Inside Out

Inside Out Is the latest release from Pixar. In the tradition of their legacy, this film is one of their very best. It is difficult to discuss the film

Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is the only child in a family (Kyle McLaughlin and Diane Lane) that moves from Minnesota to San Francisco when the father takes a new job. The adjustment is rough and it sends Riley into a tailspin of emotions. That’s a pretty straightforward description of the external events that take place in the film, but actually, The main story happens in Riley’s brain. At its core, Riley’s brain is run by 5 emotions that are portrayed as 5 individuals- Joy (Amy Pohler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Heder), Disgust (Mindy Kahling), and Anger (Lewis Black). Joy is the leader of this group, and the others generally let her take charge of what Riley does. This concept has been around for decades, brought to life in the sitcom Herman’s Head, but it diverges in enough ways to set it far apart from it.

The rest of this review does go into some details that spoil the movie, so if you do not want to read beyond this paragraph, you can rest assured that Pixar has another hit movie on their hands, and this is highly recommended. It will definitely make my top 10 films for 2015. I saw it in 3D, and it’s done well, but it’s not necessary to enjoy this film!

–==**Spoiler Space **==–

–==**Spoiler Space **==–

–==**Spoiler Space **==–

–==**Spoiler Space **==–

–==**Spoiler Space **==–

–==**Spoiler Space **==–

–==**Spoiler Space **==–

As time progresses, memories are formed in the control center, and take the shape of a sphere. These are stored nightly in ‘memory’, out of the control center. Life-changing memories are stored in a special place, and make up the core of Riley’s personality.

After the move to S.F., Joy and Sadness are accidentally taken from the control center, and are presumed lost. Fear, Disgust, and Anger try to keep things going, but fail miserably. Joy and Sadness end up with the core memories, and Joy realizes she has to get back to the control center to regain some sense of sanity. Their trip has them wandering through the inner workings of Riley’s mind and they visit many of her memories. They stumble onto an old friend, who helps them on their way back to the control center.

This movie was a lot more complex than I had expected it to be. It tugs on your emotional heartstrings in a way that only Pixar seems to be able to do, these days. The finale of the film is satisfying and implies a growth of maturity. The epilogue was totally unexpected, but hilarious, satisfying, and ultimately enjoyable.

Pixar has done it again.

Oh, and the short at the beginning of the movie was OK, but not their best work. Completely forgettable.

Jurassic World

Jurassic World is the latest sequel in a string of Jurassic Park films. Dr John Hammond, the original creator of Jurassic Park, has long since departed this world. He’s left his legacy to his granddaughter Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is now running Jurassic World, a successful replacement for the failed Jurassic Park. The park hosts thousands of guests, and is a success, thanks to an investment by billionaire Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan). It’s been active for years, but is looking for the new hook to draw in more guests. Claire has a plan, but goes a bit too far, and it all comes crashing down.

What can I say about this film? It’s got action, Dinosaurs, characters to care about, and trouble aplenty. What it really lacks is uniqueness or any sort of real draw. We’ve seen this before. Humans think they can control the dinosaurs. When they break out, the humans think they can contain them. We all know they can’t, otherwise, why bother with the movie? Just add a pinch of corporate greed, and some career vs family life nonsense, and then you have a movie. Or, do you?

Forgive me for going a bit meta here, but Claire says it best early in the film. Dwindling numbers in attendance are driving the park owners to consider how to draw the crowds. People aren’t happy with the same old Dinosaurs they have. The Park people have choosen to create new Dinosaurs that are unique, to re-interest people in coming back. They blend some genetics and come up with an ultrapredator to wow the crowds, which should hold ’em for a few years until they come up with yet another wondrous beast in the future. As I was thinking of this review, I can see the parallels between Jurassic World, and a movie studio, where the Dinosaurs are actually the movies the studio releases. Then, that commentary becomes all clear.

The big new dinosaur obviously breaks free, and mayhem ensues. Claire’s two nephews are at the park, but she’s too busy to show them around, so she assigns her assistant. Naturally, they’re caught up right in the middle of all the chaos. That’s what Claire gets for ignoring a family and living a life. Owen (Chris Pratt) is sort of a Dinosaur whisperer, and has been training a brood of Velociraptors as if they were hunting dogs. He gets “it”. The dinosaurs are living breathing entities instead of commodities, and he has to remind Claire of that, time and time again. Jake Johnson and Lauren Lapkus portray technicians who help “control” the park. Vincent D’Onofrio plays Pratt’s boss, and is the corporate mouthpiece.

There are a lot of cliches in the film, almost too many. There are very few surprises, too, and sadly, that’s what I took away from the film. They can’t have just one failure, it ALL has to come crashing down. It’s the big budget disaster movie, where the lessons supposedly learned from the previous movie were ignored, and that’s the only reason the movie happens. I almost hate it for that.

Human and animal violence run through the film. There are several gruesome deaths, including one person who was supposed to be annoying, but was only doing their job. Either it was gratuitous, or they cut out most of the character’s part from the script.

I almost want to say you should avoid this film. There are some moments that were good, but overall, I’d have to say you don’t need to see it. If you feel you must, you definitely do not have to see it in 3D, like I did.