Netflix Review – ‘Living With Yourself’

You can never have enough Paul Rudd, you say? Then maybe ‘Living With Yourself’ is just the tv-series for you. The by Timothy Greenberg (The Detour) created show tells the story of Miles (Rudd), a man in his late thirties who’s living day after day as if he’s stuck in purgatory. Nothing excites him anymore and his relationship with Kate (Aisling Bea) is not what it used to be. They’ve been trying to get pregnant, but Miles keeps missing his appointments at the fertility clinic, to see if he’s maybe the problem to this unsuccessful journey into parenthood.

When another meeting turns into a brainstorming dud, he notices his old friend Dan (Desmin Borges), now rivalling co-worker, bringing fresh ideas to the table. A night at TGI Friday’s gets them talking about a spa somewhere in an abandoned strip mall, where Dan went for a cleansing treatment, giving him a new “view” on life. Miles, not truly convinced a spa can breathe new life into him, gives them a call to enquire about this treatment. A few thousand dollars lighter in his bank account, Miles rocks up at the spa and they get down to business. When he wakes up half naked and buried in a plastic bag in the woods, he walks home to find an exact replica of himself at the dinner table with his wife. It’s up to him to not draw attention, find out what exactly happened in the spa and how he and his new self can co-exist – if that’s even an option.

Written by creator Timothy Greenberg, Living With Yourself has quite the interesting premise, but stretched out over eight episodes – each running for about 30 minutes, is what I’d call a stretch. Also considering the fact, we get a different viewpoint each episode, going from New Miles to Old Miles, each time reliving the same events and building forth from that, it truly becomes the definition of repetitive. Paul Rudd knows how to do comedy, but there’s a lot of drama happening here too. I wasn’t entirely sure if I liked him as much as I usually do, in films such as ‘Ant-Man’, ‘This is 40’ and ‘I Love You, Man’. To have two similar but still different characters played by the same actor, acquires a lot of talent and it becomes clear early on that Rudd might not have been the right choice here.

Irish actress and comedian Aisling Bea plays Rudd’s on screen wife. Coming from a comedy background, you could tell she was not in her comfort zone and I found her character extremely unlikeable. I think this was an overall problem with the series, not one character was appealing. There’s one person who came close, but Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) as Miles’ sister has barely any screen time.

Greenberg has interesting ideas, but the execution lacks direction and spunk. There’s nothing to drive this story to the next level, which is a total shame. When you combine this with a score that’s all over the place and changes every episode, but never fits with whatever is happening on screen – you can’t help but feel disconnected.

Living With Yourself could have been something remarkable, but never lives up to its premise. A ‘Duplicity‘ remake would’ve been more interesting, than something as flat and lifeless as this duo of Rudd’s.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Living With Yourself premieres October 18 on Netflix.

Netflix Review – ‘Living With Yourself’

Reviewed at Netflix (early access provided by publicity team), Sydney, Oct. 8, 2019. CBA-Rating: TBC. Running time: 8 episodes of 30 min. approximately.

PRODUCTION: An Netflix Release of a Jax Media, Likely Story production. Co-Producer: Isabel Richardson. Executive producers: Anthony Bregman, Tony Hernandez, Jeff Stern, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, Timothy Greenberg, Paul Rudd. Post producer: Michael Amodio. Line producer: Karl Frankenfield.

CREW: Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris. Camera (color, widescreen): Darren Lew. Editor: Jesse Gordon.

WITH: Paul Rudd, Aisling Bea, Alia Shawkat, Desmin Borges, Karen Pittman, Zoe Chao, Joseph Bessette, Rob Yang.

Antenna Documentary Film Festival Review – ’17 Blocks’

I believe in hope.” – Cheryl

A documentary assembled from 20 years of raw home video footage. The title of the film refers to the neighbourhood this all takes place – just 17 blocks behind the US Capitol building. Through the eyes of nine-year-old Emmanuel, an ambitious soul and promising student, he captures the life he lives with his two older siblings and mom in Washington, D.C.

This family portrait starts with a flash forward, when we see an elderly woman getting out of a car and walking up to a house. She rings the doorbell and explains to the owner of the house how she grew up and lived most of her life in that particular house. As soon as she enters, she reminisces with the man of the house and breaks down in tears, saying it was all her fault, clearly scarred by events that happened in her past. We then go back 20 years in time to meet Emmanuel, who has just started recording his daily life with his own video camera.

