We featured The Sidekick as one of the five panels that should not be missed at this year’s Comic-Con, but were we right? The Sidekick follows super hero sidekick Max McCabe on a journey of self discovery after his disastrous final mission with Captain Wonder (played by a wonderfully dry Ron Livingston). Created as a way to cope with turning forty, actor-writer Rob Benedict successfully assembled a team of super-talented friends to help out with the film including Martin Starr, Lizzy Caplan, Richard Speight Jr., Jordan Peele, Jason Ritter, and Josh Meyers.
I had the unique experience of seeing Pixar’s Brave in a Taiwanese theatre while visiting Taipei. This meant I had assigned seats and could drink alcohol while watching the movie. Pretty awesome, right? Well Maybe…
I also saw the movie in IMAX 3D which for me was great, but if you wanted to read the Chinese subtitles (which I’m sure the locals did), this proved quite challenging as visuals danced in front you vying for constant attention. Good thing I speak English.
Let’s jump right into the review, shall we?
Overall, the plot was pretty predictable and to be honest, a bit flat. There was a classic story arc present in a three-act structure with a simple resolution and yawn-inspiring denouement. Set in Scotland, the scenery and animation were definitely the stars of this movie. Merida’s hair kind of stole the show. Perhaps if this hadn’t been a Pixar film I’d feel a bit mean about my review, but on the other hand, if this hadn’t been a Pixar film, I probably wouldn’t have heard about this tale of a girl’s quest to gain more control over her destiny.
The characters seemed shallow and cliché. Oafish father, uptight mother, mischievous siblings and an absent-minded witch made for a mix-up of cold, seen-it-before stew. I found myself drawn to the pet horse’s personality more than anyone else and that’s not a very good sign of character engagement. Wait. Did I just mention metaphorical stew and then follow up by talking about a horse? Yay for awkward writing.
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, the setting and animation are the reasons to see this movie. Or if you have kids. If I had a daughter, I would happily show her this movie as it does provide a good message about having the strength to change societal norms and not conform to other people’s expectations. I would also tell my make-believe child that turning me into a bear however, is not an option, no matter how brave she is.
I have heard some people feel this movie is a bit scary for younger children, so perhaps waiting to watch it at home is a good way to go. I’m really not a person to give opinions on this subject since I was watching Poltergeist at the age of five (without my parent’s approval, mind you).
So, in sum, I give Brave 6 of 10 tequila shots. Perhaps if I was a younger, more naïve story consumer I’d find this movie more entertaining, but alas, I am not. There were a few really funny moments and the message is one I can appreciate.
Writer. Snowboarder. Video game proselytizer. All-around nerd and animal lover. During the day, you can find Hilary working as a marketing director for an international software company and at night (where is this going?), she squeezes in as much time as possible with her Xbox or Kindle. If you feel so inclined from reading this awkward description to find out more about her, go here: www.hilaryshapiro.com or @hilaryheskett Oh, and she is Gunny from Crabcat!