Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

The Kidd Vs. BRAVE

 

In the past what Pixar has done well is taken complex characters and injected them into fairly simple stories. FINDING NEMO is about a dad trying to connect with his son, with a series of marine life rife with flaws and idiosyncrasies elevating it above the type of dumbed-down fare that would insult the overall intelligence of its audience in lesser hands. UP is about an old man making up for lost time. I could go on and on about the simple theme that make up the Pixar catalog, but for such basic tales, it’s been the unique perspective from which they’re being told and the attention to detail that has turned a number of films from the brand into instant classics that capture the imagination. But what happens when you flip the formula on what Pixar has been doing right for all these years? What happens when you replace complex characters with simple ones and simple stories with complex ones? You get BRAVE.

That’s not to say that BRAVE is a bad film. Quite the contrary, BRAVE is very good, but it is far from the greatness we’ve come to expect every time Pixar rolls out another motion picture (with the exception of the CARS flicks). Is that fair to hold that against a movie that any other studio would kill to have on its slate? Probably not, but that’s what happens when you establish and maintain a certain standard of excellence and then fail to meet it every so often. BRAVE isn’t the next Pixar classic, and, while it does aim to pull off some pretty bold things, the film’s meandering plot prevents it from reaching that upper echelon. Simply put, BRAVE doesn’t quite know what story it wants to tell until the third act, and, by then, you’re more confused than curious that when it does choose its path, your emotional investment is pretty weak.

The film is built around the long, wavy red locks of Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), a Scottish princess who doesn’t really quite want to be a princess. She’s far more comfortable adventuring on horseback, armed with her bow and arrow than she is fulfilling her princess-ly duties. While she longs for the freedom to make her own choices, as any teenager would, she’s heavily controlled by her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), who is doing her best to craft a the best possible Queen-to-be, even if it means following far too closely in her image. Merida is a lot like her impulsive father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly), but good luck to her if she thinks she’ll have a fate more in line with the patriarch of her family. That won’t stop her from trying though. When it comes time for three Lords of neighboring families to present their first-born in the hopes of winning Merida’s hand in arranged marriage, the princess elects to take matters into her own hands and change the outlook that awaits her.

As you can tell just from that rundown, we’re examining ideas of fate and destiny, of the pressures and complications of a mother/daughter relationship, about respect for tradition, about independence, about female empowerment… all of which take the lead at various points throughout the film in the race to figure out what BRAVE is ultimately about. But the film is never quite capable of juggling each of them collectively, coming across more as a muddled mess at times, feeling as if it’s lost its way with no real idea how to get back on course.

As BRAVE tries to navigate its way through its self-inflicted plot web, other areas really shine in Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman’s film. First off, this is a beautiful looking film and might easily rank as Pixar’s greatest visual accomplishment to date. Whether it’s the gorgeous sweeping looks of the Scottish highlands, including a stunning waterfall, or the unique character design, BRAVE doesn’t fail to deliver on the visual level. The animation is top notch, as evidenced by the most impressive shot of an arrow being fired off its bow in slow motion being viewed so closely that you can see the wobble of the wood as it takes flight. As far as stand-out characters, the mischievous triplet brothers of Merida serve as an extraneous but scene-stealing bit of comic relief in an otherwise very serious film (think the toddler version of HARRY POTTER’s Weasley twins, but as a trio) and the three marriage suitors of the MacGuffin, Macintosh and Dingwall families all possessing a unique flair. Even the free-flowing hair of the princess takes on a life of its own due to the technical skill of the crew involved with BRAVE.

But what BRAVE really is missing is that Pixar magic. What does that mean? I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but it really is one of those things that you know it when you see it… and a bit disappointingly, BRAVE just doesn’t have it. Something feels like it’s missing throughout, and the film just never seemed to connect with me on an emotional level. While it is an impressive feat technically, BRAVE’s main shortcoming comes at the hands of its lack of focused story. I don’t need to know exactly where things are going, and I certainly don’t want a film that feels entirely predictable, but trying to venture off in all different directions doesn’t quite work either. BRAVE suffers from its inability to choose a path and stick to it, and, as a result, winds up as a good film that was capable of being so much more. 

 

-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

BillyTheKidd@aintitcool.com

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • June 25, 2012, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Doesn't look appealing

    by theBigE

    Is it because I'm a guy? Really not interested in seeing this.

  • June 25, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    And why do you knock Cars?

    by theBigE

    My kids and I really enjoyed Cars - more than Monsters Inc - but I still haven't seen the sequel.

