Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
High Desert Daily
(Victorville) Since the beginning of time, people of the world have gone against traditions, gone against the set norms of society, and doing so wasn’t easy. It takes a lot to stand up, to be an individual, to stand by what you believe in. That’s the heart of Brave, Disney Pixar’s latest animated film. But how does this Scotland based tale stand up to Pixar’s amazing resume, like Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Up?
Set in the Scotland of lore and myth, Brave follows Princess Merida (Kelly McDonald, Boardwalk Empire), a headstrong, feisty red head who would rather practice archery than follow in the footsteps of her mom, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson, Men in Black 3). Taking after her father, the joyous, loud King Fergus (Billy Connolly), Merida is determined to not have her hand won by a suitor. It all boils to the point of a wish Merida makes to change her destiny, with some very unexpected results.
The voice cast does an amazing job, bringing to life a tale that tugs at the heart strings and puts the focus on what matters most in life: family. The green, lush lands of Scotland makes the perfect setting for this touching film. The environment is so well done, so vibrant, that it can almost be considered a character in itself, which is always the sign of great animation. Magic, curses, and warring factions, along with some excellent wildlife really make the world jump off the screen.
In regards to the version of the film I saw, I decided to upgrade to the 3D, Cinemark XD version, which is new to the Cinemark Theaters in the Mall of Victor Valley. I am very glad I chose this version. The screen is massive: it literally takes up the entire wall that the screen is on. The 3D is very well done, adding depth and making the film more of an experience. The 3D is always of the highest quality in a Disney film, and Brave lives up to that high bar of excellence.
Pixar once again makes a film that delves into the human spirit, creating another milestone in animation. If you are going to see this film in the desert, I highly recommend seeing the Cinemark XD version: this is the type of film that really makes the XD upcharge well worth it.