Inside Out Review

Inside Out is the latest movie from Disney and Pixar! It’s a fun little movie that will be entertaining for adults and kids alike! This movie focuses on the inner workings of the brain, emotions, and generally just gives fun animated life to our lives as humans. Inside Out came out in 2015, produced by Pixar Animation Studios. The movie is written and co-directed by Pete Docter and takes place in the mind of Riley Andersen, a young girl who lives in Minnesota with her parents. Riley is voiced by Kaitlyn Dias, who does a great job in her debut voice role.

The film focuses on mainly five emotions in Riley’s head. Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust rule her brain. They live in “Headquarters” and operate controls to run Riley’s brain, for better or for worse. Joy is apparently in charge most of the time, and it’s strange that the other emotions don’t really understand why Sadness exists (plot point!). The writers don’t place the human emotions in the heart– nope, these emotions are solely living and processed in the brain. The voices for these emotions were perfectly cast, as Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, and Mindy Kaling, respectively, all have incredible range, talent, and most of all, recognizable, fun, and likable voices. They’re the perfect choice for their respective emotions, and they all work together to try and guide Riley and help her adjust to life as she moves from her house to a new city with her parents (voiced by the Diane Lane and ever-wonderful Kyle MacLachlan).

Co-directed and co-written by Ronnie del Carmen, the film boasts an impressive music score. Michael Giacchino did a nice job, as the music goes from light to dark depending on the needs of the scene. It’s amply used to keep scenes rolling and gives the movie a nice flow. They could have gone with pop song after pop song if they wanted to– wouldn’t it have been a great excuse to slip an Ariana Grande or Iggy Azalea song in there? Nope, Inside Out keeps it instrumental, and thank the heavens for that. The last thing I wanted to see was Riley fiercely skating to score a goal in hockey while “Put A Ring On It” or some equivalent is being belted out.

The producers of Inside Out also did a nice thing: they did their research. They consulted with psychologists and even revised the movie to put an emphasis on human emotions being mirrored when it comes to interpersonal relationships and even be moderated by them. The movie is perhaps scientific and overly concerned about being accurate when it comes to the neurological subject they are portraying. For a film that’s mainly marketed to kids(at least on the surface), I have to say, it’s refreshing. Pixar and Disney could have easily turned this movie into a circus of over the top caricatures and flashy animation, but they decided to take everything slightly more seriously, and Inside Out is not only a more watchable movie because of it– it’s genuinely delightful.

Back to the concept at hand– Riley’s mind is dominated by five major islands. These islands are basically Family, Friendship, Honesty, Hockey, and Goofball. This was interesting to watch, because it breaks down a human life basically into categories of what’s important to them. Apparently, they can also be breached as well— Riley inadvertently makes the Honesty island start to dissipate when she takes her mom’s credit card without asking permission first. I liked that the movie showed that kids have a concept of ethics and know what’s wrong and what will be frowned on socially. It’s a nice evolution from the old-school thought of ‘doing wrong, getting punished’ and ‘kids don’t know any better’.

Riley goes through a number of experiences with her emotions at the helm, and they all come up where necessary. Maybe it’s not the most scientific depiction of a fictional, computer generated child, but hey, it’s a movie. They all come in at different points, creating sad core memories, getting into trouble, trying to compensate for other situations that are going on. When the more negative emotions– disgust, anger, fear– try to take over Riley’s brain once Joy goes missing, Riley bears the rotten fruits and starts to see her personality islands crumble and go into the Memory Dump, all while being distanced from the people in her life and the things she likes to do.

The emotions generally turn out to serve a purpose, however, and they all work together to help make Riley’s life as happy and successful as possible. They’re really like her friends, or information about her state and life, but they’re also animated and can make their own decisions, so make of that what you will. Overall, Inside Out is a complex rendering of an animated movie about what’s going on inside the brain and how that manifests. Kids should be able to come away a little more enlightened as to how the brain works– or at least intrigued enough to maybe learn a little bit more about how their brain works. A pretty big accomplishment for a ‘kid’s movie’.

