Author Topic: Inside Out  (Read 7571 times)

Junior

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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2015, 06:45:49 PM »
Hi, uh, I kind of hated Inside Out (exaggeration for effect). Everybody else loved it, though! Except for some friends of mine on the internet, they also hated it.
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pixote

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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2015, 06:51:28 PM »
I would Death Match Inside Out and Wreck-It Ralph, if it were at all more random.

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I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

jmbossy

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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2015, 10:54:47 PM »
Wow I'm glad to see I'm not the only dissenting opinion on Inside Out. I was starting to fear for my critical abilities after hearing "masterpiece" for the hundredth time.

After giving it some thought I decided why I didn't fall for Inside Out (3-3.5/5, haven't officially decided) was that I didn't empathize with Riley, but instead with her experiences and the emotions she housed- separately. I never felt Riley was a character in her own skin, possibly because we see the mechanics which control her which take away from the magic, or possibly because I feel like there was an emphasis put on her emotions' characters rather than her actual emotions. It's hard distinction to make, but let me take a shot at it.

So, my problems start with the one scene I would personally call masterful. The scene where Riley introduces herself to her new class was powerfully human, and it was the one time in the film where the scripts duality felt poignant. Sadness can come out of no where, and when it does you realize even the most joyous memories you have are susceptible to melancholy. Afterwards Joy and Sadness begin their journey, which is the central plot of the movie, and which leaves Riley essentially emotionless (helmed by emotions that have no place running her life) and eventually, entirely without agency. What becomes central to the emotional journey this movie takes is Joy's opinion of Sadness, which can most accurately be compared to how people treat the emotion that is sadness (parents, hollywood, whomever; people often overlook the value of sadness to instead encourage the "be happy" mantra which fails to truly address a problem as deeply rooted as this). If you completely remove this portion of the movie (which would also eliminate the entire story of the hardly necessary Bing Bong) and look at the film strictly outside of Riley's head I feel Riley never actually struggles with her emotions. She shuts down until Joy finally returns to her. I don't really have a problem with this (especially being that it leads to the only other expert scene in the film) but I can't help but feel that what is actually being said isn't "this is how you deal with your emotions" but "this is how you should treat other people's emotions." It feels as though the audience isn't supposed to empathize with the journey of Riley, but of Joy. Riley doesn't struggle with the experiences happening inside of her own head, she just mirrors the results. She never fights to find joy amidst a turmoil of other emotions, happiness is just absent from her emotional pallet.

Riley isn't a character but an extension of the film's obsession with its own metaphor. A metaphor, which although i appreciate on an academic level, spends its entirety exploring itself in unnecessary and uninteresting scenes (the abstract thought room, the imagination theme park, etc) instead of attempting to benefit a story I could have had an incredible connection with. I'm a Canadian who spent his whole childhood moving from Toronto to Ottawa to Montreal to Vancouver because of a workaholic father. I remember watching and loving hockey before I ever remember walking or talking. And I often (and continue to) struggle with emotional issues that lead to my feeling unable to meaningfully contribute. There is no reason beyond my gender I shouldn't have entirely empathized with Riley, but her story felt so much less meaningful in a mechanical sense than the story of Joy's ability to value catharsis. I would have much rather watched just her story, removed all of the emotions as anthropomorphic metaphors and had a straight forward human drama. I guess that means the only value I see in this movie (beyond a handful of strong scenes) is that it is a linguistic showcase for developmental psychology. Which, to be fair, I think it does successfully.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 11:39:26 PM by jmbossy »

Junior

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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2015, 04:40:43 PM »
Hey, did you all notice that Anger was in control of the dad and Sadness was for the mom?

I'm just kidding, of course you did. It's the thing everybody brings up. That's not a bad thing, really. In fact, I'm glad people are thinking about the movie on a level more than the bare minimum. But it's funny when a small point becomes the thing everybody notices.
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oneaprilday

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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2015, 06:15:21 PM »
After giving it some thought I decided why I didn't fall for Inside Out (3-3.5/5, haven't officially decided) was that I didn't empathize with Riley, but instead with her experiences and the emotions she housed- separately. I never felt Riley was a character in her own skin, possibly because we see the mechanics which control her which take away from the magic, or possibly because I feel like there was an emphasis put on her emotions' characters rather than her actual emotions. It's hard distinction to make, but let me take a shot at it.

