Movie News

Monty Cristo Says That Fortune Favors BRAVE!

Published at: June 15, 2012, 2:14 a.m. CST

Pixar's BRAVE is unconventional in more ways than one might expect. Not only does it feature a female protagonist for the first time in a Pixar movie, but I also found that it hearkened back to the days when animation didn't need a million set pieces to feel substantive. BRAVE tells a simple story that is filled with complex internal conflicts. What results is a movie that I found refreshing, vibrant, and inspiring.

 

Princess Merida (Kelly MacDonald) has grown up the eldest daughter of the king and queen of a Scottish kingdom. Her parents have survived Fatal Disney Parent Syndrome, which usually kills mother or father (usually mother) before (or when) the movie begins. Merida is more focused on her freedom and diversions than the expectations of a princess who has to marry a prince to maintain the peace. Her mother Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), on the other hand, is more focused on adherence to tradition and teaching her daughter that things must be as they have always been for the sake of the greater good. It worked out fine for mother, so the same should be true for daughter...right?

 

Based on that setup, think of this not as a "Pixar" movie, drawn from their magical well of instant genius, but rather, Pixar's take on a "classic Disney" movie, just as THE INCREDIBLES was their take on superheroes and WALL-E was their take on existential sci-fi.

 

Princess Merida's father (Billy Connolly) is important to her and to the plot, but it's Merida's relationship with her mother that is the core of what BRAVE is trying to do. The progression of that bond between parent and child is the essence of the movie. They know each other better than they think, to the point of not realizing that it is both of them who need to grow as people, not just the "other".

 

The economy of the dialogue, flashbacks, and narrative threads are just enough material to give us a fully-formed portrayal of a nuanced (though still archetypal) relationship between the two. Thankfully, it is not heaped on such that we are beaten over the head with excessive compulsory detail and exposition. The presence of magic and other traditional elements of fairytales and "Disney Princess" stories do not belie the fact that the script breaks from many deeply held patterns of the form.

 

The most prominent break from the norm for most viwers is that Prince Charming never shows up, and saying that spoils absolutely nothing.

 

Unlike the princess stories that we are used to seeing on the screen, there is no dashing, idealized, unrealistic male surrogate for boys to pretend that they are and for girls to (possibly) hopelessly search for in vain from their adolescence on through their adult lives. The male characters of BRAVE are, unlike their brethren in other feudal stories, "hack and slash first, ask questions later", rather than anachronized wise warriors who are moral paragons. In this story, cunning intelligence is a stronger force than brute strength.

 

If you ask me, the climactic triumph of the story does not involve weapons or high action, but rather, a crucial scene of spoken and unspoken communication between mother and daughter. That's like making a diplomatic meeting at the Potsdam Conference the climax of a World War II movie. It seems nuts relative to conventional wisdom, but it's an interesting solution because no one does that. That's a great hook, but it still has to work. For me it did, because BRAVE doesn't simply ride on that novelty, but charges forward from it as a starting point, and tethered to it as a throughline. As a result, the beats of the story do not match what we've been conditioned to expect from an action-adventure movie, which is what BRAVE generally looks like from a distance. Its dark secret that is ok to talk about is that the movie is much more intimate and efficient than that.

 

What many consider the Disney template for this sort of story (more often than not including an absent mother and a doting father) is discarded in favor of a different formula. That may not sit well with those who've become fully adapted to strictly digesting variations on that aforementioned recipe. I fully expect many to react to this like an unexpected, substantive dose of fiber.  To that I say: it's about time.

 

As much as I love Disney animated features from the golden era(s) for their artistry and craft, there are plenty of details that make me cringe in retrospect. Remember Princess Aurora meeting a stranger in the forest, singing a duet with him, and then just walking off with the random fella?

 

For the most part, the only alternative to this kind of story has been the symbolic pseudo-empowerment of heroines, done as recently as SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and 2010's ALICE IN WONDERLAND (among others). It's the "let's give her sword" version of empowerment. Just add sword, and we're good. Misogynist, patriarchal social construct defeated.

 

I'm convinced that untold amounts of damage has been done to young girls' confidence and sense of identity for years due to a scarcity of compelling mainstream stories about breaking with traditional gender roles. Frankly, I would say the same for boys, but more on that in a bit. This is all thanks to what I call Princess Movie Syndrome: the inculcation of the notion that "someday your prince will come", so you should just wait for happiness to find you rather than go find it yourself. Finding things yourself can be scary (see also: dangerous!).

 

BRAVE is about a young woman standing up and taking the reins of destiny herself, and learning that though the path is not easy, at the end of that journey can lie the greatest reward. In advance of seeing BRAVE, I had read and overheard people speculating that guys won't be able to relate to the mother-daughter relationship. Not only is that terribly reductive, but it couldn't be more wrong. This is a picture that is generally about a gender agnostic parent-child relationship, and is specifically about you becoming whom or what you want to be, regardless of who or what you are. The script is based in simple "to be" verbs wrapped in uncomplicated action verbs. That lack of clutter is a blessing in a genre replete with needless windowdressing more often than not, but it may be misunderstood for a lack of sophistication.

 

Once again breaking with expectations, Pixar has told a story that is more profound and advanced than its basic components might indicate when unassembled. That the design of the film, from the visuals to story to message, is so precise and intentional without a bend toward expectation, it makes the dedication to Steve Jobs in the credits all the more apt. BRAVE may not be made the way you would have made it, or feature everything you thought it would or think that it should based on your uninformed speculation, but all of that misses the point. If calling something Jobsian is a thing, then this is most certainly a Jobsian finished product. The movie is fundamentally about being brave, specifically like one of The Crazy Ones.

 

The voice performances of all involved are wonderful (as has always been the Pixar trademark), especially MacDonald and Thompson. Connolly proves that, had they not cast him, Pixar would've needed their brain trust checked, and the trio of local lords played by Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coletrane, and Craig Ferguson inhabit their archetypes just to the edge of being too familiar.

 

BRAVE is not just something that girls need to see, nor is it a story that only children should take to heart. BRAVE is a worthy standardbearer for the Pixar tradition, and a sterling return for them to original features. I want to see it again, and would go tomorrow if I could. I teared up more than once, and those tears were earned.

 

 

One last note...

 

I'd like to caution all readers to beware possible spoilers in the Talkbacks, and ask that all of you who have already seen the movie please refrain from spoiling the shift that occurs in the second act. It's something you should NOT have revealed in advance of seeing this movie, regardless of what other writers and tweeters online may decide is ok to ruin for you. The couple sitting next to me mentioned to each other how glad they were the ads didn't give away anything after the first act.

