‘Tis the weekend before Christmas. Hope all of you have gotten all your Christmas shopping done and not have to endure long lines at the mall!
Well, I went to the cinema to see FROZEN, but sounds like more people went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, perhaps some were repeat customers. Bilbo ended up beating Ron Burgundy as The Hobbit 2 made $31 mil while Anchorman 2 earned $28 mil, which is rather low considering their super aggressive marketing campaign.
In any case, I saw The Wolf of Wall Street this past week, Thursday to be exact, which was good but boy was it ever dark and filthy. Martin Scorsese and Leo DiCaprio pulled all the stops in portraying the worst of human corruption based on a crooked Wall Street banker’s memoir (review upcoming). Well, by Friday I needed a palate cleanser if you will, something truly lighthearted and wholesome to erase all those gross and vile scenes from the day before. FROZEN did the trick beautifully.
This film wasn’t in my radar until I started seeing reviews of it popping up everywhere. Seems that Disney didn’t market this one as aggressively as say, Tangled from a couple of years ago. In any case, I loved this one as much as Tangled, if not slightly more.
Though the film is set on a Kingdom in a far away land and there are princesses involved, the story is not quite what you would expect. Two sisters, Anna and Elsa, grow up in the kingdom of Arendelle and the film opens with the two of them playing together in the snow… but inside the palace. Y’see, Elsa has a certain powers that can turn anything to ice and snow, so as kids, it was obviously fun for Anna to have an older sister who can create their own Winter Wonderland, complete with a snowman they named Olaf. That is until an accident occured that their parents had to lock themselves away in their castle in order to conceal Elsa’s powers. It’s especially devastating for Anna that Elsa has isolated herself from anyone including her own sister, that year after year she sings ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’ in front of Elsa’s door. But every single time, her door remains closed.
When the time comes for Elsa’s coronation to be Queen of Arendelle, Anna is ecstatic (naturally!). At first the story seems to have gone to a predictable route to a ‘boy meets girl’ variety, complete with exaggerated love songs that they’re destined to be together. But fortunately, there is more to it than that, in fact, Anna’s journey is just beginning.
The heart of the film is the epic journey for Anna to find Elsa, who’s driven away from the castle when her powers got discovered. As she flees, she has inadvertently set her kingdom to eternal Winter. Along the way, Anna encounters a rugged mountain guy Kristoff with his beloved reindeer Sven, as well as Olaf, the snowman from her childhood fantasy. I have to admit that I’m not always fond of silly sidekicks in animated movies as they can grow irksome pretty quickly. Thankfully Olaf is irresistibly lovable and hilarious, the sequence of ‘snowman in Summer’ is a real hoot! Kristoff is an easy fellow to root for as well, but the real star here is Anna (voiced by the adorable Kristen Bell) as the protagonist of the film. A fearless optimist with a big, big heart, she is definitely one of those people ‘worth melting for.’ Ever since she was a wee girl, you can’t help but love her.
What I love about this film is how Disney has taken the typical princess romance with its ‘true love’ concept and turns it on its head. It’s really a film for the whole family in that it celebrates the love between family, specifically sisterhood and the complicated relationship that often comes with that. There’s theme of competitiveness and jealousy, but ultimately, it’s centers on the bond and love between the two of them.
I absolutely enjoyed this film from start to finish. For a film called Frozen, it’s definitely NOT a cold movie, in fact it’s the opposite. It’s a fun adventure filled with hilarious moments and genuine, heart-warming moments. I saw this in 2D as that’s the showtime worked best for us but I think the fantastic special effects would’ve made the 3D worthwhile. I absolutely loved the scene when Elsa built her ice palace, the visuals is so breathtaking that even though I’m already so sick of Winter at this point, I can’t help but admire the beauty of snow and ice crystals. Oh and of course you can expect the beautiful songs in Disney movies. I think the key song here is Let It Go as it’s Elsa’s defiant song about accepting who she is, but my favorite is Anna’s rendition of For the First Time in Forever that’s played twice in the movie.
I didn’t know Kristen Bell could sing so beautifully, truly I was pretty impressed by her vocals, plus I think her personality fits the character of Anna perfectly. Broadway star Idina Menzel did a great job as Elsa, and both Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad as Kristoff and Olaf did a smashing job as well. The strong female themes is always nice to see, and it turns out Jennifer Lee (who wrote the splendid Wreck-It Ralph) served as screenwriter AND director (along with Chris Buck in the directing chair).
I’m sure glad I saw this on the big screen. It’s one of the most enjoyable and emotionally-gratifying movies I’ve seen all year. My hubby had a great time watching this as well and we both agreed we will be buying the Blu-ray once it comes out!
4.5 out of 5 reels
P.S. The short film Get a Horse! in the beginning is awesome in that John Lasseter puts a fresh spin to a vintage Disney animation.
So what did YOU see this weekend? I’d love to know your thoughts about FROZEN as well, so let’s hear it!
45 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup and Disney’s FROZEN review”
Hey Ruth! Crazy weekend here! Work and shopping took up most of it! I did see the Hobbit (review will be up on Christmas Eve), a couple of Christmas flicks, and a couple of B&E classics.
