Double Feature: Seoul Station (2016) & Audition (1999)

Welcome to a Friday edition of Double Feature!

My initial plan at the beginning of the year was that Fridays would be for sharing my dive into Asian cinema (more particularly Hong Kong films) but hey, I’m a fan of all kinds of movies so as I ease back into the Asian cinema world, I’m heading into another Shudder double feature with Audition (1999) recommended to me by my fantastic co-host Elwood and the prequel of one of my favorite zombie movies, Seoul Station. Japanese and Korean double feature. This one is all kinds of different tags for why it works as a double feature already.

I’ve heard good stuff for both of these movies so I’m excited to check them out!

Seoul Station (2016)

seoul station

Director (and writer): Sang-ho Yeon

Voice Cast: Ryu Seung-ryong, Shim Eun-kyung, Lee Joon

Several groups of people try to survive a zombie pandemic that unleashes itself in downtown Seoul. – IMDB

With the massive success of Train to Busan (review), its hard to pass up the prequel that started the story. Seoul Station takes us back to where it all started pretty much. Although, who did bite the poor homeless man? We never will know how it started but Seoul Station focuses on a few people whose lives are intertwined and are escaping for their lives as the people around them are infested and attack the people around them. These clueless characters learn about what the zombies are capable of and that well, they are actually the undead. Seoul Station has its good and bad. Is it quite as good as Train to Busan? No, its pretty far from the tension and the story pacing and characters. However, that isn’t saying that its a particularly bad animated prequel. It does a good job to set the stage of what its successor can go from and builds an understanding of how the zombies in this world work. Of course, there’s still a lot more to learn in Train to Busan as movies like to make zombies evolve.

Seoul Station doesn’t have quite the exceptional characters to love. The main girl is made to be weak and whiny but somehow makes it through a lot of close calls. Her boyfriend that is on a separate area as they track each other time to meet up is pretty useless as well and makes a lot of bad calls and doesn’t have the guts. However, he is paired up with an older man who is tough as nails. There’s a whole story behind this and that leads up to the plot twist at the end. The story is somewhat generic but the twist was a surprise although the final twist was quite predictable. Where I find it excels is in its art. The movement and speed of the zombies have this blur behind it which is a lovely touch added in to make something of a motion blur and that works wonders for the aesthetics and effect. The areas and the zombie itself are creepy to look at. The tone of the movie and the backdrop here are done incredibly well also.

Overall, Seoul Station might not offer a unique zombie story and has its surprises and some rather predictable moments. However, it delivers on its art and visuals in this animated feature. Not quite as memorable as its successor but still worth a watch to lay the foundation for the next film.

Audition (1999)

Audition

Director: Takashi Miike

Cast: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura, Renji Ishibashi, Miyuki Matsuda

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all. – IMDB

In many ways, I can see how Audition is a great horror film. In fact, its quite the psychological journey. Messed up and what not the further you dive into the plot. In fact, the ending is so weird that it kind of goes through a confusing phase. I still can’t quit figure out what went on. As psychological as it all was, it was one of those situations that never felt right to begin with. Auditioning for girls for a role that fitted into what this widower wanted, not sure I’m okay with that since it feels pretty contrived and manipulative in the first place. Nothing good comes from that. Then the girl herself was really weird to begin with but apparently Aoyama (played by Ryo Ishibashi) saw something in her.

The story has many layers and to be fair, it works for the most part. I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of Audition. There are some solid atmosphere here and the pacing is fairly good. The cinematography and sound design is great in boosting the atmosphere. The star of the show probably did have to go to the girl here played by Eihi Shiina who was so creepy and mysterious. The final moments however kind of did it for me. What started out as psychological turned into this torture porn that turned my stomach a little and I’m usually not so easily disturbed by it. If that was the intention, it definitely achieved its goal but for myself, I felt like it didn’t fit in so well.

I can’t quite pinpoint what I felt let me down for Audition but it just didn’t feel like it ever reached the potential before heading in directions I wasn’t too fond of. I do acknowledge it has some great character and a lot of mystery and atmospheric horror. But something just didn’t work completely for myself.

