Frozen (2013)


I Don’t Have a Skull.  …Or Bones.

Frozen (2013)I finally found time to get back into the theaters … but we’ll get to that later.  I told Facebook to pick what I would be reviewing next, and Facebook picked Frozen, based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, written and co-directed by Jennifer Lee, co-directed by Chris Buck, and including the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Ciarán Hinds, and Alan Tudyk.

Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) are two princesses of Arendelle, but they have special magical powers.  Elsa can create ice at will and Anna falls in love with anything with a penis.  While playing as children, Elsa’s mutant power smashes Anna right in the face nearly killing her.  She is saved by the troll king (Ciarán Hinds), who removes any memories she has of Elsa’s powers.  Elsa isolates herself from Anna to keep from hurting her again, but Anna doesn’t understand why.  Then their parents die because Up was such a popular movie that Disney learned that depressing kids was the way to win their hearts.  When Elsa comes of age, the doors of the castle are opened up for Elsa’s coronation, which activates Anna’s mutant power when the first man says words to her.  Elsa objects to their hour long engagement because you shouldn’t fall in love while waiting for your quality eyeglasses to be made and the ensuing argument reveals Elsa’s powers to the kingdom.  Elsa retreats from the castle, but leaves behind an unseasonable winter to remember her by.  Then Anna goes after her.

There were things that I appreciated about this movie and things I didn’t like, but overall I enjoyed the movie.  They did some unexpected things with the story that I thought were interesting, but I’ll get to those later.  One of the things I liked about the movie may not even have been true.  I like it when Disney movies put in references to other Disney movies, like how this movie had Flynn and Rapunzel in one scene.  I also heard someone speculate that the boat sinking in the beginning was the wreck from the Little Mermaid.  I even noticed some of my own.  Did you know that the reindeer was in the Lion King?  And that the snowman was the same one from Aladdin?  You gotta think about these things, people.  But since this is a movie and I’m just nit-picky, I noticed a few things in the story that didn’t make sense.  For instance, they talk in this movie multiple times about how it’s much better that Anna got hit in the head by Elsa’s ice powers than it would have been if she’d been hit in the heart.  I kind of understand the metaphor you were going for, but just think of what you’re doing to the future doctors that are watching this!  I would argue that it is at least equally as bad to have a frozen heart as it is a frozen brain.  Also, what was the deal with that guy at Elsa’s coronation?  Would it REALLY be that big of a deal for Elsa to grab that Diablo 3 mace and the Apple of Eden from Assassin’s Creed with her gloves on?  Is it because, by the laws of Arendelle, that would make Elsa’s gloves Queen of the land?  Another problem was just a continuity error.  Elsa created her dress out of her ice powers, so why did her dress remain when she removed the ice from the land at the end of the movie?  Technically speaking, she should’ve been naked.  That’s just good science.

A lot of the problems I had with this movie were because of the message of female empowerment that saturated the movie.  First of all, I’m a chauvinist, so I don’t like any lying ass movie that says women are strong.  But also, it just wasn’t really consistent.  Sure, they didn’t need the man to save her at the end of the movie because the act of true love was her saving her sister.  That’s nice and novel for a Disney movie, but it’s not like Anna didn’t need a man through most of the movie.  She saved Kristoff a few times, but she wouldn’t even have gotten close to the castle without him.  And she did fall in love with him, so that’s not really that novel for a Disney movie.  You might think it was because the original love interest turned out to be the bad guy, but that’s more of a “Men are dicks” message than about how women are strong.  I’ll tell you a few things I DID learn about women from this movie: women LOVE chocolate and can’t control their emotions, even when it involves magical powers and leads to killing your sister … twice.  So I liked the breaks in tradition like not having an evil queen and not solving every problem by making out with some dude, but I’m not going to pat them on the back too hard for it.

