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Brave - Blu-ray Review [Region-Free] [UK]

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Brave - Movie Review

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4 stars

Pixar’s first foray into fairy tale territory started life out as The Bear and the Bow, went through a change of directors—losing their first female director, Brenda Chapman to the usually quoted creative differences—and came out the other end as 2012’s Brave.

The order of the day with this one seemed to be back to basics, narratively speaking. The story of a wilful and independent Scottish princess ill-amused to learn of her expected responsibilities when she comes of age. Not wanted to follow her brow beating mother’s advice and choose a suitor, the princess seeks the aid of a witch to change her mother—that’s never a good idea.

The story itself has been told many times in film, but Pixar still manages to infuse its mark on a well-trodden path with a likable protagonist, some adept characterization of supporting characters, and some good humour. The humour in this one is steered a little younger and more targeted than usual, and that may lead to some parents’ attentions wandering, but overall it is a sweet little tale that breezes along at a comfortable pace.

What is new is the technical behind the scenes processing that put this film together, and it shows. Pixar, for the first time in a quarter century, completely rewrote their software to accomplish grander and finer detail, and boy does it show. There are no bad looking Pixar films, it just hasn’t happened, but Brave’s forests, vistas, characters, have such levels of detail as to boggle the mind at how many hours it took to put it all together. It is a sumptuous feast for the eyes, and will undoubtedly dazzle all eyes on a high-def screen.

Vocal talent is natural and endearing, Billy Connelly and Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly McDonald doing standout work amongst them. The slapstick comedy throughout this film is a bit hit and miss, but more hit than miss and endearingly irreverent more often than not.

Composer Patrick Doyle delivers a sweet and often melancholic score to accompany the beauty that is as evocative as the visual, and in some ways reminded this reviewer of the excellent James Horner score from Titanic.

If this reviewer has one gripe, and really it’s just a fact that he’s a 37 year old man, not a kid, it’s the film softness, lack of true threat. There is certainly opposition presented through the story, both from character and from situation, but it’s kinda mellow for his taste.

Kids, especially young ones, will love Brave; it’s a sweet, deftly handled retelling of an old story that is painless for adults to sit through and undoubtedly a fine film for the littlies.

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Brave - Movie ReviewClassification: PG.
Runtime:
93 mins.
Director
: Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman
Writer: Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell and Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi
Cast: Kelly MacDonald; Billy Connolly; Emma Thompson; Craig Ferguson; Julie Walters
Genre: Comedy | Family | Adventure
Tagline:
Change your fate.
Memorable Movie Quote: "If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?"
Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site:
disney.go.com/brave/?cmp=wdsmp_brv_url_dcombrave
Theatrical Release Date: June 22, 2012
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 13, 2012

Synopsis: Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In Brave, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts. Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane). Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it's too late.

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Brave - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

5 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - November 13, 2012
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, Portuguese, Russian, Castillian, Ukrainian
Dubbed: Portuguese, Russian, Castillian, Catalan, Ukrainian, Kazakh
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired:
English
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1; French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Three-disc set (2 BDs, 1 DVD); DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free

The 1080p AVC encoded picture in a word? MINDBLOWING! If you have a crowd to show of your new display or home cinema, Brave will not disappoint the eyes at all: flawless and detailed beauty from start to finish. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack is as spectacular as the video, with reference quality sound that is detailed to a pin drop and as immersive as it gets, folks—amazing work from Disney. Standard but nonetheless copious fare on the special features, including commentaries, featurettes, and shorts.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length audio commentary with Mark Andrews, co-director Steve Purcell, story supervisor Brian Larson and editor Nick Smith, the commentary is fairly standard and straight forward. Much ground is covered in the film’s running time. From its development to some of the issues the team had during its production, the only stone left unturned is why the original director bailed on the film.

Special Features:

  • La Luna
  • The Legend Of Mordu
  • Brave Old World
  • Merida & Elinor
  • Bears
  • Brawl In The Hall
  • Wonder Moss
  • Magic
  • Clan Pixar
  • Once Upon A Scene
  • Extended Scenes

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