Our Obsession With ‘Frozen’ Has Officially Reached Critical Mass

Today in hilarious-but-also-disturbing news, The New York Post detailed the absurdly extensive lengths to which parents are willing to go to buy "Frozen" things for their children.

The excerpts of this story read like a dystopian fairy tale:

"We're all sold out of 'Frozen,'" a Disney sales associate said for the 200th time that day. "Except for this," she added, pointing -- weakly -- to a paltry stand decorated with five pairs of Anna boots."

No one wants Anna's boots, but they definitely want Anna dolls -- some of which are selling for literally thousands of dollars on eBay right now. (Seriously, there is one set of dolls marked at $10,000.)


The Post found one woman who spent $1,200 on an Elsa doll; another man admittedly paid $480 for two "Frozen" dresses (just to be clear: children's costumes) and $350 for other "paraphernalia." Both explained their purchases saying they had "promised" their children the merchandise.

According to another harried Disney store employee, people have gotten into physical fights, attempting to obtain things like plush dolls. One of the few woman who was able to purchase a stuffed Olaf, experienced intimidation to the degree that left her afraid to bring the doll out in public.

"Anywhere I was, at the Met, at the supermarket, all the mothers were going crazy screaming, 'Oh my God, I can’t believe you got it!'" 43-year-old Donna Ladd told the Post. "They were asking me if they could borrow the doll for a few days ... I feel like I had a bag no one else could get."

When you're done analyzing the obsessive consumerism which this story perfectly illustrates, there is a "Let It Go" pun to be made here. Until then, please find your way into the fetal position.

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Johnny Depp, Wally Pfister Reunite For Mind-Bending Sci-Fi Flick ‘Transcendence’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For more than a decade, cinematographer Wally Pfister brought director Christopher Nolan's cinematic visions to life. Now, he's the one calling the shots.

His directorial debut, the new sci-fi mystery "Transcendence," has many elements of a Nolan blockbuster — eye-popping visual effects, a mind-bending story and an A-list lead in Johnny Depp. All of those things translate into high expectations for Pfister, who jokingly likens his newly christened director's seat to an "electric chair." In the film releasing Friday, the mind of Depp's terminally ill scientist, Will Caster, is uploaded into a computer after his death, spawning an eerily unruly machine. At the heart of the story is the disrupted relationship of Will and his wife, Evelyn, played by Rebecca Hall.

"Transcendence," which was executive-produced by Nolan and written by first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen, hooked Pfister because of the emotional weight put on the study of husband and wife and the increasing reliance on technology. "We start to wonder where it's all going to go," he says.

"We are dependent on technology. It's got us," affirmed Depp in a recent joint interview to promote the film.

Depp, 50, first met Pfister, 52, when they worked on Paul McCartney's 2012 video for his romantic ballad "My Valentine," in which Depp and Natalie Portman starred and Pfister was the director of photography.

"I was immediately intrigued and curious from (the) initial reading," says Depp of "Transcendence."

"So many things come into my mind as far as the dangers of technology. Say I'm suddenly holding a gun," Depp illustrates, lifting his left hand as his formidable engagement ring with Amber Heard sparkles. "The gun is not inherently bad. It's a tool. It's what we do with it. I think it's the same with technology."

For his first directing gig, Pfister, who's worked on everything from "Memento" to "The Dark Knight Rises," swayed from doing a big action film.

"I'd done a lot as a cinematographer," he says. "What was important was telling some sort of character-driven story. Exploring human emotion. That is the logical reason to jump from visual storytelling to narrative."

Nolan will also release a thought-provoking sci-fi film this year: the time travel-focused "Interstellar," out in November. But Pfister assures he's not in competition with his long-time collaborator. "Chris is an old friend," he says. "He has been incredibly supportive of my move into this."

The two filmmakers even shared crew members, including folks in the makeup, special effects, equipment, casting and editorial departments. But while "Transcendence" was shooting, Nolan remained hands-off.

"Chris never came to the set," says camera operator Scott Sakamoto, who worked on both movies. "I think Chris let Wally take the reins and go with it to see how well he would do."

Although "Transcendence" marks the start of a new phase in Pfister's career, he tackled the job with the ease of a veteran.

"He's (an) experienced filmmaker," says Depp. "But there are times when you look at a situation with a first-time director and you don't know. But never was there a stumble."

Depp's Will in the film is sharp, warm and ambitious. But he ventures into dangerous territory when his mind is uploaded into an operating system that's connected to the Internet. Soon, powerful and often-abusive capabilities verge on catastrophic results.

"You have to be wondering, 'Is this simply a soulless machine?'" says Pfister. "If you upload a mind into a computer, does it contain sentience and if so, does that affect the decision-making process of the machine? Inherently with Johnny, you want to know that he's still alive. We love Johnny. The character of Will Caster doesn't work without having a powerful, emotional person behind it. We needed somebody that you could fall for."

Depp was sold on the role after learning Pfister was directing. "We had connected and I knew the umpteen amount of hours of set time the man has had," he says, adding that Pfister was passionate and "beyond prepared" when he arrived on set.

Pfister also "created an atmosphere where everyone felt free to say, 'What about this?'" adds Depp. "That's a rare beast in today's cinema. It's all about getting it done: the product and the result."