  • June 25, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST

    And why do you knock Cars?

    by theBigE

    My kids and I really enjoyed the first one - it was better than Monsters Inc - but I still haven't seen the sequel.

  • June 25, 2012, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Down playing themes

    by underwater_cemetery

    I really think you are down playing some of the complex themes in previous Pixar movies. UP is definitely not just about making up for lost time. Wall-E had some very serious undertones as well.

  • June 25, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST

    prometheus is shit

    by Jaymie69

  • June 25, 2012, 9:04 a.m. CST

    First trailer - great! Second trailer - knew it would suck...

    by performingmonkey

    The first trailer made it seem like we were getting Pixar's first epic fantasy, with that goosebump-enducing narration, the lush Scottish landscapes and bow action from the girl. This is the first case of Pixar selling an absolute lie in one of their trailers. Sure, they're no stranger to holding back what their movies are about, not spoiling the surprise twists or where the story goes, but IMO they promised us way too much with Brave, knowing it wasn't going to deliver.

  • June 25, 2012, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Kidd, have you ordered that style manual yet?

    by P

    =In the past what Pixar has done well is the ability to take complex characters and inject them into fairly simple stories.= You are missing a verb. Here would be an example: In the past (comma) what Pixar has done well is (create, develop, etc) the ability to take complex characters and inject them into fairly simple stories.= Or, if you are not so into the verb thing, you could use an adverb: In the past, Pixar had the ability... As I've said before, Kidd. This is not a matter of opinion or preference. It is grammer and sentence structure. Kidd, you don't have to turn your brain off to write reviews. Whatever the fuck that means ;)

  • June 25, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Has Pixar changed its story-development process?

    by Bass Ackwards

    Or I wonder if Pixar has just gotten too comfortable and insular, that the process doesn't weed out the weak stuff the way it used to. But between Toy Story 3, which worked basically due to its familiarity, Cars 2, which didn't work at all, and this flick, which is also a bit of a miss, I wonder what's going on. Pixar has had this reputation for a very critical and thorough story-development process, but this film feels like it somehow slipped by all that. The characters ALL feel very broad and the plot points and motivations don't feel earned at any point, nor does the sentimentality it tries to draw tears with at the end. This film doesn't feel like it had much story work done on it all really, just kind of going through the motions (other then its look, which really is gorgeous).

  • June 25, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST

    @thebige Another reason this one probably won't appeal to guys

    by AdrienBrodysOface

    Is due to the fact that every male character in the film is portrayed as an overgrown child who desperately needs a woman to tell them what to do.

  • June 25, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    It's pretty terrific

    by Laserhead

    The plot zig-zags and tonal shifts work brilliantly.

  • learn how to fucking write gooder

  • June 25, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Do we really need like a dozen reviews of this thing on the main page?

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • June 25, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST

    I don't get it?!

    by tubbyhodges24

    Why is everyone too afraid to call Brave what it is??? It's a complete rip-off of another Disney non-classic: Brother Bear. Just swap out the Eskimos for the Scottish and there you go. It SUCKED...just like Brother Bear sucked!

  • June 25, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Never understood the hate for CARS

    by Logan_1973

    The Kidd praises Pixar for simple storytelling, which is exactly what CARS gets drubbed for. If anything, the design that went into that CARS universe is nothing short of outstanding.

  • June 25, 2012, 9:35 a.m. CST

    you are a horrible writer

    by Nerdboy1423

    seriously, find another job. You're a jawing ass. You talk about how other films have complex characters and put them into fairly simple stories...then you dive into the complexities of the characters of Finding Nemo without ever talking about the "simple" story. Is it really that simple, or are we just expected to agree with you as a reader? No, we aren't, we can't. We wish we could, but you need to actually set up your thesis statement for us to attach ourselves and follow you. "I could go on and on about the simple theme that make up the Pixar catalog"- WHAT? and then you don't, all you do is say that and it goes nowhere, and it doesn't even connect with what you previously said. You end your criticism with "What Brave is really missing is Pixar magic, what does that mean? I'm not quite sure how to describe it but it really is one of those things you know when you see it...and a bit disappointingly, BRAVE just doesn't have it. So what you've given us is a muddled mess of a review, with very little in ways of support for your opinion...you rely on generalizations to support your unsupported thesis. It's not pretty man, not pretty at all. You say one obviously true thing, that you couldn't emotionally connect to the film. Really? Well, why didn't you base your entire criticism on that then? You're just throwing out random trash talk, otherwise. Why didn't you emotionally connect? You're a horrible writer that's been given a wonderful opportunity and squandered it. You takes bizarre unsupported jabs at some great films, so there is little chance you'll actually draw something constructive from criticism.

