So, apparently, the world needs more fairytales in its life (or perhaps more Chris Hemsworth, in which case, who can blame them?). "Snow White and the Huntsman" was the top box-office pick this past weekend, and grossed more in its first weekend than the similarly Snow-White-themed "Mirror, Mirror." (Granted, "Huntsman" had twice the budget.) Incidentally, Chris Hemsworth is also in "The Avengers," which is still at Number Three after five weeks' running (behind MIB 3). Maybe it is Chris Hemsworth.
There are some clunky moments in this film. I think I might have benefited from subtitles during the dwarves' speech, and there are some moments of dialogue/action with a forced feel. Kristen Stewart does a fine job as Snow, but I found her more believable as the sweet-but-wronged princess than the army-leading badass. Perhaps we're missing a scene or two where we see this growth and change. However, this was a return to the good old-fashioned fantasy films of my youth ("Legend," "Ladyhawke," "The Dark Crystal," "Willow," etc.). The special effects, scenery, and costuming are terrific. Fun, fun, fun!
The queen (-slash-wicked-witch) is interesting in that they went to pains to keep her from being two-dimensional. There's a reason she's wicked, instead of just "I wanna be." Charlize Theron does a nice job with this, although there are some tantrummy moments where she paces in her castle, shouting. These lines are clearly the writer's, and not Theron's. The lines ought to have been delivered in a whisper, where they would be much more sinister.
The real heart in this film is Hemsworth. He's believable as the broken-hearted widower who hides in a bottle, but can't resist helping a woman in need. There is a third wheel, in the form of Snow's childhood friend William. Both are likeable men, and both have good reason to be with her. I found myself wondering which she would choose, but I won't spoil it for you. *grin*
I give it a 3.8 of 5, for great visuals and a fun way to spend an afternoon. I might not spend the full evening price to see it, but it was certainly worth a matinee and popcorn.