Saturday, November 06, 2004

The Incredibles

Films Recently Watched:
The Incredibles (2004) Dir. by Brad Bird

Christy and I each took part of Friday off and after eating lunch together, went to see Pixar's new film, The Incredibles. It's been a while since we've been to the movies together. It was great. In Anderson, this film was showing at our new cinema, Mounds Mall 10 with all digital sound, all stadium seating, big screens, comfortable seats and competitive prices. By going for a matinee on opening day we happily missed the crowds that were undoubtedly attending the later shows. There were a few small children in our showing, but they seemed to be well-behaved, as were the adults (believe it or not).

Basic Plot: The world has now rejected the once-popular "Supers" (those with extraordinary powers) and has forced them to live ordinary lives in the suburbs. But when a new threat is discovered, they come out of hiding in order to 'Save the day.' It's X-Men meets James Bond meets Malcolm in the Middle if you can imagine that.

The Incredibles marks a series of "firsts" for Pixar (noted below).

The Incredibles is the brain-child of Brad Bird, writer and director. He also wrote (for the screen) and directed another one of my favorites in animation, The Iron Giant (1999). This is the first time Pixar has "farmed out" the director's chair for one of their films, but they put it in good hands.

For those planning to go and are familiar with Pixar's tradition of making the end credits worth staying through, this is no exception, in my opinion. The end credits design is very unique. Though there are not outtakes or animated characters of any kind during the end credits, the design is cool and there are multiple storyboards to view while the multitude of individuals involved with the creation of this film scroll by.

This is the first time that human characters have been the lead characters in a Pixar film. Though most of their other films have a human element, the lead characters have been Toys, Bugs, Monsters, and Fish. They might have been able to fake movement by these other characters, but humans know how humans move and if it isn't right on screen, one can usually sense it at some level. I must say that they have nailed human motion in this film. I know it sounds clich├ęd, but for the most part, I forgot that these characters were animated and accepted them as human. The voice-acting only supports what Pixar is doing technically. Craig T. Nelson (from the television series Coach) is perfect as both the superhero, Mr. Incredible and as is alter-ego, Bob Parr. Other voice talent includes Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Wallace Shawn, and Pixar's lucky charm, John Ratzenberger. The music by Michael Giacchino also plays a supporting role. The very James Bond-like music provides an excellent backdrop for the on-screen action. Realistic sets, lighting, textures, etc. also give a satisfying environment for the characters without being distracting.

This is the first time one of Pixar's feature-length films has received a rating other than G. The Incredibles is rated PG and rightly so. Parents should take the PG rating seriously.

Finally, as an added bonus, even before the feature film begins, you have the opportunity to see one short film Boundin' by Pixar and two teaser trailers for upcoming films, Revenge of the Sith and Pixar's next one, Cars. The short film, Boundin' was cute. Personally, I enjoyed their short film, For the Birds, which showed with Monsters, Inc. and an older short, Knick Knack, which I believe showed with Finding Nemo (it's on the DVD, at least) more than Boundin', but it was OK. Also from Pixar, a sneak peek at their 2005 film, Cars. It's a little hard to tell where they're going with this, but there are some good gags even in this short preview and it's Pixar, so you can bet that it will be great! Lastly, though I had seen the teaser trailer for the new Star Wars film, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, on a friend's computer at work on Thursday, it was very cool to see it on the big screen. From what they show, it appears that it will nicely tie up the Prequels and lead into Episode IV and the rest of the original trilogy. Can't wait until May 19, 2005 for that!

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