  • June 25, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    You are a horrible writer.

    by Nerdboy1423

    Seriously, find another job, you're a jawing ass. You talk about how other films have complex characters and put them into fairly simple stories...then you dive into the complexities of the characters of Finding Nemo without ever talking about the "simple" story. Is it really that simple, or are we just expected to agree with you as a reader? No, we aren't, we can't. We wish we could, but you need to actually set up your thesis statement for us to attach ourselves and follow you. "I could go on and on about the simple theme that make up the Pixar catalog"- WHAT? and then you don't, all you do is say that and it goes nowhere, and it doesn't even connect with what you previously said. You end your criticism with "What Brave is really missing is Pixar magic, what does that mean? I'm not quite sure how to describe it but it really is one of those things you know when you see it...and a bit disappointingly, BRAVE just doesn't have it." So what you've given us is a muddled mess of a review, with very little in ways of support for your opinion...you rely on generalizations to support your unsupported thesis. It's not pretty man, not pretty at all. You say one obviously true thing, that you couldn't emotionally connect to the film. Really? Well, why didn't you base your entire criticism on that then? You're just throwing out random trash talk, otherwise. Why didn't you emotionally connect? You're a horrible writer that's been given a wonderful opportunity and squandered it. You take bizarre unsupported jabs at some great films, so there is little chance you'll actually draw something constructive from criticism.

  • June 25, 2012, 9:52 a.m. CST

    What's not to like about Cars?

    by KingKirby

    My issue with "Cars" is that it's plot is largely stolen from the Michael J. Fox starrer "Doc Hollywood": full-of-himself hot shot on the way to bigger things on the west coast goes through small town and creates property damage which he has to repair before being on his way. During his time there, he learns to appreciate the small town ways and falls in love with one of the locals. Which one was I describing there? Plus, I'm not a big auto racing fan and to have nothing but anthropomorphic automobiles in the story left me cold. In the end, it's kind of cute...but utterly predictable and more of a technical exercise. The only two Pixar films I do not own are "Cars" and its sequel (which I didn't even bother to see), but "Brave" I will purchase...I enjoyed the film, and was drawn into the story along with the immense beauty of its environment.

  • June 25, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Cars

    by adml_shake

    The first one was pretty good. Was it their best? No. Was it bad? No. The second one thought felt like it was written after a night of heavy drinking by some B team script writers. It was just dumb. So dumb that when I took my nephew to see it, who was a HUGE fan of the first one, he said "Why did they make this movie so stupid?"

  • His writing is, by all standards, indefensible. Sure, he'll pop on here to defend or clarify his opinions. That's easy. Maybe deep down he know's he is a terrible writer. Maybe he has reconciled this with himself by calling it his =style=. Or perhaps he feels justified as a critic because he holds the esteemed title of South Florida AICN Editor (Ha!) Or that he has 1200 likes on Facebook. Or some kid follows his tweets. Who knows? Perhaps he tells himself that his critics are just hatin' and jealous of the fact that he has a forum. Most likely though, he is blissfully complacent in his sub-mediocrity. He has an office, so he MUST be a professional. Hell, I bet he's even got movie posters on his walls, just like real critics! The fact that AICN lets this guy call himself an editor says as much about the whole shabby operation as it does the Kidd. He may be able to muster up a snarky reply but he will never be able to justify his writing. That's why he will probably never try. I wish he would. I'd love to hear his defense. Learning disability? Laziness? Florida public school system?

  • June 25, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Cars 2 feels like they tried to write an Incredibles style Agent Movie

    by DidntPullOutInTimeCop

    then decided they would make more money on Cars merch and adjusted it to fit that world.

  • Every fucking reviewer of BRAVE on this site goes out of their way to make sure we know that THEY DIDN'T LIKE CARS therefore THEY HAVE GOOD TASTE and they should be TAKEN SERIOUSLY. Now it seems the writing is on the wall that BRAVE is going to be one of those Pixar films that it's cool for geeks to hate on, so every reviewer on this site is going out of their way to make sure we know that BRAVE WAS JUST OK and it wasn't really PIXAR QUALITY, regardless of what was onscreen. Basically, all you closet cases were expecting a BRAVEHEART level epic and didn't get it, so now you're bitching in the hopes that Pixar does make an epic on that scale someday, even though that's not what they do. But hey you didn't like CARS, so you must know what you're talking about. Fucking echo chamber is what AICN is, Christ.

