Frozen II

Vampire Owl: Everyone is frozen at home due to COVID-19, and we are watching the second part of this movie.

Vampire Bat: COVID-19 has been a serious crisis in the vampire world too.

Vampire Owl: Yes, the last world vampire conference was held in twenty five districts because they had to keep the distance.

Vampire Bat: For the undead, it wouldn’t show any symptoms. We would just die.

Vampire Owl: Death after death is a highly disappointing thing.

Vampire Bat: Yes, we become immortal, and then we die. It is ridiculous.

Vampire Owl: The vampire doctors including Mr. Frankenstein are saying that this was spread by werewolves.

Vampire Bat: This could have been the result of a pure evil magic potion prepared by the Northern Witches.

Vampire Owl: Or maybe spread by a zombie bat?

Vampire Bat: Bats becoming zombies are abominations. I wouldn’t discuss them.

[Gets some banana chips and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: King Runeard (Jeremy Sisto), long ago, had established a treaty between the people of the kingdom and those of the forest, by building a dam for the better utilization of resources by the forest tribe. But all of a sudden, a fight breaks out between the soldiers of the kingdom and the fighters of the forest tribe, leading to the death of Runeard and also that of the tribe leader, leading to a division between the two, and the forest being engulfed in an enchanted fog created by the spirits of nature, letting nobody inside and allowed nobody to go out. The enraged elemental spirits of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air of the forest had only one person escaping to the kingdom of Arendelle, Agnarr (Alfred Molina) who later became the king after the death of his father with Iduna (Evan Rachel Wood) as his queen. The tale go only this far for Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell).

So, what happens with the events here? :: Years after her coronation, Anna and Elsa are having some good time during the autumn season with Olaf the snowman (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and Kristoff’s reindeer Sven along with the subjects in the kingdom. Elsa has been listening to a mysterious calling, and her response to the same awakens the four elemental spirits, Earth, Water, Air and Fire. With these spirits threatening the kingdom, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven set off to find the problem’s root cause, leaving the people with Pabbie (Ciaran Hinds), the leader of the Rock Trolls. The team is taken in by the enchanted forest, but are trapped in there with no chance for exit. There they meet the air spirit first, followed by two groups of soldiers from both sides who are still in conflict with each other.

And what else follows with the happenings? :: Elsa and Anna manage to make peace between the two groups of soliders as they realized that the queen of the kingdom is from their tribe, and she was the one who saved the king and escaped with him from the enchanted forest years ago. Meanwhile, Kristoff keeps thinking about proposing to Anna, but doesn’t succeed in the same for which asks for her from Ryder (Jason Ritter) who shares his interest in reindeers. They come up against earth spirits, a group of giants made out of rocks, but manage to evade them. They find their parents’ destroyed ship and a map with a route to Ahtohallan, a mythical river which could answer all their questions. Elsa decides to go there alone, and with Kristoff and Sven already left behind, leaves Anna and Olaf to float down in a boat made of ice as she decides to take on the water spirit on her way through water. But there is a long way to go, and can she do it alone?

The defence of Frozen II :: The animation remains the strong point of the movie. There are also the special effects – what you see on the screen is nothing less than spectacular, getting you right into that world, and frost just gets to you if you are sitting in a theatre, especially a newer multiplex. The visual effects do the job like not many animated movies can do, and in a world of magic, it asserts the strength of the same. The characters are lovable, and we feel very close to them, even though they are part of that fantasy world only. They become part of us as much as the technical skill on display. The songs are pretty good too, and the messages are once again clear, with family bonding, not just between the sisters, but going further. Frozen will continue to have advantage over the other so called big animated movies like How to Train Your Dragon, Rio, Despicable Me, Finding Nemo, Cars, Ice Age, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and the others which have turned into successful franchises.

Positives and negatives in a world of enchantment :: The case of repetition could be there up to an extent. Frozen had already established a “happily ever after”, and due to the same, this could have been a reverse fantasy on another day. People might have the opinion that a sequel was not needed, considering how perfect the first movie seemed to be. A certain amount of deviation can be declared too. Finding fault with this sequel is more of a process which can be done in relation with the first movie, and not as a stand-alone flick, and it is something which a person who hasn’t watched the first film will understand with ease. We can also move on without finding any fault in this case, as this movie has no shortage of entertainment, with action, adventure and even a funny side – the cuteness factor is also at the highest with this movie in comparison with any other animated movie that strives to do the same for the audience.

