REVIEW: “THE INCREDIBLES 2” (2018) Disney/Pixar Pictures

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All these years later, Director Brad Bird, the creative force behind the original ‘INCREDIBLES’, is back with the much anticipated sequel – “THE INCREDIBLES 2”.

And Bird is not the only returnee for the sequel. Also back is the entire Parr Family: Holly Hunter as Elastigirl/Helen/Mom, Craig T Nelson as Mr. Incredible/Bob/Dad, Sarah Vowell as Violet, Huck Milner as Dash, and Eli Fucile as baby Jack Jack. The story picks up not long after the original ended. “Supers” have been outlawed, and the Parrs are in some type of Super Protection Program – similar to Witness Protection. Of course when one is a superhero, doing the right thing just comes naturally, and the opening scene finds them battling their old nemesis Underminer (John Ratzenberger). Our heroes stop the crime, but cause significant damage to the city. This leads to our first social commentary when the powers that be scold the Parrs and inform them that the banks have insurance, and it’s cheaper to let the criminals get away so that the damage is minimized.

As superheroes non-grata, the Parrs try to go “straight” and live a normal life. That is until a powerful brother and sister corporate duo offer a proposal. Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) want to generate a PR plan to help rebuild the reputation of supers. The idea is to make Elastigirl the public face of the program by having her wear a body cam to show off her heroic deeds (in this age of ‘pics or it didn’t happen’). She’s chosen over Mr. Incredible for economic reasons, and he’s relegated to stay-at-home parent – basically a ‘Mr. Mom’ so to speak. Elastigirl plays up her time in the limelight and clearly enjoys it immensely, while Bob doesn’t much like being just Bob. Plus he can’t understand why they’ve changed math (something I can VERY much relate too, being someone who really doesn’t like the maths at all 🙂 ), as he gets frustrated trying to help Dash with his homework. He’s also challenged with Violet’s teen angst over a boy, and even more so over the discovery that Jack Jack has POWERS! Yes, you read that right. Jack Jack has powers. And boy are they fun! In fact, Jack Jack has multiple powers, but as a baby, he has little control – though his battle with a raccoon is not a segment you’ll soon forget.

Also returning is Frozone(Samuel L. Jackson), and costume designer Edna Mode – voiced by director Bird himself. Other new voices include Jonathan Banks as Rick Dicker, Isabella Rossellini as the Ambassador, and Sophia Bush as Voyd, one of the new generation supers (which includes Reflux – one you’ll just have to experience).

The big new villain causing problems for Elastigirl is ‘ScreenSlaver’, who hypnotizes large groups of people through their screens – more social commentary on our dependence on technology and the addiction/affliction we have toward device screens. The flood of superhero movies over the years since THE INCREDIBLES exposes the not-so-complex story in this one, but it’s terrific that the film keeps much of the original look and feel, and yet brings something new in that baby Jack Jack is a star!

Filled with the beautiful colors and art design we’ve come to take for granted from Pixar, the film also features some of the best action sequences you’ll see in any movie. The train sequence with Elastigirl is simply spectacular – as is the final action sequence. It’s also nice to see the flip in gender roles as Mom aka Elastagirl here, takes the lead. Honestly, Family films don’t get much better than this, and even though it runs 2 hours, the closing credits feature the theme song for each of the superheroes, and could easily have been a short film unto itself.

What can I say except..This movie truly has no flaws and “THE INCREDIBLES 2” is soooo worth the wait of every one of those 14 long years. Not only has it upped it’s game, but somehow it actually improved on those still fun and amazing characters, Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Edna, but with new break-out characters, notably Jack Jack, it goes full-tilt fun!!

Grade: A
@pegsatthemovies

Review Screening: Thursday, June 7, 2018 – Courtesy of Film Independent and LACMA
“THE INCREDIBLES 2 WILL BE OUT NATIONWIDE ON FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018 // U.K AND WORLDWIDE IN JUNE/JULY/AUGUST

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REVIEW: “PEANUTS” (2015) 20th Century Fox

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I couldn’t be happier to be with the old Peanuts gang that I have loved my entire life and with a fantastic little opening of Schroeder on the piano, thankfully, it appears that the people behind The Peanuts Movie” take the legacy of these characters very seriously. The result is a gentle, charming movie that seems far less frantic than much of what is created for young audiences these days.
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Director Steve Martino, working from a script by Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz, and Cornelius Uliano, the film hits the mark on many of the familiar jokes and scenes and set-ups we remember so well from the nasally ‘wrrahh wrrahh wrraahh of the teachers voices to a long list of references to the equally as long history of the characters.
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Snoopy spends most of the movie working on a book on his newly-discovered typewriter, the story of a flying ace and his battle against the infamous Red Baron. Sally’s got her crush on her sweet baboo, Linus, who nurses his faith in the The Great Pumpkin. Lucy is still dishing out 5 cent advice at her sidewalk psychiatric stand while making passes as Schroeder every chance she gets. Peppermint Patty and her assistant Marcie both play their familiar roles as well, with Charlie Brown at the center of everything, constantly put upon, constantly taking one on the chin and yes, in love with the Little Red-Haired Girl/Freida who happens to move in across the street here. I mean if this is going to be true to the original strip that Schulz created, then Charlie Brown has got to be suffering, a kid who can’t catch a break with any numerous of things from not being able to pitch a baseball, to the Kite Eating Tree that swallows up any number of his kites he tries to fly.
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As always with Peanuts, there is a message behind it all..for this movie it’s how Frieda/The Little Red-Haired Girl shares to everyone when Charlie Brown asks why she picked him, that it wasn’t his failures that got her attention, it was that he was Kind, Compassionate, Honest & Brave and never gave up. And while there is this message, it didn’t come in a forced – shove it down your throat manner, and it has a purpose in the story. There is also a sweet little side story where Snoopy embarks on his own adventure in a fantasy world. As a World War I flying ace, the lovable beagle pursues his nemesis, the Red Baron, while also trying to win the heart of a beautiful pilot named Fifi.
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This film just made me smile and I’m guessing it will do so for most adults who relived their childhood somewhat like I did while watching. The humour and jokes were really sweet, funny and cute. They too, don’t come at a forced pace but if you are a fan or know anything about Peanuts you will love them and laugh with them as I did. Make no mistake about it, this is just plain fun for adults & kids alike.

Grade: B
@pegsatthemovies

Screening: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 ~ Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Nationwide release: Friday, November 6, 2015

My own little personal collection of childhood Peanuts books that I found just recently.

My own little personal collection of childhood Peanuts books that I found just recently.