  • June 25, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    I liked Cars too.

    by lochkray

    To be clear, I liked Cars as well. Not Cars 2. That wasn't very good. About on par with bad Dreamworks Animation movies. I liked the first one. I've seen it twice, and listened to it about a thousand times (thank you, in car DVD players). It was a fun little movie.

  • June 25, 2012, 10:26 a.m. CST

    It's simple, Cars defenders and apologists . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . What's wrong with them? They are 80 to 90 % Larry the Cable Guy. Larry the CABLE GUY. LARRY THE CABLE GUY.

  • June 25, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    For kids who grew up in the 2000s.

    by iceman199

    Cars will be the one Pixar movie that sits above all others. Especially boys. The merchandising haul alone should tell you that.

  • June 25, 2012, 10:30 a.m. CST

    You've identified the central appeal of "Brave", Kidd

    by MattDomville

    As evidenced herein: http://www.cinemabums.com/?p=369

  • June 25, 2012, 10:34 a.m. CST

    nice marmot

    by DidntPullOutInTimeCop

    there's a big world out there. And in most non English speaking countries kid's movies are dubbed. That means no Larry the Cable Guy. Larry the CABLE GUY. LARRY THE CABLE GUY ;) The first Cars is a nice little story, my son could watch it all day, every day. Cars 2 he never asks for. BRAVE I'll most certainly see!

  • June 25, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    by rockhpi

    I did feel disappointed when [the big magical thing I shouldn't spoil] happened, because that's not the kind of story I was expecting (I thought it would be a little less magical) but after I adjusted, I came to think of the movie as a fairy tale. That may be why people are disappointed, because Pixar doesn't tend to tell fairy tales. I enjoyed the movie a lot.

  • June 25, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST

    First Act = Brilliant — Second Act = Generic Disney movie-esque story

    by Dr. Egon Spengler

    And that's what killed it for me. The second half story was a formula I've watched up on the big screen before. I was bored.

  • June 25, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Brave is Terrific

    by wampa_one

    The movie is beautifully animated & there is most definitely a strong plot. And it's less predictable than critics knocking a film for the sake of knocking a film. And stay through the closing credits.

  • June 25, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Has The Kidd ever attempted a creative endeavor?

    by Charles

    Or does he just pick apart what others try to build?

  • June 25, 2012, 11:17 a.m. CST

    The Straight A student brings home a B and the world is let down

    by SifoDyasJr

    If a C student (Dreamworks) brought home a B, people would be telling them 'great job' and patting them on the back, but because it's from the top of the class, everyone feels let down, when in reality, it's a fucking great grade. Brave is a GOOD movie from a studio that usually produces GREAT films. I don't get the negative reviews.

  • June 25, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    I'm sure

    by P

  • June 25, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Dumbed down?

    by Raptor Jesus

    What, 'girls are brave and strong and true and good and boys are stupid klutzes who should be avoided at all cost' is dumb? I know lots of women who would disagree. They think this movie is WONDERFUL and can't wait for more. Go watch the last five minutes of 'Bolt'. You know, where the husband gets kicked out of the house. Or the end of 'Monsters and Aliens' where the bride realizes her groom is a jerk and she'd rather be with her monster friends. It is the subtle mainstreaming of lesbian feminism. 'Women are all strong and good and men are useless jerks'.

  • This is the BEST analogy of the scenario I've heard yet. Perfect. Brave IS a good movie. Highly entertaining. Is it Pixar's best? No. But suddenly "above average" means nothing. How to Train Your Dragon was also a good movie. But it came from the average C student Dreamworks hacks so suddenly everyone was sucking each other's dicks over it.

  • June 25, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Q: What's more annoying than a bad reviewer?

    by Andrew

    A: A bad reviewer who creates TB sock puppets to defend his work.

  • June 25, 2012, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Sorry, but Brave WAS a good movie!

