The M&M Report: “Inside Out”

Inside Out Pod

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I discussed Pixar’s Inside Out. Devin’s two-word description of the movie at 6:55 pretty much stands on its own, but we also discussed the ins and the outs of Inside Out and reflected on the last two decades of Pixar as they unfolded parallel to our childhood.

I also reviewed the movie for my blog,. Check out The Dissolve’s interview with director Pete Docter for more context about the film’s development. And A.O. Scott’s New York Times review is well worth your time.

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast.

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“Inside Out”: Mind’s Eye

Inside Out

Some movies go to great lengths to show you profound they are. Others just assume you’ll pay attention. Inside Out is the latter.

The latest Pixar movie follows an 11 year-old girl named Riley, who moves with her family from her childhood home in Minnesota to a dingy apartment in San Francisco. The move makes Riley sad. She misses her best friend, her hockey team and her childhood innocence. But her parents, despite good intentions, are too busy settling in to notice that Riley is struggling.

This is a story you’ve seen many times before, more likely in your life than at the movies. That’s because the story doesn’t appear to have much in the way of exterior stakes. And it doesn’t. But Inside Out finds a way to make the interior stakes exterior by zooming in right between Riley’s temples, where emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black) take turns influencing Riley’s actions from a sleek control center in her cerebal cortex.

Influencing is the key word. Inside Out wisely avoids drawing a direct link between emotions and actions. It’s correlation, not causation. Dramatizing such abstract relationships would seem near impossible, but director Pete Docter and the team at Pixar have pulled it off with stunning complexity.

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Pop Culture Hopes and Dreams for 2015

Force Awakens

Last year at this time, I published a post with a series of hopes and dreams, big and small, for 2014. I’m happy to report that some of those hopes came true. A quick rundown:

I hoped that the third season of Sherlock is every bit as delectable as the first two. It wasn’t. The seams started to show, despite great moments. Oh well.

I hoped Jimmy Fallon’s transition to The Tonight Show would be smooth and hassle-free. Given NBC’s track record, this hope seemed far-fetched, but Fallon’s ratings are through the roof, and the qualities that made him a success on Late Night remain intact in the higher-profile timeslot.

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Take 5: “Mad Men,” Fall TV, Pixar and More

Jon Hamm

Each week, I take a survey of the five most notable pieces of entertainment news and synthesize them for your reading pleasure for my The Eagle column Take 5. From the bifurcation of Mad Men Season 7 to the postponement of the next great Pixar adventure, it was a busy week.

AMC will air the final season of “Mad Men” in two seven-episode arcs, one in 2014 and one in 2015.

AMC will commission spinoff series tied to its established hits “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead,” rankling viewers who are craving new originals rather than tired retreads. Now, AMC has announced that it will split the seventh and last season of “Mad Men” into two years to capitalize on ratings, buzz and Emmy awards before the show can finally ride off into the sunset. This same strategy worked like gangbusters for “Breaking Bad,” but “Mad Men” may be approaching its expiration date faster.

Read the rest here.