one, the whole last chapter is about witches vs normal humans and possible persecution of innocent ones for the crimes of guilty ones.

Then there is the banging on about J.J.Abrams. This should be a unifying force for Trekkies and Star Wars fans(either both hating or liking the same director). And personally no one should even care about them as both have been dead for a long long time. Better science fiction has come in that time. If this reputable director manages to bring back Star Wars back from the dead, then great otherwise the original trilogy still exists as do several great parodies, inspired shows(one on the Escapist itself) and games based on the original.

Sometimes I wonder why is this hypocrite on here anyway, he should stick to comics or tv or movies are weird.
A movie has the slightest good opinion of religion, he constantly whines about it. The smallest hint of misogyny(even non existent), again whining.A movie deviating from his perception of it(Amazing Spider-man) again constant whining.

If lens flare is the worst thing we can say about JJ Abrams directing Star Wars, then I say its a win. He directed an enjoyable and serviceable Star Trek with an interesting (but not overall deep) story, while paying homage to the past of the franchise. The original Star Wars movies aren't overly deep; they just have great dialogue and interesting character development. The original trilogy created archetypes that kinda transcended the movies, unlike the soul-less characters from the prequels. As a Star Wars fan, I'm excited and optimistic at what he can do. The biggest problem in the past was Lucas wouldn't relinquish the control of any creative processes; so with more minds in the mix I have a new hope. Or something.

DVS BSTrD:
I mean, it's not like anyone was going to this movie expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

That's because NOOOObody Expects the Spanish Inquisition. Their chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear, fear and... Oh sod it, here's the vid:

You know you were asking for it.

Edit: Ninja'd. Oh well, no one expects it twice

Even when it's late

Meh. JJ Abrams is really not the WORST director they could have gotten for Star Wars VII. Jerry Bruckheimer would have been way worse.

MB202:
You with the Snow White movies, now Hansel & Gretal, and the upcoming Jack the Giant Slayer movie, I'm beginning to wonder just how many fairy tales can be re-imagined into goofy action movies?

Also, J.J. Abrams isn't THAT bad.

Snow White was a re-imagining but Hansel & Gretal kill a terrifying witch as children and Jack killed a Giant as a child. So both movies are asking who these characters will be as grown ups.
Any 'child defeats supernatural evil' fairytale can be turned into this kind of movie.

Best option is to make a Witcher movie and put any supernatural elements they want into it.

What a weirdly down on Movie Bob thread this became. Personally, I'd've been hard pressed to fill a review regarding H&G - a glance at the trailer pretty much had me thinking it was a Van Helsing clone and to be avoided. Mentioning that it could be construed as misogynistic doesn't seem unwarrented and the absolute dearth of other substance to comment on totally justifies the mention. Does anyone, having seen the film or no, really think there was a lot of acting or plot in this thing to talk about? Me, neither.

I suspect his basis for calling it on misogyny is pretty sound by the way. Haven't seen it, so if I'm wrong on any of the following consider this a pre-emptive apology.

  1) all the villains are women :: the audience need never suspect a male, but women are, by gender alone, suspicious
  2) anyone appearing 'beastial' is a woman :: women are dehumanized. Again, I'm thinking guys don't suddenly transform in this. I'm assuming the troll is inhuman to start with.
  3) violence against women. the villianous bestial women exist to be beaten. In the trailer I don't see them redeemed, helped, healed or rescued. I don't think I need to reframe this - justifying violence against women is pretty much the core of misogyny.

*shrug* But eh. Tempest in a teapot. Mostly it's just unsettling to find this in such a mainstream and boring movie. If Bob wants to elaborate I'm sure he will and more clearly than I've done. For those curious, his bits on Sucker Punch have been pretty articulate and worth watching.

Plinglebob:
[quote="DVS BSTrD" post="6.399374.16372972"]Sorry, couldn't resist.

I can't believe it took someone that long. ;)

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