Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My 2014 Oscar Predictions



















Well it's that time of year once again, it seems like just last year we were doing all this—and we were. Here I have brought to you a list of the Oscar nominees with my predictions on who will win. I've also included my opinion, because it just wouldn't be me without it. I'll give my picks on who I think should win and will win. I won't be doing many of the technical awards, because I really have no clue about many of them.

Let's get to it.

BEST PICTURE:
Nominees:
"12 Years a Slave"
"Gravity"
"Nebraska"
"Philomena"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
"Captain Phillips"
"Her"
"American Hustle"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Prediction: "12 Years a Slave"
Preference: "12 Years a Slave"

Steve McQueen's slavery picture is a staggering achievement in acting and emotion. It's like a punch to the gut, the film we've been waiting for. Compared to the other nominees, it stands head and shoulders above them. If there would be any challenger it would be "Gravity". A few months back "American Hustle" looked primed to take home the gold, but I think everyone has slowly realized that "Hustle" isn't that great...something I'm very thankful for and not to be a hipster, but I said it first! It's the same kind of picture as "Schindler's List"—uncommon in the Academy canon but not a first.


BEST ACTOR:
Nominees:
Christian Bale —"American Hustle"
Bruce Dern — "Nebraska"
Chiwetel Ejiofor — "12 Years a Slave"
Leonardo DiCaprio — "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Matthew McConaughey — "Dallas Buyers Club"

Prediction: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Preference: Chiwetel Ejiofor

This category has me stumped. I really have no clue, it could swing one of three ways — DiCaprio, Ejiofor, or McConaughey. I think the Academy will feel bad for not giving DiCaprio the gold long ago and it could be a retribution win for him. Then again, McConaughey is on a golden streak recently...his weight loss could be a factor. I think the Oscar will go to Chiwetel Ejiofor; but I've been wrong before.


BEST ACTRESS:
Nominees:
Amy Adams — "American Hustle"
Cate Blanchett — "Blue Jasmine"
Sandra Bullock — "Gravity"
Judi Dench — "Philomena"
Meryl Streep — "August: Osage Country"

Prediction: Cate Blanchett
Preference: Cate Blanchett

As mush as the best actor category is hard to call, this is easy. Cate Blanchett won herself the Oscar as soon as "Blue Jasmine" was released. It's without a doubt the easiest category to predict. If anyone challenges her it might be Meryl Streep whose turn in "August: Osage County" was enjoyable crazy or Amy Adams. This is also an Oscar that lets the Academy give the right performer an Oscar and correct a "mistake" of not giving Blanchett the Oscar for "Elizabeth"—though I was one of the few okay with Gwenyth Paltrow's win.


BEST DIRECTOR:
Nominees:
Alfonso Cuarón — "Gravity"
Steve McQueen — "12 Years a Slave"
David O. Russell — "American Hustle"
Martin Scorsese — "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Alexander Payne — "Nebraska"

Prediction: Alfonso Cuarón
Preference: Steve McQueen

Cuarón made a technical marvel, but that's all it was good for. It was a stunning visual orgy, but then again so were the "Transformer" movies. Are we going to give Michael Bay an Oscar? I realize that "Gravity" is a step above Bay's work, but the script for the movie really took it several notches down in my book. It's not as good as everyone says it is. McQueen's work is, unfortunately, not for everyone. His drama is a gritty and unapologetic one. This is probably the nail in his coffin. But since this is only his third movie, I expect to see him back here.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Nominees:
Sally Hawkins — "Blue Jasmine"
June Squibb — "Nebraska"
Jennifer Lawrence — "American Hustle"
Julia Roberts — "August: Osage County"
Lupita Nyong'o — "12 Years a Slave"

