100 Word Review – Brave (2012)

The first Pixar film with a female protagonist, it also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Set in medieval Scotland, Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) refuses to marry a prince, defying her father (Billy Connolly) and causing more arguments with her mother (Emma Thompson). When a witch (Julie Walters) offers her a way out, she takes it without considering the consequences.

Full of the feel of Celtic myths and a magic that is integral to both the story and the feel of the film, this is a wonderful family movie. Although sometimes overlooked, this is another example of Pixar’s genius.

100 Word Review – The Wind Rises (2013)

Another truly beautiful animation from the creators of Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro. This is the sort of biopic that could only come from the mind of the breathtakingly talented Hayao Miyazaki.

Based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Mitsubishi fighter planes that were used by the Japanese during World War II. In true Miyazaki style, it follows not only the facts of Horikoshi’s life but also his dreams, where he has conversations with Giovanni Battista Caproni, the famed Italian aeronautical engineer.

It combines the historical and the fantastical with moments of romance and tragedy.

100 Word Review – Life of Brian (1979)

He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!

Now piss off!

Brian is just a normal guy who happens to live in Judea just after the BC/AD switch over and spends his life being mistaken for Jesus Christ.

If you’re already a fan of the Monty Python gang (John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman), you’ll love it. If not, prepare yourself for satire, silliness and delightfully dark humour.

Between them, the Pythons play 40 characters throughout the film. Perhaps not the most historically accurate but definitely an imaginative and only mildly offensive film.