How it finishes :: Frozen 2 might not be able to claim that much of a splendour as its predecessor which held the title of the highest grossing animated movie of all-time, even though the sequel has overtaken Frozen, but it has to be noted that the first position is no longer there to be taken. The two Frozen movies are now on second and third positions in that list. But that wouldn’t take away this movie’s claim as a worthy successor because the first movie had set a level which was almost impossible to meet, and this one had to stay close to what was established. The spectacular world which has been created in this film is sure to catch our attention, and the soul of the first movie is carried on, which will make this an interesting watch, and something to feel happy during the time when Corona virus is making its way through nations. Frozen 2 has the beauty of snow, hues and magic brought in style yet again for your eyes.

Release date: 22nd November 2019
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Evan Rachel Wood, Sterling K Brown, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Rachel Matthews, Jason Ritter, Jeremy Sisto, Ciaran Hinds, Aurora

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ice Age IV

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The Ice Age glory :: The Ice Age is that movie series which made me interested in animated movies, after an age which had only the action and horror movies. Its significance can’t be lessened by the fact that I would have started liking them with Kung-fu Panda or Finding Nemo and I would have reached its zenith with Megamind, and I have liked all the three movies, especially Ice Age: The Meltdown, even though I have to say that Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs had the best moments in the series. The first movie might be the one which I liked a little less, as the team wasn’t established and the better characters were yet to come, having that origin story problem. As far as the foreign revenue of the franchise is concerned, it has been on the increase – this fourth movie is the first time an Ice Age movie has been released here in a theatre, that too in a multiplex. The talking pre-historic creatures have never ceased to interest the viewers. Ice Age: Continental Drift, the first not to be directed by Carlos Saldanha would go on to become the highest grossing animated movie of 2012 and the second highest grossing Ice Age movie in total collection.

On Ice Age: Continental Drift :: The director has changed, but we will see more from him with Rio 2, and I have got a feeling that it is going to be awesome. The Rio franchise might be the one with more life than this, considering the continental drift has already occurred. Another movie in the Ice Age series might still occur, but how far they can go with this is a question worth asking. They have got the mammoth married and now has kid, and by the end of this movie, the sabretoothed tiger also has his love, so the story is moving through a path which needs more material. There is so much the predictable side working throughout this one, but they have hidden it well. Ice Age: Continental Drift is no different, but it has managed to keep high standards in what it showed on the screen. It has successfully managed to stay above its immediate challenger Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted as well as its unworthy challenger Brave as well as the non-challenge which was Hotel Transylvania to finish as the fifth highest grossing movie and the best grossing animated movie of the year.

What is it about? :: Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) faces problems as their unruly teenage daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) is going through social crisis. She seems to have inherited the stupidity of Sid (John Leguizamo), and has a crush on a mammoth named Ethan (Drake) despite the warnings of her molehog friend Louis (Josh Gad). Meanwhile Sid’s family abandons Granny (Wanda Sykes) with him. Manny gets separated from the herd along with Sid, Granny and Diego (Denis Leary), thanks to the effects of having an ungrateful and worthless kid like Peaches who even degrades her own friend, or rather her only friend. Meanwhile the continental drift is occurring, and Ellie, Louis, Peaches, Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck) have to make it to safe lands while our heroic team is caught floating towards nowhere until caught by pirates led by a gigantopithecus, Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage) who owns a giant floating iceberg which he calls his ship, from where they manage to escape. His crew includes Shira (Jennifer Lopez), a sabretoothed tigress whom Diego shall fall in love with. Chased by pirates and the continental drift, the question remains if Manny can get to his family and Diego can attain his true love.

The defence of Ice Age: Continental Drift :: The Ice Age movies are mostly easy to defend, more than any other animated movie, even as most of them can also come up against simple defence. This is another simple movie from the franchise, with the same characters, Manny, Sid and Diego going on another adventure (a forced one) joined by Granny only to later combine forces with the new-found member Shira. Ellie, Eddie and Crash are not part of the adventure this time, and it is surely for the good. To add to it, there is also Scrat, the squirrel who has his own adventures which is somehow indirectly connected to the lives of each and every creatures of that age. It is going to be very interesting for the kids, no doubt – its innovations and the use of the pre-historic setting will also interest the older ones. This movie lives up to the 3D added to the end of its name too, as it has its pre-historic creatures of awesomeness coming towards you from the screen along with some of other stuff which are not alive. They have indeed tried their best to put something nice and things of good standard into this movie which is part of a franchise that deserves attention.

