Oculus (2014)

Genre: Horror

Director: Mike Flanagan

Writers: Jeff Howard, Mike Flanagan, Jeff Seidman

Starring: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff

Rating: ★★★

Oculus was a horror that I was really anticipating after some positive conversations and a very chilling trailer was released not too long ago, however as the genre keeps producing in recent years, I was once faced again with a very typical and exhausted film, despite evidence of potential. Based on Mike Flanagan’s short story the writer turned director, was responsible for both the good and the bad behind Oculus, whilst the ugly was provided by a very shell-shocked Katee Sackhoff portraying Marie Russell. A mixture between psychological terror and minor-gore provided for a very thrilling horror and watch, but one which I felt was over-complicated in story.

Kaylie Russell and Tim Russell (Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites) were subject to witness violent events as children at the hands of their once loving parents, in the present day, Tim has just been released from a psychiatric ward after being convicted of murdering his father, and under the suggestions of his doctors his has been told to reunite with his sister Kaylie. Kaylie however since the incident as a child has been obsessing over a mirror who she believes is responsible for a list of supernatural events, including the possessing of her father and mother which led to those awful events those years ago. In an attempt to prove to her brother than it wasn’t truly him who killed their father, she sets up a plan to film the mirror and show him its supernatural powers on a night where seeing isn’t always believing.

Oculus consists of a very good set-up story, which it approaches very well in the introduction, however as the mirror’s powers are displayed it soon shows how false-realities are made as our characters see what they want to see, however as an audience and especially for me, this became very confusing and problematic. It seems that the film and the writers have over-complicated a very decent story which holds much potential, and as I viewed Oculus, as much as I wanted to understand and enjoy the film, I was left frustrated with the constant change in truths and realities.

The film however was slightly different to many horrors recently released, there wasn’t too much supernatural action or visual gore until the final climaxes, yet it still obtained a very creepy and eerie feel, something which was a success. However when the gore came and the supernatural beings, it was achieved and used well, producing more thrills and a few gasps. Katee Sackhoff, who played Tim and Kaylie’s mother within the film, was in particularly the most horrifying aspect in Oculus as she haunted the old house, and history was shown.

Karen Gillan, who is very well-known for her role within Doctor Who, performed well and her portrayal of Kaylie was successful. This is the first film I have seen Gillan in, and the first acting display away from Doctor Who; but she lived up to expectation and achieved the obsessive, interesting and bold character she needed to. Brenton Thwaites’ as Tim was also good, with the unknown actor handling the fast-paced haunting scenes very realistically. However the two members of the cast which deserve most credit are Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan who played younger versions of Kaylie and Tim in the many flashbacks within Oculus; the duo handled the job well and produced both believable and professional performances.

The highlight of Oculus however was in the hands of Flanagan who’s directing has made him a much more common name within film, and deservedly so. Oculus achieves a directing style which is rare for horror films; it was refreshing and unique with a range of shots and angles which were all used very well. The look was also brilliant, whilst special effects and make-up, especially on Katee Sackhoff was a real highlight.

It is a shame that for all the good which Oculus achieves it was let down majorly by a story which was repetitive, over-complex and frustrating. I feel that due to this everything else was very limited, in what was a high potential thrilling horror. Oculus is still a film which is very worth-while to watch, although not the most flawless it is an entertaining and cinematically appealing and different. Flanagan may have not hit the big-time with his writing, but his original concept and directing was certainly impressive. Horror disappointed last year in cinema and Oculus seemed to have followed in the average footsteps left behind.

 

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Wolf Creek (2005)

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Director: Greg Mclean

Writer: Greg Mclean

Starring: Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips

Rating: ★★

Wolf Creek is a film I wanted to watch before viewing it’s eye-catching and somewhat talked about sequel, Wolf Creek 2. The original however also grabbed some headlines and was the topic of discussion when the horror was released, being labelled “disturbing”, “visually-grotesque” and being the only film that the great Roger Ebert walked out on due to its violence. Although it may have been a new take on the genre nearly a decade ago upon release, I feel Wolf Creek despite some elements of promise, isn’t anything new and for me a very disappointing, dull attempt at horror that we’ve seen far too many times.

