Category Archives: rants

Why I Think “Frozen” Is An Overrated Film

*this entry will contain SPOILERS

I already mentioned in my previous post that I thought Frozen falls quite short in practically every aspect that Tangled did better, that is except for the songs. I maintain this idea as I’ve seen Frozen for a second time. Now, before I get lynched once more by those loudmouthed idiots over the internet who believe shouting louder makes them more correct, I’m not saying that Frozen is bad; I’m simply saying that is it an overrated film. It’s not bad by any account; it’s just not as well-made as compared to Tangled, nor does it even stand on its own next to Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, or even the non-musical Wreck-It Ralph.

An Organic Unity of Story, Song, and Spectacle

The really good Disney movies have an organic unity of story, song, and spectacle. The story is simple, but not condescending. By condescending, I mean it doesn’t treat its audience like children. Beauty and the Beast is one; it may be the most fairytale of the Disney Renaissance as well as the most girly, but its simple but intelligently written storyline is appealing for the kids and not distracting for the adults. Its script respects the intelligence of the audience, unlike Frozen. Remember Anna’s resurrection scene when Olaf mentioned something about “self-sacrifice being able to thaw a frozen heart?” Thank you for pointing out the obvious, Olaf! Thank you for ruining that scene which I thought was clichéd as hell, and which was bordering on being a deus ex machina. So there, we have one of Frozen’s problems; a distractingly written script which looks down on its audience. Another recent Disney film had that problem; it was The Princess and the Frog. If any children’s film is guilty of being too condescending, it would be that.

“But surely, Evil Dr. Bok,” you ask, “Surely the songs make up for the script’s shortcomings?” Uh, yes, in a pretty lazy way, and no that isn’t a good thing. Disney songs are good, but they contribute to the narrative drive of the film. Again, I would give the example of Beauty and the Beast as that film is the gold standard for Disney musicals in the 90s. Every song, and I mean every song, is absolutely necessary as it contributes some character development as well as help in the film’s narrative. The opening song number establishes Belle and her status in the village, how she feels that she doesn’t fit quite in, and it also establishes one of the key characters, Gaston. See the economy in that song number? See how it merges into the film’s narrative?  That’s the organic unity I’m talking about. What does the Olaf song have to do with the story? Fine, it’s cute, and the novelty of seeing a snowman in summer is fun, but what does it contribute to the entire narrative? Maybe I need a copy of the lyrics to fully appreciate it, but for now, it would seem that there’s no other purpose for the song other than, “Hey we have a talking snowman here. Let him sing.”

And for those particularly close listeners, see how every single song in Beauty and the Beast, while particularly catchy, feels organic? “What do you mean by that, Evil Dr. Bok?” you ask, and I reply, “There is a consistency in the musicality of the song numbers and the score.” We know it was Alan Menken who scored the film, and we also know that it was Alan Menken who composed the song’s music. That’s the consistency I’m talking about. The problem with Frozen was that there is a disjoint between the film’s score and its songs.

Speaking of musical consistency , there isn’t even a good consistency within the songs themselves. We’ve got the opening chant, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”, “For the First Time in Forever”, that duet with the Gaston wannabe, the inevitable “Let It Go”, and the Troll and Olaf songs. If you have a copy of the OST, try to listen to them to see what I mean. Now try to listen to Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Hercules, and to an extent, Tangled (except for the opening song number). Each song has a musical consistency with each other. While some songs maybe too comedic at times, it works within the film’s world itself. Some songs in Frozen are too poppy; definitely at odds with the opening chant in the film. While the chant does give an interesting sound, the succeeding pop tunes tend to diminish it, which is why when we finally hear that chant again when Elsa finally thaws Arendelle, one can’t help but feel that the motif was underdeveloped.

