Baker, Black, Bloom and Stevens, Dieterle, Howard

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, 2016). This feather-light documentary is mostly valuable in its accidental ability to fulfill the the heartsick desire for affectionate remembrances of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds following their deaths in December, shockingly arriving with the crack dramatic timing of a veteran pair of performers. Directors Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens occasional approach insightful examination of the scalding heat endured by those helplessly drawn to the spotlight, but their hearts don’t really seem invested in probing too far into darker corners. The film might have only a modest purpose, … Continue reading Baker, Black, Bloom and Stevens, Dieterle, Howard

Black, Buck and Lee, Emmerich, Frankel, Wells

Frozen (Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, 2013). The most successful animated feature in the traditional Disney mold (fairy tale structure, a bevy of Broadway-esque songs) since the studio’s nineteen-nineties heyday, Frozen is charming enough if a little flat. Like a lot of modern Disney fables, it’s more interesting for the ways it compulsively upends the legacy tropes–the “true love” with a man, the oversimplified villainy–than for the actual merits of what winds up onscreen freed from meta examinations. The songbook provided by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez may have launched a thousand (or more) YouTube videos on the strength of … Continue reading Black, Buck and Lee, Emmerich, Frankel, Wells