Three back-packing friends set out on a journey to the National Park in the Australian Outback to view one of the most scenic craters, Wolf Creek. Kirsty, Liz and Ben (Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips) decide to mix their hiking journey with some partying, drink and fun but as they set out on the real outback they soon realise everyone and everything is a little more hostile. As they arrive at their destination and witness the Wolf Creek Crater they find that whilst they were gone their car has mysteriously broken down by bad luck, leaving them completely stranded as night approaches. The trio think they’ve then been rescued by local Bushman Mick Taylor, but the stereotypical outback man seems suspicious and unnerving soon unleashing some bad luck of his own onto the tourist’s backpackers as their night turns into something they couldn’t have imagined.

It is the archetypal set-up for any horror film, three young tourists, unaware of their surroundings unfortunately meet the local serial killer and sadist. In true generic narrative style we also get to meet our characters however writer and director Greg Mclean chooses to dwell on this for far too long and around half the total screening time. Our characters are fairly average, and for some reason the amount of sympathy and connection created is very low, somewhat failing at making the more horror-like scenes worst to watch. It was however innovative to a degree that the dialogue to the trio’s conversations was very natural and realistic, but I felt this made it dull, despite the memorable lines; “Hey Ben you got something dripping from your mouth, oh wait its bullshit” as the jokes and fun play out. It takes a long time for action and gore to appear or for any real progress into our plot; when the main action does arrive I feel that due to the over-played anticipation there is no surprise or shock but an expectance and a feel of “oh finally”.

There’s nothing too horrifying or thrilling within Wolf Creek for me, with no real scares or jumps but more visual gore being used which is still very tame in comparison to other horror releases. One of the taglines for the film is “The Thrill is the Hunt” but for me there is not much of a hunt or much of a thrill throughout the film. I also found a real annoyance at some of the “plot devices”, which were obviously visible in stopping the film in ending despite being completely unrealistic despite the hyper-real context.

The acting was fairly average, however I must praise how the on-screen relationship and overall friendly-like feel between our trio of main characters was believable and looked more natural than what is seen in other films. As a standout however, I was impressed by our villain and outback bushman Mick Taylor, John Jarratt’s portrayal was very nice, creating a somewhat malicious and chilling atmosphere at moments. Although I have criticised Mclean’s writing, his directing was impressive, the film used a handheld camera which created the classic amateur documentary feel, adding to realism also making it feel like we’re witnessing these events. The film also had a few nice shots; especially the silhouettes of Mick Taylor approaching with his stereotypical hat creating a huge shadow and when our character Liz is witnessing her friend undergo torture.

Wolf Creek is something you’ll see time and time again, however taking on a somewhat new setting off the Australian outback. There were some positives with some good dialogue and a realistic-feel however the lack of progress and a very slow paced and un-shocking story creates a huge downfall.  The horror and thrills were missing and that’s a huge loss considering the genre, I felt despite his great direction, Mclean created some sloppy writing. This isn’t a must-watch and its nor entertaining or enjoyable, I can only hope that for once, a sequel will outperform it’s original with Wolf Creek 2, but the standard hasn’t been set too high.

 

 

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

Genre: Comedy

Director: Adam McKay

Writers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay

Starring: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate

Rating:★★★★

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) was kind of a big deal, and is personally one of my favourite comedies, a film labelled as “absolutely hilarious” and loved by many; you could say it’s a film loved more than Ron loves scotch and Brick loves lamp.  When I heard news that there was going to a sequel nearly a decade later, I was at the same time excited but nervous at the thought that it would bring shame to its great original. However full of casual racism, silly humour, big bushy moustaches, even more news reading and of course salon-quality hair, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues doesn’t disappoint. The writing is hilarious with the story being enjoyable and fun despite it feeling slightly lazy, Will Ferrell and Steve Carell produce brilliant performances once again, whilst a handful of cameo all-stars provide great laughter and surprise. Anchorman 2 may not be as successful as its prequel however it is certainly a memorable comedy.

