Friday, June 19, 2015

Movie Review #271: "Inside Out" (2015)

Movie"Inside Out"
Ticket Price: $12.50
Director: Pete Docter & Ronaldo Del Carmen
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Image Source
A look inside the head of a young girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and the emotions that control her: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). When Riley has to move from her home in Minnesota to San Francisco, her emotions have trouble dealing with the change as Joy and Sadness as well as her core memories get lost in the maze of long-term memory.  

Pixar: making us feel things we didn't know we were capable of feeling anymore since 1995.

"Inside Out" is a true return to form for Disney Pixar, who have had a few missteps in recent years. It has been a while since they put out something truly exceptional. Sure, "Monsters University" was good, but it wasn't the typical fantastic film we have come to expect from them. "Brave" was a very disappointing, and let's face it, "Cars 2" is downright terrible. Then, there was that two year hiatus where Pixar didn't release anything. We had been getting nervous they may have lost their magic, that they may have lost their spark, perhaps for good. We are pleased to say "Inside Out" is a wonderful, delightful, melancholy, emotional, and truthful ride. It is true that emotions, dreams, and the inner workings of the psyche are mature themes, but this film is presented in such a way that people of any age can enjoy it, both on the surface and when you dig a little deeper and put it in the perspective of your own life. When we say emotional, we mean it. We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we empathized, we were angry, we got scared. We went through that huge spectrum of emotions in just 94 minutes. We all can relate to what Riley is going through because we're willing to bet everyone has been in at least one of the situations she faced in the movie. She has her world turned upside down when a drastic event takes place in her life, forcing her and her family to move to San Francisco from Minnesota, where all her friends are, where her school is, where her hockey team is, hell, where her memories were created! She has known nothing else in her young life. To have it all be taken away from her is hard, and it's really heartbreaking to watch unfold.

The catalyst for making this film work, apart from Pixar's typical gorgeous animation and a very strong script with excellent writing, is the caliber of voice over actors entrusted with making the film work. This is one of the best voice casts we have seen in a long time. Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, really has the perfect voice for this character. She is the primary emotion at the start of the movie. Joy is the first thing Riley feels after being born. After only 33 short seconds with her by herself, Sadness enters the picture. Sadness voiced Phyllis Smith, is cast aside through most of the film because she's, well, sad. A negative Nancy. A Debbie downer. Through her life, Riley develops other emotions, and Joy is able to understand all of them except for Sadness. She knows Fear, voiced by the goofy and perfect Bill Hader, keeps Riley safe. Joy understand that Disgust, voiced wonderfully by the excellently cast Mindy Kaling, makes her more self-aware and stops her from eating icky things, wearing bad clothes and saying things out of turn. Anger, voiced by this hilarious and utterly appropriate Lewis Black, helps her stand up for herself, even though sometimes her anger gets the better of her. Of all these emotions, Sadness just makes her feel bad, and Joy, as an inherently happy entity, can't understand that at all. As we mentioned above, issues arise when Riley has to move to San Francisco, and one of her previously all Joyful core memories turns into a sad one. Sadness starts meddling with the memories, turning other happy memories sad every time she touches one or even gets close to one. This film focuses on the journey Joy must go through with Sadness in order to have a better understanding of why every emotion is important and why we can't just be happy all the time. When Riley loses two of her emotions in the long term memory, she starts to become dysfunctional and confused, unable to respond properly to the situations surrounding her. This makes her only able to feel Anger, Disgust, and Fear. Director Pete Docter has brilliantly captured what it is to feel and what it means to emote. "Inside Out" assures us that it's okay to cry, it's okay to be angry, and it's great to be happy, but one emotion cannot exist without the others.

At the end of the day, everyone, adults and kids alike, need to see this film. In a world full of mediocre kids movies, Pixar and Disney have almost always been notorious for making amazing films, and this is absolutely the case with "Inside Out." Though it sounds dramatic, it made us feel again. We got it. It spoke to us personally on many, many different levels. As jaded as we have been in the past, all of our angst and bitterness was put on hold while watching this as we went through an emotional roller coaster not just while watching the screen. but inside ourselves. We are completely satisfied with the final product and can't think of one bad thing to say about it. This movie will be one we will look forward to digging out again and again and viewing for decades to come. What a powerful, creative, cathartic and sentimental film!

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: ~9.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~98%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment