Film Review: Frozen

by Mariana Galecki

The holiday season is in full swing, and what better way to get you in the mood than Disney’s new movie Frozen. To the untrained eye, it may seem like a typical Disney flick with princesses, magical powers, catchy songs and “true” love. However, when one takes a closer look, it’s a whole new world.

This is the first time ever that a woman, Jennifer Lee, has directed a Disney animated film. Although she shared the responsibility with Chris Buck, it is still a monumental step towards gender equality in the film world. It’s not that women are better filmmakers or simply better than men, but when a film is made by a balanced group of individuals, a more real and genuine movie will come to fruition.

It is incredible how different Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) are from Snow White and Cinderella! Princess Merida from Brave was definitely a step towards the creation of a full-fledged independent female character like Elsa, but her plot was not as strong as the one in Frozen. Elsa was originally supposed to be an evil snow queen, but because there was a balanced writing team, a whole multidimensional character was created. Elsa loves her sister and ultimately wants what is best for her people, but she is afraid and that leads her to do things that she shouldn’t.

This is the same team that gifted the world with Wreck-It-Ralph (2012), so expectations were very high for this movie and I do believe they were delivered. I’m not an expert in animation, but there was nothing terrible about it that popped out. Frozen had that familiar Disney style that everyone loves so much and has been missing for a while.  Wednesday, the day I went to see the movie, was not a very good day for me, but watching this movie made me happy and giddy and made all my troubles go away. Furthermore, the songs are all beautiful and memorable; in fact, I could not stop singing Let it Go all weekend.

Frozen is not extremely revolutionary, but it does break several barriers and it should be celebrated for that. Not only that, but it’s a classic and superb Disney movie that is enjoyable to all audiences.

Film Review: Gravity

by Mariana Galecki

Alfonso Cuarón and his son, Jonas Cuarón, bring to the screen a spectacular feat with Gravity. It’s hard to describe the movie without spoiling it since a key part of the movie is its ability to create an atmosphere of suspense and uncertainty. This ambience is amplified by masterful transitions between sound and silence which deftly suit the movie’s setting in space.

Walking into the theater, one expects something incredibly lovely in light of Cuarón and his team having accomplished an amazing backtrack of films like the Mexican movie “Y Tu Mamá También” and the internationally beloved “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Possible flaws might include the lack of scientific accuracy in the film, as noted by famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s tweets.

therealneilAll in all, I totally recommend this movie for everyone to see on the big screen and I definitely think it’ll be nominated for a few awards at next year’s Oscars.

Time Management Tips from Successful Seniors, Part 1 of 5

Ilana LadisIlana Ladis,
Entertainment Technology (Film)

DASH Dispatch: In terms of workload and time management, what are the main differences between what you knew about your strand before you started versus now?

Ilana Ladis: Each year my class schedule has become more challenging and rigorous. When I was selecting a strand it didn’t occur to me how my schedule would change each year. This year I am taking five academic classes and while sometimes it’s a lot to manage with three art classes, it’s ultimately rewarding to challenge myself.

DD: What strategies or changes to your routine have helped you manage your workload?

IL: I regularly use my agenda to keep track of school work, extracurricular events, and social events. It really helps to be organized and to keep everything written down in one place.

DD: How do you get your work done outside of DASH when you don’t have access to the resources at school (i.e. software, sewing machines, etc.)?

IL: I have my own camera and usually have no problem getting work done outside of school. It really helps that in the film strand you are able to borrow industry level equipment and take it home with you to work on your projects.

DD: In what ways have your classmates, family, or friends become a support system?

IL: In many ways, I have found a support system in and out of DASH. Sometimes my friends and I have study sessions during the lunch period if we have a big test. My teachers are also very supportive–I truly feel like they all want me to do my best and succeed, whether it’s staying after class with me to answer a question or writing me a letter of recommendation for college.

DD: What do you do to balance school work with time for rest, social activities, a job, etc.?

IL: Every day I try to set aside a half hour period dedicated to relaxation. I work much better when I can step back for a moment, regroup, and then focus on my tasks for the day. I also keep a daily to-do list and prioritize what I need to do in order of due date and level of time needed to complete a task. Also, I don’t procrastinate. That is a recipe for disaster especially at a school like DASH where due dates fly by left and right.