Saturday, June 23, 2012

Movie Review: Brave

*WARNING: As usual, this review is the opinion of the author's and no one else's. I speak for myself and no one else.*

I have been wanting to see Brave ever since I first saw the preview for it. Ever since I knew there was a Disney/Pixar collaboration on a Celtic themed movie. I am a very passionate lover of all things Celtic, and so I was destined to love this movie from the very beginning. I shall try to be as objective as possible in my review, but you must know that I loved it.
First of all, the graphics were phenomenal. I think that Pixar films are getting better and better as far as their graphics go. As the daughter of a professor of computer graphics, I have long learned to appreciate the detail that goes into a film like this. The scenery was beautiful and really did look like Scotland as I remembered it.
The characters were wonderful. They were all voiced by actors I love. Emma Thompson as the Queen was brilliant, Billy Connolly as the King [I'd love it anyway, just cuz we have the same name], Julie Walters as the witch, and then the killer trio of Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Kevin McKidd as the lords; it was all brilliant. I wasn't familiar with Kelly Macdonald who was the voice of Merida, the princess, but she was perfect. My favorite characters were probably the three princes, brothers of Merida and the most adorably rascally mischievous little buggers since Fred and George Weasley.
The story itself could have been fleshed out a little more, but since it is a Disney movie that was made for an audience of children, I'm not going to make too much of it. If they'd added more plot lines or details, the movie would have been longer and the kids just don't have the attention span for longer.
I loved loved LOVED the music, but then I adore Celtic music. Patrick Doyle was the composer and he is one of my favorites, and he's a Scot, so it was just a brilliant move. The vocalist [I do not know her name right now, but I am finding out] who had a few songs in the film was AMAZING. The tone of her voice was pure and very Celtic and I loved it.
I really enjoyed the theme of the movie, that we decide our own fate and that our bonds with our family and friends are important, not just for us but for our future and the future of those around us. Very heartwarming movie and I ALMOST cried. I would have done, but the loud talking children broke me out of my moment.
It was also a ridiculously funny movie. Almost slapstick, but I found it so unpredictable in its humorous moments that I was pleasantly surprised. I love a movie that can make me laugh without being crude or vulgar or just plain stupid. This had none of that, which I appreciated.
Now for my warning: parents, if animated naked rears bother you, don't take your kids. It's Scotland, so there's nothin under those kilts, and....there's a few surprises. I thought it was hilarious, but there you go. Other than that, you're safe as can be. There might be a few parts that scare the really young or really timid, but it's not that bad at al.
All in all, I loved it. I thought it was spectacular. It was like taking a trip back to my beloved Celtic lands of Scotland and Ireland, but without the fresh air. I mean, come on, the movie had haggis! Only those who have actually enjoyed that delicacy can appreciate the humor in it. Merida was a wonderful character who grows a lot, and it was refreshing to have a princess be the main character, and not have her looking for a prince. She is a strong, independent young woman, and the lessons she learns could stand to be learned by many women, young and old, in today's world. And the men as well.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy the soundtrack and get lost in it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

*WARNING: This review is the author's opinion, and does not represent any other perspective but hers. The author has been known to be eccentric [or artistic] in her taste in movies, and others [particularly in the author's own family] will disagree severely with this review.*

I will be the first to admit that I was hesitant to see this movie purely on the fact that Kristen Stewart was in it, and I am not a fan of her acting. Or "acting" would be the proper way to say it, I think. I saw the Twilight movies. All of them. The best thing I can say is that she is getting better. Still, I wasn't sure about this one. But a brave friend saw it before me and told me that I had to see it.
I was so glad that I did!
Charlize Theron was a revelation. She was absolutely brilliant. Oscar-worthy. Creepy and beautiful and haunting and magnificent. It was worth the trip purely to see her portrayal of the evil Queen. The pure depth of her acting was astonishing, and I actually had moments where I pitied her character, which was completely unexpected.
Chris Hemsworth was phenomenal. I mean, I never had any doubts on that score, considering what a brilliant actor he is, not to mention gorgeous. He played a tormented widow brilliantly and his transformation into a loyal protector was absolutely perfect, and it was fantastic to see.
Kristen Stewart...was actually quite good. Would I call her 'fairest in the land'? No. But I came to appreciate that she really is a beautiful girl, and she really does have potential. I wouldn't have thought that she could pull off the meek and innocent character, but I absolutely believed it. I liked her. Never thought I'd admit that in a million years, but there it is.
The music was gorgeous, but when it's James Newton Howard, you can't go wrong. I bought the soundtrack the moment I came home.
The dwarves were awesome, the scenery was perfect, and the supporting characters brought the story more depth, which was exactly what was needed. The cinematography was stunning ad artistic, which I really appreciate.
Now.....there was a sudden ending, which left things a liiiiittle unresolved, but I can appreciate, as a movie lover, the change in format. Now that I've had time to mull things over, I actually like the way it is left, open ended and open to interpretation. The audience can choose their own ending however they like.
It should be noted that this movie is not for kids. It is intense and a little graphic, and there is some partial nudity. Nothing to cover eyes about, but still. Language is clean, as far as I remember, which is always refreshing. But I do not think you should take your kids to this one. It ain't Disney.
All in all, I think this movie is underrated by critics and movie goers. Or maybe it just appeals to a more artistic audience with less demands. Like me.
Does this mean I'll see more Kristen Stewart movies? No way. It does mean that I will give her a chance, barring Twilight movies, to prove herself again. It means that I was pleasantly surprised by a film, and I hope that I can have that experience again.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Me in Movies

So I had an idea. I wanted to try and describe myself in a series of movies I could find on youtube. Why? I don't know. Probably part of this whole "starting over" process I'm about to begin. But still. Let's try it, shall we?
First, the romantic.
Oh my goodness, I love this's just beautiful.

Second, the sports fan.
I still get chills at this one. I was there. On the sidelines. The. Whole. Game. It was awesome.

Third, the musical fanatic.
Ugh. So good. Gives me chills.

Fourth, the Disney junkie.
Soooooooooooo awesome.

And finally, and most importantly, the Mormon.
I love these men and their message. I know that it is true. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I know that He lives.

That's me in a media nutshell! Let me know what you think...