Inside Out (movie review)

Inside_Out_(2015_film)_posterTremendously entertaining, visually gorgeous and deeply touching, Inside Out might just be the best movie that I have watched so far this year.

Released by Disney and Pixar, Inside Out tackles the mind of an 11-year-old girl where five personified emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust) deal with her daily activities and experiences. Now, she has to deal about moving in to a new place, a new school and a new neighborhood with the help (or burden?) of these five emotions.

Kudos to the movie’s directors Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen for visualizing a unique story the way the moviegoers experienced it. Such a good story isn’t put to waste because of their careful directing. The voice actors are so alive in the film, especially Amy Poehler who voiced out Joy, of course. I remember her stint in Parks and Recreation wherein she played Leslie Knope, a very jovial character who’s the heart of that great comedy series. Her co-actors in the movie are also perfect for their roles: Phyllis Smith (who really looked like Sadness haha), Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader (Fear), Lewis Black (troubling Anger) and Mindy Kaling (a shoo-in for the playfully sarcastic Disgust). The animation, the graphics and the visual effects are beyond amazing, while the musical score fills everything in that make the movie perfect.

There are three things that I have pondered in this movie.

One, you can’t just be solely happy in life. There are certain things that we can only learn from experiencing other emotions. Sadness is what we feel when we’re hurt or rejected. If you come to think about it, feeling sad is not that bad. Of course, nobody wants to be sad but there are times when inevitable things happen that makes us experience it. This feeling of being down is nasty, but we could somehow turn it into a way that can work for us. Sadness can make us realign our thoughts about things, including what made us sad in the first place. Also, it’s a way for us to know the people who really care about our feelings. It’s also a truth that sadness can force us to really move on. It’s been said for a lot of times that we should refuse anger if we can. In a way, that’s correct for we might not be thinking straight if we really are angry. But truthfully, we can use it as a gauge on what really upsets us that makes us move to change what it is. Fear is there to know our limits while disgust can be used to really know what we like and dislike.

Two, the team up of Disney and Pixar is still the best out there for animated films. They might have hit a bit of a rocky road for the past few years, but they have proven with Inside Out that they’re definitely still the best in the field. Only they can consistently show those popping visuals that carry out a very inventive story about the emotional center of the human mind that touches every heart of those who watch. While watching, I think I’ve seen (in my peripheral vision) that a daddy (who was with his wife an kid) sort of sighed and sniffled during the very emotional scenes.

Three, if the creators can find a way to make a sequel out of this movie, I’ll be more than willing to watch it in the silver screen!

Inside Out’s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 5 out of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy

GOTG official posterVisually splendid, smartly written and surprisingly but satisfactorily emotional, Guardians of the Galaxy stands on its own as a great Marvel film. 

I’ve actually feared that this Marvel movie was going to flop. The story’s not that familiar to many, the trailer’s not liked by everybody and the only thing that’s attracting it is its Marvel brand. I guess I shouldn’t have feared because it has all the makings of a blockbuster flick. 

Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG) is about a seemingly group of miscasts led by Peter Quill (or Star-Lord), a half-human, half-alien whose rogue ways made him hunted by the thieving and smuggling group that kidnapped him on Earth as a child. Upon teaming up unexpectedly with the other guardians, namely Gamora, adopted daughter of the mighty Thanos and the last of her species; Drax the Destroyer, an avenging warrior; Groot, a tree-like humanoid and Rocket, a genetically engineered raccoon who’s a master mercenary, he (along with his team) found a higher purpose, and that is, to serve and save the universe we are in from the dangers highly powerful creatures bring. 

GOTG’s got terrifically marvelous visuals. I was awed by the graphics and effects of this movie and thought the production behind it didn’t restrain its team from making it really look great. Anyone who’s got a clear, good vision will be stunned by its superb cinematography and production design. 

Witty one-liners: This movie’s got a whole lot of these killer funny lines. I think I’ve laughed here more than any other film I’ve watched this year (including those old comedies I’ve watched in the comforts of our home). Plus, it’s got a real good story going on. What’s more impressive is that it’s still tied in with the story arc of the other Marvel movies that are due in the next few years. These ludicrously smart tie-ins might just be superb promotional maneuvers for the companies behind these movies, but if we get to be fully entertained by the fantasy these Marvel stories bring, who are we to complain? 

Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt is a revelation in the film. Who knew he could carry an enormous Marvel movie with him on the lead? Nevertheless, his funny antics and childish charm have certainly helped. Zoe Saldana showed she’s a tough lady by performing as Gamora. Meanwhile, Dave Batista (as the rough Drax), Vin Diesel (as the lovable Groot) and Chris Cooper (as the whiny Rocket) proved that there are no small roles as they perform well in their respective challenging characters. Meanwhile, I did not see any sign of Lee Pace as he shows how to be a main villain in the movie. 

I love the editing done in the film. GOTG didn’t seem very long for me considering the short attention span I am having with films lately (haha). I enjoyed its pace, which was enough to present who are these guardians of the galaxy and how are they a part of the whole Marvel universe. The director of the movie, James Gunn (Slither), seemed to love this movie so much he probably even cared about the nooks and crannies of each scene, aside from how his actors fare in front of the camera. I am hoping he will still be the director and writer of the expected sequel. 

Hmm, if those things I’ve said are still not enough for you to watch the movie, just listen to what’s more to love about this film… its great soundtrack, of course! 

Guardians of the Galaxy’s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 5 out of 5