Sometimes objectivity is impossible. That will nearly always be the case when looking at a Pixar Studios release. The track record Pixar has achieved is astounding. This reputation comes from an ideal combination of dazzling visuals, memorable characters, and a beautifully written story. These characteristics have come to be expected. Brave, Pixar’s thirteenth release, simply does not raise the bar. While it is a “good” movie-given it’s predecessors, I can’t help but feel disappointed in Brave. Like I said, Brave is good. It has some laughs, it has some touching moments, and the one spectacular element is its visual effects. Overall, however, Brave feels more contrived than anything else. It is Pixar’s first effort with a female lead, but nothing feels natural about the conflict between Merida and her mother Elinor (and I understand that part of this unnaturalness comes from a very odd curse). The film bets heavily on this mother-daughter conflict, but its just not strong enough or relevant enough to sustain the work by itself, making Brave feel simple. The thematic idea of fate being a choice is crow barred in there as well, but it is drastically underdeveloped. Of course, from a child’s point of view, this is unnecessary criticism. Brave will be a wonderful experience for kids, especially mothers and young daughters, but once again, subjectively speaking, Pixar films have historically not pandered to only this specific audience level. Brave isn’t bad, but there’s just not as much to love. B-
First of all I would like to say terrific blog! I had a
quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my
ideas out there. I truly do enjoy writing but it just
seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?
Very sorry to have only just seen this question! First of all, thank you for your complements on my blog. I agree that sometimes the hardest part for any writing exercise is the starting point. In terms of my reviews, I am usually looking for an angle for my starting point throughout my initial screening of the film. On top of making critical observations, I keep an eye open for a connection thoughtful way to get things started that way, when I sit down to write, I already know how I’m going to begin. In terms of non-cinematic writing, I think the traditional has never failed me: historical context, advisory statement, or even a bit of outrageousness as long as I can support it and feel the emotion is appropriate. The key is really just to plan a little bit or at least know why it is you want to write about the subject and make that abundantly clear from the start.