The Revenant

Oh man, how I have been looking forward to this film or what! So glad I finally got to see The Revenant recently because right now it is my top awards season contender. It was fantastic and deserves every single Oscar nomination it received (12 by the way!).

After being mauled by a bear and left for dead by his own hunting team, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s, is forced to fight for survival and find redemption.

A few words to describe The Revenant: raw, intense, amazing, epic, beautiful…the list goes on! Coming off his work on the Oscar winner Birdman, director Alejandro González Iñárritu deserves praise for his excellent direction in the film. The grueling shoot and the work put into this film shows in every single scene. Probably my favorite aspect of the film was the gorgeous cinematography by the ingenious Emmanuel Lubezki (who also won awards for his work on films such as Gravity and Birdman). Chivo outdoes himself in The Revenant, with stunning camera work and the use of only natural lighting throughout the whole film. The result is breathtaking with shots that are as raw as they are delicate.

Let’s be real though. The Revenant is Leonardo DiCaprio. Leonardo DiCaprio is The Revenant. Never before have I seen a performance like that, one that just requires so much commitment from the actor. Needless to say he was absolutely incredible and deserves every single accolade out there. The things he had to do in this movie! It is insane! His character is mostly silent throughout but the power of his performance is loud. Tom Hardy also did a great job in the film so I am glad he finally got the recognition he deserved through his nomination.

A revenant is defined as one who has returned, as if from the dead. Glass’s return is one that truly expresses the power of the human spirit. The backbone of the film is a gripping fight for survival and revenge with the only guidance of sheer will and a love for family. The Revenant is bleak but it is beautiful. The amazing feats of cinema and acting achieved in the film should be appreciated along with the epic true tale of Hugh Glass.

GOLDEN GLOBES 2016!!!

Hellooooo!!!!! It is finally my favorite time of the year: AWARD SEASON! To start us off was yesterday’s Golden Globes, hosted by Ricky Gervais. Ricky…well..uh…let’s see…he was Ricky to say the least. I honestly do not understand why the HFPA asked him to come back for the fourth time to host the Globes because he was not necessarily that funny and was more cringe worthy if anything. That aside, the Globes yesterday were fantastic because of all the amazing winners!

Make sure to check out TSL’s live twitter feed from yesterday’s show for more of my reactions and opinions about the show!
Some highlights:

  • Best Motion Picture DramaThe Revenant YES! I am so excited to see this movie, well deserved!
  • Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical: The Martian, I agree with the director Ridley Scott’s comment, was this really a comedy though?
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama: Brie Larson for Room. Yup, predicted that but I honestly didn’t realize how young she was until I heard her voice in her speech.
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant, YES YES YES YES YES! For those who know me, Leo is my all time favorite actor so this was a big moment for me.
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical: Matt Damon for The Martian, yup predicted that
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical: Jennifer Lawrence for Joy, yup predicted that, but the girl just has so many awards already.
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Sylvester Stallone for Creed, I honestly did not see that coming but it was so deserved! The standing ovation and Sly’s great speech were among the best moments of the night. Shoutout to Asha A and her favorite win!
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs, the Globes just love Kate so I predicted right! (Also Leo and Kate both won last night guys, eek!)
  • Best TV Series Drama: Mr. Robot, did not see that coming!!
  • Best TV Series Comedy: Mozart in the Jungle, did not see that coming either!
  • Best Actor in a TV Series Drama: Jon Hamm for Mad Men, yup predicted that.
  • Best Actress in a TV Series Drama: Taraji P. Henson for Empire, I thought it was going to be Viola Davis but I love Taraji and Cookie so much!! Her speech was simply so Cookie and perfect!
  • Best Actor in a TV Series Comedy: Gael G. Bernal for Mozart in the Jungle, did not see that coming..going to have to look more into this show!
  • Best Actress in a TV Series Comedy: Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, did not see that coming either! Wow these CW actresses (Bloom this year, Gina Rodriguez last year) are really sweeping these Globes.
  • Best Actor, Limited Series or Motion Picture for TV: Oscar Isaac for Show Me a Hero, yup predicted that because I just love Oscar Isaac!
  • Best Actress, Limited Series or Motion Picture for TV: Lady Gaga for American Horror Story: Hotel, uhh no did not see that coming and I don’t think anyone else did either because that room was just awkward when she won…Also Leo was not throwing shade at Gaga people, she just bumped into him accidentally and he was reacting to that! Chill!

