Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews
This will hardly come as news to anyone with young children, but Disney’s Frozen was kind of a big deal. In grossing US$1.27 billion at the international box office it became both the highest grossing animated film and the highest grossing movie musical in history. It showed that even in the era of Pixar there is still a market for the traditional Disney animated musical while subverting that very formula, giving us a Disney princess movie with a feminist twist in which the true love that saved the day was not the romantic love between our princess heroine and her handsome rescuer, but the familial bond between sisters. Five years on, it is with much anticipation that they are again deviating from the formula, this time by giving the film a theatrical sequel, something Disney animations have never really had before. Even mega hits like The Lion King, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid only received direct-to-video follow ups. Continue reading
Directors: Ben Falcone
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Ella Anderson, Peter Dinklage, Tyler Labine
Directors of comedies don’t tend to get the same credit that they do in other genres. Our attention understandably tends to focus on the comedic performer. But one can’t help but walk away from Melissa McCarthy’s latest star vehicle, The Boss, with an appreciation of the skills of Paul Feig. Feig has consistently got the best out of McCarthy in Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy. The Boss, however, he had nothing to do with. Instead, McCarthy’s co-writer and director here is her husband, Ben Falcone, with whom she made the poorly received Tammy. While she can’t help but get laughs, the film feels a bit like when a great front man from a rock band goes off and does a solo album. It is not quite the same and not nearly as good.
McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, the 47th wealthiest woman in America, the CEO of seven Fortune 500 companies and a bestselling author of financial advice books. She is a ruthless businesswoman, hardened by a childhood defined by rejection as foster family after foster family returned her to the orphanage. Continue reading