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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2012

ARTICLE INDEX

“Brave" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook

movie-november-2012-brave

Synopsis

A young princess, Merida, was born into a kingdom where tradition ruled first. Forced to marry one of the other clan’s sons, Merida fights to change her fate.  She is more like her father, a headstrong warrior with exceptional fighting skills, than her traditional mother.  A constant power struggle between her and her mother ends in a poor decision by Merida.  She sees an old witch and wishes that her fate be changed.

Specifications

  • Disney Pixar
  • 2012, Color, rated: PG, 1 hour 33 Minutes
  • Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
  • Starring:Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
  • Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Many said Pixar could do no wrong and the reviews were pretty mixed for Brave, so in that sense I suppose they missed the mark with Brave.  Given the lackluster reviews, my expectations were pretty low coming into this one. While I will agree this was far from the best Pixar film, Brave still has some charm and was more entertaining than most movies I get to watch for review.  As a Boardwalk Empire fan, it was odd to hear Kelly Macdonald as the voice of Merida, but she did a good job and it wasn’t long into the movie until I forgot about her BE character, Margaret Schroeder.  Brave is a good looking movie with excellent art direction.  I love their use of Merida’s glowing red hair against complement colors. Brave is a solid movie that does take a bit of an odd twist, but if you roll with it I think you will enjoy it in the end.  Definitely worth at least a rent. Die hard Pixar fans, well you probably already bought it ;) 

Technical

As with most computer generated animation, the video transfer is perfect for Brave. Merida’s bright orange hair pops against dark gray, blue and greenish hues. Detail of the textures is great, contrast is beautiful, and there is plenty of shadow detail with no signs of compression.

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track is among the better I have heard recently. Great use of the extra 2 surround channels and some chest thumping bass as well.

(Comments regarding the included 3D version coming shortly)  

Extras

Audio Commentary, La Luna and Legend of Mordu - short films, Tons of Behind the Scenes material all the way down to how they generated the moss, Alternate opening, extended scenes, and more. The Legend of Mordu was a great edition to the Brave world, I am glad they took the time to make it and include it.