Brave Review

There are animated movies and there are Pixar movies and unlike Pixar’s last venture, Cars 2, Brave is a Pixar movie. Cars 2 was the only Pixar movie that didn’t reach that level for me and I was happy to see they’re back on track with their newest movie, Brave. The animation was beautiful as ever, the story kept you involved and it’s rich in themes (something Pixar movies manage every time).

There was something about Brave that made me very excited. Seemingly, Pixar was making a fantasy movie whose protagonist was a strong female hero with a Scottish accent. Not long into Brave I realized it was so much more and just a little less. Of course I won’t give anything away, but it did not involve much adventuring and there was magic, but it just wasn’t that magical. The film really didn’t offer the amazing escapism you’d expect from the creative minds behind Pixar working to tell a fantasy story.

The always enjoyable Kelly Macdonald plays the young princess, Merida. She is quite the archer and is at the heart of the film. Her choices are what drive the film to the unexpected places it goes and along the way some characters are met (not as many as you’d expect), challenges are overcome and lessons are learned. The film was quite good and rather enjoyable, but it felt a bit small.

Small isn’t all bad though, it was also simple but in no way was it cliché. It was a very different story and it had its ideals fully realized in Brave, ideals about family and the things you can accomplish with the people you love. Pixar has done better and Brave could easily have been done better. Brave was no perfect movie, but it was certainly a pretty enjoyable one worth seeing.

Grade: B

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Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

I was always thinking about making this list, but I never took the time to coherently think about it. This was probably the easiest list I’ve ever made. I never saw much point because I knew it wouldn’t be that difficult to realize what films I want to see more than the others in a year that may go down in history as one of the greatest. Well with out much more introduction I’d like to just get into it. These are my most anticipated movies of 2012…

10. Seven Psychopaths

Martin McDonagh is the writer and director of In Bruges, a unique film that finds a brilliant balance between comedy and drama and a film I’m actually a huge fan of. Seven Psychopaths sounds even more promising. It has something to do with screenplay writing, assassination, and dog-napping. It also stars Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson. I can’t wait.

9. Lincoln

Just the idea of Steven Spielberg making a biopic about arguably the most important President in American history sounds great. Add to that the fact that my favorite actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, is playing the titular character. Also Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing his son. This almost seems to good to be true. I don’t know much about this Lincoln movie at all, but I do know I am unbelievably excited to see it.

8. Skyfall

I absolutely love Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, there aren’t that many movies that offer as much fun as those two movies do. Skyfall is the sequel and one that sounds downright incredible. The story sounds more personal, Ralph Fiennes is involved and the villain is played by Javier Bardem. Daniel Craig is fantastic as the James Bond crafted for a more realistic and gritty world and Skyfall will be awesome.

7. Only God Forgives

Drive was my favorite movie of 2011 and without question one of my favorites ever made. Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling make an amazing team. Only God Forgives is a film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and it stars Ryan Gosling. It tells some type of story involving cops, criminals and a thai-boxing match. I don’t know much, but it interests me and I could know nothing about the story and still need to see it.

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Lord of the Rings offers up one of the greatest stories ever told. The Hobbit is the prequel to that very story and obviously I can’t wait to see it. I do already know that The Hobbit is no The Lord of the Rings, but it is a story that expands upon a universe that I love dearly. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be spectacular and it’s unbelievable that I’m only able to put it at number 4. Any other year and this could’ve easily been number 1 on this list.

5. The Master

The Master may be the movie on this list I know the least about, but it’s also one of the ones I’m most excited about. Paul Thomas Anderson is one the greatest crafters of film who ever existed. The Master is a movie that examines religion and studies a sort of L. Ron Hubbard character. Had it been another director the film might not have interested me. As a Paul Thomas Anderson movie I can already see all the pieces falling into place.

4. Looper

This movie should be much higher on this list, but 2012 is going to be an extraordinary year for movies. Rian Johnson is a fantastic director, I know this and he’s only directed two movies. Both The Brothers Bloom and Brick are masterpieces. They’re innovative, incredibly written and the directing is brilliant. Looper is Rian Johnson’s next movie and like Brick it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If Looper is anything like his previous works, I’m in for one hell of a treat.