Emmanuel lives with his older brother Smurf and sister Denice. You can tell he looks up to his brother, dismissing the fact he uses drugs on a daily basis. We later also find out his mother Cheryl is addicted to drugs and captures her passing out in bed. Emmanuel is a promising student, loves to read books and isn’t getting in any trouble, although he’s surrounded by it. He clearly knows what he wants from life and is determined to get there. Davy Rothbart’s documentary skips almost 10 years, showing just how little has changed in this household – apart from a few additions to the family. Everything is going well for Emmanuel, until tragedy strikes and implodes the entire family.

17 Blocks paints a disturbing portrait of society. How could you not? We see violent behaviour on the streets of D.C., being captured by a child. Difficult topics get discussed as to how he’s seen kids get shot at an outdoor basketball court. Despite all of this hardship, the house he grew up in was always filled with love. You can’t help but smile, when you see an innocent boy just being happy and talk about his future goals. The impact of one life-changing event hits even harder, when you witness the despair and sadness seep into this family.

Rothbart’s documentary doesn’t judge, it stays purely human. Some of the time jumps are at times a bit confusing, not knowing how much time has past exactly and what has happened in the meantime. The aftermath of a tragic moment changes a lot, yet the core of this family is still filled with love, determined to change what went wrong and make each other proud. Nonetheless, this is one of the most extraordinary documentaries I’ve seen in a while. Bring tissues.

17 Blocks doesn’t shy away from the harsh truth, the daily life and tragedies thousands of people go through in the US. The Sanford family invites us into their home, making us feel welcome while sharing in their love and pain. Both intriguing and striking, this family’s story will linger on in my mind for a very long time.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

17 Blocks is showing at Antenna Documentary Film Festival:

  • 19 Oct. – 4 PM at Palace Verona, Sydney

Tickets are for sale at https://tix.antennafestival.org/Events/17-Blocks

Antenna Documentary Film Festival Review – ’17 Blocks’

Reviewed at Antenna Documentary Film Festival (screener provided by publicity team), Sydney, Oct. 7, 2019. CBA-Rating: TBC. Running time: 96 min.

PRODUCTION: An BigBeachFilms release of a MTV Documentary Films presentation co-presented with Vice. Producer: Jennifer Tiexiera.

CREW: Director: Davy Rothbart. Writers: Davy Rothbart, Jennifer Tiexiera. Camera (color, widescreen): Zachary Shields. Editor: Jennifer Tiexiera. Music: Nick Urata.

Japanese Film Festival Review – ‘JK☆ROCK’

You can’t fire up my rock spirit and then run away!” – Sakura

Copyright 2019 “JK☆ROCK” Business Partners

A Japanese coming of age tale infused with soft rock music. JK☆ROCK is just that. Nothing more, nothing less.

We first meet our lead male Jyo Kaieda (Shôdai Fukuyama) as a miserable, entitled, handsome university student with only a purple metallic Lamborghini to show off his former fame and glory. We later find out, through the use of flashbacks that his rock band the JoKers mysteriously split up on the cusp of fame. One year later, vocalist Jyo Kodukai (Ryôsuke Yamamoto) has debuted in the U.S., while the rest of the band stayed back in Japan.

To reignite Jyo’s musical passion, former JoKers members and their eccentric café owner friend hatch a plan to get Jyo to mentor the new, all-girl high-schooler rock band, Drop Doll! These rookies come from different backgrounds and have different goals in life, but one thing they can all agree on – they want to make this band the best rock band that will ever exist! Their passion is something Jyo only remembers from when he was on stage with his band. Daydreaming while seeing the girls rock out in the cafe after closing hour, makes him want to train this new band even harder. Drummer Sakura (Chihiro Hayama) is the one who leads the new band and is determined to make it on stage. Together with her fellow bandmates, Mao (Yuina) and Rina (Yukino Miyake), they’re ready to take on the world, while tackling high school and the troubles that come with it.

JK☆ROCK is charming. Halfway through, I started to realise I’m not the demographic for this film. It’s a bit too cliche and sappy for my taste. While there’s nothing really new or refreshing to the story, for younger viewers who haven’t seen similarly told high school tales a dozen times, this might fancy their taste and will enjoy every minute of it.