As for the spectacle, well, I guess I can’t complain much about Frozen’s look; the ice motifs are definitely fun to look at (the “Let it Go” sequence, I’ll admit, had me forming goosebumps. And if there’s something that Disney has perfected, it’s coming up with the appropriate “MTV” for its musical numbers (I don’t mean that as a derogatory remark, by the way). Which leads me to one minor (more of nitpicking) complaint…

Where’s the villain?

Beauty and the Beast had Gaston; Tangled, despite having way too many antagonists, both real and pseudo, had Mother Gothel; Sleeping Beauty had Malificent; Wreck-It Ralph had King Candy; and The Lion King had Scar. What did Frozen have? A snivelly old man from Weasel Town, and a Gaston wannabe who’s character reversal is not well established because we were paying too much attention to the songs. Yes, this film meant to examine the sisterhood relationship of Anna and Elsa, and I appreciate that, but I have to admit I missed seeing an actual villain in this film. Tangled, surprisingly, had one very interesting villain. Gothel wasn’t as established as Scar or Gaston, but she makes up for it for her slyness and sheer manipulation. She managed to keep that flower hidden for god knows how many years. She was able to sneak into the castle to kidnap Rapunzel as an old lady, AS AN OLD LADY! She climbed up the terrace AS AN OLD LADY! My goodness I just realized how cool that is! That and she managed to manipulate Rapunzel into singing to for the next 18 years, she manipulated the Stabbington Brothers into working for her, and she stabbed Eugene Fitzherbert at the back! And she was supposed to be one of the “weaker” villains in Disney lore! What did Frozen have? Not much.

Final Words

The really good Disney films have stand out musical numbers, and to that aspect, I will again say that Frozen’s musical numbers really stand out. They are hummable, catchy, and indeed well composed. That, however, is its “downfall”. I thought that Frozen’s musical numbers are distracting in the sense that it distracts you from the problematic script, and the (I hate using the word) cliché storyline. In the end, one remembers the songs, not the story. Is this a good thing? Not exactly. Always remember that  film is still primarily a narrative driven medium, and regardless of how good the songs and eye candy is, the story, songs, and spectacle must be unified.  In this aspect, Tangled beats Frozen in practically every other department except for the songs.

Blue is the Warmest Color vs. Shame (an R-rated/NSFW post)

*disclaimer: For my students who follow this blog, I would advice that you guys skip reading this. Most of the stuff I’m talking about here doesn’t concern you guys, and I also wouldn’t want to be directly responsible for your deformation of character, so please STAY AWAY FROM THIS ENTRY!!!

I don’t usually disagree with James Berardinelli as much as I disagree (albeit in a charming way) to Armond White, but my goodness a part Berardinelli’s review of Blue is the Warmest Color goes like this:

“Watching Blue is the Warmest Color provides viewers with that rarest of motion picture opportunities: the ability to lose oneself in the life of another for three hours and to emerge having felt something.” (Berardinelli, 2013)

Yeah, I sure felt something after browsing through that tripe: DIRTYAnd I seriously couldn’t figure out what warrants the 3 hour running time of Blue is the Warmest Color. Heck, Shame was roughly less than 2 hours, had the same amount of sex and nudity, but while I did feel dirty watching  it, it sure is nowhere near as shameful (no pun intended) as Blue‘sIs it because Blue‘s lesbian sequences are ultimately the only reason for watching it, unlike Shame? Is it because despite its shallowness, Shame actually features decent storytelling unlike Blue‘s preachy nature, where we are explicitly told that love chooses no genders, sexes, etc.?

What do I mean? Remember that scene is Shame where Michael Fassbender‘s character invites his girlfriend over at a motel room for some shagging? Nothing happened; Fassbender and the girl didn’t bone. Rather, the implication goes that Fassbender couldn’t get an erection, or he couldn’t bring it to himself to have sex with a girl that he seems to genuinely love. The girl leaves the room. You know the scene which follows, right? Fassbender banging a prostitute, finishes, and again feels sorry for himself. Absolutely no words explicitly saying that Fassbender’s character couldn’t make a decent relationship with another person because of his sexual addiction. This is good storytelling, we see the effects on the person, we are not told. This is probably why I felt less dirty watching Shame over Blue.

Of course, I’m not wholeheartedly in agreement with Shame. If anything, the explicit sexual content of the film makes it almost as bad as Blue is the Warmest Color. it just so happened that Steve McQueen is a far more superior director than  Abdellatif Kechiche. That, however, doesn’t entirely justify the existence of these two films. Both are basically sexploitation in nature that you’re pretty much better off watching porn instead of these two arthouse films pretending to be profound because of their use of shock. In Shame, it’s showing off Michael Fassbender’s flaccid willy. In Blue is the Warmest Color, it’s the lesbian sex scene between the two girls.

Besides, while I do acknowledge that sex is a completely natural and necessary human act, there are other things art can talk about, you know? What exactly? Here’s the top three things that come to mind: a boy meeting his first crush, a boy who wants a cookie but couldn’t get one because he already way too much earlier on, and two best friends, a guy and a girl, who need to break their friendship because the guy’s romantic relationship is already suffering.

The Year Ender Post of 2013

Hey, it’s the end of the year and my gosh has it been a year; the year when I left the singlehood despite my geekish and grumpy tendencies, the year that I finally got to teach literature among high school students despite poetry being my “math”, the year that I finally got to record podcasts with friends, the year that… “Okay, Evil Dr. Bok! We appreciate the fact that all these things happened to you, but what about the movies?!”

Oh yeah, sorry about that. Yes, I acknowledge that I was not able to update this blog as much as I wanted to because of life stuff; don’t worry, nothing too serious happened, but there are just too many stuff happening at work and at post post-grad school that I wasn’t able to review that many films this year. Regardless, here’s my Tops, my Bottoms, and my Honorable Mentions. As usual, my Honorable Mentions aren’t necessarily the movies I loved or hated, but rather these are the films which I thought should be mentioned for the sake of exposure. As for my Tops and Bottoms, they aren’t arranged in any particular order.

Top 5 for 2013

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1. Pacific Rim: My mentor complained that this film is plagued by the Transformers syndrome, that is “too many humans, too little Transformers”. While I do acknowledge that problem with Pacific Rim, that the human story isn’t entirely too impressive, and that there were certain plot-holes that could have been ironed out some more, it doesn’t change the fact that this film is quite possibly one of the most stupidly fun and entertaining films of 2013. Sure there were more human drama than giant robots and monsters fighting, but at least in the latter category, this film delivers.

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2. Prisoners: Man was I unprepared for this movie. Sure it takes its sweet time for the story to unfold, and there were scenes which, arguably, went on for too long, but I stand by my argument that if this film were paced faster than it already is, it would have been one of the most tiring films to see for the year. The timed and tested premise of a father taking matters into his own hands to look for his missing daughter and the cop assigned to solve the case works in this thriller. The police procedural took a backseat for this one; instead it focused on the effects on the individuals affected by the tragedy. Once more, the examination of the human condition put in extraordinary circumstances makes for great stories, and Prisoners is definitely one of those great stories for 2013. And speaking of extraordinary circumstances…

Gravity_Poster

3. Gravity: This again is one of those films: an astronaut gets stranded in space and has to get back home safely even if Fate (or Providence) had been quite shitty to her. While some praise this film for being deeply profound (it’s not, I’m telling), I enjoyed this because of the direction. For a film to be able to hold your attention for 90 whole minutes with minimalist casting is an achievement.

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4. Olympus Has Fallen: This could have been Die Hard 5 as it follows the classic Die Hard formula: a group of lowlives hijack a place, and a lone meathead kills them one by one. Okay, maybe that’s an oversimplication, but it still delivers some solid action set pieces.