 

I agree that these are all things that are integral to your first experience with the movie. You never know when one person will go rogue in there, so again, I'd recommend extreme caution with the Talkbacks until you've seen BRAVE yourself. I have the Delete Hammer warm and ready right next to the Ban Hammer.

 

UPDATE: bunion boy and hewliganshaircut did good by everyone mentioning in the TBs that the toys and other tie-in merchandise, like the Art Of book, spoil what should be unspoilt. Be advised.

 

BRAVE arrives in US cinemas on the 22nd of June.

 

 

Moisés Chiullan
“Monty Cristo”
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Readers Talkback

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  • June 15, 2012, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Well written review...

    by Y282

    Looking forward to seeing this, i suspect ive guessed the twist but i'll keep schtum.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:22 a.m. CST

    Bloody hell...

    by Y282

    I was first?

  • June 15, 2012, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Foist?

    by wcolbert

  • June 15, 2012, 2:24 a.m. CST

    But yeah I'll definitely give this a watch

    by wcolbert

    With the exception of CARS (I didnt watch the 2nd one)...I have yet to remotely dislike a Pixar movie. They've earned our viewership.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Twist spoiled for me by toys

    by Bungion Boy

    Was at Disney World last week and while in the gift shop, I saw the toy set for Brave. There were a few action figures that basically spoiled the whole movie for me. Shame on you, Disney.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Spoiler - in the Art book

    by HewligansHaircut

    Regarding the 'spoiler' shift that occurs in act 2. I saw the 'Art of Brave' book and think that gave it away... So - don't read those books either.... But hey, I aint mentioning it here.....

  • June 15, 2012, 2:39 a.m. CST

    bunion boy, hewliganshaircut

    by Monty Cristo

    Good on you both for pointing out these spoiling opportunities. Updating the spoiler warning to include test and crediting you both. Wife will kill me when she sees how late I stayed up writing this.

  • *Brave: The Junior Novelization retells the whole exciting story and features eight pages of full-color images from the movie!* No spoiler credit required!

  • June 15, 2012, 3:39 a.m. CST

    Now that is a good review. Plant?

    by onezeroone

    Got me interested in the movie without spoiling anything. Was afraid this was more Disney than Pixar. Plants take note: THIS is how you write reviews to get people interested in a movie.

  • Darby O'Gill, while fun, doesn't count! That said, Brave is based on a people who were, essentially, Irish immigrants to Scotlands, the people known as The Scoti..... So, you learn something new everyday!

  • June 15, 2012, 3:47 a.m. CST

    onezeroone

    by Monty Cristo

    I tell you, nothing would thrill me more than to be planted in the inner workings of a company like Pixar. Alas, I'm just a mere Sleestak chained up in Harry's Basement. Please inform all the plants that my going rate for training on review writing is very expensive, but well worth it. Sleestak needs a new pair of...claws. Thanks for what I'm taking as a compliment. Wait until I post my FLICKA 3 review. It is the opposite of everything you just read to the extent that I spoil that entire movie.

  • June 15, 2012, 3:49 a.m. CST

    So it's a chick-flick? Unbearable!

    by Flutchy

  • June 15, 2012, 3:51 a.m. CST

    Good review

    by Octaveaeon

    You're a keeper.

  • June 15, 2012, 4:06 a.m. CST

    octaveaeon

    by Monty Cristo

    YOU are.

  • June 15, 2012, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Just realized I missed a couple tiny bits

    by Monty Cristo

    I made a couple of small additions after "final" drafting this in Scrivener and copy/pasting to the site's backend, but making the edits in Scrivener. It's been updated in the article now. Finally going to sleep.

  • June 15, 2012, 4:32 a.m. CST

    I disagree - verbose, and term-paper-y

    by MisterManReturns

  • June 15, 2012, 4:36 a.m. CST

    what uttter bullshit

    by mark e rogers

    Jesus. Gimme a break. Brave sounds like a giant bunch of absolutely gold-plated feminist bullshit. We're supposed to think that it's breaking new ground because we've got a female buttkicker? How completely self-deluded are you guys? You've been pushing this utter crap for quite a while now, and Brave sounds utterly, utterly orthodox. Cliche, cliche, cliche. How many times have we seen stuff about how women are just as tough as men? Yeah sure, I know, if my life depended on it, I'd like be backed up a girl if I was in a real hairy situation, by which i mean Shuri Line or Pelelieu hairy. You're totally in la-la-land. You're the sorts of idiots who'd have our special forces populated by women. You'd buy into the idea that Demi Moore would be a great Navy Seal. You ever hear the one about the truth must be preferred? Why don't we let women fight men in real boxing matches, and the UFC, and let women compete against men in the Olympics? Man, I would like to see that.

  • June 15, 2012, 5:05 a.m. CST

    Oh my god zorachus! Your right, they made a film aimed at females...

    by Big_Bubbaloola

    .....an animated one at that! And one that males might enjoy as well! Oh the humanity! Oh the heresy!

  • June 15, 2012, 5:07 a.m. CST

    @Monty Cristo: very nice work fella....

    by Big_Bubbaloola

    That was a very well written review, I enjoyed it. As someone else said, you are a keeper. Kudos.

  • June 15, 2012, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Very nice, a grown up review, much appreciated

    by catlettuce4

  • June 15, 2012, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Who the fuck is this guy...?

    by ScriptCunt

    and where the hell does he get off writing a coherent and thoughtful review on *this* site? It could at least have used a "*giggle*" sprinkled in here and there...

  • June 15, 2012, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Very nice review - Thanks :)

    by buffywrestling

  • June 15, 2012, 7:56 a.m. CST

    sold me now ..

    by Beniffer

    I will now see this .. if not for a weak offering weekend. Zorachus ... well .. I tend to agree with some of what you are saying, however, not in the way you are saying it. Mostly though because some things you say are just facts. Are women physically superior? No. Do you have to rub it in their faces to feel superior about that? No. I agree woman self praise is over the top at times, however, men do the same. UFC is a perfect example of how we do it. Really, when it comes down to it, I think this movie should/would/will be something more of a Miyazaki like experience for a female lead. Now, will it be on par with a Ghibli release, who knows, I doubt it. Hopefully the story and characters will have the subtle workings of a Miyazaki release. GI JANE? please ...

  • June 15, 2012, 8:02 a.m. CST

    GREAT review

    by Hil

    Thank you for an extremely thoughtful review. I am very excited to see this movie next week.