That’s it for this Asian Horror double feature!
I anticipated watching both of these quite a bit but both of them let me down just a little.
I can definitely see their merit but it just wasn’t exactly for me particularly Audition.

Have you seen these two? Thoughts?

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Anastasia (1997)

Time to revisit childhood favorites! I’m not going to lie. It might be a little deliberate to have chosen Anastasia since Netflix is doing “A” titles. Consider it a double feature in a way, especially since Anastasia is currently on Netflix (in Canada). Its also a good choice because I need to watch good movies also and not always average movies. It keeps the moral high and motivation even higher. So I’m going to try from now on. When the week is a little more quiet, I’ll work in another movie, hopefully with the same letter title as the Netflix that week. Summer is around the corner so I usually rest up in June to prepare for all the movie reviews in Fantasia Festival in mid-July.

Enough rambling! Let’s revisit Anastasia! ūüôā

Anastasia (1997)
Anastasia

Director: Don Bluth & Gary Goldman

Voice cast:  Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, Kelsey Grammar, Hank Azaria, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury

The last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family joins two con men to reunite with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, while the undead Rasputin seeks her death.-IMDB

Don Bluth does have quite the magic. When I watched all these animated films when I was a kid or just younger, I never knew much about who directed and voice casts and all that stuff. ¬†Now that I’ve been in the movie blogger world, I know better. Certain names just seem to be the key behind a lot of movies. I never feel like Anastasia is appreciated or talked about as much as it should be. Fact is, Anastasia is really pretty and what shocked me even more is that its not from the powerhouses now. This is a Fox Animation Studios film. If you even look at the voice cast, there is quite a bit of amazing talent here. It even turns out that I’m doing a back to back John Cusack movie, unexpectedly. Much of Anastasia has to go to the beautiful animation and the fantastic music. I may have not seen this movie in forever, probably more than ten years, but I always hum Once Upon a December in sporadic moments. Of course, the whole soundtrack is quite memorable.

I probably should have reviewed Anastasia ages ago because I’ve always wanted to look at ALL of Meg Ryan’s movies and that project and even thought of it has faded away but I do still love Meg Ryan and her movies quite a bit. She voices Anastasia and she is so great in bringing to life our main character here. Anastasia is feisty and tough if not slightly naive also but she yearns to find her family but who knew that things would work out unexpectedly. She not only finds her family but also meets an unexpected guy who is flawed but also has his own secret.

Voicing Dimitri, the guy that Anastasia meets, is John Cusack. I’m going to be honest that I never acknowledged that he voiced this character. ¬†While I have a lot of appreciation for his acting, I still have a lot to learn about the movies he has been in. But, I do like his voice as Dimitri. It carries a cunning but still very sweet character. ¬†However, I do love Kelsey Grammar as Vlad quite a bit also. Vlad is such a charming and funny character, especially his obsession with Pooka. The cutest element of the entire film is Pooka. I guess dogs whether in real life or animated still are just uber adorable regardless.

Anastasia

¬†In any animated film, there’s always some villain and here we have Rasputin, voiced by Christopher Lloyd. While he is evil, he holds a comical value that is suitable for kids to watch. I’m not sure how young it would be suitable for but Rasputin is generically evil but still manages to make me laugh. Plus, he is literally falling apart and with the interaction he has with Bartok, his somewhat faithful bat, voiced by Hank Azaria, it becomes not scary but simply entertaining. Rasputin’s mishaps is what I looked forward to the whole time. ¬†While, Bartok was really just a background character that made witty reactions as the comic relief. Hank Azaria does have a great talent in voices and here he demonstrates it yet again.

Anastasia

Overall, Anastasia may almost be 20 years old but it still holds the charm with enchanting music and charming characters voiced by a wonderful cast. Meg Ryan and John Cusack does a fine job as the leads but Christopher Lloyd makes a comical villain and Hank Azaria does a great silly sidekick. It helps that they added in an uber cute dog Pooka to follow them on their journey. A must-watch animated film! I still love it every bit as much as when I first saw it! ūüôā

Before we leave, its important to add in a song (or two) from the movie!

Have you seen Anastasia?

