REVIEW: Frozen II [2019]

Do the next right thing. I have to give directors Jennifer Lee (who also wrote the script) and Chris Buck credit for not simply jumping at the chance to follow up a cultural phenomenon for the paycheck. People wondered on opening weekend when a sequel to Frozen would arrive and these two held fast to their mutual decision of waiting until the story drew them back. They even began work on a completely separate project before heeding the call of unfinished business where Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel)…

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REVIEW: Teen Titans GO! To the Movies [2018]

Crack an egg on it. Kah-KAW! Picture this: a popular 1980s comic by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez called The New Teen Titans puts a bunch of sidekicks together to fight one of their rank’s evil father. After a sixteen-year run come new titles to continue the legacy in print with differing line-ups before Cartoon Network developed the property into a television series from Glen Murakami entitled “Teen Titans”. This thing becomes a huge winner for CN with rabid fans and critical acclaim before moving past a planned four-season arc…

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REVIEW: Olaf’s Frozen Adventure [2017]

Tell us yours and we’ll tell you if it’s special enough. A short film like Olaf’s Frozen Adventure epitomizes the law of diminishing returns: for audiences, not Disney. The studio is surely making a ton of merchandise money with little work involved considering the characters are already at their disposal. We’re talking a couple directors, a writer, and some songs proving a small price to pay in order to ensure another year goes by where children remember who Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), and especially Olaf (Josh Gad) are.…

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REVIEW: CHIPS [2017]

“Shoulda cuddled, bro” I’ve never watched an episode of “CHiPs” so I don’t care whether or not the original Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Francis Poncherello (Erik Estrada) pulled their guns during six seasons of television as some on social media have enjoyed touting they didn’t since the trailer hit. I will, however, admit I’m glad writer/director Dax Shepard didn’t feel beholden to such a streak of pacifism because I don’t see how it would have been entertaining for 90-plus minutes. And if his CHIPS remake is anything, it is…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: Der Nachtmahr [2016]

“What do you want from me?” In great Lost Highway-era David Lynch fashion, visual artist turned filmmaker Akiz‘s Der Nachtmahr switches from linear reality to seamlessly disorienting crosscuts between life and dream. It occurs when soon-to-be eighteen year old Tina (Carolyn Genzkow) passes out drunk while peeing in the woods outside a secret rave full of heavy electronica and piercing white strobe light (a disclaimer cautions epileptics while cajoling everyone else to increase the volume). We don’t realize she’s fainted—and honestly this dizzy spell might be the nightmare instead of…

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REVIEW: Frozen Fever [2015]

“Dry Banana Hippy Hat” I liked Frozen as much as the next person for telling a familiar story in a new way with emotion, surprises, and a cute little snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad). However, I can’t imagine even the staunchest supporter of its legacy doesn’t possess some fatigue. Elsa and Anna are everywhere, “Let It Go” is seared into my eardrums, and the whole fight for title of platonic true love originator against Maleficent proved just how rabid fandom can become—and how annoying. Despite the overkill, kids across the…

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REVIEW: Veronica Mars [2014]

“And you have what we in the business call a crazy-ass murder wall” Are you Team Piz? Team Logan? Do you have any clue what I’m talking about? Well, if it’s the latter I’m prescribing you rent all three seasons of “Veronica Mars” on DVD now. I didn’t want anything to do with little Kristen Bell and her super sleuthing either back in the day, but I jumped on the bandwagon when she, creator Rob Thomas, and alum went on Kickstarter and asked for help to craft a feature film.…

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REVIEW: Frozen [2013]

“Conceal it. Don’t feel it.” Over half a century in the making, Disney’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen has finally made it to the big screen. It was 1943 when Walt Disney and Samuel Goldwyn decided to co-create a live-action/animation hybridized biography of the Danish author—an idea that stalled due to their inability to bring the aforementioned fairy tale and The Little Mermaid to life. While Disney of course figured out the latter in 1989, the former continuously proved troublesome as it failed to come together in…

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INTERVIEW: Adam Brody, star of Some Girl(s)

Best known as geeky Seth Cohen on “The O.C.”, Adam Brody has become a familiar comedic face in Hollywood over the past decade. With a recent turn in Whit Stillman‘s Damsels in Distress and now this Neil LaBute adaptation from his own play Some Girl(s), however, he’s beginning to branch out towards scripts and filmmakers with more palpable weight. It’s a welcome evolution that I believe he’s embraced and excelled at. Taking the time to talk to us—and being nice enough to call back after his first attempts came while…

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REVIEW: Some Girl(s) [2013]

“Guys always mean well right before they screw someone over” Often labeled a misogynist misanthrope, Neil LaBute has made a career of writing self-absorbed characters completely ruining the lives of those around them for the fleeting second of giddy happiness resulting from knowing they’re in absolute control. Whether its two men actively seeking to destroy a handicapped coworker or a woman obsessed with proving she has the ability to manufacture the perfect man, his plays shed light on the shadowy corners of human nature in a heightened, darkly comic way.…

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REVIEW: Get Him to the Greek [2010]

“Please press seven for fellatio” The glory that is Russell Brand’s character Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall stems from two words: supporting role. On paper, expanding the obnoxious and vain sexual deviant’s background part to head up his own vehicle seems like a slamdunk—and it is to some respect. Although it underperformed at the box office opening weekend, Get Him to the Greek appeals to its audience and makes them laugh hard. But does humor alone create a success? I’m undecided on whether I laughed or looked towards my…

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