Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Brave (PG/100 Min.)


I went last Friday to the midnight showing of Brave.  I thought that since this is an animated film opening at the same time as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that I could leave the house around 11:30, get to the theater a little before midnight and still have a shot at my favorite seat.  Boy was I wrong.  The joint was packed!  I think I sat in the third row.  So NOT my favorite place to sit. 
Brave is the story of Merida, a Scottish princess who isn’t quite ready to take on the responsibilities of an adult.  Her parents plan a competition among the local clans to see who will win Merida’s hand – and the rest of her – in marriage.  The main problem?  Merida’s not exactly on board with the whole betrothal idea.  She wants to be the master of her own fate.
Having seen the trailers for Brave I was certain this was going to be a girl power movie.  I couldn’t have been further from the truth.  It’s more about the power of family and the special bond between a mother and daughter.  Yeah, her dad was there too but he is more the stereotypical dad to a young woman.  He spoils her rotten.  Almost literally.   At this point my dad would probably ask where her “rotten” is.  That’s just how we roll.  Fortunately for mom we only see each other a few times a year. 
Merida is your typical tomboy.  Her dad taught her to shoot a bow and arrow at an early age.  She is highly independent and acts more like her dad than her mom would like and her mom tries, sometimes in vain, to train that out of her.  She has three ornery brothers (triplets, Heaven help her mother) who she obviously loves.  She is so very much a daddy’s girl and, at the beginning anyway, it seems as if her mother is just an afterthought to her.  Makes me wonder if that’s how things go in my own family.  If so, mom, I do apologize.  You have never been an afterthought to me.  Even at the ripe old age of 29 (what?) there are still nights I wish you’d hop on a plane and come sing me to sleep. 
Elinor is Merida’s mother.  She is a woman trying to raise her daughter in a man’s world.  You can tell she only wants the best for Merida but they so obviously lack the communication needed for her to convey that message.  They are both head strong women who want things the way they want them and nothing else will do.  They just can’t seem to find the middle ground.  It took me a while to warm up to Elinor.  Her reaction to Merida’s “punishment” ultimately brought me around.  Elinor knew she was wrong and was sore at heart because of it.
The other characters are important but I think I’ll stop with just Merida and Elinor as they are the basis of the story.
Let’s talk about the animation, shall we.  To someone who can just barely draw a stick figure I am always in awe of the talent behind an animated film.  I have been drawn (no pun intended) to the point of tears at the beauty some of these wonderful artists display on the big screen.  They are amazing.  In one of the scenes in Brave I would have sworn that it was a real landscape with Merida drawn in.  And Merida herself.  That hair alone must have been the bane of someone’s existence.  The beauty and wonderful curliness of it almost made me rethink chopping off my hair next month.  Almost.  I live in Oklahoma, a location alarmingly close to the temperature of Hades in the summer.  Oklahoma in the summer.  Not Hades.  Though both are equally hot.  I’m guessing.  Having never travelled to Hades.  Welcome to my ramble, ladies and germs.  So, the hair goes and Locks of Love will benefit from my summer discomfort.
Next let’s talk about the music.  I LOVED it!!!  Enough said.
I’m not going to do the usual break-down because this is a Pixar movie.  I will mention that we saw several male behinds in the film and the powers that be seemed a tad juvenile at times in that they were very focused on one of the maid’s cleavage.  It was quite prominent in a few scenes.  I will even go so far as to say that some of the pastries in the film brought to mind the same body part.  I’m guessing most kids won’t notice that aspect so I won’t press the issue.
If you like a good Pixar movie you definitely need to go see this.  The only thing, really, that I found fault with was that some scenes went on way too long and some went by too fast.  The bear in the castle scene could have been much shorter (it stopped being funny after a while) while the climactic fight scene could’ve lasted more than just a minute or two.  Other than that, I loved this movie.  If your child has watched any Disney film they should be okay with Brave.  As mentioned in several other posts, I wish that the intense scenes were somewhat scary to children in that they aren’t numb to bad things happening but I do very much want parents to take their kids to see this.  I’ll give you a heads up to the two most intense scenes in the P.S. in case you’d like to go ahead and distract your kids a bit or at least be prepared for a reaction.  I will NOT tell you what happens in those scenes.  No spoilers here, folks.
I don’t care what your age is I think everyone should go see Brave.  Except Wally because movies like this are apparently not her bag, baby.
P.S.  For those of you who were wondering if John Ratzenberger was included in this latest Pixar production the answer is yes.  Yes he was. 
P.P.S.  The first “intense” scene happens when Merida and her mom are walking in the ruins.  The second happens close to the end of the film in the circle of stones.  The latter is the scene I was complaining earlier was too short.  Yes, I’m contradictory.  Deal with it.
P.P.P.S.  There is a little something after the credits but I didn’t find it particularly amusing.  You might though.  Who knows?

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