Review: Frozen on DVD/Blu-Ray (+ Saving Mr. Banks)

"FROZEN" (Pictured) ELSA. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Seventeen weeks after its theatrical release, Frozen is being released on DVD and Blu-Ray today. The Disney musical and Oscar winner for best animated film is still in the Top 10 at the North American box office, having grossed more than $2.1 million this past weekend.

The film is a return to the heyday of the Disney musical and is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. Frozen just reached the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide B.O., but if you are not one of the people who contributed to that monstrous haul, here’s a quick synopsis. Elsa and Anna (pronounced like Faris, not Wintour) are sisters and princesses. Elsa has magical powers but hasn’t learned to control them yet, so she’ll sometimes accidentally freeze stuff … like her younger sister Anna. After a close call, Elsa stays locked up in her room for years, away from her sister and any human contact. The two princesses are in their castle, closed off from their town, until Elsa’s Coronation Day. Anna’s thrilled; “for the first time in forever,” there’ll be people in their castle. But Elsa’s worried; she hasn’t quite mastered her magic yet and must keep the townspeople from finding out her secret. At the Coronation Ball, Anna tells Elsa some news that really sets off her older sister. After freezing the town perpetually, Elsa banishes herself to a faraway mountain, leaving her townspeople literally in the cold.

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11/11 Remembrance Day: War movies on Netflix Canada

Tora! Tora! Tora!

You’re on an impossible mission if you’re looking to learn about the history of wars in the world using only your Netflix Canada account. You may need to dig up old-world relics that are your video-store and library cards. Netflix Canada’s selection of war films is sadly incomplete.

The ratio of all First World War to Second World War movies is about 1:100 (unscientific figure, but the Second World War was longer, its effects longer lasting and its narratives more easily dramatizable, which may explain the difference); on Netflix Canada, I’ve been unable to find more than one movie or documentary on the First World War worth sharing (Flyboys, the unrecommendable 138-minute mess starring James Franco, is available if you are so brave. One of the more positive reviews called it “a lot less obnoxious than Pearl Harbor.”)

Where is the Paul Gross-directed-written-starring Passchendaele, a great – and one of the only – Canadian war film? Classics like All Quiet on the Western Front and Paths of Glory? More recent films like A Very Long Engagement and War Horse? And I’m still only on the First World War – the streaming service’s repertoire of Cold, Vietnam and Korea War movies is missing some cinema classics. I can’t fault Netflix for its shortcomings, but if it is going to be the future of media streaming, it has a long way to go.

Here are some of the war movies Netflix Canada has to offer.

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My Oscar ballot (2012)

The 84th Annual Academy Awards are going to start to be given out in an hour and I wanted to share my ballot with you guys before it starts AND THAT’LL PROVE THAT I’M NOT CHEATING.

I only got 15 of 24 right last year, and I am hellbent on besting my score.

*Click on the ballot below for a full-size (readable) version.

* Update: I finished with 6/8 for the big categories (Best Picture, 4 x Acting, Directing, 2 x Screenplay) and 13/24 overall. I am legitimately very upset with myself, but have to say I am surprised with how well Hugo did in the technical categories. See a full list of the winners at IMDb.

Crappy Feet

Dancing and singing penguins even less exciting the second time around

There was no need for a sequel to Happy Feet.

Sure, the 2006 animated flick grossed more than $380 million worldwide. It also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, but it was a very weak year, if you ask me (Happy Feet was up against Cars and Monster House.)

In Happy Feet Two, we are reunited with penguin super couple Mumble and Gloria (voiced by Elijah Wood and singer Pink) and their firstborn Erik, the penguin born at the end of the first movie. It seems talent is genetic: in Happy Feet, Mumble was a young penguin who couldn’t sing, but could dance up a storm. In Two, Erik can’t dance.

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