Zootopia (2016)

Zootopia came around a lot faster than I imagined. ¬†I’m going to be honest here and say that it didn’t appeal to me at all from the posters or the snippets that I saw. ¬†My eyes were The Secret Life of Pets, which kind of reminds me a little of Toy Story but with household pets. However, Zootopia is a Disney animation and I love those to bits, even the few not so at par ones over the years. It was time for another theatre viewing! I rounded up my lovely girl friends and we were off for movie night! ūüôā

Let’s check out Zootopia! ūüôā

Zootopia (2016)

Zootopia

Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore & Jared Bush

Voice Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Stu Lakes, Tommy Chong, J.K. Simmons, Alan Tudyk, Shakira

In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a fugitive con artist fox and a rookie bunny cop must work together to uncover a conspiracy.-IMDB

¬†Going into Zootopia, its obvious that I had no expectations. ¬†Actually, I didn’t even really know what the story was about. The only thing I knew was animals living like humans. Does that appeal to me? Well, I’m not quite sure. ¬†Will it work out? Who knows, right? I went into Zootopia with one hope in my mind: to have a good fun time. ¬†Did it deliver? HELL YEAH! I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. ¬†It was a funny yet heartfelt movie that I found could relate to both adults and some equally cute moments for kids. ¬†Maybe not too young because some kids next to us started squirming around a little impatiently near the last quarter of the movie.

Zootopia

One of the best parts of Zootopia is its production design.  The city along with its districts are thoughtful and detailed.  The beauty of the animation moving one place to the next in Tundratown, Rainforest District, Zootopia metropolis, down to the little country areas where our main character Judy comes from, Bunny Burrow, reflects what they are trying to get across.  Cities can live together but they also keep to themselves in many ways.  There is still a part of the animal complex that will stick to what they biologically need even if the predator and prey complex is no longer there. And that reflects on our reality as well, in many cases.

Zootopia

Another really fantastic aspect of Zootopia was the voice acting and the character designs. ¬†Most of the characters, especially our main characters, Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps are absolutely endearing. ¬†Watching their friendship/partnership grow despite their differences and prejudices was a pure joy. ¬†They had beautiful and touching and really funny moments. A lot of credit has to go to their talented voice cast. ¬†Ginnifer Goodwin does the voice for Judy Hopps and I like her a lot. ¬†Nick Wilde’s voice was done by Jason Bateman who is becoming an increasingly fave of mine. Not to mention, the Mayor is voiced by J.K. Simmons and one of my fave voices here is Bellwether voiced by Jenny Slate.

Zootopia

Its essential when discussing Zootopia to go right back to talk about the humor and the pacing and the message.  For one, Zootopia is funny.  Many jokes and puns might go over the head of the younger children but they still have some funny expressions that will keep them intrigued.  Plus, they use some pop culture references like The Godfather.  At the same time, there is a lot of action going on.  This is an investigation in the end about missing mammals in Zootopia.  There are chase scenes and danger in the horizon.  At the same time, it also delivers inspirational and motivational messages of accepting diversity, pushing away prejudices, discrimination and stereotypes and chasing your dreams even when everyone thinks its impossible.

Zootopia

I’m forgiving towards Disney movies and animations, especially because they are usually geared towards children. ¬†Zootopia doesn’t need to be forgived though. ¬†I’m not sure it will hold up that 99% Rotten Tomatoes score as a memorable Disney classic but it does a lot of things right. ¬†The animation is beautiful, the production design is detailed and thoughtful, the voice acting is stellar and the characters are fun and intriguing. ¬†Its downright entertaining with lots of funny moments and a meaningful message to go with it. ¬†I loved it! It gave me exactly what I wanted and some more.

Have you seen Zootopia? What did you think of it?

An American Tail (1986) by Starry Traveler’s Road – Ultimate 80s Blogathon

We’re nearing the end of week 2 of Ultimate 80s. ¬†Please welcome the next contribution by Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road. ¬†She doesn’t normally do movie reviews and she’s not exactly a movie fanatic by a long shot but she is one of my longest childhood friends. ¬†I was her bridesmaids for her wedding and well..we have our stories. I totally appreciate her joining us in this awesome fun. Her blog is rather new and dabbles in areas like gardening and tidbit and tips on a variety of baby topics and she also likes to talk about cooking. ¬†She’s also my designated foodie buddy (along with her family).