Prediction: Lupita Nyong'o
Preference: Lupita Nyong'o

Ugh, this one has me worried. Jennifer Lawrence really knows how to work a group of people, if she gets the Oscar I will lose faith in pretty much everything. But I don't know that she will, Lupita Nyong'o has been campaigning too and I think that it will push her back into the lead. She's been sweeping up the awards, but not the BAFTA...so what does that mean? JLaw nabbed the British award...I just don't get what is so great about her performance. In the entire movie, there was only one scene that I was impressed with her, the rest had the Jennifer Lawrence frog-face crying, and I'm not a fan of that. Her best performances were at the beginning of her career, when she was must less charismatic...watch "Winter's Bone". Nyong'o, one the other hand, gives us a stellar performance, heart-wrenching in every way with Patsey in "12 Years a Slave". She pegs the accent perfectly and made us all cry. Though Jennifer Lawrence is her stronger competition, Sally Hawkins is a much more worthy contender.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Nominees:
Barkhad Abdi — "Captain Phillips"
Bradley Cooper — "American Hustle"
Jonah Hill — "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Michael Fassbender — "12 Years a Slave"
Jared Leto — "Dallas Buyers Club"

Prediction: Jared Leto
Preference: Michael Fassbender

Leto's is another easy win to predict. He has won pretty much every large award there is to give...and it's such a typical performance for the academy to celebrate—a transsexual AIDS-ridden loud character. Leto's incessant praising of himself makes me turned off to his performance. Every news show he's been on sees him repeating the same facts—it's been several years since his last movie, he's a rock star, look at all that weight he lost. Yes, the weigh loss is impressive and I don't begrudge him the win, if it will only shut him up.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Nominees
"American Hustle"
"Her"
"Blue Jasmine"
"Nebraska"
"Dallas Buyers Club"

Prediction: "Her"
Preference: "Blue Jasmine"

I always love the way Woody Allen writes and he is one of the foremost screenwriters in Hollywood. Spike Jonze is ready for an Oscar and I think that Academy is ready to give him one, seeing as how they've denied him in the past.


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
Nominees:
"Before Midnight"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"
"Captain Phillips"
"12 Years a Slave"
"Philomena"

Prediction: "Before Midnight"
Preference: "12 Years a Slave"

Richard Linklater's script is pretty great, but it's just not as good as "12 Years a Slave". I think that John Ridley deserves it more...but this is a category that I am just guessing at.


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
Nominees:
"The Croods"
"Despicable Me 2"
"Frozen"
"Ernest & Celestine"
"The Wind Rises"

Prediction: "Frozen"
Preference: Anything but "Frozen"

I'm not a fan of the icy princess flick, but I'm outnumbered by far. Elsa and Anna will bring home the gold, they should have let it go.


BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
Nominees:
"Happy" from "Despicable Me 2"
"Let it Go" from "Frozen"
"Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
"The Moon Song" from "Her"

Prediction: "Happy"
Preference: "Happy"

I'm going on a limb here. Because of the Golden Globe win, "Ordinary Love" actually seemed like the best contender. But "Let it Go" also has a huge number of fans. Yet Pharrell Williams is on a roll and I think that this will get him another award to add to the Grammys. "Happy" has peaked at the number one spot for a few weeks, the popularity and Williams' easy going manner I think will grant him the Oscar.


BEST FOREIGN FILM:
Nominees:
"The Hunt"
"The Broken Circle Breakdown"
"The Great Beauty"
"The Missing Picture"
"Omar"

Prediction: "The Great Beauty"
Preference: "The Great Beauty"

It's possible that "The Hunt" will win, which is fine by me because I like Thomas Vinterberg.

LAST THOUGHTS:
Emmanuel Lubezki is going to win cinematography for "Gravity"...nuff said.




Monday, February 24, 2014

Boldly Going Where Tons of People Have Gone Before



















By Elizabeth Jones


So I would love to talk to you about Star Trek. More specifically about the Star Trek Reboot series—the J.J. Abrams juggernaut. I was raised on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Let's hear it for some Patrick Stewart.


Patrick Stewart doesn't want to hear it.

I have watched most of the other spinoff series, all of the original series, and I absolutely love the universe that was created by Gene Roddenberry. I think the idea of peacefully seeking out life wherever it might be found is fascinating and ultimately incredibly difficult for humans to be able to do at all. There is part of our culture, or possibly our nature, which tells us to fear the unknown or the other, and in Star Trek, we see a crew of people willingly heading into the unknown. And I was so excited that they were going to reboot the original series. And I did love the first Star Trek Reboot movie. And I love the second reboot movie, "Star Trek: Into Darkness". But I have a few problems with calling it Star Trek and placing it within the Star Trek universe.


