Billy Connolly

It’s not impossible for lauded animation house Pixar to make a mistake (or two, in the case of Cars, which does still pull in great affection from the younger set), and setting up their first film led by a female protagonist and with a brand new fairy tale as plot backbone in no way sounded like a mistake from conception. But despite a checklist of elements that should mark Brave as a bold new classic for both Pixar and Disney, the film instead diverges spectacularly -  it is both a middling example of Pixar innovation and wit and a beautiful introduction to one of Disney’s most compelling Princesses yet. Simply put, Brave is a poor Pixar feature, but it’s a wonderful Disney Princess film. What Brave has to offer is twofold: a bold new Princess and an exciting new world for her to live and play in. Still better, it appears as if Disney, Pixar, writers and directors Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, and additional writer Irene Mecchi set out to accomplish those exact aims when crafting Brave. That sort of praise might not exactly seem like the kind worth singing, but when it comes to Brave, a film that was conceived of and written by Chapman before she was eventually ousted as the director in 2010, it’s important to note. The aims of Brave are true, but its methodology in getting in there doesn’t quite hit the mark.

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Spock on Hollywood Blvd

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of things that serious movie lovers will find interesting, useful, or both. We begin this evening with an image from the website of the LA Times, who are featuring great reader photos chronicling Southern California moments. This one, by a gentleman named Chris Jackson, is of a street performer dressed as Spock on Hollywood Boulevard. Awesome costume. No, I don’t want a photo. No, I will not tip you. No, stop touching my girlfriend’s thigh. Live long and prosper, now get away from me.

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Commentary Commentary: The Boondock Saints

We all love The Boondock Saints? Right? Right? Guys? Where you going? Look, I’m fully aware of the animosity for this film, especially its writer/director, Troy Duffy. Hell, even the DVD is annoying me right this second with this “You wouldn’t steal a car, so why steal movies” PSA. But there’s a point in everyone’s life where you have to realize bad filmmakers like talking about their film just as much as the geniuses. So we’re gonna let Mr. Duffy speak, and we’re gonna be taking detailed notes as to what he has to say. Yes, this one comes with the decade long-backlash. And I’m sure Troy Duffy’s commentary here is going to be filled with all kinds of insightful anecdotes about crafting the film, honing the story so its concise yet layered. I’m sure there isn’t going to be anything on this commentary track that puts Troy Duffy in an angelic light. And, in case you didn’t catch it, I put the sarcastic tone on the word “angelic.” So here is everything we learned from Mr. Troy “Overnight” Duffy’s commentary track for The Boondock Saints. That damn PSA is still going by the way. Don’t steal, folks.

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Pixar is a company that has developed a very focused vision. They put creators first, they put human drama over visual spectacle, and then they knock the visuals out of the park anyway. For a while I’d been following along with all their releases in a state of near delight, enjoying each film they put out more than the one before it, and I started to think that they were as close to infallible as a movie studio could get. But then they put out Cars 2, which was kind of an overlong mess of juvenile humor set in a pun driven, unrelatable world. This wasn’t the Pixar I loved, this was for kids! But with Brave they seem to be getting back to the basics of what makes them great; stories that can be appreciated by kids and adults alike. Here we have a young girl who is different than everybody else, who doesn’t want to be what the rest of the world tells her a young girl should be. She’s driving at something that everybody is telling her she can’t do. She’s in danger, must rely on herself, and she must rise up and become something she never thought she could if she’s going to survive a great adventure. That’s more like it. That sounds like a prototypical Pixar movie, to a tee. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Pixar’s great, wonderful, incredible, stellar, etc. That goes without saying but must be said in every post about Pixar ever, because them’s the rules. However, one of the things Pixar has been lacking is a sole female lead to go on an adventure and win the day while learning a lesson. They’ve definitely distanced themselves from the Disney princess aesthetic, and it’s time for them to come a little closer. Brave is the story of a young Scottish princess named Merida who is skilled with a bow and with defying mystical, sacrosanct acts that bring down terrible fates on her people. So, she sets out to make things right with a sage older character, a magical wish, and some comic relief. The cast here is fantastic. Kelly MacDonald will voice Merida. Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, and Robbie Coltrane are all on board as well. That’s a strong list right there. Plus, EW has some pictures that show off the view point and computerized beauty of their fictional Highlands (and what looks like painstaking concept art):

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Pixel to Projector

The first time I uttered a curse word was when I was eight. Perhaps these days that would make me a late bloomer (you kids with your snap bracelets and Ace of Base, amirite?), but back then it was a pretty big deal, and it was attached to a big event — the unfettered hatred of my first self-purchased game – Ghosts ‘n Goblins for the NES. To say this game was a motherf@*ker is a monumental understatement. Capcom’s Ghost ‘n Goblins is widely considered one of the most difficult early arcade titles of all time, and I’ll readily admit that I could only get so far before throwing the controller and screaming myself out — my mother finding me in the fetal position; a mass of burning tears and snot.

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Boondock Saints

I am curious as to whether or not all of you are still interested in Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. Curious to see if like me, you have lost enthusiasm for the franchise.

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The X-Files: I Want to Believe Movie Poster

The fine folks at IGN and X-Files.com have successfully debuted the first trailer for the highly anticipated next chapter for cult icons Mulder and Scully, titled The X-Files: I Want to Believe. All I can say is WHOA!

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Boondock Saints

Troy Duffy has a very exciting and long overdue message for Boondock Saints fans.

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