Go see it for the cute concept, stay for the surprising amount of depth that Inside Out offers! It really is a movie anyone can enjoy. Even my brother, the rugged roofing contractor, loved it. Check it out!


Mad Max

Produced and directed by George Miller and written by Nico lathouris, Brendan Mccarthy and miller, Mad max is a post apocalyptic action film that hit the screens on 7th may 2015 and it is set in a future desert wasteland where water and gasoline are a very scarce commodity.

After the nuclear destruction, civilization collapsed and the world became a desert of wasteland. Max Rockatansky, one of the survivors after the holocaust is captured by war boys, the army of oppressive immortal Joe and is taken to Joe’s castle. Chosen as a universal blood donor, max is imprisoned and used to donate blood to a sick war boy known as Nux. In the meantime, Furiosa, Joe’s deputy is sent in an armored truck to look for gasoline but as she drives away, Joe notices that his five women selected for breeding who he keeps as wives are missing and he leads his entire army to pursue Furiosa. He call on the help of the nearby gas Town and the bullet farm to help capture Furiosa.

Nux also joins the army and ties Max to his car to continue transfusing blood. A war follows between Joe’s forces and Furiosa truck, Furiosa is forced to drive into the storm to evade the attackers except Nux who attempts to destroy the truck. Max gets an opportunity to escape and detains Nux but the car gets destroyed. When the storm is over, Max sees Furiosa trying to repair the truck accompanied by Joe’s five wives; Cheedo, Capable, Dag, Toast and Angharad who is pregnant with Joe’s child. Max beats up Furiosa and takes the truck but its emergency stop disables it. After getting the truck to move, he reluctantly lets Furiosa and the wives to ride with him and leaves Nux behind, he is picked up by Joe’s army.

Furiosa is forced to biker across a gang related canyon to negotiate a deal for safe passage but with Joe’s army following them, the gang turns on her making her and her group to flee and destroy the canyon walls to block Joe and the war boys. Furiosa and max fight the attacking bikers while Nux and Joe’s car manages to overcome the obstruction and attacks Furiosa truck allowing Nux to board. However, in an attempt to try and save Max, Angharad falls off and is wounded together with her unborn baby.

Furiosa tells max that they should escape to the Green place, a calm and peaceful land that she remembers from her childhood. Capable, one of Joe’s wife finds Nux hiding in the truck distressed over his failure and consoles him. While on its way to Joe’s castle, the struck gets stuck in the mud. Max and Furiosa slows Joe’s army with mines but the bullet farmer continues to pursue them. Nux and Max try to free the truck while Furiosa fights the bullet farmer, max hides and confronts the bullet farmer and manages to return with ammunition and guns.

They drive the truck in the night past dessert and swampland and come across a naked woman who max suspects to be a trap but Furiosa talks to the woman stating his clan affiliation and history. The woman orders her clan, Vuvalini who recognizes Furiosa as their own but was kidnapped when still a child. Furiosa learns that the swampland they had crossed was the green place but now hostile. They all ride motorbikes across immense salt flats looking for a new place to call home. However, max decides to remain behind but he gets visions of a defenseless child that he was unable to save, he convinces the group to return to Citadel that is green with sufficient water but first they need to trap Joe in the bikers Canyon.

The group drives back to Citadel but they are attacked by Joe’s army and furiosa is badly wounded. Joe gets his car in front of the truck to slow it and Max fights Rictus Erectus, Joe’s giant son. Joe detains Toast but she keeps him distracted enabling Furiosa to kill him by ripping off his breathing mask. Nux wrecks the truck blocking canyon and killing Rictus hence allowing the wives, max, Vuvalini and Furiosa to escape in Joe’s car successfully. Max is forced to transfuse blood to Furiosa who is bleeding to help her survive the injuries.