While the soft rock segments did rock, and their energy was quite infectious, it did seem to lack some music overall. I wanted to have more of these band rehearsals and flashbacks to the glory days of the JoKers. Some of the early drum lessons, given to Sakura by Jyo, reminded me of a light version of J.K. Simmons‘ performance in Whiplash. Very strict and persistent. Shunji Muguruma‘s directing isn’t anything groundbreaking, his overuse of pastel colours and bright light around the girls, and darker tones with a more grungy look covering the flashbacks of the JoKers’ underground scene, were definitely easy choices. What helps was the 92 minute runtime, that didn’t make the film longer than necessary.

While I do think the actors did their best, the two main characters played by Chihiro Hayama and Shôdai Fukuyama did most of the work in regards of character building. Their characters are paper thin, but the actors try their best to show somewhat of an arc that builds up to a sweet and expected finale. The rest of the supporting cast is there literally to ‘support’. There is a little side plot with the former band members of JoKers and a minor twist near the end that lacks emotion, and an unnecessary mother/daughter storyline that is only there to raise stakes that were never there in the first place.

JK☆ROCK is not a bad film. But it’s also not a good film. It’s simple and innocent. When you have a few tweens running around the house or some younger cousins who want to see something relaxing on a Sunday afternoon, they’ll definitely be entertained and some of them might even want to give drumming a try. Rock on ‘Drop Doll’!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

JK☆ROCK screens at Japanese Film Festival all over Australia:

  • Saturday 19th October – 12pm – Dendy Canberra Centre, Canberra
  • Saturday 26th October – 1:45pm – Event Cinemas Brisbane Myer Centre, Brisbane
  • Saturday 2nd November – 2:15pm – Event Cinemas Innaloo, Perth
  • Saturday 16th November – 1pm – Event Cinemas George Street, Sydney
  • Sunday 24th November – 3:45pm – Event Cinemas George Street, Sydney
  • Saturday 23rd November – 3pm – The Capitol, Melbourne

Get your tickets for JK☆ROCK now: https://japanesefilmfestival.net/film/jk-rock/

Japanese Film Festival Review – ‘JK☆ROCK’

Reviewed from online screener provided by Japanese Film Festival’s publicity department, Oct. 1, 2019. (Also in Japanese Film Festival Australia) Running time: 92 min.

PRODUCTION: (Japan) A Phantom Film release of a EIGA production. Producer: Reiko Iwaki.

CREW: Director: Shunji Muguruma. Screenplay: Kaori Tanimoto. Music: Koji Endo. Music Instructor: Yuichi Yokokawa.

WITH: Shôdai Fukuyama, Chihiro Hayama, Yukino Miyake, Ryôsuke Yamamoto, Yuina. (Japanese dialogue)

Antenna Documentary Film Festival Review – ‘The Hottest August’

At least August is still reliably ablaze.” – Brett Story

After premiering at numerous festivals around the world, such as Camden International Film Festival, Milwaukee Film Festival; and winning a special mention award at Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival, for “crafting a delicate portrait of a city in a given moment, offering a shared feeling of uncertainty and threat arising from the climate crisis.“, Brett Story‘s The Hottest August is ready for its Australian premiere here in Sydney, at Antenna.

The first thing I noticed, was Troy Herion‘s haunting score companying Story’s aesthetic lens on New York City. We see houses and streets from different point of views and multiple corners of the city. The director roams the streets asking random people from contrasting backgrounds, ethnicities, age or gender, one (not so) simple question: “What are your hopes for the future?”. This all takes place during the month of August in 2017. A country completely divided since the election of a new president, The Hottest August looks back at society and dares to discuss some more controversial topics. Controversial in New York City, that is.

Global warming is one of the topics Story discusses with a middle aged Zumba-instructor, who believes fitness is about being healthy and how important it is to give your heart a bit of a workout. Many disparate opinions, that didn’t necessarily connect with me. These are normal middle class people, just like you and me, who I’d probably have a normal conversation with in real life, yet nothing being said is particularly memorable. The entire documentary loses momentum after a few guests have been asked similar questions. There are some standouts, such as a lady at the beach, once a property manager now a school bus driver. Every viewer will connect with another person being questioned, though we always stay on the surface of these people’s concerns. A missed opportunity, if you ask me.

