Friday, June 29, 2012

Merida goes to see Brave

As I mentioned, I saw Brave opening weekend at my local theater (AMC Burbank 16) this past weekend and LOVED it.

I went with a friend of mine to a special Dolby Atmos screening and debuted my Merida cosplay.  I'd been working on my Scottish accent and made sure to get into character before we arrived.

I was a bit disappointed with the reaction from my screening's audience.  I only had 2 people ask to take photos and a handful even recognize who I was.  I did have one adorable little boy behind me on line who was terrified of my hair.  Poor thing.

After the screening, I was asked by one of the Dolby employees if they could take a picture and the insanity started.

I was asked by a number of groups before I left the theater to take pictures.  When I finally made it outside, my friend stopped to take a photo of me on the stairs with the giant Brave poster in the background and I wound up with line after line of little kids asking to take pictures.

I love doing things like this for kids, so I was happy as a clam.  I had a little conversation with each one and then took the photo.  I also had a few grownups ask.

One little ball of energy ran up wearing a Brave shirt and jumped with excitement for a while (video on YouTube):

One group of lively teen/young adult ladies were blown away by my accent, claiming I was "perfect":

**You can see these girls' adorable reactions to my appearance in the top right towards the end of the above video**

One sweet little girl stood around and had a whole 10 minute conversation about archery and Angus (the horse) and Scotland.  She asked where my mother was and why I didn't bring my bow and various other little movie-related questions.

I even had a cheerful older gentleman approach for his photo stating that his daughter insists these things are "childish", but he didn't agree (nor did I) ;)

One of my photographers happened to be a blogger himself and asked my permission to use the photo in a review he'll be writing for the movie (I'll link you all when it goes up).  It was lovely to meet you, Sam Fernandez.

After the excitement calmed down, I walked to the mall where I visited the ladies' room and encountered a poor little girl who was afraid of being flushed down the toilet.  I encouraged her through the stall wall to be brave and when we both exited I learned she had seen the movie the previous day and was extremely excited to see me.

this poor little angel was so shy, but we got along just fine by the end of it

check my mad bottle holding skillz lol

it was the girl in greens' birthday! I'm so happy to have been able to celebrate with her :)

If you happen to be one of the people pictured in this post or took a photo with (or of) me at the AMC Burbank 16 on June 23, please let me know so I can credit you accordingly (or add your photo).

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Brave: A Dream Come True

I've always had a thing for red-heads.  I've been drawn to them for as long as I can remember - from Ariel to Jessica Rabbit to Jean Grey to Alanna to Poison Ivy and on and on.  For whatever reason I relate to them the strongest.  They're always the headstrong, powerful, do-it-yourself women I want to be.

I tell you this to emphasize how long I waited for a character like Merida.  She is everything I ever dreamed I could be and most of who I am today - all the way down to the archery at age 5, Clydesdale as preferred means of transportation and clashing mother-daughter relationship.

I cannot express to you with enough fervency how perfect Brave was in the end.  I won't deny that the story is a bit predictable and doesn't offer much in the way of new material, but it doesn't need to.  At it's base, Brave is the story of a mother and daughter struggling to relate to and change each other to fit their own image and in turn growing and maturing as women.

I don't need to tell you that in a world where women are still fighting for equality and our children are growing up with diminishing positive media, we needed a film like Brave - A film that not only inspires young girls to stand up for themselves and fight for their own futures, but to learn from their mistakes and ask for forgiveness.

In addition, the film is expertly crafted - would you expect less from Pixar?  The sweeping views of the Scottish landscape are breathtaking and the attention to detail is incredible - as an archer myself, I loved seeing Merida line up her shot and breathe through it and then that beautiful arrow sway as it flew through the air.

I saw Brave in our new Dolby Atmos theater and was very impressed with the sound.  I was completely immersed in the film from the first audio cue and forgot everything around me until it ended.  If you've got one near you, I highly recommend checking it out.

As always, I recommend against the 3D.  It didn't detract from the film at all, but I didn't find it added anything either, so if you're on a budget, save the money and go see it in 2D.  I assure you, you're not missing anything.

Final thoughts:

The opening short was adorable - make sure you don't miss it.  Not only was it yet another incredible example of storytelling without the use of dialogue, but it was extremely appropriate to the theme of the film - family.

Make sure you stay through the credits.  You won't miss anything important if you don't, but there is a cute little scene at the end.

I had an AMAZING time at the movie.  Thank you Jonathan Johns and Robert Wilson for your donations.  I couldn't have done it without you.

I hope you all get to see it soon and enjoy it as much as I did.  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Who is Faith Connors?

Faith Connors is the main character from the EA video game Mirror's Edge - a first person free-running/parkour action-adventure for PC, XBox and PS3 released in 2008.

Mirror's Edge takes place in a futuristic dystopian society where a totalitarian government has taken control.  Faith's mother was a protestor killed in a riot against the government.  When Faith was 16, she left her now-alcoholic father and sister Kate to make her own way.

She lived on the streets for many years, relying on thievery to survive.  When she breaks into the home of ex-Runner Mercury, he takes her under his wing and trains her in the art of being a Runner.

Runners are part of an underground courier service that operates illegally as a means of transporting confidential documents without drawing attention from the government.  Each Runner is trained in the art of free-running to ensure their ability to operate stealthily throughout the city.

At 24, Faith is sent on a training mission by Mercury to trail an item.  She encounters another Runner who is carrying photos of her father and visits her sister - who is now training to become a CPF Officer - to find answers.  Faith follows leads to a building where a man is waiting for her father to kill him for having an affair with her mother.

She finally finds her father, but is ultimately shot and decides to take a break from Running until she heals.

Mirror's Edge picks up with Faith returning to Running after her arm heals.

On her first run, she is attacked and returns to Mercury's hideout to lay low.  While she waits for Mercury to return with information on the reason for her attack, she overhears CPF chatter that leads her to believe her sister may be in danger.  She arrives on the scene to discover evidence that her sister is being set up for a murder.

The game tells the story of Faith's search to prove her sister's innocence.  I won't ruin it for you, cuz for all that the game needed a bit more flushing out, I do actually recommend at least renting it and playing through once.  It's a pretty short game ;)


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