Give her some love and support. ¬†Maybe we will turn her into a movie fanatic one day. ¬†Let’s pass it over to her for her choice, An American Tail! ūüôā

———————————-

Hello everyone! First of all, big thank yous to Tranquil Dreams and Drew for hosting the Ultimate 80s Blogathon! This is pretty much one of my first ‚Äúofficial‚ÄĚ movie reviews, so please bear with me!

The movie that I have chosen is An American Tail as the animation holds a lot of sentimental value. According to my mother, its theme song ‚ÄúSomewhere Out There‚ÄĚ was the very first song that she taught me and sang as a toddler. Now that I am a new mom, I do sing it time to time to my baby daughter (under 1 year old) in hopes it will become our first song as well!

I have not seen the movie since my toddlerhood; so, I watched it again while my daughter and I had lunch the other day for the purpose of this review and to see her reaction.

An American Tail (1986)

an american tail

Director: Don Bluth

Cast: Cathianne Blore, Dom DeLuise, John Finnegan, Phillip Glasser, Amy Green, Madeline Kahn, Pat Musick, Nehemiah Persoff, Christopher Plummer, Neil Ross, Will Ryan, Hal Smith, Erica Yohn

While emigrating to the United States, a young Russian mouse gets separated from his family and must relocate them while trying to survive in a new country. – IMDB

I am not terribly good with summaries. Anyway, Fievel, the main character, had to immigrate to the Americas with his family after an arson attack by the Cossacks and attack by their cats. During the boat trip, he got separated from his parents; yet, he still managed to reach the Americas through a bottle. From there, he meets various characters as he sets out to look for his family.

If you want to know my baby daughter’s reaction, there was a lot of squirming in her high chair and my arms during the movie. I was not surprised given it was 80 minutes long. Not terribly sure if she enjoyed it except she seemed to like some songs as she waves her hands in excitement (the only parts that I felt she paid attention to as she loves music!). So, I do not think this is a movie for anyone under 1!

Now that I am older and an history buff, I realized the toddler in me may not have possibly understood all the depressing historical details in addition to being a young child separated from his/her parents in a foreign country. One thing that I would totally agree with my daughter is how much I liked the songs to the point that I managed to sing along to Never Say Never and A Duo, songs that I have not heard in years. Anyway, I do like the storyline and animation, especially how the characters were drawn. I personally like this style of animation, it is so much better than 3D! Even if my daughter may not understand it, I took the opportunity to teach her not to wander off on her own or she will end up like Fievel and we will not know where to look for her! One thing that I truly appreciate was Fievel’s sister’s beliefs that her brother is still alive and his parents should continue to look for him. Her sense of hope is touching as I realized that I would have given up like their parents did.

Overall, I still think it is a decent movie even if it got 6.3/10 from Rotten Tomatoes. There are indeed things that I found strange like a disappearance of a character from the storyboard (probably due to cuts) and things here and there. If you ask me what scene that I remember the most other than the Somewhere Out There song segment before I re-watched the movie, it would have been burning of the houses and people escaping at the beginning of the movie. ¬†So, I do think that parents/adults should watch with “older” kids (maybe 4 years and above) to provide some guidance on some darker historical stuff (e.g. prosecution, child labor, etc) just in case.

There is actually a sequel if you liked this movie. It is called An Americal Tail: Fievel Goes West. That is it for my review. Hope you have enjoyed it! ūüôā

The Little Prince (2015)

Have you ever read The Little Prince? I remember it being one of the first books my mom gave me when I was young. ¬†Its been so many years that I haven’t read it. ¬†From the moment I saw the trailer of The Little Prince, I just fell in love with it and it shot up my list of to-see films. ¬†The problem was that The Little Prince didn’t have a set date as to when it was hitting theatres in the Montreal area. ¬†By accident, I was checking out hours for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and it had hit theatres just this past Friday. ¬†Imagine the joy I had! Hello, movie theatre and the best part is my husband volunteered to go with me even if its not really something he knows anything about. ¬†Right before we went to the theatres, I even found time to read the book also! On that note, you should be expecting a review of that soon.

