Review – Frozen

Frozen is a page from the Disney of yesteryear. While I’m consciously aware that there are songs in Tangled, I don’t feel like it was a musical in the classical Disney sense. Frozen reminds me of the great animated musicals such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. When I walked out of the theater the people (both children and adults) around me were still singing the song “Let it go.”

The movie revolves around two sister princesses. The older one is born with a power to create snow and ice, though is unable to control it. Her powers are subsequently kept a secret to everyone, even her sister. The other sister is born with the capacity to be optimistic in all circumstances. When things turn bad for the older sister, it is the younger sister who sets out to try and repair the damage.

The Sister Princesses
The Sister Princesses

Along the way they pick up a few more characters. An ice miner, a prince, and a snowman. I usually hate comic relief characters, but Olaf the Snowman is delightfully funny and his usage is clever. His naivete and the fact that he is a snowman make for a lot of great comical moments. There is also another snowman, who is quite different. I was watching the movie with a couple of 3-year-old nieces and at one point she became very frightened by the other snowman. People with smaller children should probably wait to see it at home (this is actually true of anyone who thinks it is a good idea to take little children to the theater).

Olaf finds a flower.
Olaf finds a flower.

Frozen has a lot of things going for it, good characters, songs, jokes, animation, and fun. Maybe it is the start of another run of great Disney films.

Review – Thor: The Dark World

Thor_The-Dark-World_Poster

Thor: The Dark World is decent film. In this movie an ancient enemy called the Dark Elves is attempting to revert the universe back to a time when there was no light. Apparently the ideal time to do this is every 5000 years when the 9 realms are in alignment. The last time this happened, a great war was fought and the Dark Elves were annihilated. This makes me wonder if there was a war every 5000 years with the Dark Elves after light began or if the universe is less than 10,000 years old, making the first war the only war.

The subtitle the Dark World refers to the world of the Dark Elves, which has subsequently fallen into ruin. As an inhabitable planet it is pretty forgotten. Why haven’t the Asgardians (or other realms / races) moved to colonize the now abandoned Dark Planet? It should be noted that the Dark Planet is dark in name only. There appears to adequate light available.

The Dark Elves had a secret weapon (the Aether) they hoped to use during the convergence, but that weapon was captured by the Asgardians and locked away. As it happens, the convergence is happening again. This becomes the major plot point of the movie, as Jane Foster comes in contact with the weapon, which kind of/sort of possesses her. There are also dark forces trying to acquire the weapon in time to use it during the convergence.

Thus we see Jane Foster brought to Asgard in an effort to cure her of the Aether. There is the obvious question of the rational of Thor being in love with Jane Foster. She is from another world and will not live the standard 5,000 years of an Asgardian. There is also the obvious looks from Sif, who is probably the logical choice for Thor. But really, unless Jane were somehow given the same lifespan as Thor, Sif just has to bid her time before she can marry the heir apparent to Asgard. At most it is going to be 60-70 years. What is that amount of time considering the lifespan of Asgardians? Also Sif has been around for a long time, apparently not making her move, she can hardly blame Jane for that. The dark forces subsequently come to Asgard to acquire the Aether, and there is much conflict. Thor is eventually forced to seek the help of Loki, his imprisoned brother.

Before the movie came out I asked my wife if she was interested in seeing it. She said “I don’t know, from the trailer it isn’t clear to me that Thor will take off his shirt.” I said “is that all Thor is to you, just something to ogle?” she replied “that is all Thor is to anybody.” For the female audience that loves Thor for his muscles and not his origin story, I will say that what you seek is in the second movie, if only briefly.

I felt the movie was a worthy sequel to original movie. It was certainly better than Iron-Man 2. At least these characters get sequels, the same cannot be said for poor Hulk, who doesn’t even have his own movie yet (with the current actor).

For all the questions I raised in this review, there are only 7 tagged as thor-the-dark-world on the Scifi.SE site at the time of writing. Over half of them are related to the end credits scenes.

Guide to either loving or hating Ender’s Game (film)

Warning, potential spoilers ahead (for those who didn’t read the book).

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The internet is extremely polarized, maybe it is because of all the 1’s and 0’s, but there is only enough room on it for love or hate. If you walk out of Ender’s Game unsure which extreme position to take, here are some things that might help you.

Something to love: After 28 years of screwing around, they finally made it into a film
Something to hate: The beloved children’s book The Hobbit gets 3 – 3 hour movies while we get a 2 hour film that could have easily been 2.5 hours and refined a few points

Something to hate: “The enemy’s gate is down” is now Bean’s idea
Something to love: Bean still says it as the end of the movie to try and relax everyone

Something to love: The Battle Room is pretty cool and larger than you imagined
Something to hate: The Battle Room now has an incredibly distracting view of the Earth

Something to hate: All of the kids appear to be the exact same age and Bonzo is inexplicably a foot shorter than everyone else
Something to love: Almost all of the important characters are represented

Something to love: Rather than just shooting light, the guns now shoot balls of energy
Something to hate: The Battle Room is reduced to paintball in zero gravity

Something to hate: Ender’s fight with Bonzo is short and ends more in an accident than intent to win
Something to love: Ender still drinks the blood of his fallen enemies

Something to love: Many of the special effects look amazing
Something to hate: The mind game looks like a modern day video game

Something to hate: The film portrays Ender as having been in only one army and only one battle before being promoted to commander
Something to love: We don’t have to see Ender cry himself to sleep every night because no one loves him

Something to love: Peter and Valentine take a major back page to the story
Something to hate: If Peter and Valentine were your favorite parts of the book, then you hated the book as well

Something to hate: The Formics are never called Buggers
Something to love: Ender still gets to destroy that filthy Bugger race

Highlights from 2013 – 3rd Quarter

Meta Suggested:

Beofett liked Did the Ring Bearers or Gimli die in Valinor? asked by Kevin.

DavRob60 liked the late answer by Lawton to What is the significance of the reversed colours of imperial and rebellion lasers compared to lightsabres?

One of the more interesting questions to me from the quarter was Why does the original Robocop trailer have the Terminator theme music?

Interesting Stats:

The highest voted question Can You Tell My Robot to Kill Itself? was asked by kojiro. The highest voted answer is on the same question, and was provided by DJClayWorth, although this is not the accepted answer (a difference of 53 votes).

The second highest voted answer was supplied by Daniel Roseman to the question Who Inherited Bag End?

The most viewed question was asked by Madeyedexter, In Star Trek, does the transporter conserve the momentum of transported objects?

The most controversial question was Why are there so many times Harry was told about him having his mother’s eyes?

The highest voted comment was made by System Down on the question Is Trantor Earth?

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