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CrastersBabies
06-24-2012, 06:59 AM
Needed a break from the 105 smoky heat and thought a nice, cool theater sounded splendid. I wasn't in the mood for a movie, but Mr. Craster and the kid and I bucked up and went to see Brave.

I have to say, I really loved this movie. It wasn't perfect, but as a mom this really hit home. Most mom characters in these types of films are the "bad guy." The step mom is always out to get the princess, or, the mom is pretty much a non-character.

The way they handled the main character's mother was utterly splendid. Finally, a mom character with something fun to do (and important)! I cried. I hugged my girl. I laughed.

There are some familiar tropes and some very unique stuff too. But, it's Disney. Will definitely be buying this one. And the princess? Finally, one a gal can be proud of.

Ginger Writer
06-24-2012, 08:03 AM
My avatar should serve as evidence enough of my feelings toward this movie.

ladyleeona
06-24-2012, 07:28 PM
I can't wait to get to the theater and check this one out. My parents went the other day and absolutely loved it.

'Course, they said the children in the movie reminded them of me/my siblings. Not sure if that's a good thing or not yet... ;).

gothicangel
06-25-2012, 01:00 AM
It probably a great film, but every time I see a clip I get really angry about the Scottish stereotypes [lived there for 5 years, and will return permanently when I go to do my PhD.] The sets look great though, and they did their research, it's a shame it looks so Hollywood.

Bubastes
06-25-2012, 01:05 AM
Just got back from Brave. I liked it, but didn't love it. The visuals were stunning (OMG, the hair! Knowing how much trouble Pixar had animating hair in The Incredibles, Merida's hair was an amazing technical feat and practically its own character), but the story lacked...something for me. Is it me, or did Brave feel more like Disney than Pixar? I don't know, maybe I expect so much more from Pixar story-wise based on their track record.

ETA: Monsters University looks like a hoot.

Toothpaste
06-25-2012, 01:31 AM
My review here: http://hardcorenerdity.com/2012/06/22/hcn-reviews-brave/

Also gothic, I'd recommend you see it first before judging. There are stereotypes to be sure, but there is also heart and an abundance of charm. Helped by the almost entirely Scottish cast.

DavidZahir
06-25-2012, 03:08 AM
Very charming, with a different plot than usual, plus utterly gorgeous to behold.

AbielleRose
06-25-2012, 03:19 AM
I'm going to see it in a couple hours! I usually don't see movies in the theater because of the cost but this one is too hard to resist. :)

BunnyMaz
06-25-2012, 04:54 AM
Ugh, it doesn't come out here for another two months! :(

CrastersBabies
06-25-2012, 07:52 PM
My review here: http://hardcorenerdity.com/2012/06/22/hcn-reviews-brave/

Also gothic, I'd recommend you see it first before judging. There are stereotypes to be sure, but there is also heart and an abundance of charm. Helped by the almost entirely Scottish cast.

To me, there's a point of being disrespectful (e.g. a racial stereotype that is harmful and painful) and something that's silly and whimsical. I mean, it's a Disney movie.

Smiley0501
06-25-2012, 11:05 PM
I really want to see this but I have no friends who want to go with me & I've read a bunch of reviews that say "meh." Reading this thread though is giving me second thoughts...

nahalwi
06-26-2012, 07:25 AM
I was really looking forward to it and it was good, but I was disappointed that I didn't love it. The beginning I felt was stereotypical for every 'girls' story ever. Pretty girl, hair in the wind, music, riding a horse...Then later it felt a lot like Brother Bear with just a different environment and it felt like they were trying to turn the witch into Zeniba in Spirited Away. I enjoyed the mother/daughter relationship, and it was cute. Just...eh.

heza
06-26-2012, 06:20 PM
I don't mean to sound cynical, but something I really appreciated was that they maintained the theme of family being important but Merida still being a strong, free-thinking girl (and that being a good thing!), without giving into the Disney urge to tack a romantic element onto it. Her suitors weren't appropriate, none of them became appropriate, and an appropriate one didn't fall out of the woodwork at the end.

CrastersBabies
06-26-2012, 06:59 PM
Heza, I also appreciated the family element. The fact that the character didn't need a man and that a prince didn't just pop out at the end to save the day really made me happy. :)

Zoombie
06-29-2012, 06:50 AM
SO GOOD.