    by ColloquiallyBorn

    While not the style that I would relate to, my two girls enjoyed it a lot! They stayed in their chairs and just loved it, and that is no small feat to keep them in their seats. The only real Pixar movie I didn't like was Cars 2, that one was missing lots and the plot was just "screwy"; they should've named it "Matter's Big Adventure!" .. Not Cars 2. Another weird one was Wall-E; kids just didn't seem to get attached, maybe the 45 minutes of nothingness bored the crap out of them, it was as if Pixar was telling us "Look! He's a little robot left on Earth to clean up!! Really look! Look at it again! Oh didn't see that did you, well look at it again! See he's this little robot, alone! OH! SUUUPRISE!! New robot!! IT'S A GIIIRL ROBOT!! See!! He's not alone anymore!!" .. Good lord, that whole first 45 minutes could've been cut to about 10 minutes.. Back to the Brave, it was a story that will mostly hit home for mothers and daughters, for once Pixar decided to go down a path for girls instead of boys. I think Pixar did a great job on this one, the end is good, their are great funny scenes with the triplets, ect.. My only issue was the actual Short before it.. The Moon... Too long, not funny.. Pointless for kids.. Put it at Sundance will you, not before a kids movie.. Despicable Me 2 trailer about the Yellow henchmen singing was great too for the kids! "Dad!! When does it come out!??!" Right there, they got them hooked!.. Brave was not a story for Adults to sit through, it was made for the little girls to have something to get attached too, and see that they don't need to be the princess or always be rescued, it was a good family flick.. Hence the #1 spot in the market.

  • June 25, 2012, 12:40 p.m. CST

    I just can't reconcile

    by tomdolan04

    how such a vanilla reviewer insists of considering himself worthy of calling himself 'infamous'. <p> 1. having a bad reputation; notorious<p> 2. causing or deserving a bad reputation; shocking infamous conduct <p> Sure movie reviewers all over the web have aliases of stars / things they aspire to, but there is no insight or anything into 'the Kidds' reviews or interviews. I'm not trying to be insulting or offensive here - there are a couple of good contributors to this site, and many bad ones that deserve to annoy people more but with the Kidd...there's nothing. Complete apathy. The writing approach is just so mudane and views so non-descript or committal to a particular opinion it's bemusing to think this is what medium sized traffic movie websites consider 'coverage' these days. We've all got to pay the bills but good grief. There's no joy, style or balls to his work. <p> And I like balls Gary.

  • June 25, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Kingslayer Nailed It

    by kevinwillis.net

    <b>Every fucking reviewer of BRAVE on this site goes out of their way to make sure we know that THEY DIDN'T LIKE CARS therefore THEY HAVE GOOD TASTE and they should be TAKEN SERIOUSLY. </b> Could film geeks be more conformist? It would be hard. Cars *was* Pixar retelling Doc Hollywood, only with cars instead of people. It was a strange idea, but in the end it worked really well, at got Disney some of it's most profitable branded characters since Mickey and Goofy and produced some of the best Disney Imagineering work in a long time in Cars Land at DCA. And Cars is a solid addition to the Pixar oeuvre. Cars2 was apparently Pixar deciding to make a sequel the way Dreamworks does—a different story, definitely (rather than hitting the same story points as the first, beat for beat), but frenetic and hectic and sacrificing story and characterization in order to service convenient but unbelievable or frankly uninteresting plot twists. I just saw Madagascar 3, which was fun, but I thought about Cars2 more than once while watching it.

  • June 25, 2012, 12:42 p.m. CST

    i read everyone of kidd's reviews

    by dinkus_knowles

    Just to read you guys rip him apart. Awesome.

  • June 25, 2012, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Wall-E Worked for My Little One

    by kevinwillis.net

    I think she was 3 when it came out. Maybe just turned 4? She sat and watched at a time where many films didn't keep her than engaged.

  • June 25, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    colloquiallyborn

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    While I agree that Wall-E doesn't appeal to most kids, there are exceptions (kevinwillis.net's kid being one). But demographic expectations aside, I personally loved the first 45 minutes of Wall-E. Tonally, it reminded me of some of the classic silent film comedies from Keaton, Chaplin or Harold Lloyd. It was after those first 45 minutes, when the humans were introduced, that it completely fell apart for me and lost the magic. At that point, it became far too predictable, boring and more than a little heavy-handed. JMO.

  • June 25, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    CARS has brought in $8 billion of merchandising sales

    by Rupee88

    If you don't believe me, just google it. It is the most profitable film of all the ones that Pixar has produced.

  • It's a review for a kiddie film. And the ideas are what is important in a review, not perfect grammatically correct form. You guys are not criticizing what he is saying, you are attacking how he is saying it, which is lame.

  • But I'm pretty sure you can simplify ANY film's story the way Kidd simplifies Finding Nemo and Up. Blade Runner is just about a detective hunting down killers. The Thing is just about an alien trying to kill everyone on a research facility. Chinatown is just about a private detective solving an adultery case. Jaws is just about three guys hunting down a killer shark.

