ScreenTime: Tangled Is Better Than Frozen, You Morons

Frozen is a smash hit. I don’t need to tell you this. It made $1.3 billion at the box office and countless more in merchandise. Tangled? Not so much. It made less than half of Frozen’s haul at the box office and trying to find a Flynn Rider doll at your local Toys ‘R Us is like trying to find a chameleon in an Army Surplus store. No home is free from the scourge of Let It Go, which is heard daily in my house, hourly at the weekends.

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But when it comes to Frozen: The Movie, my daughter couldn’t care less. Cries for Tangled ring out nearly as often as requests for “Padda“, but she hasn’t asked for “Elsa” once since she first saw it a few months ago.

Upon delving into the finer details of my precious offspring’s lack of interest, it became clear that her issue was one of representation. Specifically that Disney‘s 2010 offering did not contain enough characters of the equine persuasion. But this is, frankly, untrue. There are many horses in Frozen. Prince Hans has a horse, as does Anna, and there are several background equestrians in many key scenes. But none of these scenes bring effervescent joy to my daughter’s face like the moment in Tangled where the palace horse Maximus engages in a sword-fight with renowned thief Flynn Rider, who is armed only with a frying pan. 

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One could argue that this scene resonates so strongly merely because of the spectacle of a horse wielding a sword. But while such pageantry is impressive at first blush, it rarely holds up to multiple revisits. No, the power in this scene comes from beyond this cheap thrill. The power comes from the clash not of steel upon cast iron, but of idea upon idea, of dream upon dream. For Flynn desires nothing more than complete freedom, liberty from the hardship of everyday life, from his past, from law of the land, while Maximus’ ideals run directly counter to such libertarianism. The Rule of Law, Order, Peace. These are the things our noble steed desires. So when he crosses swords with the roguish Flynn, they fight not because of some plot contrivance, but because the fight is inevitable, because to fight is encoded in their very nature. 

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In contrast, the big action set-piece in Frozen sees our heroes Anna & Kristoff face off against an abomination of snow & ice, who’s inner life is not even hinted at. Does the frozen creature hate simply because he is created to do so? Does he wish to protect his creator, whom he truly loves? Or does he chase the interlopers halfheartedly, resigned to his lot in life, but without any real passion for his job? We will never know, because Frozen is uninterested in telling us.

This is emblematic of the difference between the two movies, one has depth of theme, character, and motivation, while the other has a lumbering snow-monstrosity whose dead eyes taunt the audience with their emptiness.

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This creature stumbles through scenes, grimacing and screaming, with no purpose or reason for existence. His cruel creation, ripped from black nothingness into a tenuously connected collection of geometric shapes and inexplicable whims is a twisted corruption of Frozen’s own inception, seemingly Frankensteined together from jarringly unrelated song fragments. Every moment he is on screen he taunts us with his own impossibility, mugging and “joking” his way through an existence that must be as painful for him endure as it is for us to witness. And then he starts to sing.

When Tangled’s characters sing of their dreams in the modern classic “I Have A Dream”, those dreams speak to the very core of who they are. Thugs and ruffians with hearts of gold, orphans so scared of being hurt again they can’t stop running, young women who yearn to discover who they are. They dream of lives free of constraint, of freedom from the prisons of expectation and judgement. We sing along with them because their dreams are our dreams, their frustrations our frustrations.

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When Olaf sings of his dreams, those dreams speak only to his emptiness. Olaf’s desire for “Summer” may match up neatly with Anna’s desire to end Elsa’s winter, but it isn’t motivated by real character growth or thematic depth. To empathize with Olaf’s dreams we must accept one of two premises:

1) He doesn’t know what Summer is, and so his desire for it is completely shallow, a wish for the baubles and trappings of a season that has absolutely no meaning to him.

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2) He is very aware of what Summer is, and is performing ignorance to hide the dark nature of his cravings. He knows full well that the heat of Summer will destroy him, finally releasing him from his meaningless immortality.

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Either option reveals thematic underpinnings to “Summer” (and hence the character of Olaf) that have absolutely nothing to do with the purported themes of Frozen, and in the case of option number 2, directly oppose those themes.

It is here that we reveal the real difference between Frozen and Tangled: Tangled is ABOUT something, Frozen is not. Every scene, every character, every song in Tangled have something to say about its themes. Hope, Dreams, and Freedom. Lost Time and Past Mistakes. Tangled’s approach to these things can be summed up in a single moment.