On arrival at Citadel, the citizens are overjoyed when they see Joe’s corpse, the remaining war boys warmly welcomes Vuvalini, Furiosa and the wives and Max walks away sharing a glance with Furiosa before he disappears into the large crowd.

What’s all this have to do with a roofing contractor? Not a thing. But, as a complete side note, I had to meet with one the other day to deal with some shingles that flew off during that last big windstorm. Did any of you all experience that? Let me know in the comments below!

Jurassic World Review

Jurassic World is the 2015 reboot of the beloved Jurassic Park franchise, where we saw a select team of entrepreneurs and scientists are able to create life out of old strands of DNA mined from fossils to make real live dinosaurs. Jurassic World picks up slightly more in the future, in a world where people have become desensitized to viewing dinosaurs. But hat doesn’t mean that they’re not still coming to Jurassic World in droves.

Jurassic World’s cast mainly consists of Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and the two boys who play brothers visiting the park(Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson). Bryce is “Aunt Claire”, the beautiful and business minded operations manager of the park. Chris Pratt is velociraptor trainer Owen Grady. The boys– Zach and Gray Mitchell– are just visiting. The younger one is so excited to see the park, but the older one is over it, distracted by the impending divorce of his parents as well as teenage girls. He’s older, and the last thing he has time for are childish enthusiasm about attending Jurassic World, where there’s a Starbucks on every corner.

Directed by Colin Trevorrow, Jurassic World is big, right out the gate. When you see the park in its entirety, you can’t help but get a little excited. Especially in 3D, it looks like a park that you’re actually going to visit vicariously, and a thrill runs through you. It is very clear that Jurassic World knows it’s a blockbuster movie and has been filmed accordingly.

Jurassic World is set 22 years after the creation and collapse of the original Jurassic Park. It’s even in the same place– the mysterious Isla Nubar. Jurassic World is successful, well-oiled machine that has been operating for ten years without a hitch. Jurassic World will not fail like Jurassic Park did; its whole existence depends on it. Where they failed in the past, Jurassic World will succeed.

Written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly, and Colin Trevorrow, the movie makes sure to point out how sure Claire is that similar events will not happen this time. Then, of course, they make them happen.

The movie wastes no time getting into the new dinosaur that’s been specially designed– the Indomitus Rex. It’s essentially a super-dino that was created to bring new visitors to the park and re-energize the interest of the public. It’s a recipe for disaster– particularly because its inception is more motivated by profit than it is for seeing potential issues that might arise from breeding a super dino like that. Did I mention it’s half T-Rex DNA?

Upon inspecting Indomitus’s pen later, Owen thinks the dino has escaped. He warns Claire that a dinosaur like this isn’t socialized. It’s a loner. They figure out that the claw marks were a decoy– the dinosaur is still in the cage. The nice scientists also spliced in fun genes from other animals, like camoflauge and thermal detection! Claire and Owen escape, and the panic starts. Crowds run crazy because there’s a huge dinosaur on the loose. Chaos breaks out. Meanwhile, the two boys are off-roading in their Jimmy Fallon-guided tourism bubble… right in the path of the newly freed predator.

Events continue, and of course, the biggest problem is a combination of survival and how to take out the Indomitus Rex. There’s a bit of romance as Claire saves Owen from some attacking pterodactyls and they kiss, but all in all, the movie is mostly steady action and comedic and tense villainry, courtesy of Jake Johnson, Lauren Lapkus, and Vincent D’Onofrio, respectively.

In the end, the Jurassic World depicted cannot escape the inevitable fate of its predecessor. Dinosaurs are smart, and they’re hunters— not fodder for entertainment. Trying to make them into something they’re not for human entertainment is ill-advised, presumptuous, and likely to end in a lot of humans getting eaten. You can’t rope up the power of nature for your own profit. Or you can try– but you had better hope you don’t have an Indomitus Rex in there if you do. All in all, a great action movie and a worthy fourth installment of the series that leaves you excited for the next. It’s been a while for the franchise– but Jurassic World was worth the wait.