My favorite fact is that...it doesn't forget that being a Princess is actually WORK. Like, her mother wasn't just teaching her how to be quiet and submissive for her prince suitor: She was learning diplomacy, statecraft, history, politics...this was cool.

Also, I loved LOVED that neither parent died.

Bmwhtly
06-29-2012, 07:47 AM
It probably a great film, but every time I see a clip I get really angry about the Scottish stereotypes Would it make any difference that my local (North east Scotland) paper gushes over every slight item regarding Brave?
I'd scan in all the articles about so-and-so playing the fiddle for the soundtrack and what's-his-name being a bit part and upload the pics but...
Well, I don't want to rummage through the recycling. So take my word for it that the P&J seems to lurve the film.

Zoombie
06-29-2012, 09:13 AM
It seemed to be gushing with love of the Scottish people and their culture.

Frankly, the animation ALONE is a glorious eyegasim of delicious perfection, which in and of itself shows just how gorgeous the creators wanted to portray Scottland. Plus, at the worst, the Scots are bumbling and slapstick-ey...it never gets into odious territory. And at best, they're delightfully charming and lovable!

Frankly, as far as cultural/racial portrayals go, that's pretty good. Cause, I mean...in animated land, everyone is slapstick.

Cyia
06-29-2012, 03:27 PM
and an appropriate one didn't fall out of the woodwork at the end.


Heh. From the commercials, and since it was obvious that the 3 cubs were her brothers, I kept expecting the "helpful" bear they showed to end up Merida's "true love" trapped in animal form.

I like it when the assumed conventions don't end up being what I think they are.

heza
06-29-2012, 06:55 PM
Heh. From the commercials, and since it was obvious that the 3 cubs were her brothers, I kept expecting the "helpful" bear they showed to end up Merida's "true love" trapped in animal form.

I like it when the assumed conventions don't end up being what I think they are.

At first the premise I assumed reminded me of the "Snow White and Rose Red" fairytale. And then, halfway through, I was really afraid she was going to have to release Mardu(sp?) from his curse, too, and he was going to be her OTL.

I thought it was pretty cool that her dad had this life-long vendetta against Mardu, with the stories and the swearing vengeance, etc. But it's Mom who actually defeats him.

Jamiekswriter
06-29-2012, 08:09 PM
How's the violence/scary factor? My five-year-old son is in love with Meridia (sp?) from the commercials. But I'm worried it might frighten him. He loves super hero cartoons (ie cartoon violence), but the Alvin & the chipmunks meet the werewolf (monsters) scared him. That bear looks pretty scary. He loved Cars2 in the theatre. I was horrified when Pixar killed off Bruce Campbell's car, but he hardly noticed. Are there a lot of bear/violence scenes and is the witch really scary a la Margaret Hamilton and those flying monkeys that still give me nightmares? :D

Chumplet
06-29-2012, 08:27 PM
The witch isn't scary, but the bear is. The bad bear, not the good bear. But sometimes the good bear was unnerving.

I am in the "I Loved It" camp.

Max G
06-29-2012, 08:34 PM
Honestly, I was super excited to go see this movie. I had been looking forward to it for weeks. The hair alone was an amazing feat on Pixar's part. The graphics were incredible. However, the movie fell flat. As disappointed as I was after watching Cars 2. Apparently Pixar and Disney are not making the best team here. The first half of the movie is good, but then it feels like they lost their way and were just grasping at straws. There is no flow. So disappointed. This is not a movie that left me thinking or feeling anything actually at all. The little La Luna clip they showed before the movie was the best part.

Bubastes
06-29-2012, 08:58 PM
Honestly, I was super excited to go see this movie. I had been looking forward to it for weeks. The hair alone was an amazing feat on Pixar's part. The graphics were incredible. However, the movie fell flat. As disappointed as I was after watching Cars 2. Apparently Pixar and Disney are not making the best team here. The first half of the movie is good, but then it feels like they lost their way and were just grasping at straws. There is no flow. So disappointed. This is not a movie that left me thinking or feeling anything actually at all. The little La Luna clip they showed before the movie was the best part.

They changed directors partway through the project due to "creative differences," so that might explain the disjointed feel. I loved La Luna too.

