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After the Credits Volver a "After the Credits "

At the movies with Covo & Ayotte: “BRAVE”

By Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. | 23 de junio de 2012

Film critics Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. bring you the truth about Hollywood’s current offerings every week. Look for their reviews at  www.laprensasa.com  whenever you need to know more about the latest films. This week, the duo weighs in on the latest Pixar film “BRAVE.” Check online for more about the great indies at SAFILM like “Supporting Characters” and Portion.” Next week, check back to read what they have to say about “People Like Us.” Also, stay tuned for Covo’s exclusive interview with Mark Duplass about his latest film, “Safety Not Guaranteed” and “The Do-Deca-Pentathalon.”

San Antonio.- Film critics Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. bring you the truth about Hollywood’s current offerings every week. Look for their reviews at www.laprensasa.com whenever you need to know more about the latest films. This week, the duo weighs in on the latest Pixar film “BRAVE.” Check online for more about the great indies at SAFILM like “Supporting Characters” and Portion.” Next week, check back to read what they have to say about “People Like Us.” Also, stay tuned for Covo’s exclusive interview with Mark Duplass about his latest film, “Safety Not Guaranteed” and “The Do-Deca-Pentathalon.”

By Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. 
angela.covo@gmail.com and dennisayottejr@gmail.com 

THE NEW COVO & AYOTTE GUIDE:

  • INSTANT CLASSIC! FIVE STARS
  • DON'T MISS! FOUR STARS
  • DON'T WAIT! THREE STARS
  • DON'T RUSH! TWO STARS
  • DON'T BOTHER! ONE STAR

Covo’s take: “BRAVE” TWO STARS

To say I preferred the short “La Luna” which plays as an opening bonus to “BRAVE” is an understatement. 

The highly-anticipated “BRAVE” (at least I highly anticipated it) offers super-stylized and absolutely brilliant visuals, but after a couple of hours, even this magnificent feast for the eyes doesn’t make up for the weak storyline and the sometimes too-long fight scenes.

The gorgeous countryside is almost touchable as Princess Medira’s luscious red curls bounce around on the top of her head while she spirits through hill and dale and forest on her very charismatic horse Argus. But make no mistake - this is one princess you don’t want to mess with.

Her quest is to challenge tradition and she relishes every opportunity. Voiced by actress Kelly MacDonald (No Country for Old Men, Boardwalk Empire), the Scottish Princess prizes archery and horseback riding, climbing and being herself to any “royal” activity. Her rebelliousness is also somewhat wearing and completely self-centered and she ends up causing a whole lot of trouble for her mom and for the kingdom.

How she resolves the dilemma is the basis of this adventure, which actually has well-defined characters with strong relationships. Yet the story fails to move along fast enough to really ever really excite the viewer. About halfway through, we have a good idea of what is happening and where it will lead, which is a shame. 

So apart from the fact that the film truly is a stunning spectacle -- a movie needs to have a solid story, and this fairy tale just doesn’t cut it. Just a wee bit more effort on the plot could have made it a great movie, but the filmmakers left their courage at the door of the editing room and missed the mark. What they ended up with is a formula episode that doesn’t rate the mounds of money required to make the film. 

In spite of the splendid Disney 3-D effects (and these too were quite good), a potentially dynamite heroine and interesting treatment of the mother-daughter relationship, the movie just gets bogged down and becomes downright boring. 

The littlest ones may enjoy all the mayhem, but older kids and adults will have trouble staying put all the way through. Better than the “Cars” franchise, but still not quite up to par, you really can wait and just rent this one for the kids later. 

The film opens nationwide on June 22. “BRAVE” is rated PG and runs for 100 minutes, though it feels a lot longer.

Ayotte’s take: “BRAVE” ONE STAR

Pixar’s “Brave” was like getting a crappy toy in a Cracker Jack box. You know the caramel covered popcorn is going to be good but you’re not always sure about the prize on the inside.

The animation was awesome in “Brave,” but the story was lame. It was in 3D -- however that couldn’t save it from its overplayed weak storyline. In short, a princess refuses to marry one of the three men in the kingdom despite her mother’s wishes. The tomboy princess causes uproar as she upstages all the guys in a bow and arrow contest.

Despite showing her superiority her mother doesn’t waiver and demands the young princess must  marry one of the three men vying for her heart.  If she doesn’t choose one of them war is eminent however she defies her mother and races to the forest to find her fate. There she encounters the wisps, little blue creatures who are supposed to lead you to your fate.  In this case the wisps lead her to a woodcarving witch.

The princess asked for the witch’s help so she can change her mother’s mind and after buying her entire inventory she agrees to help. Needless to say things go downhill from here and the princess finds herself in a world of trouble. The witch gives her a cake for her mother to eat to change her mind. However, it does quite a bit more than just change her mind.

The film may have been better if there were some famous voices acting as the characters but the biggest name was Craig Ferguson, and I wouldn’t consider him that big of a star. On the bright side it’s cool to hear the Scottish accents the characters possess.

This movie is clearly a kid’s movie, and I can’t see any adults enjoying it. At least some of Pixar’s other big animated films had stories that were somewhat entertaining. “Brave” on the other hand is plain boring. If I was a parent and my kid wanted to see this film I would not take them and save my money. Better yet, I’d probably lie to them and say it never came out to spare them from a bad film experience. This will probably go down as Pixar’s worst film ever but everyone deserves a “gimme.” Consider this one Pixar’s gimme and opt to take the kids to something else that’s playing in theaters right now.

 

 

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