Jurassic World and Inside Out show that digital wizardy can't shine without smarts and heart | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Jurassic World and Inside Out show that digital wizardy can't shine without smarts and heart 

When the original Jurassic Park hit theaters in 1993, it was blockbuster movie-making done right. The special effects were like nothing we'd ever seen, and director Steven Spielberg—the planet's leading expert in this sort of thing—provided humor and heart along with all the shock and awe.

Twenty-two years and several sequels later, the operation has fossilized into JURASSIC WORLD, in which only the tradition of dazzling digital effects remains. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard play the odd-couple leads—he's loose, she's uptight—and a couple of bland kids are put in peril as dinosaurs once again run amok.

The dinosaur action scenes are fun, especially on the big screen (with the big sound), and director Colin Trevorrow stages a few effective sequences featuring a kind of human hamster ball vehicle. But the rest of the movie is an assembly-line franchise endeavor, with phony emotional swells, dumbed-down dialogue and relentless product placement. The makers of Jurassic World don't think much of their audience, and it shows.

Happily, we have the perfect summer movie antidote with INSIDE OUT, the 15th animated feature film from Pixar, maybe the single most reliable entity in the entertainment industry.

Audacious and overflowing with ideas, Inside Out tells the story of 11-year-old Riley and the five color-coded Emotions that live in her head—golden Joy (Amy Poehler), blue Sadness (Phyllis Smith), purple Fear (Bill Hader), red Anger (Lewis Black) and green Disgust (Mindy Kaling).

Director Pete Docter creates a visual extravaganza inside Riley's mind, where emotional traumas are seismic events and memories are stored in bright orbs. Joy and Sadness team up to navigate Riley's crises by journeying—via the Train of Thought—to notional nooks such as Imagination Land, the scary Subconscious and the under-construction realm of Abstract Thought. (Riley's just 11, after all.)

The story delivers a parade of delightful concepts—how facts and opinions get mixed up; how brain freeze works—with humor, goofiness and the kind of emotional intelligence we've come to expect from Pixar. The filmmakers clearly like and respect their audience. And it shows.

Together, Jurassic World and Inside Out present a fascinating contrast. Both are big-budget summer tentpole movies, aiming to please. But as actual filmgoing experiences, they couldn't be more different. Jurassic feels like a product assembled by skilled merchants. Inside Out feels like a creation shared by inspired artists. My suggestion: Skip the former and see the latter twice.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Claws and Effects."

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

I'd be more interested with different actors, but at least it's not a fucking super hero movie or squequel, so …

by terryboo on H.P. Lovecraft Meets Art House Cinema in the Odd, Ominous A Ghost Story (Film Review)

Spiderman homecoming is the best spider man movie that I have seen yet https://goo.gl/jhKahk

by Hazel Gomez on Spider-Man: Homecoming Makes a Fifty-Five-Year-Old Hero Feel Like a Kid Again (Film Review)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

I'd be more interested with different actors, but at least it's not a fucking super hero movie or squequel, so …

by terryboo on H.P. Lovecraft Meets Art House Cinema in the Odd, Ominous A Ghost Story (Film Review)

Spiderman homecoming is the best spider man movie that I have seen yet https://goo.gl/jhKahk

by Hazel Gomez on Spider-Man: Homecoming Makes a Fifty-Five-Year-Old Hero Feel Like a Kid Again (Film Review)

I was born and raised in Bertie County, and believe me, this was painful and beautiful to watch. I was …

by Tar Heels forever on Know More About Manhattan Than Your Embattled Neighbors in Rural North Carolina? Then See Raising Bertie. (Film Review)

Clint's film is trashy? maybe that's why all of us pigs would like to wallow in it.

by Jovana Dimitrijevic on In Her Remake of Clint Eastwood's Lurid, Trashy The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola Probes Deeper Rhythms (Film Review)

Thanks for spoiling the movie. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone …

by Carly L. on The Book of Henry Is a Blatant Tearjerker Whose Elaborate Plot Serves a Useless Solution (Film Review)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation