Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Inside Out

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  There's no way mortals work at Pixar.  The creators there have to be gods of some kind.

Inside Out – 5 out of 5

I’m quite the fan of Pixar’s work.  Ever since I first saw Toy Story, I was hooked with their films.  I hold them completely responsible for the renaissance of animated films that happened and the new golden era of family films we have.  They showed us that animated features don’t have to be song and dance numbers with bright colors and dumb characters meant to occupy your child while you sneak off to power nap or wolf down candy you hide in a secret stash.  Pixar showed us that the stories can by dynamic and deep and the characters can be rich and fun while all existing in a premise unlike everything else out there.  With the exception of the Cars films, I’ve never been disappointed with a Pixar movie and that’s why I bought this one on Blu-ray without actually seeing it.  I figured with their track record, purchasing Inside Out before seeing it was a completely safe bet…and boy was it.

For now on, I'm just going to pretend I have anthropomorphic emotions in my head.

Inside the mind of a small girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), deep within the center of her mind, exists her emotions:  Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling).  These emotions find their work cut out for them when Riley’s mother (Diane Lane) and father (Kyle MacLachlan) packed up their life in the Midwest and moves them to San Francisco.  While the stress of moving comes into play, Sadness starts to act up and begins to turn happier memories into sad ones.  After Sadness takes control of Riley’s mind and ends up creating a sad core memory—the memories that create who and what we are—Joy attempts to stop her from creating any more sadness but accidentally ends up getting her and Sadness lost in the deep recesses of Riley’s brain.  Now they must figure out a way to get back and take control before Fear, Anger and Disgust does something drastic that can change Riley’s life forever.

In all seriousness, Inside Out really creatively captured the difficulties that kids
face as they grow up and their world changes around them.

Like all Pixar films, this feature has some absolutely amazing animation and voice acting.  I really loved the look the emotions had with their glowing appearance and a texture that made them look a bit like Muppets.  The core cast of Poehler, Smith, Hader, Black and Kaling are incredible at bringing to life these characters but the film also has a great supporting cast that helps really give this world life and depth—and yes, John Ratzenberger continues his streak of doing a cameo voice.  Furthermore, and once again like all other Pixar films, the concept of this story is incredibly creative and imaginative.

I get the same way when I see the posts my racist uncle puts on Facebook.

Joy is looking at her hand...she must be high.
That's probably why she's so upbeat.
This unique look at what drives a young girl trying to come to terms with moving across country perfectly illustrates the difficulty that comes with being a kid and growing up.  Seeing inside Riley’s mind and seeing things like memories fading and being forgotten or, more importantly, meeting an imaginary friend from Riley’s childhood help Joy and Sadness on their journey really crafted some incredibly emotional scenes.  It’s never surprising that Pixar creates stories that will fill the viewer with happiness and incredible sadness (dang, Up makes you cry within the first five minutes) but it’s always impressive how they can create dynamic characters that you get invested with and then have a very strong emotional reaction to.  So, yes, I will admit that Inside Out made me cry.  I watched it with my girlfriend and tried my hardest to not bawl in front of her but the story was so strong and the characters so likable and sympathetic that fighting those feelings were impossible.  So, once again, you made tears come out of my face, Pixar, and I’m not mad at all for you doing it. 

Bing Bong's part in the story really had me in tears.  I don't know if I should be
openly admitting how often this film made me cry.

What's that?  No, I'm not crying again.
With its excellent animation, perfecting voice acting cast and a story that is overflowing with creativity, wit, humor and drama Inside Out is just another epic feature from a studio that keeps churning out amazing films.  I find it hard to category which films they’ve done that are their best because their level of creativity is beyond so many other animation studios in existence but I do think that this is definitely one of my top five films they’ve done.  I walked out of this one with no complaints and the only regret being not seeing this one in the theater when it was out…but if I did it then, I would have been trying even harder to not cry because as much as I don’t want my girlfriend to see me shed some tears, I REALLY don’t want complete strangers to see me bawl over the heartbreak of some animated emotions.

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