Quick Hit: A movie that sets standards for what animated movies should be like – much as Pixar did before it with the Toy Story franchise.
Sometimes it’s easy to fall in love with a film the first time you see it, but it fades away in your mind. Sometimes you have to grow to love a film with repeated viewings. But sometimes, a movie is made that really sticks. And sometimes, that movie is animated. One interesting thing about animated movies is how powerful they can become. They can make you laugh and make you cry. And, they can show you that Joy and Sadness go together.
Pixar has been delighting parents and children alike for years now (Can you believe that Toy Story is TWENTY years old???). Not only has the humor been there, but there has been so much emotion! Look at The Incredibles, Wall-e, Up, etc. These are stories that are hinged on the emotional awareness of the audience. If there is any doubt that these movies are as much for parents as for kids, then you haven’t been watching the same Pixar as me.
Inside Out follows a young girl named Riley and the emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear) that run her day-to-day activities. Inside her head is a wonderfully beautiful, completely thought out and developed world. This ranges from things that are simple (the Train of Thought!) to things that are incredibly complicated (an abstraction machine, or core memories). It really shows you what growing up is when you watch this movie. You make memories, you experience things, and as life goes, it becomes harder. You experience more emotions than just “happy” and “sad”. Sure, this movie stops at five, but it shows how as you grow older, people become more well-rounded. All of your personality traits come back down to memories and experiences that define you – who you are as a person, what you enjoy, etc. Isn’t it beautiful that Pete Docter and Pixar believe in children enough to give them ideas like this?
Inside Out is beautifully animated at times (the scene where Joy gives Riley the memory of ice skating to end the day happily) and wonderfully cast. Lewis Black is great as Anger, Bill Hader is a great Fear, and Amy Poehler is a true winner as Joy (Disgust is just ok – sorry Mindy).
I’ll finish by saying this. This movie made me cry. I don’t cry very often anymore (mainly the “dad stuff” gets me now), but this film got me. Buy this movie. Watch this movie. Your kids may not love it their first try (the characters may go over the younger ones’ heads – by four or five they’ll love it), but I really think you will.
For more on Inside Out, check out IMDB.
Did I mention this film won Best Animated Feature Film?????
Quick Hit: A tale of two reviews
This review is probably going to be the most unique I’ve ever written. Here’s why – I have no idea what to give this movie at all. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about exactly that – a dude, his dude friend named Earl, and a girl that’s dying. As far as plot, that’s all I can say. Read on my Constant Friends, read on. I think spoilers will abound, but are they spoilers if it is in the title?
Review 1: Positive Review – A?
It’s so easy to see why this became such an indie hit. This movie screams indie film. The camera movement is exhilarating and the different angles are so much fun at times (and must have been a royal pain to for the actors to shoot the same shots over and over). The writing is fresh and the humor is different. The cast is pretty good and the random animation sequences are good for a chuckle.
I really liked the idea of a film maker making the film and talking to us through it. The actress in this (Olivia Cooke) has a certain style that seems to follow her in movies. It’s that fun style of clothing and awkwardness that I enjoy (You can see it in the sometimes great, sometimes terrible Bates Motel as well).
The movie spoofs are really fun as well. Most cinephiles will be able to pick out some really famous films in their spoofs. Some, like A Sockwork Orange, really make you laugh out loud. Others fall due to their juvenile nature, but all are creative. It’s good to see a movie about film, made by people that love film. All film, including those strange foreign pictures that seem to find their way into history.
Review 2: Negative Review – F?
What a film about teenage self-centeredness. Me and Earl describes exactly that. The main character is forced to hang out with a girl, sort of befriends her, but ends up learning nothing from the experience of her dying. His best friend (co-worker, because apparently he cannot call him a friend) Earl is a characteriture of a black character – from the wrong side of town and with a dirty catchphrase to boot (“dem titties”).
It would have been nice for this movie to focus on the dynamic of Earl and Greg (the self-described Me). It could have shown how despite radical different backgrounds, they found threads of commonality that led to a friendship. Instead, Earl is just used for comedic relief and to relay thoughts
Final Thoughts: Here’s what I think. You are just gonna have to come to your own conclusion on this movie. I can’t give it a rating, despite that fact I am now doing lots of film reviews. It’s a movie that will leave some happy, some sad, and some with a bucket of mixed feelings about the movie in general.
The one thing that I can say about this movie is that it is fun to see how technology has changed our society. Anyone can participate in some type of artistry. Some people use their phones to take beautiful pictures. Other people buy a Go-Pro and take amazing video. Some use computer technology to do fun animation about fan fiction. And some people use the internet’s expanding influence to write a blog about something they love: film. Thanks for reading everyone!
For more about this movie, check out IMDB.
Quick Hit: A film that takes what sounds like an interesting book plot and tanks it.
He has blossomed into a tremendous acting talent, with range in comedies (Bubble Boy is a guilty pleasure of mine) and dramas (if you haven’t seen Nightcrawler, you are doing yourself an injustice). And surprise, surprise, he’s good in this as well. He (and the ideas presented of course, I’ll get to those later) are the only thing that keep this movie from being a drab fest. Indeed, with the yellowish colors and high tracking shots, what else could it be?
There are times where the movie picks up and dances around being interesting. I think the interactions between Adam and Anthony’s wife, Helen (Sarah Gadon) are superbly delicate. The music (which is way too much at times) at least sets the tone for what they are trying to accomplish. It’s loud and brash, with crescendos that surprise you.
The movie is obviously supposed to symbolize things, but it seems like they were purposely difficult in trying to figure out the symbolism. Sometimes movies can be symbolic (see Kubrick films), and sometimes they just mess with you. This movie seems like the second one. I haven’t done a spoiler break in a review in a bit, but I’m going to do one here, so check in with me after the break if you’ve seen it, or just don’t care. I feel the need to because I can’t really talk about the film without trying to analyze its meaning.
There seem to be many different interpretations to the movie. Let’s tackle the first, most obvious one shall we? Enemy seems to be just a watered down Fight Club. Are Anthony and Adam the same person? Is Anthony just cheating on his wife through this separate identity Adam? Could be – let’s talk about spiders.
Spiders are presented from the films very first act (a very uncomfortable scene). Spiders (according to the internet) are symbolic of life and our choices. This is because as we make choices in life, we spin together a “web” that becomes us and our life. This fits in with the film, because it seems obvious that the choices that each man (or the man) is making are not working out well in his life.
Another interpretation refers to the chaos quote at the beginning of the book, as well as parts of Adam’s lecture from the beginning of the film. The whole thing could be a metaphor for totalitarianism, since they spend extensive time repeating his monologue/lecture in the beginning. If a man is a dictator, he has total control of everything. But if a man is existing within a dictatorship, he has no control, which is something that is exhibited by both characters in the movie.
But… the most fun interpretation is that there are literally two people. Otherwise, there are parts of the movie that just don’t make sense, be it the two jobs, the wedding ring mark that has never been there before, the car crash leading to the ending, etc. But if that is the case, there doesn’t really seem much closure, and makes the spiders a weird inclusion.
Anyways, after all that I give this movie a C. Feel free to watch it if you want to be confused and left unhappy.
Check out more about this movie at IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"