Oprah obsessed Alice Klieg suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder which causes her to be socially awkward, impulsive and stubborn, and she's about to find out that money truly can buy you anything. After winning an impressive $86 million in the lottery, her first port of call is a major TV station, where she pitches an idea for hosting her own talk show. They offer her a slot at a cool $15 million, and she subsequently decides to stop taking her medication and pursue fame and recognition. The only problem is, she sucks at hosting her own show. The producers know they have to do something to save their embarrassment over this fiasco of a deal, but with Alice stuck in her own world and resolutely ignoring advice from friends and family, there's not a lot they can do to help her.
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Fans of bright, flashy things will love this colourful, kinetic animated adventure, although anyone seeking originality or involving characters should probably look elsewhere. This is the first Disney animation based on a Marvel comic book, although they have essentially only retained the title and a vague semi-Asian setting. The result is a film that feels like something you've already seen before, with the usual Disney plot formula, characters and action beats, plus lots of sentimentality. At least it's witty and fast-paced enough to keep us entertained.
The futuristic setting is San Fransokyo, a slightly more Japanese version of San Francisco in which 15-year-old computer-geek orphan Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) lives with his Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph). Both are shaken when Hiro's brother Tadashi dies in an explosion Hiro thinks he might have caused. Then he meets Tadashi's health-care robot invention Baymax (Scott Adsit), a cuddly inflatable creature who just wants to take care of Hiro. He goes along with Hiro's plan to turn him into a fighting machine that helps find the masked man who stole Hiro's microbot invention and actually caused the explosion. Baymax also helps Hiro assemble the Big Hero 6 team, adding Tadashi's nerd-inventor pals: goofy Fred (T.J. Miller), rebellious Go Go (Jamie Chung), nice-guy Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and girly Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez). Together they set out to stop the villain before he enacts his nefarious plan.
All of this is animated with bright colours and a snappy sense of the technology. There are several exhilarating set-pieces along the way as the young heroes work out their special powers by inventing all sorts of gadgets. But nothing about the script meaningfully deepens these characters. Each person on-screen is essentially one personality trait, while potentially colourful side roles (including Aunt Cass) are left badly undefined. What holds the interest is the superb interaction between Hiro and Baymax, mainly because of the obvious affection between them. And also because Baymax has all of the film's funniest lines.
Continue reading: Big Hero 6 Review
A new series of 'Frozen' themed attractions will be built at Disney World Florida including a "royal greeting area" where fans can formally meet Anna and Elsa in Arendelle.
Disney World Florida will be getting the Frozen treatment when a section of the park will feature a whole new series of attractions based on the hit film.
Frozen is coming to Disney World!
Continue reading: 'Frozen' Attractions To Be Built In Disney World Florida
Hiro Hamada is a young robotics virtuoso whose best friend is a large, balloon-like humanoid machine named Baymax which he designed at the San Fransokyo Institute Of Technology. However, having such expert knowledge in this kind of scientific field is bound to be dangerous and soon enough they find themselves under attack from a vicious enemy who sends his army of miniature robots after them. Going to the police proves fruitless, and so Hiro decides he must fight back. He designs a powerful suit for Baymax and joins a team of like-minded vigilantes who have been appointed by the government to save the world; they are Wasabi-No-Ginger, Honey Lemon, GoGo Tomago and Fred and together they form the ultimate superhero team. Hiro and his friends must uncover the villain's plot of destruction – without breaking curfew.
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Disney learns a lesson from Pixar's Brave, giving these orphaned princesses some feisty purpose that doesn't depend on a man. Everything else about this movie is fairly formulaic, including the requisite goofy sidekick character. But the frosty animation adds a stately, dramatic tone that's picked up by Broadway-style songs and just a hint of moral complexity in the story, which is based on Hans Christian Andersen's story The Snow Queen.
With her ability to freeze anything at a touch, young Queen Elsa (voiced by Menzel) has spent her life hidden away in the castle. No one can know her secret, including her restless little sister Anna (Bell), who meets her dream man in Hans (Fontana) on the day of Elsa's coronation. But Elsa's startled reaction to this news triggers an ice age in the kingdom, which sends Elsa fleeing to hide in the mountains. So Anna decides to track her down. She enlists help from local delivery boy Kristoff (Groff) and his pet reindeer, and as they head into the hills they encounter one of Elsa's newest creations: a singing, dancing, scatterbrained snowman named Olaf (Gad).
The winter wonderland setting gives the animators a lot to work with, and the imagery is spectacular. We actually shiver at the gleaming ice and snowy landscapes, which are so detailed that they make us want to see the film again. The characters are also sharply rendered, although they're designed without much subtlety, including the usual Disney physicality in the girls' big-eyed Barbie-like figures. But the plot keeps us off balance by, for example, giving Anna two eligible men to choose between. And also by making Elsa so internally conflicted about her unwanted powers.