  • Too much of that kind of thing makes it sound like you're trying to dispel disappointment. But I'm with you on the "let's give her sword" syndrome. I've never understood how "act like a stereotypical boy" is empowering. One cringeworthy moment is in "The Long Kiss Goodnight", when action star Geena Davis delivers the zinger "Suck my dick" before killing the bad guy. In other words, "I'm so tough, I may as well have male genitalia, which is the very definition of toughness". That's female empowerment, eh? Ahem. Anyway. Well written review. Still looking forward to seeing it, but a lot of hedging here hasn't eased my trepidation.

  • June 15, 2012, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Great review!

    by ultragoregrind

    I'd love to see your reviews more often MC. That said, I'm a huge fan of Pixar and planed to see this regardless.

  • June 15, 2012, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Thank you for the heads-up on spoilers!

    by originalmemflix

    I wish more ainitcool writers took this approach.

  • June 15, 2012, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Review needs more childhood flashbacks and hyperbolic language

    by kidicarus

  • June 15, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    I can't wait

    by dukeroberts

    I was going to see this anyway. And, I have no problem with traditional gender roles. Also, don't pick on Sleeping Beauty. That's a great fucking movie.

  • June 15, 2012, 9:18 a.m. CST

    WTF Monty?

    by entrainer

    "The male characters of BRAVE are, unlike their brethren in other feudal stories, "hack and slash first, ask questions later", rather than anachronized wise warriors who are moral paragons." Great, another demeaning stereotypical portrayal of men eh? Another propaganda piece to brainwash children into unnatural gender roles. Takes a lot of social engineering to overcome millions of years of DNA. Better start them young. What is wrong with having respect for men? I have respect for women. Let me put it this way. I know of NO woman who would jump in front of a bullet to save a man. But many men would sacrifice themselves to save a woman. Isn't that the definition of character? Self sacrifice?

  • Does Princess Merida pull a 'Sleepaway Camp finale' or something?

  • June 15, 2012, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Ok wait...

    by Dkev00

    This is an intelligent well thought out review. But all I really need to know is whether or not my 8 year old niece is gonna like it. I think you guys forget these movies, as great as they are, are made for kids.

  • June 15, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST

    @dkev00

    by Sequitur

    Your 8 year old will like it... But I disagree that these are made for kids. Pixar doesn't see it that way. They make quality films for the whole family.

  • Granted, M3 was light-years better than M2, but Dreamworks holds very few (2 - Shrek and How to Train your Dragon) candles to Pixar. Da-da-da-da-da Afro Circus, Afro Circus - polka dot, polka dot, polka dot afro. Granted, my 7 year old loved it, but we're all looking forward to Brave.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST

    'Disney Fatal Parent Syndrome'

    by GrabtharsHammerPants

    The constant whining about this non-issue bothers me. The original stories that were adapted into Disney films already had this feature 'built-in'. Snow White and Cinderella both came from dead parents and raised by step-mothers well before Disney made them into animated features. Bambi's mother was killed in the book the film was based on as well. Aurora's parents were revived at the end of the movie. The Darlings never got snuffed. Children grow up, parents die. These movies show real issues that happen in the life and development of a child. The characters grow through their obstacles and are shown to be stronger for it. Harry Potter, Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Tarzan, and Luke Skywalker (sorta..) all would not have become the heroes they were meant to be if their parents were alive. Picking on Disney for using a WELL WORN centuries-old story archetype is really just trolling. Hell...it's not like their parents were found locked in a refrigerator or something.... Other than that, great review.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    One thing that bothers me about the portrayal of Irish people

    by wcolbert

    You're constantly hammered over the head with this image of a ghostly white redhead with freckles. A great many irish people have darker skin tones and brown to black hair. There are light irish, and there are the "dark irish" - the isles were flooded with genes from various different areas, including the romans. Yet, "Irish" has become almost synonymous with being freakishly pale covered in freckles, with red hair and other stereotypes such as drinking.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Any of you take your kids to the theater . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . as eary as 3 years old? My twins LOVE animated movies and I'm dying to take them to their first theater experience.

  • June 15, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Lesbian training film for little girls

    by Raptor Jesus

    I'm not saying you can't make a childrens film with a strong female lead. There are LOTS of them. This is not one of them. This is 'boys are stupid, throw rocks at them, I'm better than them, I don't need them'. Taking a little boy to this movie is child abuse. And we wonder why we have a generation of self-centered, hateful, narcissistic women. It's because they've been trained that way since the day they were born.

  • June 15, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    entrainer & grabtharshammerpants

    by DrMorbius

    Excellent posts, well stated good sirs.

  • June 15, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    drmorbius

    by GrabtharsHammerPants

    Don't lump my post in with entrainer's mysogynistic, chauvinistic rant. Gender roles are bullshit. Next thing you know he'll be ranting about how the 'homo' and 'fag' agenda in Hollywood.

  • This one I'm seeing with my daughter. Can't wait!

  • June 15, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST

    wow...

    by GrabtharsHammerPants

    ....that should read "how the 'homo' and 'fag' agenda are ruining Hollywood." Unnatural gender roles? Seriously? Don't know a woman who'd take a bullet? Who comes up with this horse shit?

  • June 15, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    "...untold amounts of damage..."

    by mysteryperfecta

    Yes, because there's not enough proper KIDS MOVIES to show our children the light. All other influences be damned-- our culture has suffered incalculably from lack of more cartoons.

  • June 15, 2012, 12:45 p.m. CST

    I still find it odd that they have silk gowns in medieval Scotland.

    by Royston Lodge

  • June 15, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST

    ciderman: How about a Pixar remake of Leprechaun?

    by Royston Lodge

    ;-)

  • DC Entertainment likes getting beaten to the punch. Laggers.

  • June 15, 2012, 1:27 p.m. CST

    No mention of the Director shuffle?

    by StarWarsRedux

    Shame. The main reason I'd been looking forward to this originally is because it came from one of the directors of "Prince of Egypt", a criminally underrated American animation effort. After she was booted from the project that she had created, it just left a sour taste in my mouth. I'd like to keep an open mind, but eh... <p> <p>Only other thing I'll say is Steve Jobs really needs to be reappraised as something less than a magnanimous corporate titan.

