Inside Out

I have wanted to see this movie for so long. And finally, I have! This is Pixar’s Inside Out, a film about the emotions inside of you and how they help your life. I managed to avoid most information about this film, so I went in there with only the trailers to guide me. Oh, I did know about Bing Bong, but not his role or anything more than just he’s a character.

Inside Out is about Riley a young girl having to deal with a big move across the country, and the emotions that are trying to help her out. The five emotions are Joy, the leader of the group. Sadness, the one without a clear purpose. Anger, the one that helps Riley stick up for herself. Fear, the one that keeps Riley from hurting herself. And Disgust, the one that keeps Riley from making a fool of herself.

Oh, my console is probably ran by the Fear guy most of the time with Sadness as the second in command.

But onto the movie. It is quite a mind trip. The world inside Riley’s mind is colorful and wild while still maintaining structure. The real world has a more muted tone, but it fits well. The five emotions are all fun characters to watch. Joy and Sadness are the main ones and get the most development, but the other three are still important.

The movie is really well done with a plot that is serious and humorous. I teared up and cried at times. It got my sadness going.

The movie shows what happens when a young girl goes through a life-changing move to some other state. Things go wrong when Joy and Sadness gets taken out of the main control room. That leaves only three emotions to try and work Riley until Joy and Sadness can return. It’s not a wacky hijinks kind of control. Having only three emotions really hurts, not just Riley but the people trying to help her, too.

Meanwhile, Joy has to deal with Sadness, the emotion she likes the least. Joy feels Sadness doesn’t do anything for Riley while the others at least have a use. Of course the movie is partially about her learning that’s wrong.

What I like is that there’s no antagonist, not even the well-meaning kind. Everyone here is on the same side and just want’s what best for Riley.

Some spoiler thoughts for those that have yet to see this film. Though you should.

Oh man, Bing Bong. He is fantastic and a great addition to the movie. He represents something else in regards to a person’s mind and is an important part of it.

Inside Out is a really enjoyable film that I’m glad to have finally watched.

This movie makes me want a deeper look into the emotion command centers of other characters. It’s a fantastic place.

Alita: Battle Angel

Based on a Manga that I haven’t read, Alita is a story taking place in the future, somewhere in the year 2500’s. There, it is common to have cybernetic parts, and sometimes, the entire is a cyborg. The world has also become pretty trashed after a war with Mars. Alita is found by a doctor out in the scrap yard. He repairs her and starts something that might change the world. Or the one city that makes up what we see of Earth.

The visuals in the movie are fantastic. From the world to the characters, things look good. The cybernetics and upgraded people have style and flair. Of course there is a fair bit of mechanical creepiness too. There is good variety to the scenes, too. Not everything is dark or dingy. There are some great shots in the daytime that help make the city feel more bearable rather than relentlessly sad. The action scenes are nice and fluid, too.

What isn’t creepy? Alita’s eyes. It’s not bad at all. I didn’t notice it much after the initial introduction, and she fits well enough into a world where everyone else has normal-sized eyes. Alita is a fun character. She can be naive and innocent while still being forceful and strong-willed. Part of it comes from having only instincts of her previous life before being repaired.

Doctor Ido is a good character, too. I really liked the interaction between him and Alita. As for Hugo, I found him more annoying, but not overly so. The rest of the characters are all there for a few scenes but do them well.

There are some problems with the film, though. The main one is the pacing. The best way I can describe it is that the movie feels like it should be a miniseries. There distinct parts of the movie that can feel like an episode of a (really good-looking) TV show. Each part has a plot, climax and resolution. The finale brings everything together with previous minor characters that had been set up coming into focus. It feels less like one story and more like a series of story in Alita’s life.

The plot isn’t anything new, but I still liked it thanks to the characters. I enjoyed the daytime parts more as it is more fun rather than full of scary cyborg criminals. The style and look of the movie is great, and Alita is a good character to follow and see the world with.

Some spoilers below.

Remember how I said it’s like a TV show? It even ends on a cliffhanger.

King Arthur, Legend of the Sword

This is the 2017 Guy Ritchie film about King Arthur. There have been a lot of stories about the legendary king, this one is quite a out there take on it. This could probably pass for an original story, but they just threw on King Arthur for the name recognition. There’s a lot I found wrong with the film, but also a lot I enjoyed about it. I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but it’s not like things are too unpredictable here.

What I like. This film has a lot of style. It does remind me quite a bit about his previous works with slow motion, camera work and shot composition. Things are really stylish, perhaps too much so. This is a King Arthur with modern music, and it is rocking. The montages and cuts between two different scenes are done really well. The action scenes are also really cool and fun to watch. They are slightly choppy, but the camera work does add to the intensity and super-human style of the movie.

I enjoy watching the montages. They are inventive and entertaining. However, and this is a big one, the movie seems to use montages in place of actual character development. Most of the characters feel a bit flat. I think the film uses the notion of King Arthur as an excuse not to develop the characters as much. They think we all know who they are already, so they can do some stuff in montage.

It does feel like this could be an original film, but someone thought it wouldn’t stand on its own that way. Also, Arthur gets too many heroic resolves before he actually wins. They needed to cut down at least one of them, because the later ones just feel less impactful.

This movie has too much style and uses it as a substitute to build on characters other than Arthur. The rest of them just happens to be there with some scenes, but not really enough for me to bond with them.

I do like that there’s no forced romance in the film. And I think the kid character is actually quite good. While not a huge part of what’s going on, he’s endearing.

The story is fine. Nothing stands out that much, but it shows off a lot of fun stuff. If they went less on the pizzaz and more on the characters, it would have made for a more interesting film. As is, it’s fun to watch when on TV but not something that needs to be sought out.

Sing

Add fun cartoon animals to an ordinary plot makes things so much better. If Sing was done with real people, I would not have been interested in it. The world doesn’t even take that much advantage of the fact that the cast are all animals. It comes into play at times, but most of the time it doesn’t factor into things. But still, adorable cartoon animals just make it better.

The plot is a singing competition, and a rather standard one. There is perhaps one too many main characters, that all of them lack a bit, but I like the contestants and don’t want to get rid of any of them.

In the movie, Buster Moon runs an old theater in financial trouble. As a means of getting business, he starts a singing competition but accidentally sends out a prize worth 100 times what he intended. Buster Moon does lie about it to keep his show going. Actually, there are a few morally questionable actions going on through the movie in our main characters. Most of them are good people, but they still do bad things.

Probably just from a design point, my favorite character is Ash. I think Johnny’s plot was a bit heavy, so it suffered most from making things kid friendly. Overall, I think each of the main contestants plot needed one more scene. And the thing I wanted to see most but wasn’t in the film was more interaction between the contestants! They all have their moments with Buster Moon, but not with each other. The film makes it clear that they’re friends, but they don’t show any of that. I know that would make the film even longer, but I don’t mind.

Sing is a rather standard plot made fun by cartoon animals, cartoon situations and cartoon physics. No real suprises here, but solid songs and endearing characters abound.

Oh, some spoilers thoughts here.

I saw the trailer and wow did the trailer pretty much spoil everything. Geeze, let some things be a surprise.

I think Mike is a pretty interesting character. He starts off a jerk, and is still a jerk at the end of the film. And his problems aren’t entirely solved at the end of the film like I thought it would be. I thought that when Johnny’s father went to the theater to see him with the police chasing after him, the police would run into the bears and solve that issue. Nope. Didn’t happen.

Also, Gunter. I know he’s not one of the main contestants, but I wanted to see more of him. Maybe just one scene about what he does outside of the show. He’s a rather fun-loving and standup guy that only exists for Rosita’s plot. It would have been good to see what he likes to do.

Yeah. Fun movie. I liked the final songs. It felt good to see the results of the contestants’ hard work.