  • June 25, 2012, 1:28 p.m. CST

    The attitude about Cars for movie reviewers on sites like this

    by tomdolan04

    reminds me of the scene in Catch Me If You Can when Frank is learning how to approach Law by watching the video where the guy says 'Do You Concur?' <p> 'Stood around discussing Pixar' They're cool but Cars? Do you concur? Oh yeah. I concur.

  • June 25, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Shawshank Redemption

    by tomdolan04

    Just a jail break flick

  • June 25, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    @rupee88, No - both suck

    by Andrew

  • 88? Is that the year of your birth? So that makes you 24? You should know better.

  • June 25, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Cars was Actually Pretty Good

    by Todd1700

    In fact I'd rate it higher than 'Monsters Inc' and hell and gone higher than 'A Bugs Life' neither of which recieve the online scorn that Cars does. My strong suspicious is that the reason nerdy internet geeks dismiss Cars out of hand is that it involves small town country type characters while not making fun of them or making them look bad; NASCAR type racing; and one of the characters is voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. OH MY GOD all those things are things that might appeal to a southerner or a redneck. I CAN"T BE ASSOCIATED WITH THAT CAN I? And there you have it in a nut shell. 99% of the people who claim it sucks on forums like this never list a single reason why it's bad. It's actually a very sweet natured little story. It has a good plot. It's funny and the animation is on par with anything else Pixar was doing back at the time. It was nominated for an Academy Award as best animated feature and won the Golden Globe as best animated feature.

  • June 25, 2012, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Hamlet

    by Andrew

    Just a play about avenging a father.

  • June 25, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    The real problem with Brave - The first half

    by tailhook

    Brave almost feels a bit schizophrenic. The first half of the film is pure Dreamworks Cultural Slapstick Horseshit. Every male is a caricature, the inherent racism against the Scots in the first half is absolutely cringeworthy in a way not seen since Song of the South. This is the type of garbage we've come to expect from a studio like DW. Pixar? GTFO. When it finally gets to the pivot point(and you'll know it when you see it), it actually starts Feeling like a Pixar film on through to the end. The film was obviously going for a Finding Nemo for the female set, with the examination of the issues of mothers and daughters.. but the first half of stuff and the depiction of the culture in general should have Pixar hanging their head in shame honestly. The back half *almost* saved it, but not quite.

  • June 25, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    @todd1700

    by matt

    I have to admit I think you hit the nail on the head. Reading your comment made me realize the "redneck" culture in Cars is what turned me off, that and I am just not into cars. Cars has always been my least favorite Pixar film, but the truth is it is a solid movie and (as you said) a very sweet story. That is not to say there were not issues with Cars 2. But the fact is I think you are right about why people don't like Cars. As for this reviewer, I do have to agree I don't like his assessment of Pixar movies at all, but I don't know enough about his past reviews to be critical of him as a critic.

  • June 25, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Is my take on this wrong?

    by boogel

    Boil down the story (and the moral of the story) and you get this. Child doesn't get her way. Throws a fit. In the process destroys an art work her mother spent hundreds of hours on. Runs away. Plots against her family. Returns home and poisons her mother and little brothers. Feels bad about it. Ultimately gets everything she wanted to begin with. That's just messed up. (and yes I posted this on one of the other threads but everyone was too busy bitching about kids in the theatre to talk about the movie.)

  • June 25, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    In Cars, the courthouse has celing fans. What the fuck?

    by WerePlatypus

  • June 25, 2012, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Cars is also full of really tacky jokes.

    by WerePlatypus

  • June 25, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST

    And the second act is a half an hour too long.

    by WerePlatypus

  • June 25, 2012, 5:18 p.m. CST

    It got a sequel because it's easier to market the Toys. Period.

    by WerePlatypus

  • June 25, 2012, 5:25 p.m. CST

    re: Is my take on this wrong?

    by Angus Gore

    Hmm...since another poster mentioned him, let's take a similar grab at Hamlet. If you want to diminish his story, Hamlet is just a spoiled young prince with mommy issues who kills more people than his step-father (who, allegedly only murders his brother) - he murders Polonius, doesn't give a fig that his two former best friends - innocent of any sort of wrong-doing - are sent off in his place to be killed - and has the balls to insult the brother of the girl he abused, pretty much into suicide (after he killed her father). His actions bring down his entire country. Hamlet is, frankly, an asshole. So, Merida, the tough little tomboy she is, doesn't want to marry (doesn't matter who it is, that Pixar made the contestants look idiotic is less about them being MEN and more about creating HUMOR. Sorry, lads, if this offends you, but women have been used even worse in film for generations - doesn't make it a lesbian plot for world domination) and doesn't want to be a courtly maiden, either. Do you blame her? Does that make her a terrible person/spoiled brat who ruins everything, like Hamlet? In trying to fashion her own destiny, she makes a mistake. It is kind of the point of the story, which, no, isn't terribly complex. It is the theme of every early Tom Cruise film: cocky young dude screws up, learns his lesson, makes good. No, it isn't that challenging. I'm not sure it's supposed to be. Is Merida 'Brave?' Sure. Is Pixar? Well, for playing it safe, probably not.

