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.

Film Review: Rise of the Guardians

Upon first glance, Rise of the Guardians seems like Marvel’s Avengers for young kids. It teams up childhood heroes like Santa Clause and Jack Frost to fight against Pitch the Boogeyman. However, amongst the “childish” exterior, one can consider this to be amongst Dreamwork’s most serious, ambitious, and heartwarming movies to date.

While the plot is simple enough, it takes you through an adventure that explores all of these character’s worlds and has you glimpse through the mythology that DreamWorks – or rather, William Joyce- created for them. For it’s average running time of 97 minutes, the film tries to accomplish a lot because of this heavy exploration. This makes the movie a bit rushed in the beginning, but it eventually finds its pace as it carries the main character, Jack Frost, through his journey of self-identity towards becoming a Guardian.

From start to finish, the movie lacks the gags, toilet humor, and pop-culture references that have been carried on throughout older DreamWorks films and replaces it with a script that truly attempts to capture the essence of these characters. Admittedly, the script may be quite trite in certain areas, making clear the conflicts and goals from the get-go and containing more exposition than subtext, but what the story lacks in its script it makes up with characters you root for and believe in by the end. Along with its absolutely beautiful animation and character driven universe, Dreamworks created a movie for the holidays that anybody can enjoy, child and adult alike.

Written by Melly Diaz, Graphic Design Senior