Monday, June 22, 2015

INSIDE OUT MOVIE REVIEW


Unlike any movie I have seen in a long time, Inside Out was preceded by a Pixar animated short film.  It was called Lava, and it was about two volcanoes falling in love, or lava. (get it?)   I don’t know if this is something Pixar usually does, as this is the first one of their films I have seen in the theater, but I like the idea.  I did not, however, like the short film itself.  The animation was good, but the story was stupid and just overall weird.  This did not put me in a good frame of mind for the feature film. 
        Inside Out appears to be about a little girl named Riley but it’s actually about the five emotions inside her brain (Joy, Fear, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust), which are portrayed as living characters that seem oddly similar to the seven dwarfs.  Everything has been going pretty good for Riley and her five friends until her parents decide to move them all to San Francisco.  That’s when the trouble starts. 

                The concept of this film is absolutely brilliant.  I have known that since the very first trailer I saw.  In a time when Hollywood is rumored to be “out of ideas” (an excuse that I don’t personally buy), it is refreshing to see a story idea that is so original.  This is a high concept film in every respect.  Not only that, it is a high concept film that works on the screen as well as on paper. 
 
                As I’ve already alluded to, the little girl Riley is not the main character in this film.  She is in fact, a very elaborate plot device.  That being said, I was impressed by her character arc just the same.  She is a very realistic and relatable character and we see her changing as the story progresses.  The movie allows us to get inside her head, quite literally, and we understand why she is doing the things she is doing.  This character actually goes to some surprisingly dark places throughout the course of the film. 

                The voice acting in the film is all very good, as is to be expected from a Pixar film.   The one that stood out to me was Amy Poehler as the voice of Joy.  She is no stranger to voice acting and it really shows here.  She brings a lot of extra humor to what is already a very cleverly funny script. 

                The real strength of this film is in its screenplay.  Much like with Pixar’s Up, also co-written and directed by Pete Docter, this film has phenomenal exposition early.  This exposition in the first five or ten minutes of the film keeps the entire thing from being convoluted.  This is a very good job of parallel story telling.  The screenplay is much more focused than it really has any business being under the circumstances.  Everything is very well organized and easy to follow.  The only issue I had was that there was one little adventure toward the end of the film that seemed slightly unnecessary.   Even so, some good things happened in this segment, so it is okay. 


                This is a very good, well-written movie that the whole family can enjoy (my clich√© notwithstanding).  It is actually the best Pixar film in quite some time.  The characters are good and relatable.  The jokes are funny and the climax is….touching to say the least.  This film is definitely worth theater prices.  In fact, I would say please go out and see this film to financially support the fact that a movie this creative was actually made in 2015.  The Movie Man gives it 4.5 out of 5 stars.   

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