I really liked BRAVE, but didn’t love it – and I don’t think that’s BRAVE’s fault at all. I blame it upon this really fucking obnoxious woman who, as the film began, drug her screaming (full volume) 4 or 5 year old child into the theater, literally dragging him behind her. Sat front row, where the child continued to scream for what felt like the first 10 minutes of the film. And then, this kid began BABBLING at full volume for the next 15 minutes of the screening. In fact, she wasn’t ejected from the theater till after the Archery tournament scene that we’ve seen in trailers.
Seriously… how fucked up? Yoko feels that the kid had to be emotionally or mentally disabled – as no coherent words could ever be heard. But it was terrible. I sat there trying to watch – but the screams and the babbles kept making me think of what I could SCREAM at the lady to shut her child up. But then I thought, I can’t do that. That would just add to the distraction – it seemed like nobody fucking cared – and it was killing me. I was debating with my brain about leaving, but then I thought… GODDAMMIT, IF I LEAVE – THEN THIS F’N C*NT OF A HUMAN BEING WILL WIN! It’s moments like these, where you wish you were seeing the film at the ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE with one of the audiences that AICN brings in, because this shit just never happens. Never.
OK – so BRAVE – what’d I think?
I need to see it again, in a better environment. BUT – despite the issues of those first two paragraphs, once the noisy larva was removed, the rest of the audience – filled with incredibly well behaved future filmgoers of America, the movie enraptured me.
This is PIXAR’s first Princess story – and it is quite a bit different from Disney’s usual Princess fodder. This Princess has both of her parents. This Princess isn’t constantly in a need to be saved. And she doesn’t sing. No, she’s a Princess that kinda wishes she wasn’t. Her mom is a proper Queen that has been raising her to one day be Queen. However, the red haired Merida feels more connected to her father, a warrior one-legged king, that hates bears (thus the 1 leg). Her mother is trying to marry her off – and is holding a tournament to find her one day King. When she listens to the rules, she realizes that she could actually win her own hand and become responsible for her own life… or at least this is what she thinks… but that one obstinate action sets in motion problems that begin to spiral. She’s so frustrated, so angry at being treated like a GIRL – that she runs off, she wants to clear her head and find a way out of her predicament. She finds more than she reckons.
I love where the film goes after the twist. It felt so refreshing to not have Merida having a Prince save her. I also found the Mother-Daughter dynamic to be wonderful, especially as circumstances make that relationship even more difficult than normal.
The Bear work in the film, really did remind me of some of Tim Burton’s work on FOX & THE HOUND – but it’s quite different here. The 3 young princes, I could see an entire feature around their story – especially if it were to bring them to adulthood. They’re just wonderful characters, but if you’ve ever seen a DONALD DUCK cartoon with his wily nephews, then you know the exact dynamic that they capture in the film.
BRAVE feels like another great PIXAR film, but it is less gimmicky than most of the animated films we see. This doesn’t have a toothless adorable dragon & due to the setting and character designs – a lot of folks are already drawing comparisons to that film, if you do… BRAVE will come up short. It’s a different kind of story. One focused more intently on a Girl and her mother, than a Boy and his Dragon.
I find that change refreshing. I don’t think there’s a damn thing wrong with the film and that story. After the spate of evil mothers/evil step-mothers… or dead parent movies – I find a film about a child that wants to be more like one parent than the other – and the other parent’s best efforts to prepare her for her life… well, it’s just a great story that I think will resonate with a whole lot of kids out there.
And the short, LA LUNA… well, it’s my least favorite shot of the entire history of PIXAR shorts. The character design and look of the film is lovely, of course… but the story just did not touch me at all. It builds to a single gag. Once that’s over, that’s basically it – and after that – there’s nothing more.
But the good news is, this is another wonderful PIXAR film, now – I just need to rewatch it without annoying infuriating parental behavior. I mean SERIOUSLY – who the fuck drags a screaming hysterical child INTO a movie theater. That stunned me. There’s just no excuse for an adult human being that sees movies to be this dense between the ears. I can’t be angry at the kid, the kid has problems, the parent should be aware of that. And not destroy the experience of 300 other people. Right?