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Brave - 6/8/2012 12:49:51 AM   
Empire Admin

 

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Post #: 1
Loved it! - 6/8/2012 12:49:51 AM   
keaneye

 

Posts: 128
Joined: 27/10/2007
From: Dublin
I agree generally mostly with the review, except I don't think it should be marked down a star for not being as ambitious as other Pixar movies. In fact I think this film presents some surprising emotional hooks that you wouldn't come across in your average animated film. As an animator/artist I was pretty much drooling over the all the visual elements. The rich colours and textures, beautiful animation and well developed characters, all amazing. I liked how by the end of the film I felt like I spent a weekend in the castle and the surrounding area, like it really existed. The plot, although not overly complex, is a beautifully told story more in line with a great Studio Ghibli story, or simply an old myth. It's incredible how un- American Pixar have made this film. I'm going to be more than happy to see this again and again.

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Post #: 2
RE: Brave - 9/8/2012 7:24:19 AM   
thedrin

 

Posts: 562
Joined: 9/1/2007
From: Ireland
Typical post-The Incredibles Pixar. Wonderful beginning. A middle and end that's passable and feels like a let down after the great start. As seen in Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3.

I knew nothing about the plot of this film beyond a girl wanting to decide her own fate so the bulk of the story was a surprise. It really didn't work for me.

It looks and it sounds great.

I'm very surprised that a Pixar film's only got 1 other reply by now.

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Post #: 3
Worst Pixar movie ever - 11/8/2012 3:08:58 PM   
duncansby

 

Posts: 15
Joined: 30/9/2005
I must have watched a different movie to empire. This is by far and away the worst Pixar movie ever. The plot is awful, the Scottish accents are grating (and I am Scottish). On the plus side the animation is superb, but after a decent start the film heads into Disney territory with a terrible plot.

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Post #: 4
- 12/8/2012 5:40:00 AM   
nc_jj


Posts: 664
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Oh, hell, Pixar isn't what it used to be, and Brave is not that great, either. But, it's enjoyable. 3.5/4

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Post #: 5
"excellence at a lower ebb" Bollocks - 13/8/2012 12:50:39 AM   
badsanta

 

Posts: 126
Joined: 15/5/2006
From: Shanghai
It's a 3 star film.

Go and see Madagascar 3 when it comes out, instead.

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Post #: 6
RE: "excellence at a lower ebb" Bollocks - 13/8/2012 11:55:15 AM   
maffew


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i've not seen it yet, but it looks remarkably like a Dreamworks film..

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Post #: 7
Just lovely. - 13/8/2012 11:55:22 AM   
JLY119

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 13/8/2012
I loved the themes of this film. I watched it with my mother and just loved the relationships we are shown. I'm also a huge Connolly fan so I had to watch it just based on that.
Pixar is finally returning to strong, memorable characters and giving us a story that sticks rather than the seemingly remixed stories we saw in Cars 2 and Toy Story 3. This film is right up there with 'Up' or 'WALL-E', and I found it really enthralling to watch.

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Post #: 8
Excellence at a lower ebb???? WTF - 13/8/2012 2:44:10 PM   
Jamie_M

 

Posts: 53
Joined: 27/6/2011
It seems to me like empire decide to give a movie a rating, before they even see it,, just review the film as a stand alone piece of work regardless of what film studio it was made by!!
As animated movie's go,, this is fairly average ,, better than Cars 1 and 2 yes, but that's not saying much

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Post #: 9
good not great - 13/8/2012 3:00:06 PM   
sephiroth7

 

Posts: 152
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Disappointing by Pixar's standards.

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Post #: 10
RE: good not great - 13/8/2012 4:34:38 PM   
Wild about Wilder


Posts: 1655
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From: Hertfordshire
Just think unusually for Pixar it was lacking in the humor department, though still better than the rest we've had so far this year (The Lorax!!!)

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Post #: 11
RE: Brave - 15/8/2012 4:52:19 PM   
Phubbs


Posts: 658
Joined: 3/4/2012
Brave

Set in 10th century Scotland this is a fairly reasonable attempt at a dark-ish fairytale by Pixar. Its nice to see some originality being used for the fable and a good effort in keeping some realism or historical accuracy, visually at least, at the same time (I think, looks historically fine).

