Tag: frozen

Idina and Elsa

So I have been having a lot of fun lately!

I guess you could say I’ve had Frozen on the mind of late! I have been continuing with my series on youtube reviewing the animated Oscars nominees and having a blast and knew that 2013 was coming up.  In my Disney Canon review on my blog I admit I was a little defensive.  I had just seen a lot of Frozen trolling on youtube and blogs and it made me sad.  Not that everyone has to think the same way about a movie I love but that they had to be so vicious about it- especially to young girls who love it so much.  That really bummed me out.

So I knew 2013 was coming up and I wanted to strike a different tone and have fun with my Frozen review- trolls be darned!  I worked really hard on my costume, wig and the review itself (and the other high quality 4 films I was looking at as well).

I also went to an Idina Menzel concert which definitely put me in the mood! My friend Heidi went with me and we had such a good time hanging out and enjoying good music (although the building was organized terribly it was worth it).

elsa4I’ve been a huge fan of Idina Menzel for years- going back to the music of Rent (not the show as it is too R rated for me).  I of course loved her on the Wicked soundtrack.  Here’s a clip of singing one of the songs at the concert:

and the highlight for me was when she sang Let it Go and then invited little girls from the audience to come up and sing with her.  It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and shows what a great thing Frozen has been for these young girls.  It reminds me of how I loved Little Mermaid growing up.

I mean if that doesn’t melt your heart I don’t know what is wrong with you!

But really every song she did was amazing including some great Broadway standards.  I swear if I could have any gifts it would be to be able to sing like that.  Awe inspiring!

So with that inspiration I continued to work on my costume and it really was a lot of work to find the right dress, get the right wig, a crown, make-up etc. But obviously it was a fun kind of work, a project you might say.  Here is what I came up with.

elsa6I ended up not feeling comfortable about the neckline and the sheerness of the top of the dress and so I hunted till I found another shirt in nearly identical color to the sleeves of the dress I could wear underneath.  A costume is not an excuse for immodesty in my book! (I admit I was proud of that!)

elsa2 Here’s how the video turned out.  It’s a bit of a long one but give it a watch or just a few minutes of it a watch as I do the Frozen review first.   I’ve been learning a ton lately on graphics and using Adobe Premiere so I think my videos have come a long way!

Anyway, it was a ton of work to put together but also a ton of fun.  I’m really proud with how it all turned out.

Now on to the next project!  Star Wars baby!

Have you guys been doing any projects or hobbies lately?  What about Halloween?  Got any costume plans?

2013 Movie Scorecard

This is way late but I wanted to see all the big 2013 movies and it took me a while.  There are still a bunch I’m missing including Star Trek: Into Darkness, Philomena and Her.  I figure I have to draw the line somewhere or it will never be posted.  I would like to do a video to accompany this post but we will see.

I have rated each film a clean content grade and an overall grade.  D is adults only, C is mature content, B is a few scenes of concern, A is appropriate for whole family.

Some of the movies are bold and that is because they are hyperlinked to my full reviews on those films.  I am as slow seeing movies this year as I was last.  Only seen Lego movie so far…

What movies did you like in 2013 and what do you think of my grades?

12 Years a Slave-

A tough but profound movie.  Focuses on the life of Solomon Northup who was enslaved as a free man and Patsy, a female slave he comes to know. A small movie that is worth seeing.  A bit too many masters but Michael Fasbender is so evil as the main master, a true psychopath.  Very few characters are introduced to us.

Clean Content D      Overall Grade A

Blue Jasmine

Cate Blanchett is mesmerizing as a socialite dethroned and forced to live with her middle class sister.  It is the type of movie that is a day in the life of a character.  Not a ton of plot but I was fascinated getting to know this character.

Clean Content C      Overall Grade B+

The Book Thief

This was a tough one as the book is one of my favorites.  I have long said it is an unfilmable novel. They had all the pieces but none of the magic.  Characters I loved were featured too briefly like Rudy and even Death as the narrator.

Clean Content A     Overall Grade C-

Monsters University

A charming, if unmemorable offering from Pixar.  I liked the message of achieving your dreams by not achieving your dreams.  That is a unique message for a children’s film.  Good voice performances and very heartfelt.