I think the biggest problem I had with this movie was the same I have with any musical: that it was one.  I don’t mind music and singing in a movie, but not all of these songs needed to exist.  I don’t get why the music at the beginning of the movie sounds like a rejected song from the Lion King.  I also didn’t think I needed a song that was probably called “We Collect Ice for a Living.”  Nor did I need to know that about that group of random people at all.  Nor did that group of people need to be in the movie.  Let’s just jump right into “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”  That was a good and cute song that actually told a bit of story in a helpful way.  And, of course, there’s “Let It Go.”  This one is a tricky one because it doesn’t really need to exist either as it’s basically just Elsa saying she’s cool living in a castle made of ice – a story that I would’ve put together when I saw her living in it – but the song is so strong that I wouldn’t have the movie without it.  The song between Sven and Kristoff was pointless, and the song with the trolls seemed to intentionally waste my time.  It was all about the trolls thinking Anna and Kristoff were in love, then they said they weren’t, then the trolls basically said, “Oh, then we just wasted a lot of your time.  Shall we try to save Anna’s life now?”

The cast was all great.  Good singin’ pipes and good character performances as well.  Kristen Bell played Anna really cute and funny, and made her very easy to engage with … which is something that Hans took advantage of.  GET IT?!?!  I would’ve been much different in Anna’s position.  First of all, I’d have a vagina.  That’s a big change.  Then I would’ve hated Elsa.  Not because she hit me in the face with ice and nearly killed me, but because she got mutant powers and I got jack shit!  I would be so pissed at my sister if that happened!  She doesn’t even read comic books!!  And Anna picked a really shitty time to air out her emotional baggage with Elsa.  Did you have to do it in the middle of her coronation in a crowded room full of strangers?  Just imagine how much better that would’ve gone if you went to her room and hashed it out in private like a decent person.  No one would’ve even witnessed it when she stabbed you in the heart with an icicle. Idina Menzel did great, but I kept wondering if Adele Tazlim wouldn’t have done better.  Josh Gad did a great job with Olaf as well.  He had his moments where it seemed like he was trying too hard, but most of the time he was funny and relentlessly adorable.  There were two characters that I had real problems with in this movie.  First was Hans.  Not his motivation though, I completely agree with him on his “Bang either one of the sisters or kill them both.  Either way, you’re King” philosophy.  But why did you have to be the idiot that jumps the gun and lets the hero survive?  Are you a Bond villain?!  Anna was SO close to dying when you decided to go announce it to everyone.  What if they had gone into the room as you might expect someone to do when the princess of your kingdom dies two doors down from the room you’re standing in?  The very least they would’ve found out was that she wasn’t dead, and then the next part of that is that they find out you’re an asshole.  Speaking of assholes: the King and Queen!  “We’ll protect Elsa from the world!  We’ll lock her in her room and give her no emotional issues and really teach her to value her life!”  You might have at least tried to get someone to train her on how to control her powers.  Those troll assholes seemed like they might’ve known a thing or two about magic.

Frozen was a fine Disney movie, but it didn’t blow me away.  It broke from a few conventions of Disney movies, allowing for stronger female protagonists, but kept enough of them in to properly represent women as Cathy from the comic strips, being over emotional and loving chocolate.  I felt that some of the songs were a waste of time, but “Let It Go” was my jams.  I would say I probably recommend you watch this movie, but in the very least you should set “Let It Go” on a loop on YouTube.  Frozen gets “Foot size doesn’t matter” out of “I love it! It’s so cute!  It’s like a little baby unicorn!”

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Love and Other Drugs (2010)


Who Can Sell Dick Drug Better Than Me?

I’ll fess up to this right off the bat: the only thing that interested me about this movie was getting to see the boobs of one of the stars. This is strange because I’ve already seen her boobs in a different movie. And it’s strange ’cause I’m super gay. What? I didn’t type that! I LOVE TITTIES! This movie – which I call Anne Hathaway’s tits part 2 – is generally referred to as Love and Other Drugs, directed by Edward Zwick, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway (and her boobs), Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt, Josh Gad, and Judy Greer.

Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a young man without a sense of purpose in life. Well, a purpose beyond pussy. He has just gotten fired from his electronic store job, mainly for having sex with the boss’ girlfriend, but also probably a little for having the gall to say that Samsung TV’s are last year and Magnavox is the wave of the future. Over dinner with his successful doctor father, successful doctor sister, and his successful businessman brother, his brother Josh (Josh Gad) gets him a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep. He starts off with regional manager, Bruce (Oliver Platt), who wants to use Jamie to get a better job in Chicago. As part of their rounds, Jamie tries to get Dr. Knight (Hank Azaria) to prescribe Zoloft instead of Prozac. Jamie talks his way into getting to follow Dr. Knight around as an intern and one day observes Dr. Knight with Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), who suffers from early onset Parkinson’s. She also takes this opportunity to get one of her boobs out because of a small blotch on one of them. Shortly after, Maggie whoops on Jamie for not actually being an intern and looking at her boob, and Jamie uses his handsomeness to turn his apology into a date with Maggie. Maggie doesn’t want anything serious because of her disease and Jamie is a womanizer, so this movie goes a little down the “Friends with Benefits” and “No Strings Attached” path, but sways off towards drama because of Maggie’s Parkinson’s.

