“Frozen” is Entertainer of the Year

If you have young girls in your household, your Christmas gift exchange was probably dominated by “Frozen” merchandise.  Now, the computer-animated film has won the AP designation “entertainer of the year,” even though it came out in 2013 and has no human characters.  But it is the most successful animation film in history, and it has earned Disney $1.27 billion.

And it is an excellent movie, not only aesthetically but in the way it teaches some important lessons in life (marry for friendship, not “love at first sight”; love between family members is among the most precious; love is when you would lay down your life for someone).  But, speaking as a grandfather, I just cannot understand how little girls as young as three, who presumably are missing these finer points, can get so caught up in the “Frozen” frenzy! [Read more...]

The American themes of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Columnist Paul Greenberg has written a wonderful column about It’s a Wonderful Life.  Read it all.  After the jump, I excerpt his points about how the movie deals with some distinctively American themes.  He also cites a critic who thinks it’s tragic that George Bailey had to give up his big dreams because of the responsibility he felt for his family and his community, a reaction that is tragic in itself. [Read more...]

So how is “The Hobbit”?

The final movie of the Hobbit trilogy has already made $350 million world-wide, though the reviews have been somewhat mixed.  I haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet, but it figures in our holiday plans.  So, to those of you who have seen it, how is The Hobbit:  Battle of the Five Armies?

Sony will release “The Interview” after all

Sony has backed down from its backing down to North Korean hackers, announcing that it will release “The Interview” simultaneously  on Christmas day in select theaters and on Video on Demand. [Read more...]

North Korean hackers win

We blogged about  the hack of Sony pictures, apparently by North Koreans angry about “The Interview,” a comedy about an attempt to assassinate that country’s dear leader, Kim Jong-un.  The organization that broke into the company’s data released vast amounts of embarrassing information online, including racially charged remarks about President Obama from chief executives, insulting information about how the studio viewed certain stars, and financial details about who makes more than who.  Not to mention entire movies that can now be pirated before their release.

But then the hackers had this to say about the release of the movie on Christmas day:  “The world will be full of fear.  “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”

With this dirrect threat,  many theater chains and distributors cancelled the showings.  Whereupon Sony has killed the movie completely. [Read more...]

North Korea hacks Hollywood

Sony Pictures will soon release a comedy about two reporters who are enlisted to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.  The movie, entitled The Interview, combines fiction with non-fiction, bringing the venerated “dear leader” of the notoriously touchy Communist country into a silly comedy plot.  But North Korea is outraged and breathing threats.

So apparently North Koreans hacked into Sony’s computer system, deleting files, stealing personal information about its employees, and downloading unreleased movies and making them available on the internet.

Notice how our inter-connected global technology doesn’t just spread the Western ideal of freedom.  It can also be used to attack freedom, to the point of authoritarian governments punishing people who aren’t even citizens of their country. [Read more...]


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