Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brave 3D Review

At the beginning of Brave, Pixar's newest animated film is a 3D trailer for Despicable Me 2. If you remember the first Despicable Me (2010), it was shameless in its use of 3-D or 3D. And it worked for that movie. The trailer emphasized the 3D with a hilarious use of a party favor by a yellow Minion. So, I was reminded of not so successful use of 3D by Pixar for the otherwise very good Toy Story 3 (2010) You see, Pixar's movies tend not to emphasize the 3D in what I call the snobby use of 3D.

Well, directors Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman seem to know that they were going to film and release Brave in 3D. There's depth. Objects feel like they push out of the screen. The grass looks like you can touch it. The forest has trees that makes the viewer feel as if he is there. Waterfalls throw droplets of water at you. Scotland never looked more beautiful. And yes, there is an occasional money shot where something comes at you. When you feel like you want to touch a Will- O'-the-Wisp, then the movie is special in 3D. I say if you're going to see Brave, then see it in 3D.

Brave is about a royal Scottish family circa 10th century. Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) and King Fergus (Billy Connolly) are raising their family which consists of three young boys and a young woman named Merida. (Kelly MacDonald) Fergus has one handicap. He lost his leg to the gigantic bear Mor'du.

Elnor and Fergus have a duty for their daughter. They mandate that she must marry a prince from neighboring kingdoms to unite the land. Merida doesn't want to get married. However, she is allowed to choose the challenge for the suitors . It's an archery contest, a sport which Merida is an expert in. Merida enters herself in the competition which she wins handily. This angers Elinor who demands that Elinor fulfill her duty and choose a suitor. Merida flees to the forest where she meets a witch who agrees to change her fate. The witch creates a cake that will change Merida's fate by having mother eat it and hopefully change her heart. Instead, it changes Elinor into a bear. The rest of the movie deals with Merida's efforts to undo the spell.

It took four writers to create the screenplay for Brave. Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell
Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi all had a hand in the screenplay with a story by Chapman. This is a pretty simple tale. The movie is only one hour and thirty three minutes. Yet, The movie feels too long. Perhaps, it's the folk songs in the middle of the movie. I hate it when an animated movie throws in a bland pop rock ballad, at least Brave keeps the music Celtic. Additionally, the movie goes off on a tangent by having such a bizarre twist. Change your mother into a bear? It might not be family friendly but it might have been better to have Merida fight Viking invaders.

Still Brave has some funny moments. Like most Pixar animated movies, there's very little in the pop culture jokes. That's good. No cheap laughs here. It also has very loving moments. Merida is a fine model for feminism. She's a woman who wants to choose. She wants to choose her mate and her direction in life.

You could do worse at the multiplex when looking for a family film. Brave is a good family movie that tugs at your heart strings and entertains. The grade is B.

No comments: