Archive | December 2013

watchthis: Frozen (2013)

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Disney’s latest animated hit is wintery, beautiful, and totally worth seeing. Focusing on the relationship between two sisters, Anna and Elsa, the latter of whom has the ability to control and produce ice and snow, a gift which is ultimately powerful beyond her control. Accidentally, Elsa brings an unending winter upon the land, and Anna must find a way to return summer to the world with the help of a few friends along the way.

I saw Frozen a couple of weeks ago and really loved it. I’m a sucker for anything cute and animated and pretty and Disney (I’m wearing a Little Mermaid sweater as I write this, actually), and the film definitely holds up well as a Disney princess movie. I love the emphasis on the relationship between the two sisters rather than on romantic relationships – granted, there are some of those as well, but the film itself pokes fun at the typical fairytale notion of and points towards something at least slightly more realistic. The fact that Anna and Elsa reminded myself of me and my little red-headed sister really helped to pull at the heart strings, too.

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The animation itself is visually stunning, as well. This rings especially true in the scenery and the background settings. They are absolutely breathtaking. Since the world of Frozen is so white – a land plunged into an everlasting snowy winter – the emphasis shifts instead to the lighting. The way each scene is illuminated is completely breathtaking, and the lighting became one of my favourite aspects of the movie as a whole.

My favourite scene is the opening scene in which a group of ice cutters chip away at the ice covering the fjord in large blocks, pulling it out of the water and hauling it away singing. This scene is absolutely beautiful – the lighting, the animation (the ice looks incredibly real, sleek, and shining) and the music all combine to form a gorgeous opening scene that hooks you right from the start and pulls you into the world of the movie.

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Concept art for the opening scene

Overall, Frozen has a great message, great characters (Olaf the snowman is charmingly hilarious) and truly beautiful visuals. Definitely worth checking out. Try and see it soon while it’s still in theatres!

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watchthis: The Book Thief (2013)

watchthis: The Book Thief (2013)

Okay, okay, I know. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. A long time as in, like, three months. So a really long time.

BUT I’M BACK.

And there’s a hell of a lot of amazing books, movies, and games out right now. This is exciting stuff, guys.

I saw The Book Thief last weekend and loved it. I must admit that I’ve never read the book – though I’ve heard very good things about it – but I still managed to really enjoy the story and bawled during the film. A lot.

The Book Thief is about a German community and a girl and the people she meets during World War II. At first unable to read properly, the girl – Liesel – learns about the power of the word, and language, and stories, and books. It’s a truly beautiful story that makes for a beautiful film that, without giving away too much, will have you sobbing uncontrollably in your seat by the end. That’s a guarantee.

Filled with fantastic actors including Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Canadian newcomer Sophie NĂ©lisse, the movie properly displays the strength of humanity and the horrors of war from the perspectives of German civilians at the time. Featuring also the clever narration of Death (voiced by Roger Allam), the film reveals the fear and destruction that the second world war brought on while at the same time highlighting the little things that kept people going.

Worth checking out, whether you’ve read the book or not. I really liked it.

The Book Thief was directed by Brian Percival and is currently in theatres.