So, my problems start with the one scene I would personally call masterful. The scene where Riley introduces herself to her new class was powerfully human, and it was the one time in the film where the scripts duality felt poignant. Sadness can come out of no where, and when it does you realize even the most joyous memories you have are susceptible to melancholy. Afterwards Joy and Sadness begin their journey, which is the central plot of the movie, and which leaves Riley essentially emotionless (helmed by emotions that have no place running her life) and eventually, entirely without agency. What becomes central to the emotional journey this movie takes is Joy's opinion of Sadness, which can most accurately be compared to how people treat the emotion that is sadness (parents, hollywood, whomever; people often overlook the value of sadness to instead encourage the "be happy" mantra which fails to truly address a problem as deeply rooted as this). If you completely remove this portion of the movie (which would also eliminate the entire story of the hardly necessary Bing Bong) and look at the film strictly outside of Riley's head I feel Riley never actually struggles with her emotions. She shuts down until Joy finally returns to her. I don't really have a problem with this (especially being that it leads to the only other expert scene in the film) but I can't help but feel that what is actually being said isn't "this is how you deal with your emotions" but "this is how you should treat other people's emotions." It feels as though the audience isn't supposed to empathize with the journey of Riley, but of Joy. Riley doesn't struggle with the experiences happening inside of her own head, she just mirrors the results. She never fights to find joy amidst a turmoil of other emotions, happiness is just absent from her emotional pallet.

Riley isn't a character but an extension of the film's obsession with its own metaphor. A metaphor, which although i appreciate on an academic level, spends its entirety exploring itself in unnecessary and uninteresting scenes (the abstract thought room, the imagination theme park, etc) instead of attempting to benefit a story I could have had an incredible connection with. I'm a Canadian who spent his whole childhood moving from Toronto to Ottawa to Montreal to Vancouver because of a workaholic father. I remember watching and loving hockey before I ever remember walking or talking. And I often (and continue to) struggle with emotional issues that lead to my feeling unable to meaningfully contribute. There is no reason beyond my gender I shouldn't have entirely empathized with Riley, but her story felt so much less meaningful in a mechanical sense than the story of Joy's ability to value catharsis. I would have much rather watched just her story, removed all of the emotions as anthropomorphic metaphors and had a straight forward human drama. I guess that means the only value I see in this movie (beyond a handful of strong scenes) is that it is a linguistic showcase for developmental psychology. Which, to be fair, I think it does successfully.
Wonderfully described, jmbossy. And I'm right there with you in your assessment.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2015, 04:56:09 AM »
Finally got the courage to go to a late night original version projection. You Americans have no idea how easy you have it. 

Inside Out
Pete Docter (2015)

I had a hunch as I was watching Inside Out. Before starting this review I promptly Googled Pixar's filmography to verify it and I now have confirmation. Inside Out is Pixar's funniest movie. By far. There is a continuous stream of jokes unlike anything I can remember the studio making bar maybe Monsters University that is akin to what Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs does. Unlike it and Monsters U however, Inside Out is not primarily a comedy but a traditional Pixar style emotion fuelled narrative (yes, I know comedies have narratives too ; I still make the distinction).

The jokes are not only numerous but good in that hearty laugh way that is so satisfying. Most of them can be understood by any viewer, children included. They rely on some very clever writing and lots of behavioural humour that at no moment feels exaggerated or forced. In fact, everything feels quite in tone and each joke stems naturally from the situation at hand. It really is delightfully done.

As an aside, some other jokes are specifically aimed at a more mature audience -particularly the wonderful Chinatown reference- as is often the case in such movies. Such winks to the adult Pixar fans are always welcome. I am sure some children will be surprised when they revisit this movie a few years from now.

The main strength of the movie however is in the intelligence of the psychic world it builds. Inside Out quite ambitiously sets about representing the inner workings of our minds through a landscape administered by psychological processes. Our long term memory is an enormous labyrinth that stores countless recollections that darken as they are forgotten until they are vacuumed into a dark inescapable pit of forgetfulness. The unconscious lies dormant in a sealed cave ; our dreams are concocted in a movie studio out of memories ; the land of imagination borders the abyss of oblivion where forgotten inventions are destined to fall. The film is a marvel of allegory and everything is seamlessly explained or intuitively presented to ensure even the movie's youngest audiences will understand how this mindworld works.

Don't get me wrong however, this is not the biggest breakthrough in psychology since Freud's contributions to beards. It remains simplistic and many things are all but ignored. There seems to be no room for intellectual convictions and reason in this portrayal.  Our every action is the result of the interplay of five emotions : joy, disgust, fear, sadness and anger. Even allowing for the fact that those five can stand in for all their subtle variations of degree and nature where did love go ? And I am sure that there are others that should be present. Hate ? Hope ? Frustration ?

I was able to set aside those omissions because the point of the movie is not to dissert about psycho-neurology and because it provides a context, for me and much more importantly for children, to think about their personalities in a compelling way. Despite being patently wrong about some things it is an opportunity to get insight on ourselves. What is our dominant emotion ? What are our core memories (again, I have a problem with the fact that our entire personality could be based on a handful of memories but let's not fret on that) ? What are our personality islands ? A movie that entertains while teaching us about ourselves. Is there anything quite as wonderful ?

