As a fairy-tale-swooning female, I decided to give my take on Snow White and the Huntsman. Here is what writer James Bean had to say about the movie. As for me, I enjoyed the movie more than he did, because I cared about the characters, and, I’ll just admit it, I always grin when good triumphs over evil.

Let me just say this up front: I have never written a movie review before, and this one will be riddled with minor spoilers (because honestly, I don’t know how to write about a movie without revealing some small surprises). For another head’s up, I am not typically a Kristen Stewart fan (don’t ravage me to shreds readers), because her acting reads as emotionless — stoic at best — throughout the Twilight films thus far. And finally, I worship the ground Charlize Theron walks on (after Young Adult, who doesn’t?!).

I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman on a whim with no real expectations, and the film surprised me. Though the plot grew shaky at times, the writers took the time to give ample breathing room to each character’s back story, so by the end, you cared for each of them. The visuals blew me away (the scene in fairy forest … who do I have to bribe to take me there). And the classic story of Snow White wove into the plot without seeming forced. Neither the apple nor the kiss nor the mirror will disappoint. And to top it off, the film didn’t present the typical must-be-saved-by-prince plot line, but instead offered a heroine who had to learn to save herself.

The movie begins with a haunting sequence that breathes life into the plot. Princess Snow White is the pride and joy of the kingdom, while the evil — yet sexy — new Queen claws her way to the top. A thread is introduced here, a series of birds who Snow White healed as a child guide her to safety as the film progresses. Within the first 20 minutes, there is a lonely brother’s moment of weakness, a daring escape and a proper soul sucking. Wham, bam, boom, I’m hooked.

The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), our unlikely hero’s helper, now becomes part of the plot. And Snow and the Huntsman become a lovable duo making their way through the eerily enchanted dark forest. This portion disappoints only in that the dark forest is given no context. Why does it work the way it does, and why do the two make it out while almost no other’s survive? After this jaunt, the two come across my favorite village of people: the women who have sacrificed their beauty to raise their children in peace. It will give you chills.

As the story continues, we begin to feel sorry for the Queen and forgive some of her satanic ways. She is merely feeding the fire that keeps her alive at any price. And you get a whiff of how difficult her life has been in her moment of grief later in the film.

Within the first hour, the Duke’s son William (Sam Claflin) vies to help save the Princess. His character seemed to be the most disjointed. We get little background on him besides a few flashes of his childhood, and we don’t really understand who he is or why he fight’s for his childhood love. (And, let’s just be honest, we aren’t really rooting for him to win her back. Team Huntsman!)

After him, the lovable and insightful dwarves join the crew. Their characters grant the film a cup of comedic relief and a splash of sincerity. Once Snow White manages to wrangle the troops with a winning yet rushed speech, they’re off for an epic battle (which totally channeled the Hogwarts Battle, though with the evil inside the castle walls this time). In the final (and predictable) show down between the Queen and Snow White; the two brawl face-to-face, and it’s the Huntsman’s earlier advice that ends the battle. Beautiful.

Throughout the film, Kristen Stewart maintained her typically stoic demeanor, but for once, I actually think it worked for the character. It made her character hard as well as lovable. What made it better was the dichotomy between Stewarts’s shielded expressions and Charlize Theron’s grandiose ones. Theron was truly larger than life in this film, and Stewart served as the perfect balance.

Overall, the film was visually awe-striking, but it didn’t lack a plot. Though the narrative had loose ends, the critical threads were tied up nicely. More than anything, I cared about these characters, and I think the movie can appeal to action lovers and fairy tale fans alike. This isn’t a film I will own, probably just a one time watch, but it was worth the time and money to view in theaters.

Grade: B

Rated: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality)

Snow White and the Huntsman is now available in theaters.

Cassandra Clare keeps expanding the Shadowhunters’ universe, with the first adult books of the chronicles just announced!

Clare announced via press release this morning that she’ll publish a trilogy about Magnus Bane, the fan-favorite warlock who’s appeared in every single one of her books and already received a collection of eleven spin-off novellas all about him (The Bane Chronicles). There is no word yet on whether the new books will tie in with the stories told in The Bane Chronicles.

Interestingly, this trilogy will be Clare’s first foray into adult literature, after writing extensively in the YA realm. She always pushed the boundaries of YA, though, with the inclusion of “Dirty Sexy Balcony Scenes” and the like. The first Shadowhunter book, City of Bones, was published in 2007, and the teens who picked it up back then will feel right at home in the adult section of a bookstore today.

Also of note, the series will be co-written with Wesley Chu (author of The Lives of Tao). Clare seems to like having co-writers when dealing with Magnus Bane; The Bane Chronicles are the only other Shadowhunter books that have other authors attached.

The first Magnus Bane book is expected to be published in November 2017. This means that Cassandra Clare will have three Shadowhunters series being published concurrently… The Dark Artifices, The Last Hours, and this Magnus Bane series.

