Sunday, March 1, 2015
Aside from, you know, The Hunger Games. Which honestly wasn't as bad as we reacted to it, but was still below-par compared to everything else that came out that year.
So after having completely given my opinion on the movie away, let's get into the actual review.
Brave was announced back in 2008, as The Bear and the Bow. That name is a little less abstract than the one they went with, as bravery is central to the plot, and The Bear and the Bow gives away a little too much of the plot.
Now, while Brave doesn't have the same grand scale as its 2012 Disney Animation Studios counterpart, Wreck-It Ralph, it's fairly unfair to compare the two (As I just did) because they're setting out to do two very different things.
Since I'm not going to be talking about the plot, I'll go ahead and start on the visuals.
Pixar re-wrote their animation system for the first time in a quarter of a century so they could create the most complex animations they possibly could. And they pretty much succeeded. The environments look like they're high-definition footage of places in the real world, and I fancy myself a good eye for computer-generated images. Can't wait for off-the-shelf PCs to be able to do that, right?
So anyways, the skin effects pretty much look like they're CGI, but the cloth and hair look amazing. The sheer amount of detail that went into rendering the clothing and hair is simply astounding. Not to mention the amount of detail that went into the rocks, wood, rope, and almost everything that you might take for grated is practically true-to-life, if not literally.
So after having gotten the praise for the animation out of the way, let's criticize something.
There's this one liquid effect in a cauldron that looks like it was ripped from a screen-saver. It looks pretty cool, but it's visually inconsistent with the rest of the film. Granted, that effect is supposed to be surreal, so who knows? That little thing stuck with me, and I couldn't get it out of my head. But that's really the only problem I had with the animation.
Brave is Pixar's first movie with a female director, and a female lead. And nothing really stuck out at me as stupid, idiotic, or offensive. This is a perfect film, with in both content, and running time.
The movie clocks in in ninety-three minutes, and it's not too short, or too long. And a lot of movies that only last an hour and a half come off as rather anemic, like something was cut because the studio wanted something shorter, or something like that.
This is one of those movies that was made for its running time, not taking up too much space, and not understaying its welcome. The pacing is pretty much perfect, from start to finish, and that's something that a lot of movies could learn from.
Now, to the acting and cast.
I recognized quite a few voices, namely those of Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Emma Thompson. Pretty much everyone will remember Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid from the Harry Potter series, and the Bond fans in my audience will remember that he played Valentine Zuckcsky in Goldeneye, and The World is not Enough.
Emma Thompson has been in all kinds of movies, from Agent O in MIB3, to Sybil Trelawney in the Harry Potter movies, to Nanny Mcphee in the eponymous film, to all kinds of other movies throughout the years.
Craig Ferguson played Gobber in the How to Train Your Dragon films, as well as being a late-night talkshow host, and being in a ton of other stuff you might not have heard of, like Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and plenty of what I presume to be obscure movies and stuff. Some of which I didn't even know he did, including 2006's sandbox crime-game Saints Row.
Since the plot is an essential part of the movie, I'll suffice to say that it is heartwarming, touching, tear-jerking, funny, and all those other quotes that people love to stick on DVD boxes. It's very good, and it's something I would watch again.
Hell, when I have kids I'll show them this movie. It's a great film, and I'd rank it up there with The Lion King, Wreck-It Ralph, and Beauty and the Beast as far as some of my favorite Disney movies go.
And now, the soundtrack.
It rocks. That is all need be said. And the best part is that none of the characters ever actually sing during any of the songs. All of the music is just there, and it fits so well. The movie would have suffered if it had been a musical, and I did like several Disney musicals I've seen. It uses Scottish instruments and styling to its advantage, and that's one of the best ways to make me love a soundtrack, is to stick bagpipes into it, and use it well.
All in all, I loved Brave from beginning to end. It's a great movie, and it's definitely worth your time.
Yup, just keep adding to the reasons why 2012 was an amazing year for cinema. I give Brave a 10.1* rating. There's nothing wrong with it that I can find.