Inside Out review

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It’s been two years of absence and InsideOut is Pixar’s most triumphant return since Toy Story 3.

There’s a reason why I respect Pixar as a movie company. All their films are incredibly mature while mantaining that innocent and cheerful spirit of an animated film. Also, every new Pixar movie is quite unique and different from the rest.

Inside Out aroused a lot of expectancy from me because Pixar is already good at portraying deep topics, so, when I heard that they were making a movie about how the emotions work inside the head, I knew something big was coming.

But most importantly is that we are talking about the emotions inside 11 year old Riley, a young girl who’s life has been mainly guided by Joy, hence, most of her memories are happy ones. Riley’s life seems very colorful in every aspect as Joy, Fear, Disgust and Anger all co-work in a very efficient way. The only one that doesn’t seem to fit very well is Sadness, as nobody really knows what she is there for.

However, things start giving a radical turn when Riley has to move to another city because of her dad’s job. This means goodbye to everything she once knew and now she has to  face the changes of a new school, a new sports team, new friends… and the 5 emotions are having a very hard time trying to find new ways for Riley to be happy again.

The most brilliant aspect about this movie for me is the fact that everything is a total represantation of real life. Everything Riley lives is actually what real kids sometimes have to face when they are growing up and Pixar takes advantage of this to explain how the emotions become out of control and try to restore balance to them.

And everything becomes even deeper and better when the movie starts showing the conflict most people have between Joy and Sadness in a very funny and heartwarming way. The way Pixar shows how all the emotions have a very important role in daily life is quite unique to experience.

Great merit for the film to feel authentic and immersive goes to the main characters who are the emotions. Everyone has his own personality portrayed in an excellent way while caring for restoring emotional balance. Joy is always energetic and cheerful and literally glows of happiness; Sadness is always remembering the possible sad outcomes; Fear is the one responsible for the second thoughts about decisions; Disgust is always judgmental; and Fear is the one who can’t tolerate injustices.

Another great aspect of the film is that everything is told in a very funny way. All the jokes have to do with the emotions and how the head of a little girl works. It’s enough to say that even the jokes make sense with the plot and are not just silly random jokes.

There are even short scenes where we visit Riley’s parents heads and see how their respective emotions work based on their personality, which results in very hilarious moments.

There are heartbreaking scenes, too. Another big topic in the movie is forgotten memories, and some of those memories end up being crucial for the film’s plot,  and when we see them vanish, it’s truly heartbreaking.

As a whole, Inside Out results in yet another masterpiece from Pixar. I really hadn’t enjoy another Pixar movie that much since those days of Toy Story 3. In fact, if you pay attention, there are some elements in Inside Out that will remind you of that movie, too.

Inside Out is a movie that has it all. It’s beautifully animated, the plot is a perfect combination between a deep story and a funny one, the jokes make sense with all the plot, it’s a new and great way to show kids and adults alike the importance of emotional balance…. I would say those 2 years of waiting for a new Pixar movie were worth it.

10 stars

Rating: 10

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Cinderella review

There has been a notorious trend of adapting fairy tales to the big screen in the form of live-action films in the last years but most of them have been negatively received by the people. Some of them tried to look too matured that the essence of what was once a colorful story was forgotten, such as Alice in Wonderland and Red Riding Hood. However, this time, Disney has changed that stigma by presenting, with Kenneth Branagh as the director, a live-action version of Cinderella that manages to keep the essence of a true fairytale while adding some new refreshing elements that make the experience heartwarming.

It’s still the same concept for the story. Ella (Lily James) was a young and generous girl whose life had no signs of sadness. One day, her mother passes away after reminding Ella to always “have courage and be kind”. Her beloved father, worried for Ella’s loneliness while he is away for business, marries Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett), who moves in with her two daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drizella (Sophie McShera) to become Ella’s new family. In an unexpected turn of events, her father passes away during one of his travels, and she is forced to live by the abuse of her mean stepmother and sisters… until the fairytale magic will change her faith.

Everything so far might sound like everything we already know, but that’s just the beginning. It’s not the conventional girl that daydreams of his prince all the time or the love-at-first-sight kind of tale or other cheesy stuff. This time, both Cinderella and Prince Kit have some slightly convincing backstories that make us believe their love is genuine. Besides, the movie doesn’t revolve only about the love, but also around some other values, such as forgiveness and kindness that gives the movie a refreshing new look that is now more enjoyable for the whole family to watch, not only children, or, rather, girls. That promise of always being kind and courageous fairly plays a vital role for the story to feel different than the original 1950’s film while having its own fairytale magic.

Great merit is due to main actress, Lily James. Truthfully, there wasn’t a better choice to portray a Disney female protagonist than her, as she has all the charisma, kindness, grace and innocent look that her character requires. The way her emotions fluctuate from sadness to joy is quite adorable, actually. And the rest of the casting has a very decent job, too. Blanchett makes a terrific job at showing that despicable look towards Ella in a way that she manages to steal the show once she is in the screen. However, I have to give special credit to Grainger and McShera for their roles as Ella’s stepsisters. And it’s because they depict the dorky essence of their animated counterparts so well that watching them is utterly funny.

