Inside Out (2015)

Going to the theatres two weeks in a row! Yay!  I’m catching up to my once a month theatre visit goal 😉 That seems easy but its not…

Yesterday night, we decided to head out to see Inside Out and we ended up having 4 friends join us as well.  It was absolutely crazy since it was Canada Day so everyone was out and about.  It was intense to find space in the parking lot and I thank the whole buying tickets online thing and being able to pick it up.  Technology rules, at least sometimes, right? 😉

Let’s check out Inside Out!!

Oh wait! Before that, as usual there’s a short before the main feature called Lava.  It looks something like this.

Lava Short

In short, animation was great, the music was cute but somehow hmmm, not quite as great as the past few that I’ve seen.

Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out

Director: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen

Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan

After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.-IMDB

At its 15th movie, Pixar has had generally a good run.  I think a lot of us can agree on that.  Although most of the movies are box office gems, how many are actually worthy of whipping up those emotions and being just totally epic? That’s a question I started asking myself.  Inside Out is one that does that.  Just like Toy Story works on the whole childhood thing, Inside Out flips around and lets us see whats going on in our brains as the emotions fight for their spot while a young girl is uprooted and moved to San Francisco.  While the initial concept of Inside Out had me doubting it a little, its easy to say that the trailers won me over fairly quickly and I was totally sold for this idea. The story itself is unique and the way they told it made us not only connect with the emotions, especially Joy and Sadness but lets us also connect with our main girl, Riley.

inside out

Pixar has wonderful animation.  There’s also something so beautiful about how they lay out the whole scene.  Inside Out is no exception.  Its simply wonderful to look at and perfectly sets the mood for where it wants the story to head.  Our characters all have their distinct feature, making them easy to connect to.  For example, Anger is red and Sadness is blue.  Our emotions are color-coded as well and that simplifies this plot a little.  I’m pretty sure that kids can relate with the imaginary friend and memories they have with parents, older children might connect with the whole puberty or school or new environment and adults will go in maybe churning up and remembering some of their childhood memories.  At the same time, we also get to remember that sadness and joy (and the other emotions) come hand in hand.  They all connect together to make us appreciate each moment even more.  Whats a story without having something we can take away from it, right? Right!

Inside Out

Plus, the voice acting.  Man, it was so fun.  The voice cast is outstanding with Amy Poehler being the bright and positive Joy and Phyllis Smith being the depressed Sadness. Disgust was believable with an attitude with Mindy Kaling adding some style and sass.  Whereas, Anger, voiced by Lewis Black was by far the most hotheaded one that brought on a ton of humor and his whole dynamic with Fear (voiced by Bill Hader) was awesome.  Having great vocal talents adds to any animation because its who brings the characters to life and the enthusiasm and personality each character had was completely believable. Moving on to the outside, Mom was voiced by Diane Lane, very much to my surprise.  Especially since I’ve been thinking of rewatching Unfaithful.  Besides the point, Mom and Dad’s emotions was great (as we saw in the trailer).  That part was hilarious.

Inside Out

I really want to give it a little more mention to Riley.  She’s an eleven year old girl.  While I can’t relate to the whole moving to a new city and starting over and that sort of emotional burden, there’s a lot of Riley’s life that we see in memories.  She’s just like any girl out there.  Seeing her life as seen from the inside, you can’t help be wonder a little because Pixar thought it out so well of how to portray the stages of life and the importance of our emotions.  Connecting to Riley’s life is kind of like a journey through our own.  Some of those memories, especially core ones (as they call it), like family really turns this into a heartwarming and emotional journey.

Overall, Inside Out is a unique story and has a great vocal cast to back it up.  Its able to mix a good balance of humor and emotions into the plot to make it memorable, while carrying a message about the importance of our memories and how certain memories stay with us while others are forgotten, about moving on, about changes and most importantly, that no emotion can stand-alone because one emotion will trigger another one to make things even better.  Why is Inside Out a definitely hit and a must see? Its because it connects well with the audience through our own memories and how we can relate to Riley even if we’re not a child anymore.  It’ll tug a little on our heartstrings and play on our own emotions.  I can tell you, at a few parts, I started getting all teary eyed.  Inside Out is quite simply awesome.  There are no other words to describe it.  There are fun characters and lots of laughs to be had between all the emotional moments.

