Jonathan Groff

Still from film Frozen

First came Tangled. Then came Wreck-it-Ralph. Now, Frozen might just be the film to cement Disney’s return to the world of quality animated features. Because these things are decided in threes, apparently. The first theatrical trailer for Frozen has just been released, and it may just be the trailer, but the classic Disney vibe feels a little subdued. Were Frozen not a fairy tale – and it is, being loosely based off Hans Christian Anderson‘s “The Snow Queen” – the emphasis on humor might be a little overwhelming. The set up we’re given for the story is especially hokey, with some boilerplate narration and a whole lot of hokey puns. “Ice Guy” or “Nice Guy”? “Snow Man” or “No Man”? I thought society had already moved past this after the abomination that was Bee Movie.

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C.O.G.

You’d think that by now, someone would have made a movie out of David Sedaris‘ work. It almost happened back in 2001- four stories from Sedaris’ “Me Talk Pretty One Day” were optioned into a feature film, with Wayne Wang set to direct, but after Sedaris pulled out, fearing his family would be portrayed poorly onscreen, the project quickly fell apart. It seems the famed humorist has finally had a change of heart. Kyle Patrick Alvarez‘s C.O.G. (which stands for Child of God), an adaptation of one of the stories from Sedaris’ “Naked,” marks the first time his work will be seen on the big screen. This trailer’s got charm to spare, but C.O.G. seems like it’ll hinge on its lead actor’s performance more than anything else. From this two minutes of footage, Jonathan Groff (who’ll be playing the Sedaris-based lead) looks as though he’s got that standoffish snark down pat, but the actor’s biggest claim to fame is his part on Glee, a television show not known for its subtlety. Hopefully, more intelligent source material will overcome any urges he has to break out into song.

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Olaf Frozen

Channeling DreamWorks’ favorite nut-hunting squirrel, Disney has released a mini-cartoon to serve as the teaser trailer for Frozen from director Chris Buck (Tarzan, Surf’s Up). As the story of a pair of adventurers trying to end a magic-induced winter, it’s unfortunately not an animated remake of Adam Green’s ski lift horror flick from 2010. Hopefully Disney will get on that soon. Kristen Bell voices Anna, the hero who partners with Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff) to end Elsa the Snow Queen’s (Idina Menzel) reign of wondrously beautiful icy conditions. None of them are in the trailer, though. Instead, we’re treated to Olaf, a wacky snowman (Josh Gad) who gets in a fight with a reindeer over his delicious, delicious nose. Enjoy the slapstick on ice:

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What is Casting Couch? It’s the movie news column that’s easing into Christmas with a cup of coffee and some casting reports. Let’s take this one step at a time. Marvel Studios is on such a roll now that any movie they make that ties directly into their upcoming Avengers 2 is going to be a big deal—even if it’s based off of a comic book that nobody’s ever heard of like Guardians of the Galaxy. So, the competition among young actors to get cast as the Guardians’ leader, Star-Lord, is pretty fierce. According to Variety, that competition has been narrowed down to two guys. The trade reports that Jim Sturgess is the sole survivor of the original crop of five actors the studio screen tested for the role, and Zachary Levi impressed so much playing the smaller role of Fandral in Thor 2, that Marvel is looking to give him a larger role in their universe by maybe making him the half-human, half-alien leader of this ragtag crew. Who would you find more believable commanding a gun-toting space-raccoon?

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Kevin Carr looks ahead to this week’s movie releases, effectively shredding The Final Destination, urging you to stay clear of Halloween 2 and Taking Woodstock to task.

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‘Taking Woodstock’ is an unexpected detour into sunny territory for director Ang Lee but it’s so lightweight it’s almost insubstantial.

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