Last_Stand_2013

5. The Last Stand: Are you serious? Do I really need to explain why this film is in this list? Isn’t the poster enough? Okay, fine: Arnold Schwarzenegger is a sheriff who has to prevent an escaped drug lord from heading back to Mexico because… Oh screw it, it’s the Governator killing bad guys and Peter Stormare, and that’s awesome!

Honorable Mentions

1. The Conjuring: I feel bad that James Wan is leaving the horror genre because The Conjuring is proof that despite having the most cliched horror script (minus the more obviously stupid characters which plagued horror films), atmosphere, build-up, and the ever important human element is what makes horror movies terrifying.

2. Ender’s Game: This is a film adaptation of one of the most influential science-fiction novels of all time. Despite Gavin Hood‘s rather lackluster direction, at least shadows of Orson Scott Card‘s brilliance found its way into the film.

3. Man of Steel: This is neither a Christopher Nolan film nor script; this is a film directed by Zack Snyder and written by David S. Goyer. As such, you can expect certain issues in plotting and even logic, but where a solid story fails, Snyder and company make up for it in the spectacle. Yes, this is a “sound and fury” kind of film, but at least we finally get to see the Last Son of Krypton slug it out with ridiculously overpowered bad guys.

4. G.I. Joe Retaliation: This could have been side by side with Pacific Rim, the only issue being that I didn’t have that much with this. Regardless, the film fixed certain issues with Rise of CobraRetaliation is a live-action cartoon, nothing more, nothing less.

5. Thor: The Dark World: While I wasn’t too impressed with Iron Man 3, at least this film managed to put on some pretty impressive worldbuilding. It’s still nothing compared to the first one by Kenneth Branagh, but it manages to expand on the world of Thor. That and Tom Hiddleston once more steals the show.

Bottom 5 for 2013

1. Evil Dead: I really wanted to enjoy this film, I really do. But the one thing you do not do in a film about blood, dismemberment, and gore is to take it seriously. Put stupid characters, but wink at the audience; let them know that this is a whole joke and we’re just having fun. You do not tell the story of a recovering addict and make the possession a metaphor for the distrust friends have towards a junkie, most especially if the title of the film is Evil Dead!!!

2. Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters: This would have been more forgivable, but again it committed the same mistake Evil Dead did; it took itself more seriously than it should have. Plus, I don’t see how Hansel and Gretel turned out to be the best witch hunters in the country, considering that they spent most of the time being thrown around by the witches. “But surely the action sequences are fun?” you asked, to which I reply, “No. They’re generic, they’re boring. Pirate this film some more.”

3. The World’s End: Now take note that this movie isn’t as badly made as the first two choices in this list. Rather, I’m placing this here because this is one of the BIGGEST LETDOWNS of 2013. The charm which made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fun is gone in this installment. Simon Pegg’s character is one of the most unsympathetic characters around, unlike Shaun and Nicholas Angel from the first two Cornetto films. And my goodness, that argument with Bill Nighy’s voice is one of the preachiest dialogues in recent film history.

4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Same complaints with no. 3, as this is a pretty big letdown. You’ll know something’s wrong when all I can remember from the film while watching it on 48fps is that the higher frame rate isn’t as distracting as it was in An Unexpected Journey.

5. Blue is the Warmest Color: Just watch porn. I’m sorry, but if this film happens to be the best movie of 2013 according to the Cannes Film Festival, then I wouldn’t be surprised if some  actress wins awards for her extremely believable facial expressions during coitus. “Wait, Dr. Bok; didn’t they award Halle Berry an Oscar for his performance in Monster’s Ball?” … … … Yup, Western Civilization’s going down.

Happy New Year, fellow minions! ;) Here’s to the film industry for 2014: may the bubble that is superhero movies not burst yet. :P

A Case of Double Standards: A Homophobe and a Child Rapist

English: Roman Polanski in Paris at the lunch ...

