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August 2015 - Now Showing - Inside Out

Andrew Ragealotski - Angry Men Reviews

This is actually one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written, pretty much because I’m about to tear into a good movie like a 6-year-old that has found their parents easter candy stash.

Look, it’s like this. Imagine if you knew you were going to go out to eat at your favorite steak house and were looking for a nice juicy rib eye (or if you are vegetarian a nice tofu salad or I don’t know what you would look forward to eating so just fill in whatever you want). As you count down the days your mouth starts to water in anticipation of that sweet medium rare slab of beef to the point that you are leaving trails of drool behind you where ever you go. That faithful day comes around and you walk into the restaurant only to find that they now are a Japanese fusion place and you have to get sushi. No matter how good that sushi is, there is going to be a big part of you that is going to be disappointed you didn’t get that steak.

That is why I didn’t like Inside Out, it was a good movie when all is said and done. It was well acted, well written, well directed, the visuals are imaginative and tell a story all by themselves, etc, etc. I just was expecting a different movie then what I got.

Pixar has always tackled very mature themes while making the movie enjoyable for kids, they are the BEST at doing that. Up is the most shinning example of this formula, as it deals with a couple falling in love, finding out they can’t have kids, living a loving life, and then the wife dying all in the first 10 minutes or so of the movie. The rest of the movie is about the husband dealing with his loss while having a fun adventure and becoming a father figure to a boy who really needed one. It was 10 to 15 minutes of lows that made the highs so much better, and kids and adults alike could enjoy the movie.

Inside Out does all of that masterfully as well…except for one thing - They forgot the fun.

Inside Out is a great breakdown of how our emotions screw us up from childhood into adulthood. Its goal is to show how every joy in life comes with sorrow and it meets that goal and then some. The problem is that it does so by focusing on the sorrow side so heavily that every time you feel a little triumph or laugh at a good joke, (usually provided by Anger played by awesome funny man Lewis Black), sorrow is there to kick you into orbit again. Other Pixar movies use the depressing themes as a foundation to build the fun and adventure, so the adventure feels so much higher and brighter because of it, the lows are left in the past and the highs have you bouncing out of the theater excited to see the movie again. Inside Out is ALL about those depressing themes and you jump back and forth from enjoyable to depressed so much that when you leave the theater you may be happy about the ending, but you know that sorrow is just waiting to screw you again.

To me, the most telling thing was my daughter, who I took with me to see the movie. When we saw Up she wanted to turn around and see it again right away. When we left Inside Out I asked her if she wanted to see it again. “No daddy, I’m fine with once.”

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