The film looks tremendous, first thing you notice hands down are the visuals. Pixar have really gone to town here and put together some of the most gorgeous vista's I've seen for some time. Scotland has never looked so magical, colourful and enchanting. The rolling greens, rough Highlands, deep dark forests that harbour little blue will-o'-the-wisp's which flitter around and the fiery red hair of the main character 'Merida'.

To be utterly brutally honest this is the films one and only high point, the reason for seeing it. The story is akin to your typical fairytale of witches in the woods turning people into beasts which works well but I found myself growing slightly bored. Yes kids will love it but for adults there isn't really anything that will grasp your attention like certain other Pixar films.
The film is really aimed at young girls which is quite unique really. The relationship between a young girl and her mother, nothing wrong with that, nice angle but ultimately a bit sickly for the blokes.

I found myself liking the characters of 'Merida's' family more, the comical set of stooges from various other clans and 'Merida's' father voiced by Billy Connolly. These guys were good fun and I especially liked the highland games sequence.

The plot was kinda weak and merely revolves around 'Merida' trying to reverse a spell, its not even explained why the witch screws her over with the spell, just does. Its also interesting to note the film appears to have no real villain either, not really no, this creates issues for a kids film like this.

Family characters and the overall sumptuous feast for your eyes clearly the films plus points. The usual high caliber animation from Pixar naturally but overall the story is kinda thin on the ground, even the musical score could have been better if you ask me.

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Post #: 12
RE: Brave - 15/8/2012 6:34:03 PM   
elab49


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She's screwed over because magic is never an answer and as any genie will tell you you need to be remarkably careful with your choice of words.

She got what she asked for - and it was partly being taught a lesson for thinking magic would solve the worlds ills.

Also, the witch was just a wee bit obsessed with the whole bear thing.


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Post #: 13
RE: Brave - 15/8/2012 10:21:41 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

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In Scotland, King Fergus of Clan DunBroch presents his young daughter Merida with a bow for her birthday. Just after Merida encounters some will-o’-the wisps, Mor’du, a giant demon bear, attacks the family. Merida escapes along with her mother Queen Elinor while Fergus fights off the bear at the cost of his left leg. Years later, Elinor has given birth to identical triplet boys and Merida has become a free-spirited teenager. Her mother informs her she is to be betrothed to the first-born son of one of the heads of her father’s allied clans, and that her failure to marry could harm the Kingdom. When Merida declares she is also eligible to compete for her own hand in the Highland Games, Merida and Elinor fall out. After damaging the family tapestry, Merida flees into the woods. There, the will-o’-the-wissp she met as a child lead her to a witch who offers to help change Merida’s mother’s mind…..


If you’re someone who has read quite a lot of my attempts at reviews, you’re know that I have no shame in going against the grain; the Christopher Nolan Batman films being a good example [vastly overrated]. And so it goes for much of Pixar, the computer animation studio that was a darling of film critics for a long time even though fine work was coming out of rival outfits like Dreamworks and Blue Sky which was usually ignored or dismissed. Toy Story 3 was praised to the skies but I couldn’t see any more than a [still pretty good] rehash of the first two movies in the series. Cars 2 received the worst notices a Pixar film has ever had, but I saw a thrilling and clever action movie that was never dull for a minute. Then again, Cars wasn’t too liked either, so maybe critics have something against cars with eyes? The general opinion of Brave seems to be that it’s a considerable step up from Cars 2 if not quite in Pixar’s top league [their masterpieces to me are Up and Ratatouille]. All I can say in answer to that is, did all these reviewers see a different film to me?

Now Brave is certainly not a poor film, but is a considerably messy one and, worse for a studio whose work often has considerable originality, a highly derivative one too. It was originally planned in 2008 with the title The Bear And The Bow and there seems to have been considerable creative arguments. Sadly, this shows in the final film. The main aim seems to have been to make a more conventionally ‘Disney’ film replete with slight twists of many of the elements you expect from a ‘classic’ Disney fairytale-based picture, but much of the story just comes across as a cross between Mulan and Brother Bear in Scotland. Brave never really escapes the feeling of déjà vu except in a few scattered scenes [the highly atmospheric scenes involving the will-o’-the-wisps, for example]. Even many of its gags are second-hand; the splitting of an arrow by another, for example, nothing new to anyone who is familiar with a certain archer from Sherwood Forest. And how many heroines have we seen struggling with corsets?