Now let's talk about what the original Star Trek series did. First off, it was filmed during the civil rights era of the 1960s. The fact that there was a woman of color as a main character in a science fiction show is astounding. That this woman had a complex character, that she was more than a passive, sexual object for her male counterparts, that she was intelligent and held an important job is impressive. Not only does the show address issues of feminism and racism
I wouldn't mess with her.
it also addresses issues of militarism versus peace—the rest of the spinoff series like The Next Generation and Voyager spend a good bit of time in each episode contemplating the ethics of war and peace. Star Trek was shown during the period of time where protests over the Vietnam War were at their highest point. Furthermore, if you look closer at Star Trek: The Next Generation, you see their issues of philosophy, of humanity, of absolute power, of religion, and (my favorite) of language that are integral to the show and contribute greatly to its popularity


The 2009 "Star Trek" movie is fantastic but it's not really Star Trek as we know the Star Trek universe to be. Instead, it's an awesome action movie ... in space! I mean, I would totally go to see a movie that like that. And I totally did. There's a little bit for everyone. The fear of Armageddon, invading aliens, technology that is used to protect and/or end the world. Plus ice beasts ;)


I so hungry!

So I'm not arguing that the new Star Trek movie or that "Star Trek: Into Darkness" was a disappointment. It had its good moments (see Benedict Cumberbatch).


Can you feel the feels?
Does the Abrams series really contain any of these integral parts of Star Trek's progressivism? Not that I could see. The original series tackled issues that were very controversial at its time. In order to keep this trait alive the Abrams series would've had to tackle equally important issues for our day and age. Perhaps issues of gay rights of xenophobia or immigration, of an enhanced interrogation. Those were a couple of issues I pulled right off the top of my head and certainly are not the only issues that could possibly have been tackled within a more confrontational adaptation of Star Trek.

So where does that leave us? Space Cowboys!
Oops! Sorry, no relation to this movie, whatsoever.


But you know what have been really cool? Star Trek: the political thriller. Think about it. In many of the spin-off series, the Starfleet admirals and politicians connected to Starfleet are shown to either be weak, or incompetent, or corrupt. Could that has been an interesting point of controversy to define the reboot series? I can't answer that. I can only say ... I would go watch it.











Friday, February 21, 2014

Alfonso Cuarón is going to win Christopher Nolan's Oscar


















I haven't published my Oscar predictions yet, but let this not come as a surprise—Alfonso Cuarón will most likely win Best Director. He's been sweeping up the awards that include, but aren't limited to the Golden Globe, the Director's Guild Award, and most recently the BAFTA. If he doesn't win the Oscar, it will probably fall into the hands of the person to whom I think it belongs: Steve McQueen.

McQueen has already proven himself an uncompromising artist with only three films to his name. In "12 Years a Slave" he presents what could be seen as a guilt laden evocative piece of sentimental nonsense as an inspiring true story and a piece of history that should not be overlooked. He pulls powerful performances from his actors—the film itself is just about flawless...just about. There's a more than hefty chance that the film will win Best Picture.

It's not common for Best Picture and Best Director to be split...though it has happened in recent years. If you look back at all the movies that won the Best Picture Oscar but didn't win Best Director, a lot of hatred is aimed towards them. "Crash" is probably the best example of this; that year Ang Lee won Best Director for "Brokeback Mountain" but Paul Haggis' film edged the romance out for the statue. As a result, everyone hates "Crash". If you need another example, look at everybody's least favorite Best Picture winner "Shakespeare in Love". Why do they all hate it? Because Spielberg won Best Director that year for "Saving Private Ryan"; but the war movie was shunned for the bard.

The director/picture split isn't unheard of—last year "Argo" won but Ang Lee won for "Life of Pi". Lee has a knack for splitting voters.

The Academy has a history of picking the wrong people. What do I mean by that? Sometimes they give the award to a person based on star power or politics—they usually regret these decisions. This can best be seen with all of Billy Wilder's Oscars (though yes, he did deserve them) or the Meryl Streep saga (yes, she deserved them too). They like certain people. There are some people with an enormous amount of talent that the Academy always gives recognition to at the least. Then again, there are wins that are just perplexing like George Clooney's Best Supporting Actor grab for "Syriana"....really?

But the Academy also takes chances, evidenced by all the nominations that "Beasts of the Southern Wild" swept up last year. You could even go back to "Citizen Kane" as a reference.

