Feeling Better: I review “Inside Out”

for AmCon: Pixar’s “Inside Out” is a charming, vividly-imagined film with terrific comic timing. Its insights are sharp and its message accurate. So why was I the only person in the theater who didn’t sniffle?“Inside Out” takes us into the brain of Riley, a buoyantly happy 11-year-old girl about to face her first major life challenge: a move from Minnesota to San Francisco. We see the world inside her head, including a control room operated by her emotions. Joy (Amy Poehler) is in charge, a … [Read more...]

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“Lava” in the Western World: Justice Kennedy and Pixar

Yesterday afternoon I watched Inside Out. You'll get more from me about that later, but for right now I want to write a bit about "Lava," the short, and the weird coincidence that I saw it on the day of the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision.Aesthetically "Lava" is a mixed bag--or rather, a bag with one great thing and one awful thing in it. The designs for the two volcanic main characters are charming, lovely, and just weird enough. But the short tells a simple story--it could easily … [Read more...]

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This article about “Brave” takes a while to get going

but is worth skimming until it starts to get good. "If it weren’t already obvious, this isn’t a film that fetishizes courage in its ordinary sense." And this: The paradoxical “changeable fate” is probably a familiar fantasy to most parents. That it stumped me for as long as it did I attribute partly my lack of imagination and partly to the fact that I haven’t had to think about the archetypal patterns parenthood introduces. It’s a parent’s destiny to nurture a child at considerable expense and p … [Read more...]

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Also yes, “The Bear and the Bow” would have been a better title

since the theme of Brave, which I saw last night, isn't actually bravery at all.The Good: It's so pretty! It's a gloriously pretty movie, and the grisaille scene where the girl and her horse wander through a fog-hung, thorn-infested woods was chillingly beautiful. The visual humor is also adorable, and visual language is used to convey character really well during the shapeshifting parts.I also loved the actual theme, which was the mother-daughter bond and its stresses. I haven't been … [Read more...]

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