Film Review: Inside Out

Written and Directed by: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
Stars: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Lewis Black

fourstars

“A family animation about cognitive neuroscience… This shouldn’t work, right?”

 

Link to IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2096673/

What Is ‘Inside Out’ About?

Keeping it spoiler free… 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.

Why Did I Watch ‘Inside Out’?

Unlike many Disney Pixar animations (often prone to formulaic, child friendly, story structures) a big deal was made of this film’s originality. So much so, that it became a massive part of the way it was marketed.
If you’ve read my book, you’ll be aware of my own personal interest in this field, so I was fascinated to see how Disney were going to simplify such a complex subject matter into a fun animation – without it feeling like a science lesson.

What I Liked About ‘Inside Out’

Inside Out is a family film – not a kids film. Whereas adult references in Pixar films are often done as a subtle ‘wink’ to the parent. In ‘Inside Out’ there are scenes which have literally just been done for the adults, or to achieve a parents perspective.
I loved the simplistic idea of using marbles in a control tower to signify memories and the usage of strong colours to clearly define the different emotions. They also came up with a clever way of telling a story within a story, using a plot that offers a good excuse to explore the inner workings of the brain.

What I Didn’t Like About ‘Inside Out’

The writers on this film, had to find unique ways to articulate the science with playful imagery and it does this well for the most part. There is one scene where a group of characters take a shortcut through an ‘abstract thought’ station which borders on a lesson and feels a little forced.
Placing the target audience age group for this film is like pinning down soap. I really enjoyed it, but I doubt my daughter will make it all the way through this film for many years.

Good Or Bad?

Was this film any good? Yes, a fun family film.
Would I recommend it? Yes, unless your dead inside – it’s Disney after all.
Would I watch it again? Yes, I’m sure my daughter will love it – but when she’ll be old enough to sit through it is anyone’s guess.

Also I found a funny short video on the reaction of the Inside Out characters watching the Star Wars Force Awakens Trailer. Check it out:

Here are some other film reviews:
Red State
Her
Ex Machina
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David P. Philip


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Film Review: Red State

Written and Directed by: Kevin Smith
Stars: John Goodman, Michael Parks and Melissa Leo.

“The performance from Michael Parks alone is worth watching this movie many times over.”

fourandahalfstars

What Is ‘Red State’ About?

Three horny teenagers can’t believe their luck when they meet a woman online who says she wants to hook up with all three of them at once. But the promise of sex is a trap, and the boys find themselves in the hands of Abin Cooper (Michael Parks), a lunatic preacher who spews so much hatred that even neo-Nazis stay away. Cooper means to kill the trio for their sins, prompting a desperate bid for escape.
Meanwhile Joseph Keenan (John Goodman) is poised on the outside ready to lead a task force of ATF agents in a seige that will put an end to Cooper and his beloved church.

Why Did I Watch ‘Red State’?

In recent months I’ve become fascinated by Kevin Smith. His stand up shows are very funny, he has numerous podcasts which are all very entertaining and he has given a number of very honest interviews talking about his time as a film maker.
Red State is argueably rated one of Smith’s best. The story was interesting to me because of its documented social commentary on belief and the disturbing lengths people will go to when they feel entitled.
Kevin has also given a detailed account on his struggles getting this movie made and his decision to distribute the movie himself.

What I Liked About ‘Red State’

Michael Parks is amazing in this film. Smith has admitted, in an interview, that the whole story centres around his character and Cooper was written specifically with Parks in mind.
It was great to see John Goodman in a role that would normally be reserved for a muscle ripped film star.
There are also lots of twists in the film, especially when the bullets start flying. It’s one of those films where no one feels safe, I loved that about this film.

What I Didn’t Like About ‘Red State’

At the beginning of this film you’re following three teenagers, and the performances didn’t start strong for me. Things step up massively after you’re about thirteen minutes in, but that first few minutes of the film needed to be overcome before I could get into the film.

Good Or Bad?

Was this film any good? Yes, superb.
Would I recommend it? Yes, absolutely.
Would I watch it again? Definitely, the performance from Michael Parks alone is worth watching this movie many times over.



