Saturday, February 23, 2013

Brave (2012)


It took me a while to finally see this movie and despite some iffy reviews from certain people, I definitely loved it. It's not that people gave Brave bad reviews they just didn't see it as revolutionary as say Toy Story or Finding Nemo. I definitely agree with that but not every movie needs to redefine the bounds of animated film. With many Pixar movies, the stories are rather different than some of the Disney classics. I love the classics that had a mix of fantasy, comedy, and good old family-oriented morality. Brave shows flashes of the old hand drawn Disney animation of the past. 

The cast is incredible and I love any chance to watch something with Billy Connolly in it. I really think that it's not quite so much the voice acting but the characters that really reel you into the film. Each character has their specific role. Whether it's to add comedy relief (which to be honest is most of them) or in Merida's case to portray a strong female character that doesn't want to be restrained by tradition. I think I lot of people can relate to being chained by parents, by peers, or by societal norms and pressures and it really does give the young generation great ideals to (attempt to) hold onto as they grow up. 

I didn't believe people when they said Brave was "scary" and although it's not anything I'd consider scary, I also laugh out loud whenever I watch The Exorcist so I'm a special case. It does have some intense moments that may not be suitable for the very young kids. This movie has more of a shock factor "scary" rather than say Toy Story 3 that has more creepy head turning baby, symbol crashing monkey, nightmare inducing "scary" moments. That being said this is all relative to children and for adults it's nothing you haven't seen before, especially with the filth and smut in media today. 

Anyway, I think Brave is a great addition to Pixar's already great portfolio of films and although it's nothing groundbreaking it's definitely worth a watch. It has a great to be learned as well being fun and entertaining for  all ages. Although try to keep your wee ones from watching it until they are a little older.

Notes:
- Poster image obtained from www.impawards.com
- John Ratzenberger keeps his streak of appearing in every Pixar film ever made alive by voicing Gordon
- The three lords are voiced by Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, and Craig Ferguson; three great and very different Scottish actors. 
- Four actors from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 also appear in Brave. Kelly MacDonald (Helena Ravenclaw) voices Merida, Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney) voices Elinor, Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) voices Lord Dingwall, and Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) voices The Witch. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Step Up Revolution (2012)


The fourth installment of our favourite dance series. This time the dance moves move to South Beach for constant slew of scantily clad perfect looking girls and guys and none of the American obesity to be seen. I find that I am harsher with movies when I watch them with other people so unfortunately this review isn't going to be pretty.  

First, let's go over the redeeming qualities of the movie. Moose (Adam Sevani) appears for about two minutes at the end.....That's about it. 

Okay, I'm being a little unfair. There are some pretty amazing dance routines in Step Up Revolution but none of them really stick out for me. I admit that I have now seen all four Step Up movies but my favourite is Step Up 3D. It is clearly not because of the great plot or impeccable acting because there is none of that throughout the series. I just like the dancing in the third one because it highlighted a lot different dancing styles, giving a lot of different performers their moment in the spotlight. In Step Up Revolution it all seemed to kind of just melt together for me. The plot is the same tired story we've seen in past Step Up movies and I have a real problem with the computer effects in this one. They are terrible. Just plain terrible. When you can clearly see parts of the scene where the CGI is put in, someone isn't doing their job. As to be expected there are so many cliches in the story that its futile to try to keep count.

It's not all bad though, there's a lot of sex appeal throughout the film. Also, the artistic direction they were going for was a good idea it just didn't quite pan out in my opinion. We also see a lot of our favourite dancers from the series return for the final number.

It's still an enjoyable movie but I wouldn't pay any amount of money to see it. Even if someone paid me a few dollars to watch it I probably wouldn't, my time is more valuable than that. However, if you like pretty nicely choreographed routines that aren't really anything new and a plot more tired than a new mother after a long labour (yeah....unfortunately I went there), then this movie still probably isn't for you, but it's good enough.

Notes: 
- Poster image obtained from www.impawards.com