Monday, 27 August 2012
Did Barry Norman ever say: 'Hello, I'm Barry Norman'? I can't remember.
Anyway, I'm not Barry Norman, but here is my review of the current movie scene, film fans. I'm sure Barry Norman never said anything remotely resembling that, but I need to distract myself from the shambles that is Manchester City at the moment (despite - finally - the sale of Adrian Bayor, we still have Roque Santa Cruz on staff, so things will never be right while that state of affairs continue, if you ask me. If Liverpool hadn't insisted on Keystone Cops style defending, we wouldn't have got a point out of that) and present you with my review of the latest Pixar offering: Brave, which I went to see with the kids yesterday.
Wood Green is never the most salubrious of locations, and I have to say that my mood before going into the cinema wasn't lightened by an encounter with a group of rude and aggressive people outside the doors of the Mall, where the Cineworld 12 screen complex is located. I'm ashamed to say that I was so disconcerted by the behaviour displayed by this bunch of yahoos that I called them a word which I don't normally use, and of which I definitely don't approve. Mind you, I didn't say it very loud, because I wasn't keen on getting my head kicked in.
Which, I suppose, doesn't make me very brave, unlike the heroine of the piece on the big screen. There have been mutterings about comfortable corporate interference in the Pixar brand with this latest piece, which I'm sure the House of Mouse will carefully consider once it has finished banking the $67 million from its opening weekend and the other several million dollars from subsequent weekends, weekdays, consumer products, etc, etc... Sniffy references to Scottish stereotypes and cheap kilt gags are all very well, but me and the kids enjoyed it, so there.
In all seriousness, I think Disney need to be careful with the stupendous Pixar brand, because it really does have something special, and although I don't think any serious damage has been done with this, there are some troubling signs in the film's edging towards the more traditional Disney animation style of film. Some tremendous sequences were negatively balanced by exaggerated blocky characterisation.
Some talk has been expelled (who knows whether the Disney PR machine is responsible for this crap. It wouldn't surprise me) about Merrida being a lesbian because she doesn't want to marry any of the Jocko parody men laid before her as suitors. I call bullshit on this one, and would say that the story is ultimately a simple one about compromise and family love, given added weight by throwing in a witch and a giant psychotic bear. Hugely enjoyable nonetheless, and wonderfully enhanced by Billy Connolly's reference to Tatty Bogle (who featured in my formative years thanks to the Scottish fiancee of my City supporting uncle John) in the opening few minutes.