General Disney geekery, including the Disney Parks, Disney collectibles, the Walt Disney Family Museum, and Disney D23.
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sjreviewseverything:

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)In the vastly convoluted super hero scene we are currently engulfed within, Guardians of the Galaxy is a much-needed breath of fresh air. As the first in its franchise, with no burden upon the viewer to gear up upon viewing, as well as its offbeat narrative make this sci-fi adventure more accessible.Even as part of the extended Marvelverse, Guardians doesn’t feel like it - there are no superheroes, and no one is endowed with exceptional powers. It is their colorful personalities and their sharp wit that pulls this ragtag band through one misadventure after another.With all these elements going for it, however, Guardians of the Galaxy somehow falls flat. It’s boring moderately often. We’ll get extended sequences of the Guardians escaping from trouble or trying to ally forces to join their cause that frankly plod along. It’s a popcorn movie, we know where it’s going, so don’t waste our time bogging down in the details. The sense of peril of Star-Lord’s sacrifice is gone when just days before the film’s release he took part in announcing the Guardians sequel.It also seems like no one can talk about this movie without talking about its soundtrack, so I’ll say this: they try way too hard. Yes, music and his mother’s mix tape are Star-Lord’s ties to his mother and his life on Earth, but they stress it too damn much. So much time is spent by the characters discussing songs, all taking part in Star-Lord’s ritual, that I’m frankly surprised they didn’t give us a coupon code for the soundtrack as we exited the theater. There’s a kind of self-indulgence in the musical aspect to the film that I haven’t seen since Juno.Apologies if I sound nitpicky, but the bad choices behind this film are so disappointing because, at its core, it’s a batshit crazy sci-fi movie - and it should embrace that more. A film like Tangled told a classic fairytale within a very unique, distinctly modern format, with quick shots and tight editing - from a comedic standpoint, astoundingly efficient. For what I feel Guardians is trying to do, it should have taken a page from that book, by using formal film techniques to create a trademark viewing experience so different from typical sci-fi action fodder.Guardians of the Galaxy has a really interesting, often political story, and is rich with characters (particularly Rocket Raccoon) who will undoubtedly become fan favorites. Unfortunately, though, it tells an atypical story very typically. It’s truly innovative in some regards but just what you expect in others. B-

sjreviewseverything:

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

In the vastly convoluted super hero scene we are currently engulfed within, Guardians of the Galaxy is a much-needed breath of fresh air. As the first in its franchise, with no burden upon the viewer to gear up upon viewing, as well as its offbeat narrative make this sci-fi adventure more accessible.

Even as part of the extended Marvelverse, Guardians doesn’t feel like it - there are no superheroes, and no one is endowed with exceptional powers. It is their colorful personalities and their sharp wit that pulls this ragtag band through one misadventure after another.

With all these elements going for it, however, Guardians of the Galaxy somehow falls flat. It’s boring moderately often. We’ll get extended sequences of the Guardians escaping from trouble or trying to ally forces to join their cause that frankly plod along. It’s a popcorn movie, we know where it’s going, so don’t waste our time bogging down in the details. The sense of peril of Star-Lord’s sacrifice is gone when just days before the film’s release he took part in announcing the Guardians sequel.

It also seems like no one can talk about this movie without talking about its soundtrack, so I’ll say this: they try way too hard. Yes, music and his mother’s mix tape are Star-Lord’s ties to his mother and his life on Earth, but they stress it too damn much. So much time is spent by the characters discussing songs, all taking part in Star-Lord’s ritual, that I’m frankly surprised they didn’t give us a coupon code for the soundtrack as we exited the theater. There’s a kind of self-indulgence in the musical aspect to the film that I haven’t seen since Juno.

Apologies if I sound nitpicky, but the bad choices behind this film are so disappointing because, at its core, it’s a batshit crazy sci-fi movie - and it should embrace that more. A film like Tangled told a classic fairytale within a very unique, distinctly modern format, with quick shots and tight editing - from a comedic standpoint, astoundingly efficient. For what I feel Guardians is trying to do, it should have taken a page from that book, by using formal film techniques to create a trademark viewing experience so different from typical sci-fi action fodder.