Okay so I do not really feel like typing out the rest so check out the full list of winners here.

On to my other favorite part of award season: THE RED CARPET!

This time around we have a very special guest Amanda A joining us with her Red Carpet picks as well so let’s see if any of ours overlap!

Amy’s Choices

BEST

Brie Larson in Calvin Klein

My favorite! I love the cut of the dress and the shine, she looks like a Golden Globe.

Saoirse Ronan in Yves Saint Laurent Couture by Hedi Slimane

Simple and elegant, like a Greek Goddess.

Amy Adams in Atelier Versace

Love that color on her, matches her hair!

Taraji P. Henson in Stella McCartney

Another white dress that I loved, mainly because of the fierce lady rocking it!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Kate Hudson in Michael Kors

Okay I’m sorry, I know not everyone loved this look but I surprisingly like it for some reason. It just seems like something Kate Hudson would wear and you know, if I had a bod like hers, I would show it off too!

Lady Gaga in Versace

Very classy! Even though I am still a bit surprised by her win, I do appreciate how much her style has evolved. 

Laverne Cox in Elizabeth Kennedy

More white! I love the flow of this dress though.

WORST

Katy Perry in Prada

The dress is horrid, the color is horrid, her hair is horrid. No honey, just no. 

Rooney Mara in Alexander McQueen

This dress is horrid, the color is horrid, her hair is horrid. No honey, just no. 

Amanda’s Choices

BEST

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior

Unique silhouette and a great color on her.

Julianne Moore in Tom Ford

Beautiful color on her and a great neckline. She looks like the night sky.

Jennifer Lopez in Giambattista Valli

Got to give it up for J.Lo. She looks classy for once. Her dress is a great color and the shape is unique and interesting.

Amy Adams in Atelier Versace

Simple yet sparkly…my favorite. Actually reminds me of my prom dress which was the same color as my hair too.

Laverne Cox in Elizabeth Kennedy

Love Laverne and love the way this dress flows on her. So chic!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Lady Gaga in Versace

That look is so classy! How dare Leo laugh at her for winning an award! She still looks kinda scary though.

Melissa McCarthy in a dress of her own design

Props to her for designing her own dress. It’s flattering and I like its shine. It kinda looks like a trash bag though.

WORST

Katy Perry in Prada

Looks like a nightgown and her hair is too retro.

Kate Hudson in Michael Kors

What was she thinking? She is at the Golden Globes not the club!

Eva Longoria in Georges Hobeika

This dress looks like a tablecloth or a sofa covering. Sorry I just thought it wasn’t glam enough.

Ok so that’s the end of our Golden Globes coverage! Special thanks to Amanda A for her red carpet picks and to Asha A for watching the show with me! We’ll be back for the SAG awards Saturday, January 30th.

All images from:

http://iv1.lisimg.com/image/7864208/282full-my-profile.jpg

https://www.yahoo.com/style/golden-globes-2016-best-worst-231521958.html

Sisters

So while everyone else this past week swarmed the theaters to see the latest Star Wars movie, I ended up going with some of my sistas to see Sisters! I love Amy Poehler and Tina Fey as much as the next person so of course right from when I first saw the trailer, I knew I wanted to see this movie someday. Now it is probably a movie I would have waited to rent and watch after it came out of the theaters, but nevertheless Sisters gave some great laughs.

Starring Amy Poehler and Tine Fey, Sisters has the two as sisters who plan to throw one last epic house party before their parents sell their family home.

Sisters was not necessarily great really with some gags that seemed to try a little too hard and pacing that felt pretty slow at times. Overall I still enjoyed it though. Tina and Amy once again successfully teamed up and proved their dynamic duo status. There were scenes that made me cringe and others that had me laughing out loud which seems to be the reasonable mix of emotions for most comedies nowadays. The supporting cast was also great with standouts including Maya Rudolph and of course John Cena, who was surprisingly and most probably my favorite part of the film.

While it does try to surpass its limits and reach that outrageous level of comedy more than once, Sisters was a pretty funny movie. Would I recommend seeing it in theaters? Probably not necessary, but do watch it sometime if you are looking for some great laughs. The overarching theme of the bond between sisters is one to appreciate.

