Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

Brave

While I’ve never been disappointed with a Pixar movie in my life, some have come relatively close to disappointing. Am I saying Brave is one of these films? No. Did I say that as a hook for the beginning of this review? Yeah, kind of, but don’t feel used! It’ll be alright. Brave, while not the most original film I’ve ever seen, is a very cute movie with enough heart to draw the sentimental types, and enough Pixar charm to draw everyone, because let’s face it, Pixar doesn’t make bad movies. A mistake I made early on in my critique of this film was the unfair comparison that I had drawn to the 2003 Disney film, Brother Bear. As I have said multiple times in my history of reviewing movies, each movie should be reviewed on its own and not compared to another movie, so I will do my best to set aside any preconceptions that I have placed on this film unfairly and just do my job.

First off, casting wasn’t a huge deal for this film, it being animated and all. Of course, the voices are still incredibly important in setting the tone of this film, so the casting can’t be overlooked. There were some surprisingly big names in this list of voices, populated by ones such as Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane, and Craig Ferguson. Kelly MacDonald, the voice of Merida, did a nice job bringing a mix of teenage entitlement and a more grown up definitive sound that brought that independence struggle front and center in this film. Billy Connolly as her father, and Emma Thompson as her mother were well placed, and the chemistry between the characters, while not the easiest to distinguish in an animated movie, was pretty well displayed throughout. The emotion in their voices was evident, and they did an excellent job bringing it out through the duration of Brave.

The plot is where things get tricky for me. This film’s plot feels incredibly recycled to me, but once again, that is a preconceived notion based on the eerily similar Brother Bear from 9 years ago. The only exact similarity is the whole bear thing, and you can’t base a whole critique on one instance. While this plot is a bit recycled, it doesn’t reuse it in a way that would make it feel stale. In fact, in many ways, Pixar has managed to add more heart in this film than could have ever been achieved in Brother Bear. The whole point of this film is independence, and essentially, it’s a coming of age tale. There cannot be a single person that sees this movie that can’t relate to an element of it, even though it is set in Scotland. That’s the great thing about Disney Pixar; they have a way of making every member of the audience find a character with which to relate. Even the parents can see through Elinor’s eyes as she learns a lesson just as valuable as Merida does. The value of trust and compromise in relationships is a big part of this film, and it is depicted very well.

Visually, this film was pretty much straight down the middle of amazing and horrid. It was pretty average. With the wealth of knowledge in the animation department hitting a glass ceiling, they can only go so far with how realistic it looks. The 3D was certainly nothing to die for, and I wouldn’t suggest springing the extra for 3D simply because it doesn’t add anything to the film like Spider-Man or Prometheus does. I shouldn’t condemn this film visually, however, because it isn’t horrible. For what the intended result was, this film is good, but the visuals just aren’t stunning. I could forgive the lack of awe-inspiring shots if it weren’t so obvious in certain places that they were aiming for them (a certain waterfall scene comes to mind.) I can’t say I’m disappointed by the visuals, because I didn’t go in with high expectations, but I feel that Pixar didn’t quite hit the mark that they were so blatantly aiming for, and that is saddening. Pixar has always been known for two things: great movies, and great graphics. The first hasn’t been tarnished by this film, and while the second hasn’t been either, it certainly doesn’t hit the bulls-eye.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a good family movie to see on a day that you don’t have prior plans, or even just a time killer while you’re waiting for something, this is a perfect film for you. It is very relevant to a large number of people, and it manages to encompass a great variety of topics within its short 100 minute run time. However, do not dish out the extra cash for 3D, because it truly isn’t worth it. The casting and the plot both are valid reasons to see this though, as it is a solid film with enough laughs to take your mind off things, and easy enough to relate to. For the kids, the teenagers struggling for some independence, and the parents with teens that are getting to be that age, this is an excellent film, and I recommend you see it together. Hopefully it will clear up some things between you and allow you to reconnect while you’re at it. For everyone else, take it or leave it.

FREEEDOOOOMMMMMMM!!!

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CRAP!!!! I had this WHOLE review written and then when I hit save draft it DISAPPEARED!!! RAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!!!!!!!! /rage So, New Year’s resolution is more movie reviews, so look forward to that! And now it’s movie time!

TRON: Legacy is a pretty good movie, wonderful casting, good plot, but NOT worth forking up the extra cash for IMAX 3D, or any 3D for that matter. The first thing it says when it begins is something along the lines of “Several of the scenes in this movie were shot in 2D and are intended to be viewed as such.” Of course the first thing I thought was what a mistake 3D was.

Now, I’m not against 3D. I mean, I loved Avatar, and that was an example of great IMAX 3D usage, but I hate gimmicky 3D, and that’s pretty much what this movie consisted of. There was no 3D besides when people got assimilated during the light disk battles, and hardly any in the Light Cycle battles, which was disappointing. I expected more from Disney, considering they’ve been great with 3D lately. So my advice is if you’re going to see this, don’t waste the money on 3D when you can get an equally good experience in 2D.

Anyway, this movie is a sequel to the 1982 movie Tron, but if you haven’t seen that, don’t fret! There is a 5 – 10 minute cut at the beginning of the film that recaps parts of the original movie. Sort of a “Previously on…” type thing. Even if you miss that, you aren’t going to lose too much of the story. Sam Flynn, son of Kevin Flynn, is abandoned by his dad at a young age and then his mom dies and then he runs away from his grandparents and then he grows up. There ya go, first 10 minutes of the movie all there for you in one easy-to-read run on sentence! Anyway, when a chairman from the company his dad started, Encom, receives a page from Kevin Flynn, he tells Sam about it, and it turns out his dad has been trapped in the Grid since he left. Adventures ensue, and Sam gets back home with an extra person. I’ll leave it up to you to speculate who it could be.

They had a nice little line-up going for them, with people like Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde, CGI Jeff Bridges, and Garrett Hedlund on board. The acting could have used a little boost here and there, but overall, the acting didn’t really disappoint. I am impressed with Mr. Bridges though, seeing as he stars in 2 of this holiday season’s movies (True Grit and this). Olivia Wilde did a great job in her role, even though I’m still mad at her for leaving House, and Garrett Hedlund did swell as Sam Flynn, although I have never heard of him before.

Graphics were great, bright neon lights, flashy animation, good CGI, the works. EXCEPT CGI Jeff Bridges! He looked horribly unrealistic. You know those plastic dolls? He looked like one of those. Like freakin’ Nancy Pelosi after her botox injection. He didn’t even begin to look real. I guess it’s understandable given he wasn’t real, he played C.L.U., but you’d figure you’d want him to look real. And if Bridges wasn’t in True Grit he probably could’ve shaved the beard and played C.L.U. instead of forcing the CGI himself to play him. Fortunately, the light cycle and light disc battles made up for the poor work on CGI Bridges (now known as “Jeffy”).

Overall, good idea, but just ok execution on the part of Disney. If the 3D had been as expected this could’ve been a recommendation for 3D from me, but since only about a quarter of the movie was actual in 3D, it’s just not worth it. Go see it, by all means, it’s a good movie. Just don’t spend the extra for a 3D viewing. Save that for The Green Hornet, which comes out Jan. 13! That’s gonna be great in 3D. And you will get a review on that movie when it comes out, so look forward to that.

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