The first third of Brave is nonetheless highly entertaining with some good laughs and some well written scenes, though I can’t get out of my head the idea that Merida is a spoilt little brat. Of course she is yet another of these tough, independent heroines who is as tough as the boys and rebels against convention, but this film seems to take the concept to almost dislikeable extremes, unlike, say, Katniss from The Hunger Games [which seems to have, perhaps indirectly, influenced this film], whom you like right from the offset. Still, there are some great sequences like a meeting to present Merida’s suitors which turns into a brawl. Later on, there is a fabulous set piece which combines excitement and comedy brilliantly, a chase around a castle involving a bear which is full of great gags and, though long, never runs out of steam. By then though, the plot has got somewhat confused, and it gets worse with poor concepts, lack of dramatic focus and just, it seems, laziness. For example, the possibly villainous Witch in the story just disappears, and surely they could have thought up a better way to save the kingdom than repairing a tapestry?

No, the story doesn’t really work except when it focuses on the mother/ daughter relationship, which is the emotional heart of the film and allows for some moments which are quite touching. Character-wise the film is actually dominated by Billy Connelly, in a role which really allows him to enjoy himself, as Merida’s father Fergus. He has many great little moments and a few laugh out loud ones, though overall the humour has a tendency to degenerate into slapstick violence. Nothing wrong with that, but I missed the gentler humour of earlier Pixar films, though scenes involving three small kids turned into bears will stay in my mind and make me chuckle for some time. At times Brave is, well, brave enough to delve into somewhat darker waters than Pixar usually do and I almost wanted the whole film to have the feel of the will-o’-the wisp and ‘serious’ bear scenes. In a film which seems to promise lots of action but doesn’t really deliver on that promise, there is some vivid bear action, sometimes involving two bears, which may scare some young kiddies but bothered me more because I couldn’t always see what was going on.

Yes, the trend for cutting ridiculously fast has hit the animated movie [it’ll be shakycam next], and I am so glad I didn’t see this in that pointless gimmick called 3D [something I rarely bother doing now]. Elsewhere, Brave is a technical triumph and even a marvel. Pixar re-wrote their software for the first time in 25 years for this film and it shows in the simply astounding detail [you even see some backgrounds out of focus!]. 3D or not, I felt I could reach out and touch Merida’s gorgeous red hair, and the water, which until relatively recently was something that was a bit of a problem for animation [ at least in terms of realistic water], looks simply astounding. Nor have you probably ever seen Scotland as beautifully evoked as this. The score by Patrick Doyle, which employs a variety of old Scottish musical instruments, is very good and even the songs both sound appropriate to the film and add to it. Not every technical aspect works well though; Merida using the same expression over and over again becomes tiresome, and what’s with all the men looking so ugly and all the women looking so pretty?

This review has been negative than positive, and yet Brave is not bad, it’s just misguided and muddled. Great work has obviously been put into it and it certainly isn’t unenjoyable. The story is told at a decent [fast, but not too fast] pace and it’s never boring. There’s no getting away from it that it’s a disappointment and feel like remixed Disney; there’s even somebody saying “follow your heart”. By the end, it’s heroine has failed to learn anything, and neither will much of the audience from a film which exists in the world of Celtic mythology but seems content to skirt around the edges of it. The Lorax was better than this….by quite a bit.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Post #: 14
A BRAVE new direction for PIXAR!! - 16/8/2012 10:22:53 AM   
Ramone87

 

Posts: 70
Joined: 24/12/2011
Pixars latest forray into pixal glory is a pretty dark fairytale story.

It begins with a rebellious princess named Merida (Kelly Macdonald) who would like to have her own hand in marriage rather than succumb to her stern mothers (Emma Thampson) requests. What follows are good performances from it's leads including Billy Connolly and Robbie Coltrane as Merida who showcases tremendous archery skills in a great slo-mo scene but then she get's caught up in a right mess when she concucts a scheme to change her mothers mind using majic with a bear crazy witch.