Guardians of the Galaxy has a really interesting, often political story, and is rich with characters (particularly Rocket Raccoon) who will undoubtedly become fan favorites. Unfortunately, though, it tells an atypical story very typically. It’s truly innovative in some regards but just what you expect in others. B-

Club 33: Grand Salon Dinner Menu (07/13/2014)

Five Course Experience 85.00
Six Course Experience 95.00

Club Signature Caviar 135.00 per ounce

First Course

  • Sauteed Asparagus with Red Pepper Remoulade and Asparagus Panna Cotta
  • Salmon Carpaccio “Lafayette” with Southern Oranges, Purple Watercress, and Pickled Peppers
  • Prime New York of Beef Seared Black and Blue with Tarragon-Roasted Garlic Puree
  • "Lobster Rockefeller" with Crispy Oysters and Lemon Hollandaise

Second Course

  • Iron Seared Fish of the Day with Crayfish Tail Hoppin’ John and Creole Yellow Tomato Sauce
  • Grilled Diver Scallop and Gulf Shrimp with Cheesy Grits and Buttery Shrimp Nage
  • Butter Poached Lobster with Braised Leeks and Minted English Pea Puree

Third Course

  • Iron Seared Fish of the Day with Crayfish Tail Hoppin’ John and Creole Yellow Tomato Sauce
  • Grilled Diver Scallop and Gulf Shrimp with Cheesy Grits and Buttery Shrimp Nage
  • Butter Poached Lobster with Braised Leeks and Minted English Pea Puree

Fourth Course

  • Sassafras Dusted Duck Breast with Duck Confit and Morel Mushroom Sauce
  • Vegetarian Layered Ratatouille with Red Quinoa, Black-eyed Peas, and Tomato Coulis
  • Creole Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb with Summer Corn Succotash
  • Petit Angus Filet Mignon with Tasso Ham Scalloped Potatoes and Collard Green Pesto

Cheese Course

  • A selection of three Artisinal Cheeses with Pepper Jelly, Orange Blossom Honey, and Toast Points

Dessert Course

  • Chocolate Hazelnut Gianduja Decadent with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Passion Fruit Curd
  • Vanilla Creme Brulee with Apricot Conserve and Cognac Flambe
  • Warm Monkey Bread with Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream and Candied Pecan Praline
  • Vanilla Mascarpone Velvet with Summer Peaches and Lemon Balm Peach Nectar

Maleficent (2014)Following Saving Mr. Banks, in what may be a new Disney subgenre of revisiting classic works, comes the drama Maleficent, an alternate (not revisionist) take on the beloved Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent is a visually stunning film, and tells such a (surprisingly) captivating narrative - it almost defies any typical genre as “fantasy” or “epic.”Throughout the movie, frankly, not that much happens. Following the general outline of the Sleeping Beauty story, we can track the progress of events and foretell when key moments will take place, but our time with the Mistress of All Evil is mostly between these reference points. We know about the curse, and the spinning wheel, and the dragon. What is Maleficent’s life outside these events?Like some of the better moments in Oz the Great and Powerful, this film works largely from the interpersonal relationships. Watching Maleficent interact with Stefan, and the role she plays in young Aurora’s life, is truly fascinating to behold. The skeleton of a story is “simple” but perfectly appropriate for a dreamy, fairytale atmosphere. The narrowed-down plot also facilitates greater introspection and character development, both qualities lacking from your typical fantasy epics.Maleficent is such a success because it creates a cohesive, thought-out world beyond the narrative of Sleeping Beauty. There is more to Maleficent than her relations to the royal family, and she plays an important role within her own world of the Moors. The swift but efficient exposition works wonders in expanding the Maleficent universe and making this fantastical place all the more real.Another key strength of this film is how it does not try to pigeonhole its own story within the confines of the classic Sleeping Beauty narrative; in fact, several key moments are altered significantly (or do not take place at all), charting Maleficent aside as its own unique beast. It is more of an alternative telling, going off in a far different direction than the original, as opposed to a revisionist take, which sheds a different light on a story but still fits in within that established framework.Without giving away spoilers, Maleficent is admirable for its unique sense of direction, and is artfully told through its beautiful visual design and hauntingly magical musical score. It is not easy to adapt a beloved story for a new perspective, and Maleficent doesn’t, really, but instead uses certain recognizable moments and creates an entirely new, wholly exciting story. B+

Maleficent (2014)

Following Saving Mr. Banks, in what may be a new Disney subgenre of revisiting classic works, comes the drama Maleficent, an alternate (not revisionist) take on the beloved Sleeping BeautyMaleficent is a visually stunning film, and tells such a (surprisingly) captivating narrative - it almost defies any typical genre as “fantasy” or “epic.”