English: Roman Polanski in Paris at the lunch of the César awards nominees Français : Roman Polanski au déjeuner des nommés des César du cinéma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orson Scott Card at Life, the Universe, & Ever...

Orson Scott Card at Life, the Universe, & Everything at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I present to you the case of Orson Scott Card and Roman Polanski, two controversial artists of today. Card is the author of the absolutely fantastic Ender’s Game (which was adapted quite properly recently by Gavin Hood), and Polanski is the director of Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist. While both are admittedly good at their craft, both have been put under fire for their actions.

Card is controversial for his views on gay marriage. He is not a supporter of this issue and was (take note, WAS) a member of the National Organization for Marriage, an organization which heavily campaigns against gay marriage. Obviously these views have made Card very unpopular, and almost immediately, upon hearing of a film adaptation of Ender’s Game, vocal critics as well as members of the LGTB community have called for a blacklist of the film, as well as every work of Orson Scott Card. Even the news of him being a writer of a new Superman series was met with fierce opposition, eventually forcing DC to cancel the project. As such, we have one artist who is practically anathema to most members of the mainstream media because of his political views, a novelist who wrote one of the best science fiction works of all time, and created of one of the most memorable protagonists in sci-fi history.

On the other hand, we have Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski. He came under fire in the 70s when he was convicted of drugging and sodomizing an underage girl. Let that sink in for a while; Roman Polanski was convicted of drugging and sodomizing an underage girl. I cannot remember the exact details but Polanski eventually found a way to fly out of the United States and has been living somewhere in Europe, never to return to the States as his arrival would mean his arrest. In other words, the guy’s a bloody fugitive.

In 2009, however, Polanski was finally arrested, but the reactions that followed are nothing short of bewildering. Several people actually rallied for his release. Polanski’s supported mentioned that it was quite unfair for him to be arrested in his 70s. Take note, “unfair”. It is unfair for a wanted fugitive to be arrested; a fugitive who, in the 70s, drugged and raped a minor. And it wasn’t just any rape, mind you, Polansky sodomized the girl, a minor, somebody below 18 years of age. And this man actually pleaded “guilty” during his initial trial. And this man actually has people rallying behind his release, a man whose actions are far worse than one who simply believes that it is wrong for two men or two women to marry one another.

If this isn’t considered as a case of double standards, as well as hypocrisy to the highest level, I don’t know what is.

Hitting Two Birds with One Post (mostly Catching Fire and an underrated James Bond film)

First of all, I have finally seen Catching Fire on IMAX with my girlfriend a few days ago. For now all I have to say that it was pretty good. It is certainly an improvement over The Hunger Games, but overall, it’s at best just another YA film adaptation. It doesn’t break new ground, nor does it offer something life changing. At its best, it’s a pretty entertaining film, though a bit overlong at times.

Additionally, the Arena sequence was shot in IMAX so you can really see the screen filled up. I have reservations about this as the image quality isn’t that all impressive. At most, the IMAX resolution seemed to highlight the obviousness of the CGI so, yeah, it wasn’t all that impressive. I’m guessing the benchmark would still be Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (at least for the Burj Khalifa scene) for IMAX feature presentations. Still, check it out; it’s definitely sorth the Php401.

Secondly, I’ve been going on a James Bond marathon of sorts. So far I’ve seen Dr. NoFrom Russia with LoveGoldfinger, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (I’m planning to skip all but one Roger Moore flick). For films made in the Sixties, I definitely expected to see how certain aspects of the filmmaking have aged, especially the first three Sean Connery Bond flicks. However, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (OHMSS) was one which surprised me: while I admit that this film seemed to have aged, it didn’t age as much as compared to the first three ones.

Now, I don’t want to delve too much, but I really think that OHMSS is one of the best Bond films ever made next to Skyfall and Goldfinger. The character development is top-notch (though not necessarily George Lazenby‘s acting), and the action sequences are actually quite modern. There is a reason why Christopher Nolan did an homage to it in Inception; the ski-chase is indeed a well-photographed sequence, and despite certain aspects of it being aged, still hold up till now.

Initial Thoughts (rants) on Spike Lee’s “Oldboy” Trailer (

Okay, I’ve just seen the trailer of Spike Lee‘s Oldboy. I’ve heard of an American remake of the South Korean film by Park Chan Wook (the film itself based on a Japanese manga) back in college when it still had Steven Spielberg attached to it. Back then they were planning to adapt the manga series, which was quite interesting as the Korean film was more or less a loose adaptation of the manga. But now, based on the trailer, it would seem that they’re remaking the Korean Oldboy.

While I’m one of those few who think that NOT ALL Hollywood remakes of the original are crap (examples being The RingLet Me In, and arguably The Departed), I find this practice to be, while not entirely bad, a cause for concern. Has it reached a point that it is absolutely impossible to come up with new intellectual property  that the only resort is to go back to established franchises or to look for foreign films, Oldboy in particular simply because Quentin Tarantino adored the film (for possibly the wrong reasons)?

In the end, this endeavor may have financial reasons. Heck, I’m hopeful that the produces are doing this in order to exposed the original work to a wider audience. In fact, let me end this poor excuse of a rant by “encouraging” you loyal minions of mine  to see the original Oldboy. It’s definitely worth your time. A word of warning though (as I have students of mine who read this blog); Oldboy is an example of Extreme Asian Cinema. This means that this film does not shy away from graphic depictions of violence, gore, sex, and nudity. If you’re easily offended or bothered by such images, stay away from it. If you (my students) are reading this, STAY AWAY FROM THIS MOVIE. I know you guys play violent games all the time, but this is no game.

Some speculations about the upcoming “Insidious: Chapter 2″

*Disclaimer: As Insidious has been released a couple of years ago, I’ll go with the assumption that majority have seen it already. If not, and if you plan on watching it, don’t read this post as I’ll be mentioned some MAJOR SPOILERS over here.

Okay, my post about Insidious wasn’t exactly giving the film best praises considering that it included an extremely unnecessary twist where Patrick Wilson‘s character gets possessed by the evil entity. Based on the ending, it is implied that he kills everyone inside the house, well, at least how I understood the ending. That only seems to be the most logical progression of events. It would look darn hilarious for Josh to tell Renai, “I was only angry at Lin Shaye‘s character for taking a candid picture of me so I strangled her to death. No biggie.”

Look, what I’m pointing out here is that the upcoming Insidious: Chapter 2 completely lost me based on the trailer as it was established that the family was, for some reason, happily reunited after the hauntings. Okay, this confuses me: didn’t Josh kill the medium at the end of the movie? Wasn’t Josh now controlled by the evil entity? How the heck did the family leave the hauntings behind, and how would Josh just forget about the murder? Did he suddenly develop amnesia or something? My goodness these questions boggle the mind.

Unless, it turns out that the entire film just happens to be hallucinations taking place within Josh’s mind as he tries to escape the clutches of the entity possessing his body. I’m sorry but that scenario seems to be the most logical progression of the story. But then again, coming from the writer of Saw, I’m guessing the right term would be, “Screw logic?”

Brave: Really Late Impressions

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*Disclaimer: I know some of my students read this blog so for now, I would like to warn you ahead of time that this post might include extremely harsh language.

Brave just wasn’t good. It just wasn’t. While it may have some interesting moments, they are too few and far apart. The pacing of the film felt tedious, and the tone was too inconsistent. I know Pixar films had the tendency to  mix drama with comedy but the earlier films did that in order to cancel out the extremely dark and existential themes the earlier films had (specifically Up, and Toy Story 3).