The Academy also pays for its own mistakes. Scorsese got his dues for "The Departed", they gave Peter O'Toole an honorary Oscar, Mike Nichols won for "The Graduate" instead of "Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", Kate Winslet won for "The Reader", nominations were given, awards were handed out.

This isn't to say that some of the awards aren't given out of deservedness, because Daniel Day-Lewis' win last year proved that performances win Oscars as did Timothy Hutton's in the 80s. Cate Blanchett's win this year will reaffirm this.

Yet there are head-scratcher moments, and one of the biggest ones was just a few years ago when "Inception" was dominating the box-office. If you remember, everyone loved "Inception"...well, almost everyone. It was a smash hit, a blockbuster, adored by most critics, and placed in a special spot of  awe that few movies occupied. Though most critics picked "The Social Network" as the top of their year's best list (The King's Speech" ended up winning Best Picture and Best Director) "Inception" wasn't forgotten and raked in 4 statues...but not Best Director. In fact, it couldn't have won Best Director because Christopher Nolan wasn't even nominated for it. This, to me, is one of the biggest travesties in the Academy history. Tom Hooper won the award but the general outcry of the critics and public alike gave enough reason for the Academy to pause.

Along comes "Gravity".

In many respects, this is nothing new. It is not new for the reasons that space movies almost always walk hand-in-hand with peril and it is not new for the reason that this is just another step in the art of movie making. "Gravity" isn't even close to flawless because its story is far from flawless...that, and it's dialogue. It comes as no surprise that this film isn't landing any screenplay awards. "Gravity" has character weaknesses and indulges in more sentimentality than even Spielberg could manage.

But still, it looks fantastic and it is an achievement. Visually forward films have always received an honorary Best Director nod. Look at George Lucas' nomination for "Star Wars", Ang Lee's for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", Steven Spielberg's for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "E. T. the Extra Terrestrial", and "Jaws", James Cameron's for "Avatar"; or the quintessential—Kubrick's nomination for "2001: A Space Odyssey". These directors all have something in common, they all lost.

So in 2014 when we've come to respect the blockbuster as a tour de force it's time to start honoring those pictures that made a lot of money...right?

Wrong!

Look at last year's Best Director win. "Life of Pi" was an independent success, but in the mass theaters it petered out and died, barely making what it was made on. You could argue that Ang Lee bridged the gap for movies with great special effects to win the director's honors, but "Life of Pi" is much more about looking for God than it was about the special effects. The translation of the book to the movie is what sealed the deal for Lee.

"Gravity" is given the same revere that "Inception" was...and that might be why it will win Best Director. Alfonso Cuarón will win the Oscar because the Academy feels bad for not giving it to all the others, Kubrick and Nolan included.

Does he deserve it? Perhaps.
Does McQueen deserve it more? I think so, but we'll see what the Academy has to say.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

5 Reasons to Dislike Leonard Hofstader

















by Elizabeth Jones


Now those people who know me know I am a huge fan of the Big Bang Theory. Seriously. I love it. I have seen all 150 episodes (so far) multiple times, and I am working on owning all of the seasons. I eagerly await each new episode to become available on Amazon Prime…and yet…I can’t stand Leonard. And while I should be used to it by now, whenever I tell anyone this, they are shocked! Which in turn surprises me. So I am writing this list to kind of explain my reasons.

     1. She's a person, not a thing.

First of all, Leonard often treats Penny as an object. From the first moment that he and Sheldon see her, he is possessive of her, even calling “dibs.” Now I dislike the way Penny is portrayed in the first season and even some of the second. She is presented as “hot blonde” with little to no character development, only there to stir up the guys. So, I generally tend to give Leonard a pass for that first season. I chalk that up to poor writing and move on. But when Penny starts to become a real person, when she starts to have money issues and daddy issues and Sheldon issues,  when she really starts to become a friend to the guys (she is the one to discover that Raj can talk to women when he is drunk and incidentally the first woman Raj talks to without the aid of alcohol)…Leonard’s perception and treatment of her never adapt. To him she is still that girl across the hall hat he really wants to bang. In “The Porkchop Indeterminacy“ (S1E15) when all the guys including Leonard start to pant after Missy, Leonard is still possessive of Penny, not wanting Howard to make a pass. Keep in mind this was even before they started dating. 

