Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Brave

After a semi-long hiatus we are back with a movie review of the latest Disney-Pixar creation, “Brave.” We know we have missed out on several awesome movie reviews, but don’t fret because Thursday’s post will fulfill your Dump fix on all of those blockbusters we missed (Avengers, Men in Black III and Prometheus). An update of what we’ve been up to during our MIA time will be provided as well. We know you all have been holding your breath with anticipation for our return! But for now, it’s all about BRAVE!!!

The Wife: Once again Pixar shows that it OWNS with Brave. Along with looking incredible, Brave produced a different twist compared to your traditional princess tales. With its strong female character, Scottish Princess Merida, Brave also offers an exciting, humorous plot that both children and adults can enjoy. In addition, the film’s soundtrack is awesome and really completes the overall feel and tone of the movie.

Brave tells the story of Princess Merida, who is trying to change her fate. Stuck in the tradition of having to marry a pre-selected suitor, Merida finds herself unhappy with her future and is more determined than ever to change it. Her mother, while loving, has seemingly controlled Merida for years as she has worked to shape her daughter into becoming a suitable future queen. Merida and her mother disagree on many things. For example, her mother often seems to disapprove of Merida ’s “not so lady-like” activities, such as her love of archery. (Seriously with Katniss from The Hunger Games and now Merida from Brave it seems like archery is the new “cool thing” for a strong female to do!) Like many mother-daughter relationships, the two do not always see eye to eye, but it is evident from the film’s start that there is a deep love and bond between them.

As she is forced to choose a suitor, Merida finds her castle in chaos and decides she has had enough of her “determined” future and sets out to change her fate. Of course, she meets a witch in the woods, and if we have learned anything from fairytales, it is to never trust the creepy old witch in the woods! With the witch’s help, Merida concocts a spell to change her mother, which will in-turn, change her fate! However, surprise surprise things don’t go as planned. Her mother does in fact “change.” She changes so much that she becomes a BEAR! I, for one, did not see this coming in the story! For the most part her mother’s personality does stay in tact while she is in bear form, however, the spell will become permanent if Merida doesn’t figure out how to reverse it. To help save her mother, Merida must, of course, be brave. While her “mama bear” is an inconvenience, it brings the mother-daughter team closer than ever before as they work together to change both their fates.

Overall, I really enjoyed Brave. It isn’t the best Pixar film, but it has some tough competition being compared to the likes of Toy Story (one of my favorite trilogies of all time). It did exceed my expectations, however. I loved the strong-willed character of Merida , and it is refreshing to have a princess tale that doesn’t need a prince to save the day. Instead of romantic love, Brave teaches us the strong bond and love of family. While I am a Disney-Pixar fanatic and may be a little biased, I would still encourage everyone to see this wonderful film!

Hobo Dan: Sons of Scotland! You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight? Aye, fight and you may die, run and you'll live. At least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our FREEDOM! Oh... wrong Scotland movie. I can’t believe the Wife got all the way through her review without doing that!

Brave was good, but not great. I guess I have just come to expect more from Pixar with the likes of Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Now don't get me wrong, there were things in the film that blew me away. Hair, for instance. The hair in the movie looks incredibly real. Also, the soundtrack is out of this world amazing. I guess the main thing that got me about the story was that there really wasn't an evil force. Sure, there was that giant bear, but it was more of a climatic set piece than a true nemesis. The true struggle of the film came from within, and while I will never knock a good introspective story, the way things worked out seemed just a little contrived. However, it is still a quality, enjoyable film.

The film was appropriately dedicated to the late Steve Jobs.


  1. I will pass on my country(wo)men's movie. Too much ginger for me

  2. Probably one of Pixar’s best-looking flicks, but not their best film at all. Has a great set-up, but then loses itself about half-way through and just got a little too kiddish for me. Then again, maybe some parents will like that and so will the kids, so who am I to judge? Good review Dan.