  • June 15, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    SPOILER: The second-act twist is a nude scene. Hubba hubba!

    by jawsfan

  • June 15, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Medieval Scottish warrior woman nude scene? Ewwww....

    by Royston Lodge

    I'm thinking hair, and dirt, and stink. Ew.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:23 p.m. CST

    starwarsredux

    by Monty Cristo

    Brenda Chapman gets a very proper credit, and from word that came from the wrap party, there has been a great mending of fences. I'm a big fan of The Prince of Egypt (goes with being named Moises...Moses in english). I was glad to see her credited as director just after Mark Andrews. Please don't misunderstand the Jobsian talk, I acknowledge that, having worked for Apple for a few years, that he could be an enormous jerk, and he was far from a perfect human being. There was loads of good stuff about him too. I mean the comparison simply in terms of the results he managed to achieve, and the style of design he engaged in and propagated across Apple as well as Pixar.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:24 p.m. CST

    sweeneydave

    by Monty Cristo

    Very sincerely: thank you. Also: bring your son. Doesn't matter how old he is now either.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    grabtharshammerpants

    by Monty Cristo

    I didn't necessarily mean that Fatal Disney Parent Syndrome is a universally horrible thing, and I'm well aware of how that was baked into the source material of loads of classic lit. What I was getting at is that this is a nice change of pace, and was more directly making a joke, not assailing them wholesale. I really do love Sleeping Beauty and many other (original) golden age Disney classics, as well as the real life experiences tied to dealing with having deceased loved ones at an early age. Random personal fact: I watched my grandfather have a silent, fatal heart attack when I was four years old. Believe it or not, those Disney movies that dealt with a missing parental family figure were a major coping device for me. I love those movies, but I like the opportunity to shake things up and diversify the parental/familial structure in the stories we see.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Astoundingly good review

    by david starling

    I have to say Monte Christo, that was astounding - not just for the fact that you liked the movie and articulated yourself to explain why, but because you show a great passion for explaining why. Heck, you'd even make a person want to see a movie your didn't like!! I missed Cars 2 (I really dislike the first one - I was at EuroDisney this week, and when in the stunts show Speed McQueen made an appearance, I cringed. Thankfully, it was brief!!), but I will go and see this. Liked the trailers, and all the clips I've seen so far. I tend to prefer Pixar when they go against the 'norm' (I loved Ratatouille, and Up!! as well, and The Incredibles), so it sounds like this will appeal greatly,

  • June 15, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    @Monty

    by StarWarsRedux

    Re: Jobs-- I'm talking more about how, even given ample opportunity to set a real example for corporate America and live out the seeming ideal of his supposed utopian ambitions with Apple, he decided to run things according to the same third-world slave state factory conditions and general "me first" business greed in general. If he'd maintained some factories in the US and provided more jobs here, or if he'd made certain to play fair and use factories that provided decent wages and safety regulations for their workers, that would've made a real difference. More than the so-called revolutionary design of his products, anyway. <p> <p>Granted, I don't mean to raise a stink about the guy, and there's plenty of other industry/media titans who should be setting a better example than all the third-world production modeling that's inhumane to the workers over there and unfair to those out of work over here. Maybe I'd be a bit more easy on him if he devoted more of his time and money to philanthropy, as others of his generation and before have. Hell, even Andrew Carnagie made up for his sins with more than good product. <p> <p>Re: Chapman-- I'm aware that she's credited, but it's not really her work in the film anymore, is it? It's a bit like how that other guy was given a co-director credit on "Ratatouille"-- nobody for a moment questions whether that movie is Brad Bird's or not. It's just there to mend fences, and maybe prevent any legal troubles. And without judging sight unseen, I'm always going to wonder if the movie would've turned out differently with her in the lead, in earnest. From the trailers, a lot of it looks like it has a great deal of silly humor I can't abide in the Pixar films. Maybe there would've been just as much of that under her (there's a few silly bits in "Prince of Egypt", after all), but the question will always linger. <p> <p>Thanks for replying, any rate.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Montycristo: Unfortunately, You'll be Fired Before Long...

    by Read and Shut Up

    ...simply because your review was really well constructed and written. You KNOW Harry can't stand for that type of stuff at AICN. :-) Nice work.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:51 p.m. CST

    entrainer - regarding "negative" male portrayals

    by Monty Cristo

    I never said the men in the story don't grow over the course of the story. BRAVE is very much about positive growth of everyone involved. Everybody starts with some sort of ignorance that they outgrow. The "men" in many fairy tale stories don't change at all over the course of the story, which I think is tremendously boring and unrealistic, and honestly...demeaning to our capacity for improvement as men. The men here make up nearly the entire supporting cast, and though they are often the foci of comic relief and slapstick stuff, taking the backseat to Merida and Elinor, they get a reasonable amount of attention befitting supporting characters. And for what it's worth, I know loads of woman soldier who've taken bullets for men. I think they'd have a bone to pick with you.

  • June 15, 2012, 3:04 p.m. CST

    velvet_sloane

    by Monty Cristo

    Thanks for the nice words! You know, I went ages without seeing CARS until last July, when my father-in-law said "oh, we've gotta watch this if you haven't seen it". He is an avid NASCAR fan and loves CARS. He told me before popping it in, "just accept that it's a movie with talking CARS that's just about stopping to smell the roses". I did, and I enjoyed it a great deal, actually. It is definitely not for everybody, just as the existential meditation that is WALL-E is not, nor is the savoring of RATATOUILLE. I know some people who outright hate THE INCREDIBLES. Since I'm on a tangent here, I think a fair number of negative reactions here in the States to the first CARS movie comes from guys who didn't grow up obsessed with matchbox cars and NASCAR and that sort of thing, which is totally fine. They were like me, and into sci-fi and fantasy and comic books and so on. They subconsciously think "this movie is for THOSE kinds of guys that I grew up hating/looking down on/disliking". That's honestly why I took five or six years to watch it. I don't think the movie is perfect by any stretch, but it was perfectly enjoyable to watch. I actually really enjoyed that CARS 2 represents one of the weirdest genre mashups since the heyday of Roger Corman cult classics: the car race spy movie. That doesn't mean I ever care to see it again, but that novelty got me through watching it the once. I think it's decidedly uncool to think that young kids are stupid for liking it. They don't like it because it's a great movie or coherent, but because it's the definition of reckless abandon and is pretty silly all around. Thanks again, and keep Talkbacking

  • June 15, 2012, 3:14 p.m. CST

    @starwarsredux

    by Monty Cristo

    I don't want to comment on the rumor and speculation or engage in too much "what if" about Brenda's vision of the movie. Everything I've heard has been rumor and hearsay, and I don't think it's fair to anyone involved to go spiraling down that rabbit hole. It's my more direct understanding that she not only attended the wrap party, but she also made a very heartfelt speech that was well-received by all. That sort of thing doesn't happen when there's loads of bad blood or something is fundamentally changed from the original concept. Just my seven and a half cents.