Let’s check it out! ūüôā

The Little Prince (2015)

The Little Prince

Director: Mark Osborne

Voice Cast: Jeff Bridges, Mackenzie Foy, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Riley Osborne, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Paul Giamatti

A little girl lives in a very grown-up world with her mother, who tries to make sure she’s prepared for it. Her neighbor, The Aviator, introduces the girl to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, the world of The Little Prince. – IMDB

I don’t think any story has ever captured youth and being a child like The Little Prince. ¬†The novel, I mean. ¬†I guess its why I was a little nervous about how this would turn out. ¬†Reading the novel before I went to see this movie was a good move though. ¬†It wasn’t necessary to understand the story at all but it does justify the need for having a side story of the Little Girl and her meeting The Aviator next door who tells her the story. ¬†Some of the art was taken from the book which helps us connect the stories. ¬†The best part of The Little Prince has to go to using CGI for the modern day story and The Little Prince’s story of his travels was done with stop motion animation. I loved the contrast of that because it gives it a storybook feeling for the recounting of the story. ¬†It was a lovely touch.

The Little Prince

Before we talk about the next point, go back up to the voice cast names up there. The talent embedded in this movie is amazing. ¬†Marion Cotillard played The Rose and her elegant voice matches that role completely. ¬†Then we have The Fox who was James Franco. ¬†I feel like Jeff Bridges hasn’t been in any commendable live-action movies in a while but his voice for The Aviator was just fantastic. ¬†As was the voices for young actors doing The Little Prince, Riley Osborne and The Little Girl ¬†by Mackenzie Foy.

The Little Prince

Another aspect that was done really well for The Little Prince was the music.  It was beautiful from the score to the soundtrack. My favorite has to be this one called Equation.  I watched it in English so it had the English version but I love this French one even more!

Light-hearted, soft, warm, sweet, cute. ¬†These are all terms I’d associate with The Little Prince. ¬†It knows when to tug at our heartstrings also with the little side story regardless of its The Little Prince or the parallel of The Little Girl finding her youth when her mom has truly been raising her to look into the future as a grown-up before she’s even experienced enjoyed being a child. The Little Girl really finds herself with the story of The Little Prince and spending time with The Aviator. ¬†Their friendship together is really a sweet one and grows in a beautiful way. ¬†It uses gentle hints at the more dreary things that as an adult we can understand. ¬†The Little Prince plays around a little with the original though by inserting their own little adventure of The Little Girl and The Aviator and extends to her going out to find The Little Prince. ¬†I won’t expand on what happens after there as to keep it fresh. ¬†I’m a little hesitant on how that part is contributing to the story itself but it did hold its message well enough. ¬†I’m not sure if it keeps the subtle message that the novel The Little Prince was trying to say and for that, I’m not exactly sure die hard fans of the book might like this change, but while I question that decision, it didn’t stop me from fully falling in love with the characters and catch myself tearing up at certain parts. I’m not one to nitpick on making adaptations exactly like their source material and for that, I could enjoy this one quite a bit. ¬†It adds something extra while telling the beautiful story of The Little Prince that we are familiar with.

The Little Prince

Overall, The Little Prince is a beautiful animation.  It handles the source material well and adds something different to help us resonate the message it holds.  With a masterful mix of computer graphics and stop motion animation, it brings a new touch. The voice cast is stellar and brings life to each of its character.  The unexpected friendship between The Little Girl and The Aviator is a special one that connects well. At the same time, it never makes us forget about the heart and imagination of being a child.  While I feel that the last segment felt a little weird and the part where maybe it might make some fans of the book hesitate to enjoy this movie as much as others, it did its best to expand upon the source material in their own way and for that I enjoyed the heart behind it. The Little Prince is definitely worth a watch if you enjoy beautiful animation and soundtracks mixed with an imaginative story.

Have you seen The Little Prince? Did you ever read the novel? What are your thoughts on it?

