After a long wait and seeing a lot of hashtags buzzing ‘SWATH‘ on Twitter, “Snow White and the Huntsman” lived up to the hype.  From start to finish, this dark version of a classic Disney character’s story had many impressive elements.  Among those I liked the those most were the true-to-fairytale moments, the classic medieval scenes and the eye-popping special effects.

The voice of the huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) sets up the story of Snow White, whose life spins into turmoil while only a little girl.  Action-packed visuals begin early on as the huntsman continues the tale of harsh realities which Snow White endures into young adulthood.  After a long imprisonment by the evil queen (Charlize Theron), Snow White (Kristen Stewart) makes a life-saving move.

For those who haven’t yet seen “Snow White and the Huntsman,” I’ll stop here about the storyline and go on to my favorite elements.

In terms of the fairytale, a few scenes in particular reminded me of the classic versions of “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty.”  The evil queen uses a visual deception as an attempt to stop Snow White’s beauty from taking over.  In other versions, I’ve seen the evil queen use the appearance of a harmless old lady in the woods.  There’s also the idea of how only a certain hero figure can rescue the damsel in distress.  In this movie, it’s very appropriate who that turns out to be, between Prince William (Sam Claflin) and the huntsman.

Due to the story’s setting, a great deal of medieval-themed objects and action made for an epic tale.  I love many movies that recreate this time period, whether they are of the fantasy or historical genres.  I’ve also seen a few History Channel programs about the medieval times and have some books on castles.  Based on those, the look of the medieval world in “Snow White and the Huntsman” seems to reflect an accurate image.  For example, there’s the huge weapons used against Snow White and her forces as they approach the evil queen’s castle.  Another thing is the way in which shields are used grouped together to allow soldiers to surge forward unharmed.

I also love the epic scenes as Snow White, the huntsman and a dwarf team make their way through nature’s elements.  Their journey has sweeping scenery and both sinister and beautiful places.  That brings me to the stunning special effects.  There was so much in terms of special effects that I loved in this movie; it’s just one of example in filmmaking that amazes me in regards to what can be achieved.  A few of my favorite special effects elements from “Snow White” include the forest fairies and butterflies, as well as the evil queen’s mirror, crows and shattering shard debris.  The use of color was equally a visual treat with pure white, vibrant red, smokey and dark shades as well as others of an ethereal spring season.

Lastly, I thought the cast did really well in their respective roles.  I liked the idea of an updated Snow White, who is part leader and warrior, rather than 100 percent helpless damsel.  Any moments as a victim only make Snow White stronger along the way.

Stewart’s Snow White role is the first one in which I heard her doing a different accent.  When actors and actresses have to speak in an accent other than their own, it always impresses me.  It makes me wonder how easy or difficult it is to stay consistent for a particular role that requires taking on another accent.  Overall, I think Stewart did well as a stronger Snow White who takes a stand against an evil reign.  Her Snow White character and image was dark, at least in terms of coming from a troubled past, matching the foreboding version of the story.

This was also the first movie in which I saw Hemsworth and he certainly was the perfect choice as the wild, roguish huntsman.  That image could be sensed even during his opening voiceover, leading into Snow White’s story.  Along with that, the huntsman had his own backstory which drove his ideals with a lot of emotion shown by Hemsworth.  I definitely have to add Hemsworth to the list I posted a while back of my favorite hottest actors of today.

As the evil queen, Theron was so amazing even before the wickedness began to show full force.  The evil queen had creepy, cold, insincere kindness toward young Snow White, who later discovers certain acts and the queen’s true nature.  Whether it’s early on when evil intent is hidden or throughout the story when it controls the land, Theron owned it!

With so many favorite elements, this is one summer blockbuster that I can’t wait to get my own copy of on DVD/Blu-Ray.