|Entertainment News | FlickDirect Movie Database | Exclusive Interviews | Film/Television Reviews | Trailers/Clips | iPhone/iPad Movie App | Movie Showtimes|
|All Reviews||Theatrical/Television Reviews||DVD/Blu-ray Reviews|
- Fast & Furious 6 (Theatrical)
- The Hangover Part III (Theatrical)
- Beautiful Creatures (Blu-ray)
- Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Digital Download)
- Star Trek Into Darkness (Theatrical)
- One Hour Photo (Blu-ray)
Weekend Box Office
|1. Star Trek Into Darkness $70.1M|
|2. Iron Man 3 $35.7M|
|3. The Great Gatsby (2013) $23.9M|
|4. Pain & Gain $3.2M|
|5. The Croods $3.0M|
|6. 42 $2.8M|
|7. Oblivion $2.3M|
|8. Mud $2.2M|
|9. Peeples $2.1M|
|10. The Big Wedding $1.2M|
|Search for other movies|
Top iTunes Movie Downloads
|Side Effects (2013)|
|Identity Thief (Unrated)|
|Silver Linings Playbook|
|The Last Stand|
|Beautiful Creatures (2013)|
|Safe Haven (2013)|
Brave Theatrical ReviewChris Rebholz
This marks the 13th animated feature from the world's most consistently successful film company and the first (for them) set in that version of the past forever favored by Disney, that of princesses, kings, queens, witches, evil spells and puckish secondary characters. For all its beauty, the film's emotional line and dramatic theme are both more familiar and less inventive than what's usually delivered by the studio. Younger kids won't mind, but many viewers accustomed to relying upon Pixar for something special will feel somewhat letdown due to the lack of adventurousness.
Part of the problem is that Brave never becomes the film that seems to be promised at the outset. After a beautiful and eventful prologue in which Scottish princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) receives an archery bow for her birthday, glimpses blue will-o'-the-wisps floating through the forest and sees her father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly), lose a leg to a ferocious bear, the action jumps ahead to her adolescence and her obligation to get married.
Under the strict tutelage of loving but demanding mother Elinor (Emma Thomson), Merida has learned the necessities but is wild at heart, desperate for her days off when she can ride off on horseback and perfect her archery. As for marriage, nothing could be less appealing.
One look at the top suitors from the top three leading clans and you can see what she means; they're the three stooges of Scotland. Once Merida shows them all up in a archery contest and her furious mother tosses her daughter's prize bow in the fireplace, the headstrong girl takes off on her enormous steed, Angus.
It stands to reason that this first half-hour sets up expectations of a story in some way involving a renegade princess, trouble among the clans and/or a mysterious adventure involving the wisps and some Stonehenge-like arrangements that come into play. The odd turn taken by the story might be embraced by those comforted by the familiar, but it's a move that channels the film into startlingly well-worn territory. The typical toothless and haggard old witch (Julie Walters) willing to cast a spell to grant Merida's wish to change her mother so as to alter her own fate.
The spell, lo and behold, turns Elinor into an enormous bear, one that retains Elinor's brain and heart but cannot speak. Thus ensues a lot of slapstick as bear Elinor knocks about in quarters too small for her and tries to communicate while Merida feels remorse and endeavors to reverse the spell.
What results is a film that starts off big, promising a lot but diminishes into something much less endearing as it rumbles along, with climactic drama that is both too conveniently wrapped up and hinges on magical elements that are somewhat confusing to boot.
On a sensory level, however, Brave is almost entirely a delight. The wild beauty of Scotland, of the verdant forests and the craggy peaks, is lovingly rendered with a gorgeous palette of painterly colors. Even better, the voicing's here are among the most exceptional and pleasurable of any animated film you might care to name. The active and uplifting score is another major plus in a film that has played it safe instead of taking chances and going for something new.
Overall Brave is definitely a worthy effort from the crew at Pixar, but like a novice archer, it hits just shy of the bullseye.
Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane
Directed by: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 100 minutes
Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures
For more information about Brave visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. Artwork and photos ©Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
When Chris was but a wee lad growing up in the slums of suburban New Jersey, he happened to rent a little movie called Tron. Then his head exploded. It was at the moment that he realized that he loved movies, and since then Chris has made it a habit of renting movies, going to the movies, discussing his favorite movies, and anything else in between when it comes to that genre. It has been Chris’s passion and hobby for years now and will be for years to come.
© 2006-2013 FlickDirect, Inc. All Rights Reserved. FlickDirect™ and Flick It!™ are trademarks of FlickDirect, Inc. No part of this website may be reproduced without permission. Photos & certain artwork used on FlickDirect™ are the property of their respective owners. Studio logos & other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners. User-posted content, unless source quoted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License.