And the movie does entertain. Between the worldbuilding and the jokes we get to follow Joy and Sadness' peripeteia as they try to get back to their control room. Their adventures are fun and takes us through unexpected places and allow for the discovery of the mindworld. I only regret that the plot remains too linear. The quest is the same from start to finish and the entire journey is a succession of attempts to get to the control room, everyone thwarted until the last one. Still, their diversity camouflages the simplicity of the narrative devices and my inner curmudgeon was the only one grumbling in my control room while the other four emotions were quite content.

The animation is fantastic as always and if you want a testimony to the care Pixar takes in all it makes look at the emotions. Their skin is not soft and solid like that of humans. Joy's yellow body is constantly slightly erupting the lightcloud-like stuff she is made off in the manner of a lava lamp or a solar eruption. The character is as effervescent as the feeling itself.

By the way, these are emotions who have feelings and thoughts themselves. In an age where everyone seems to be making meta-movies, Pixar has ignored the trend and gone one step further : it came up with meta-emotions.

A final word about the film's message that, unlike its constructions, troubles me. It seems to say that Sadness is a condition for Joy. Important joyous memories have a sad underpinning because the person only became happy after having been rescued by others from a negative situation. This is not only wrong, it is dangerous. Joy can exist in and of itself. It is okay to be sad about something but preaching a usefulness of that feeling risks creating a search for it. That emotions like disgust and fear have an evolutionary purpose of keeping us alive is correct but that doesn't mean every emotion has a purpose or that purpose is positive. I fear Inside Out may unwillingly  encourage  self-pity and mooning.

8.5/10 - A Pixar best


Still lava the movie despite everything.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 05:39:45 AM by DarkeningHumour »
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2015, 08:27:18 AM »
If you completely remove this portion of the movie (which would also eliminate the entire story of the hardly necessary Bing Bong) and look at the film strictly outside of Riley's head I feel Riley never actually struggles with her emotions. She shuts down until Joy finally returns to her. I don't really have a problem with this (especially being that it leads to the only other expert scene in the film) but I can't help but feel that what is actually being said isn't "this is how you deal with your emotions" but "this is how you should treat other people's emotions." It feels as though the audience isn't supposed to empathize with the journey of Riley, but of Joy. Riley doesn't struggle with the experiences happening inside of her own head, she just mirrors the results. She never fights to find joy amidst a turmoil of other emotions, happiness is just absent from her emotional pallet.

This rings very true to me. I realize I never talk about how what happens in the allegory affects real world Riley in my review. Maybe I should revisit it.
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2015, 08:31:48 AM »
Building on your idea about the console, I loved how inside the different brains we saw different emotions in charge. Mom was ruled by Sadness while Dad's leader was Anger, though as an adult all five emotions worked more in harmony with nobody dominating the controls.

This is one thing that stood out to me as well, and you'll note that at the end Riley's console is expanded. Growing up means being able to have multiple emotions working in tandem rather than battling for control. There is something interesting in that. The end credits saved the film a bit in terms of the shot into mom and dad's brain. If we were left with them, it would be a very gender stereotyped portrayal. By throwing us into other heads at the end, we see that it really is just a case of different personalities having different dominant emotions.

I loved this aspect too. It's one of the many details that make this mindworld seem very well thought through.

I just don't understand what a sadness-dominated personality is supposed to be like in a functioning adult. She is clearly not depressed so what gives ?
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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2015, 10:14:18 AM »
Certainly you wouldn't be wrong all 30 days, right!?
Right. I don't hate Inside Out. I'm just very torn by my not thinking the concept works, though I love the ambitious attempt. As a Pixar fan, I'm meeting the film more than halfway, but around the collapse of Goofball Island I realized (both times) that I'm not on the movie's side. It's not working, just like how I didn't buy the dogs in Up flying airplanes. But that's at the end of Up. Goofball Island goes down with an hour of movie to go.

I think my problem is the character of Sadness and the way the other characters relate to her. Joy accepts that there's a reason for Fear and Disgust as if she never debated it, but she constantly tries to keep Sadness away rather than figure out her purpose in Riley's life. Meanwhile, Sadness has this unexplained habit of touching things, when she knows it will upset Riley. I'm sure there was a deep discussion on that one about the touching relating to Sadness needing to express herself in some way, but they make Sadness a person who both wants Riley to be Happy and desires to make her sad. It's a more complex discussion than the film can handle, so the premise comes off wobbly with lots of unusual ideas to distract from that.
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Inside Out
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2015, 10:22:09 AM »
I agree that Sadness comes off as just incomprehensible and annoying. But I do not know that I would want Joy to see a purpose in her. One thing is learning to deal with sadness, another is to see it as a necessary emotion.
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