Friday, November 12, 2004

Incredible . . .

If I was a small-time film reviewer, I'd say "Dash, don't walk, to the most incredible movie of the year!" A clever line like that would be emblazoned across the movie ads, and noting my attribution, everyone in Hollywood would acknowledge the power of my reviews to bring in the crowds, catapulting me to fame and fortune as a high-paid movie critic.

Or maybe people would go because it's just a durned good film.

I've enjoyed all the Pixar films so far, but this one seems most geared to the adults in the audience. Sure there's lots of breathless action in the second half of the movie, but the first half, which focuses more on the family and career travails of Mr. Incredible, his wife Elasti-Girl, and their super-powered offspring, is probably best appreciated by the grown-ups in the audience. The pace is a bit slower, the themes more adult, and I can imagine kids getting a little antsy. It picks up at just the right time, however, but never tips over chaotic frenzy as Pixar did with "Monsters, Inc."

The 60s space-age design present throughout the film, including Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired suburban homes, spy-movie gadgets, and a very nifty James Bond-style lair for the supervillain, is beautiful. Had I been able to, I would have paused the film just to look at the scenery.

There's an obvious homage to the speeder-bike chase from "Return of the Jedi," and more than a few nods to "You Only Live Twice," including a rocket launch from a volcano.

"The Incredibles" is possibly the most cartoony of the Pixar films. Whereas in "Monsters, Inc." Pixar went to great lengths to create extremely realistic fur, perfectly rendered right down to individual snowflakes accumulating on individual hairs, Pixar seemed comfortable letting "The Incredibles" be a bit closer to traditional animation. It's most noticeable in scenes with water. The perfection of the digitially-created water makes the characters look very two-dimensional.

But the more traditional style just means that you don't spend the movie being constantly dazzled by the effects. Not once did I stop and think "Hey, this was all done on a computer! Wow!" as I did often during "Monsters" and "Nemo." (Okay, with "Nemo" I was constantly distracted by the green line that keep appearing on the scratchy print we saw.)

"Dash, don't walk . . . "

That's high praise coming from me. I don't even like superhero movies.

3 Comments:

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