Sounds like Frozen is quite good. I think my wife and kiddos want to see it. Probably after Christmas. As for “Wolf”, you’ve confirmed what I feared. Filthy and raunchy. I guess I’ll be skipping it but that’s ok. There are still a couple of films I’m really wanting to catch before year’s end!
Hi there Keith! I figure it’s a hectic weekend for lots of people, but hope you’ve got most of your Christmas shopping done.
I think you will enjoy FROZEN, take your whole family w/ you 😀 I hear ya about ‘Wolf,’ I actually didn’t care to review it so I asked Ted who saw it w/ me. Yeah it’s definitely not my cup of tea at all and it’s not something I’d ever want to see again.
Glad to see you enjoy Frozen every bit as much as me!
Yeah, glad we agree on that one James 😉
Today, I saw Nebraska and Inside Llewyn Davis as the former will be posted tomorrow. I also watched a couple of films by Kathryn Bigelow, a Wong Kar-Wai short called There’s Only One Sun, a WWE doc on Triple H, and The Princess Bride (which is a perfect film).
Hi Steven! I’ll be stopping by to see what you think of Inside Llewyn Davis. I LOVE Isaac’s performance but I’m just not fond of the movie, but I’m sure I’m in the minority when it comes to Coens’ work. Wow, looks like you’re busy watching a ton of movies this weekend 🙂
My sister and niece saw Frozen and they loved it too, can’t say it’s a movie I’d see anytime soon though. Maybe when I baby sit my niece and nephew, I’ll probably have to watch it with them when it’s out on Bluray, ha ha.
I rented Elysium over the weekend, since I already read the script, I already knew the whole story and the movie was pretty much followed the script page for page. I thought it’s okay, the “message” was way too thick though, it’s funny that they showed most of the population on earth are Hispanics, Asians or Blacks but then somehow we see this one white dude walking around the area and he somehow fits in perfectly, LOL. And of course he ended up saving everyone on earth by taking down the mostly evil Caucasians on Elysium. I think Blokempt is very similar to Kosinski, young directors with great visual but needs some help with their story telling.
Also, watched On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, it’s now one of my favorite Christmas movies and it’s probably the only Bond film that has a Christmas theme in it.
Hi Ted, I think when you do get a chance to see it you might be pleasantly surprised 🙂
Yep, Elysium is pretty weak in terms of story, and the ‘message’ is definitely not subtle, ahah. I think Blomkamp is slightly better than Kosinski but hopefully his next film has more substance.
Very cool about OHMSS, very true it’s the only Bond flick w/ a Christmas theme!
My kids loved Frozen as well, Ruth, but sadly I wasn’t there to see for myself. No doubt I’ll catch it at some point, though. I’m interested in hearing about The Wolf of Wall St. Can’t wait to see that.
Awesome Mark! Well I’m sure your kids would enjoy watching it w/ their dad on dvd again 😉
Ahah, well I know you love Scorsese and you have a higher tolerance for dark stuff than I do, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Wolf of Wall Street.
Not seen Frozen, that’s a high rating you gave it. Yep, done my Christmas shopping 🙂 This weekend I rewatched Die Hard and saw the xmas classic Scrooge (1951)
I’m still on the fence if I want to go see Hobbit 2, because it feels like a cash grab, turning a small book into 3 long films. I’m sure the sfx are great, though!
Wishing you a happy Christmas, Ruth 🙂
Hello Chris! Frozen really was the movie I needed this weekend and one I could watch over and over. Ahah, Die Hard is a staple around this season, who knew right? 😉 Y’know, I normally would feel that if it were a different filmmaker, but w/ Peter Jackson, I feel that he genuinely wanted to delve deeper into the story and characters of The Hobbit and since I loved the two films so far, I don’t see it as a cash grab, but that’s just me.
Merry Christmas to you too, Chris!
I’m glad you went to see this. The easiest category for awards season will be Best Animation as this will win it! At first, I was annoyed by the “saved by true love” storyline…. thank God it turned out surprisingly pleasant! Just like you, my highlight was Elsa building the ice-castle. Magical in every sense!
Hi Asrap, I’m glad I saw it too. I think your review was one of the earliest I read 🙂 Yep, I was worried there’d be a corny love story but glad it was a plot twist! Magical is the word!
Hey Ruth! Glad to see you enjoyed Frozen so much. Everyone seems taken with it. Maybe when it is out for rental I will get my stuff together and watch it. I am so, so, so excited for The Wolf of Wall Street it isn’t even funny! Glad to see it was a good one!
Hey Zoë! Frozen is lovely, but I’ve always had a penchant for Disney movies 😀 You love DiCaprio right, well he’s excellent in The Wolf of Wall Street, but the film left such a bitter taste afterwards as it’s just SO filthy. Not something I’d ever revisit again I’m afraid.
Teehee yeah, you love yourself some Disney! Hmmm, this really makes me curious to see it!