When King Frederick & Queen Arianna are lighting their lantern in the ceremony to commemorate the lost princess, the King looks at his wife. He suddenly looks old, tired, hurt. The camera lingers, no words are exchanged. In this silent moment we feel all the time that has gone by and all the hopes and dreams that have been dashed by that lost time. It is a moment that subtly but powerfully reinforces not only the motivations of the King, the Queen and Rapunzel, but also the deeper themes of the movie.

Frozen doesn’t have any moments like this. It wouldn’t know how. For a start, Frozen doesn’t have the time to spend on such quiet contemplation, it’s too busy filling its time with gags and songs. More importantly, upon what topic would it meditate? What, at its heart, is Frozen about?

Sure, the final scenes of Frozen are about sisterly love, but what does “Frozen Heart” or “Let It Go” or Summer” have to say about that topic? The romantic arc of the movie deliberately subverts the Disney Prince archetype, but what do Duke of Weasleton or Elsa or Olaf have to do with that idea? Elsa’s story can be read as a coming out metaphor, but what does Anna’s relationship with Kristoff or Olaf’s desire for summer have to say about coming out? Frozen contains all these things, but it is about none of them.

It seems that my daughter, unlike the general public, requires not only more horses, but more depth from her entertainment. This is some thing Frozen cannot deliver.

Watch Snoop Dogg Light Up Peacock’s Olympics Coverage

It’s a little bit hard to believe for those of us who first knew him as a gangster rapper on the notorious Death Row label, but Calvin Broadus, aka Snoop Dogg, is one of America’s most beloved celebrities. It seems the culture has finally caught up with the notorious pothead, as marijuana use has grown increasingly mainstream and increasingly legal. Now Snoop can befriend Martha Stewart, appear in national ad campaigns, call boxing matches, and even provide commentary during the Olympics.

Of course, he’s still Snoop, so if you’re gonna hire him to call some Olympic highlights, alongside comedian Kevin Hart, you’d better be prepared for some antics.

Over the weekend, Peacock put Hart and Snoop behind a desk and let them riff on some Olympic footage, and they did not disappoint. Snoop was on one, noting the similarities between the equestrian event and cripwalking, much to his co-host’s delight.

Snoop also took advantage of the similarity of an Olympic event name to some urban dictionary slang that I would not suggest you explain to your children.

Even after referencing gangs and… bangs (sorry), Snoop emerged unscathed, with most taking delight in his commentary and appreciating the wildcard spirit he brought to the gig. Peacock took it all on stride:

And viewers loved it:

No word yet on whether there was any backlash to Snoop’s hosting, but something tells me he’ll be just fine.

“Scariest Silence of My Life,” Video Shows Emotional Moment Baby Regains Pulse

The birth of your baby is a moment you never forget. Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, each birthing experience is unique and magical. Every parent hopes for a straightforward labor and delivery, a predictably difficult but otherwise uneventful day. Unfortunately, for many parents, the day your baby enters the world can be filled with fear and uncertainty.

When TikTok user Sheri sherinicole455 went into labor, she never realized her daughter’s life could be in danger. In a video that’s been viewed over 4.7 million times, Sheri shares the terrifying moment she and her husband feared they would never get to watch their daughter grow up.

“We lost her heartbeat while I was pushing,” Sheri explains in the on-screen text. “She was blue and completely lifeless.”

@sherinicole455Giving me a run for my money since the day she was born 😅 ##childbirth ##birth ##babiesoftiktok ##fyp ##McDonaldsCCSing ##VideoSnapChallenge ##labor ##cute

♬ Sad Emotional Piano – DS Productions

Though Sheri’s reaction isn’t visible through the rails of the hospital bed, her husband’s panic is tangible. He stares down helplessly at his wife and newborn baby as the nurses work quickly and skillfully, waiting for a sign that his daughter is ok.

For a few heartbreaking seconds, the room is filled with a heavy silence. When a few short moments mean the difference between life and death for your child, however, those seconds feel like an eternity. A sharp cry suddenly tears through the silence, freeing the panicked dad from his petrified trance.

“The most relieving sound in the world,” confirms the on-screen text.

As the heroic nurses congratulate the new parents, Dad drops his head into his hands and cries tears of relief. Sheri reaches out towards her husband, wordlessly sharing a moment of joy and gratitude.