  • June 15, 2012, 3:15 p.m. CST

    @readandshutup

    by Monty Cristo

    That is precisely why Harry brought me on, that and my experience planning and executing events. We'll have some fun stuff that Harry and I have cooked up to announce soon.

  • June 15, 2012, 3:15 p.m. CST

    composite_ghost

    by Monty Cristo

    Did you really just unintentionally make a Monty Cristo Sandwich joke? Hoo boy.

  • June 15, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    @raptor_jesus

    by Monty Cristo

    This is not a War on Men movie. If anything, the inevitable Fox News headline will be War on Traditional Values, and the anchors will assume that it's teaching girls to be lesbians like you're saying, since the "feminist agenda" is all about how empowerment must mean ball-busting bitches who only like ladies. Merida is very feminine (albeit tomboyish), and breaks from this empowerment stereotype you describe as well. If anything, this movie is a massive self-confidence "I can succeed" story. It'd be child abuse to withhold it from your kid.

  • Does the movie live up to that as well? Monty Cristo, part of your review makes me worry about that a bit. It sort of sounds like we've gone from having, say, the oafish, sexist "Gaston" and the noble, princely "Beast" and the silly, goofy dad as the male characters in a Disney movie to just having the "Gaston" and the dad. Is that really progress? I am intrigued by the mother-daughter relationship, and I'm very pleased that both parents are actually alive and in the picture for once, heh.

  • June 15, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    @frisco

    by Monty Cristo

    They are oafish and childish, but they get to grow too.

  • Directed by Brad Bird? I would love to see a Pixar X-Men, but that ain't gonna happen with the rights wrapped up.

  • June 15, 2012, 4:34 p.m. CST

    with the exception of Cars, Pixar owns my ass

    by antonphd

    the only Pixar movie I haven't seen is Cars 2

  • June 15, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST

    entrainer - you are one ignorant mother fucker

    by antonphd

  • June 15, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Dang it Monty!

    by John Ary

    Stop making everyone else on this site step up their game with concise well written reviews. You're making us look bad. Well done.

  • June 15, 2012, 5:26 p.m. CST

    To everyone whining about how stupid the males look in the trailers

    by StarWarsRedux

    Look at it this way. Disney movies have ALWAYS given the short shrift to male characters. The best movies have typically been about the Princess or Princess-type characters, or have been about animals. If you want to find strong human male protagonists, or even male characters who are something other than a bland "Prince Charming" figure, you don't have much choice-- Aladdin, maybe the Prince from "Sleeping Beauty" (though he's dangerously close to the Charming-syndrome) and Wart from "Sword in the Stone". <p> <p>So, on one hand, at least "Brave" looks like it has male characters with personality, no matter how silly it might turn out, rather than just neutered Ken dolls.

  • June 15, 2012, 6:13 p.m. CST

    johnary

    by Monty Cristo

    Thanks dude!

  • June 15, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    I know I'm late to the party, Monty,

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    and you may not even respond to this, but let me add to the chorus of people congratulating you on a great review. I was already beyond psyched to see this, but this has added to the confidence I have for this movie based on seeing various trailers (I think I've seen about 6 or 7 different ones at this point, and they all look great). One question, though, and I hope I don't get a ban hammer for this, but the other reviewer on this site who reviewed the movie in a video said that the twist "took [him] out of the movie" because it used magic to force events on the characters, rather than having them occur "organically." Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't I seen a trailer that pretty much spells this out? It involved Merida going into a forest, saying something about how she wished she could control her own fate (or something like that), a giant bear rising up, and then in the next scene, the sky darkens, and chaos ensues. From that, I would have to guess that magic is involved. I don't know where it's coming from (maybe the bear is a witch in disguise?), but it doesn't matter. Point is, Merida has probably made some kind of Faustian pact (intentionally or otherwise) and now has to figure out how to get things back to normal; and not knowing how she's going to do that has me chomping at the bit for the movie's release. Now, have I already guessed "the big reveal," or is there more to it than that? I'm not trying to get in trouble here; I'm just curious.

  • June 15, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    grabtharshammerpants

    by entrainer

    Misogynistic: characterized by a hatred of women Chauvinist: a person who believes one gender is superior to the other My post is neither of these. It's an AND situation, not an OR situation. I have respect for Men AND Women. I have a 3 yr old daughter whom I love very much. If you've ever had children, you will notice generally they have certain characteristics based upon gender at a VERY young age. Not ALL children. It's kind of a science... there's a difference in the reptilian portion of the brain as well as chemical differences. There is a field of study and research called "evolutionary psychology". I don't condone misogyny or sexism. But it doesn't have to be a trade of demonizing one sex or gender for another. You can support women's rights AND men's rights. You can support HUMAN rights. Do I think there is an agenda? Yes. But it's not ignorance, it's very informed research. I find it fascinating that in 1950, a household could afford to live on one parent's salary. The other parent (male or female, I have no preference) was able to stay home and teach the child, love them, take care of them. That was a choice available. Doesn't have to be "forced". Today, both parents have to work to generate the same standard of living as one parent in 1950. For many, there is no choice available. All the while, now the working population of the country (USA) has doubled. And profits are at an all time high. If you are in the capitalism game, it pays to have more people working for you generating income because it's a trickle up economics society. Now, I'm sure what I wrote will trigger automatic reactions in most people's minds. They've been programed that way for many years. I see a lot of things and I ask "Cui bono?" The answer is rather disgusting.

  • June 15, 2012, 7:53 p.m. CST

    entrainer

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    I believe where people got their notions of your chauvinism (if not misogyny) was from your closing paragraph: "Let me put it this way. I know of NO woman who would jump in front of a bullet to save a man. But many men would sacrifice themselves to save a woman. Isn't that the definition of character? Self sacrifice?" The implication seemed to be that, in your opinion, women did not have as much character as men. Returning to your definition of a chauvinist (a person who believes one gender is superior to the other), how would your previous statement not qualify?

  • June 15, 2012, 8:35 p.m. CST

    @ Dolphins

    by entrainer

    "The male characters of BRAVE are, unlike their brethren in other feudal stories, "hack and slash first, ask questions later", rather than anachronized wise warriors who are moral paragons. " I was referencing that potion of the review, specifically "moral paragons". That sentence reads like "hack and slash first, ask questions later" is an improvement over the anachronized wise warriors... if that's progress, I don't want to be going. I don't see a problem with having wise, intelligent, men with character in films. I'd like my daughter to perhaps consider that I do have some wisdom to share and I'm not a beast, buffoon, or jerk.