ALL IN ALL: Though not the best comedy film, Sisters does provide genuine humor and scenes that can warm your heart and have you laughing out loud all at the same time.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Confession time: I actually saw this movie over Thanksgiving weekend but I have just been so busy lately that only now am I finding time to write my review. Though its been a while since I have seen it and the movie probably is not on many of your minds anymore, I nevertheless have to stay true to my commitment to review every movie I see in theaters. I also think The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 deserves a review as it is the last film of my one of my favorite book/movie series.

Directed by Francis Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 serves as the final installment of the Hunger Games film series. In Mockingjay- Part 2, the story continues as leader of the rebellion Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) travels with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth), and others to the Capitol in order to win the war against President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and save what holds dear to her.

Let me start off with a small complaint about the splitting of the last book into two movies. While I get why they did it and it is also nice to not have to rush through anything or have too much of the story omitted, I still do not think it was completely necessary especially since I feel like the split affected the audience attendance and reaction. I honestly forgot what happened in Mockingjay going in to the theater simply because it had been so long since I saw the last movie or read the book. My stance is that if they were able to fit all of Catching Fire into one movie, then Mockingjay is easily doable but no worries, it really is not that huge of deal.

I thought overall that Mockingjay – Part 2 was a very well done film and I enjoyed it. It was not my favorite of the series (for me it is still Catching Fire), but Mockingjay – Part 2 provided a satisfying ending. One of the reasons I disliked Mockingjay Part- 1 was that it felt like rising action most of the time. The great thing about Mockingjay Part- 2 though is that it starts right off into the storyline and action (a reason why Part 1 is necessary to watch). The length of the film felt like nothing as the pacing was fast and well-managed.

The great supporting cast though was not featured much at all which was very disappointing. I would have loved more screen time for characters like Johanna, Beetee, Effie, etc. Meanwhile the main cast gave some great performances, in particular Josh Hutcherson. He was fantastic and his performance is severely underrated! In the books and in the past films as well, the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale was more emphasized, but not in Mockingjay Part- 2, which I appreciated. The action and the war against the Capitol was the main focus of the movie and rightfully so.

I would say that if you are a fan of the Hunger Games series, watch Mockingjay – Part 2 because you will not be disappointed. It is an enjoyable film and very well done, a conclusion the series deserves.

ALL IN ALL: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is a satisfying final installment of the Hunger Games series with the right focus and direction needed to conclude a great film series.

Spectre

Yes! I have been waiting to review this movie for such a long time! For those who do not know, I am a bit of James Bond fan so the anticipation leading up to the release of Spectre was unbearable for me.  I made the mistake of looking at some early reviews and the responses seemed very mixed. Some people really liked it and others flat-out hated it..which of course had me worried. So I did my best to go into the theater with an open mind and you know what? It worked! I enjoyed Spectre, but there are some flaws which I understand from those negative reviews. I just have a lot of thoughts about this movie overall so let’s begin.

The 24th James Bond film and the 4th of Daniel Craig’s Bond, Spectre has Bond on the trail to uncover a sinister organization after a mysterious message surfaces from his past. While M fights to keep the 007 program alive, Bond begins to learn the shocking truth behind SPECTRE.

I am going to start this review in chronological order of the film. First, the opening sequence was fantastic in my opinion. Probably one of the strongest points of the film as it started it all off with a bang. Great action sequence and stunt work, so kudos there. After the opening sequence in a Bond film always comes the title sequence (the animated into where they play the new Bond song for the film). When I first heard the Sam Smith song, “Writing’s On the Wall” in the intro, I did not like the song at all. It did not really fit the film, especially coming after that action sequence. Also, the animation intro for Spectre was not the best, way too many tentacles and octopus motifs for my liking. However when I went home and listened to the song again, I actually ended up really liking it. The Sam Smith song is great on its own, but just does not fit into the film that much and almost slows it down as a result. That is why I personally like Adele’s “Skyfall” better because it perfectly captured the essence of what Skyfall was all about.

