Saturday, June 27, 2015

Inside Out

Plot: Inside Riley's brain is a control center staffed by five emotions, Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger. When Riley is a little girl, Joy runs the show, and Riley is happy and builds happy memories. Later Riley's family moves to San Francisco because Riley's dad gets a job at a start up company. Making new friends and starting a new school creates a crisis with Riley's emotions. She gets depressed, and both Joy and Sadness get sucked away -- deep, deep in Riley's brain while Disgust, Fear and Anger run the show. In the end Joy and Sadness work together to help Riley adjust to her new situation. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: This movie is the best. Original, entertaining, emotional, and with something to say.

I loved how they dissected the emotion life of a young girl with these different characters. I like how real the different voices felt. The movie starts slowly and one sees how the emotions and Riley interact. By the end of the movie, the very emotional conversation makes a relatively mild event in the plot very emotional. I was teary eyed. It is a great device for playing out interior dialog.

The characters are well drawn and the voice actors were strong, especially Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith. Phyllis Smith plays sadness with a lot of subtlety.

Directed and Story by: Peter Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen

The Music: Stellar soundtrack by Michael Giacchino. I bought two songs from it. 

The Visuals: I liked the sparkliness of the emotions faces and hair. It made them less corporal. 

Rating: 4.0 stars: Top notch, entertaining, original and thoughtful. 

More: Afterwhile we see the inside the heads of Mom and Dad, where the little emotional characters are acting out a whole different play. Very funny. 

Even More Sadness says: "Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life's problems." 

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Plot: Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) works in the CIA as a computer-based fixer, like Augie on Covert Affairs, but more like Tank in The Matrix. When agents get outed, she has to go on field assignment, and gradually becomes a bad-ass. She tracks down a nuke, and tries to bring in the black market bad-guys selling it including Rayne (Rose Byrne). She gets help from fellow spooks played by Jason Statham, Jude Law and Miranda Hart. After double-crosses and triple-crosses Cooper saves the world using girl-power. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Spy is a spoof of a spy movie from the James Bond-like intro montage to spies-in-bed ending. It's not just that Melissa is a fat girl doing cool spy moves -- it is also that cool spy moves are kinda silly already. 

Melissa McCarthy is great. She is both relate-able and over-the-top. She is insecure, and a big time striver. 

I liked Jason Statham who is always trying to prove how macho he is -- very funny and way over the top. 

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Miranda Hart.

Directed by: Paul Feig

The Music: Great. I loved the big Bond-like opening song Who Can You Trust  by Ivy Levan. It recalls the Goldfinger theme by Shirley Bassey. Ivy's got the big voice. During the music, there is a spoof of a Bond-like open. 

The Visuals: Nothing special.

Rating: 3.0 stars: Fun.

More: So its funny, but is it a great movie. Does it have any other themes besides fat girl makes good? No not really. Maybe it does not need that. At bottom this is a summer comedy not an Oscar contender. 

Even More: Stay for the blooper after the end credits. The end credit graphics are kind-of entertaining anyway.