Let’s manage some expectations here. If you’re in the market for Anne Hathaway’s boobs and a lot of scenes of her having sex with Jake Gyllenhaal, this may be the movie for you. If you’re looking for a good movie, well there are better places to find that. This isn’t a bad movie, but I found it very off-putting. The story was pretty basic rom-com that we’re especially familiar with in the wake of such movies like Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached, but it’s much more drama than the one of those two movies I’ve actually seen. But they did a thing with this movie that I may have mentioned – but surely thought – while watching the movie TipToes. That thing is that it seemed as if a good portion of the movie was meant to be empowerment for a certain type of people. TipToes was for midgets and this movie is for people with Parkinson’s, and maybe women too … and perhaps a little bit Anne Hathaway’s boobs empowerment. A lot of the movie is about how Gyllenhaal wants to try to cure her but that’s a bad thing because she’s every woman and she can live with her disability. At a certain point in the movie I thought to myself “Alright, I get it. You’re a strong woman who knows what she wants. Move on and stop being a dick”. She was constantly shutting down poor Jake because she didn’t want to open herself up to someone ditching out on her because of her disease, so she wanted to keep it strictly physical. And I know it’s unfair, but I think that’s slutty more than it’s empowered. The sex scenes weren’t even that good. Something about them put me off too. And beyond the sex scenes, all you really have is some failed attempts at comedy and a lot more “Wah wah life is hard, I have Parkinson’s” stuff. Michael J. Fox has his Parkinson’s like a hero and you can too, so knock it off with the whole emotionally distant thing.

The performances were mostly good here. Jake Gyllenhaal is a pretty solid actor and manages to deliver here pretty well. He’s a cocky ass, but also pretty charming, and you never really have any inability to believe that he could pull in the tail that he does in this movie. Anne Hathaway is beginning to make me sad in some of her movie choices recently. I understand that you want to distance yourself from the whole Princess Diaries thing so that you don’t get typecast in all the rest of the movies in your career, but do you have to make every other movie you show up in a movie about you getting fucked stupid and getting your boobs out. I think Anne is gorgeous, but I can feel myself lose interest because she not only gets naked in a good amount of her movies now, but she does it for shitty movies like this and that Crash movie. If you need to get your tits out for a movie that may land you an Oscar, I get it. But this won’t do that. To be fair, she gave a good performance here. Acting like she had Parkinson’s but trying to suppress how miserable that made her was really convincing, but also she kind of pissed me off when her and Jake were obviously falling for each other but she kept shutting him down. The only other person that stuck out to me was Josh Gad, but not in a good way. I’m sure I’ve seen this guy before but don’t remember in what, but he pissed me off really early on and never really attempted to get back from that. The first time we see him, he’s a cocky fat asshole. And what makes it worse for me is that he chews loudly and talks while chewing and that is a major pet peeve for me. It really grates on my nerves. Plus, there’s a scene where Gyllenhaal has a reaction to Viagra and busts into the room where Josh is having sex with a really hot girl and just says “Let’s Go” and Josh pulls out and drives him to the hospital. Who would do that? I would say “Gimme five minutes. Your dick problem takes a back seat to my dick problem.”

If you’re the kind of person that will watch a movie strictly because a hot actress gets her boobs out in it, Anne Hathaway does so in this one. But I would say from personal experience, you may be let down by it. I went in looking for that and I got it in spades, but left the movie wishing I hadn’t bothered watching it. It’s not bad, it just seemed to waste my time. It’s called a romantic comedy by the websites I have checked, and though it does have romance, it lacks comedy. It’s more of a romantic drama, and I don’t like dramas. There are some good performances here, but the whole movie came off as off-putting instead of interesting. So I say you can skip it and join Mr. Skin if you want to see her boobs. Or you can probably find them for free somewhere. Either way, I give this movie “You pity fucked a sick girl” out of “You need someone to take care of you”.

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