Derek Howard‘s cinematography works wonders on the entire film, capturing the tranquility and commotion of The Big Apple. But just like a feature film, a documentary should have some sort of narrative to build up towards a bigger picture and ending. Brett Story focuses too much on making sure she documents as many individuals who are willing to talk to her, than actually finding those who are in ways captivating and linger in your mind, even after you walk out of the cinema. Nothing is sadder than feeling as if you’ve just wasted your time.

The Hottest August is somehow poetic, with the right amount of melancholia and longing for a better future. The economic crisis and relationship between the people and politics always linger in the background, yet it feels like these individuals are defeated by those particular problems in today’s world. Brett Story’s film lacks direction, seemingly wanting to make this spellbinding. Confronting what we now call ‘The New Normal’, The Hottest August never reaches out far enough to become more than a modern art installation at your local gallery.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

The Hottest August is screening as part of Antenna Documentary Film Festival. Tickets are available for the following dates:

  • 18 Oct. – 6:45 PM at Palace Verona, Sydney
  • 26 Oct. – 4 PM at Dendy Newtown, Sydney

Buy your tickets at https://tix.antennafestival.org/Events/The-Hottest-August/Fri-Oct-18-2019-18-45

Antenna Documentary Film Festival Review – ‘The Hottest August’

Reviewed at Antenna Documentary Film Festival (screener provided by publicity team), Sydney, Oct. 7, 2019. CBA Rating: TBC. Running time: 94 min.

PRODUCTION: A Grashopper Film release of a Oh Ratface Films, Walking Productions production. Producers: Brett Story, Danielle Varga. Executive producers: Sally Jo Fifer, Maida Lynn, Lois Vossen.

CREW: Director: Brett Story. Camera (color, widescreen): Derek Howard. Editor: Nels Bangerter. Music: Troy Herion.

‘Klaus’ Delivers New Twist on the Christmas Legend

Welcome To The Jingle

Netflix has just released the first trailer for their upcoming animated Christmas-flick ‘Klaus‘, which tells a new original story on the origins of Christmas and Santa Claus. The film will have a short theatrical run in the US from November 8 and will be available on Netflix from November 15.

When Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) distinguishes himself as the postal academy’s worst student, he is stationed on a frozen island above the Arctic Circle, where the feuding locals hardly exchange words let alone letters. Jesper is about to give up when he finds an ally in local teacher Alva (Rashida Jones), and discovers Klaus (Oscar® winner J.K. Simmons), a mysterious carpenter who lives alone in a cabin full of handmade toys. These unlikely friendships return laughter to Smeerensburg, forging a new legacy of generous neighbours, magical lore and stockings hung by the chimney with care.

The animated holiday comedy is directed by Despicable Me co-creator Sergio Pablos, and co-stars Joan Cusack (Toy Story 4), Will Sasso (The Three Stooges) and Norm Macdonald (The Orville). It is a production by Netflix in partnership with SPA Studios and Atresmedia Cine.

STUDIOCANAL, Heyday Films and Astrid Lindgren Company to Develop ‘Pippi Longstocking’ Movie

Inger Nilsson in the 1969 film ‘Pippi Longstocking’

STUDIOCANAL, Heyday Films and the Astrid Lindgren Company today announce that they are in early development on a film adaptation of PIPPI LONGSTOCKING. This project reunites STUDIOCANAL and Heyday following their successful collaboration on PADDINGTON 1 & 2.

Pippi Longstocking is the main character in an eponymous series of children’s books by legendary Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi originates from bedside stories Lindgren told to her daughter Karin about an anything-but-pious girl with boundless energy.  With her iconic red hair, freckles, strength, free spirit and bravery Pippi has become an icon of children’s literature and a role model for generations. In fact, she was “girl power” long before the term was even invented. Pippi is the ultimate fantasy for every child, and most grownups. As the strongest girl in the world, with a bag full of gold coins, she is totally independent. She is a person with power but never abuses it. On the contrary, she’s generous and kind – and she loves to have fun. Her qualities are more needed and relevant than ever.

The first three Pippi chapter books were published from 1945 to 1948, followed by three short stories and a number of picture book adaptations. They have been translated into 77 languages with over 65 million copies sold world-wide. Like all great literature, the stories of Pippi Longstocking have amused and thrilled people of all ages in all parts of the world for almost 75 years.

