Frozen: A Film Full of Warmth (2013)

Disney’s Frozen (2013) is a one of a kind magical experience for the whole family.  A wonderful mix of humor, romance, and adventure, this movie is sure to bring something for everyone.  A very loose retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” (my personal favorite fairytale), the movie tells the story of two sisters, princesses of Arendelle Anna and Elsa, who lose their parents at a young age.  Elsa has magical powers that allow her to freeze anything she touches, make snow, etc.  Basically she can make winter.  Warned by her parents at a young age to conceal her powers, she isolates herself from the world.  On her coronation day, however, she must greet her people and interact with the sister she has shut out for years.  When Anna announces she’s ready to marry Prince Hans, a man she’s just met, Elsa forbids it and the sisters argue, ending in a display of Elsa’s powers that shocks and frightens the people of Arendelle.  Afraid of herself and the reactions of the people around her, Elsa flees to the mountains and in the process creates an endless winter.  To stop her, Anna sets out after her, leaving Hans in charge of Arendelle until she returns.  In the process she befriends Kristoff and his adorable reindeer Sven, as well as Olaf the snowman, and amazing comic relief.  Together they must calm down Elsa and end the perpetual winter that has fallen on the country.

With a soundtrack that will you bring you back to the Alan Menken days of Disney, as well as lovable characters and a strong sense of girl power, this movie proves that the Mouse House is moving in the right direction under the helm of John Lasseter.  Although this is technically a Disney princess film, it harkens more to Mulan, Tangled, or Brave and less to Cinderella.  The heroines are not sappy damsels in distress, they are just as brave, strong, and courageous as the men.  Although in the traditional story, the Snow Queen is the baddie, in this the villain changes shapes a few times.  There is fabulous comic relief in the form of Olaf and Sven.  And for once there is a strong sisterly bond in the movie–a new move for Disney, and one that is much appreciated.  The best part of the film, though, hands down is the music.  Idina Menzel voices Elsa, and the songs managed to squeeze in a double dose of heart and sass, with enough humor for a hearty laugh.  For an example, check out Olaf’s “In Summer”.  Some other toe-tapping tunes include “Let It Go”, and the adorable “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”.

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November Movies to Watch Out For

Despite the decline in temperatures, November is traditionally a hot time for film releases (like what I did there?).  I, like most of America, am eagerly anticipating the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire.  I’ve read all the books, and can’t wait to see the next movie!  BUT there are a few other potential gems hitting theatres next month that I can’t wait to get my eyes on.  Here are the trailers!

Catching Fire

Ender’s Game

The Book Thief

Thor: The Dark World

Frozen

About Time

Which one are you most excited to see?

Playing Casting Agent

With the success of Once Upon a Time, ABC execs have created an offshoot, premiering this fall called Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.  As you might have guessed, it is centered around Alice and her adventures in Wonderland.  I’m sure we’ll see the writers’ own twisted approach, though.  They ARE the writers of Lost, after all.  The powers that be have let just enough information slip out to make sure all of our ears are pricked.  For example, we’ll see Naveen Andrews playing the infamous Jafar, and Alice will enjoy a love affair with the Genie of the Lamp.  I’m assuming he won’t be sporting the blue skin and portly belly of Robin Williams’ version.  But this has me thinking, every genie needs his Aladdin.  The following is a list of who I would cast in the iconic role.  Purists, please forgive me.  I spent HOURS searching for a 20 something Middle Eastern man to play the part, but I came up with nothing.  To my despair.

 Teen-Wolf-Tyler-Posey-tyler-posey-26771696-712-712

 

Option 1: Tyler Posey.  You may recognize him from Teen Wolf, if you’re as big of a nerd as I am.  Look at him!  He may not be of Arabic descent, but he looks like he could be!

mario

 

Option 2: Mario Lopez.  Oooh!  Those dimples!  He can take me on his flying carpet anytime!  Obviously this would be an older King Ali, but you never know where those crazy writers might take the story.

darren criss

 

Option 3: Darren Criss.  I’m not sure what it is, but I’m really feeling an Aladdin vibe off of him.  And it would be nice to see him in a new role.

What are your thoughts??  Who would you want to see playing Aladdin?

Movie to wait for: Cinderella (2015)

Sneak peek of the new Cinderella!

Sneak peek of the new Cinderella!

In line with the current trend in Hollywood, Disney is putting out a live action Cinderella soon.  I’m sure they are banking on the same success that followed Snow White and the Huntsman and is still surrounding Once Upon a Time.  From what I hear, the story will be largely the same, but with some girl power twists.  Sounds good to me!  More good news: It’s directed by stage and screen maverick Kenneth Branagh (think any Shakespearean film or Thor).  It’s also starring Richard Madden (the late great Rob Stark) as Prince Charming.  Now THERE’S a prince I can swoon for!  If Lily James (anyone else thinking of Harry Potter here?  No?  Just me, then) falls ill, they can sign me up to play Rella!  The absolutely enchanting Helena Bonham Carter will be acting the part of the fairy godmother, surprising us all with such a goody goody turn after playing Ms. Bellatrix Lestrange (that’s two HP references, keep count!).  Annnnd rounding out this fabulous cast is Cate Blanchett and Stellan Skarsgard.  Sounds like it just my be a winner.  And Ms. James should watch out for her star to shine–the last actress to play our sooty princess was Anne Hathaway.  And look at her now!