Pre-historic positives and negatives :: Well, this isn’t the most creative and innovative movie of the series, and it follows the path of its predecessors, with another adventure which happens due to a dumb squirrel and an equally dumb teenage elephant. These characters are too familiar, and so the whole thing had to work perfectly, with the favourite characters on screen. The most loved character would be Sid’s grandma though, as Granny brings more fun than anybody else. The new creatures are well selected for their roles, and as they are close enough to their real pre-historic world in the first look, there won’t be any questions asked. Still, asking questions in a movie like this might be a little too cruel. We know what kind of audience it makes really happy, and as long as it has a lot for the rest of the viewers too, there is not much chance for complaints. At the end of the day, Ice Age will be Ice Age, and most of us will be fans of the series. If taken in the way it is to be taken, this one is a worthy world of snow and ice, next only to a few.

Soul exploration :: The movie tries too much to venture into the world of teenage problems of the new generation which doesn’t give a damn about the opinions of the parents. It is a theme which has been eaten to the core by many other movies without pre-historic creatures, but just this time, it is rather cute, and in the end, we love them all and no harm is done – they all had a great adventure and has returned with no bones broken or teeth fallen. Everybody is happy and feeling good. The end moment of Scrat is also worth a mention when he is told “rise above this base desire; be more than a rodent”, to which he answers by going for his most basic desire which deprives him of everything – he takes out the oak nut which lets the water in and sinks the island full of nuts and lands him in the Death Valley desert. Scrat has always been the symbol of the materialistic man, and here they have taken it to another level as he destroys his Garden of Eden and falls from the paradise. It is not direct, but it is a lesson for the present society after money, just like Peaches is a symbol of anti-family new generation which can end up losing them all.

How it finishes :: I was just wandering through the Hollywood movie channels until stopping at Star Movies the day before yesterday when this movie was showing. It is good to watch the movies you watched on the big screen on the television for a change. But Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is indeed better than this one in many ways despite the box-office results. I would also say that Rise of the Guardians is a much better animated movie of the year compared to this one. But which movie is more enjoyable could be rather left to the people, even as I have already recommended Rise of the Guardians as the animated movie of the year 2012, just like I felt that Frozen is the best animated film of 2013. Ice Age 4 is indeed a success, but it doesn’t come as an improvement to its predecessor. Its fun is still so undeniable that most of us would love to have it. As they say in the movie, “the spifeful ones live the longest”, we can hope that this franchise doesn’t go down in quality, as there surely are some signs around.

Release date: 13th July 2012
Running time: 88 minutes
Directed by: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
Starring (voice): Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Nicki Minaj, Keke Palmer, Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Chris Wedge, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Aziz Ansari, Nick Frost, Heather Morris, Alain Chabat, Joy Behar, Ester Dean, Rebel Wilson, Kunal Nayyar, Alan Tudyk

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

Frozen

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Ice and Snow :: Here is something from Robert Frost: “Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice” – I would remember those lines from the poet very often. It is only my second favourite from him after “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. Lets leave the fire to any of the fire elementals and fire-breathing dragons as that would be another story. Let bring ice and snow; as the poet would love to watch the woods filling up with snow, and also talk about that destruction by ice, we were given those thoughts about snow and ice, not something people of this part of the world are too familiar with. Yes, the interest in snow was nicely built up to such an extent that I had winter wallpapers on my desktop for a very long time – that started when I was a kid, and we had the latter poem to study in the earlier classes, and the only thing which I liked slightly better was “Daffodils”.

What is Frozen? :: All that talk about ice and snow would take me back to the only one animated movie in the theatre right now. There is nothing repulsive about that feeling, as I am not talking about that 2010 movie when people get trapped in the snow and get eaten by wolves. Well, that was a good movie too, but that kind of atmosphere never comes to the picture this time. I have always felt something about snow, but I have never seen it with my eyes or felt it. I have felt the temperatures close enough to zero degree Celsius, but never snow. Then I decided to experience snow in 3D with a movie, and from the current situation, I am pretty sure that it is the closest to falling snow that I can get. To add to it, this one is also the next brilliant animated movie from Walt Disney after Tangled. Brave was not bad, it was of inferior standard compared to the other Disney movies. The rest didn’t interest me either. But, after a three year gap, Frozen has made me fall in love with Disney yet again. It came in 3D and with the AC in the theatre, it was a world of snow, and it was alive with all the emotions.