The concept is a bit bizzare as the spell goes wrong and Merida has to put things right with her mother. This moral tale is handled well and is pretty hilarious in places as we are introduced to some wacky colourful clans, such as the Dingwalls, the Macintoshes and MacGuffins all crazy hair and wild body proportions so distinct with Pixars style.

Apart from that the 3D is handeld very well indeed, the scottish highlands and backdrops are expeptionally well evoked and minor details in clothing and facial animation are all top notch.

It's robust and a solid effort from Pixar but not a classic by no means, some extra dimension is needed to lift it to a higher realm of say Wall E or UP. But I have to say for once this world felt a bit more real and gritty than most of the previous Pixar efforts which makes it, if you don't mind the pun a brave direction for pixar to take.


Well worth a watch!!

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Post #: 15
A BRAVE new direction for PIXAR!! - 16/8/2012 10:22:57 AM   
Ramone87

 

Posts: 70
Joined: 24/12/2011
Pixars latest forray into pixal glory is a pretty dark fairytale story.

It begins with a rebellious princess named Merida (Kelly Macdonald) who would like to have her own hand in marriage rather than succumb to her stern mothers (Emma Thampson) requests. What follows are good performances from it's leads including Billy Connolly and Robbie Coltrane as Merida who showcases tremendous archery skills in a great slo-mo scene but then she get's caught up in a right mess when she concucts a scheme to change her mothers mind using majic with a bear crazy witch.

The concept is a bit bizzare as the spell goes wrong and Merida has to put things right with her mother. This moral tale is handled well and is pretty hilarious in places as we are introduced to some wacky colourful clans, such as the Dingwalls, the Macintoshes and MacGuffins all crazy hair and wild body proportions so distinct with Pixars style.

Apart from that the 3D is handeld very well indeed, the scottish highlands and backdrops are expeptionally well evoked and minor details in clothing and facial animation are all top notch.

It's robust and a solid effort from Pixar but not a classic by no means, some extra dimension is needed to lift it to a higher realm of say Wall E or UP. But I have to say for once this world felt a bit more real and gritty than most of the previous Pixar efforts which makes it, if you don't mind the pun a brave direction for pixar to take.


Well worth a watch!!

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Post #: 16
RE: A BRAVE new direction for PIXAR!! - 16/8/2012 11:31:22 AM   
st3veebee


Posts: 2353
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From: 9303 Lyon Drive
I loved it. I laughed and cried in equal measure and it looks beautiful. It is however, more Disney than Pixar.


One issue I had was the two terrible songs.

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Post #: 17
Check Out The Way Things Aren't In Focus. - 20/8/2012 2:20:07 PM   
Bighousewill

 

Posts: 244
Joined: 5/12/2009
Agree with the Ian Nathans Empire Review. I loved the round about way he says that the 3D is shit because its all out of fucus. I saw the film in 3D and I was thinking the 3D projector has not been calibrated correctly...or the whole film was a conversion shock horror. I expect more from pixar. A very good film but go watch the 2D one.

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Post #: 18
Pfff..... - 20/8/2012 10:04:25 PM   
faulknerdrummer

 

Posts: 24
Joined: 15/5/2006
1. I saw it in 2D and everything was still out of focus. Spent the first 20minutes constantly screwing up my eyes - very irritating.

2. Just tell me a story, stop trying to teach me a lesson.

3. I came out of the film and said 'I bet whoever wrote that is a woman who looks exactly like the main character'. It felt incredibly self-indulgent. Turns out she's a dead ringer. Check Brenda Chapman out on IMDB if you don't believe me.

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Post #: 19
RE: Brave - 22/8/2012 11:54:49 PM   
TheMightyBlackout


Posts: 236
Joined: 28/4/2012
From: Oxford, UK
It's alright in a sort of largely generic way. Disney's writers have submitted a second-draft/detailed-outline, and Pixar's animators have made it look great. It's certainly better than I feared it might be, but nowhere as good as I'd hoped.

Brave has all the edge of a marshmallow, and at times is just as sickly. It's heart's in the right place, but it lacks sincerity.

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Post #: 20
Merida - finally a feminist-friendly Disney princess - 23/8/2012 5:25:28 PM   
Buttercup87

 

Posts: 4
Joined: 23/8/2012
Agree with Empire's review, the first act is so promising and the rest of the film feels somewhat underdeveloped. At times it felt a little simplistic or lacking in tension, and there is a discovery related to an event that occurs in the prologue to the film which felt unexplored. I couldn't help wondering whether the storyline had suffered from rewrites that curtailed certain plot threads and didn't fully develop others. However, the fact that the storyline felt so original and was still touching despite the lack of romance helped me to forgive its faults.