Continue reading: Frozen Review
Critics are blown away by the wintry fairytale 'Frozen'
It looks like Disney have hit the jackpot once again, as their latest animation, the festive Frozen, is a hit with critics and looks as though it could be a hit in cinemas too. Starring Idina Menzel, Josh Gad and Kristen Bell and directed by Chris Buck, the film follows Anna, the future Queen of Arendelle, as she races against time to prevent her sister from unwittingly turning the kingdom into an eternally icy realm, meeting some new friends and learning some important lessons on the way.
The film is being commended for its visuals
"This is an icy, snowy world that Disney has never done before," director Chris Buck insisted in a recent featurette for the movie. Stars Kristen Bell and Josh Gad both gushed over the extent of the visuals on offer, with producer Peter del Vecho adding, "We did draw a lot of inspiration from Norway, in fact we sent our art direction team to Norway as the jumping off point."
Continue reading: What Makes 'Frozen' So Good? Review Round-Up Of Disney's Latest Hit
Anna is set to be the fearless Queen of Arendelle, but when her sister Elsa starts suffering the effects of her powers to create snow and ice and manages to cloak the entire city with a bitter winter, Anna realises that it's up to her to deal with it. It's only July, but it's bound to be unseasonal for eternity unless Anna can find her sister - now known as the Snow Queen - and get her to break the spell. She sets out on a treacherous mission to look for her alongside her best friend Kristoff, an ice breaker (quite literally), and his super-friendly reindeer Sven. Along the way they meet the bumbling, nasally challenged snowman Olaf as well as several unwelcome mountain dwellers - but that's the least of their worries when it turns out that Anna's beloved sibling is being seen as a ruthless monster, which she knows, deep down, she isn't.
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What could easily have been a sentimental slog is given a spark of intelligent wit by writer-director Helgeland (A Knight's Tale). This is the story of an iconic figure from American sport who had a massive impact on society at large, and Helgeland focusses on the elements we can most readily identify with while quietly stressing how important and, yes, inspirational this story is.
In 1945 post-War America, most states still have segregation laws on the books, and black baseball players are sidelined in their own league. But Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (Ford) wants to break this barrier, and drafts Jackie Robinson (Boseman), making him the first black player in the Major League. Jackie is a determined, principled young man who struggles to hold his tongue in the face of blatant bigotry. But he gets help from Branch and team manager Leo (Meloni), and support from his equally feisty wife Rachel (Beharie). There's also a young black journalist (Holland) who works with him to further both their causes. But it takes Jackie a little longer to win over his teammates.
The film portrays endemic racism as the hideously ugly thing it is: socially accepted cruelty and prejudice. In truth, it was probably a lot worse than shown here, but we certainly don't miss the point. Especially since this kind of abusive language is never heard in today's politically correct climate. And Helgeland also creates complex characters who can't be tagged as heroes or villains, played with cheeky energy by a very strong cast. Boseman oozes charisma in the central role, undercutting what could be a too-saintly characterisation with sensitivity and steeliness. And Ford shines in a rare character role as a cantankerous old guy who simply won't take no for an answer.
Continue reading: 42 Review
42 is the true to life story of Jackie Robinson and his rise to the top as one of America's best and most respected Baseball players and the manager of Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, who decided to end racial segregation by enlisting Robinson onto his team.
In 1947, Branch Rickey controversially made a name for himself when he signed Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers. At the time, this kind of behaviour was unheard of, and both Robinson and Rickey were sure to cause problems for themselves - both on and off the pitch. Racism was rife between player on every team including the Dodgers and Robinson's transition was one of the most courageous of its time.
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Visually ambitious and packed with inside jokes for arcade gamers, this colourful animated adventure is an enjoyable romp but is probably too energetic for its own good. It simply never settles down so that we can sink into its various settings or get to know its lively characters. So in the end we've enjoyed the talent of the animators and the vocal cast, but we feel rather exhausted.
The story is set in a vintage 1980s arcade game called Fix-it Felix Jr, in which Felix (voiced by McBrayer) must repair damage inflicted by Ralph's (Reilly)massive fists. But after 30 years, Ralph is tired of being the unloved villain. He wants to be the good guy for a change, so heads across the room into another game, the combat role-play adventure Hero's Duty. There he's trained by tough-talking squadron leader Calhoun (Lynch) and battles space insects to win a medal and escape. But a killer bug follows him into the candy-themed road-race game Sugar Rush, threatening the balance of the whole arcade.
The majority of the plot takes place here, as Ralph teams up with unloved "glitch" Vanellope to challenge the smiling tyrant King Candy (Tudyk). Unlike the pixellated Fix-it Felix Jr and the virtual reality of Hero's Duty, Sugar Rush is a pink-hued, delicious-looking land of sugary treats. Each of these games, and the transfer station between them, is populated by spirited characters with their own subplots. And there are also appearances by iconic favourites such as Pac-Man, Mario and Q*bert. So with the different animation styles and eclectic ensemble of characters, our eyes aren't bored for a second.
Continue reading: Wreck-it Ralph Review