‘UP’ brings down generational barriers

Review of UP, Directed by Pete DoctorBefore Toy Story 3 opened floodgates of slightly guilty tears (but after Toy Story 2 triggered … other, even guiltier tears), the geniuses at Pixar figured out another way to bring forth the waterworks [serious profanity warning for that article, folks]—this time in the opening montage of UP. In the first ten minutes of the film, a young Carl Fredrickson meets, marries, and builds a life with the spirited Ellie. By the end of the montage, decades have pas … [Read more...]

You’re Not Good Enough, You’re Not Smart Enough, and Some People Don’t Like You: The Refreshing Realism of Monsters University

Review of Monsters University, Directed by Dan Scanlon When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian. And a farmer. And an ice skater. But time passed, and I realized that I was far too sensitive (about animals, anyway) to endure the heartache of watching families say goodbye to beloved pets. Raising animals for slaughter was likewise out of the question. I lacked the dedication and, quite frankly, the physical grace to be a skater. Plus, it turns out that veterinarian/ice skater/farmer is a … [Read more...]

Wall-E: Pixar’s Sanctimonious Jerk

Review of Wall-E, Directed by Andrew StantonI hate Wall-E. I hate the cloying romance. I hate the mawkish sentimentalism. I hate the sanctimonious environmentalism. I hate the open contempt for suburban America. But mostly I hate that everyone else loves it.Wall-E was ranked the best movie of last decade by Time. It won the Oscar, the Golden Globe, and the BAFTA for Best Animated Film. It’s #59 on IMDB’s list of the greatest movies of all time. It won the Golden Tomato award—an award … [Read more...]

The Gospel According to Nemo

Review of Finding Nemo, Directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee UnkrichBy PAUL D. MILLERFinding Nemo (2003) ages well.  It is the best Pixar film, among the best films of the past decade, one of the finest family movies ever made, and, on my list, one of the greatest movies ever.  WALL-E (2008) is usually ranked as the best of Pixar—it ranks higher on IMDB.com and Metacritic—but compared to the simple sincerity of Nemo, WALL-E’s insistent romance is mawkish.Nemo—the story of a father in search o … [Read more...]