  • June 15, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST

    entrainer

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    I believe that what Monty was referencing was the fact that, in this movie, the men grow from being "beast(s), buffoon(s) or jerk(s) into being compassionate, mature human beings, and that the women in the movie also mature accordingly. In Disney films, on the other hand, only the women mature, while the men are one-dimensional characters incapable of growth. They are fully formed, plastic idealized "Ken dolls," with no function in the movies other than to rescue the princesses. Which would you prefer? I would personally much rather see growth into maturity than static, boring predictability.

  • June 15, 2012, 9:54 p.m. CST

    So, all the male characters are morons...

    by TopHat

    ...but, not so much at the end? What, do they make the incredible leap of believing a LASSY can do anything a man can do? How refreshing. I can't remember the last time I've seen a movie/television show or read a book/magazine/newspaper/blog/message board where a man or men is/are portrayed as not realizing females are, like, equal and shit. As a man living in the Twenty-First Century I would be completely lost without these forms of media constantly reminding me how ignorant and pathetic I am just because of my gender. Not just today, but throughout all of history. I applaud Disney and Pixar for going a step further and joining the trend of teaching children the same fact of life: Males just aren't worth it. ...or, at least, males who aren't rich or good looking, are just not worth it. At the same time, a happy by product of this is indirectly teaching girls that they are weak and need such media outlets to unleash their inner strength. Before, it was just needing to be a princess. Now, its needing to be a princess AND warrior. Its about time these Middle and Upper-Middle Class girls learn to take their destiny by the reins and lead it to a successful career and family ...there is no one more badass than the American Middle-Classes. Our time has come to an end, men. We had a good run, but, our lives of riches and power have run their course. We must only think back with gratitude of the times throughout history that the majority of us were kings and emperors, executives and presidents, Upper-Class and worshiped. Yes, we've ALL had it so well, thus, the warranted punishment of the entire gender. Our sons and grandsons shall bare the well earned lash of our good fortunes. They, like us, will be conditioned to worship their superiors: Women. Bravo, to all of us. We have truly become an equal society. ...hopefully Cristo's wife did not "kill him" for staying up too late writing this article.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    tophat - shut defuck up you whiny male-bitch

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    if you feels threatened by Brave or other movies that have female empowerment, then that is your problem bubbeh. if you are so fucking weak that you need to bitch about how a fucking MOVIE makes you feels so fucking small, then the problem is you own lack of a swinging dick!

  • June 15, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST

    From this day forward, I shall be known as "bubbeh"

    by TopHat

    I am not threatened by BRAVE. I am threatened by YOU. ...allow me to make out with you or stop this constant teasing.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    tophat

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    More like asshat.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    That has been used before, "the dolphins are in the jacuzzi"

    by TopHat

    ...please try again.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    and hey_kobe_tell_me_how_my_ass_tastes

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    I couldn't have said it better myself. "...the problem is you own lack of a swinging dick!" I'll be laughing about that for weeks.

  • I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt, since Pixar has a very good track record.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    This work has been commended as strongly vaginal.

    by frank

    Vagina.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:40 p.m. CST

    tophat

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    your lack of a swinging dick means you are a pussy, I fuck pussy's but I would not touch your rancid foul smelling fuckhole with a dead whales dick

  • June 15, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Sorry tophat

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    Dock me points for creativity. Now that I think about it, I can't believe I actually thought that would be original. I'm sure people have said that to you many, many times.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    All is forgiven, my friends.

    by TopHat

    Now, let us all embrace and forget the troubles of the world.

  • June 15, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    you gotta smack an ass!

  • June 15, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Have to agree the whole empowered woman thing is overdone.

    by tailhook

    I mean, seriously.. at this point its cliche, not groundbreaking. I did a spit-take at this garbage... "I'm convinced that untold amounts of damage has been done to young girls' confidence and sense of identity for years due to a scarcity of compelling mainstream stories about breaking with traditional gender roles." Most movies out of Hollywood have women in a 'non-traditional' gender role. Heck, you can go all the way back to His Girl Friday. The town is long past the days of June Cleaver and whoever and well into Alias, Buffy, and any number of other empowered women tales you want to name. Some work, some don't but the feministic Hollywood Horseshit has been done and in spades. Stop pretending like it hasn't.

  • June 16, 2012, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Disney and Pixar are here to take your dicks away, gentlemen!

    by Robert Evans

    Don't stand for this. Fight! FIIIIIGHT!!! Empowered female cartoon characters must be stopped if you want to keep waking up to that throbbing five-inch rocket fueled for liftoff.

  • June 16, 2012, 12:03 a.m. CST

    tailhook

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    Did you read this part?: "For the most part, the only alternative to this kind of story has been the symbolic pseudo-empowerment of heroines, done as recently as SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and 2010's ALICE IN WONDERLAND (among others). It's the "let's give her sword" version of empowerment. Just add sword, and we're good. Misogynist, patriarchal social construct defeated." I think that addresses your concern/criticism.

  • June 16, 2012, 12:03 a.m. CST

    MERIDA WILL CUT OFF YOUR JOHNSON!

    by Robert Evans

  • June 16, 2012, 12:14 a.m. CST

    tophat=choppah. both dickless pussys without the hairy hole

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    You heard it here first folks

  • June 16, 2012, 4:11 a.m. CST

    @entrainer sure, lots of guys are willing to take a bullet ...

    by Anthony Torchia

    but even more want to pull the trigger themselves. Men self-sacrificing? Seriously? We're mostly doggies who need shorter leashes. That said, great review. I am now more interested in seeing the film, well done

  • June 16, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Excellently written review....

    by Marshal_Lannes

    A return to form for what used to pass for reviews here in the dim and distant past. Oh....and LOL at all the he-men in this thread pretending they don't worship at the alter of the Vag. If they've even seen a real one, that is.

  • June 16, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Billy Conolly, check. Craig Ferguson, check.

    by Clavius

    David Tennant....wait, WHAT? They couldn't have hired the most famous scotsman since William Wallace for even a bit part in a movie about Scottish people! Blasphemy! Still, it's Pixar. It could be a two hour movie about a talking clay pot and they could still manage to make it awesome.

  • June 16, 2012, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Strange ...

    by heroic_duo

    to seeing writing of this quality on this site. Will check back in on this thread after I have seen the film.