Have you seen Inside Out? What did you think about it?

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011)

First review (out of 2) before the August recommendation month officially starts 🙂 Watched this before I decided to do that!

I just realized that I hadn’t done a review of the 2nd Alvin yet but if you are interested, you could check out the review of Alvin and the Chipmunks HERE!  Honestly, after the second one didn’t really do too well for me, I’ve been hesitating to watch the third one: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.  There’s only so much of chipmunk singing pop songs that I can take before it gets old.  But hey, it was on Netflix so means I technically am watching it for free since its in my first month of subscription! Why not, right?  Lets see how it was…

alvin 3 posterDirector: Mike Mitchell

Cast: Jason Lee, David Cross, Jenny Slate, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate, Alan Tudyk

Dave (Jason Lee), Alvin (Justin Long) and the Chipmunks (Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Theordore (Jesse McCartney)) and Chipettes: Brittany (Christina Applegate), Eleanor (Amy Poehler) and Jeanette (Anna Faris) are going on a cruise for some R&R before their performance at the International Music Awards. On the ship, Dave sees  Ian (David Cross), who is now a pelican mascot for the cruise ship, Ian vows to watch the chipmunks closely to plot revenge and get them kicked off the ship.  After some mischief with Alvin, they get banned to one area of the ship. When Dave falls asleep, the chipmunks crew accidentally end up flying off in a hang glider and ends up on a deserted island.  Due to this, as Dave was trying to save them, Ian gets involved and they also end up stranded in the ocean and eventually find the island. Determined that he will find the chipmunks on the island, he sets off with Ian to find them while the chipmunks are learning their own lessons and making acquaintance with a girl, Zoe (Jenny Slate) thats been trapped there for almost a decade.

alvin 3 chipmunks chipettes

How would I describe this movie? There was a lot of chipmunks singing, for everything and everywhere.  In the first movie, it was not that much singing and it had more of a storyline.  We hit this third one and its all become a lot of chipmunk voices singing to lead through every sequence. I think that affected this flick a lot. I get that its for children and probably young children but there is also the fact that Alvin was known to the 20s-30s crowd or whatnot.  I’m not exactly sure of the time frame.  That really made this movie really boring and man, it was long.

alvin 3 survival

Plus, there isn’t much changes.  The only difference is that a different character learns the meaning of life in a different scenario.  The first one was about Dave learning to accept the chipmunks as families and learning to take responsibility and care for them as his kids.  Now this time, think parents teaching kids to grow up and the concept of responsibility and that the only way they learn is through making mistakes to learn to be grateful and more understanding for both Alvin and Dave.  Its also about learning to be courageous and at certain times, embrace being fearless for Simon.

alvin 3 zoe

This time around we bring in a new character called Zoe played by Jenny Slate who has been stranded on the island for eight to nine years. She’s not completely there and her friends are different types of sports balls and she names them with their brand.  Stealing ideas from Cast Away, right? “Wilson!!” Sorry, I’m having a moment right there.  She’s not a bad character though.  She just didn’t get a great script.

alvin 3 island

Overall, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked was pretty disappointing even though  I didn’t have much expectations.  You know I find positives in even the worst movies if you’ve been following my reviews but really, this one didn’t have much.  I just didn’t really enjoy myself and felt I might have wasted my time and almost turned it off.  I did tough it out till the very end.  At least Theodore got enough parts to keep me “aww-ing” over his cuteness 😉 I can’t get enough of him in these.  Just way too adorable! Who I recommend this to? Kids might enjoy it…I don’t have kids so I don’ t know but young kids might get a little more enjoyment than I did. It has a lot of good values and lessons to learn just its not really set for a wide age range.

How do you feel about Alvin and the Chipmunks? Do you know if they will be doing a sequel after this?