What do you think?

8 Reasons We Love Once Upon a Time

hook

In honor of the Season Three premiere of Once Upon a Time, airing tomorrow at 8pm ET, I have compiled a list of eight reasons why we love it so much.  Captain Hook is not the number one reason, but goodness me, he’s up there. 

1. The story.  Not only is the writing fresh and relatable, it looks at the stories we grew up with in a whole new way.  Snow White and Prince Charming had a baby who is destined to save the storybook world.  Captain Hook is not the totally evil schmuck who can’t leave Peter Pan be.  And Rumplestiltskin moonlights as the Crocodile from Peter Pan and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast.  Those are some interesting connections, but they work!

2. Rumplestiltskin.  Hands down, one of the best characters of the show.  He’s that villain you love to hate, but you also just sort of love.  He’s complex and well-written.  His backstory is fully fleshed out, so we know why he is the way he is.  He is multi-dimensional and has his own set of morals and rules to play by.  Basically, he’s badass.

3. The magic.  I’m not talking Harry Potter magic (although if they find a way to work in that universe I’m in fan girl HEAVEN).  This magic has a complete mind of its own where everything comes with a price.  Want to save your mom?  You’ll have to kill someone else.  More importantly, the aspect of magic creates new dilemmas for characters and transforms a sleepy Maine town into something extraordinary. 

4. Girl power.  Yes, Emma can be a little one-sighted at times, but how often do we get swashbuckling females on tv?  Although I wouldn’t mind seeing the girl in a dress once in a while.  We ladyfolk can be fierce AND beautiful, you know.

5. Plot twists.  Rumple is Henry’s granddaddy?  Say what?!

6. Character names.  If you pay close attention, almost all the characters’ real world names are clues to who their fairytale world personas are.  Regina: queen.  Miss Blanchard:  Miss White.  Mr. Gold: DUH the dude who can spin it!

7. Sexy men (and women).  Captain Hook rocks my socks.  There’s no denying it.  I want to see his black heart gain some romance red.  Not only is he man-pretty, he has an accent, too.  PERFECTION.  But he’s not the only one.  Our former Storybrooke sheriff/huntsman was a hunky piece of male as well.  And I keep holding out for him to come back to life somehow.  He has to, right?! Charming, our good ol’ Indiana boy, isn’t someone to throw out of bed, although his goody two-shoes persona is KILLING me, homes!  As for the ladies, I have a serious girl crush on Belle…but that’s because she’s played by Emilie de Ravin, who’s been on our radar since Lost.  Basically, she’s the shit.

8. We get to relive our childhood.  Belle, Cinderalla, ARIEL, the Genie from Aladdin.  The list keeps growing!

What are your favorite reasons for watching this soon to be timeless classic?  Better act soon before it disappears inside the vault!!!  Too much Disney reference?

What’s Your Favorite Disney Movie?

Expanding on my cohort’s interesting Disney post, I’m curious how pro-Disney the WordPress community is.  So how about it, what’s your favorite Disney movie of all time?  Feel free to write in your own answer.

Disney encouraging kids to ignore their movie?

As a ’90s kid I grew up with the Disney Renaissance classics (The Little Mermaid (1989) through Tarzan (1999)). I’ve always been a little sad that kids these days aren’t getting the same quality movies (in fact, none of us are). Sure, there are a few children’s movies in the last 10 years that stand out but not with the same award-winning music, loveable protagonists and love-to-hate villains. “There’s something there that wasn’t there before.”

With this attitude it’s nice to see Disney bring its classics back to the big screen. (I don’t agree as readily with the constant “new editions” and the whole premise of the “vault.”) The Little Mermaid is set to come back to theaters and, in select theaters, Disney promises a whole new viewing experience. They encourage kids to bring smartphones and tablets and play games, sing along, see behind the scenes all during the movie!

It’s no question that we have trouble putting our smartphones away, that we would rather text call than, rather play games on the bus than talk to the person sitting next to you. Kids are almost encouraged to play games. Who cares about reading, playing with friends or spending time with parents when you have a iPad to play with. What does that say about us? And with “innovations” like Second Screen Live, where are we heading?

Ignoring the fact that encourage game play during a movie is certainly no help to a child’s attention span, what about the rest of the theater? Does everyone have a smartphone or tablet (and no, Androids are not compatible with this Disney app)? Does everyone want to participate? Does the app have sound? Is it synchronized to the movie? If something like this were to take off, think how drastically it would change our movie-going experience. You wouldn’t be able to focus on the screen with a dozen lit screens in your periphery and that’s assuming there aren’t noises to distract you as well. Fingers crossed that other film companies and distributors don’t get the same “bright” idea.

What it comes down to is money. What else? Disney has a deal with Apple (which is why Androids can’t get the app) so it encourages parents with Disney-loving children to invest in Apple products. It’s a partnership that, I admit, is somewhat terrifying. I, for one, would not allow my child to waste my money. To go to a movie and not even watch the screen? What’s next going to a restaurant to get a food app? What do you think? Disney flop or techy brilliance?