Rating: 4 out of 5
If one thing is for certain, it is that I will see any damn thing that Pixar releases. Pixar could release an animated sex tape featuring a bloated Val Kilmer and a washing machine named Cooter and I would think it was adorable. That is how good Pixar is.
That being said, Pixar has released a new film entitled Inside Out. Let me start by saying that the song Inside Out by Phil Collins did not appear anywhere in the film, and I could not be more upset about it. That is pretty much why I gave the movie a four instead of a five.
Inside Out stars a pretty excellent cast consisting of Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, and Mindy Kaling. Frank Oz even makes an appearance, which is always a lovely thing. Everyone did a great job with their characters. I feel the need to mention that because big name stars do not always transition well to the realm of voice-over work. I often think back to Scarlett Johansson in the first SpongeBob movie as an example of this. She stank like pootie.
While each emotion was relatively one dimensional given their limitations, together they formed one cohesive unit that showed a lot of depth and humor. No one could have played Anger like Lewis Black. In fact, the character should have been named Lewis Black, since the fucker was just playing himself the whole time. I’m not complaining about this, of course. I love Lewis Black. He was definitely my favorite of the emotions. They were all entertaining. However, I must mention the intense hatred I felt for sadness. This is no knock against Phyllis Smith, who voiced the character. It is a knock against the character itself. She was one of the most irritating characters I have ever had to watch. Sadness was not content with simply feeling sad all the time. No! She was not content until she could destroy the entire fucking mental state of her human counterpart Riley. I cannot remember a moment in that movie when Sadness was not being a complete piece of shit. I wanted to stab her with a rusty screwdriver in her big, stupid, blue face. She would rather Riley lose all of her memories and live as a teenage hooker in Oakland snorting coke off some pimp’s unkempt dick than get her ass up off the ground and do her damn job. What a fart hole.
The humor in the movie was fantastic, as always. Pixar always has a great way of appealing to both adults and children with their movies. They are also amazing in that they constantly mix typical cartoon shenanigans with very real human emotions and dilemmas. They make movies with real plot, real drama, and real characters. I love that about them. Inside Out was no different. It made you laugh, it made you wonder, and it made you feel. If those qualities don’t make a good movie, then I don’t know what the hell does. I also love the worlds that Pixar creates (besides Cars…*shudders*). I was so intrigued by the world inside our minds; I wanted to see more and more of it. Everything they do is so vivid, detailed, and well thought out. Oh, and seeing the way those same emotions behave in other characters was brilliant (and you will love it too).
As much as I enjoyed this movie, there were things that I did not like. For one, there comes a point in the movie where our main human Riley is without her emotions Joy and Sadness, who are lost. Anger, Disgust, and Fear are wary of controlling her and she is left in a sort of emotionless state that would have been better described as apathy. Given that her life was dictated by the emotions that live within her, it would have made more sense to have that one other emotion controlling her during this time. Maybe Apathy could’ve been an emotion that only showed up for work when something was wrong.
The other thing that sort of bothered me was the fact that there was no villain in the movie. Emotion and memory filled this gap in a way, but having a villain could have helped with the suspense. This mostly came to mind because Joy and Sadness encountered Riley’s old imaginary friend Bing Bong, who had been lost in long term memory for years. We encountered him stealing Riley’s memories and stuffing them in a bag, but there is no explanation behind it. I watched the movie believing he would become a villain. However, he was rather helpful.
At the end of the day, I really enjoyed this movie. Pixar used their trademark style to create a compelling world and to tell a story that made me think and feel. I wouldn’t say it is at the top of the heap as far as Pixar movies go, but it was another example of a great animation company releasing a great animated film. I give it four out of five. Cheers.
Oh, and to review the short film Lava, which appeared before Inside Out, I say…LAME.