The plot of the film was fine for me. Again when I compare the two, I think Skyfall had a better and more developed plot with more character and emotion given to Bond. However, Spectre seemed very confident and solid in following the classic 007 formula. Some parts felt very undeveloped though, especially the SPECTRE story line, which should have been the main focus of the film. The film could have gone more into the organization and villain Ernst Stavro Blofield (Christoph Waltz) instead of quickly presenting the two and their role in Bond’s story. Speaking of Waltz, his performance was not too strong in the film for me, mainly because I feel like I always see him in that same villain role.

Now for the Bond girls. Naomi Harris’s Eve Moneypenny was reduced to such a smaller role in Spectre which disappointed me since she is such a great character! Monica Bellucci, who is the oldest Bond girl in history and also totally gorgeous, was in the movie for like ten minutes. No joke. Bigger roles for these wonderful ladies please! In the end Madeleine Swann, played by Léa Seydoux, turned out to be the most pivotal female in the film. Truth be told, I was not a fan of Swann at all. The way her and Bond’s relationship progressed in the film frustrated me because it took an unnecessary turn. In terms of Bond girl ranking, Swann was perfectly forgettable in my opinion so I was surprised to see how big a character she became, especially in Bond’s life.

Daniel Craig did an excellent job as always. I was unsure of how I felt for him returning to do another Bond film since Skyfall seemed like such a strong and perfect film to end his Bond career. However, Spectre also gave a satisfying ending and provided an overarching story line that actually tied up Craig’s films. I think if Daniel Craig wants to step away from James Bond, since it obviously seems like he does, Spectre is the ideal film to end at.

This review is getting long, but probably not as long as the film itself, which came to 148 minutes in the end. Do not worry though, the running time actually did not feel too long while watching Spectre. The pacing of the film is excellent, with just the right amounts of action sequences and story to keep it going smoothly. I am not saying Spectre is the best Bond film or anything (I did like Skyfall better), but I enjoyed it believe that to be the most important part of a 007 film.

ALL IN ALL: While not as strong as its predecessors in its story and essence, Spectre is still an enjoyable and classic James Bond film.

image from: http://www.joblo.com/timthumb.php?src=/posters/images/full/spectre-poster.jpg&w=654&zc=1&q=90

 

 

Crimson Peak

It’s October, which means Halloween is coming around the corner, which also means that it is the time for scary movies! Now I like scary movies. I do not watch them all the time, but I do love a good horror film once in a while. Since it is currently the season of screams, I wanted to see a film with my friend, who also appreciates scary movies, that would give us some thrills. Crimson Peak caught our eye right when the trailer was released, so naturally we went in to see it. We came out with some surprised and mixed reactions.

Directed by master of horror and fantasy Guillermo del Toro, Crimson Peak tells the story of Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), who after a family tragedy, marries the mysterious but charming Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). Swept away to live with him and his sister (Jessica Chastain) in their remote and dilapidated mansion in England, Edith soon encounters ghosts haunting her new home. Her search for the truth leads her to the real monsters of the house.

I think it is important to point out that Crimson Peak is not a horror movie. Though there were thrills and some gore, the actual scary parts were minimal. In the film, aspiring writer Edith describes her newest manuscript not as a “ghost story” but rather a “story with ghosts in it”. This description can actually serve for the film itself as well. The role of the ghosts in the film was actually not as large as I initially thought it would be. I was not expecting the big reveal of the film to be what it was either, though I had hunch in the beginning, because the whole time I was assuming a more supernatural aspect to take part.

Besides this initial confusion, I feel like as a whole I did enjoy Crimson Peak. It was not a typical scary movie, but it contained some really gorgeous visuals. The Gothic costumes and set designs were fantastic! Seriously, some of the shots that del Toro creates are truly beautiful. All of these elements combined along with the strong use of color imagery created the signature creepy atmosphere of the film.

So Crimson Peak is definitely not for everyone. Those who do not like horror movies should stay away because though that aspect of the film is toned down, it is still present. Other than that, it really is just stunning visually. Sure, the plot got a bit messy and outlandish with more than few loose strings left in the end but I would suggest ignoring all that. Let Guillermo del Toro take you on a journey to Crimson Peak.