SquareSails
06-29-2012, 09:35 PM
It seemed to be gushing with love of the Scottish people and their culture.

:hooray:

WriteKnight
06-30-2012, 03:34 AM
I felt it was a bit off-balanced. I blame that entirely on the marketing. I had seen a number of trailers online. Going into the film, I had this expectation of story arc

"Headstrong Princess revolts against her mother's insistence she buckle under to traditional roles and marry one of her suitors. Despite her mother's wishes - she proves herself to be the equal or better to any of her suitors, wins her own hand, runs away and...."

And ... what? Exactly?

That was the marketing. Basically they sold us a story based on the first act setup. She defies her mom, runs off and 'somehow wins the day/saves the kingdom/proves her mettle'.

But that wasn't the story at all.

This was a 'buddy flick'.

This was about a journey taken by both Merida AND her Mother - taken TOGETHER. And there is almost nothing in the marketing to lead us to believe her mother has an equal part in the hero's journey.

There's nothing wrong with that story arc, but it took me a while to find my balance. And here's where it happened - exactly.

She runs off into the wood, crosses the threshold - meets the witch/mentor - is giving the magic gift/potion and then.... RETURNS TO THE ORDINARY WORLD - which is not at all like most fairy tales and myths. Okay... that's a little unbalancing. Then she turns her mother into a bear - great. An horrible enchantment, brought on by her own hubris. Classic. - But then, instead of going off to find the answer - going on her own personal hero's journey of discovery - THE TWO of them go off - together - and RETURN - together - and go off, together - in and out of the 'ordinary world'. Very disconcerting.

And finally, for me - the 'seizing the sword' moment - the moment when Merida is supposed to fulfill the prophecy of binding the wound, 'searching inside', - she doesn't really do any internal soul-searching at all. It's more of a last second epiphany. Almost a deus ex-machina, which is slightly less fulfilling than if she had spent some time, soul searching.

Having said all that, the animation was breath taking, the story line daring, the music charming, the jokes funny.

But I think after all is said and done, there is a bit of a 'bait and switch' between the marketing of the story, and the delivery. And that's a conscious choice. One that I believe leaves people feeling a bit... unhappy, unfulfilled, confused... and not sure why.

WriteKnight
06-30-2012, 03:40 AM
La Luna was a marvelous short! Pure Pixar genius.

Wind Ann Wise
07-03-2012, 06:57 PM
I loved the 'La Luna' short. Although I was still confused as to what exactly thier job was.
The actual movie. It made me laugh plenty of times and it made me cry and I hugged my mom real tight during a couple of especially heartwarming scenes.
Another great movie from Pixar!

Tex_Maam
07-04-2012, 09:16 PM
Is it me, or did Brave feel more like Disney than Pixar? I don't know, maybe I expect so much more from Pixar story-wise based on their track record.

I can't claim insider knowledge, but I think you're right on the money.

I mean, when you think about it, if Pixar were really burning with the desire to tell a "girl's story" of whatever kind, they probably would have managed to crank one out in the twelve films prior to this one. They DO have some great female characters (Dory, Jesse, Mrs. I), but they're at most part of an ensemble cast.

Truly, I think Disney must have handed down the order, because there are SO many Disney princess checkboxes in this movie that it's hard not to see them, even when you're enjoying the story. (I did have fun imagining how that Disney/Pixar conversation might have gone, though - http://tex-maam.blogspot.com/ )

In fact, this part here where WriteKnight points out how they banged up the traditional Hero's Journey arc--


She runs off into the wood, crosses the threshold - meets the witch/mentor - is giving the magic gift/potion and then.... RETURNS TO THE ORDINARY WORLD - which is not at all like most fairy tales and myths. Okay... that's a little unbalancing. Then she turns her mother into a bear - great. An horrible enchantment, brought on by her own hubris. Classic. - But then, instead of going off to find the answer - going on her own personal hero's journey of discovery - THE TWO of them go off - together - and RETURN - together - and go off, together - in and out of the 'ordinary world'. Very disconcerting.

--could easily be due to switching directorial horses halfway through, but I also wonder if it's not partly Pixar chafing against the checkboxes. Like, "well shit, so we have to do headstrong princess, girl power, hero's journey, fairytale classic - how can we make this not "The Princess and the Frog" with red hair and kilts?"