Things have changed since Anchorman (2004), Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is now living the higher life away from his beloved San Diego, in New York City alongside his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), and the pair now even has a son, Walter Burgundy.  However, when their boss decides to promote Corningstone to become the first ever full-time lead female anchor and fire Ron, times a’change once more. Now working part-time at sea-world Ron, away from his wife and son seems to be washed-up once more, however his shot at redemption comes in the form of Freddie Schapp (Dylan Baker), the executive behind Global News Network, the world’s first ever twenty-four hour, around the clock news channel. Ron is hired, and he proceeds to hunt down and reunite his old gang and news team of Champ, Brick and Brian (David Koechner, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd). Ron and his news team are back behind the news desk once again however given the graveyard shift and a challenge to get ratings, Ron creates a radical plan to transform news and put him back as the number one news reader once again. But will Ron and Veronica ever get back together, with Ron becoming a dad again, and will Brick finally grow up and find his true love, are some of the battles the Global News Network team have to accomplish.

Anchorman 2 follows the same narrative as its previous instalment with the feud between Ron and Veronica leaving Ron jobless and in a tough position, meaning he has to fight once more to become the legend he previously was.  I see this as lazy writing, with even simple plots being copied once more with the introduction of another news team war and a pet shark; however it creates the same feel and consequently the same great humour so my criticism is also slightly positive.

The laughs in Anchorman 2 are as expected, always present. Ron once more is foolish, arrogant but mightily hilarious, whilst Brick keeps his place as one of the funniest characters ever created. With the news team reunited and on the way to New York, there’s a scene which is hilarious as their van crashes and the team fly about mid-air in the van along with the beloved Baxter. Brick likewise to his character in Anchorman has a handful of gut-busting quotes, my favourite – “A black man used to follow me around”, “Brick that’s your shadow”.  Even the other characters seem to produce big-laughs; Paul Rudd’s Brain Fantana goes through his cupboard of magical condoms, whilst Chuck talks about the “chicken of the cave” in his new food-chain restaurant.  Anchorman 2 is a great comedy however it isn’t quite a classic like its prequel, with something seeming missing.

The acting was great; of course the two stand-outs for me were Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. Ferrell brought Burgundy back to life with real style, with his arrogant humour and salon quality hair. However Carell was better than before, I was pleased to see him even getting his own story as he kindles up a love with a fellow awkward and dim colleague, which sees them go on a date to get a drink from a soda-vending machine. When we first see Brick again it was hilarious and really made me laugh. Just like Anchorman, The Legend Continues produces an iconic news team war which sees half a dozen all-star cameos, without giving all the names away we see a very animated Kanye West and an even hairier Harrison Ford.

I did find myself laughing throughout this film, but as I have said I didn’t find it as successful as its original. The story seemed too similar and that took away some laughs and enjoyment, whilst I found it slightly un-progressive at times with the story seeming to go round and round in circles. Anchorman 2 also seemed to push a lot of boundaries with its humour which seemed too forced and obvious at times, whilst before I viewed it as refreshing and inventive.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues isn’t as legendary as its previous original however for me it was a hilarious, funny and great comedy which doesn’t shame its name whatsoever.  Brilliant characters and brilliant acting create laugh after laugh, whilst there are a few very iconic scenes with some very iconic faces, with even a equally fun and lovable 70’s style soundtrack. It is easy to watch and even easier to enjoy with some familiar but decent writing from director and star Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. Anchorman 2 is a must-watch comedy, and should be regarded as the stand-out comedy of 2013. “Oh for the love of fresh nipple cream, this is great”

 

 

 

 

47 Ronin (2013)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Director: Carl Rinsch

Writers: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini, Walter Hamada

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki

Rating: ★★★

47 Ronin is a film which attempts to take a serious concept and liven it up with fantasy elements to appeal to a wider audience.  It is quite simply an average film, one with much potential, but ultimately I found myself slightly disappointed. The craft is great along with some moments of action, whilst everything else is rather respectable but nothing too special including the return of Keanu Reeves to the world of cinema.

Lord Asano (Min Tanaka) of Ako, a small beautiful Japanese village, is hunting in the forest with his men when they find a young boy, a half-breed between demon and human. Asano sees something special in this boy and takes him home to the castle, where he shall live alongside the samurai. Several years later, the young boy is now a man, his name is Ki (Keanu Reeves) but he’s rejected as a samurai and is labelled as “half-breed”, but his fighting skills are superior to any other, defending the village from beasts. Lord Asano invites the Shogun of Japan (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) to Ako to watch a tournament; however when a witch sabotages his fighter and eventually Asano himself, the shogun demands seppuku (Suicide) on Asano to counterbalance his shameful act. Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) of Nagato is given power over Ako by the Shogun, including all the samurai and the princess. Lord Kira, evil and heartless forbids the samurai from Ako and keeps the princess for himself. The banished samurais, who are now just ronins, realise Kira’s plot and set out alongside the half-breed to seek revenge for their fallen master despite it being against the Shogun’s order.

