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  #1  
Old June 25th, 2012, 02:41 AM
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Red face Pixar's "Brave"

Brave:
Quote:
"Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land."
Saw this today with my family. I liked it a lot. The commercials made it look like a pretty conventional story, and the film plays out as you'd expect... for a while. But then it takes a bit of a turn, and while that apparently throws some folks (more mixed reviews for this one than most), I liked it a lot. Of course, I'm a sucker for Pixar films, and for parent-child/mother-daughter drama. I recommend it.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: Pixar's "Brave"

i don't get jazzed about "cartoon' movies, but, my ladyfriend has gotten me turned on to the idea of seeing it. Pixar hasn't done a bad project that I have seen, so it will go on the list to see, for sure. Thanks for sharing!
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  #3  
Old June 25th, 2012, 02:51 AM
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Wink Re: Pixar's "Brave"

I will give the film's critics the assertion that this isn't Pixar's best. But it's not the studio's worst. If they left the Pixar logo off, and had only Disney on the opening credits, it'd be widely hailed.

Be careful of reviews. I didn't read any, and that played a part in how much I enjoyed it. I just now read Roger Ebert's review, and the guy goes and gives away a key plot point right in the middle of it!
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Old June 25th, 2012, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Pixar's "Brave"

lol, exactly. I tend to stay away from a lot of reviews, unless it is a 99% flop, or 99% success. . . since the www has given everyone and their brother a voice, it is hard to take "critics", and "Real" reviews at face value.

I will wait for Blu-ray, as I just really don't like going to the theater unless mandatory( I have enough theater in the man cave, that suits us just fine), but this will go on the list.

I just got to Wall-E about 2 months ago, and I hate to admit it, but I REALLY liked it, I enjoyed it far more than I anticipated, lol. There is also a Pixar production, that features 22 "digital shorts", and it. was. awesome.
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  #5  
Old June 25th, 2012, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Pixar's "Brave"

I saw it and enjoyed it. Like pzarquon said, not the best nor the worst. But even the worst Pixar movie is still a pretty good movie.

One of my favorite things about Pixar is the little short animated film they show before the movie. The one preceeding Brave, titled "La Luna", is probably my favorite one yet.
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Old September 12th, 2012, 04:35 AM
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Default Re: Pixar's _Brave_

Brave (2012)
With the voices of Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson, and Robbie Coltrane. Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman.

Merida, the main character in Pixar’s Brave, is a princess in Medieval Scotland, the daughter of a king who maintains a careful peace in a kingdom of rival clans. Merida is a tomboy, a skilled archer and would-be adventurer who resists many of the traditional girly behaviors her mother insists she learn and respect. When Merida rebels against the ages-old tradition of allowing the clan chiefs’ sons to vie for her hand, her mother takes offense not only at the rejection of the tradition, but at Merida’s inability to understand that the kingdom’s tenuous peace rests upon the carrying on of such customs.

In a fit of rage one day, Merida makes a wish without considering the possible consequences of getting what she wants. One of these consequences affects her mother in a terrible way, threatening the possible loss of her mother forever.

I’d recommend this amazing critique by Lili Loofbourow, in which the author dissects the criticism (which I have heard from several friends) that Pixar’s story of the Scottish princess is little more than a traditional Disney princess film, but only if you’ve already seen the film (it contains major spoilers). Although I consider myself a feminist, I have to say that most (‘though definitely not all) of Loofbourow’s observations flew right past me, and my initial response to Brave was an agreement with the cliche-princess-story reaction. However, where my friends seemed mostly to be disappointed, I was exhilarated by one of the coolest achievements in film animation I’d seen in quite a long time.

If you’ve ever worked with the kind of animation software that’s readily available in the general market, you know that the basic concept is to create an image in one place and time, then to define where you want that image to be at a later time. The software fills in the blanks, as with the morphing at the end of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” video. When those blanks are large, the animation tends to be pretty primitive, like most of what you see in online Flash-powered games. When those blanks are smaller, the animation is smoother, but make those blanks too small and you’re basically drawing and re-drawing the movie frame-by-frame, which on a computer is seldom an improvement on such classically animated films as Pinocchio.

What animation studios such as Pixar are doing with computer-generated animation goes miles beyond that, not simply using the computer’s power to fill in the visual blanks. In addition to an object’s physical appearance, taking into account light, shadow, perspective, and texture, the computer calculates such things as how the object behaves with such other influences as gravity, wind, and moisture. What makes the animation in (for example) Finding Nemo so interesting is that while Marlin and Dory both are fish existing in the same water, Marlin has a wide body with large fins, while Dory has a narrow body with small fins, and the difference between their bodies’ motions just staying in one spot in moving water is considerable. A Pixar computer has been programmed to move Dory and Marlin differently from point A to point B through substance C.

Where Pixar’s real magical muscle is flexed is when it gets to redefine these parameters. This great article at FXGuide explains how, among other mind-blowing adjustments, Pixar used a gravity on Merida’s hair closer to the moon’s than earth’s in order to get the movement it wanted. If you’ve seen Monsters, Inc., think about the way Sully’s blue fur moves when Sully moves and how a severely rudimentary animation would have made his fur more like Fred and Wilma Flintstone’s basically plastic hair than the soft, cuddly stuff that the little girl falls in love with. If that doesn’t blow your mind, we probably don’t have much more to discuss, because the animation of Merida’s hair in Brave is more impressive even than that.

Just showing off the amazing accomplishment in animation isn’t enough to make a decent film, which is why I spend so much time now explaining my feelings about it. Merida’s hair is a critical symbolic element in the movie, an easy focal point on which the viewer latches, and one factor contributing to its effectiveness in this way is how well it is animated. I don’t know enough about constellations to comment on the animated movement of the stars through the night sky, but whether or not it’s lifelike isn’t important to the movie’s purpose. Merida’s hair, presented as it is, is a technological achievement and an artistic element, as much a part of Merida’s story as the glass slipper is of Cinderella’s.

From this technical standpoint, Brave is an amazing film. Its animation and sound are among the best I’ve experienced, and the artwork is quite close to breathtaking in one scene after another. My one complaint is with the way some of the animals are animated. Something about it feels wrong, as if everything else in the movie were drawn by one artist with one concept and one or two of the creatures, alone among the other elements in the film, were drawn by another artist with some completely different concept. The way they move, too, really sticks out as if they exist in some other Pixar movie. I found it disconcerting, and while I understand the film-makers’ desire to keep a bear’s fur as sleek and well-behaved as possible, they go so far as to render it almost seal-like.

One mostly irrelevant thing I love about Brave is this title. How often is a film’s title a one-word adjective? The argument could be made that Pixar’s Up is an adjective, but I always interpreted it as the adverb (which itself is pretty cool). There is something revealing about this title, but I haven’t yet been able to wrap my brain around it. There’s something there about the title describing the film itself, as if to say this is a brave film, a possibility I rather like. I get the feeling there’s more to it than that.

If there were just a little more heft to the story, it might have unseated my other favorite animated films. Something about the plot feels rushed, and I can’t point to a specific piece of it as the center of blame. Brave gets huge, huge points from me for its wonderful animation and beautiful visuals, so keep in mind that my rating is inflated by these considerations. But definitely go see it.

7/10 (IMDb rating)
73/100 (Criticker rating)
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  #7  
Old September 14th, 2012, 12:42 PM
Pohaku Pohaku is offline
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Default Re: Pixar's "Brave"

I finally saw this with my 5-year-old daughter. (She'd already seen it with her mother, and loves it.) Very entertaining!

And thank you, Scrivener, for the fascinating article.
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