Friday, December 13, 2013

(Movie Review) FROZEN (2013)

FROZEN warms the heart as one of the best Disney films ever

Last year I praised BRAVE (2012) for being one of the best Disney related films to grace the screen in a long time. I still stand by that statement. Brave was an awesome movie. But technically it was a “Disney” Pixar film (which means it was Pixar doing all of the heavy lifting) and I really shouldn’t have heaped love for Disney onto a product that they only “presented”. Frozen, however, is ALL Disney. Which means that I will once again claim a movie to be the best thing that Disney has produced in years. I think that this settles into the #2 spot on my favorite all-time Disney movies. Nothing beats The Little Mermaid (1989). Nothing.

Storyline: Princess Elsa (Menzel) is special. She was born with the ability to control ice and snow. As children she and her sister Anna (Bell) would use Elsa’s powers to play and have wintery fun. But an accident causes Anna to get injured and, in retaliation, Elsa’s father makes her promise to never use her powers again. Years later, the relationship between Elsa and Anna becomes strained because Elsa is scared that she will hurt Anna again. Then, at a coronation ceremony, Elsa accidentally exposes her powers to the town’s people and, fearing for her life, retreats into the mountains to live in solitude. This leaves the town in a wintery state that it can’t survive long. Anna decides to strike out on an adventure, with the help of Kristoff (Groff) and Olaf the snowman (Gad), to find Elsa and end this eternal winter.

Worth the admission? This movie is so good. I really hated for it to be over with. The musical numbers were fantastic, the voice acting was great, the animation was top notch, and the story was absolutely wonderful. It was a seriously touching movie about strained relationships, embracing the fact that everyone is different, and a continuing cautionary tale about trusting the wealthy good looking people of the world.
While everything in the movie was really great the one thing that stood out above most others was Olaf the Snowman. Voiced by Josh Gad this character was often the most subtle comedy in the entire movie but the character that I found to be the most fun to watch.  

Also be sure to look for some of the small inclusions of other Disney/Pixar characters in the film. At one point it can be seen that Rapunzel and Rider from Tangled (2010) are attending the coronation of Elsa. It’s little things like that that make these movies so fun to watch.  The interconnectivity of these worlds are always interesting to see and they add another layer to the depth of the world that makes up Disney and Pixar. 


Here are a few links that show the ways that these movies are all connected in some way or another. 

(Movie Review) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire manages to burn the competition in its record breaking opening weekend

I’m not a film snob. Some are and enjoy the fact that they look down on certain movies/genres as “lacking”. They consider movies like this to be a waste of time. But I can always find something that I like about every movie. It may be something VERY tiny, but there is always something. Heck, even with the ABISMAL Twilight series I constantly praised them for their scenery (while also mercilessly berating them for the horrible acting and story). It’s no wonder that when I watched The Hunger Games (2012) I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I expected it to be another Twilight-esque movies about a damsel in distress that has to be saved by the heroic male. Little did I know that it would turn out to be more “Buffy” than “Bella”.   Since then, Catching Fire has been one of the few movies that I was actually looking forward to this year. The world needs strong, believable and well developed female characters on the big screen...and Katniss Everdeen fits that need perfectly.

Storyline: It’s been a year since Katniss (Lawrence) and Peeta (Hutcherson) won the 74th Annual Hunger Games. They have returned to their homes and are constantly reminded of their actions taken and losses suffered during the contest. Katniss has become a symbol of hope for the downtrodden. Showing people that they can fight the government and make their own path. This does not sit well with President Snow (Sutherland). He wants her dead. To stomp her, and the hope she gives the people, out. Knowing that killing her will make her a martyr for the cause and galvanize the rebels, President Snow and his cohorts devise a plan that the 75th Hunger Games will be a contest between past winners. In this way, Snow is positive that he can not only take out Katniss and Peeta, but also take out every other past champion that gives their districts hope. He plans to end them all, but Katniss has no intentions of taking this lying down. She is prepared for the fight of her life. If she goes down she plans to take President Snow with her.

Worth the admission? Obviously! It’s a Holiday weekend and you should take the extra time off to go check this movie out. It’s getting great reviews, the actors have really gotten a grasp on their characters in this installment, and the message of the film is a pretty powerful one. I have two small critiques for the movie. One, the camera work in the first few minutes of Katniss and Gale (Hemsworth) in the woods is not great. I don’t know what it was about it, but it didn’t look good to me. Second, Josh Hutcherson is not a believable male lead. I’m not sure what it is about him, but I just don’t believe him as a lead. Other than that, I have no problems with the movie and think you should go check it out.