Disney returns to true form with Frozen, a story inspired by The Snow Queen (1845) by Hans Christian Andersen. Where recent films have felt like something was missing, longing for a new classic to put next to the likes of Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, the film rediscovers the Disney magic through song. Not unlike an animated stage show, Frozen is told through musical numbers – and a heart-warming story about the power of true love.
Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) of Arendelle was born with magical powers, which allow her to control ice and snow. After a childhood accident involving her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa is forced to hide her powers and distance herself from her family. After years of being locked away in her room, the older sister is set to become the Queen – but is worried about her secret being discovered. After an argument about Anna’s impromptu fiancé, a guest named Prince Hans (Santino Fontana), Elsa’s powers are revealed – casting an eternal winter over the kingdom. After fleeing far away into the icy mountains, Anna sets off to rescue her with the help of Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer Sven. They even meet a magical snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad) who helps them on their journey.
Frozen is beautifully animated in 3D, showing the depth and power of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ technology. The kingdom of Arendelle is full of magnificent color and detail, similar to the vibrant colors of Brave. Even when things become frozen, we are shown a wide array of breathtaking blues and crystallized ice.
Based on the 1992 box office hit which grossed over $230 million worldwide, Sister Act brings the character made famous by Whoopi Goldberg to the stage of the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis from November 19 to December 1.Deloris Van Cartier (TA’REA CAMPBELL) is an undiscovered diva with the dream to hit it big, as she auditions to sing in the nightclub of gangster Curtis Jackson (MELVIN ABSTON). After being rejected on Christmas Eve, she decides that she doesn’t need Curtis or his club to become famous. On her way out she witnesses the murder of an accused informant at the club-owner’s hands, sending her running into police custody for protection. With the help of officer Souther (CHESTER GREGORY), an old high school friend known as “Sweaty Eddie,” she takes refuge at a convent run by Mother Superior (HOLLIS RESNIK). There she tries to blend in amongst the sisters, meanwhile transforming a church on the brink of closure into a fabulous musical destination.
Sister Act is packed full of fantastic songs, which is no surprise with the talent of and Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) responsible for the music. Rarely do you find a new musical full of not-yet-famous numbers that have you captivated, one after the next. Yet in this case, the show is overflowing with catchy numbers. The lyrics by Glenn Slater are wonderfully written, telling the story while keeping things lively and entertaining throughout.
Finally. A movie about time-traveling turkeys.
Reggie (Owen Wilson) is considered the odd-ball on a farm full of dim-witted turkeys, and is the only one who realizes that the farmers are fattening them up to be eaten. When the day finally comes that the other turkeys realize he was right, they push Reggie to the front of the line – only to fall into the hands of the president of the United States, becoming the annual pardoned turkey for Thanksgiving. The president’s daughter convinces her father to let them take Reggie back to camp David, and so begins the good life – full of television, pizza, and even a turkey-sized presidential bath robe.
Reggie’s life of comfort is abruptly cut short when Jake (Woody Harrelson), the brawn to Reggie’s brains, kidnaps and tries to convince him that they must go back in time to take turkeys off of the Thanksgiving menu. The two of them eventually make their way into a talking time machine named S.T.E.V.E. (George Takei) and journey back in time to 3 days before the first Thanksgiving. There they meet a group of wild turkeys, lead by Chief Broadbeak (Keith David), and Reggie finds a certain infatuation with his daughter Jenny (Amy Poehler). The turkeys must work together to save their kind and alter history forever.
The film is beautifully animated by Reel FX on their first feature-length animated outing. The colors are bright and vibrant, and the animation feels just about as smooth as a Disney-Pixar or Dreamworks film. The 3D was used well, not so much for gags as it was for depth. The company did a great job of blending animation with realism, giving the film a cartoon-like look with an attention to detail.
Enter to win a pass for four!
In this hilarious, adventurous buddy comedy for audiences of all ages, directed by Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!), two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the Thanksgiving menu for good.
Cast: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, Dan Fogler, Lesley Nicol, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, Carlos Alazraqui, Dwight Howard
Director: Jimmy Hayward
It’s difficult to know just what to expect when you are about to see a musical based on George A. Romero’s 1968 original horror classic – Night of the Living Dead. What you don’t want to see is a bunch of dancing zombies in musical numbers, or songs that take light of the desperate situation the characters are in. Luckily none of that is in the show, which sticks very close to the source material. New Line’s take is intense, creepy and full of slow-building tension.
Night of the Living Dead tells the story of seven strangers who happen upon an old farmhouse to take shelter from the zombie attack outside. Barbra (Marcy Wiegert) has been separated from her brother Johnny, and sent into a semi-catatonic state. Ben (Zachary Allen Farmer) happens upon Barbra, frightened and alone in the dark, and protects her as he takes charge of upstairs. Meanwhile Harry (Mike Dowdy) and Helen (Sarah Porter), along with their sick daughter Karen (Phoebe Desilets), are taking shelter in the basement along with a young couple – Tom (Joseph McAnulty) and Judy (Mary Beth Black). Although they often disagree on tactics and argue about who’s in charge, they all share the one goal – to survive until morning.