The Huntsman: Winter’s War Blu-Ray Review

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The Movie: 7/10
Fairy tales and fantasy are something we all grow up hearing, reading, and in the last 100 years, seeing on the big screen. You might think something like The Huntsman is a bit too grown up and not really for the kiddos just because it’s not all cartoony and goofy, but were fairy tales ever really that kid-friendly? The Huntsman is the guy who the wicked queen tells to kill Show White, but he can’t. I have NEVER heard this part of the story in my life. All the Golden Books and coloring books I have ever read with Snow White have had her in the woods, presumed dead, rescued by the 7 dwarfs, and then thwarts the evil queen. I guess I have never read the original versions of the story, so the Huntsman is a new feature to me, and I like it.

Now, don’t think this is another Snow White movie, it is not. She is not in it at all, except for some weird view from behind in a scene where we see she is obsessed with the golden mirror that is the source of so much grief in the kingdom. That means this really is about the Huntsman and his “origin” story. Why do we care about the huntsman? Well, Snow White and the Huntsman was not that great, and Snow White kind of blew it when she had her own fairy tale drama with the director of that movie…so we can’t have a sequel with those two hanging around! 🙂 Hollywood blah blah blah.

This time we get the huntsman and how he is a part of the Evil Queen’s story, but more about her sister’s story. You see, the queen has a sister to whom she does something really really really horrible. This turns the sister in to an ice queen (yes, just like that one, only mean and full of hate). The frozen queen goes off to her own kingdom, creates an ice castle, steals children to turn them into soldiers, and destroys the whole place because she is so vein and, just plain rude. The Huntsman is one of the children she stole and raised him to be a ruthless killer, and yet he doesn’t have the heart to never fall in love. He’s got a soft spot for a huntswoman which is bad, very bad. The first rule of the land is to never love anyone EVER. Bad news when the queen finds out, and he is exiled.

The mirror is stolen while being transported some place it could no longer do any harm (why they don’t just melt it down I have no idea), and so the story continues with this jerk of a mirror trying to get people all pissed off, paranoid, and to do bad things. The adventure really begins here, our band of heroines and heroes need to find the mirror and get rid of it finally, to make sure no other snotty b**ches get a hold of it. Come on, we all know that’s the idea!

Our grim, not Grimm, story takes us to the forest with creatures, a few dwarfs who add a LOT to the fun of this dark tale. It also explores the relationship between the two evil queens. It adds enough complexity to every part of the story to make it more interesting than I thought it would be. Our Huntsman and his bride are not very cheery, but who they are makes sense for the world they live in. She’s tough, but broken, and she doesn’t become a damsel in distress, so I like that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not over thinking all of it. This is a fairy tale, witches, queens of oppressed kingdoms, magical creatures, heroines, heroes, tragedy, and fantasy galore. I enjoyed it. I would have more of these fantasy tales with that hint of darkness. It’s not that far from how I imagine them telling these cautionary tales for the past few thousands of years. I mean, two children are lead away from home from their step mother into the hands of a witch who puts them in cages to fatten up and eat later…right? Then there is the little girl who visits her grandmother who has been eaten by a wolf….yep. We also have a girl held prisoner in a tower all her life because of her jealous step mother bitch. None of this is “kid friendly”:)

If you don’t like the more serious tone of this Huntsman movie, I suggest you stick with the other Disney versions….oh but wait, there is always a dead parent or two, violence, evil witches, death and the threat of murder, but they just make it look nice with the colorful animation:)

I recommend The Huntsman Winter’s War (forgot that Winter part until now when I looked up at the cover art:)). It’s great for a rainy Saturday afternoon, followed by Bridgette Jones’ Diary and then Kill Bill parts 1 and 2 for an excellent marathon:)

Features: 7/10

  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (9 Minutes) – Four deleted scenes with optional commentary.
  • Gag Reel (10 Minutes) – The longest Gag reel I have seen, quite funny seeing Charlize Theron bring her children to work.
  • Winter’s Vistas: The Making Of The Huntsman: Winter’s War (40 Minutes) – A making of that is split into four different extras, each one covers a different aspect of the movie.
  • Feature Commentary With Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan – A very technical commentary that will appeal to special effects fans everywhere.
  • DVD & UV Digital Copy

Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The artwork for the cover is pretty boring to me. That’s only because there is so much visual pleasure in this movie it’s a shame to not use some of it on the poster/box. I might have this as a poster, just because I do like the movie quite a bit.

Audio & Video: 8/10
The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a superb looking film on Blu-Ray. Filmed digitally, Image quality here is outstanding with facial detail and makeup looking spectacular during the sister’s combat. Black levels do not disappoint and flesh tones are natural throughout.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War comes with a DTS:X soundtrack, I had no idea what that was and apparently its a speaker setup with 4 overhead speakers. While we do not have that technology here we did however enjoy the 7.1 version. The LFE channel is used a lot during the movie and surround effects are many. Special note to the dialog which is always centered and even with The Huntsman’s bad Shrek impression easy to understand.

Overall Score 7/10