The Setting :: The movie is set in the kingdom of Arendelle, a world of magic. It is the story of two sisters, the princesses of the kingdom, Anna and Elsa, with the latter having the powers to manipulate and control the elements of frost. But as the latter’s powers accidently hits the former while playing in snow, her life is only saved by a group of trolls who erase the memory of Anna and warns Elsa of her powers becoming too powerful for her to control. As days pass, Elsa becomes more of a recluse, afraid of herself and unable to control her powers and thus transforming her room into a snow world and keeping away from Anna who doesn’t know what keeps them apart. The doors of the castle are kept closed so that nobody comes to know about the secret. Anna also keeps to herself and the world inside the castle. The king and the queen takes special care to the fact that the balance is not broken, and the world remains the same.

What is it about? :: The action takes place three years after the death of their parents. The children have grown up, and despite the reclusive nature of Elsa, she becomes the default heir to the kingdom and has to fight her inner demons of frost to take over the throne. The gates of the castle are finally opened and people come in. Anna takes this as an opportunity to fall in love, as there would be celebration and she can search for her true love. She meets Prince Hans of the Southern Isles and falls for him. Elsa somehow manages to keep her powers inside until Anna tells her that she wants to marry the prince whom she just met. Elsa refuses to grant her blessings for her sister to marry someone whom she doesn’t really know much about, and as a result, there an argument which leads to the powers of Elsa coming out in the form of ice, and even reaching that extent that the whole kingdom is covered in snow and even the ships get stuck in the ice as she flees to the top of the mountains in the forest. But Elsa is feels herself responsible and is determined to bring her back with the help of a mountain man, a reindeer and a snowman.

The defence of Frozen :: It is the best use of snow and ice in a movie after Rise of the Guardians, and the best animated movie since the release of that one in December 2012. Well, that one had an ordinary box-office performance, but that won’t be the case of Frozen, one can say that. The movie’s most adorable part is its snowman. The movie’s treatment of the story and characters are interesting, as there is no big villain out there, and the snow queen doesn’t go the evil way. There are lesser evil people for sure, but none extreme. The act of true love is no longer romantic, and that is the best part- there should be sacrifice. There is also the stupidity for frail romance and the vain “love at first sight” theory mocked. The songs are beautiful and its visual treat is even more stunning. Frozen makes Brave looks like a little creature who can only say “precious”. How did that creature win the Academy Award for Best Animated Film is still a mystery for me – it was so empty with a lead character who makes people wonder if their sons and daughters are better as reckless, shameless children who defy their parents who know what is better? Well, our heroine here knows the importance of family.

Plus and minus :: There might be too much music for the elder people, even as the humour can keep them attached to the movie. It is also very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen (similarities are to be created rather than found). The heroine reminds one of Rapunzel of Tangled, not used to going out of her world and being in love with a random person whom she meets on the way while pretending to be courageous and smart. Yes, there is that reindeer instead of the horse and our snowman is indeed better than that chameleon. You will love his ideas about summer, that is for sure. Its a little bit of doing the same thing under disguise, but the fact that it is enjoyable, and there are some good addition makes this fantastic. Elsa is more like X-Men‘s Rogue controlling her powers only with her gloves, and there are trolls who are more like dwarves – funny ones for sure. If Anna catches out attention, Elsa melts our heart! If you don’t like snow, then this movie will lose its awesomeness of 3D snowflakes and everything visual. Yes, it is better than Despicable Me 2, the overrated animated movie of the year which was also very good.

How it finishes :: Frozen comes up with so much goodness, and the message of sisterly love and affection, and it supports one’s right to be different (even as the variation in the character of the so called chivalrous prince was rather too much). Its assertion that love for beauty is so much flawed, and its call for the society to accept the people with differences and also asserts one’s right to choose to be alone. It is only family that can deny the same. It is a true musical fairy tale in the form of an animated movie. Even as there could have been more in store concerning the cold and darkness (as said by Boogeyman in Rise of the Guardians), and there could have been more concerning the frost powers. But for now, we can be satisfied with the power of true love and all that ends well, and as they all live happily ever after – not that much of a spoiler there, as you all know how these movies are to end; even our snowman gets his own snow cloud to follow him during summer. It is our movie of this weekend – The Hunger Games releases here next week!

Release date: 29h November 2013 (India); 27th November 2013 (US)
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Starring (voice): Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk, Santino Fontana, Ciarán Hinds, Chris Williams, Jack Whitehall

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.