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REVIEW: Charlize Theron in 'Snow White' and 'Prometheus'

Local film expert reviews Charlize Theron's noteworthy summer roles.

"I can be a monster," Charlize Theron said in a recent interview. Interesting choice of words, as  her Oscar-winning role was titled Monster,  where Theron plays the real life Aileen Wuornos a hike-hitching-hooker-turned-serial killer.

Theron is getting reels of screen time this month, in Snow White and the Huntsman, as the diabolical Queen Ravenna who yells through much of the film. 

The actress was first discovered in a bank by yelling at a teller who wouldn't cash a check for her. Talent agent, manager John Crosby discovered her and gave her his  business card. But other aspects of her young domestic life have not been so lucky.

Snow White has gotten a resurgence this spring also, not only from the previous Mirror, Mirror, but it will also be playing at the Academy's new outdoor  Oscar series. The original Disney animation,  looks like a June Cleaver world, compared to the newer versions. But it is adorable with the whistling little people. Grimm (if he could know) should be happy with so much screen time.

Theron also along with Oscar winner Kim Basinger posed for Playboy, as did Marilyn Monroe, who was on the very first issue of Hefner's acclaimed publication. This summer also marks the 50th anniversary of Monroe's death.  

Theron is also in Ridley Scott's action, sci-fi 3-D, visually-stunning Prometheus. It has a team of explorers search from a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest elements of the universe. They fight terrifying battles to save the future of the human race.

Michael Fassbender plays to perfection, a robot named David, with some "Hal" (from 2001: A Space Odyssey ) type subtext. There is always a sneaky feeling that he is not going to have the best interest in mind for the humans, regardless of the plot.

The most outstanding performance comes from Guy Pearce, a chameleon for our time. Pearce plays the very aged Peter Weyland a billionaire with more money than God, who can seemingly own the universe or attempt to. His tottering, bald senior is reminisce of Gary Oldman's (finally Oscar nominated this year) character in the 1992 Dracula.

Charlize Theron who plays Meredith Vickers, is convincing as a corporate ice princess. In a frozen type character, her eyes are steaming with resentment. She and Pearce have a sort of female Darth Vader reversal.

Noomi Rapace plays the most human character, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, baited and set up in hell in outer space, with a alien from Ridley Scott's "Alien" inside herself. One doesn't know if this is Scott's homage to himself or a supposedly inside joke or a lack of originality.

Noomi Repace was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the 2009 Swedish film; (not the Oscar nominated version with Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig).  

Some of the lines are not clear if it is intended to be comic relief or dialogue that is to on-the-nose. Like Theron saying to Pearce, "I didn't come up all the way here for a man to search for a rock," which didn't feel organic the way it was cut into the midst of so much action.

The first half is cinematically mesmerizing. But the script starts to crumble about half way through. Some ideas we are led along, become weak and tear like a broken spider web. A good script is a house of cards. A great film keeps them together. This plot and dialogue don't do justice to the literally hundreds of people that worked on this film and the thousnads of effects and in this behemoth vehicle.

However, if one has time to spare, particularly for the first half; it is a cinematic sight to behold.  

 

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