Movie Review: Frozen

Anna, a fearless optimist, sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. From the outside Anna’s sister, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret-she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It’s a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter that she can’t stop. She fears she’s becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her. 

Part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition has been – for as long as I can remember – to eat dinner and then go see a movie at the theaters. This year, despite my wanting to see Thor II, my family chose Frozen. I am incredibly grateful that they did, because this movie could very well have just usurped every other Disney movie in my heart.

Not only is the animation stunning, but the soundtrack is brilliant from the opening scene to the close. And the story. Five minutes into the film and already I was crying. So emotional and beautiful, and even though there are moments when everyone watching is thinking one thing, Disney twists the usual plot points around and surprises us.

I’m going to state this right now: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS POST FROM HERE ON OUT. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE THEM, DON’T READ ON. JUST KNOW THAT I LOVED THIS MOVIE SO MUCH I’M GOING TO SEE IT AGAIN.

Moving on. So why, aside from the animation and the soundtrack did I love the movie as much as I did? The story. It’s simply beautiful. I connected with Anna so much because of her free spirit and her slightly clumsy and silly behavior. And I wanted her to be happy. I wanted Elsa to be happy, too. When I went into the movie and the film started, I thought, “Great. Another movie where one sister turns evil or is jealous of the other.” But that doesn’t happen. No. Elsa cares for Anna and she’s never evil. Even though she’s basically the Snow Queen, she is never an evil character, despite some people equating snow and ice with evil and heartlessness. Not Elsa. Even in the moments when it seems like she could become a heartless queen, she doesn’t.

And then there’s the part about Anna needing “true love” to save her from the ice in her heart. I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too. “Oh, true love’s first kiss. Yup. Who didn’t see this one coming.” Right? Well, Anna thinks that too, and so she rushes back to get her true love’s kiss.

BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT IT WAS THAT SAVED HER!!!!!! The “true love” that they meant in this case was the love Anna had for her sister, Elsa. When Anna throws herself in front of Elsa to save her from certain death, even at the expense of her own life, that is the love that breaks the spell on Anna.

I cheered so loud.

BRAVO, DISNEY. BRA.VO.

They took the princess stereotypes and turned them on their heads for this movie, and for that I am grateful. It wasn’t a man that needed to save Anna. Anna saved herself. And how? By coming to the aide of her sister when her sister needed her the most.

Family. FAMILY.

Again, Disney. BRA.VO. A standing ovation for this one.

Oh and I also point out that the evil character in this film is a man, and not just any man, but a Prince. “Prince Charming” wasn’t so charming at all in this movie, but the ordinary, hard-working laborer was.

God. The more I think about it, the more I adore this film. I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD so I can watch it over and over and over.

Here. Watch the music video for “Let It Go.”

Book Review: Night Creatures by Jeremy Jordan King

It’s 1981, and Bryant thinks his move to New York will be the beginning of a new life. But the men he meets are being threatened by a mysterious illness. Could transforming into a Night Creature save him and his loved ones from certain death? Book Two of The Immortal Testimonies travels back in time to the gay community’s darkest days.

 

Since I finished the first book in this series, In Stone, I have been dying to get my hands on the sequel/prequel, especially when I found out the main character was going to be Bryant, my favorite side character in the first book.

In this book, readers meet Bryant before he’s been turned into a vampire. The time is the 1980s, right at the start of the AIDs crisis, and Bryant has just moved to New York City. He enjoys his life, but when an encounter with a mysterious man in a bath house leaves him sick, he freaks out. First he thinks it’s the flu, and then, when his lover and other friends start dying, he realizes it’s much worse.

Except, he’s not affected.

In comes Jonathan, the man from the bath house. One of the Immortals. What follows is an adventure as Bryant learns to adjust to his new life as he erases his old identity and tries desperately to stop AIDs from taking more lives.

This book was amazing. I mean, seriously. It really packs a hard punch, especially with the descriptions of the beginning of the AIDs crisis when doctors didn’t know what they were dealing with. Told from Bryant, it was so realistic I felt like I was living through it with him. What made it more chilling was the way the author didn’t just immediately say what was happening. Because no one did know at the time. We know now, and reading it, knowing what’s happening and what’s going to happen to everyone who gets sick… well, it was heartbreaking. I think this book is incredibly important for young adults because so many don’t understand the AIDs crisis and what it really meant to everyone. It’s been so many years that most – if not all – of those first impacted have died, and these young adults are seeing a world where AIDs may not have a cure yet, but has treatments, and being told you have it is not an immediate death sentence like it was in the 80s.

I cannot wait for the next book in the series. You do not need to read In Stone first in order to enjoy this book, but I would anyway.

This book is available for purchase from Bold Strokes Books.