Friday, July 3, 2015

Inside Out

Having staggered back into the Fortress of Ineptitude after a week away at the beach, the El family would've been perfectly fine to lay around the Fortress, oozing into formless blobs in our beds. It's amazing how tired one can feel after a vacation. I for one was ready to get back to work so I could get some rest. 

But we did venture forth Sunday to finally go see Inside Out, the new film from Pixar. We have been hearing a lot of good things about this one and, indeed, Pixar rarely disappoints. 

*Ahem! Cars 2! Ahem!*  

I have to admit I was little concerned about how Pixar would sell this one to the public since the concept is based around the personification of personality elements we all have in our brains. Not exactly something you can sum up in 4 pithy little words. But to be fair, Pixar films frequently defy easy summation. Which is why they're usually so good. 

Heads up! Pixar turns up the feels to super intense and that's before the movie even starts. An opening short called "Lava" about a volcano looking for someone to love (really!) pulls at the heart strings. 

Then we get to the main event as we meet the just born Riley and the just materialized in her head Joy (wonderfully voiced by Amy Poehler).  We're only a minute or two into this thing and we're hanging out with the personification of joy inside of a baby's head? This is too cute! Am I..feeling something?

Things get a bit more complicated when Joy is joined by Fear, Disgust, Sadness and Anger. OK, whoever got Lewis Black to be the voice of Anger, go get a wad of extra cash from John Lasseter's cookie jar because that is just perfect casting. Perfect!  

Then more complications ensue when Riley, now 11 years old, gets uprooted from her beloved Minnesota and plopped down in San Francisco. Joy is determined to keep Riley happy in the face of a lot of not so pleasant conditions from the big move. Sadness wants to help but Joy is determined that Sadness stays back. Phyllis Smith from NBC's The Office is the voice of Sadness and provides a very nuanced and emotional performance to the role.  

Anyway, stuff leads to more stuff as Joy in her efforts to stay in absolute control finds herself completely out of control and unable to help Riley when she needs her most. 

It's all very emotional stuff, particularly when....OK, I don't want to spoil anything here but let me say this: when was the last time you thought of your childhood imaginary friend? Mine was a blonde girl named Sylvia who loved to dress in dark blue. 


That's not weird! 


Shut up!  

Anyway, there's some serious feels going on in this movie. Pixar is very good at this sort of thing. For all the technical proficiency that Pixar's animators have at their command, it's always the heart that powers the best of their movies. 

So fair warning: there is a very good chance that at some point during Inside Out, you may feel compelled to shed a tear. 

Go ahead. It will do you good. 

Everyone be good to one another. 

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You 

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