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posted: 11/15/2012 5:00 AM

'Brave' hits the mark on DVD

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  • Merida (voiced by Kelly MacDonald) takes aim in the animated adventure "Brave."

      Merida (voiced by Kelly MacDonald) takes aim in the animated adventure "Brave."

 
 

"Brave"

Pixar has a history of making quality films that parents and children want to see over and over again. Their latest, "Brave," is a unique and original film, and among the studio's best.

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The adventure takes place in 10th century Scotland. King Fergus (Billy Connelly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) lead their kingdom, and their daughter, Princess Merida (Kelly MacDonald), is an independent girl with a mind of her own. She loves archery and values her freedom -- including the right to choose whom she should marry regardless of tradition. But going against her parents' wishes, and not following the path laid out for her, could lead to war -- and definitely puts Merida at odds with her mother. Merida goes into the forest where she meets a very different witch (Julie Walters), who grants the princess' wish to change her mother -- with unforeseen consequences.

There are many levels to this beautifully made film -- including loving relationships, heartfelt emotions and a strong, independent female character at its core. Add good music and a talented voice cast and you get a wonderful animated film.

"Queen of Versailles"

If you looked up the word excess, it would describe a good portion of this fascinating documentary. David and Jacqueline Siegel are Florida billionaires who made their money on time-shares. They were building the largest residence in America when the subprime mortgage business went bad. They named and modeled their home Versailles, and it was truly a palace.

The story plays out like a reality TV show, but we see -- in more depth -- the impact on the family when the economy goes bad. Trophy wife Jacqueline has a hard time coping when real life tramples her fairy tale dreams. Her husband's world is collapsing, and she tries to make the best of a bad situation. The film is fascinating, and filmmakers did a great job on this riches-to-rags story.

"Musicares Tribute To Barbra Streisand"

In 2011, Barbra Streisand was named Musicares Person of the Year. The event was held in Los Angeles, and featured many artists performing songs from her career including Barry Manilow, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall and others. Streisand also performs and you hear such songs as "On a Clear Day," "Send In the Clowns," "Memories," "People" and more.

"Frank Sinatra: Primetime"

This program features three television specials that starred Frank Sinatra and others. Sinatra fans will enjoy seeing and listening to him in "Francis Albert Sinatra Does His Thing," "Sinatra" and "Sinatra and Friends." Each show included at least 15 performances.

Available next week

"Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Concert"

"Cinderella Diamond Collection"

"Complete Thin Man Collection"

"Les Miserables: 10th Anniversary Dream Cast"

"Myrna Loy & William Powell Collection"

"The Expendables 2"

"The Incredible Mel Brooks"

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