Brave (2012) – Directed by Brenda Chapman, Starring the voices of Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly & Emma Thompson. Disney. Thankfully without too much singing. As I suspected, this would have been one of my favorite movies when I was eight. A heroine with a mop of curly red hair who doesn’t necessarily want to be a princess? Yes, please! There’s been some criticism that, at the end of the day, Merida doesn’t gain freedom from the tradition of marrying. The decision is just sort of put off. But really, just maybe, that’s a little more real life than fairy tale. Maybe change needs to be enacted gradually. Maybe Merida puts off marrying indefinitely because she finds so many other interesting things to do, and everyone gets used to that fact. Or maybe she does end up marrying and remains an active participant in her kingdom’s rule, bow in hand. Fantastic animation. Fun characters.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) – Directed by Rupert Sanders, Starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron. I will recuse myself. Kristen Stewart bugs me. She has this somewhat emotionless quality that kind of makes me twitch. Despite this, I really tried to enjoy Snow White and the Huntsman. It’s a pretty movie. There are some really neat special effects and beautiful costumes. Okay, maybe the only really great costumes were Charlize Theron’s dresses and Kirsten Stewart’s non-boob-plate armor. I did like how unromantic the movie is. Sure, true love’s kiss is needed at one point, but Snow White doesn’t even pause to return the favor. Two guys vying for affection? Meh, whatever. Win hearts and dance with dwarves instead. Unfortunately, the movie felt overlong and distant. Maybe it’s Stewart’s spaciness, maybe it’s the director’s inexperience, but I never felt any connection to the setting or events. (Exception – I kind of felt bad for Ravenna, the evil queen. It’s hinted that her character has seen some hardship and she’s worked her way into an impossible situation.) Other minuses: The battle tactics made me wince, and why couldn’t the Huntsman have a name?