Clean Content A     Overall Grade B

Despicable Me 2

I honestly don’t get the popularity of this series.  The minions are cute but I find the rest of the clan and the story to be very boring.  I kind of wish Megamind would have been the 2010 anti-hero cartoon movie to be the big hit.

Clean Content A    Overall Grade C-

Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

Once Smaug actually appears it gets exciting.  The special effects in those scenes are very well done but it takes 2 hours to get there.  I was bored most of the movie and I actually liked the first one.  I wish Jackson would forget the CGI backgrounds and give us New Zealand like he did in LOTR.  A lot of the movie looked cheap and I thought Evangaline Lilly was really bad and wooden in her scenes.  Rest of cast was good.

Clean Content B- (violence)     Overall Grade C-

Saving Mr Banks

One of the best movies about artists and an artists work I’ve ever seen.  Thompson and Hanks are both so good and nuanced in their iconic roles.  Colin Farrell is also very good as PL Travers father.  I loved the message of we all have a moment where we are no longer a child and we all secretly resent whoever gives us that moment.  People like Disney try to recreate childhood.  People like Traverse shun it.

Clean Content A-          Overall Grade A+

Gravity

I said it was a masterpiece when it came out and I still feel that way.  I was totally immersed in the experience of seeing the movie.  I felt like I was in space and it was so well edited.  As soon as you took a breath, bam!  The next event happened and then again.  There was no time to say ‘wait a minute…’ I thought Sandra Bullock was so good.  To think she did all of that in front of a green screen is amazing.

Clean Content B-          Overall Grade A+

Frozen

I said on my review on this blog I had high expectations going into this film and it met those high expectations.  I loved the strong female leads.  I loved the consistently strong music.  I loved the artistry and just enough humor.

Clean Content A+         Overall Grade A+

Captain Phillips

I saw Gravity and Captain Phillips in the same week.  Most intense week of my life!  Tom Hanks had an amazing 2013 and he is very good in this.  I liked that it wasn’t a heroic performance.  It was a just a man who’s boat was taken over by pirates.

The way Paul Greengrass shot it made it feel like me as the viewer was a crew-member experiencing everything along with Hanks and everything else.  I liked that the pirates were fully dimensional. It’s a little slow in spots, a little long but I was absorbed.

Clean Content C         Overall Grade A

Enough Said

A little gem.  In the death of romantic comedies of late this was so refreshing.  Julia Louise Dryfus and James Gandolfini (in his final role) are wonderful and have great chemistry as a mature couple falling in love.  She is a massage therapist and his ex-wife becomes a client.  Not knowing Dryfus is dating her ex the client tells all kinds of bad things about Gandolfini.

It does have the liar reveal story trope but I think it works because of the charm of the performances and the good writing.

Clean Content C+        Overall Grade A

Man of Steel

I honestly don’t have much positive to say about this movie.  I thought it was dark, moping, and strangely gruesome.  I didn’t like all the CGI.  The violence and destruction of Metropolis was extreme.  I don’t want to see Superman plow through building after building without any regard to the carnage and then snap an admittedly bad man in the neck.  The product placement was obnoxious and took me out of the movie several times.

I also don’t want to see Krypton as a murky CGI land.  I hated the flashback structure and all the Christ metaphors which didn’t make sense given the advice of the father to let the people die rather than save them. Louis Lane was a bore and I didn’t think Henry Cavill was particularly charismatic as Superman.

How about the next movie you have a little bit of fun with Superman?

Clean Content  D           Overall Grade  F

American Hustle

A movie all style and good acting over substance.  All the performances are good but honestly I have a hard time even remembering the story a few months after watching it.

It’s set in the 70s.  Bradley Cooper is investigating a crook played by Christian Bale who is married to Jennifer Lawrence and seeing Amy Adams.  They become double agents and take a bunch of public figures down.  I was kind of disappointed.   If you love 70s style than you’ll love this.

Clean Content D          Overall Grade C

Admission

Likable cast but Tina Fey continues to not be funny to me. Sorry…even 30 Rock not a fan of.  This movie is an attempt at a romantic comedy and even in the dearth of rom coms this does not pass.

Fey plays an admissions officer at Princeton who comes in contact with Paul Rudd who runs an alternative high school.  This is kind of like The Book Thief in that all the pieces are there but none of the magic.  It just wasn’t funny.

