Wednesday, 22 August 2012


I know what you're gonna say- this film's for kids. But I don't care! I love Disney (and Pixar) and I'm not ashamed to say it. I believe the films have a universal audience and therefore deserve to be reviewed like any other film. So there!
I've been awaiting Braves release for a very, very, very long time, which of course paved the way for lots of hopeful expectation. And I'm terribly sorry to announce that, unfortunately, the film didn't live up to it.
I need to get over the fact that we've entered a hateful era of entertainment, where film makers are intent on creating 'epicly' beautiful images, vast scenery and fast moving action, at the expense of storyline, but I can't.
Why can't we have both, I ask you?
The story of Merida, the princess that doesn't want to fill her own shoes, is unoriginal, containing rehashed parts of numerous other adventures such as The Princess and The Frog, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. I understand it must be extremely hard to come up with new and interesting plots, but isn't there a whole team of people whose job it is to do just that? I know Pixar can do better (Monster Inc, Toy Story 3, Up) and to me the plot of Brave just feels lazy. Merida as a heroine is far less brave than Mulan, for example, and as a result the climax of the story is far less moving.
There are some nice sub-characters but none developed enough for me. The three brothers are entertaining but need dialogue to give them more backing. And the 'woodcutter'- clearly the best character going, barely has more than a cameo role. What's that about?
I do hate to whine about modern day cinema (or do I? haha), but I just don't see why a children's film can't be amusing and brilliant for adults too.
Having said all that, I'd still recommend it, even if simply for admiring Merida’s wonderful hair. It’s so pretty!

If you have seen it and utterly disagree with my miserable viewpoint, please do attempt to change my mind. Because honestly I wish that I'd loved Brave as much as I love so many others timeless classics that came before it.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Treasure Seekers, E.Nesbit

Whenever I'm home now I take the opportunity to see what's on the shelves and read a real book. You have to believe me when I say most of them recently have been for adults, it's just that I decided to start writing reviews at a particularly child-literature-heavy stage. The Treasure Seekers (1899) is an old book of my Mum's and I love the Railway Children-also by E Nesbit- so I thought I'd give it a whirl. 
It is such a sweet story of adventure and mischief, quite fitting of an age where to live in Lewisham was not something to be feared.
Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel and Horace Octavius (HO) Bastible have no Mum and think their Dad is on the brink of financial ruin, so set about trying to 'restore the Bastible fortune' through any means possible.
Their schemes include digging holes in the garden, trying to sell home made alcohol and kidnapping their next door neighbour, who they get annoyed with for crying rather than playing along with being chained up in a makeshift prison. Another scheme involves Dicky desperately trying to get ill so they can test a new medicine on him. But all attempts to catch a bug are futile and when Noel gets a bad cold instead and is confined to bed, Dicky feels cheated. 
In the end, despite all the unsuccesful attempts at restoring the Bastible fortunes it all works out thanks to an 'Indian relative,' who mysteriously turns up. And this is where the fun really started for me. Oswald says, 'he didn't look like an Indian but just like a kind of brown, big Englishman.' Brilliant. Then the children proceed to interrogate him about wigwams. The racial icing on the cake, however, comes when the Indian gentleman himself says 'and as to young Oswald, he's a man! If he's not a man, I'm a n*gger!'

All in all a jolly good read for the under-ten child of the early 1900's!