8:00 PM, 1st September, 2012
I'll credit everyone with already knowing the story of Snow White.
So: Remember the huntsman? The queen charged him with the task of killing Snow White and bringing back her heart - but he took pity on the girl, and cheated the queen by giving her the heart of a pig instead.
Actually, if that's what you remember, you've been given the sugar-coated version - in the original, the queen wanted Snow White's lungs and liver; and not just as proof that she was really dead, but so that she could eat them. The queen in this film (Theron) is more in line with the Grimms' queen, crossed with the vampire Carmilla: she consumes the blood of virgins in order to stay young.
It's the huntsman whose role has been really built up: he (Hemsworth) becomes Snow White's (Stewart) mentor and trainer, someone who can coach her into the more active role of overthrowing a tyrant. A much more satisfying relationship, you must admit, than could have developed between Snow White and some prince or other.
Thanks in large part to the wonderfully Germanic art direction, this is a Snow White we can take seriously. Elsewhere in the program we're also screening a kind of light-hearted, semi-spoof version; fine if you're into that kind of thing, but this is the way the story is meant to be told.
10:22 PM, 1st September, 2012
As children most of us, at some point or another, would have had a faithful companion in the form of a fluffy toy mammal that we would have personified and gone to bed with every night; wishing that one day our friend would come to life. John (Wahlberg) is no exception to this childhood fantasy, and one Christmas he wishes that his teddy bear, aptly named 'Ted', would come to life. Unlike the rest of us, John's wish is granted and Ted (MacFarlane) comes to life. Fast forward to present day and John and Ted are still the best of friends; but rather than playing hide and seek together the pair share a flat with John's girlfriend Lori (Kunis) and spend most of their time drinking, smoking and fantasising about Flash Gordon.
As we grow up we lose our childhood innocence and, so it seems, so do our cuddly companions if they follow us into the complicated world of adulthood. Ted is your typical male buddy comedy filled, as you may expect from a film by Seth MacFarlane ("Family Guy", "American Dad"), with raunchy envelope-pushing humour. The story focuses on the adult friendship between boy and teddy bear and how those friendships change as we mature - some faster than others.