Netflix A-Z: The Book of Life (2014)

I love animation. ¬†Simply love it! Its probably one of my favorite genres. ¬†Funnily enough, I’ve taken a long break from watching it. Who knew after the podcast for Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart over at David’s That Moment In, I started craving a little more. ¬†If you missed that podcast, you can check it out HERE. When compiling the Netflix A-Z in this first round, the first letter on my list with B was The Book of Life. ¬†I have no idea what it was about but it looks pretty so I added it right on. After my streak of a few bad movies, I was ready for something good.

Before we move on, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the comments in the first post for ATM introducing this segment! I was great! How many of you considered this one after (or before) the few hints I dropped in the comments? Did this one just go over your heads or did you suspect it could be this one? ¬†I promise you I was very careful in making sure that each Netflix round will include lots of different genres! ūüėČ

Let’s check it out!

The Book of Life (2014)

The Book of Life

Director: Jorge R. Gutierrez

Voice cast: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Kate Del Castillo, Ron Perlman, Ice Cube, Christina Applegate, Hector Elizondo

Some kids go on a school field trip to the museum. ¬†Their tour guide takes them into a secret part and tells them a story from the Book of Life about the ruler of The Land of the Remembered, El Muerte and the ruler of The Land of the Forgotten, Xibalba who sets a wager that whoever wins will get to own the other’s land. ¬†This wager was on three kids, Maria, Manolo and Joaquin and who Maria will choose to marry when she gets older. ¬†After years of being apart, Maria returns home to find Manolo and Joaquin grown up and different however, the city is plagued by Chakal’s bandits. ¬†Who will she choose to marry and who will win the wager?

The Book of Life

¬†The Book of Life kind of came and went out of theatres without me giving it much thought. ¬†However, it do love folklores and sharp colors in animation so after remembering a few of the reviews, which are relatively positive if I remember correctly, I decided to give this a go. Its definitely not a disappointing animation. ¬†I love the colorful visuals and every single set ¬†in the story is absolutely lovely and wonderful. ¬†The characters also have a lot of detail and I just can’t say enough for how awesome it looks. Whether its the Land of the living, remember or forgotten, they all have their own features that make them very appealing. Also, the music is very suitable and equally charming as the surroundings from rehashing some popular hits to having some nice guitar solos and whatnot. ¬†It added a fun element to it.

The Book of Life

The characters and voice cast is done pretty well also. ¬†Channing Tatum was an interesting choice for Joaquin because he doesn’t exactly have a Mexican accent or anything however he keeps the character dynamic and fun in an extremely macho way. While, Diego Luna who I’ve only ever seen in one movie before in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights so I can really picture him as Manolo. ¬†While, I was a little worried about Zoe Saldana being Maria Posada but she turned out to be very good at encapturing the female character who wants to break out of the traditional woman mold and being a strong lady who can take care of herself and choose her future. Xibalba and La Muerte also was done very well especially playing off her other’s parts to make it flow. ¬†However, my personal favorites are shots back to the kiddies going on the field trip that are placed skillfully throughout the telling of the story Manolo, Maria and Joaquin. ¬†Those were some of the most hilarious parts. And the role that Ice Cube did for Candle Maker was awesome!! ūüėČ

The Book of Life

However, while The Book of Life may have charming characters, great music and particularly enchantingly beautiful visuals, it lacked a little substance to the story. ¬†Honestly, I found myself bored a few times. ¬†It seemed like it was predictable and not particularly entertaining to watch the story unfold. ¬†The only reason that had me continuing to watch this was because they built good characters and it was just too nice to not look at. I felt like there should be a few more laughs but those only did come in random parts with the kids on the field trip (as mentioned before) or Joaquin’s reaction (in a very Gaston manner, if you know what I mean). And the whole Land of the Remembered part was the best part because of the new characters introduced that were pretty funny as well.

The Book of Life could’ve had a better story but the visuals alone is worth a viewing. ¬†It stays light and entertaining with a decent amount of laughs and more frequent as the movie progresses. ¬†There is a certain charm to it that might just pull you in.

Have you seen The Book of Life? What did you think of it? 

C is coming up next. ¬†Any guesses? Hint: Think an older movie in the early 2000s ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ 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? ūüėČ

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?