Well if you have a much higher tolerance for dark stuff like drugs, sex & violence then you might enjoy ‘Wolf’ a lot more than me 😀
Teehee yeah that’s something I can handle as long as it contributes to the story, not just thrown in to pass screen time/scenes.
Well, the story of Jordan Belfort was crazy, seems that Leo was determined not to leave any stone unturned, so to speak. So the CRAZIEST stuff from his book made it to the film. I do think that the filth was excessive, I mean it’s to illustrate a point but it really got to be too much for my poor brain 🙂
Teehee, oh my. Looking forward to seeing exactly what you mean Ruth! Sounds like something I could get in board with if done correctly, and anything to see DiCaprio (I’m awful, I know) :). Gotta wait for 10 January though ;(
Wow, this seems to be getting fantastic reviews. I’m glad they didn’t go for the boring love story route that Disney have a habit of relying on. Great review Ruth
Hi Mikey! It’s worth all the praise, let me tell you. It’s cool to see Disney break away from the mold, though it still has the Disney touch such as great visuals and gorgeous music 😀
Haven’t managed to check out Frozen yet but really want to, it’s been a while since i saw some original Disney magic. I haven’t managed to see anything this weekend unfortunately, just been too busy but I’m sure I’ll catch some stuff over Xmas. Really looking forward to your thoughts on The Wolf of Wall Street too, very excited for that one!
Hi Chris! Did you ever see Tangled? That’s another Disney gem that beat my expectations. I’m looking forward to some mellow time this Christmas that I can actually watch some stuff I’ve missed out on.
Ted will have the review of ‘Wolf’ after Christmas 😀
Oh, I really enjoyed Frozen too! 4/5 for me. I love the songs Let It Go, Do You Want to Build a Snowman?, and For the First Time in Forever. I hope it wins both song and animated film Oscars.
I saw a few 2013 releases, such as American Hustle and Nebraska (liked, didn’t love them), this weekend, and I started rewatching some Christmas films, like the first two Home Alone movies.
Hi Josh! I hope it wins Best Animated film too, for sure it’ll be nominated I think.
Curious to hear your thoughts on both of those films. I haven’t got the time to review them, seems like there are too many screenings at once that it’s all jumbled up in my head, ahah. I liked both of them too, more so than Wolf of Wall Street.
Hi Ruth, not sure I’ll get around to seeing Frozen, but you just sold me on The Wolf of Wall Street. 🙂
I had a good weekend of movie watching myself. Getting into the home stretch with my movie project, then I plan on catching up on a bunch of 2013 films.
Ahah, I get the feeling that the more I say how filthy and raunchy something is, the more people want to see it. Hope you enjoy your movie-watching Christmas, Eric, and hope it’s a lot warmer where you are than here 😀
I heard Frozen is lovely but Wolf seems a bit more to my liking, so I cannot wait to read your thoughts on this, I hope Jean Dujardin had some fun scenes.
Hi Sati! Well Frozen is more my kind of movie than ‘Wolf’ so we’re the exact opposite 🙂 Dujardin has some fun scenes for sure, I had no idea he was even in the movie so it was a nice bonus to see him there. His smile always makes me giggle 😀
I’m glad you enjoyed Frozen, Ruth! It’s one of my favorites of the year, and my sister and I have had the soundtrack on repeat for weeks! 😀 It’s always refreshing watching a fun, heartwarming story after a more, shall I say, grim movie. 😉 Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!
Hi Billy! It might end up in my top 10 of the year come to think of it. The soundtrack is lovely, I’ve been humming it a lot since I saw it, too. Yes indeed, it was the perfect antidote for me after seeing ‘Wolf.’ Are you interested in seeing that one?
Have a blessed Christmas to you and yours Billy, God bless!
Huff! I’ve been shopping and running around and babysitting my granddaughter and have not seen a thing! Humpf! All I hear is that Frozen is great. Merry Christmas, Ruth! 🙂
Hi Cindy! Hey there’s no time more precious than with family right? The movies can wait 😀 Have a wonderful Christmas Cindy!
Nice review! So glad you got around to this one. Definitely a great outing. 😀
Also interesting thoughts on Wolf of Wall Street. I guess I’ll see for myself when I see it this Wednesday. 😛
Hi Chris! Yeah I’m glad I saw it on the big screen, I remember you loved it too, high five!
Funny how something like Wolf of Wall Street opens on Christmas day, there is barely any redeeming quality about the characters in the film.
Great review. Frozen sounds intriguing, and will try to see it when i can. Im also excited to see WOlf of Wall Street. Somehow all the reports of how shocking it is has made me want to watch it more,and i think its going to be playing at my local theater so hopefully i will be able to see it.
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Nice review, Ruth! I really want to see Frozen. It opened last week here but it’s dubbed everywhere. UGH.
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Also saw this in December and absolutely loved it, great story and that snowman was hilarious!
Glad to hear! I wasn’t enamored by the trailer but the movie was such a pleasant surprise! Yeah, Olaf the Snowman is super cute and hilarious!
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Great review, I had a great time watching it, really fun and a great return of form for Disney 😀