Clean Content C-         Overall Grade F

Oz the Great and Powerful

This movie just offends me and I hate the fairy tale retelling trend.  All of them have been terrible. I’m so sick of brooding fantasy flicks.  Frozen remembered that fairy tales were supposed to be fun.  If I see another battle and brooding heroine I think I will scream. Stop ruining my fairy tales!

It’s tough because Wizard of Oz is one of my favorites and Over the Rainbow is my favorite song.  The original had magic and this has 3 shrill female performances and a boring male performance.  There is effort into the styling of the movie but I would take old school cheese over CGI grandeur any day.  Mostly this movie was boring and James Franco and Mila Kunis were remarkably wooden and bad in their acting.  Not a fan!

Clean Content B        Overall Grade D

Before Midnight

Jesse and Celine’s story from Before Sunrise and Before Sunset continues but this time they have an established relationship with 2 girls.  These movies always take place over the course of a day in a foreign city and this time it is Greece.

It is beautifully shot and the dialogue is so believable.  You feel like you are watching a real couple interacting and dealing with conflict.  That said, it is kind of the problem with this movie. At times the arguing can go from compelling to unpleasant. I felt like I was sitting in a couple therapy session and who wants to do that?

It also has an extended scene with Celine changing shirts while arguing and a lot of profanity (as in the previous films).  The ending is very satisfying and I like the exploration of some darker elements to a couple we’ve come to know so well but it took it a little too far for my taste.

Clean Content D-        Overall Grade C

Frozen: Movie Review

Frozen-movie-poster

So I just got back from going to the movies with my friend Lisa and we saw the latest Disney offering Frozen and I went in with high expectations.  Alonso Duralde from What the Flick said it was the ‘best Disney movie since Lion King’ and I believe it had 94% rating on rotten tomatoes.  Pretty high praise!

I have always been a huge fan of animation and typically they are my favorite movies of the year.  They certainly can be stinkers but the potential for creativity and clean humor is there too.  This is certainly the case with Frozen and it is worthy of all the praise heaped on it.  I liked it as much as Tangled if not more so, and I loved Tangled.

The story is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale The Snow Queen which I think will be new enough to most audiences to feel fresh and exciting.  I have read it but it isn’t as familiar as say Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella (or Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast).

One nice thing about the story is there is no true villain.  There is a helpless but powerful character but no true villain.  In Pixar’s Brave there is also no villain and in that case I think it hurt the story but this has enough of a sense of dread to make up for a central evil character.

The voice cast is uniformly strong with Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell playing two sisters who are orphaned princesses in a far away land.  They grow up isolated from each other and the public but are forced to interact with each other and the Menzel sister becomes upset and turns the town into an eternal winter.

Isolated she creates a castle and Bell’s Anna must go and find her sister with the help of a charming snow man (who is in the movie just long enough to be entertaining but not annoying), a reindeer and his owner named Kristoff.  There is also a dashing Prince that figures in the midst and several other characters.

The cold and icy scenery is beautifully drawn and the songs by Robert Lopez of Avenue Q fame are wonderful.  They are more obviously broadway style than anything since Beauty and the Beast (Tangled was wonderful in the score but more of a pop feel).

My only qualm with the music is that going out of it all of the songs kind of run together and sound similar.  It’s not like Hakuna Matata or Be Our Guest where the song feels different and exciting, something new.  Maybe part of that is I saw those movies as an impressionable child and I saw this at 32.  I don’t know but I really enjoyed the music.

The story has a nice message about family, sisters, and the many forms of true love.  It surprised me at points which is tough to do in a princess movie and the snowman was very funny.  It’s completely appropriate for young children with only one scary snow monster that isn’t too frightening and is only in the scene briefly.

I think any young girls would love it. Whether it will appeal to young boys I’m not sure.  It doesn’t have as much to appeal to boys as Tangled but there is some (the snowman, Kristoff, the reindeer would appeal).

So, go!  Take your kids, especially your girls to see Frozen.  It is worth your money and will be an experience that will stick with them forever just like the princess movies stuck with me.  Plus, these are strong, independent women who come to their own rescue without the need of Prince Charming.  Love that.

Hope I didn’t spoil anything.  Tried.  Go see it.  Let me know what you think! 🙂