Saturday, August 29, 2015

Solo at the Movies: "Inside Out" at AMC Loews Broadway 4

And I’m caught up!

Theater Info:
AMC Loews Broadway 4
1315 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica
Cost: $6.49 for a matinee showing

Movie Stats:
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)

Plot Summary:
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).

Bad Stuff:
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)

Good Stuff:
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.*

The Verdict:
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.


Patricia said...

Bill Hader is having a year of movies, so I'm not totally surprised that both movie choices featured him.

I echo your sentiments on the use of "name" actors in voice work. Listening to the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, I think that both of those movies are so strong because they found the best voice for their leads. Plus, those name actors already have money coming in.


My friend Sara saw this and liked it except for the fact that sad was fat and wore glasses. Which is just as not-so-great as your observed gender stereotypes. But I still plan on seeing this movie.

Do tell about the magic soda machine. Is it something out of Harry Potter? :-)

balyien said...

Haha, the magic soda machine is just a self-serve soda fountain where you can not only pick which soda you want (or other beverage; they also have teas and sport drinks, etc) but also which flavor you want in it, and I think they have 5 or 6 flavors. So you could have orange-flavored Sprite, for example, or Cherry and Vanilla flavored Diet Coke. It's pretty sweet.

You should definitely see this movie!