ALL IN ALL: Do not be fooled by the horror label on Crimson Peak, and while the plot turns a bit to the extreme, the visuals in the film are gorgeous and not to be overlooked.

image from: http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BNTY2OTI5MjAyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTkzMjQ0NDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_.jpg

The Intern

My sister is the one who convinced me to see The Intern with her. In the months leading up to its release, I relentlessly made fun of her eagerness to see it. Of course advertisements started to appear on a daily basis in my Pinterest feed, which was a smart move for the film’s marketing team to reach their target audience by the way. I went in with the lowest expectations, and I am still not sure if I am ashamed to admit it, but I ended up really enjoying The Intern.

The Intern follows 70-year-old Ben Whitaker (Robert De Niro) as he becomes a senior intern at a fast-growing online fashion site founded and run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). Though the transition to such a modern and young workplace is a bit jarring at first for Whitaker, he soon finds success at the company and develops a close bond with Ostin, who needs guidance in both her personal and work life.

I personally thought The Intern was a simple and relaxing movie. Robert De Niro once again shows his dexterity regarding his film roles and is such a cute character. Half of my pleasure from the movie was gained from just watching his classic traits as a gentleman and his interactions with his younger coworkers. I also appreciated the similarity of the movie to a previous film of Anne Hathaway’s, The Devil Wears Prada. In The Intern however Hathaway is now the boss and a much kinder one at that than Meryl Streep.

Along with the cute moments in the film, there were also some elements of humor. A scene of a house break-in orchestrated by Whitaker and involving his team of coworker friends had me cracking up. I did not expect to be so amused at all!

Anne Hathaway was fine in the film but the element to appreciate of her character the most is the fashion, which makes sense since she is the head of a fashion site and all. Still, her outfits looked straight out of a catalog! I was surprised in the end with the decisions made regarding her personal life, but I suppose it was to show the different experiences people go through.

I recommend The Intern wholeheartedly. Sure not everyone might enjoy it, but those looking for a light comedy with sincere moments should look no further! The mentor, almost father-daughter-like relationship Whitaker has with his boss Ostin was heartwarming and refreshing. The Intern was a pleasant surprise for me.

ALL IN ALL: The Intern is an enjoyable movie with touching scenes of a bond formed between two people of entirely different ages and backgrounds, mixed in with humor and some great outfits.

image from: http://www.fashiongonerogue.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/The-Intern-Movie-Poster.jpg

Far from the Madding Crowd

 

So I have a pretty weird dream. I want to walk across an English field in an old-time, long dress at sunrise. Okay I know this is a very super weird and random daydream, but it’s movies like Pride and Prejudice and Far from the Madding Crowd that make this vision come so alive in my head. Unfortunately, if there was a movie like this, I would most probably not be cast since I do not exactly fit the character descriptions but who doesn’t love a good period piece?

Based on Thomas Hardy’s classic love story and set in Victorian England, Far from the Madding Crowd revolves around independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor.

Let’s start with performances because they were all pretty fantastic. Though it should not have surprised me, Carey Mulligan was perfectly cast as the ever bold and modern Batsheba. She took the role by the horns and brought a fresh fierceness . I was not a fan of Tom Sturridge’s character but that is because he succeeded majorly in being so despicable. In his review for Film Comment, Michael Sragow comments, ” Troy provokes the flashiest filmmaking. When the soldier thinks he’s been stood up at the altar by his true love, Fanny Robin (Juno Temple), [director Thomas] Vinterberg prolongs a close-up of intense humiliation coursing across his face. (Sturridge is superb in that scene.)” I could not agree more! That scene was an interesting turning point and move for Vinterberg to make.

The real star to me was Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak. Maybe it is because Gabriel Oak is by far one of my new favorite movie characters, but Schoenaerts portrayed the quiet and ever-loving Oak brilliantly and with such subtle power that it is impossible for the viewer to not feel the heartache and struggles he undergoes. Batsheba frustrated me so much by the end of the film due to her poor decision-making and apparent blindness to the obvious choice that it was all I could do to not throw a heavy object at the screen. The ending though was beautiful and made up for all my pent-up madness.

The costumes and especially the score by Craig Armstrong (check out the “Opening” theme) were beautiful. The pacing of the film at times felt a bit off at times but that is one of the only complaints I have. For fans of period pieces, Far from the Madding Crowd will be enjoyable.

