Saturday, June 20, 2015

Inside Out Review

Inside Out 
Director:  Pete Docter 
Cast Headliners: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Harder, Mindy Kaling , Lewis Black 
Original Release Date: June 19th, 2015

(Please excuse the brevity , doing this from the car ) 

Pixar , normally pioneers in amazing film craft , have been in a bit.of a slump of average quality sequels and cliched ideas in the past few years.  I can happily say that Inside Out is great because it once again shows the world a fresh world filled with great characters and story like they remember. Because this this time its a sort of film within a film.

       There's uniquely two plots to this film that literally influence each other .  On one level there's  young Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) who finds her pleasant Minnesota life uprooted as she moves with Mom (Diane Lane ) and Dad ( Kyle Maclachlan ) to San Francisco .  She struggles with the impact of this .

       This informs the plot "inside " her mind where Joy ( Amy Poehler) , Sadness (Phyllis Smith ),  Disgust ( Mindy Kaling), Fear ( Bill Harder ), and Anger (Lewis Black ) exist as little colorful people who control the stare of her mind in a whimsical mind control room ala Star Trek.  Ruckus occurs and Joy and Sadness, nornally totally at odds with each other , have to traverse the crazy surreal lands of Rileys mind as the outside world affects them.
     There's several wonderful aspects of the film.  The writing is top notch with even minor characters giving great chuckles .  Of note is Boing Boing ( Richard Kind ) who helps the main duo on their quest.   The humor is slapstick and bizzare to match the world around them but it just all works very well.    
      The movie aesethically stands apart so much from Pixar's other works and film.worlds in general. The animation style hearkens back to Looney Tunes and UPA-films of the past than a copy and paste from their other works.  Places like " Imagination Land " and " Abstract Thought " show their creativity .  It all pops with color and life .
     But as with any great animated Pixar experience, its not just laughs and color. Its about moments of sad feelings and. a great plot, and that's here.  The story has some great twists and turns and is guaranteed to fill one with surprising amounts of somberness and excitement .    Though of course there's likely a good ending......

     With Inside Out this time they've remembered what makes their movies great. The mind shennagins may make it hard to swallow for some but its worth it for one who likes a enjoyable experience .   8.75 out of 10

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jurassic World Review

Jurassic World
Director:  Collin Trevorrow
Cast Headliners: Chris Pratt, Bryce-Dallas Howard
Original Release Date: June 12th, 2015

   When one sees the word “Jurassic”, in this case with “world”, on a movie poster they know what to expect. A situation goes wrong and dinosaurs cause shenanigans in the modern world.  Jurassic World doesn’t deviate very much from this formula but offers a fun blockbuster doing exactly what it says on the cover.
            The film smartly serves as a direct successor to the original film (sorry 2 and 3 fans ) by showing what has happened to the park twenty years after the original. Jurassic Park is now Jurassic World and it is a hopping tourist attraction since they must have done a dang good job convincing the public things would be ok this time.  Children ride baby triceratops as rides and guests kayak peacefully down rivers next to herbivore dinosaurs. Things are going great which is a first for this franchise.   To this park comes brothers Zach (Nick Robinson) and Grey (Ty Simpkins) to see their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who runs the park’s divisions.
            Clare has to deal with the experimentation done to make a new attraction in the fearsome D-rex genetic mutant. She enlists the help of velociraptor trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) when things begin to go awry as they often do.   Clare and Owen are a pretty solid main cast and especially it’s Pratt who brings his trademark charisma and even a special level of awesome to this role.  There’s a fair share of other great humor from side characters like Jake Johnson as a tech support member of the park who loves dinosaurs in a hyper fan way and Vincent D’Onofrio as brutish security lead Vic Hoskins.
            But while as witty and savvy the dialogue is and shiny the titular creatures are it is admittedly more of the same . The roles of the original film are all filled in this and even similar sequences appear at times.  It cashes in on references and nostalgia to a mostly good but definitely noticeable effect.
            There’s laughs and scares and cool moments but it could have used with some more of the sense of mystery it tries to capture from the original. It appears at times in somber moments but isn’t here enough. Regardless, the action sequences and especially the final battles are thrilling and it’s overall a fun and well crafted movie. 8 out of 10