Tuesday, July 3, 2012

So Worth the Price of Admission

Perhaps you've seen the movie poster to the right. It's the new Pixar movie "Brave" or "Pixar Does Scotland", if you want to be somewhat cynical about it. The Illinois St. Andrews Society did some promotions for the movie and gave away tickets to it at the Highland Games in June. I finally got to see it this past Sunday, with Pam. Now, I have not been to a movie in a theater since Carole took me to see the Star Trek prequel back in May of 2009 when she lived in Seattle. Yeah...I don't get out much.

But, I am sorely tempted to go again. This is a great movie. The premise is something that we see repeated in a lot of movies. The parent and the child are talking but neither are listening. Something happens which changes one or both of them, not for the better. The rest of the movie is spent trying to reverse the change before it becomes permanent. In the process, the two people come to understand each other. The ending evokes tears of happiness and the you see the two people riding off into the sunset, happier than they have ever been.

I really enjoyed what they did with Scotland in this movie. There is no definable place. The landscape is an amalgamation of many Scottish landmarks. There are the "highlands" and the mountains. There is the sea and the lochs. There are the trees and the forests. Celtic iconography is heavily featured. The myths of the Celts showing up throughout the story. There is also the kilt and there is one section which features a creative use of the kilt that left me in stitches.

We stayed to the end to see the cast, many, many actors who are Scots. And the music. Oh the music. It's all original and is distinctly Scottish-influenced. My only "bone" to pick with the the music is that it's the London Symphony Orchestra. They couldn't use the Royal Scottish National Orchestra? I will be getting this soundtrack. It's sort of up-tempo Scottish music but I hope that exposing people to the bagpipes via this will cause them to want to find out more and that will lead them to Scottish traditional music. There's so much out there that deserves a wider audience.

We had quite the adventure ourselves in the theatre. About 45 minutes into the movie, it stopped. An usher appeared and apologized for the loss of power. She advised us that if the movie did not come back in 5 minutes, they would issue refunds. If you did not wish to wait that long, they would issue refunds. Pam and I looked at each other and decided we'd stay. We really didn't have any place to go other than lunch. After about 4 minutes, up comes the movie. It runs for 5-6 minutes and quits. We said another 4 and up comes the movie. It runs another 7-8 minutes and quits. This time, it was down for only 3 minutes but when it came back, there was no sound. Pam had seen the movie the week it came out and the part where we were missing sound wasn't crucial to the plot. This ran for about 6-7 minutes before stopping and restarting with sound. From then on, the movie didn't stop at all. We weren't sure why they had problems but, oh well, we got to see it.

As we were leaving the theatre, after watching the credits for the voice actors and the music, we were met by an usher who gave us free passes. Pam gave hers to me as I had expressed an interest in going to see some of the movies advertised in the previews, movies she's not interested in seeing. We were quite surprised and thanked the guy. We'd stuck through to the end so we weren't expecting any passes.

We were still mulling over the power outages as we got to the front door. With the heat, was this a brown out? That would seem to make sense. Consumption of AC would be huge and a theatre is a large open space that needs a lot of cooling. Once we were outside, we realized heavy storms had rumbled through the area and they were responsible for the loss of power. AMC did not have to give us passes. It was an act of god, so to speak. This is exceptional customer service and the passes don't expire until June of next year. I think I can find a movie to go see before then.

As a person of Scottish ancestry, I like what they did with my homeland. I like the movie. I like the theme. I like that the female lead doesn't need a prince to rescue her. I like the portrayal of family and clan. Go see this. You don't need to buy anything from the concession stand. That's overpriced junk anyway. Just go see the movie. You won't regret it.

Beverage:  English Breakfast tea


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