Friday, April 18, 2014

Bears review

Back in 2008, when Disney announced that they were starting the Disneynature franchise, I was very excited. And while I haven't necessarily kept up with the recent Disneynature films, I decided to check out Bears simply because I love bears. That's pretty much the only reason why I wanted to see this movie. And I did end up enjoying this movie. Bears is a pretty standard nature film, but there's beautiful cinematography and an interesting storyline. John C. Reilly's narration is slightly overbearing at times, but it's a really great-looking film and the filmmaking is breathtakingly good.

Bears tells the story of a bear family in Alaska. Sky is a new mother who is now raising her children, shy Amber and adventurous Scout, in the wilderness. The bears need food and yet, it's a very long trek to get to the salmon that they desperately need. In addition, Sky and her cubs must endure wolves, avalanches and two male bears who pose a direct threat to the cubs including the leader of the domain, a bear named Magnus. Basically, this film depicts the journey of Sky, Amber and Scout to get food and survive the harsh wilderness.

This is going to be a pretty short review since there really isn't much for me to judge about this film. In general, I enjoyed this film. Bears is a nature documentary and if you don't like nature documentaries, you won't like this film. The film can be a little slow at times and there are parts where there are a lot of walking montages with not much going on. But in the end, this is a movie that I enjoyed especially because of the cinematography and the way that the filmmakers captured the story of this family and the way that they interact. 

The first thing that most people have said about this movie is how great the cinematography and I will have to agree. The cinematography on Bears is absolutely breathtaking and captures the Alaskan wilderness and the life of the bears with spectacular clarity and detail. This is a well-made movie and I loved how the credits showed how the directors made the film. Co-directors Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill got up close and personal with the bears and it shows. The film is beautiful and detailed and I really loved how this movie looked. 

The narration is a bit of a problem at times. John C. Reilly narrates this film and he actually does a pretty good job. However, there are times where Reilly tries to add dialogue into the film and it really doesn't work. There were times in which the narration became slightly overbearing and it just annoyed me. In the end, Reilly does a good job, but it just ends up being a problem every once in a while. 

The story is good, and while some critics have claimed that it was "Disney-fied", I strongly disagreed. The story was natural, interesting and engrossing and I was never sure which way this film would go. The peril of the film is around every corner and I was in suspense at times. 

In the end, there really isn't that much to say about Bears. It's short at 78 minutes long and it's a typical nature documentary. It's breathtaking at times, slow at others but entertaining when it comes down to it. Families will enjoy this film and animal lovers will probably enjoy it even more. The bears are cute so maybe this film will appeal to an even broader audience. All in all, I really did end up enjoying this film. It was cool, engrossing documentary. 

THE FINAL GRADE:  B                                                  (7/10)

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