Once they start dating there are some other pretty creepy instances of how possessive he can be of Penny, and how disparaging of her beliefs and intelligence. There are numerous references to his skepticism of astrology and his comments throughout the various phases of their relationship about his ideas on her education and intellectual competence, even sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to read her homework, which she has clearly stated she does not want him to see. When Penny is working with a fellow classmate in a study group, Leonard becomes very jealous of the attention she is giving him, even confronting the guy and pretending to have gang connections. (S6E8). Keep in mind this is during the arc where Alex Jensen is hitting on Leonard at Caltech. He has a completely different standard of behavior for himself as he does for Penny. And while it could be said that he is clueless of Alex's feelings for him, Penny is aware of the possible implications of a relationship with a male classmate and has made it very clear to her study partner that she is in a relationship and is not interested in him. But Leonard does not trust Penny, and instead of talking to her about his feelings, he instead attempts to intimidate the other man. And in another episode, he's very upset about Penny's faux marriage to Zach. He is unwilling to enjoy the holiday until she resolves that marriage, regardless of the fact that Penny was unaware that the marriage was real and that she was perfectly willing to get an annulment after the holiday.

     2. Women, am I right?

A second disturbing trait is that his interactions with the other women in the show are not that much better. It could be argued that Leslie Winkle is the only woman who he treats as an equal, possibly because her intelligence and her willingness to adamantly stand up for herself.His long-term relationship with Stephanie Barnett is begun when he literally cuts in to Howard's date with her. However Leonard realizes he is not interested in a long-term relationship with her and they end the relationship. All in all, this isn't the worst relationship he is ever in, but it does highlight his attitude towards women and sex and show his true feelings of friendship.


Leonard's interaction with Missy is especially terrible. He is not only completely willing to throw out the infatuation he feels for Penny at a moment’s notice, but he's also willing to manipulate his friendship with Sheldon in order to get sex with Sheldon's twin. And yes I am aware that the other two men were involved in that, but they did not instigate the conversation with Sheldon, and Leonard is supposedly held up as a really nice guy regardless of the fact that he just wants to have sex with whoever.

See Dr. Elizabeth Plympton as an example of this (S3E21).

During Leonard’s relationship with Priya, he almost has sex with the girl from the comic book store, Alice. And even Sheldon does not believe that Leonard can keep it in his pants, as seen in his comments to Leonard after Leonard’s wedding date with Amy (S5E3).

     3. Oh, Sheldon...

I don't want to really get into talking about Leonard's relationship with Sheldon although I do have some issues with it in general. Yes Leonard does provide Sheldon with a sense of familiarity and routine, and I think that's a really good thing. However, the cutting comments and bitter witticisms that Sheldon doesn't really necessarily have the capacity to understand, I think are uncalled for and at times cruel. The single most egregiously inappropriate action that Leonard takes in the entire series is when he forages Sheldon's test results during the Arctic expedition and convinces Sheldon he has made a discovery when in fact it's false information. As someone who works in academia, I find this completely revolting. I know how important scientists take their research and take the results of their experimentation, and I know how devastating it would be to find out someone you trusted falsified your information. And I might have accepted that this was played as a joke or it was a writer’s mistake… except that Sheldon reacts the way someone would really react in this situation. He quits his job, he returns home to Texas, a place he very vocally does not like, does not have fond memories of, does not want to return to, and takes refuge with his mother who obviously cannot understand him and provide him with a fulfilling life. His life is destroyed by the arrogance and unfeelingness of the three men that he calls his friends. I cannot like a character who would not only go along with such an idea but actively promote it. And Leonard shows no remorse for this action even after he becomes aware of the extent that it devastates Sheldon’s life.

     4. Leonard's....issues

Although he can be a bit grating at times, I hesitate to say that Leonard's personality is something that makes me dislike him. I don't think that that's true. I do think that he is very intelligent, he's very funny, he can be quite witty at times, and I enjoy seeing these parts of his character. However Leonard’s home life and the issues that surround it, the terrible mother that he obviously had and his childhood being spent bullied, do raise some questions for me. 

