Pixar's aim is off-target
Declaring early that she will be nobody's queen but her own, Merida, the flame-tressed Scottish princess at the heart of the she-ro's quest in "Brave," is completely on trend within a spate of revisionist fairy tales. After dispatching her suitors at an archery competition, Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) embarks on an adventure that pivots around the fractured relationship with her mom.
As refreshing as it is to see family dynamics, rather than romance, define the fulcrum of the story, the tale that unfolds isn't the most sophisticated of the Pixar canon. The conflicts, magic spells, chase sequences and reconciliations feel strangely by-the-book for a studio so well known for throwing the book out entirely.
The DVD and Blu-ray (Disney, $30-$50) include the "La Luna" theatrical short and "The Legend of Mor'du" short film.
Colin Covert says: " Brave" is a subpar Pixar offering. The standout characters, exciting set pieces and memorable songs that we've come to expect are absent.
Also out Tuesday
Movies: "Company," "Pixar Short Films Collection 2," "Queen of Versailles," "Savages," "2 Days in New York," "Vamps," "The Watch."
TV: "Duck Dynasty" (Season 1), "Lost Girl" (Season 2), "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (full series).
Blu-ray debuts: "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (full series), "Empire of the Sun," "Friends" (full series), "Lawrence of Arabia," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Triple Feature," "Trilogy of Life," "Twilight's Last Gleaming," "Weekend."
Now a military routine
"Medal of Honor: Warfighter" ($60 for Xbox 360, PS3; rated Mature) disappoints because where the franchise used to steer the wheel of innovation in military shooters, now it relaxes in the back seat.
The classic tropes of first-person shooters are here: Run to cover, pick off evildoers, watch occasionally dramatic cut scenes, partake in a high-speed chase, bomb enemy encampments. These events are par for the course, but while enjoyable, they never raise the bar.
While all the online multiplayer modes are done well, the Fireteam mode is truly outstanding. This two-man-team system requires cooperation and rewards tactical play.
Legions will probably buy this release, but few will deem it wildly compelling.
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