  • June 16, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    I can only think of two things now.

    by TheMark

    1. I want the spoilers dammit! I don't even care about this movie, but by being told that spoilers exist, I MUST KNOW THEM! 2. FUCK STEVE JOBS. God, I hate that guy. He was another fucking businessman, stop kidding yourselves to think that he was out to do anything to better society or hug you. He made a product that makes YOU less productive and creative so that he and his company could MAKE A PROFIT. I am just so baffled that people keep loving these products year after year of being shoved the same thing down your throat. After having worked in wireless for a time, it blows my mind to see the rabid iPhone fanbase, when we're pretty much just getting sold the same fucking phone every year with marginal improvements that have been available on every OTHER smart phone for the last 3 years! And cue: someone telling me that these marginal upgrades are the second coming or something else wildly unintelligent. You pseudo-braniac sheep are the worst.

  • June 16, 2012, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Oh and Monty, lovin' your work.

    by TheMark

    I will continue reading your reviews, even when it's for movies I don't care about. Thanks for stepping up the quality here--I hope the other writers follow suit!

  • June 16, 2012, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Thanks for convincing me to skip this cliched bulldykery, Monty....

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    ....by confirming in your qualifier-filled review and pleading follow-up comments that it's the same old tired gender-bending crap the trailers made it appear to be. You want a movie with a "strong" female character whose strength doesn't come from attempting to be a man? (And a male co-star who manages to be dashing without being a comic-relief buffoon, as you've admitted all the male characters in this turd are?) Go check out TANGLED, the best animated film since Pixar's own THE INCREDIBLES. You'll notice it wasn't made by Pixar, which has been running on fumes for at least half a decade. Your review reads like it was written in 1992, at which time the embarrassing blubbering over "empowered" female characters would have been an observation of a recent development. But being 20 years behind the curve will stand you in good stead on this site, so welcome.

  • June 16, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Not exactly lighting up Rotten Tomatoes

    by Scorchy

    When I see a Pixar movie's reviews on RT, I expect north of 80%. Brave is currently at 64%. I wasn't surprised Cars 2 stunk because I really disliked the first one. And I'm not surprised this one isn't universally beloved because the trailers make it seem so conventional: independent girl doesn't want to be forced into gender-specific role as tradition and society dictate. Ugh....you cant make a female empowerment message and NOT have it follow this cliched narrative.

  • June 16, 2012, 7:13 p.m. CST

    The spoiler spoils the movie, literally

    by FeralAngel

    I accidentally stumbled across it in a review. I won't reveal it, but damn. Really? Uh...haven't we seen that before, in another Disney movie, about bears? Yeah, this will be the second Pixar movie I'll be skipping. The first was Cars 2.

  • 'Cause the, er, development in question is information you ought to have available before you see the movie to decide for yourself whether there's really anything to all this "profound and advanced" spooge, and makes the psychobabble about exploring mother/daughter relationships hilarious in context. It's enough to make one wonder what kind of quid pro quo this site got from Pixney/Disnar to help out in conning as many people as possible into going to BRAVE the first weekend before word of mouth starts getting around. Reminds me of how were all told UP was such a mature and adult animated film, and then we paid our money to go see a bunch of dogs flying airplanes. For this crap Monty runs down a masterpiece like SLEEPING BEAUTY?

  • June 16, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Red-haired warrior woman? CL Moore's "Jirel of Joiry"

    by throatwarbler_mangrove

    beat Pixar to that by eighty years. Hell, the Marvel adaptation of Howard's Red Sonya (as Sonja) has been around since the 70's. If you want to go way further back, try Scáthach, from Irish myth.

  • June 17, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    What the fuck?

    by Johnno

    "I'm convinced that untold amounts of damage has been done to young girls' confidence and sense of identity for years due to a scarcity of compelling mainstream stories about breaking with traditional gender roles. " I'd have to agree with the posters here that see this statement as coming from some kind of paranoid nutso ultra-feminist. Untold amounts of damage? Really? Holy false hyperbole batman! In what friggin way were Snow White, Mulan, Ariel etc. NOT strong female characters? Sure a prince or someone was there, but shit, they more or less showed kindness, compassion, love, bravery and could take care of themselves more or less as far as circumstances allowed them. This whole "AWWW SHIT! THE MAN HAD TO COME IN AND SAVE THEM" bullshit you're spewing was never anything I noticed as a kid. In fact many a time the princess had do do shit to get the prince out of a bind or save his life even or they'd overcome shit together. And the best part is, those Disney women remained women and were strong for all the classical attributes we give women. Not for emulating and pretending to be men like the modern crazy feminists whose crazy rantings actually to more to show their penis envy than doing anything of any good for women. These same delinquints try to piggy back of the Women's Rights movements and other things led by Christian women that had none of the insane motivations this new breed of feminists do whose goal is to erase gender roles rather than preserve and elevate them as God created us to be.

  • June 17, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    A bit long-winded, but...

    by Caerdwyn

    Solidly written and a pleasure to read, overall. A far, far cry from Harry's rambling grammatical assassinations. And you reply to Talkbackers, not to mention giving them credit for pointing out oversights. Good show, Monty.

  • June 18, 2012, 4:23 a.m. CST

    This should explain everything about this movie

    by Jeremy Shanks

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-entertainment/new-pixar-film-not-teeming-with-truculent-piss-artists-2012061830924 Read it and weep...with laughter

  • June 18, 2012, 7:21 a.m. CST

    still going to see it , even if Wikipedia spoiled it for me

    by millermeusa

  • June 18, 2012, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Fortune Favors The Brave...

    by Kentucky Colonel

    but Allah Favors the Compassionate. Sorry, just watched Lawrence of Arabia again this week.

  • June 18, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Barbie commercial might have ruined it for me

    by teddanson37

    Watching TV with my niece the other day and saw an ad for the Merida-Barbie Doll. There's was one comment that gave away the turn I'm pretty sure you are referring to.

  • June 18, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Hollywood continue their stuff on male chastrating bullshit

    by chien_sale

    every critics should be punched in the face to support this

  • June 18, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    seems like Monty is obviously a plant, a studio chill

    by chien_sale

  • Who cares about this shit? Who gives a fuck? Am I woman? No. So go fuck yourself. We are in a Princess World. All the trailers say is "omg it's not fair, i'm in chain!"

  • June 18, 2012, 1:44 p.m. CST

    theypeedonyourfuckingrug

    by Monty Cristo

    I don't think I "ran down" Sleeping Beauty. Like I said in Talkbacks above, I really, genuinely love that film. It and other original golden age Disney classics do, however, contain a fair amount of outdated social constructs, like I mention in Aurora blindly trusting this random guy who appears out of nowhere in the forest.

