And I’m caught up!
AMC Loews Broadway 4
1315 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica
Cost: $6.49 for a matinee showing
Released 2015 (France)
American, in English
Director - Pete Docter & Ronaldo Del Carmen
Stars - Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, and many more (including Bill Hader; weird that both of my solo movies this month included him)
A look inside the life of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), a young girl struggling with her family’s move from Minnesota to San Francisco, through the eyes of her emotions, most prominently Joy (Poehler) and Sadness (Smith). Kind co-stars as Bing Bong, Riley’s childhood imaginary friend. (Hader voices the emotion Fear.)
Minor violence (but it’s cartoonish, for obvious reasons).
[SPOILER I GUESS]
I didn’t really care for how stereotypical the inside of Mom (Diane Lane) and Dad’s (Kyle MacLachlan) heads were. Mom was a lady’s talk show like "The View" and Dad’s was a war room. Gender stereotypes are so funny! (sarcasm)
A lot of it is very funny, including some surprisingly snappy dialogue. I think the following exchange (obviously aimed at the adults in the audience) was my favorite:
Fear: “Maybe it was a bear?”
Disgust: “There are no bears in San Francisco.”
Anger: “I saw a really hairy guy, he looked like a bear.”
Cue me dissolving into laughter. By the way, Louis Black as Anger? Inspired choice.
I liked the key message that all of our emotions are important to maintaining a healthy mental state.
I thought all the voice acting was really great. I feel sad for the voice actors of the world, because in recent years studios have moved to using film/TV actors for a lot of those parts, and most of them don’t have as much range as the voice actors. However, except for Black, whose voice I would know anywhere, I didn’t immediately recognize the voices of any of the actors in this, and got a few nice surprises when I watched the credits roll.*
I have to admit that I had no intention of ever seeing this, despite being assured by multiple people that it was very good. “It will make you cry!”, one friend made the mistake of telling me, which is what turned me off (even though I was assured that it was a “good” cry). It just so happened that, on a day break from writing, I needed to charge the car, and decided to watch a movie at this specific theater while I was at it. The only movie playing during that particular time frame was this one.
Thank goodness for that, because this is a really great movie. It’s fresh and different. I thought that it had a lot of very innovative ideas. In addition to being quite funny, it’s also touching. My friend was right, it made me cry, but in a good way. This is the kind of movie that I can see myself owning and watching multiple times, perhaps even once a year, it’s that good. It’s probably out of theaters in most places, but when it comes around on DVD, you should rent it.
I give it 4.5 stars.
About AMC Loews Broadway 4:
Well, this seems to be a theme with LA movie theaters. This one is pretty “meh” on the outside and very nice on the inside, probably newly renovated. I assume it once held only 4 screens, but it has double that now. My screen (#1) was small but had very cushy recliner seats. You can park in one of downtown SM’s plentiful parking garages. The first 1.5 hours are free. The next hour after that is only $1, but then it goes up pretty quickly after that, so it’s best to not park there for longer than 3-4 hours. I thought concessions was a bit exorbitant, but they do have the magic soda machines. That may be the first time I’ve seen them here. One weird thing that I didn’t like about this theater is that the stalls in the bathroom are very tiny. I’m a pretty small woman and I barely squeezed into one - the door nearly hits the toilet when you open it - so I can’t imagine how someone larger than me manages it.
*My husband has an absolutely uncanny ability to recognize voices. I'm sure if he'd been with me, he would have known them all.