"Johnny contributed dialogue and drove this project as if it were his baby as well," says Pfister. "That is the kind of collaboration I've always wanted and probably the reason I got into directing — to play with other players."


Follow AP Film Writer Jessica Herndon on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SomeKind
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Beyonce + Seder = Beyonceder And It Makes Passover So Much Better

Passover is the Jewish celebration, commemorating the liberation of Jewish slaves from Egypt. The holiday has lots of different traditions, like only eating unleavened bread and having a seder in remembrance of the hardships faced by Moses and the Jews.

But as with most holidays filled with family, food and fun, it can be improved with a little Beyonce thrown into the mix. Beyonceder is a blog that takes scenes from the Torah or classic images of its celebration and overlays them with lyrics from of the diva's greatest hits. Below are some of the blog's funniest images to spread a little extra merriment this Passover.

Shared from beyonceder using Embeddlr
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Isaiah Rashad Joins SZA In Lo-Fi Video For ‘Warm Winds’

TDE's first lady releases her new video for Z single 'Warm Winds.'
By Nadeska Alexis

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Nas On The Songs He Never Got To Make With Amy Winehouse

Nas had plans to collaborate with Amy Winehouse before she passed away in 2011, the hip-hop legend told HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill on Tuesday in an appearance to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his debut album "Illmatic."

"She had done 'Me & Mr. Jones' on her last album when she was living, which was about going to one of my shows," he recounted. "[It was] a true story -- she told me she was trying to go to one of my shows and something happened and she couldn't make it, so she made a song about it. So this song [that we wanted to make] was part two that she wanted me to be on, and then we had this other song which was a Donny Hathaway remake and it was her idea, so we wanted to do two different songs."

Winehouse died before the duo could complete either collaboration, but Nas sampled vocals from the late songstress in his 2012 song "Cherry Wine."

"She passed and left us 'Cherry Wine,'" he said. "In her way, she left 'Cherry Wine' for me, and [I] was grateful, and may she rest in peace."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Nas below.

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Paul Walker’s Brothers Will ‘Fill In Small Gaps’ In ‘Fast & Furious 7′ Production

Paul Walker's death left a question mark hanging over "Fast & Furious 7." That question mark evaporated last month when the filmmakers revealed they'll use CGI to finish the actor's missing scenes. Now, Universal has confirmed via the movie's Facebook page that Walker's two brothers, Caleb and Cody, will be involved with that process as well.

The exact capacity in which they'll contribute is hazy. Regardless, the filmmakers praised the familial nature of the cast and crew, saying the presence of Walker's brothers on the set paid homage to the late actor.

We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family. Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.

We are just under a year away from the release of FAST & FURIOUS 7, and this film is the most important we’ve ever done together. It will allow the character of Brian O’Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role.

Production on "Fast 7" was delayed in the wake of Walker's death last November. Director James Wan was uncertain how the movie would complete the actor's scenes, saying the character would be "retired' rather than killed off. About a month ago, a source close to the production reportedly told the New York Daily News that four actors with physiques similar to Walker's would be dubbed in using CGI.

"Fast & Furious 7" opens April 10, 2015. Read the filmmakers' full statement on Walker's brothers and the resumed production here.
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Demi Lovato Opens Up About Her Fears: ‘I’m Afraid Of Being Vulnerable In Front Of The World’

Between taking selfies with presidents, rocking awesome hair and acquiring more than 21 million Twitter followers, it's easy to forget that at the end of the day, even one of the world's biggest pop stars can doubt herself.

In a wonderfully brave video made for Clean & Clear's "See the Real Me" campaign, Demi Lovato -- who has candidly spoken about her past struggle with addiction -- opened up about facing her fears and what inspires her every day to move forward.

"I have the same worries and fears that everyone does," confesses the "Neon Lights" singer. "I'm afraid of spiders. I'm afraid of changing my hair and hating it. I'm afraid of being vulnerable in front of the world."

Watch in the video above.

"I'm a warrior. People think that I've got myself together, but I'm actually still a work in progress."

Preach, Dem.
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Nas On Jay Z Battle: ‘Hip-Hop Changed After It’

Nas brought Jay Z out on stage at Coachella last weekend, but 10 years ago both men were engaged in one of hip-hop's most famous rap battles.

"It was something that had to be at the time, but great things came out of it," Nas told HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill in an interview on Tuesday. "Hip-hop changed after it. It became all battle. It became what still goes on today. Battling didn't start with me. The battle thing became really strong -- New York, Philly -- where visually it was everywhere. In the Northeast, there was no songs coming. There were battles. It was a rebirth of hip-hop in a way."

Nas is making the press rounds for "Time Is Illmatic," the new documentary about his album, "Illmatic." The film is set to open this year's Tribeca Film Festival, where Nas will also perform the 20-year-old album in chronological order.

"I knew that it would be an important album at the time, but maybe [it would last] five years from there. Not this far," Nas said.

Watch Nas discuss Jay Z above, and "Illmatic" below. The full interview can be found here.

The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 16 through April 27.

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Can You Believe Def Jam Passed Up On Signing Nas Over 20 Years Ago?

Faith Newman signed Nas to Columbia, but it could have been Def Jam.
By Adam Fleischer

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‘Fargo’ Reviews Are In: How Does The Show Compare To The Movie?

FX aims to re-create the genius of the classic movie on the small screen.
By Craig Flaster

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