In an interview with TODAY Michelle Obama recalled Pippi Longstocking as the first book love of her life: “I was really fascinated with this strong little girl that was the centre of everything. And she was almost magical in a way. I mean, she was stronger and tougher than anyone. She had superhuman strength.”   

Nils Nyman, grandchild of Astrid Lindgren and CEO at Astrid Lindgren Film comments “In David Heyman, with his impressive track-record of bringing great literary works to the screen, together with STUDIOCANAL we are confident that we have found a team that can understand and appreciate the full value of Pippi Longstocking and develop films that capture both the playfulness and the gravity in my grandmother’s works. We are therefore very excited and pleased to announce this collaboration. I’m especially thrilled to announce this now, when we’re in the midst of planning Pippi Longstocking’s upcoming 75th Anniversary in 2020 together with a global campaign in support of Save the Children’s important work for Children on the Move

Jeffrey Clifford and Rosie Alison will also produce for Heyday. Additional collaborations between STUDIOCANAL and Heyday include Marc Munden’s THE SECRET GARDEN, currently in post-production and the Paddington animated television series shooting in London.

Outstanding Line-Up of Stars Join Stan Original Series ‘The Commons’

Stan today announced a stellar cast of local and international stars has joined its upcoming Stan Original Series The Commons, including David Lyons (Seven Seconds, Safe Haven), Ryan Corr (Stan’s TV Week Logie Award-winning Bloom, Below) and Rupert Penry-Jones (The Strain, Silk, Whitechapel, Spooks), who will star alongside three-time Emmy Award-nominee and Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt (Liar, Downton Abbey, A Crooked Somebody) and AACTA Award-winner Damon Herriman (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Stan’s Perpetual Grace, LTD.) in the blockbuster drama set to premiere this Summer.

Stan Original Series The Commons is a character driven thriller set at the crossroads of climate change and the cutting edge of biotechnology. Set in the not too distant future, it’s a story about motherhood as the ultimate act of faith in humanity. Part mystery, part relationship drama, it puts a human face on what’s coming down the road and the heroism that lies inside us all when our backs are against the wall.

Also joining the acclaimed cast is Australian screen legend and TV Week Logie Award-winner John Waters (Mystery Road, Offspring, Rake), AACTA Award-nominee Fayssal Bazzi (The Merger, Stateless), Simone McAullay (Broadchurch, Blue Heelers), Andrea Demetriades (Seven Types of Ambiguity, Janet King, The End), Felix Williamson (The Letdown, Peter Rabbit, The Great Gatsby), Inez Currò (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Dominic Ona-Ariki (Jonah, Savage) and Zara Michales (Diary of an Uber Driver).

Produced by Playmaker, production has been underway throughout Sydney on the brand-new eight-part premium drama series created by AACTA Award-winning showrunner Shelley Birse (The Code), who wrote the series in collaboration with an award-winning team of Australian television writers, including Matt Ford (Hiding), Michael Miller (Cleverman) and Matt Cameron (Jack Irish).

Directed by AACTA Award-winner Jeffrey Walker (Riot, Lambs of God), alongside Rowan Woods (Nowhere Boys, Rake) and Jennifer Leacey (Reckoning, The Secrets She Keeps), Stan’s latest original production represents its biggest project to date – with today’s first-look images promising a gritty, intense and visually spectacular drama tailor-made for Australian audiences.

The Commons is a Stan Original Series produced by Playmaker with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW. Financed with support from Stan, Sony Pictures Television will handle worldwide sales of the series.

Stan Original Series The Commons will premiere this Summer

Review – ‘Joker’

She always tells me to smile, and put on a happy face.” – Arthur Fleck

Everyone who knows Batman, knows Joker. To many, the most well known villain in comic book history. He’s been portrayed many times on television and in films, even resulting in a posthumous Academy Award for Heath Ledger’s performance in 2009’s The Dark Knight. What if we break the trend of franchises, by stepping away from it and giving a universally known character his standalone film?

Todd Phillips‘ (The Hangover-trilogy) Joker shows us who Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) really is. What/who drove him in becoming ‘Joker’? A complete character study of a mentally ill adult, who still lives with his mother, Penny Fleck (Frances Conroy). Working as a clown to promote goods on the street, or to lift sick children’s spirits at the hospital, his real goal in life is to become a successful comedian. When things don’t exactly work out the way he wants and society mentally abuses him more than once, Arthur snaps at a certain point and realises there’s no turning back.