Most of the characters have their participation done right, yet, sadly, some of them are responsible for the only times the movie loses its flow and becomes boring. The director tried too much to give to the mice, Ella’s best friends, a lot of participation, but they end up being dully irrelevant for most of the flick, since they are (unintentionally) shown as nothing more than, well, mice, that the spectator might think Ella is a little crazy for talking with rodents when she is feeling down. Their only good moment is when they are transformed into white horses that will pull the magnificent carriage that was once a pumpkin, as the CGI is quite nice to watch in those few seconds. At least it’s good that they don’t appear all the time.

Alice 2010 missed the heart of a princess story and it made us think those live-action adaptations were unnecessary. Nonetheless, Maleficent was a remarkable and touching new look for the story. With Cinderella being its second success at bringing fairytales to live action films, Disney has confirmed that they are the most suitable candidates when it comes to magic tales. Other studios have tried to do the same with other well-known names (Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast) but, sometimes one thinks that they should let the experts do it, instead. Sure, this film might not be for everyone, but if you are the kind of folk who enjoys some of the Disney charm, trust me when I tell you that this movie is totally worth it.

8.5 stars

8.5/10 stars

Trailer:

Big Hero 6 review

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Versión en español: http://josephmovie.tumblr.com/

Nerds can be cool, too

One thing is clear: Marvel is the dictionary entry for “box office success”. Whether if you are a fan or unfamiliar with their works, in reality, every single movie of theirs can make anyone go to watch it. Back in 2009, the eyes of all the movies fans turned to Disney who acquired Marvel Studios later that year. “What would come up from that partnership?” was of course the most frequently asked question. Well, after 5 years of relationship, we finally have the first product that comes from the fusion of the two behemoths of the industry. Marvel’s field of expertise, superheroes, combines its forces with the pioneer of animation, Disney, to bring Big Hero 6, a CGI superhero origin tale based on the comic of the same name that brings those life lessons we are all used to see from Disney and Pixar: tragedy, loss, family first, and one’s quest to grow. And, frankly, the result is outstanding.

On a parallel distant future, San Francisco has merged with Tokyo to become San Fransokyo, where apparently, robots are now things of every day’s life. It is here where Big Hero 6 tells the tale of Hiro (Ryan Potter) and older brother Tadashi (Daniell Henney), two orphaned boys that are geniuses in electronics. The difference is that Hiro is very cocky to go to university and prefers earning money (illegally), in underground robot fights. Tadashi, as the father figure, concerned about his little brother, tricks him into thinking he will take him to his next fight, but instead, takes him to his university to meet his nerdy friends and learn about their science projects. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Tadashi shows Hiro his own life’s work, a robot, “designed to be adorable”, medical assistant, Baymax (Scott Adsit).

Fascinated about the new world he has discovered, Hiro is convinced he wants to study in that same institute. He presents a project which wins him the ticket to sign up for it and everything is joy for everybody. Suddenly, a tragedy occurs in the school, killing Tadashi and leaving Hiro alone. In his depression, he accidentally activates Baymax, who tries to treat his inner wounds by calling Tadashi’s best friends, who are now his friends, too. This is the moment when Hiro discovers the events of the school might not have been “accidentally”, so he and the group decide to build powerful costumes based on science to help them on their journey to find out who is behind all of this, including Baymax.

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Since many years ago, the animated sector has not exactly deliver “children’s movies”. Instead, they are movies that come with a deep plot but are, at the same time, easy for all the family to digest. The main focus of this animated film is a direct message: nerds can be cool, too. The word Nerd is frequently used in the movie without any of the common “cool guys” to bully them. It is something that is understood very early on the story, however, the other elements that comprise it make it a terrific plot. Some life lessons about how to overcome loss with the help of friends is perhaps not a new concept, but it surely has to be applied carefully for a family-friendly film. We all know something about the Disney protocol: there has to be drama. Nobody can forget what happens in The Lion King, Tarzan, Bambi, among others, and Big Hero 6 follows the Disney’s tradition by not making it feel cliché nor dark for children.

But I’m not saying the movie is only about drama! On the contrary, it is packed with so many funny moments sometimes you forget what they are trying to do. At the same time, the film is packed with so many emotional, heartbreaking moments, with most of them involving our big, stuffed balloon droid. He is a robot, yes, but the legacy of Tadashi that was programmed in his chip is crucial for Hiro to understand his true purpose. It might not be as groundbreaking as other giant Disney movies, but it does its job, although it has some Iron Man influences along the story that are quite obvious to notice.  Finally, Big Hero’s 6 animation is magnificent. The competence in CGI animation is surely a big one, with most movies from DreamWorks, BlueSky, Fox and Disney/Pixar resulting in such a sight for the eyes that the sense of awe is inevitable and this visual delight is no exception.

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Disney’s latest animation, with the influence of Marvel, results in a very nice, emotional and vastly funny experience. It is definitely one of the funniest CGI movies I’ve seen in a while. It is everything you would expect from the fusion of two of the experts in high-grossing films. The full experience of more than a century at making animated films and the superhero comics’ theme end up making a very good result. Perhaps some things might look a little recycled from previous films of both studios, but it’s nothing that truly affects the viewer’s experience. What really affects the spectator’s eye is the gorgeous visuals and the endearing plot that is unfolded by the great bond of Hiro and Tadashi and, later on, Hiro and his 5 big sidekicks. I keep falling in love with these movies that are not “children’s movies” anymore. These are family-friendly movies, which means, a strong message for the whole family to understand.

Rating: 8.5 – Definitely worth it

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3biFxZIJOQ