  • June 25, 2012, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Nope, boogel, you got the gist of it.

    by detinue

    The frustrating thing about the movie is that at the precise moment where Merida is about to grow as a person and do the thing the plot set up requires her to do in order for the movie to truly work, the movie says hell no we aren't brave enough to go there and does a complete and arbitrary 180 into pc-land. By the end of the film, Merida still hasn't grown in any meaningful way from the selfish vain brat she started out as. Instead everyone else has changed to accomodate her needs. It is a very modern message, for sure. But a messed up one, indeed.

  • Whereas Brave is a kids movie, Merida is completely rewarded at the end of the film by having her world and everyone in it change merely in order to give her what she wants, and the movie holds her up as a heroine to be emulated (at least in spirit, anyway).

  • June 25, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Wow

    by Russ

    We're not talking about a child not getting the toy she wanted, so she cried and got her way. We're talking about a young WOMAN making a decision that will affect the rest of her life. Not letting other people make a major life decision for her and deciding to be her own person. She is not a little child. We're talking about marriage, an adult subject. She made an adult decision. That is a message that I want my kids, and especially my daughter to see. The message is be your own person, make your own path. There comes a time when you need to break away from what your family wants and do what's right for you. I can't even comprehend people thinking that this is a bad thing. And as far as it some sort of "lesbian feminist" plot, which somebody said, your male privilege is showing. God forbid a movie flips the script on gender roles. You know what movie usually has a strong, well developed male lead, with a female who is only there to be his girl? The majority of all the movies ever made. Sorry fellas, the girl didn't do what she was "supposed" to do this time, she didn't do the "right thing" and just shut up and get married like a good little obedient girl.

  • June 25, 2012, 6:40 p.m. CST

    zombie_fatigue, please STFU about the Kid's writings

    by TheKiller7

    Who the hell comes to this dump looking for that anyway? You dumb ass.

  • June 25, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Not the same Pixar, but in a good way

    by Full Tilt

    Took the family to see the this movie and I have to say the critics are right that this movie has a different feel than other Pixar shows, I disagree that this takes away from the movie. The first half sets up for what you come to expect to be another tale of a youth wanting to revolt against her parents, and after some misadventure the parents say, "Well what do you know, our old ways were wrong." In many ways in this story the heroine realizes that tradition and responsibilities exist for reasons far beyond, 'it's not what the youth wants to do." This is a lesson far more applicable to real life. And is fresh and fun simply because it is not a a tale rebellion. Youth in rebellion and parents "changing" in the end has been done many times over from "The Little Mermaid" to "Finding Nemo" and countless others. Youth realizing the that their wants aren't the most important thing in the world hasn't been done, and is a very mature and fresh epilogue.

  • starts great but doesn't have a second act (a solid one)... that's BRAVE for ya (and 99% of Tim Burton films)

  • June 25, 2012, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Hanyoyo, yes but

    by Nerdboy1423

    The difference between this guy and Harry is vast. Harry has an unrelenting passion and a bad case of making insane tangents, he loves movies and it's obvious in anything he writes that he also understands them and can write about them. This guy just spews vagueries and disconnected ideas that are set up and never followed through. I can't even tell if he actually is trying to understand the movies he watches.

  • June 25, 2012, 7:14 p.m. CST

    teabagger, there's no arguement

    by P

    Kidd is a bad writer. It's not subjective opinion. It is a fact. It is not up for debate. He has made it very clear that he holds films up to a certain standard. Unfortunately, his writing is substandard (to put it nicely) and THAT effects his credibility among many readers here.

  • June 25, 2012, 7:57 p.m. CST

    The Secret World of Arrietty was far and away

    by Dingbatty

    more worthwhile than this dogshit. Kids in the theater were quite taken by it. Didn't here one peep the whole time.

  • June 25, 2012, 7:59 p.m. CST

    I don't get the appeal of the character's design in Brave.

    by Dingbatty

    They might've looked cute in 2D, but in CG, they are horrifying. Look at her alien bobble head in that second image of the archery contest.