However I was pleased that it passes the Bechdel Test with more than flying colours. Merida is also somewhat of a feminist icon compared with your average Disney heroine. Granted we've had Pocahontas and Mulan but Merida is properly dishevelled and does not look like your average willowy animated princess. Her hair has a mind of its own and is often tangled up with her bow which is invariably slung across her back, and she rips the satin dress her mother forces her into to enable her to shoot in the archery competition to win her own hand in marriage (go Merida!).

Edit - reviews go on this site. I'm afraid we don't permit advertising of other sites within posts to direct users off site.

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< Message edited by elab49 -- 26/8/2012 2:45:41 PM >

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Post #: 21
It wis braw! - 29/8/2012 11:36:35 AM   
jocklet

 

Posts: 4
Joined: 29/8/2012
Loved this film. Great animation and characters. Plot a bit vague but you hardly cared. No ashamed to say I had a wee 'greet ' near the end!

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Post #: 22
RE: It wis braw! - 29/8/2012 5:56:00 PM   
R W

 

Posts: 337
Joined: 23/6/2006
Following the conclusion of what is perhaps the greatest film trilogy of all time that is Toy Story (although there are talks about an unnecessary follow-up); Pixar continued their line of work with Cars 2 that is considered their first big disappointment; Mr John Lasseter, shame on you! A year has passed after the return of the talking cars, and now Pixar changes their game as they are tackling their first fairy tale, along with their first female protagonist.

Set in the Highlands of Scotland, Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), who is also a skilled archer, defies an age-old custom, causing chaos in her kingdom. After consulting a witch for help, her family becomes cursed and Merida is forced to undo the spell herself before it is too late.

When first announced that Pixar was doing their first fantasy flick, and having a Scottish heroine at the centre, much hype had been given towards Brave, thinking this could be another groundbreaker from the fine animation studio. Previously titled The Bear and the Bow, its original director Brenda Chapman conceived the project as being darker and more mature in tone than Pixar’s previous films. Following creative disagreements, Chapman was replaced by John Carter co-writer Mark Andrews, although the directorial credits do feature both Chapman and Andrews.

As for the final film, it is clear that they soft it around the edges and doesn’t break any new ground in the way that the best Pixar works do. In fact, it’s less Pixar and more like a classic Disney Princess adventure, due to its old-fashioned fairy tale conceit. The tone itself is somewhat conflicted, as the humour is very broad as there are the usual gags that will appeal to the youth, about the Scottish kilts and even the accents (consisting of Billy Connolly and Craig Ferguson), which is vaguely similar to the works of Dreamworks Animation.

At its heart, the film is at its best when delving into the central story about the relationship between Merida and her mother Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson). During the first half, we see Merida who is suffering from her mother’s control, to the point she makes a wish to change her mother and ultimately, Merida’s fate. Whilst not being as good as Up, Brave has a similar emotional engagement, which works on a personal level, as the mother-daughter relationship is truly uplifting, along with a surprising twist that occurs halfway through.

As its primary setting has to look like the land of the Scots despite the humorous stereotyping of its kilt-wearing characters, the animators presents a visually complex world which capture the realistic landscapes, whilst presenting an enchantment towards its forests. With composer Patrick Doyle, who is collaborating with Scottish folk-singer Julie Fowlis, never over-emphasises the Scot-themed music as they do something more contemporary and interesting with it.

Whilst failing to live up to the best Pixar works like Up, and one would wonder what The Bear and the Bow would have been, but Brave is another fine piece of animation from the studio, although standing out more as a classic Disney fairy tale adventure.

PS Prior to the showing of the main feature, there was the short film La Luna, which is not one for laughs, but one for pure imagination that every child and adult will find utterly enchanting. Pixar may have presented their best short film.

