Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monkey at the Movies: Brave

We finally went to see "Brave" the other day. In 3D no less. (As an animated feature, it's exempt from my personal ban of 3D movies.) I kinda felt like we had to be a little brave just to go to the movies last weekend, after the terrible Aurora, CO incident.

Seriously, I can't even begin to fathom the kind of evil crazy that makes a person do something so horrific. You just never know. I wasn't overly concerned about any type of copy-cat shenanigans because we were there on a Sunday morning, seeing a "family" movie, and there were only about five people in that particular theater. But the showing we attended was in the last theater at the very end of the hall in the cinema.... right next to an exit door, so the thought DID cross my mind. And the lack of folks in the audience would have made all five us easy targets should someone decide to go batshit crazy and start shooting up the joint. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the Aurora victims. I don't want to give the psychopath who did it any further mention, so I'll leave it at that.

We settled in, donned our 3D glasses, and enjoyed some previews. (The "Despicable Me" minions' rendition of "Banana" (to the tune of Barbara Ann) just fills me with lighthearted glee. Potato-na. Ha!)

Then we were treated an animated short, "La Luna". Let me tell you... this was an absolutely gorgeous and heartwarming little piece. Beautiful to look at with lovely music to match. Almost worth the price of admission on its own. It's only about 10 or 15 minutes long, but I could have watched it over and over.

The main feature, "Brave", began. Every time I see a Pixar film, I am amazed at what they're able to do with animation. It seems as though they make incredible leaps and bounds in CG technology with each release.

The storyline of the movie itself wasn't quite what I expected in some ways. But it was entertaining, and y'all know how I love to hear a Scottish lilt. Reminds me of my Grandpa. Above all though, the animation is just visually stunning. Moving objects... gowns, plants, arrows, etc.... had a very natural kinetic flow. And what Pixar can do with hair these days... if only my hairdresser could perform magic like that! Seriously though, I remember watching a clip about the challenges Pixar faced when working on "Monsters, Inc.", and how they struggled with the programming to make the CG software render realistic fur. They made groundbreaking strides in that technology back then, and it's obvious they've continued to take it even further. Flowing human locks and rippling bear fur abound in "Brave".

No need to really review the plot... it's pretty standard Disney stuff. Spunky heroine faces self-made trials and obstacles, has to struggle to put things right, everyone learns a valuable life lesson or two, and cue happy ending. The Highlands setting and accompanying fable adds an interesting twist. If nothing else, go see it just to SEE it... to look at it, if you will, and enjoy the artful animation.

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