Cinematic Showdown: Snow White vs Snow White

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 7th February 2012.

Every few years in Hollywood, two very similar motion pictures are produced and go head to head at the box office. This seems to occur entirely by accident. These projects are greenlit by their respective production companies and developed without any knowledge of each other until it is too late. Whoops. Too much money has been spent to cancel the project and it then becomes a matter of marketing and star power to determine who outmuscles who at the box office.

This year will witness the showdown of the “fairest of them all.” That’s right, it’s Snow White versus Snow White. But before we examine the tale of the tape, let’s have a look at some other cinematic similarity showdowns.

In 1991, we had the clash of the green tights. The low budget Robin Hood, a fairly straight adaption of the legend starring Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman, was completely annihilated by Kevin Coster’s American accent and lack of moustache. Released two months later, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves also starred Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater and Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham (pretty much reprising his Hans Gruber character from Die Hard). It grossed $390 million worldwide and marks the moment that I realised I have an allergy to Bryan Adams. Both films make for arduous viewing but at least Patrick Bergin bothered to grow a moustache so I’ll take the underdog as my pick.

A few years later, we had volcanorama-rama. February 1997 saw the release of Dante’s Peak, starring new James Bond at the time Pierce Brosnan and a no longer Terminator 2 buff Linda Hamilton. It grossed $178 million worldwide. In June the same year, Los Angeles was decimated in the imaginatively titled Volcano. With star power provided by Tommy Lee Jones and a pre-gay controversy Anne Heche, the film grossed $122 million. Both movies have cliché ridden scripts and feature ridiculousness such as vehicles miraculously driving through molten lava so I’ll call it a draw.

A year later, just as the world was recovering from the volcano disaster, namely Tommy Lee Jones’ poor attempt to play the action hero, the earth came under attack from not one, but two, asteroids.

Deep Impact saw a planet led by US President Morgan Freeman under attack. To ensure that the human race survives, only eight thousand people can be chosen to live underground. With an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood and Robert Duvall, Deep Impact is more drama than disaster flick and grossed a respectable $180 million.

Two months later, the world was threatened again, but this time we had Bruce Willis to save the day. Armageddon also stars Ben Affleck and Billy Bob Thornton as members of a drilling team who are dispatched to the asteroid to blow it up from the inside, as you do. Despite the silly storyline, an awful Aerosmith theme song and a misleading title (hint: the film has a happy ending), Armageddon trounced its rival with a box office take of $250 million.

Both asteroid flicks are guilty pleasures but I’ll take the film with more pathos and less Willis.

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s now time to predict who will win the battle of the Snow Whites.

In the red corner we have Mirror Mirror. Starring Lily Collins (daughter of Phil “Su-Su-Sussudio” Collins) as Snow White and Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen, this is being marketed as a family friendly action comedy.

In the blue corner, we have Snow White and the Huntsmen. A much different take on the fairytale, the trailer and poster features the ever wooden Kristen Stewart as an armour clad warrior Snow White. Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth will play the titular huntsman assigned to murder Snow White in the woods but ends up training her to defeat the evil queen, played by Charlize Theron.

Despite my aversion to Kristen Stewart, Snow White and the Huntsmen looks like the more interesting picture, however, I predict the family friendly Mirror Mirror will win at the box office. Let the battle begin!

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Published in: on February 7, 2012 at 07:23  Leave a Comment  
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