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Post #: 23
It Was Quite Good, To Be Honest. - 31/8/2012 10:12:20 PM   
SebMModerns

 

Posts: 30
Joined: 28/6/2012
It has outstanding animation and a decent story line, but I was expecting a lot more from Pixar after their success with Toy Story 3. The characters were OK, but rather stereotypical. Like Cars, it is OK, but a breath of fresh air to entertain people during the time to make way for newer and better projects to be worked on by Pixar, I partially recommend it. (3/5).

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Post #: 24
Great - 2/12/2012 7:33:39 PM   
Magicbigp

 

Posts: 7
Joined: 2/12/2012
Great animation, good story and excellent voice overs makes this a pleasure to watch for adults and children alike.
Definitely one to buy for the blu ray collection

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Post #: 25
An Entertaining Romp, But A Squandered Setting - 25/12/2012 3:15:11 AM   
blaud


Posts: 721
Joined: 13/12/2007
The thing I've always admired about Pixar is the fact they're not afraid to try anything new. Whether it's anthropomorphic animals or exceptional humans, the studio is always testing the water to find new ways to reach audiences on an emotional level. In many ways, Brave is no different: the setting of Scotland is wonderfully realized and the animation looks absolutely stunning. The characters are all multi-dimensional a voicework is top notch, notably Billy Connolly's king. However, for everything brave does right technically and stylistically, it also misses a monumental trick with its' story; it's not bad, it's just very typical. With a setting as unique as Scotland I was expecting a story that was relevant to the location. Unfortunately, the story could be applied to virtually any location around the world, and so long as the voicework was non-Scottish, the film could have been set absolutely anywhere. So Pixar have chosen to not capitalize on their choice of setting, which seems somewhat bizarre, particularly for a studio that is so careful with the quality of its' output. The end result is an enjoyable but familiar experience that doesn't do anything wrong, but plays everything very safe in the process. Regardless, anyone wondering whether this is worth seeing, definitely see it, as it is still funny in the trademark Pixar way.

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Post #: 26
- 14/9/2013 8:54:48 PM   
Uncle_Ethan

 

Posts: 91
Joined: 7/1/2006
More second rate Disney than first rate Pixar - Poor

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Post #: 27
- 14/9/2013 8:54:50 PM   
Uncle_Ethan

 

Posts: 91
Joined: 7/1/2006
More second rate Disney than first rate Pixar - Poor

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Post #: 28
Brave? Eh. - 25/1/2014 8:41:17 PM   
Darren47

 

Posts: 200
Joined: 5/10/2013
The main problem with Brave is the first 2 acts. There just cliched. from the story to the characters, its just been done before. ESPECIALLY the characters. Right down to the triplets. Merida is just Jasmine and Belle combined but a redhead. Queen Eleanor is your stereotypical "old fashioned" mother. King Fergus is a bit of a bonehead. The three kids competing for the hand of the Merida's hand in marriage are a bunch of eye rolling dim wits. And the triplets are just a bunch of sneaky redheads who don't talk that much. Which I will admit is pretty fun and caul. Also, in the first two acts. Merida is just a whiny bitch rather than a likable character. She does this, she does that. It's annoying. Also its just rushed. but what good about it? the animation (duh), some of the characters (mainly the triplets, who (like I said) are cool) and the third act. It get's good (but not really good). Merida isn't that much of a brat anymore. An interesting twist to the cliched twist. And a very interesting ending. SPOILERS AHEAD!!! Instead of finding someone, Merida doesn't end up with someone. Also, the main character has to use peace instead of violence while the mom, who usually uses peace, uses violence for her goal. Thats very unique, I haven't seen that before! I think I would've liked brave better if the first and second acts were more like the third acts. I do recommend Brave, but it's only worth one visit

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Post #: 29
- 20/5/2014 8:37:39 PM   
livapr99

 

Posts: 27
Joined: 7/1/2011
I loved previous Pixar films- save the two Cars outings- and the minute I saw a princess, archery and Billy Connolly, I was intrigued. When I walked out of the cinema, however, I had a very puzzled look on my poor face. All in all, there was about 2 and half minutes of archery, a couple of zingers from Connolly and an over-used Disney trope. I would recommend that you see Frozen- it handles the classic 'Marrying-a-dude-you-just-met' idea with grace, humour and gorgeous song-writing to boot. I was REALLY annoyed by the fact that the plot just wasn't up to snuff. Sorry, Pixar. Good luck next time!

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Post #: 30
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