ALL IN ALL: Far from the Madding Crowd (2015) is a lovely adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel and blends classic romance and drama into one alluring package of a film.

image from: http://www.goldposter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Far-from-the-Madding-Crowd-_poster_goldposter_com_6.jpg

 

Ant-Man

Nowadays I feel like there are so many superhero movies coming out that I honestly cannot keep track of them all. They tend to sort of mesh together in my head in categories like Marvel or DC. You see movie studios are smart though. They know people will go to see big superhero blockbusters so that’s why they put more and more into production. I did go to see Ant-Man, and though I was not particularly psyched to see it or anything, I actually really enjoyed it.

In Ant-Man, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), armed with a super-suit with the ability to shrink in size but increase in strength, must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglass), plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Ant-Man was a quintessential superhero movie, with action, drama, and comedy all in one. Paul Rudd was great in the film, bringing some needed lightheartedness while still playing the role of a father/hero out to save the world perfectly. Sure Ant-Man might not be the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it was fun and enjoyable.

I will say though, the best part of the movie hands-down was Michael Peña as Luis, Scott Lang’s ex-con buddy. He was hilarious and brought the most laughs to the movie! The scenes with his crazy long, off-topic stories were definitely among the most funny and memorable parts of the film. That’s one of the things I really liked about Ant-Man, it was funny and light a lot of the time. The action scenes and visual effects were well done too, especially since you have a guy shrinking down to insect size most of the time. Ant-Man has the ability to draw in a wide audience and please them too.

ALL IN ALL: Ant-Man is probably one of the more humorous Marvel movies and is able to also blend in great action and story into one entertaining film.

pic: http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMjM2NTQ5Mzc2M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTcxMDI2NTE@._V1_SX640_SY720_.jpg

 

 

Inside Out

Okay so has anyone else been disappointed with Pixar ever since Toy Story 3 came out in 2010? To me, that was the last true and great Pixar film and ever since then the quality and creativity of their works have decreased greatly (mainly due to them relying on sequels, many of which are going to be in production soon as well). I am so happy to say though, that Inside Out has returned Pixar to its’ former glory!

Set in the mind of an eleven-year-old girl Riley, Inside Out explores how her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling)- try to lead her through life as she moves with her parents from the Midwest to San Francisco.

Let’s first start with the animated short that comes before every Pixar movie, for Inside Out it was Lava. Lava was such a cute story about two lonely volcanoes looking for love that I almost cried by the end. So obviously my emotions were already peaked by the time the movie actually started, and boy did they go on a roller coaster ride! I really loved Inside Out. The concept is so original and something I feel only Pixar would be able to come up with and actually put into motion. The director, Pete Docter, also directed Monsters Inc. and Up, so it is again obvious that he is a creative genius. I was constantly amazed by how unique the movie was and it only attests to the amount of time it took to develop the story. Kudos to the whole crew!

The film was super deep too, especially when you really think about it after watching. The whole idea of sadness being essential to achieve happiness and all emotions being involved in memories and experiences is pretty profound and also complicated. I sincerely doubt if the many kids in the theater really understood what was going on so it is a good thing that the characters were all brightly colored and that there were lots of funny moments. That being said, the animation was really cool to see up close since all the emotions had an almost pixelated, energy look to them. I read it took 8 months to achieve Joy’s “sparkly aura” and the team almost threw it out in the end, so again kudos to the animation team.

Amy Poehler was fantastic as Joy and a great leading character/emotion. The others were also fantastic with Lewis Black’s Anger emotion getting some of the funniest lines in the movie. However the breakout star was really Phyllis Smith who voiced Sadness. Sadness turned out to be the most important character in the film and became the film’s other lead, which I loved. The fact that Sadness resembles Smith was cute but Smith’s voice acting to me was top-notch and the best performance.

Inside Out had all the best emotions and gave me the feels too. There was love, lots of laughs, and yes sadness (two words: Big Bong…people who saw the movie will understand the distress I went through because of Bing Bong). Above all was a core message about growing up and how hard it is, but the themes of family and being yourself added some much-needed warmth. I do not know how well little kids responded to the movie, especially since again the story got deep at times, but I do know people of all other ages can definitely enjoy Inside Out.

ALL IN ALL: Inside Out is a triumphant return for Pixar with an amazingly creative concept, great voice work, and emotions that run high all throughout the film.

image from: http://cdn.movieweb.com/img.news/NEMye3g3VuXNQM_1_1.jpg