Leonard seems to be unwilling to admit when he's done something wrong. He doesn't apologize for the prank he pulls on Sheldon in the Arctic, he doesn't apologize for stealing Stephanie from Howard, he doesn't apologize for playing on Penny’s affection for him and concern over his mental issues in order to get sex (S7E4). And a lot of the pushback I get for my ideas of Leonard is that what he's a nice guy. That he's the most normal of our scientists. And I think that's true in some ways. However if I was to meet Leonard, I would not date him because he obviously has issues he has not dealt with in his personal life; it would make being in a relationship with him a huge mistake. And I think it affects his friendships as well as his romantic relationships. And people have told me to look what happens at the Halloween party where Penny’s really drunk and she comes on him, and he respects the fact that she doesn't really know what she's doing because she's drunk and lonely and sad so he does not take advantage of her. Also when she proposes to him when she's drunk and lonely and sad and he does not hold her to her words or accept her proposal because he knows she is not saying that from the part of her that he wanted that action to come from. However that is what normal, decent people do. Leonard doesn't get brownie points because he did what everyone should do. It just means he doesn’t take advantage of drunk women. (Something, however, I am all for.)

     5. Poor Penny

Speaking of that, one last, last issue. I promise. In the recent season, season seven, there is a lot made out of the fact that Penny is alcoholic. It's part of the jokes. The woman clearly has a serious issue, and Leonard is unwilling to see that his partner needs help and to provide her with that help and support. Instead when she's feeling vulnerable about her job and her career, he is only thinking about himself. He wants to know what Penny’s change in career means for him and his relationship. When she desperately needs him to be supportive, he is not. Sheldon, who is clearly not a good model of a person in a relationship, is much better at supporting Penny and being there for her than Leonard. And when Sheldon is better than you at something related to being in a relationship…something is clearly wrong with you.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Frozen" versus "Brave"














I doubt that this will mean anything to you if you haven't seen both of the movies referenced here so read on at your own risk of spoilers and pointless analysis.
I should say here and now that I'm getting tired of people talking about how great "Frozen" is. Yes, we get it, you liked the snowman and the fact that there is an inkling of some rational thought inside the picture. Romance takes a back seat for the movie, but by no means is it gone for good. No, that wouldn't make any sense.
Still "Frozen" resembles another movie that came out a few years prior: "Brave". The similarities between the two movies are very striking. Both deal with a tom-boy-ish princess, both make comments about how men and marriages aren't necessary, both are about family love instead of romantic love, both are set in a far off, magical lands, and both involve a quest to reunite the princesses with their families. Add these to the cute sidekicks (triplets that turn into bears and a talking snowman—both sidekick-like characters have been altered by magic), the fearsome beasts (a huge bear and a giant snow-monster) and the two movies don't seem that far apart.


"Frozen" more so than "Brave" has been and is being praised as a feminist movie and if it's not feminism that's being exemplified, it's certainly progressiveness at the least. Think about it—the main character isn't the main character, romance is ditched in place of sisterly love (but it does come back), and comments are made about how foolish it is to marry someone you just met...preach on, "Frozen". But I think that all the film is good for is having a fun time. The moral of the film is non-existent. If it's saying that sisterly love is better than sexual romance (or whatever you wish to call it), then why do we have to have a romance at the end. One of our characters gets happily married while the other one (who is probably emotionally unstable) is left alone with the barren remnants of her cold heart—yes, that's a little harsh, but that's what I see. You don't need a man—just kidding!—you need a man.
I say to "Frozen": hmmmmmm.












Yet for all these people who are posting article after article about how wonderful "Frozen" is because it's so "progressive", I ask you to remember Pixar's film "Brave". In it, we have a princess who doesn't need a man and never gets one, but that's okay. Her parents want her to marry for political gain, but she harnesses her true independence, knowing who she is, and says no. Her stubbornness and lack of compromise, her unwillingness to obey her parents turn their relationship sour and she accidentally transforms her mother into a bear—oops!