The concept is simple but strong with the story surrounding revenge and the ronin taking back their land of Ako from Lord Kira, who plotted the bewitching. It has also been seen many times before, with an unapproved man attempting to save a village and to win the princess from an evil master. However 47 Ronin steer away from simple plots and attempt to dive into fantasy worlds and monsters to gain excitement. The idea of huge, witch crafted beasts somewhat ruin a traditional concept of samurais against shoguns and masters.  It lets down the film for me and somewhat made it hard for me to like it, especially considering my appreciation for classic Japanese film such as Seven Samurai, where in other films Ki would be a farmer or a peasant, he is a demon setting-up a mythical setting and film world. The fantasy carries on as witches, ghosts and spirits enter the film. 47 Ronin then attempts to make matters serious by making the acquisition that the story is based on real life events, something I found ridiculous.

The real action, when arriving, takes place as the ronin invade Lord Kira’s Ako, and it is very good with the scenes looking great and the attack and scene being well-thought out and executed. It then sets up two stand-off fights, which bring entertainment which is much needed as the film beforehand seems to stray at some points.

Keanu Reeves portrayal of Ki is good, however like the rest of the cast and their acting it isn’t anything special and if anything at times it felt very stereotyped and cheesy.  The film did thrive from its visuals, although the concept of beasts and witches were somewhat unneeded it is only fair to say that they looked good and the effects were brilliant. The directing was also creditable and a standout, some shots were very awe inspiring especially in the lead up to the battle, whilst the film was occasionally helped by a number of well-timed and executed scenery shots.

47 Ronin isn’t what I was expecting, and I would have hoped it took a more traditional approach towards portraying a Japanese samurai story.  The film itself looked good and the action when appearing, although somewhat less than what was needed, was great and provided good action and entertainment. The story was well shaped and the simple concept was strong, which essentially draws you in as an audience; however the twists were really unnecessary. 47 Ronin isn’t anything special at all and doesn’t deserves much praise but on the other hand it could have been a whole lot worse.

Fruitvale Station (2013)

Genre: Biography, Drama

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writer: Ryan Coogler

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer

Rating: ★★★★

Fruitvale Station made a lot of noise when it came out around summer time last year and is now set for a release in the UK, for some reason I never really looked out for it or into it, until now, and I can now say the praise this film got, and the noise that was made is totally justifiable. It is moving, and horrific in the sense that this is a true story and the events which occurred happened, and that they do happen in an every day manner.

‘Fruitvale Station is the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother, whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend, who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to T, their beautiful 4 year old daughter. He starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realises that change is not going to come easy. He crosses paths with friends, family, and strangers, each exchange showing us that there is much more to Oscar than meets the eye. But it would be his final encounter of the day, with police officers at the Fruitvale BART station that would shake the Bay Area to its very core, and cause the entire nation to be witnesses to the story of Oscar Grant’

The ending to the story is irrelevant in some respect; many before watching would be familiar of such events and the name Oscar Grant, what is relevant is the manner in which this story has been told. It follows Oscar throughout his day, his last day, it allows us to know Oscar, connect and engage. He isn’t as first seen the stereotypical man from a rough part of town, he is caring, he tries. We see his interaction with his mother, something truly heart-warming; we see his interaction with his daughter, something equally as touching. Oscar is trying to turn his life around and make something for himself and everyone that he cares for. As the New Year slowly approaches we have seen the true Oscar, kind and loving, but as he gets the train back home with his girlfriend and a group of friends his past seems to hold him back. A group of police officers, racist and vile, unfairly treat and arrest Oscar and his friends, eventually leading to the unnecessary shooting and the unforgettable murder which was seen from all train members.