If various sources are to be believed, all three will have an installment published in 2017. The second Dark Artifices book, Lord of Shadows, is expected in April. The Magnus Bane book, as mentioned above, is due in November. And the official site of the Shadowhunter Chronicles still says that the first Last Hours book, Chain of Thorns, is expected in 2017. Clare has a sixth series planned after getting some of these finished, The Wicked Powers, so there’ll be more Shadowhunters coming to a bookstore near you at least through the early 2020s.

Perhaps the decision to publish the Magnus Bane trilogy was based on the character’s success on the Shadowhunters TV show, where the fan favorite is portrayed by Harry Shum Jr. Shadowhunters was renewed for a second season by ABC Family, and it looks like they may have many seasons ahead of them.

Clare said, “Over the years writing the Shadowhunter books, Magnus Bane has emerged as one of the most fun and fascinating characters for me to bring to life… There are so many things we don’t know about Magnus, from the story of his first love to the secrets of his parentage, to the beginning of his relationship with Alec. All those are things I was able to touch on in The Bane Chronicles, but I’m excited to dig in even more deeply in these three volumes devoted to Magnus, his past, his future, and his present.”

Are you excited for three books all about Magnus Bane, or is this Shadowhunter overkill?

Arrested Development‘s fourth season aired three years ago today. To celebrate its legacy (and to try to forget how much we’re missing it right now), let’s rank the best recurring Arrested Development jokes!

It’s really no secret that Arrested Development has some of the best recurring jokes and gags of all time. Even people who don’t watch the show are familiar with things like “There’s always money in the banana stand” and “I’ve made a huge mistake.” The jokes in this show are just so understated and catchy that it would’ve been crazy had they not have caught on. Thanks to Arrested Development‘s recurring jokes, pop culture has never been quite the same.

To celebrate our undying love for Arrested Development, we decided to forgo the banner (sorry, everyone) and instead put together a list of all of the gags and jokes that we think are the best ones the show’s ever done. Not only that, but we’re leaving it up to you to rank them!

How to play: Love a certain joke and think that it should be at the top of the list? Upvote it. Really hate another joke and don’t understand how it got on the list in the first place? Hit that little downward-facing arrow. Don’t care either way for some of these gags? Then you can just leave them untouched. It’s all good! We just want to know what YOU think! With everyone participating we’ll be able to build a definitive list of the best Arrested Development jokes!

So, grab your denim cut-offs and hot ham water, and maybe even do a little chicken dance to get yourself pumped up (but not with the hot ham water in your hand, please). If you’re an Arrested Development fan, you’re sure to love ranking these jokes.

(Just be careful about which arrow you hit. You don’t want to hit the wrong one and find yourself saying “I’ve made a huge mistake.”)

Are there any ‘Arrested Development’ jokes missing from the list? Add them below!

 
Related: Arrested Development season 4 drinking game

Marvel fans aren’t pleased with the twist in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1.

By now you know that Steve Rogers is revealed to be a Hydra agent in the first issue of the new Captain America: Steve Rogers series (Read our in-depth analysis of the new issue here). Naturally this news — that ultimate do-gooder Cap would be so evil — has not sat well with fans.

The general consensus is that this shit is unacceptable…

http://cairistiona7.tumblr.com/post/144914269536/we-may-not-agree-on-stucky-we-may-not-agree-on

… And the only thing to do is ignore it:

http://contradictoryfrankie.tumblr.com/post/144924573033/marvel-seriously

http://antis0cial1diot.tumblr.com/post/144916043048/basically-how-the-scene-went-down

Others think Marvel need a taste of their own medicine:

http://demigod-who-crashed-the-impala.tumblr.com/post/144916277135/marvel-needs-to-sign-its-own-sokovia-accords

And/or need to fire their lame-o writers:

http://scarlett-ice.tumblr.com/post/144923588829/if-you-ever-think-your-writing-is-bad-just

Then there are beautiful Photoshops like this one of Chris Evans’ Captain America ripping up a tree the comic:

http://epicgeekdom.tumblr.com/post/144924279502/after-hearing-captain-america-has-always-been

Some people are Photoshopping the comic to make him say things that are just as outrageous as him being a HYDRA agent:


http://codyjohnston.tumblr.com/post/144920242899/marvel-how-could-you

While others are giving him a different revelation — one concerning Bucky. This is the twist that SHOULD be in the new Captain America series

http://fukinweeeb.tumblr.com/post/144923721446/guys-i-found-the-real-version-calm-down

http://saltikitti.tumblr.com/post/144918179067/here-i-fixed-it

Marvel, please write yourself out of this one as quickly as possible.

http://robinthephoenix.tumblr.com/post/144917851788/not-to-pleased-with-caps-new-alliance-p

… Before you start coming up with other outrageous revelations

http://pk-wheeze.tumblr.com/post/144916205184