3. Prometheus

This is actually the movie that inspired me to just finally sit down and make this list. There was never a question as to what my top 2 on this list would be, but it was the newest trailer for Prometheus that made me realize how potentially perfect of a year for films 2012 could be. I practically know nothing about the story at hand here, but this looks like genre-defining stuff, truly. Ridley Scott showed what sci-fi movies could be with Alien and Blade Runner and now with Prometheus it looks like he may be doing the same thing, but with the technology we have now. If this reaches its potential, I don’t know if we’ll be able to handle it.

2. Django Unchained

At first I was saddened by the fact that I had to use the picture that I did, but then I realized that picture is all I would need to understand the necessity to see this movie. Quentin Tarantino is my second favorite writer and director and I look forward to all of his future projects, but with Django Unchained, it’s not just the fact that it’s a Quentin Tarantino movie.

The film stars Jaime Foxx, Christoph Waltz (a piece of casting that would get me to see any movie), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kurt Russell and Leonardo DiCaprio as villain Calvin Candie. Let me repeat that: Leonardo DiCaprio is playing a villain. That’s another fact that would easily get me to see a movie. Now let’s discuses the fact that Django Unchained is also going to be a spaghetti western, a genre that Quentin Tarantino was born to put his own style on.

1. The Dark Knight Rises

I have literally never and I mean never looked forward to a movie as much as I have The Dark Knight Rises. There was never a question as to what movie would be number 1 on this list. If I had to choose between watching between watching The Dark Knight Rises and watching any other movie that has ever existed and ever will exist I would choose The Dark Knight Rises and I would be able to decide that in seconds.

The Dark Knight Rises is the final film in my favorite series of films and in that way, I have never wanted to see a movie more than I have this one. It’s got all the same actors playing the same great characters and plenty of other casting decisions that’ll make for what should be able to stack right up there with The Dark Knight. Its got Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Liam Neeson, Anne Hathaway and the brilliant Tom Hardy as the main antagonist, Bane.

Christopher Nolan is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. In terms of originality, the movies he makes are nothing short of inspiring. The emotion, magic and potent storytelling that Nolan offers up in the Dark Knight Legend he’s been crafting is simply perfection. Christopher Nolan has never let me down and there’s no way he’s going to let me down with the sequel to my favorite movie that has ever been made. Not only is The Dark Knight Rises my most anticipated movie of 2012, it’s my most anticipated movie of all time.

Top Ten Pixar Movies

Like I’ve said in the past and ‘m sure I’ll say in the future, Pixar has never once let me down and at this point after 10 masterpieces, I seriously would be highly surprised if they ever did. Yes this list wasn’t hard to narrow down which films would be on the list because there’s only 10 options, but to be honest, this was probably one of the hardest lists to make an order to because every single Pixar movie is so closely awesome. The only ones I say I don’t love are the tenth movie on this list and Cars 2. The ninth pick is very close to being as good as the 1st and that’s because Pixar just can do no wrong, but I think I’ve managed to order this list in a way that each film is just a bit better than the last. Ten films all rich with characters, color and morals. Each is a fantastic film, but which is the best of the bunch:

And P.S. when a new Pixar movie comes out each year, I’ll order the list to put it somewhere, that is unless it doesn’t deserve a spot.

10. Brave

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When it comes to Brave I expected one thing and I got another. I couldn’t wait to see Pixar’s version of a fantasy genre and what I received, packaged beautifully, was the story of a daughter and a mother. Merida is a fantastic Pixar character and don’t even get me started on her supremely animated hair. You can’t expect much else from Pixar than greatness and this spectacular story about love between a daughter and mother is great.