“I saw him crying, and I knew he was worried,” Sheri recalled in the comments. “He told me later that he thought we had already lost her, and hearing her cry was overwhelming.”

New ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Trailer Gives Us the Woody We Deserve

Fans have been waiting for this ever since the post-credits scene!

Remember Venom, Sony’s unlikely Spider-man adjacent blockbuster from a few years back that featured Tom Hardy going gonzo as investigative journalist Eddie Brock AND ravenous alien symbiote Venom? The sequel is coming and based on the new trailer, it’s going to have exactly what we want: more Woody Harrelson!

Harrelson’s role as Carnage in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, was teased at the end of the first movie, and fans have been dying to see Harrelson’s red-headed serial killer, Cletus Kasady, get infected by a symbiote of his own and match Hardy’s scene-chewing antics. The people behind these movies know what we want, and they’re giving it to us. In spades!

Eddie Brock and Venom have settled into an odd-couple relationship, complete with rule (“No eating people”), but once the depraved Cletus gets a taste (literally) of his own symbiote, he has nothing but chaos – and carnage – on his mind.

Check out the crazy new trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, coming this fall:

David Ayer Defends His ‘Suicide Squad:’ “Who Would I Be to My Kids if I Quit?”

The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max this weekend, and early reviews suggest it will be fun, goofy, chaotic, and hilarious; four things the original Suicide Squad movie was not. The first movie is… not good. But DCEU devotees think it could have been, if director David Ayer had been allowed to release his intended version of the movie. And after the success of Zach Snyder’s Justice League do-over, there has been a growing call to #releasetheAyerCut of the original Suicide Squad.

But, because it’s the internet, there has also been a surge of people seeing the new movie as an excuse to dunk on Ayer.

One particular tweet seemed to be a final straw for the writer/director. In a three-page letter he posted on Twitter, Ayer defends work, shed light on the sometimes painful creative process, and offered an inspiring, if somewhat gritty meditation on perseverance.

“I put my life into Suicide Squad. I made something amazing – My cut is intricate and emotional journey with some ‘bad people’ who are shit on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul),” Ayer wrote. The letter touches on his troubled youth, and how these stories is a part of his sense of redemption and self-worth.

Along with standing by his own integrity, Ayer also made sure to heap praise on his team, as well as James Gunn. It’s a fascinating read, and worth considering what could have been, had the studio not done what studios tend to do.  He concludes the letter by saying this is the last time he’ll be speaking publicly about his cut and the controversy surrounding it. Read his response, and try to keep your adrenaline down because the man is fired up!

Jonathan Philp: So Many Memories

“This is my dad, two weeks before being diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer, and eight months before leaving us much too soon.

This was the second day of an epic mountain bike trip he, my brother, and I took. His diagnosis less than a few weeks later left us all reeling. My dad was my best friend in so many different ways, and although he missed meeting his three grandkids by a few months, we know he would have been their hero too.

It’s been three years since his passing, and I think about this trip daily. We lost a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend, and a mentor in the span of a few short months. But this trip brings nothing but smiles to our faces.

This, and so many other memories, are what we have to remember what a truly special guy he was. We miss him everyday, but the days we got with him are what we’ll hold on to forever.”

– Jonathan Philp

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After an Engine Failure, Teenager Lands Plane “Perfectly” on a Bridge in Traffic

An 18-year old pilot had some engine trouble and was able to, unbelievably, land the plane on a busy bridge in New Jersey. The stakes couldn’t be higher, and the kid nailed it. A perfect landing. 10/10. Not a single injury to himself or the plane. Truly incredible.

Landon Lucas was the teenager flying a banner plane for an aerial advertising company. Once the engine started having trouble, so he quickly dropped the banner in the ocean and headed for the airport. After realizing he might not get there, he spotted a gap in traffic on the 9th Street bridge and went for it.

This was in the middle of the day. Lunch hour. And he landed a plane in traffic. An Ocean City spokesman said “the pilot successfully landed with no damage to the plane and no injury to himself or any motorist.”

An eyewitness who happened to also be a pilot watched the landing from a boat and said it’s “really a challenge. I’m very proud of him, it’s really phenomenal he was able to do this safely.”

 Another witness called it a “perfect landing.” But Lucas? Couldn’t have been more nonplussed by the whole thing. He told a newspaper reporter that “it was just another day at work, but not an ideal one.”

