Despite feeling remarkably familiar for being such a long-awaited sequel, Incredibles 2 adeptly balances exciting action alongside thought-provoking and humorous family relations and is an easy recommendation for viewers seeking heroic adventures that don’t limit themselves to a teenage-and-above audience.
Please note: If you or your loved ones have symptoms of epilepsy or photosensitivity, be aware that several scenes in this film do depict rapidly flashing lights that may not be suitable for all audiences. Thank you for your understanding.
Life is a bundle of changes for 11-year-old Riley Anderson. A new home, a new state, a new school, a new group of friends. And change can be a scary thing, especially when it comes at a cost. Riley’s unstable circumstances affect how she relates not only to other people but to her own disorganized emotions, and in developing its heroine so strongly as a character and a human being, Pixar’s latest film Inside Out distinguishes itself not merely as one of the long-acclaimed studio’s finest films, but also as one of the most thematically mature and important animated films to come along in a while.
I’m sending my spotlight on Pixar films out with a bang before I move onto films from other companies. The Incredibles is a novel and insightful glimpse into the lives of a family of superheroes, who grapple with issues much more mundane than deciding whether to go to school or save the world. How are sibling rivalries resolved when your children both have superpowers? Do those powers give children an unfair advantage when competing against others, or is this no different from normal children triumphing over those with less skill or ability? Perhaps the most important question the film asks is this: When is the time to be a hero to the many, and when is the time to be a hero to your family?
Passion and imagination will thrive in all of the obligations and responsibilities the adult world throws at us, as Pixar’s Up takes great pains to remind us. The old but shrewd Carl Fredricksen hatches an ingenious plan to use hundreds of balloons to carry his entire house to a secluded set of waterfalls deep in South America. Though the movie glamorizes excitement and adventure, Fredricksen isn’t going at this for his own sake. He’s doing it for one of the most precious reasons imaginable … to keep a promise he made to his wife, many decades ago.
Up is a movie that stands at a great crossroads and isn’t entirely sure of its ultimate destination. In tossing together two protagonists with vastly different ages, upbringings, and personal values, this largely enjoyable movie makes a grand opportunity to bridge cultures new and old, but some of its own story decisions get in the way.
My stint of reviewing computer-generated movies continues, which will likely take more than a week if I want to cover much beside Pixar films, and tonight we head deep into space. Wall-E is a tale of one lovable robot falling head-over-“heels” for another and becoming a hero to her and many others in the process.
It’s rare that I actually enjoy romance stories in movies, since too often I see them tacked on or forced, but this one feels like the cornerstone on which its surrounding plot is built, even and much more so than the environmental themes that govern this film’s setting. As a result, it becomes one of the most valiant and touching love stories I’ve ever witnessed.
One chef aspires to be the greatest in all of Paris. Another wants to be a success in a world that’s generally kept him at the bottom. The latter has little talent … but the former is a rat.
Disney’s and Pixar’s Ratatouille is a joy of a movie to watch again and again, much more so than a number of movies I’ve been watching lately, with an original premise, enjoyable characters, fun comedy, and an unparalleled mastery of its art. Two unexpected allies form an equally unlikely bond, in a story that laudably examines itself closely while letting its own imagination roam freely.
Pixar Animation Studios’ most recent release, Brave, is a marked improvement from their 2011 release, Cars 2, in that the movie doesn’t feel like a ripoff of various action franchises and doesn’t seem nearly as inappropriate for children. The story itself, however, unfortunately wavers between being mediocre and being quite good because of poor development, even though the movie maintains the best of intentions from start to finish.
Well, that was atrocious.
Cars was never a franchise I truly cared for: the first film’s plot felt oddly cliched for a Pixar film, filled with largely unlikeable characters, and now the second film is filled with so many strange design decisions as to become nearly unwatchable. Continue reading