The Cast of “Frozen” Sings About Making “Frozen”

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Just in case you were maybe sort of kind of thinking you didn’t need to order the DVD/Blu-Ray of Disney’s Frozen, here’s a glimpse of what you haven’t seen yet that you will want to watch many times.  Here are Broadway pros Josh Gad (Olaf), Kristen Bell (Anna), and Jonathan Groff (Kristoff), available March 18.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POuukAD1R6c
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Behind the Scenes

“Girls'” Adam Driver May Be the Next “Star Wars” Villain

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 8:26 am

Adam-DriverAdam Driver of “Girls” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” is likely to be the bad guy in the rebooted “Star Wars,” now in pre-production.

Rolling Stone’s engaging profile describes Driver as

an oddity, with an elongated face that has the striking ability to appear both monumental and elfin, and a hulkish body that buzzes with nervous energy. He eats six eggs (minus four yolks) each day (“I have a control problem,” he says. “I hate the feeling of not being in control”). He works out obsessively (“I feel like I have to move violently once a day or I’ll lose my mind”). He once slept for several weeks in a paint storage room on the roof of Juilliard in preparation for a role in which he felt the character needed to feel isolated, and looks forward to having kids so that he has an excuse to always stay home. He doesn’t do Twitter (“I don’t understand technology, and I’m very scared of it”), he doesn’t have cable (“I’ve actually tried getting cable, like, three different times and, goddamn, it’s expensive”), and he refuses to watch Girls (“That’s a way that I try to not have control over what’s happening”).

Driver is the son and stepson of clergymen, a veteran of the Marines, and a graduate of Juilliard’s prestigious acting program. He is currently filming “Midnight Special” with Kirsten Dunst, Michael Shannon, and Joel Edgerton, and has three other films coming out as well.  He is a gifted actor who has the intensity and range to make a compelling villain.  I hope he gets the part.

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Actors

The Sweetest Secret in the “Toy Story” Trilogy

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 8:00 am

Jon Negroni just might get you to cry over “Toy Story” again.  I love the post from Beliefnet’s former “Deacon’s Bench” blogger about the connection between the first shot of the original (Pixar’s first and the first-ever full-length feature film that was completely computer-animated) and the last shot of the third.  But Negroni tops it with an argument documented with a level of detail and analysis usually reserved for Supreme Court briefs, showing what may be the sweetest and subtlest secret in the films.  Negroni says that Andy’s mom, barely glimpsed and heard in the movies, has a deeper connection to the movie’s toy characters than we knew.  She was the original owner of Jessie.  Read his piece, watch the movies, and appreciate filmmakers who respect the audience enough to reward careful attention.

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Behind the Scenes Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Do the Oscars Overlook Movies About Young People?

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 3:59 pm

My friend John Hanlon has a thoughtful piece on CNN.com about the way the Oscars and other movie awards overlook stories about young people and performances by actors in their teens and twenties.

It’s unfortunate but undeniable that award shows — and the Oscars in particular — have a history of ignoring great movies made for and about young people.

In 2013 alone, several such films received raves from critics, earning spots on “best of” lists. “The Kings of Summer” and “The Way, Way Back” scored approval ratings of 76% and 85% of critics, respectively, on RottenTomatoes.com, while “The Spectacular Now,” written by the duo behind 2009’s underappreciated “(500) Days of Summer,” earned the approval of 92% of critics.Brie_larson

“Short Term 12” received a 99% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, a higher ranking than any of this year’s best picture nominees. “Spring Breakers,” starring James Franco and Selena Gomez, may have divided some moviegoers, but the film was also lauded for its provocative depiction of disaffected youth. And it’s not for nothing that “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was the top grossing film of 2013.

Yet not one of these movies earned a single Oscar nomination.

And he was nice enough to quote me:

Film critic Nell Minow (the Movie Mom) also observed that “Oscar voters skew older.”

“They are more interested in stories about grown-ups and more likely to have relationships with actors and filmmakers who are 30 and older,” Minow said via e-mail.

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Awards Commentary Media Appearances Understanding Media and Pop Culture
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