Why is 2012 the year of the double movies? Perhaps it’s because there are two twos in the year number? 😉 Or Hollywood is running out of ideas? Who knows? But one thing’s for sure, having two films revolving around the same characters are in style!
First of all, we have the classic fairy tale character of Snow White. She’s the main protagonist of two very different films coming out this year, only 6 weeks apart.
The first one, “Mirror Mirror”, which just came out on March 30th, stars Lily Collins as Snow White, Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen, and Armie Hammer as the Prince (aka Huntsman). Based on the trailer, the movie seems to be a light fantasy/comedy, that isn’t too funny. Director Tarsem Singh (“Immortals”) certainly brings an interesting visual style to the film, but you need more than that to make a good film! Based on its first weekend’s box office, the film is a major disappointment, making 20,5 million $ on over 3,600 screens, an average of 5,690$ per screen. Compared to the 14,987$ per screen of “The Hunger Games”, the “Mirror Mirror” is cracked 😉
Now onto the second film, “Snow White and the Huntsman” (June 1st, 2012), looks much better! The look of the film is much more raw and violent (Snow White fights!!), it certainly seems to be miles away from “Mirror Mirror” and the Disney classic! The Evil Queen (Charlize Theron, who looks perfectly evil) wants to kill Snow White (Kristen Stewart) because she is destined to bring back peace in the kingdom, so she enlists a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to take on that task. Based on trailers only, this Snow White film seems like the better one!
PS Let’s not forget that Snow White is also the main character in the popular ABC show “Once Upon a Time”.
In other dual movies of 2012, we have the ever so trendy Abraham Lincoln! How Honest Abe got to be the star of two movies in the same year is a funny mystery. Nevertheless, both projects are appealing to me.
First there’s “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (June 22, 2012), based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, who’s famous for zombifying the Jane Austen classic, “Pride and Prejudice”, renamed in Grahame-Smith’s world “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”. To get back to ALVH, the book is supposed to be a biography on Lincoln, based on his secret diaries. It is said that Lincoln has a secret identity as vampire hunter, so as to avenge the death of his mother, who was killed by drinking vampire blood. The critical reception of the book was generally positive, so I look forward to seeing how the film will be. Whether it is good or not remains to be seen, but the visual aesthetic of director Timur Bekmambetov and the plot have certainly gotten me curious.
The second, and more serious (i.e. Oscar friendly) film of this article, is “Lincoln” (December 2012), Steven Spielberg’s much anticipated biography on Abraham Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role. Definitely one of my most anticipated films of 2012; I tend to prefer these types of Spielberg films. The film will focus on the feud’s in Lincoln’s cabinet leading to the end of the Civil War. As long as Spielberg keeps the sappiness light (my usual Spielberg fear), it should be great! You can’t go wrong with Day-Lewis as your lead actor 🙂
PS Lest we forget “The Conspirator”, Robert Redford’s latest directorial effort was little seen in 2011 (it barely lasted a couple of weeks at AMC), a film that centered on the presumed co-conspirator of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, a woman named Mary Surrat. If you haven’t seen it, RENT IT! It’s really good!
Remains to be seen if the doubleness of subject matter will benefit or penalize these films. Will the overexposure of similar films in the same year help them? Or keep people away? We’ll see what the audience decides…