"Incredibles 2" DOUBLE FEATURE Movie Review

Alright, after getting my first thoughts out (see here), I've took a couple days to really let the Incredibles 2  DOUBLE FEATURE sink in. Since we're dealing with 2 films & a short I'm gonna break this into 3 sections.

Incredibles:  This was my first experience with the classic Pixar film on the big screen, & it was impressive on a while new level. The story, action, & comedy stand up to time so well. In fact, the only sign that this was a classic, was the dated Pixar animation. Which even 14 years ago would stand up against any other animation studio today. The movie blends classic golden-age superheroes, James Bond like locales, & a strong family dynamic seamlessly. I still say to this date, this is actually the best Fantastic Four  film we have recieved. Set in that golden age of heroes like the old Superman cartoons from the 50s, superheroes have been made illegal due to ever growing lawsuits against them. Honestly, the most realistic reason ever, & then the "Supers" are out on a form of Witness Protection. Part of the catch is they can't use their super powers any more. Mr. Incredible can't stop dabbling in heroics though, & eventually requires help form the whole fam. That's the ultra simple version of an animated film that holds it's own with major live action comic book films of today. Ultimate storytelling in what is one of Pixar's best. The cast of characters are intriguing, with so much depth for animated characters, that only Pixar can add. Seeing this on the big screen gave me a even bigger love for this movie. Depending on what day I wake up, this goes back & forth with Toy Story  & Coco  as my favorite Pixar film. If you haven't seen this film, where have you been for 14 years? Anyone with a love for superheroes, golden age heros, Pixar, James Bond, or just all around great feels all around films this one is definitely for you, & leaves you begging for more.

upload.jpg

Bao:  For me this short film was an intermission film. For anyone seeing a non-DOUBLE FEATURE, this will be what opens Incredibles 2. In a nutshell, without spoiling it, this short is about a lady who makes a dumpling that comes to life. She raises this adorable dumpling as her own child. From there the clip uses this as a metaphor for growing up & letting go. I never knew so much emotion could be contained within about 5 minutes. You could feel the emotion radiating throughout the audience when this was over. It's a very powerful short, quickly becoming one of my all time favorites. 

upload.jpg

Incredibles 2:  Here it was. We had all waited 14 years for this. 14 years, & they definitely made it worth it. Picking up exactly where the first left off to the second, there was one notable difference. Pixar has come a long way in 14 years, & it shows in the best ways. This was probably easier to see due to the DOUBLE FEATURE aspect, but the difference was like HD versus classic film. Everything immediately looked so much more alive. Other than that though, if you wouldn't have told me this was part 2, I'd have thought I was watching an Incredibles  extended edition. Not only does this pick up right after, it just take the ball & keeps running. The story progression feels more natural than almost any sequel I've seen. The story takes those moments at the end of the first to segway right into fixing the illegal superhero problem. With a brother/sister pair enlisting Elastigirl to put Supers back in the limelight. This has Mr. Incredible playing Mr. Mom while wifey does all the hero stuff. Opening up the reveal of baby Jack Jack's powers by the way. Had me laughing in tears for what felt like a solid 5 minutes. All the main characters return, not skipping a beat. Meanwhile, favorites Frozone & Edna Mode get some more screen time this time around, sprinkled along with some new Supers. There was an awesome villain that felt straight out of Batman, even if the reveal was a little telegraphed. All in all, this movie was as good, if not better than its predecessor. I've got my fingers crossed we don't have to wait another 14 years to cap this as a Trilogy. I do suggest to anyone that does see this film, it benefits highly from coming directly after the first. Revisit Incredibles  as soon as you can prior to seeing the sequel. I'll probably never watch these films another way. That's my full thoughts though. Love to know yours. Put em in the comments, like, & share.

upload.jpg

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" Movie Review

It's been a couple days now since I posted my first thoughts on Solo: A Star Wars Story. (You can see that video here.) Now that I've took some time to fully digest it, & I really didn't think I was going to enjoy as much as I did. All the problems it faced during production coupled with the long list of Star Wars characters & timelines I'd have rather seen, had me expecting a mess. What I got was a way better than decent film though. This totally lived up to the Star Wars name. The only other "anthology", or Star Wars Story I have to compare this to is Rogue One . That said, though I enjoyed Rogue One , I enjoyed Solo more. Not only does this film feel more rewatchable, it does things Rogue One tried to do, but better. For instance, it gives a better feel of what it's like to live on an Empire controlled world. For more than just our main characters. Not only that, I fell like it did a perfect job of feeling like something different, while still holding onto Star Wars . Breaking it down character for character, of course you start with Alden Ehrenreich as Han. He was my biggest worry going in. Obviously, he's the make it or break it of this film. He definitely made it. His performance is what really got me into this first. The movie's different from your typical Star Wars  film, & I think his performance as Han is what steered in into the right direction early on. Next up there was Kira, Han's love interest, & really a driving piece of the film. I enjoyed seeing how her character, & all these characters for that matter, help shape Han into the smuggler we all know & love. No one more so than Woody Harrelson's Beckett. He was great as the mentor character. Harrelson was one of the only things I wasn't worried about going in, & he totally lived up to that. There were three more people that really impressed me in this film as well. One is Joonas Suotamo. He filled the mighty Chewbacca's shoes, & I feel like I've never seen this range out of the wookie co-pilot. In this age I don't know how much was digital & how much was him, but there was a level of emotion there that I've never noticed. The second is Paul Bettany as the villain. I couldn't believe he was a last minute addition, as he was amazing. I honestly couldn't think of anyone else in this part. Which is the same, exact thing I can say for the third, as he totally steals the show. Donald Glover, or Childish Gambino, as Lando was hands down the best part of this film. I went into this wanting a Lando movie, & came out wanting one even more. Glover channelled the essence of Billy Dee & totally delivered. However, his character came equipped with an example of how some parts of this film had to grow on me. His droid companion L3-37 had some good moments toward the end, but I wasn't the biggest fan early on. There were other spots here & there that had to grow on me, mainly the very beginning, but she was the biggest. There weren't any real deal breakers in here for me. I can't get over how much I did enjoy this movie. I'm really looking forward to not only giving it another watch, but seeing more. And the last thing I thought I'd be asking for were more Solo films going into this. Especially after the big reveals in this one. There's two characters put in just for us crazy comic & cartoon fans, & I want them to build on them so bad. All in all, I think this was a great start to the character driven "Star Wars Story" films. I not only hope that Boba Fett & Obi-wan wind up being this good. Part of me hopes there's a plan to all eventually end them all together on Tatooine. Leading into A New Hope . That's just hopeful thinking though. I really enjoyed this movie, I'd definitely recommend to see this at the theater. IMAX if at all possible. Side note, I went to the fan party at AMC. Which for a $25 ticket they threw in some dice like Han's, movie buttons, a movie poster, & free popcorn. Worth the extra. You also get to see the film an hour earlier, packed with a load of super-fans. Loved this movie though, want more. Let me know your thoughts. Put 'em in the comments, like, & share.

upload.jpg