Mike Dariano

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Frozen (movie review)

The first three paragraphs discuss some plot points but is spoiler-free. The bullet points are more general thoughts.

Thanksgiving weekend we loaded up the family, a cousin, and headed to the theater to see Disney's new movie, Frozen. The movie tells the story of two princesses, Anna and Elsa, one of which has magical powers she must keep secret from her sister after an accident in their youth. Having to keep her power a secret, their relationship cools to the point that the sisters don't see each other until the day Elsa is to be appointed queen.

The coronation day arrives for Elsa and she's able to keep her magical powers secret until her sister declares that she is going to marry someone she just met. Hearing this, Elsa can't control herself and buries their port city Arendelle in snow, running away from the city and her only family, Anna.

Elsa escapes to a high mountain where she builds an ice castle where she'll live alone, but live with her powers known. Anna knows she must bring her sister back to Arendelle, at least to unfreeze it, and departs the city looking for her. On her quest she shortly adds Sven the reindeer, Kristoff the mountain man, and Olaf the talking snowman to her expedition. They arrive, are unable to convince Elsa and Anna suffers an injury that only an act of true love can heal.

That's a spoiler-free summary of what happens, there's more that occurs after Anna's injury but things become delicately arranged like a snowflake. Here are some other thoughts and criticisms.

Is The English Premier League to Blame?

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I read an article recently (which I can't currently find) that talked about the evolution of English soccer/football. The English Premier League is arguably the most competitive of the major European leagues (La Liga in Spain, Ligue 1 in France, Bundesliga in Germany, Serie A in Italy, Eredivisie in Netherlands). However, the quality of international play has suffered. As of this post, the English national soccer team is ranked #14 in the FIFA World Rankings. Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands are in the top six.

Critics have pointed to the dominance of the English Premier League as the cause of the demise of the English national soccer team. The argument is that so many foreigners have come to the league that they have pushed the local English out. More than two-thirds of the players in opening matches in the Premier League were foreigners. Club owners rightfully want the best for their club. If they have the option to chose between a star foreign player or an Englishman a little worse, the former will be chosen. This has caused Englishmen not good enough to play in foreign leagues or those below the Premier League. The quality of play in these leagues are often second-tier and so these players do not experience as high quality play as they could be.

Now personally, I'm all for keeping the Premier League the way it is. I don't think it's the main reason of the demise of the English national soccer team. The Premier League is a global brand, and it needs to stay that way. It's the Mecca of world football. Germany's Bundesliga and Spain's La Liga mainly feature local players, but the Premier League is the most recognized worldwide because of its diversity. To be honest, this benefits England more than the national team's success. Club soccer is bigger than international. Honestly, there are very few hardcore fans of an international team. And by that, I mean the fans that religiously follow the team year-round (not every fourth year during the FIFA World Cup). They should not sacrifice the popularity of the league at the expense of the international team.

Also, the increased quality of play in the Premier League simply means that the English players in that league compete against stronger opposition. Theoretically, this should mean they play a higher quality game and improve more than second-tier players. They are playing the leaders of most international teams on a weekly basis during their club fixtures. Shouldn't this be adequate preparation? I mean, if most of the players in the Premier League were English, the players would be at a disadvantage when they play international teams because they are used to only competing against their own countrymen and not the top players in the world.

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