Right from the start, "Brave" has something that "Frozen" doesn't: parents. Disney loves killing off the progenitors and it happens again in "Frozen". In fact, the only Disney flicks where both parents are alive and present throughout the entirety of the film are "101 Dalmatians" and "Peter Pan". Neither of these are considered to be Disney classics. Think back on your favorite, where were the parents? For me, it's "The Lion King" in which a jealous brother carelessly tosses his kin to his death and a son runs away from home, away from his mother.
"Brave" bravely (see what I did there?) tackles the subject that Disney has long shied away from—conflict with parents. Merida and her mother trade sparring words. They fight, sometimes physically, and the end of the film is about a resolution in mother-daughter realtionships. You could argue that the physical mending is not necessary, but instead it is a metaphor. Merida has to race against the clock to keep her mother from permanently turning into a beast—a beast that she made. The bond that was broken is possibly just their relationship and doesn't refer to a meager tapestry.
So in this case, "Brave" wins simply because it doesn't backtrack on its own statement. At the movie's closing, Merida remains unmarried and she and her mother have a closer relationship. This film isn't saying that everything will be perfect from now on. No, more conflict will arise; but for the present, everything is fine.
"Frozen" tried too hard. You have the statements condemning a fast marriage (even though a fast marriage is implied by the movie's final frames) and then there's all the politics. Supposedly, this film is revolutionary for a few reasons—how it treats the sisters and the little things that sneak into the background. I heard opinions about how the film is supportive of gay marriage—a gay relationship at least—and they show this by hiding it in a minor character who barely shows up at all. Wouldn't it be bolder, more controversial and more politically forward to make a lead character who was a homosexual. For instance, what's so frightening about a princess who is a lesbian?......oooooh, the taboo subject. Though Jonathan Groff is openly gay, he voices a straight character.
In the same way that people shy away from a gay prince, "Frozen" shies away from its own sentiments. Elsa is the magical princess who will probably spend the rest of her days in sweet, sweet isolation. Perhaps she wants to be alone—so here "Frozen" might have the upper hand.
Besides one begin a musical and one not, the differences of the two movies start to become more and more obvious when you look closer.  Though both deal with family love (as I've stated and will continue to state) "Brave" is truly about a family loving each other through the bumps in the road











 while "Frozen" is exclusively about the love between sisters...and their lovers.














But the people have spoken and "Frozen" continues to rake in the box office dough.
It's the best contender for the animated feature Oscar and "Let it Go" has a good chance for a golden statue as well. Even though both movies deal with acceptance of responsibilities, "Braces" tackles the subject much less obtusely. Merida struggles under the rule of her parents and she goes out into the woods to see what she can do to change that. What she meets there is her destiny—the main and almost offensively blatant point of "Brave" is that a good princess will obey her parents. But not only that,  good parents will listen to their children; because the end is about a compromise. Merida has to give some and the parents have to give some. She's not free to do as she pleases, and they don't treat her as if she hadn't reached her independence yet.
"Frozen" witnesses a girl, grief-stricken by being "different" plunging into the icy tundra and turning the landscape white, just trying to be alone. She thinks that she can escape her responsibility by not communicating with her sister—but her sister comes for her anyway. Destiny calls to Merida; but it knocks on Elsa's front door.
I don't judge "Frozen" for trying to be a little more rational, I judge it for failing at being rational and I judge it for being just an "okay" movie. By cinematic standards, every character is needed in "Brave" and "Frozen" is filled with people that just take up screen time.
There are filler songs, like the beginning ice-breaking song in "Frozen". It in no way influences the rest of the movie or has any forbearance on what we're about to see—it's just there to be there. Only after the song is finished do we get an introduction to the characters and the people who sang the song vanish for the rest of the movie, presenting the idea that the Kristoff is an outcast as well, operating on the outskirts of society.
It could boil down to me simply liking "Brave" more, I'm allowed to do that. I see it as a more complete and better done film—not one that truncates its own point before its fully made. If you like "Frozen"—good for you...I'm happy for you. There's nothing evil in the picture and I'm sure that it will endear itself to many children for years to come.
But please, please stop making it seem like "Frozen" is a renaissance in children's movie making—because that's just nonsense.












P.S.
This is a whole lot scarier than anything seen in "Frozen". So the villain count goes to "Brave" again...though Merida could be her own worst enemy.
Alright, now I'm done.

P.P.S
I've copied this from my other blog, just trying to get this one off its feet.

This Is the Beginnig

So I went ahead and made another blog...because who has time for just one?
Real quick: The point of this blog is anything goes.
Film analysis, opinion, whatever you want it to be.

Be good and keep watching.