9. The Incredibles

Pixar’s action packed superhero flick is so entertaining and well made. Its one of their most elaborate to date and it was sad for me to have to put it this high on the list. Its certainly one of those movies you could just pick up any time, watch, and still enjoy time and time again. Pixar had already made plenty of masterpieces prior to The Incredibles and then they blew everyone away again with a story that wasn’t just heart-warming, it was cool.

8. Cars

Pixar’s longest feature yet is a spectacular movie that just barely missed the top five. The movie was full of such vibrant scenery and incredible characters. The movie is made so watchable by its energy and excitement. The message is also so simple and yet so heart felt in the end. Quite the memorable movie indeed.

7. Finding Nemo

Most will disagree with the place of this one and some might even call this their favorite, but I just don’t think it’s as good as the other films on this list to be honest. I for one think it is a fantastic movie, but it’s also the most overrated Pixar movie to date, because other Pixar movies, which are better, are overlooked more often. Finding Nemo tells the tale of one incredible journey of a father searching for his son.

6. Ratatouille

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Ratatouille was the first Pixar movie I was legitimately scared to see. I just didn’t think it looked that good. Where all past Pixar movies were about colorful characters such as Monsters, Toys, or Fishes, this one was about Rats. And you know what, it totally worked and from after watching Ratatouille I knew never to doubt Pixar again. Ratatouille is phenomenal from start to finish. PIxar makes you love it’s characters and Remy, the rat in love with the art of cooking, is awesome.

5. Monsters Inc.

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The highly memorable Monsters Inc. is a force to be reckoned with. It had such an intelligent premise, but not only that, it had the fantastic characters played by fantastic actors and throw in a cute little girl and what you get is simply a spectacle beyond belief. The world PIxar creates is a wondrous one. Monsters Inc. is an extraordinary and satisfying film that plays with our emotions through out. It’s hard not to love every minute.

4. A Bug’s Life

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A Bug’s Life is masterpiece. It’s also the most underrated Pixar movie out there. I could never get bored of this film. Not only does it have fantastic messages, characters, color, story, etc. It also offers the greatest villain in cartoon history. Hopper is brilliantly played by the two-time Oscar-winning actor, Kevin Spacey. It’s not just a great Pixar movie, it was is just a fantastic movie. Heroism is at the heart of this tale and it’s completely breathtaking.

3. Up

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Up is a remarkably enthralling movie, a true classic as only Pixar could make. The beginning of the movie is arguably Pixar’s greatest feat. In mere minutes we witness the lives and love of a man, Carl, and a woman, Ellie, as they meet at a very young age and fall for each other instantaneously. The story doesn’t focus on Carl and Ellie however and the sequence serves as more of a preface to the real story, and it’s one of the most memorable Pixar has ever told. It’s an eloquent and masterfully established statement about cherishing the adventure that is life.

2. Toy Story Trilogy

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The now-classic that started it all, Toy Story, is a truly flawless animated film. The Trilogy is something so much more and that’ why the entire toy story is what makes my second slot. From its memorable characters and scenes, to its innovation, honestly, where would the industry be without this movie. This film is what got animation back into action. The sequel was just another adventure with the characters we grew to love in the first, while Toy Story 3 is what really captivated me. If I had to choose my favorite of the Trilogy it would Toy Story 3 for it’s whimsical narrative, it’s broad undertones and it’s appreciation for the love we all share for the series and these little toys.

1. WALL-E

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WALL-E is the greatest films ever made by Pixar and it just may be the greatest animated movie ever made, I’d have to put a little more thought into it. It’s a film that really is flawless, it makes you feel every single emotion you’d want to feel watching a movie and most importantly, at exactly the right times. Within the first minutes you fall in love with WALL-E and even though he never says more then 4 words, you still know exactly how he’s feeling and that’s what makes this film so perfect. Pixar manages to create one of their most relatable and human characters ever and he’s a robot, a lonely one looking for love. WALL-E is an incredible film that can be experienced, felt and enjoyed by every living being with a heart. It tells a gorgeous and lush tale that is stuffed to the brim with deeper meaning and thoughtful morals, but at it’s heart it’s one of the greatest stories of love ever told.

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