They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

Extra Special Animation Double Feature

Back in the days of Studio 28, we went to a number of double feature outings -- especially on Thanksgiving. Less likely since they closed. And so today's movie going is a triple threat of unusual: Double feature. Double feature since my foot has acted up. And quality animation. This was made easier by virtue of the fact that both movies were only about ninety minutes long.

Also in the old days, we might have hit the concessions twice -- popcorn one time and nachos and/or hot dogs the other as a meal. Today was one of the few times we have ever taken advantage of Holland 7's free pop refills and 50¢ corn refill. Holland 7 doesn't do hot dogs or other sandwiches and the starting times fell between lunch and dinner. But they have the best popcorn in West Michigan.

Given the animation angle, I will say this is by far the youngest average age pair of audiences we've been to in a long time. And this had an extraordinary impact on the video ads before the trailers and the trailers themselves. Not huge crowds this time of day for either show -- maybe 30-40 each. Mrs. Dr. Phil also reported that they had a new credit card and pay system at the ticket window. Slow going, either because it was balking at reading some of the cards or unfamiliarity with the system when looking up online purchased tickets. It will smooth out.

First up:
Minions 2D [PG]
Holland 7 Theatre 5, 2:10pm, 2×$7.25
This movie is totally about Minions, right from the hilarious opening theme for Universal Studios. If you aren't familiar with the yellow pill shaped eye goggled critters from the Despicable Me franchise, then this movie is probably not for you.

We love Minions.

Totally improbable and great gobs of fun, despite this being touted as a prequel origin story for the Minions, it still begs the questions: Where do Minions come from? How many are there, beyond Kevin, Stuart and Bob? And are they actually indestructible/immortal? Also do not dwell too much on where Minion stuff comes from -- such as their various forms of goggles...

And then there's Minion-speak, which is mostly unintelligible babble, punctuated by a few understandable words like "okay" or place/people names. I seem to recall that some of the language is based on Portuguese, which not a lot of people tend to know, and then it's reduced to rapid fire muttering. (grin) Whatever, it's rather funny that you can go through whole movie and the Minions never get any subtitles. Yet we understand them perfectly.

The story is just plain fun. Kudos to Sandra Bullock for voicing the chief villain of a movie full of villains. An amusing note is watching her animated character do the same bust shimmy of a strapless gown that Sandra Bullock did so awkwardly as an FBI agent in Miss Congeniality. Love the family which picks up the hitchhiking Minions.

Much of the movie is set in 1968 -- there's a nice joke about DisneyWorld -- and therefore has a GREAT soundtrack. Stay for the credits, since there's a big production musical number at the end.

I was getting really concerned with the saturation bombing of TV with ads for the movie and all sorts of product tie-in ads -- hell, there's a Minions NASCAR racing car right now -- that maybe we'd seen all the funny bits and the actual movie would be a disappointment. But... on Friday's Morning Edition on NPR, Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan -- who hates nearly anything SF/F we want to see -- gave a lovely review of all this nonsense, calling it fun. There may be hope for him yet. (evil-grin)

We very much enjoyed ourselves.

RECOMMENDED for MINIONS

Trailers: Goosebumps, I guess is Yet Another YA series someone is trying to turn into a blockbuster. So far the only ones which have worked have been Harry Potter and various dystopian YA series. Of course if this bombs, then it might be hard to get a movie deal for Jim C. Hines' Libriomancer series. (sad-reality-grin) Shaun the Sheep: The Movie is Aardman Studio's latest creation. We've seen a trailer before, this one was longer. Lots of fun. Aardman (Chicken Run, Wallace & Grommit, etc.) is simply brilliant. No one done claymation like they do. Could be enormously funny. Pan is a prequel origin story for Peter Pan and Hook. The teaser trailer I saw a while ago looked awful. This full trailer is better... but I'm not sold yet. I think it might be on the par with the so-called sequel Hook, which couldn't completely survive even with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. The Secret Life of Pets is already forgettable, and I only have the title written down in the notes I took before the movie. Also before the trailers, saw a commercial for The Descendants on Disney Channel -- think Kristen Chenowith as Malificent, the headmistress of a boarding school for the children of fairy tale villains? Have no idea of the quality, but the idea is cool. Sort of like the premise to Wicked, but without the good guys. Despite the lack of superpowers, Wednesday Addams would be so at home here... (evil-grin)

