Reblog- Discussing Brave

This film comes out on Blu-Ray this week and this is my initial response to the film (which is great). My daughter is only 18-months old and is obsessed with Princess Merida. She has a toddler doll of her and walks around with it, calling it her baby. She runs her hands through her hair, gives it kisses, sleeps with it each night… Yes, it is all very cute. The day I show her the film and she realizes her “baby” can walk and talk too, her little mind will certainly be wowed.

The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

This discussion/review is filled with spoilers so if you have not seen Brave… Well, go see it, it is great.

I’m not sure whether to compliment the marketing division at Disney or scold them, but Brave is not the movie they were selling to us. Oh, it is a good film, and I really enjoyed the trip, but it’s not the film I felt like we were seeing in the ads.

Yes, there is magic, there is the princess with the bow, there is some adventure in the end, but it is not on a grand magical stage. If anything the film seems smaller than all that, and even seems to decrease in size over the picture, since we keep returning to locations we have seen before, again and again.

Yes, in many ways, Brave is a small  and personal film, with only a small cast dealing with an issue…

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Five Things I Am Into Right Now, April 2012

I feel like over the last month, I have been doing nothing but battle a cold that will. not. stop.

It has gone from my body into my soul.

Was there a time when I was able to complete a sentence without a cough? Did I ever not sneeze? I can honestly say I don’t know. So as you can imagine, my list this month involves a lot of things I can sit down and enjoy… Right now I like sitting.

Mad Men

It’s fascinating how this show has adapted over the years.  What began as somewhat a mystery around the identity of Don Draper (and who would find out and then what???), has now become almost nothing more than a character study as we watch time pass in their lives. (Dare I call it a soap opera?)  I’m not sure if the lack of suspense or overall plot development is related to some larger vision the creator has for the season that he hasn’t shared yet, or a repercussion of the series being picked up for more seasons; in other words he has to pull his punches because he has to drag it out (The same problem you see every week with How I Met Your Mother– those poor kids listening to that non-ending story! I love a good yarn, but I would have even walked out on the story by now).

Still I am really glad the show is back on the air and it is fun visiting the characters again. I just wish something big would drive it forward. Continue reading

Five Things I Am Into Right Now, March 2012

It’s March in Michigan and you can feel the shackles of winter breaking all around us… To be replaced, of course, by the wet shackles of non-stop rainstorms. February and March are always such dreary months in the state of the mitten. Glen Phillips has a song that says “winter pays for spring.” Nah, in Michigan I can point to two overly depressing months as being the cost.

So usually, around this time of the year, I am drawn to lighter entertainment. This is not the time for a serious novel for me.  You won’t see one on the list. I’m looking for fun and comfort here. For example, just check out the first on my list:

Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz (1979-1980)

It’s become a tradition for me and my mom. Every year, I get the box set for Christmas of the next two installments in the Complete Peanuts series. And each year around this time, these collections save me from the natural funk around me… Which is hilarious to consider since the world of Mr. Charles Brown is not exactly a nice place to live.

It’s cruel, it’s full of sarcasm, and your friends have no problem pulling a football from you, letting you land right on your back. Ouch. Continue reading

Goodbye to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

A new film article is up at Green Spot Blue.  This one is from a one-time avid Star Wars fan saying goodbye (and why he is saying it). Also, I share some of my memories and opinions about each of the films (and you get to see a picture of me as Chewie!). Consider it a wake for a childhood obsession and all the humor that comes with that idea. So raise a glass and enjoy the beginning of the article:

Soon the Complete Star Wars Saga will be hitting on blu-ray, and for a member of Generation X, it can’t help but make me stop and take pause over this creation and its influence. For my generation, this is our Beatles, this is our man on the moon, this is our disco. We wear the t-shirts, we recite the lines at random times:

Like Beggar’s canyon back home.

That’s no moon, it’s a space station.

Heck, I have even met someone once who had turned his Mini-Cooper into an X-Wing! But beyond the extremes like that, it has shaped for many of us how we look at the world, and how we see our place in it… for good or bad.

The Original Trilogy

My first ever memory is seeing Star Wars in the theater.

I was 3, and my parents took me to see it in our local theater. The theater was packed and people cheered and clapped throughout it. I remember seeing Artoo on the screen and thinking that is cool. It had a profound impact on my entire life (and probably on my parents’ checkbook).

I remember begging my folks to take me to see The Empire Strikes Back and that Christmas I got an AT-AT and it was awesome.

Now my bad story, I remember convincing a kid in fourth grade, who I didn’t particularly like, that he should include me in his birthday gathering because they were all going to see Return of the Jedi that opening night. After the movie, I made some excuse and went home, my task completed. I know, I know, ouch.

I think I purchased every video release of these films, especially in the later years, looking to see what changes George Lucas had made this time. Yet, with the more changes he made the more I realized he wasn’t adding, but taking away. Now when I watch A New Hope (the corrected title for the original film), the pace is all wrong, he added too much extra, throwing off the rhythm of the original’s pace, like a drum solo that has lost its time. A shame. (I’m not even going to discuss the recent addition of Darth Vader shouting “Noooo!!!” to the Return of the Jedi! It would just be a waste of breath; when Lucas has made a change, he doesn’t go back no matter how bad the idea.)

You can read the rest of the article here.

May the force be with you… or what is left of it.