Brave

Film News: ‘Argo’ is Best Picture at 2013 Oscars

CHICAGO – With Seth McFarlane as host, the 86th Academy Awards had more fun, and culminated with “Argo” winning Best Picture. Other major awards went to Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor, “Lincoln”), Jennifer Lawrence (Best Actress, “Silver Linings Playbook”) and Ang Lee (Best Director, “Life of Pi”).

Blu-ray Review: Pixar’s ‘Brave’ Already Deserves Critical Second Look

Brave

CHICAGO – Disney/Pixar’s “Brave” was largely dismissed by most critics when it was released in theaters this Summer, even if audiences did seem more engaged, pushing the flick to over half-a-billion dollars worldwide and making heroine Merida one of Halloween’s most common costumes. Domestically, the film made more than “WALL-E,” “Ratatouille,” or “Cars 2.” So why did critics let it go so easily?

Box Office News: ‘The Watch’ Opens with Dismal Numbers While ‘TDKR’ Drops

The Watch with Vince Vaughn from Seth Rogen

CHICAGO – Critically reviled “The Watch” with Ben Stiller & Vince Vaughn opened with downright depressing numbers, good enough for only third place. Meanwhile, “Step Up: Revolution” claimed fourth while “The Dark Knight Rises” tumbled over 60% in its second frame.

Box Office News: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Opens With Epic Numbers

The Dark Knight Rises (cropped)

CHICAGO – “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy with Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Leviitt, opened with a stunning $160.9 million. While the opening was huge, it seems clear that the horrific shooting in Colorado last week did keep some viewers away as most journalists were predicting an opening closer to $200 million.

Box Office News: ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ Takes Weak First Place

Ice Age 4

CHICAGO – Fox’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift” under-performed domestically but still opened strongly enough to take first place at the box office and is riding a huge wave of box office overseas. Meanwhile, “The Amazing Spider-man” fell a reasonable percentage and held on to 2nd place, just ahead of juggernaut “Ted.”

Video Game Review: ‘Brave: The Video Game’ Works Only For Most Loyal Fans of Pixar Hit

Brave: The Video Game

CHICAGO – The genre of video games based on feature films is a notoriously weak one in terms of creativity. There’s often the sense that these are mere marketing tie-ins with no passion or spark behind their development. Like their theatrical counterparts, Pixar video games are often an exception. “Up” had some inspired energy (especially on the Nintendo Wii) and “Toy Story 3” is arguably the best video game based on a kid’s movie. So there’s reason to hope when you open your copy of “Brave: The Video Game,” now available for the PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC. Sadly, that hope dissipates due to uninspired gameplay, mediocre visuals, and thin storytelling. It’s not a total mess but the film’s fans deserved better.

Box Office News: ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ Drives Strong Box Office

The Amazing Spider-man

CHICAGO – Whether or not it’s a hit depends on who you ask but Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-man” easily dominated the box office with $65 million over the three-day weekend and $140 million since it opened on July 3, 2012. Big numbers for sure but “Transformers” made $155.4 million in 2007 dollars over its first six days at the same time of year. They’d never admit it, but Sony is probably disappointed that they couldn’t crack $175 million.

Box Office News: Audiences Escape Heat with ‘Ted,’ ‘Magic Mike’

Ted

CHICAGO – Two R-rated offerings shattered expectations at the box office this weekend as “Ted” and “Magic Mike” not only proved that adults still go see movies in the Summer season but that original concepts can make for massive hits. While rehashed fare like “Rock of Ages,” “Battleship,” and “Dark Shadows” have all stumbled, “Ted” and “Magic Mike” will out-gross all three.

Box Office News: Pixar Tops Box Office Again with Solid ‘Brave’ Opening

Brave

CHICAGO – Disney/Pixar topped the box office again with their 13th-straight first place debut for the adventure film “Brave” while “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” couldn’t find the public vein and had to settle for a disappointing 3rd place. With “Madagascar 3” dropping slowly to second place, kids movies dominated the box office. Meanwhile, no ONE wanted to find Steve Carell’s latest dramedy as its tenth place opening landed with a thud (and a remarkably low per-screen average).

Film Review: ‘Brave’ Connects While Not Matching Pixar Standard

CHICAGO – Pixar’s 13th film has been lauded as a major first for the company – the inaugural adventure aimed squarely at young females. Luckily, there’s nothing here that diminishes that goal in any way. “Brave” features a strong, well-designed, interesting heroine, perfectly voiced by Kelly Macdonald, and it doesn’t pander to its demographic, proving that girls can play with the big boys while also giving them a fable of their own.

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