  • June 18, 2012, 1:45 p.m. CST

    unstoppablepoopenstein

    by Monty Cristo

    Whereas it is not hard to avoid spoiling the spoiler, it is difficult to discuss the film without mentioning that there is a turn about 30 minutes in.

  • June 18, 2012, 1:52 p.m. CST

    johnno

    by Monty Cristo

    I actually address the same bullshit masculinization of "empowered" women that you mention elsewhere in the review. I'm more referring to the earlier classics of the Disney canon, not as much the Little Mermaid era on, and especially not Mulan. If there were a Disney Princess movie I'd compare Brave to, it'd be Mulan, actually. The oldest of the Disney Princess tales have much the same template: helpless young woman has no control over her destiny. I'm just saying it's nice to have a break from that wherein the character ALSO retains her femininity. She likes swords and bows and arrows and all, and she's very tomboyish, but she's still very much a woman. She really plays like a medieval Scottish cowgirl than anything else.

  • June 18, 2012, 1:54 p.m. CST

    kentucky colonel re: LAWRENCE

    by Monty Cristo

    You're my kind of movie nerd. I watch it twice a year at minimum. Can't wait for the Blu-ray (allegedly) this year.

  • June 18, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    caerdwyn

    by Monty Cristo

    Thank you! I tried to trim it down, but felt the added length was warranted based on where it seemed the conversation was at the time, and where I foresaw it going.

  • June 19, 2012, 1:19 a.m. CST

    I wonder why . . .

    by Kytas

    this movie is doing so poorly on Rottentomatoes. Many of the reviewers have said the movie is targeted at 6-year olds. It's still at 67%, but that's a FAIL by Pixar standards. Why is this rubbing reviewers the wrong way?

  • June 19, 2012, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Hey Monte!

    by Kentucky Colonel

    IF you ever get a chance to be in Washington DC during the month of August, on Sundays, the AFI Silver shows "Lawrence" in the historic theater (built by ubber-theater architect John Eberson) in GLORIOUS 70mm. It's one of the things I miss most about DC. That and seeing movies at the UPTOWN. My friend Stephen and I are having a summer-weekly-movie club, featuring films that one or both of us have never seen, or only seen once years ago. Last week it was my turn to show him "Lawrence". This week he's playing "A Clockwork Orange" for me. Now, I have seen it before, but it was many, many years ago on a VHS tape in my friend's grandmother's basement. This time...Blu Ray, big screen, with maybe a gin and tonic? I mean, hell, my youngest son is named Malcolm, for Pete's sake! (after his mom's grandfather...and Malcolm McDowell, Malcolm X and so on). I've been inspired to learn a little more about T.E. Lawrence. I picked up his very own book "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" and another bio "Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia" by M. Korda. Both are 600+ pages, so I have to get a-reading. Keep up the good work!

  • June 19, 2012, 7:57 a.m. CST

    LoA Blu Ray

    by Kentucky Colonel

    I was kinda amazed that it hasn't been released on Blu. I only have about a dozen Blus...each one a double dip (except Toy Story 3)...and each was selected for double-dipping because they are visually striking movies (the latest...Yellow Submarine). I called my local Most Awesome Video Store Ever (Wild and Woolly Video, Louisville KY) to see if they had a Blu copy of Lawrence...only to find out it's not out yet. While I find that kinda odd, I also hope that means we'll be getting the Most Awesome Blu ever. He likes your lemonade.

  • June 19, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    kentucky colonel

    by Monty Cristo

    They've been spending loads of time on an 8K remaster of it for the movie's 50th Anniversary this year. I'm lucky enough to live in a city like Austin, where the Paramount Theater runs a summer film series that nearly every year shows Lawrence in glorious 70mm. Word I've gotten form behind the scenes is that the Lawrence remaster is up to the highest standards Sony has ever put to their catalog stuff.

  • June 19, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    nicetrylaoche

    by Monty Cristo

    I think there are a few big things at play. 1) Massive expectations following the deflated CARS 2. 2) Massive expectations based on decades of Disney Princess movies on top of expecting Pixar to somehow completely revolutionize a genre that merely needs iteration. 3) Massive expectations of Pixar in general.

  • June 20, 2012, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Very good review

    by quidom

    It gave just enough information to get me interested in the movie, enough insight to prepare me for how it might be different than expectations, and shied away from spoilers. Thanks!

  • Disney has been the target of hair-splitting, post-modern feminists for decades now. They blame Disney fairy tales for why women end up in abusive relationships. Disney is now trying to cleanse itself of its past transgressions. Never let anyone try to fool you, it's a war against Western Civilization. They will attack the oppression of women in Scotland 2,000 years ago, but will they ever demand that Disney do a movie about the oppression of Muslim women TODAY, yesterday, or a few hundred years ago? Feminism, like all other activist groups, have one agenda: whine and complain until white men throw money at them. Unlike the Ayatollah in Iran, white men will listen, obey, and give them money. Feminists push marriage and children as evil and oppressive, but what they'll never admit is that marriage as an institution before they destroyed it was meant to protect the woman... you know, from some guy knocking her up and leaving her with a kid. Even in a patriarchal society, the woman's father wants her to be married or else he's going to be stuck with raising her and her child.

  • June 22, 2012, 8:10 a.m. CST

    8K resoluotion? Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn!

    by Kentucky Colonel

    And I thought Casablanca and Godzilla 4K Blus were amazing looking. I used to manage the box office of one of the Paramount's sister theaters, the Louisville Palace (formerly the Lowes). The Paramount was built by the same guy, the aforementioned John Eberson (look it up). His "Eberson Atmospherics" as they are known used to number up around 50 or so around the world. Sadly there are only about 14 of them left, the largest being in Australasia and seats about 5,000. When I make it to Texas one day one of my first stops is the Paramount...the the Drafthouse....then???? http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/207 It's an Eberson, all right, but not an atmospheric. Here's a look at "my" Eberson (look at the pics, not just the dull black & white on the intro page)... http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/448 Cheers, mate!

  • June 22, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST

    The Largest Eberson Atmospheric

    by Kentucky Colonel

    The Capitol Theater in Sydney.... http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/1284 Looks just like the Palace, only bigger. I love the Movies! I love the Movie Houses! Especially the old ones, that aren't just boxes but themselves are part of the moviegoing experience. I could (and have) spend hours just looking at the architecture of the truly great ones. Any recommendations?