The Second Feature:
Inside Out 2D [PG]
Holland 7 Theatre 7, 4:10pm, 2×$6.00
We'd talked about doing a movie on the Sunday we were in Greensboro NC, but we managed to do enough scheduling in a short time, we didn't need to push it. And last weekend we did Ah-nold, review coming Real Soon Now, so we really wanted to see Inside Out in the theatre. Easy decision to do the double -- not brokenhearted that we didn't get to see either in 3D.

As a Pixar film, we get treated to a new Pixar short: Lava. A sort of Hawaiian themed story of a lonely volcano in the middle of the ocean, almost turns tragic in multiple ways, but ends up with a sweet ending. Not knowing whether it is based on some actual Hawaiian or Polynesian tale, very early on I thought of Pixar's short about the critters that were all teeth, and was just sure the two birds shown flying in the opening were going to be toast from the volcano erupting. But it wasn't that kind of Pixar short. Of course there were a few problems with plate tectonics. (grin)

As to the movie, Pixar's Inside Out is sheer genius. Yes, we've had Brain Command Centers before, most notably in Woody Allen's EUAWTKAS*BWATA. But the fivesome of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear are cute and clever -- stay for the credits and see inside some of the other characters' brains -- the bus driver is hilarious. All the voices are outstanding, but I'll give Amy Poehler some credit for playing Joy with such enthusiasm, yet not managing to be cloying where we want to smack Joy. Let's just say that Joy experiences a lot of growth in this movie.

The world building is exceptional -- both in the Real World and inside the mind. I was struck from the first trailer that there was an extraordinary use of strong colors. There is a gentle naivete with how the fivesome approach problem solving, and the obstacles thrown up against them are well thought out. And everything has consequences. Well played.

There's been a lot of talk about useful this movie will be in term of getting kids to talk about feelings. I particularly liked how baby, toddler, 11-year-old and 12-year-old Riley all have different needs. The child's control panel is one-emotion-at-a-time -- the older adult control consoles have places for all five. And memories and personalities become much more multi-faceted. The new control console also has a big red warning light marked PUBERTY, which the fivesome doesn't know what it's for and so figures it's not important. I was SO hoping it would go off at the very end of the credits... but no. The one boy's response to GIRL! is priceless, however.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Trailers: Underdogs where Foosball game players have to take on an evil real soccer megastar in a soccer game to save a small town from a takeover. Right. Could totally happen. Might be amusing. Hotel Transylvania 2 is the sequel to an animated movie that I figure we saw all the good jokes in the trailer. There might actually be more of a plot in this one, trying to get the vampire's grandson to grow in his fangs so he won't be moved to the excitement of the big city. Still, this sort of comedy is not our cup of tea. Dream Big is a Peanuts movie. The artwork looks good and the voices are better than most of the later TV specials. Seems to be the story of the Red Haired Little Girl moving into town. Charlie Brown practicing his pitching against a snowman version of himself -- and still gets disrobed-by-explosion on the pitching mound. I would probably watch this on HDTV, but not the theatre. Oh, and what's with all the late 60s/early 70s music in films lately? Besides Minions today, the trailer for the Peanuts movie features "Teenage Wasteland"? The Good Dinosaur from Pixar. Imagine that the Extinction Level Event meteor missed the Earth. Gives hope to those who thinks Man and dinosaurs coexisted, but for COMPLETELY different reasons. Also, the asteroid belt and the Oort Cloud are NOT that dense with rocks. (science-fail-grin) Minions -- which we just saw. (grin)

All in all, a tremendously fun afternoon. But I'm glad we saw the silliness of Minions first and the more thoughtful Inside Out second. We had a lot of nice discussions on the drive home, especially about the latter.

Both are rated PG, both are suitable for kids -- and eminently acceptable for adults.

Dr. Phil
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Tags: movies, reviews
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