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Movie Review: The Incredibles

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According to Pixar, each frame of animation (representing 1/24th of a second of screentime) takes about 6 hours for their server farm to render. By my math, this 115 minute long movie thus took 993,600 hours to render me absolutely speechless.

Seriously.

I was at a loss for words when the Disney lady outside the theatre asked me what I thought.

“Extraordinary” I mumbled.

“Anything else?” she kindly asked.

“Umm…(shifting my weight uncomfortably)…it was really very good.”

Pixar and Disney’s penultimate project is absolutely sure to please pretty much anybody who shows up, and rack up darn near $400 million in domestic receipts while doing so. It’s that good. Pixar’s previous efforts have been so successful for being uniformly entertaining for both kids and adults alike. The Incredibles certainly doesn’t waver from that formula, and yet it feels more sophisticated and stylized than past efforts.

The Incredibles’ world is one where art-deco-cool never gave way to the refried bauhaus minimalism that plagued so many aspects of American design in the latter-middle of the last century. Every detail –from the wood-trimmed interactive GPS system hidden in the dash of Mr. Incredible’s car, to the period font on the back of a teenage magazine read by his daughter, to the disproportionate representation of monorails — reflects the filmmakers’ healthy appreciation for triumph in design. The result would be a joy to observe even if the film lacked an exciting plot, engaging characters, witty dialogue or heart-pounding action.

But these it has in no small measure, which is why, again, you and everyone you know, will enjoy this movie.

The film begins in an era when superheroes like Mr. Incredible and his lovely wife, Elastigirl are both willing and able to actually be superheroes. However, after Mr. Incredible saves a man from committing suicide and actually is sued by said man, everything changes. Suddenly, anyone affected by the work of the superheroes becomes the potential plaintiff in a lawsuit, and the government has to relocate the superheroes anonymously, forcing them to live, not, unlike the X-men, as normally as they can.

Mr. Incredible retires his blue spandex for a shortsleeve-shirt and tie job at a greedy insurance company, suffering through the days and generally living a miserable, detached, pre-mid-life-crisis existence until ultimately he loses his grip so to speak, and finds himself in the middle of a plot aimed at world domination.

From there, everything turns into a sort of Superman meets James Bond meets Ozzie and Harriet, back against your seat, tongue-waggling, chiller-thriller that nearly, and I admit, very-nearly had my crying with laughter at one point.

It is a great film, in conception and execution, and it is surely Pixar’s best work to date. If you like Pixar, this movie isn’t to be missed. If you immediately dismiss any animated film as not worthy of your time, you should loosen the choke chain on your imagination a bit and take a couple hours to enjoy yourself. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. This is a legitimate work of art, animation and target audience notwithstanding, better I would think than at least 2 out of 5 of the Oscar contenders in the coming year, but I doubt the Academy will agree with me.

And since movie reviews love money quotes: Walk, Run, or Fly to this movie, but get there early so you can have a good seat.

love it, hate it, there’s more of it at Pacetown.

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