And he broke it down very simply: “It was either water or bridge. There was a gap in traffic, and I went in. Being scared does nothing.” When asked how big the gap in traffic was, he responded “big enough.” Mic. Drop.

This kid is gonna go places, and wherever they are, he’s in for a smooth landing. 

New Balance’s Next-Level Dad Shoes Come Pre-Stained With Dirt and Ketchup

Dads and their New Balances go together like peanut butter and jelly, like a toddler and any toy that makes noise. Attempting to make the archetypal dad kicks even more “daddish” feels like a challenge to science itself – but the shoe geniuses at New Balance aren’t backing down. As a late Father’s Day celebration, New Balance released their newest 57/40 Sneakers as an homage to dedicated dads.

These 57/40s are a nod to the classic white New Balances, the sneakers we’ve lovingly worn until they can no longer legally be considered shoes. Rather than the sleek white finish waiting to be marked with memories of yard work and barbecues past, the 57/40s come pre-stained. It’s essentially a paint by numbers, but for all of the marks these shoes will inevitably earn.

New Balance may be a bit late with the Father’s Day release, but for the holy grail of dad shoes, every day is Father’s Day. It’s not just the classic style and reasonable price tag that makes NB’s the dad shoe, it’s their utility. The days of buying clothes and shoes for aesthetics only are long gone – we can’t afford to wear things that don’t serve a purpose.

With cargo shorts storing everything from fruit snacks to emergency toys and some well-loved New Balances laced up tight, we’re as prepared as we possibly can be to leave the house with our kids. The folks at New Balance know how much dads appreciate them, and now they’re showing their appreciation for dads with their newest 57/40s.

These next-level dad shoes feature subtle dirt stains along the shoe’s familiar clunky sole, and a few more smudges on the classic white leather. That’s right, these shoes are stained intentionally for the sake of style, which means that each and every one of us is basically an artist. The formerly-white laces as well as the bold New Balance “N” are stained with red and yellow spatters, symbolizing the ketchup and mustard of barbecues past, present, and future.

You can find these celebratory New Balances for $147 at select retailers.

Yippee-Ki-Yay, No More ‘Die Hard’ Prequel

Looks like we’re getting an early Christmas present this year! For a while there have been plans for a sixth Die Hard movie. This one was set to be John McLane’s “origin story.”  More on why that’s stupid later. But fortunately, it looks like the last few sequels and an Autozone commercial have squeezed every ounce of juice from the franchise. We will be spared -for now- watching a once-beloved character dragged out onto the stage and forced to dance for us as we barely look up from our phones. In other words, now that Disney has acquired Fox, the project has just died easy.

“Yeah, no, It’s not happening,” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura said during a press junket for the new GI Joe prequel, Snake Eyes. The scrapped idea, which was at least a little different than the typical reboot, was to include Willis as the modern-day McLane. “What was interesting about our idea was it allowed you the ability to meet the young John McClane and use Bruce,”. “So it was really interesting in that way. So you sort of got to see both versions of him. A bit [like The Godfather Part 2].”

Yeah, I’m sure it was gonna be just like The Godfather Part 2.

So I say:  Good Riddance! The whole point of the first Die Hard was that McClane was just a regular guy. We learned everything we needed to know about him.  He was a cop, he was estranged from his wife, he hated technology. We don’t need more than that to inform his Nakatomi Plaza adventure.  It’s easy to think we’re going overboard with prequels and remakes lately, but it should also be said that not everything needs the superhero treatment.

35+ ‘Breaking Bad’ Quotes That Are The Very Epitome Of The Show

One, maybe twice, in a lifetime, a network will happen upon a show that is pure genius. A good show will hook its claws into viewers from the very first episode, much like shows like Friends or Mad Men did. It’ll offer something relatable but also offer an escape. Breaking Bad was just that show. On the surface, it was a about a dude named Walter White (Bryan Cranston) cooking meth. Something most Americans can’t relate to and probably look down on. In the very first episode, though, we met a very different man. We met a middle-class science teacher with cancer, crushing debt, with a healthcare system and government not keen on helping him. We met a man who only wanted to provide a decent life for his family and not be a burden. Now that is definitely relatable.