  • You expected the matrix and got speed racer so you gave it poor marks. You expected Judgement day and got salvation so you gave it poor marks. You expected Aliens and got Prometheus so you gave it poor marks. Yet you give high marks for garbage like the Shrek films and Madagascar films and pretty much any other animated scum.. why? Because you didn't expect much of them! MI4 gets 94% on RT, the exact same marks as the AVENGERS, yet Prometheus gets 74%? Am I the only one connecting the dots here! BRAVE is a great movie! Is it better than WALL-E.. no, UP... IMO, yes, Finding Nemo.. No, Every other animated movie within the last 5 years... (with the exception of HTTAD) Absolutely! so if you say Brave sucks.. you have not watched it with a fair perspective! Sorry.. logic wins again! Also, the score and orignal songs were absolutely amazing! The animation... the best ever! Fresh new storyline... lets give it a bonus for not being the same dredge! more logic.

  • But I think detinue hit closer to what I was thinking. There's a reason I won't let my kids watch Shrek. It's because they are horrible movies for kids to absorb. I don't need movies for kids to be preachy and have lessons packed into every corner. I'm perfectly happy if they are neutral. But Brave isn't that. It has a message. And that message isn't one I need my kids emulating. When Lasseter took over creative control of Disney I was thrilled. And right out of the gate he saved Princess and the Frog. A movie I had completely dismissed because of the early stuff I had read. That's followed by more top tier PIXAR stuff. All good. Then we get Tangled. I get twenty minutes in and that's all it took. But that was only one film. Now we have Brave and a pattern starts to emerge. I never thought I'd have to screen PIXAR the way I have to screen DreamWorks. This is sad.

  • June 25, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST

    I apollogise

    by Kakii

    I wrote Cars, I was absolutely pissed at the time from 20 pear ciders at 7.7%, umpteen Jager bombs and 5 pints of Gin, Pixar wanted a story and I just about remember seeing Doc Hollywood and some porno with Giraffes and nuns! The studio however took out the Giraffes and Nuns, the movie wouldve been awesome if those bits had not been cut. However I stand tall on the fact that Fox plied me with even more alcohol and crack, but I still refused to have anything to do with X-Men Origins:Wolverine, and that did have Gin in the title!

  • June 25, 2012, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Reply to @the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    by ColloquiallyBorn

    Yes I see your point about the whole silent movie idea. But that's what bothered me, it wasn't what they were selling. I'm a fan of the old silent movies, while only being in my mid-30's! I love the way they went on, but they told a better story, a complete story. Wall-E just didn't do it for me that way, and I just think that Wall-E should've been a kid's movie before trying to do any sort of homage to silent movies. It does lose it when the human factor comes in, but that's because they are trying to incorporate two completely different things, the silent half with the crazy all over the place other half. I do agree with you, but for me it would've been better if they had sold me that weird idea where I should not expect much from the first half. I don't know.. The whole marketing just made me lose my interest in the movie. I had to watch it on several different occasions before I could see all of it.. But Brave, I was hooked and happy to see their idea of bringing out a female character for my girls. ;)

  • June 25, 2012, 11:16 p.m. CST

    wereplatypus

    by BroVinny

    You were the kid who was always fact-checking the physics of the Warner Brothers cartoon shorts growing up, weren't you? You're over-analyzing. Take a deep breath and say, "It's just a cartoon."

  • I hope he isnt on payroll. Seriously. He writes like shit.

  • June 25, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST

    @zombie_fatigue

    by QuandraX

    Mediocrity is a strange beast to encounter in the wild.

  • June 26, 2012, 12:51 a.m. CST

    "hear" one peep, damned typos. One shouldn't type half asleep.

    by Dingbatty

  • Can you honestly not make the distinction between an bitching fanboy and a dad taking a good natured piss on a popular kid's film?

  • The stakes in the movie are way bigger than that. Merida's choice to buck tradition and not marry has massive negative ramifications for literally everyone else in the movie, threatening the end of her family, the fall of the kingdom, civil war, death, destruction, etc. Yet Merida and the film take the selfish childish view of world be damned it's all only about her. Regardless of her chronological age, which is never stated in the movie, Merida is a child dabbling in things she doesn't even begin to understand; and yes, she spends the movie petulantly throwing a fit until the entire story world and everyone in it arbitrarily gives in and caters to her demands. Only children expect the world to work that way.

  • It's the only Pixar film he ever requests to watch.

Top Talkbacks