The moment is shocking and sad, something very moving and somewhat unexplainable. When watching you feel so much anger, and sorrow, for the whole film we have connected with Oscar and we know what he has to come back to, and look forward to, but in that one moment it is all gone. The writer Ryan Coogler has done amazingly to achieve such emotion, and so have the actors. Michael B. Jordan portrayal of Oscar is brilliant, he was realistic but at the same time moving as we saw his interaction with people throughout the day. The idea that these actors aren’t well-known adds to the realism of this story, or keeps the realism within the true story, and again this creates even more emotion. I usually find portrayals of true events hard to watch as I still believe that it never happened, but this is the complete opposite, and really deserves praise.

Fruitvale Station is an example of a film which thrives of its story, and that is so good because of it. There were flaws, the dialogue at times was hard to handle, and some scenes seemed too on the nose and Hollywood for the true story, whilst nothing equally jumped out as an amazing aspect of craft, but it is hard not to be touched by this film and Oscar’s story. This is a film I am glad I watched, it is excellently portrayed and handled, whilst the rawness adds to keep realism and creates so much emotion. Fruitvale Station is a film with so much emotion. It is not the easiest to watch, but it is powerful and really worthwhile. I strongly believe this film was majorly overlooked and forgotten from last year.

 

 

Labor Day (2014)

Genre: Drama

Director: Jason Reitman

Writers: Jason Reitman, Joyce Maynard

Starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith

Rating: ★★★

Labor Day is a film which will most likely get overlooked as it dwells in its last weeks of cinema release; but I think that this more than heartfelt drama deserves some recognition and praise. A Jason Reitman adaptation from the award winning novel of the same name written by Joyce Maynard shows a real battle for love and affection which makes for an entertaining and sometimes tense watch which although not flawless, is ultimately worth-while.

The story focuses on Adele (Kate Winslet), a depressed and recently divorced single mother who has become so afraid of the cruel outside world she only leaves her house once a month for supplies. Her son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith), is a growing young teen who is dealing with the changes of his body, his mind and the pressure of dealing with family life. On the monthly trip to the store Henry bumps into Frank (Josh Brolin), a wounded fearsome escaped convict who has jumped out of a second story hospital window; offering him a ride home he stays with Adele and Henry over the Labor Day weekend whilst the police search the town and he recovers. Adele, Frank and even Henry all battle life for the same thing, affection, and this is a film which tells the story of a fight for that affection and much needed love. Adele falls in love with Frank and remembers how it feels to be loved, cared for and touched whilst Henry finds a fatherly role-model, learning baseball and even mechanics. As Frank and Adele learn each other’s lives’ and pasts they realise their need for each other, however no matter how much love they share, Frank is an on the run convict in a very small village.

The story is very heart-warming and very well-written with what I believe is three in-depth characters that really share and connect with the audience. The character of Frank shares the solemn story of why he is in prison, and we see how deep down he is much softer than his looks. Adele shares her tragedies showing herself the victim of a cruel world, however the bonding between these two strangers is pleasant to watch and seems a somewhat fait driven event. Whilst Henry’s story shows a troubled time experienced by far too many young teens in a modern society making a somewhat realistic leap. Labor Day is well executed with eventually the story tracking forward many years into the future, where the narrator (Tobey Maguire ) is now an older Henry. The ending without too many spoilers is a very nice touch to round off the film.

Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin both give very good performance’s showing their years of experience and making the story fulfil its impact upon the audience. However although a rarity, Labor Day offers a superb cast where everyone gives a great performance, Gattlin Griffith for sure, whilst younger versions and older versions of characters also play their part in adding to a real highlight aspect to the release. The direction too by Reitman was good, there were certain moments and scenes which really stood out especially for cinematography as the lighting was very impressive with these sun filled shots which appeared often.

Labor Day however did struggle slightly and created a few sloppy flaws which consequently let the film down. The pace was too slow considering how quickly the main story started; it seemed to drag especially considering the film focused on a four-day weekend. Although it contained tense moments and scenes as the police searched for Frank and unexpected visitors arrived, I felt there was a missing fulfilment of action or a climax which really turned things around. I also found at times the script and writing although good, to be too on the nose and unnecessary, such as Frank playing with and helping a disabled child to show he Is a good and innocent man which was obvious beforehand. I also found confusing how Frank spent lots of time outside, fixing gutters, walls, cars and making barbeques however despite a much closed in village filled with friendly and nosey surrounding neighbours no one spotted him. It felt that there were so many good elements to Labor Day but its attention to small errors and detail essentially for me, marred the film slightly.