Joaquin Phoenix in his own vision of a villain so beloved and disturbing as Joker, gave me a bit of a deja-vu feeling. I’ve seen Phoenix play challenging roles before, and only in the third act I actually found him compelling enough as Joker. This partially has something to do with the script. Phillips’ and Scott Silver‘s (The Fighter) pretentious writing isn’t going deep enough to make us feel anything for the character. It’s mostly sloppy and repetitive, with one too many subplots and side characters. One of those supporting characters is Sophie Dumond (Zazie Beetz – ‘Deadpool 2‘), one of Arthur’s neighbours who seems to connect with him in a certain way. But nothing is what it seems. It felt like her character was written into the story to underline a certain wrinkle in Arthur’s mind, which cheapened the film a bit and felt unnecessary. Most of the supporting cast was great with the little amount of dialogue provided, but was mostly wasted. This is a one man show after all.

Watching this in 70mm, really worked in favour of the ’70s-vibe cinematographer Lawrence Sher (Godzilla II) was going for. The production and costume design was simple but effective, to help achieve that aesthetic. Hildur Guðnadóttir‘s grandiose (Chernobyl) score drums out all the non-existent applause of Arthur’s audience. Despite some major flaws, Joker had me glued to the screen from the moment his bone chilling maniacal laughter filled the room, until the end credits rolled over that same echoing tittering. Why so serious?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review – ‘Joker’

Reviewed at Event Cinemas, Sydney, Oct. 3, 2019. CBA-Rating: MA15. Running time: 121 min.

PRODUCTION: (Canada – USA) A Warner Bros. release in association with BRON Creative, Village Roadshow Pictures of a Creative Wealth Media Finance, DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Joint Effort production. Producers: Bradley Cooper, Todd Philips, Emma Tillinger Koskoff. Co-producer: David Webb. Executive Producers: Richard Baratta, Bruce Berman, Jason Cloth, Joseph Garner, Aaron L. Gilbert, Walter Hamada, Michael E. Uslan.

CREW: Director: Todd Philips. Screenplay: Todd Philips, Scott Silver. Camera (color, widescreen): Lawrence Sher. Editors: Jeff Groth. Music: Hildur Guðnadóttir.

WITH: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Shea Wigham, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill.

Check Out All-New Sneak Peek of New “Frozen 2” Song: “Into the Unknown”

FROZEN 2 – In Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen 2, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven journey far beyond the gates of Arendelle in search of answers. Featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, “Frozen 2” opens in U.S. theaters November 22. © 2019 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

In a press statement from The Walt Disney Company, the studio announced the ‘Frozen 2‘-soundtrack track list and a first listen at title song “Into the Unknown” by Idina Menzel.

The Academy Award®-winning team behind “Frozen” is back: “Frozen 2” is directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee; Peter Del Vecho produces, and Lee penned the screenplay with story by Lee, Buck, Marc Smith, Anderson-Lopez and Lopez. “The music of the Lopezes and Christophe Beck are part of the DNA of ‘Frozen,’” said Buck. “We couldn’t imagine building ‘Frozen 2’ without them. They bring such a rich, emotional understanding of the world and characters, and through their incredible music we have been able to really deepen and expand the story.” “Frozen 2” opens in Australian cinemas on November 28.

“The songs and score of ‘Frozen 2’ reflect the growth of the characters and the deepening of their story,” added Lee, who also serves as chief creative officer at WDAS. “The music is fun but emotional, personal yet powerful, intimate but also epic. Kristen, Bobby and Christophe have definitely outdone themselves and taken the music to brave new heights.” 

ORIGINAL SONGS BY KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ & ROBERT LOPEZ

“Seven all-new original songs were written for “Frozen 2.” “From the beginning of our collaboration with Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck and Peter Del Vecho, everything we’ve created has come from big questions—what is the story that we all as artists, individually and collectively, need to tell?” said Anderson-Lopez. “Bobby and I approach the story through the lens of which moments of our story lead to big emotions—feelings so strong our characters can no longer talk but need to sing.”

Added Lopez, “Our tradition of songwriting comes from the world of musical theater, where songs must always forward the story in a fresh and surprising way. Every song has to take a character on a journey.”