-Tex

Toothpaste
07-04-2012, 09:46 PM
Or maybe it was a sincere attempt, like in most Pixar films, to subvert expectations. Like how in the end the princess doesn't get married. Disney's never done that before.

Katrina S. Forest
07-13-2012, 06:52 AM
Just got back from the film. Like many others, glad I saw it, but I liked other Pixar films better.

Good stuff: The visuals, obviously. The music. The fact that both Merida and her mother have their flaws. We kind of want to side with Merida from the previews and think of Mom as the antagonist. But the fact is that Merida acts kinda nasty. And then when it all blows up in her face, she refuses to admit it's her fault. I really like that. It's not that Mom was right after all, but that they both needed to learn from each other.

Less good stuff: The plot only worked because Merida held the idiot ball. "I want a spell to change my mom and change my fate." Really? That's as specific as you're going to get? Because, you know, the witch could just poison the both of you and that would cover all the requirements of your conveniently vague request. Once the audience sees the witch's house, the rest of the plot becomes extremely predictable, to the point that you're calling every plot twist long before it happens.

I understand there were more writers on this film than there usually are? If that true, it might account for some of the "plot by committee" feeling that parts of the movie have.

To end on a positive note, I thought the names of the clans were hilarious. :)

fireluxlou
08-08-2012, 12:02 PM
I wonder how the original story was because they changed the bear to be the mum after the female director was fired. They changed the plot completely for the second half. I know from rumours that she was very angry that they changed the story.

BunnyMaz
09-06-2012, 02:03 AM
I finally got to see it! Been out in cinemas here for a couple of weeks, and today was my first real opportunity to pop out and watch it.

I liked it! The intro scene with the climbing of the mountain and hair blowing in the wind on horseback was a bit on the nose for my liking, but I appreciated the way they followed it up with a hint that there was a reason for her to randomly climb a sheer cliff, even if it was only a token gesture.

I also liked that Merida's mum became an integral part of Merida's arc and story, staying with her throughout it. Nice to see a parent treated as an important part of a child's life in the story, rather than just as a catalyst or distant figure.

Also loved Young Macguffin's accent.

Zoombie
09-06-2012, 02:11 AM
I loved the 'La Luna' short. Although I was still confused as to what exactly thier job was.


Oh, they change the phase of the moon by shifting around the glowing star fish!

onesecondglance
09-06-2012, 11:06 AM
Is it me, or did Brave feel more like Disney than Pixar?

Saw it last night, and this was my thought exactly. The songs in particular were just cringey. It wasn't bad, but it was far from Pixar's best story.

BunnyMaz
09-06-2012, 02:07 PM
Wait... there were songs? I don't recall seeing Merida sing at all...

onesecondglance
09-06-2012, 03:03 PM
She didn't sing herself, but they were plastered all over the montages of her showing how free-spirited she was at the start, bonding with her mother, that sort of thing.

Theundergroundauthor
09-08-2012, 04:56 PM
I loved the film. It's not perfect and not on par story wise with other Pixar movies, but I found it to still be moving and hilarious in places. One of the funnier Pixar movies in recent times (and that's including TS3)

ConnieJ
09-11-2012, 03:22 AM
I have a 7 and 3 year old, and they both LOVED it. My 7-year-old wants her birthday next month to be Brave-themed. LOL As an adult, I thought it was really cute, and I liked the message.

Oldbrasscat
09-11-2012, 05:45 PM
I took my daughter to see it twice. Having family that work in CG animation, the HAIR!!!!!!!!! That was a pile of work! The story, well, it was obvious that there was some sort of hiccup about halfway through the film--must have been when they changed directors. Though I did like that they showed us the mother trying to stay herself even as a bear, then we had to watch her start to lose herself and realize it was happening. Reminded me of Flowers for Algernon, or watching a relative struggle with Alzheimer's.

Our favourite part, both of us being archers, was the arrow swinging sideways during the competition and then they young fellow tipping all his arrows out of his quiver as he walked in circles. I'm embarrassed to say that we have both done both of those things. I hate quivers now to the point where I only use them to store arrows; I just make a pile on the ground beside me and watch to be sure I don't step on them. But it added something to the movie for us.