From there, we watched Walt learn to utilize the scientific knowledge he already had and use a connection with a hoodlum named Jesse (Aaron Paul). Soon, Walt was running a drug empire. Did he do some seriously sketchy shit? Yes, sir. But, he did it in the name of love… and survival. (Uh… mostly.) Who can fault a guy for that? Breaking Bad was a raging success and when it ended, many viewers were left absolutely crushed. Years later, we’re still talking about those final moments.

And, of course, years later we’re still quoting the show. If you’re looking to go down memory lane, these are some of our favorite quotes from Breaking Bad.

Perfect Breaking Bad Quotes From Walter White Himself

1. “I have spent my whole life scared, frightened of things that could happen, might happen, might not happen, 50-years I spent like that.”

2. “Finding myself awake at three in the morning. But you know what? Ever since my diagnosis, I sleep just fine.”

3. “What I came to realize is that fear, that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So, get up, get out in the real world and you kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth.” –

4. “Well, technically, chemistry is the study of matter. But I prefer to see it as the study of change.”

5. “Is this just a genetic thing with you? Is it congenital? Did your… did your mother drop you on your head when you were a baby?”

6. “You clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No! I am the one who knocks!”

7. “I mean, it’s just… it’s the constant, it’s the cycle. It’s solution, dissolution, just over and over and over. It is growth, then decay, then transformation. It is fascinating, really.”

8. “Right now, what I need is for you to climb down out of my ass. Can you do that? Will you do that for me, honey? Will you please, just once, get off my ass? You know? I’d appreciate it. I really would.”

9. “Walter Jr., you’re my big man. There are going to be some things that you’ll come to learn about me in the next few days. But just know that no matter how it may look, I only had you in my heart. Goodbye.”

10. “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And, I was really… I was alive.”

11. “I have lived under the threat of death for a year now. And because of that, I’ve made choices.”

12. “Jesse, you asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business… Neither. I’m in the empire business.”

13. “We tried to poison you. We tried to poison you because you are an insane, degenerate piece of filth and you deserve to die.”

14. “Say my name.”

15. “There is gold in the streets just waiting for someone to come and scoop it up.”

16. “We’re done when I say we’re done”

17. “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”

18. “Fuck you and your eyebrows.”

19. “Smoking marijuana, eating Cheetos, and masturbating do not constitute plans in my book.”

Breaking Bad Quotes From Jesse Pinkman… Bitch!

20. “Did you know that there’s an acceptable level of rat turds that can go into candy bars? It’s the government, jack.”

21. “Ah, like I came to you, begging to cook meth. Oh, hey, nerdiest old dude I know, you wanna come cook crystal? Please. I’d ask my diaper-wearing granny, but her wheelchair wouldn’t fit in the RV.”

22. “We’re all on the same page. The one that says, ‘If I can’t kill you, you’ll sure as shit wish you were dead.’”

23. “Some straight like you, giant stick up his ass, age what, 60? He’s just gonna break bad?”

24. “Even the government doesn’t care that much about quality. You know what is okay to put in hot dogs? Huh? Pig lips and assholes. But I say, hey, have at it bitches ’cause I love hot dogs.”

25. “Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, Science!”

26. “This is my own private domicile and I will not be harassed… bitch!”

Our Favorite Saul Goodman Quotes From Breaking Bad

27. “Scientists love lasers.”

28. “Congratulations, you’ve just left your family a second-hand Subaru.”

29. “Sending him on a trip to Belize.”

30. “I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner and it worked because I believed it.”

31. “Hey, I’m a civilian! I’m not your lawyer anymore. I’m nobody’s lawyer.”

32. “I’m not saying it’s not bad. It’s bad. But it could be worse.”

33. “The fun’s over. From here on out, I’m Mr. Low Profile. Just another douche bag with a job and three pairs of Dockers. If I’m lucky, a month from now, best-case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.”

34. If you’re committed enough, you can make any story work.”

More Breaking Bad Quotes From Everyone Else

35. “The moral of the story is…I chose a half measure when I should have gone all the way. I’ll never make that mistake again. No more half measures, Walter.” – Mike Ehrmantraut

36. “You are not the guy. You’re not capable of being the guy. I had a guy, but now I don’t. You are not the guy.” – Mike Ehrmantraut

37. “Just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James.” – Mike Ehrmantraut

38. “This kicks like a mule with its balls wrapped in duct tape!” – Tuco Salamanaca

39. “You know what Walt? Someone needs to protect this family from the man who protects this family.” – Skyler White