But the moment when I completely stopped giving a toss about what was happening in the film was the moment when the filmmakers EXPLICITLY mentioned that the situation could be resolved by BREAKING TRADITION. WHAT. THE. F*CK?! Here we have a “Girl Power” piece of propaganda material in the guise of a children’s film. My goodness, what is wrong with you guys? I’ll admit that my personal views on gender roles is conservative at best. However, this “breaking tradition” crap with Brave just managed to push way too many angry buttons in my system for a couple of reasons.

Film is a VISUAL MEDIUM. You tell the story with a strong narrative and visual elements. This form of storytelling is not only sloppy or lazy, it’s PREACHY, and being preachy definitely a big no-no in art as the elements are supposed to bring the theme to life (which is why, despite the film going against my viewpoints, Brokeback Mountain and Shame are two well-made films). Being preachy is insulting NOT because you are imposing your morals upon me, but because you are insulting my intelligence.

Additionally, if you guys will be making a “breaking tradition”/”girl power” kind of story, you should have chosen a more fitting character than Merida. If anything, Merida is the WORST person imaginable to be the poster girl of a “girl power” propaganda piece because Merida is one of the most bratty, the most entitled  b*tch I’ve even encountered in animation. There is nothing lovable about her. Fine, maybe the story was meant highlight that aspect of her, and it would’ve been a good move. Unfortunately, she had no growth of character. It wasn’t seen. Fine, it was mentioned EXPLICITLY in the portion when she was crying as she thought her mother would be a bear forever, but the growth wasn’t felt. It wasn’t like in Toy StoryUp, Wreck-It Ralph, or even Cars (supposedly Pixar‘s worst output). Woody and his gang grows up with every succeeding film. Wreck-It Ralph came to terms with his role as a bad guy. Lightning McQueen changed from the self-loving dick he was into a more selfless race car who gained the respect of the world when he helped the crashed race car finish the race (at the expense of coming in 3rd place). These characters grew up. We saw what they did on screen. They didn’t announce it out loud for the whole audience; they just did it. What did Merida do? Nothing. A few tears were shed, and a convenient ending narration summed it all up. That’s it.

The “breaking tradition” monologue actually did more harm for the film as it effectively deflated one of the most powerful characters in the movie; Queen Elinor. Yes, she’s a queen. Yes, she’s the one holding Merida back. Yes, she might seem stuck-up. But yes, she is one “strong woman character” I respected at least until the “breaking tradition” sequence. Remember the sequence when there was pandemonium in the castle, when the four clans were fighting each other? What did Elinor do? She stood up, walked towards her husband, and nobody, I mean NOBODY, laid a finger on her. The Scotsmen parted as she approached, and as she neared King Fergus, the fighting stopped (though one may argue that the males in the film were depicted more like buffoons, it’s one subject I’ll not touch for now). That is true power. She is a woman in authority. She understood the implications of Merida not marrying the firstborns of the other clans (again this was one portion not effectively highlighted due to sloppy story-telling). She herself had reservations when she married Fergus but what happened to her, she was a queen, an untouchable queen, and the Scotsmen would follow her every command. That is real power, not Merida saying, “I want to be in control of my destiny!” It takes a strong will to acknowledge one’s littleness in the universe, and that, at least before the “breaking tradition” scene, makes Elinor a respectable woman. And the fact that she goes back on her stance thanks to Merida taking control of her own destiny makes Merida’s character one of the most appalling characters in animated history, even more appalling than Malificent, Lotso, and Scar (the most bad-ass Disney villain ever).

Brave is not a disappointment; it’s a really bad movie. And I’m sorry, Pixar, but no amount of new technology can ever mask sloppy story-telling, tone inconsistencies, and an appalling protagonist.

Nolan Sucks

“Can it be?” you minions of mine gasping in unison at the title of this page. “What does it mean, Evil Dr. Bok? Surely you mean this as a joke, right?

How I wish. What this guy said is quite possibly one of the most offensively stupid things I’ve ever heard.  Seriously, Nolan’s fame seems to be getting unto his nerves.

Better hear it for yourselves.