Friday, July 13, 2012

PCP in Theaters - Brave

I had a chance to catch another flick in theaters recently when we left our son home with a babysitter.  As much as I wanted to see Ted, I still haven't seen that yet, and instead I got to enjoy the Pixar movie Brave.  Between Brave & Snow White and the Huntsman, I have now seen in theaters back to back fairy tale stories.  I wanted to see this movie because even though I am not in the film's target audience, I tend to enjoy Pixar's films.  Unfortunately, Brave wasn't as good as most of their previous efforts, although it was still a good movie.  Out of all the Pixar films, the only ones I enjoyed less than Brave were the Cars movies.  That's not because Brave is bad, but because all the other Pixar films before it have been that much better. 

Brave - 2012, Rated PG.  100 Minutes.  Starring the voices of:  Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, & Craig Ferguson.  My rating:  7.5 out of 10. 

Brave is Pixar's first attempt at telling a fairy tale.  It is the story of a Scottish Princess who has a bit of a wild independent streak in her, and her attempts to avoid the fate of an arranged marriage.  Princess Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald (probably best known for her role in Trainspotting), is as wild and untamed as her hair, to the amusement of her father Fergus (the awesome Billy Connolly) and frustration of her mother Elinor (Emma Thompson).  Merida embarrasses her potential suitors at an archery tournament to win her hand in marriage and flees her mother's wrath.  On the way she encounters a witch (ironically casted Julie Walters, aka Molly Weasley) and gets a spell from her to change her mother's mind about the marriage plans.  Only, as expected in these sorts of stories, the spell does not quite work as Merida had in mind.  It becomes a race against time to undo the spell and save Elinor from a cruel fate.

Read the rest of the review after the jump! --->

Visually, like all the Pixar films, Brave is gorgeous.  The Scotland of the film is lush and richly portrayed.  As you can see in the film's poster above, the animation on the background forest, as well as on Merida's hair, is extremely detailed. Pixar keeps getting better with the level of detail on every film.  Unfortunately, despite the breathtaking visuals, the plot doesn't hold up as well as those in other Pixar films.  In one sense, it is a Pixar film, the story of a person (or thing) fighting against their assigned role in society and dreaming for more (Wall-E or Remy from Ratatouille for example), but on the other side of the coin this film feels far more like a Disney movie than a Pixar movie.  There are elements of Disney films Mulan (a woman that fights better than men), Brother Bear or the Emperor's New Groove (the spell), Tangled (the wild hair, and also she's a self-rescuing princess), and more as a part of the story, making the plot feel less original than the prior Pixar films.  I'm used to Pixar movies transporting me to places I've never seen before, whole new worlds and universes, and here they are retreading countless fairy tales.  In that sense the film is a disappointment.

Despite not necessarily being the most original of films, the film is still well executed enough to make it worth your time to watch.  The story is funny in places and touching in others, and despite being relatively predictable it is still a very fun ride.  I'd see this film again, gladly, and will when my son and any other future children get old enough, but the rest of the Pixar library will come first.


Trailer Hitch - These were the trailers attached to Brave and my thoughts on them.

In keeping with Pixar tradition, a short film was attached to Brave.  It was called La Luna, and it was a cute little short film about a family that is in charge of maintenance on the moon.  It was entertaining, but nowhere near as good as my favorite of the Pixar short films - Presto, which was attached to Wall-E. 

Finding Nemo 3D - Finding Nemo remains one of my all time favorite Pixar movies.  I'd love to have a chance to see this in 3D, but I doubt I'll have the time as the re-release is in the fall when I have grad school starting up again.  Some day I'll own a 3D TV and watch it there I guess.

Monsters University - Pixar is taking its first stab at a prequel in a return to the universe they created with Monsters Inc.  While I'm looking forward to visiting with these characters again, if they are going to make sequels why can't we get an Incredibles sequel?  I'll still definitely see this though.

Wreck-It Ralph - This trailer had me cracking up and travelling down memory lane.  Set inside the world of video games, where like Toy Story the characters are real and have lives of their own, the trailer is worth watching simply for all the video game character cameos.  I saw 4 characters from Street Fighter, one from Mortal Kombat, Bowser, Master Chief, Dr. Eggman, one of the Pac-man ghosts, and several others I recognized.  I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, just because it will probably be a blast to see all the Easter eggs and shout-outs.  This movie also felt like more of a Pixar movie than a Disney movie, ironic as Brave felt like more of a Disney movie than a Pixar movie.  Out of all the trailers, I was most excited for this film.

Hotel Transylvania - This could either be really funny or really really awful.  Given that it's main character is voiced by Adam Sandler, and his track record of late has not been the best, this will probably suck.  If I see this it'll be on DVD.

Ice Age: Continental Drift - (As I previously stated on my review of Snow White & the Huntsman) - Aside from the horrendously awful science this franchise teaches to impressionable youth (having the Dawn of the Dinosaurs come in the 3rd movie), I doubt I'll see this unless I catch it on DVD years from now when my son is older.

No comments:

Post a Comment