Thursday, February 27, 2014

Best Picture: "Braveheart," 1995

Movie Stats:
Released 1995 (USA)
American, in English (some translated French & Latin; some non-translated Latin & Scots Gaelic)
Director – Mel Gibson
Stars – Mel Gibson, Patrick McGoohan, and countless others

Plot Summary:
Set in early 14th century Great Britain. After his wife is murdered, Scottish man William Wallace (Gibson) leads a rebellion against his country’s English oppressors. McGoohan co-stars as the King of England, Edward I, aka Longshanks.

Blue language; extreme, graphic violence; brief nudity (female breast, male butt); and a graphic, attempted rape.

Bad Stuff:
Toward the beginning, it has a bit too much of the 90s sugary sentimentality for my taste. I was seriously rolling my eyes during the lovemaking scene.

It’s a little boring/repetitive. There are only so many legs I can see get hacked off in battle before it ceases to have any shock value and actually becomes a bit tedious.

Most of the characters are too one-note. The only thing the English could have done to seem more villainous was twirl their mustaches while shouting “Muahaha!” The Scottish nobles are all corrupt and weak. The Scottish commoners, like Wallace, are all virtuous and brave. Ho hum, I say.

Good Stuff:
There are a few small scenes that I loved because they felt so real. For example, [SPOILER] the way young William turns away when the men come to tell him his father and brother are dead [END SPOILER] and the way Murron’s (William’s wife’s) mother desperately sobs at her funeral both seemed so natural to me. I enjoyed those moments.

Love the soundtrack. I feel like I either owned it at one point or someone I know did because the music all sounded really familiar and I’ve only seen this movie once before.

Hey, everyone had appropriate accents (or at least tried to).

The Verdict:
I’m very “meh” on this film. Despite having seen it before, and recalling that I liked it well enough, I had virtually no desire to watch it again (but needed to in order to comment on it). I don’t think it’s a bad film, although I have serious doubts as to its historical accuracy. It just doesn’t grab me. I don’t feel pulled in by it, or by its message. I feel like it’s a movie you watch for the gory fight scenes and that’s about it. When I think about Braveheart, I don’t think, “The acting and dialogue in that movie are fantastic!” (because they’re not). I think, “A guy gets stabbed in the face! People get their heads bashed in! The Scots moon the British on the battlefield!” I also think, “That’s before everyone knew how crazy Mel Gibson is!” I guess if that appeals to you, go ahead and see it.

I give the movie 3 stars.


Patricia said...

There's a good film festival idea: Mel Gibson movies made before everyone knew he was crazy!

This film was booooooorrrrrrriiiiiinnnnnnngggggg!!!!! Massive snoozefest when I saw it in 1996, and it probably hasn't improved in the interim. It's such a boy movie.

Do you see me not climbing on my "no females in Hollywood" soapbox? Only because I have other things to do tonight will I step away from that rant.

Patricia said...

Also, I feel like we've hit the section of movies that "weren't that long ago" so you should nearly be done. But apparently "not that long ago" was quite awhile ago as you still have many more movies to go.

balyien said...

Yeah, ever since I hit the 90s, I keep thinking to myself that I'm almost done. Then I realize that I have nearly 20 years of movies left to go. Sigh...

And I'm with you on the female thing. It really irked me that the most of the women in this film were there only to be harmed so that the men had a reason to rise up against the British. The fact that the princess fell in love with William - which NEVER happened in real life to be sure - made me want to punch people.