Labor Day has an inviting, sad and warm story which it essentially thrives off and despite some flaws I do believe the positives are much greater in value than the negatives. A great portrayal from all the cast provides great performances, especially from our lead roles. Labor Day is entertaining film, maybe not reaching full potential however it is nevertheless a worthwhile watch which I am glad to have experienced.

 

 

Frozen (2013)

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation

Directors: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck

Writers: Hans Christian Andersen, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris, Dean Wellins

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad

Rating: ★★★★

Frozen wasn’t the type of film I thought I would enjoy, I am not exactly the over joyous lover of princesses or all things singing and dancing unless it’s in the form of Reservoir Dogs. I can see where the appeal is for Disney’s latest phenomenon although I might have not attained it. The story is well structured, funny and has elements for every member of the audience, whilst once again Disney creates visuals that are flawless for the eye to witness. However the aspect that saw box-office storm and audiences flood was its musical twist, which although not too great in my head, was a refreshing, clever touch.

The story surrounds two princesses, sisters Anna and Elsa, tracking them through their childhood then skipping into the future. Anna is the youngest sister, a brave believer but Elsa, the oldest, is a troubled girl with a deep dark secret. Elsa is secretly been blessed as the “snow queen” with a simple and single touch can turn anything, anyone and everything into ice or snow. However when her emotions overflow this secret is exposed and trouble arises as Elsa with her magical icy powers locks their home kingdom of Arendelle in an eternal winter. Anna takes on the epic adventure and decides to look for and bring her now runaway and magical sister back home. Anna is not alone and is teamed up on her mission with newly romanced Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven; on a mountain of a mission they encounter everything from mystic trolls to a humorous snowman named Olaf. They soon become close to finding what seems to be a crazed Elsa, but her troubled sister believes her magical ability is only turning her into a monster.

Frozen has a strong story one which is very well structured, as you would expect from Disney. It may involve princesses but really this for me is a story about a real life occurrence involving siblings; Elsa presents the wayward stereotype whilst Anna just wants her attention, respect and love, something common of the younger sibling. It is however sugar coated and covered in funny subplots, typical hidden humour and newly the intervention of singing, to somewhat hide this realistic message. The events which unfold throughout the film are all very good, each fulfilling a purpose, however most didn’t entertain me, perhaps due to me not fitting the height or age of Frozen’s target audience. The character of Olaf however for me is a highlight which shows fully some excellent writing and script work as he brings a host of witty lines which are a little more accessible, for the same reason too Sven and Kristoff provide the same humour. It doesn’t mean however that the two main characters didn’t impress me; I found it very connecting at times with myself buying into both of their sorrow.

Disney is always showing improvements and amazement in visuals with every new release and Frozen had a number of eye-catching scenes and elements. I found myself somewhat amazed at the things that Elsa was making throughout with her magical ice powers, in particular the ice staircase which eventually led to an entire ice castle. It was visually great but more so inventive and it was easy to see the fun the writers obviously had. The inclusion too of the troll was very good and the animation was simply brilliant.

The flaws I have with Frozen aren’t something the film should be criticised for but it was elements that personally irritated me. Ironically my biggest annoyance with Frozen is something it has had the highest praise for, its musical touch. I didn’t expect singing when I first viewed Frozen so when it appeared I was surprised, however its initial appearance for me was refreshing, but eventually becoming a regular occurrence it did become draining, emphasising slightly the childish feel which in some aspects ruined my experience and connection despite my enjoyment with other children’s animation. My feeling for the music is simply demonstrated by the song “Do you want to build a Snowman”, once first heard it was warming and somewhat pleasant, but after a replay or two it is anything but.

I personally out of the animated films released from last year and of course those in the running for the Oscar, preferred Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University over Disney’s Frozen, but its Oscar for best animated feature was justifiable. I enjoyed many elements, the script, characters, and visuals but ultimately the film was knocked by the musical side and inclusion. However taking my personal taste aside Frozen is a very entertaining and fun film to watch, which should and will most likely win over much of its audience. Although it wasn’t exactly my perfect film type or choice I will still respect and appreciate a brilliantly crafted piece of animation which is essentially worth-while.