The “Frozen 2” track list:

1.      “All is Found” – performed by Evan Rachel Wood

2.      “Some Things Never Change” – performed by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff

3.      “Into the Unknown” – performed by Idina Menzel (featuring Norwegian singer AURORA)

4.      “When I Am Older” – performed by Josh Gad

5.      “Reindeer(s) are Better than People (Cont.)” – performed by Jonathan Groff

6.      “Lost in the Woods” – performed by Jonathan Groff

7.      “Show Yourself” – performed by Idina Menzel and Evan Rachel Wood

8.      “The Next Right Thing” – performed by Kristen Bell

9.      “Into the Unknown” – performed by Panic! At The Disco (end credits)

10.  “All is Found” – performed by Kacey Musgraves (end credits)

11.  “Lost in the Woods” – performed by Weezer (end credits)

PANIC! AT THE DISCO, KACEY MUSGRAVES & WEEZER TAPPED FOR END CREDITS

According to executive music producer Tom MacDougall, who won a Grammy for the “Frozen” soundtrack, the “Frozen 2” soundtrack features a wide range of songs and an eclectic mix of artists performing the end credit versions. “While we can’t wait for the world to hear these songs, we feel like we got a sneak peek of how people will react with how quickly our end credits artists signed on,” he said. “Their excitement for this franchise and these songs is represented in their wildly creative takes on each of their versions.”

ORIGINAL SCORE COMPOSED BY CHRISTOPHE BECK

Beck, who’s behind the score for “Frozen,” returns to Arendelle for “Frozen 2.” He ensured a cohesive musical thread throughout the film, weaving elements from the original songs into the score. Beck once again utilized traditional Norwegian instruments to showcase the unique setting of the film—“magical, but rooted in real tradition”—as well as the Norwegian female choir Cantus, who were recorded in Norway. According to the composer, the new score reflects the evolution of the characters. “Similar to how Elsa and Anna have grown up since the last film, the new score has also matured and introduces more sophisticated musical concepts and thematic elements,” he said. “The story’s emotional arc is more complex and intense than the first so I wanted the score’s thematic concepts and instrumentation to follow suit. I enjoyed exploring extreme dynamic contrasts, harmonic complexity, intricate textures with vibrant colors, and hugely expressive melodic moments.”  

“Frozen 2” is the follow-up to 2013’s “Frozen,” which is the highest grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office. “Frozen” won an Academy Award® for best animated feature film of the year, and the film’s iconic song, “Let It Go,” with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, also won an Oscar® for best achievement in music written for motion picture, original song.

Frozen 2 opens in Australian cinemas on November 28.

Theatrical Releases – October 2019

Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” – Arthur Fleck

Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’

Every month we take a look at which films are getting released. October has arrived and the biggest film festivals have screened some awards contenders. Let the hype begin!

Please note – I will be discussing the October release list for October (since that’s where I live). This could be different to some other countries in terms of actual release dates.

Joker (October 3)

Joaquin Phoenix is Joker

A gritty character study of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society.

Joker has already won Best Film and Best Soundtrack at Venice Film Festival.

Gemini Man (October 10)

Will Smith and Will Smith in ‘Gemini Man’

An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself.

Hustlers (October 10)

Jennifer Lopez in ‘Hustlers’

Inspired by the viral New York Magazine article, Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (October 17)

Angelina Jolie is back as Maleficent

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and her goddaughter Aurora (Elle Fanning) begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play.

Maiden (October 17)

The story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats, who became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.

Judy (October 17)

Renee Zellweger and Finn Wittrock in ‘Judy’

Legendary performer Judy Garland (Renee Zellweger)arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.

Zombieland: Double Tap (October 17)

Exactly ten years since the original Zombieland, the entire cast is back.

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family.

After the Wedding (October 24)

Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore in ‘After the Wedding’

A manager of an orphanage in Kolkata travels to New York to meet a benefactor.

Blinded by the Light (October 24)

Nell Williams, Aaron Phagura and Viveik Kalra in ‘Blinded by the Light’

In England in 1987, a teenager from an Asian family learns to live his life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of American rock star Bruce Springsteen.

Ready or Not (October 24)

Samara Weaving is ready to play a deadly game of hide and seek

A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (October 31)

Brianna Tju in ’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’

Four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city quickly learn they’ve entered the territory of the deadliest shark species in the claustrophobic labyrinth of submerged caves.

Terminator: Dark Fate (October 31)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’

Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future.

Which films are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments below.