Throughout the movie, frankly, not that much happens. Following the general outline of the Sleeping Beauty story, we can track the progress of events and foretell when key moments will take place, but our time with the Mistress of All Evil is mostly between these reference points. We know about the curse, and the spinning wheel, and the dragon. What is Maleficent’s life outside these events?

Like some of the better moments in Oz the Great and Powerful, this film works largely from the interpersonal relationships. Watching Maleficent interact with Stefan, and the role she plays in young Aurora’s life, is truly fascinating to behold. The skeleton of a story is “simple” but perfectly appropriate for a dreamy, fairytale atmosphere. The narrowed-down plot also facilitates greater introspection and character development, both qualities lacking from your typical fantasy epics.

Maleficent is such a success because it creates a cohesive, thought-out world beyond the narrative of Sleeping Beauty. There is more to Maleficent than her relations to the royal family, and she plays an important role within her own world of the Moors. The swift but efficient exposition works wonders in expanding the Maleficent universe and making this fantastical place all the more real.

Another key strength of this film is how it does not try to pigeonhole its own story within the confines of the classic Sleeping Beauty narrative; in fact, several key moments are altered significantly (or do not take place at all), charting Maleficent aside as its own unique beast. It is more of an alternative telling, going off in a far different direction than the original, as opposed to a revisionist take, which sheds a different light on a story but still fits in within that established framework.

Without giving away spoilers, Maleficent is admirable for its unique sense of direction, and is artfully told through its beautiful visual design and hauntingly magical musical score. It is not easy to adapt a beloved story for a new perspective, and Maleficent doesn’t, really, but instead uses certain recognizable moments and creates an entirely new, wholly exciting story. B+

Music Monday - Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois DormantNot 100% complete, but I couldn’t wait to start re-constructing it in my anticipation for Maleficent's release later this week. This music plays at Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty Castle) at Disneyland Paris.You can learn more about how to re-create this loop here: http://www.magicmusic.net/blog/5/entry-312-sleeping-beauty-castle-le-chateau-de-la-belle-au-bois-dormant/.

Music Monday - Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant

Not 100% complete, but I couldn’t wait to start re-constructing it in my anticipation for Maleficent's release later this week. This music plays at Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty Castle) at Disneyland Paris.

You can learn more about how to re-create this loop here: http://www.magicmusic.net/blog/5/entry-312-sleeping-beauty-castle-le-chateau-de-la-belle-au-bois-dormant/.

Frozen Soundtrack: The Amended Tracklist
01. Vuelie
02. Frozen Heart
03. Elsa and Anna
04. The Trolls
05. Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
06. Coronation Day
07. For the First Time in Forever
08. Heimr Arandair
09. Winter’s Waltz
10. Love is an Open Door
11. Sorcery
12. Royal Pursuit
13. Let It Go
14. Reindeer(s) are Better Than People
15. Onward and Upward
16. Wolves
17. In Summer
18. The North Mountain
19. We Were So Close
20. For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)
21. Marshmallow Attack!
22. Conceal, Don’t Feel
23. Fixer Upper
24. Only an Act of True Love
25. Summit Siege
26. Return to Arendelle
27. Treason
28. Some People are Worth Melting For
29. Whiteout
30. The Great Thaw (Vuelie Reprise)
31. Epilogue

32. Let It Go (Single Version)

Frozen Soundtrack: The Amended Tracklist

01. Vuelie

02. Frozen Heart

03. Elsa and Anna

04. The Trolls

05. Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

06. Coronation Day

07. For the First Time in Forever

08. Heimr Arandair

09. Winter’s Waltz

10. Love is an Open Door

11. Sorcery

12. Royal Pursuit

13. Let It Go

14. Reindeer(s) are Better Than People

15. Onward and Upward

16. Wolves

17. In Summer

18. The North Mountain

19. We Were So Close

20. For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)

21. Marshmallow Attack!

22. Conceal, Don’t Feel

23. Fixer Upper

24. Only an Act of True Love

25. Summit Siege

26. Return to Arendelle

27. Treason

28. Some People are Worth Melting For

29. Whiteout

30. The Great Thaw (Vuelie Reprise)

31. Epilogue

32. Let It Go (Single Version)