Here are some other reviews:
Her
Ex Machina



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David P. Philip


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Film Review: Her

Written and Directed by: Spike Jonze
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara and Chris Pratt.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1798709/

What Is ‘Her’ About?

Keeping it spoiler free…
Set in the not too distant future ‘Her’ is the story of Theodore, a lonely writer who falls in love with his operating system – the Artificial Intelligence driven ‘OS1’ named Samantha.
Whilst experiencing the pain of his divorce Theodore finds hope in a new non-physical version of love, but how long can that last?
With a soundtrack from Arcade Fire, ‘Her’ is the romantic sci-fi indie film that achieved great acclaim in 2013, wining a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay and an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Why Did I Watch ‘Her’?

I love sci-fi films that feel just around the corner, especially the ones that you know are depicting a fairly plausible future. So this was right up my alley.
Sci-fi is a genre I gravitate towards, and after doing a bit of research I knew that this was a passion project for Spike Jonze, which would mean that every scene would be agonised over. Also the cast in this film are stellar and choosing Arcade Fire to write your soundtrack is very encouraging.

What I Liked About ‘Her’

Pretty much everything. I loved this film. It’s easily one of the best films I’ve seen all year.
Arcade Fire’s soundtrack is fantastic and I really liked the social commentary on our relationship with technology.
All the acting is top notch. The pacing is brilliant. I struggle to find any real flaws with this movie.
‘Her’ also asks a question that I’ve not heard from any other AI sci-fi film before now… If an AI was born and it became more intelligent than a human – how long could we expect to hold its attention?

What I Didn’t Like About ‘Her’

OK, I’m going to have to be petty, but here goes…
When the OS installs and you hear Scarlett Johansson’s voice for the first time, you instantly recognise her voice, which led me to instantly envisage Scarlett Johansson, wearing a pair of head phones, stood in front of a microphone in a sound booth. That took me a little while to get over, but saying that Johansson is fantastic in this film so what do I know?
Joaquin Phoenix also sports a cringe worthy moustache in this film, which I’m sure was purposeful to highlight the loneliness of his character, but all being said I could of done without it.

Good Or Bad?

Was this film any good? Absolutely.
Would I recommend it? Yes.
Would I watch it again? I’ve already watched it twice… And yes!

Rating

fivestars



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David P. Philip


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Film Review: Ex Machina

Written and Directed by: Alex Garland
Stars: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander and Sonoya Mizuno

What Is ‘Ex Machina’ About?

Keeping it spoiler free… Caleb, a programmer who works for a company bearing a blatant resemblance to ‘Google’, wins the opportunity to spend a week in the very remote and luxurious home of the company founder: Nathan.
What transpires is that Nathan, an eccentric genius, has secretly built a robot with artificial intelligence and he wants Caleb to act as the human component in a test known as the Turing Test – a process which proves whether or not a machine possesses true AI.

Why Did I Watch ‘Ex Machina’?

Alex Garland is the writer behind The Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Dredd (screenplay) and is said to be writing the screenplay for the new Halo movie. Thank you IMDB! http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0307497.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Garland’s directorial debut ‘Ex Machina’. The trailers didn’t give too much away and the plot looked interesting.

What I Liked About ‘Ex Machina’

Almost everything. This movie looks great. It’s brilliantly shot, acted very well and the story is solid. Also, when you consider that this is a directorial debut everything you see on screen becomes even more impressive.
This is right up my alley. It explores the ethics of scientific discovery, delves into the flaws of humans and debates our place in the future… All really good stuff. All very well written.

What I Didn’t Like About ‘Ex Machina’

The ending of this film has a (kind of) major issue with it. I won’t ruin that for anyone, but if you think about it you’ll then struggle to dismiss it logically.

Good Or Bad?

Was this film any good? Yes. Great. Loved it!
Would I reccomend it? Yes, absolutely.
Would I watch it again? Definitely, I’ve already watched it twice and will probably watch it again soon.

Rating

fourandahalfstars



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David P. Philip


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