Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Review of "Inside Out"

Ummmm…. Well…. I wish I could say I loved this movie…even that I liked this movie…

Unfortunately, I can’t say either.  I really wanted to love this movie.  I really, really did. But, it didn’t really work out that way.  
However, I did like one of the characters – Disgust.  No, I wasn’t disgusted with this movie, so please don’t start sending me hate messages.  I just thought that she was sassy, bold, acerbic, and quite smart as it turns out – no spoilers though!  In fact, I think she actually saved the day, although it may not seem that way initially.  But, she actually made it possible.  Now, you might ask, if I didn’t like the movie, why was I paying such close attention to who saved the day? The answer to that would be obvious – because it meant the end was finally approaching!  Yes!!!
So, what, you ask, was so awful about this movie?  Where to start, where to start…
Riley is born and lives in Minnesota with her parents.  Her emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger – come to life and pretty much manipulate her thoughts and actions through a control console inside her brain, or Headquarters.  Her memories are contained in spheres which are sent into storage when she goes to sleep, and her most important ones, or her “core memories” are contained in a hub in Headquarters which controls the five “islands” which mirror the different facets of her personality and which eventually crumble.  Joy directs Riley’s emotions to keep her in a happy state, manipulating all of her other emotions to fall in line with how she wants Riley to feel. That’s where this movie started to lose me – Joy was annoying, way too perky, and overbearing.  Obviously, I’m not her biggest fan, to say the least.
When Riley turns eleven, her father gets a new job, and the family relocates to San Francisco.  And so it begins.
On her first day of school, Riley’s memories are inadvertently controlled by Sadness, and she cries in front of her class and chaos takes over Headquarters, as Riley begins to act out as a result of her turbulent emotions.  
I don’t want to give away the full storyline, but will focus more on what I didn’t like about it.  
Here’s my big problem with Riley’s parents – they move to a big city which is unfamiliar to their 11-year-old daughter.  That being said, they allow their daughter to walk to school through dark alleyways in a strange city.  That was just insane!  And that’s not the only thing.  Dad becomes completely immersed in his new job as soon as they arrive at their new home, and spends most of the movie on his cell phone, disengaged from his family until an outburst from Riley finally makes him react.  
As the chaos ensues in Headquarters, the movie becomes boring and slow in my opinion. Joy and Sadness become the key to getting Riley back on track, and their adventures seem to be interminable.  They encounter various characters along the way, including Bing Bong, who I really wanted to like, but just couldn’t bring myself to.  Is it bad that I wasn’t tearing up over him?  I will admit I almost did tear up – when the Train of Thought derailed.  After all, that signaled that the movie wasn’t anywhere near done. I think it was around that time that Disgust found favor with me.  I’m sorry – I just couldn’t help it at that point.  
But, she really earned her place as my favorite emotion when she outsmarted Anger and precipitated the beginning of the end of this movie.  Finally!  Ninety-four minutes never seemed so long…
Don’t get me wrong – not everything about this movie was awful.  Joy manipulates Riley’s memories, and I’ll admit I enjoyed watching them, especially the ones of her growing up and with her parents.  Those were very touching and fun and brought back many of our own family memories.
Of course, my less than favorable emotions about this movie doesn’t mean I won’t allow my daughter to have her Inside Out themed birthday party that she’s been raving about for the last month while she counted down the days for the movie premiere.  I’ll just grit my teeth and bear it with a smile on my face.  I can’t promise I won’t want to throw any Joy-related items out, but I promise not to.  I’ll just look over at Disgust and remember how she saved the day.
Perhaps, if I watch the movie again – and I’m sure I will since my daughter will want to own the DVD – I’ll like it better.  That’s it!  I’ll just have to watch it again with an open mind.  
Hold on, hold on… let’s not get crazy!  Once was more than enough, thank you.
Have you watched Inside Out?  What are your thoughts about the movie?    
Until next time, remember to keep the Mouse in your house.
~ Monica  

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