Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Move Over Pixar

The new animated DreamWorks feature Megamind opened this weekend and if you haven't seen it yet you should.  Now I'm not normally one for animated films, I enjoy Pixar, but frankly I find their films to be highly overrated and often lacking in wit or subtlety.  For me Pixar often takes it just a bit too far whether it be with sentimentality on one end of the spectrum or with bathroom humor on the other. They are essentially Disney 2.0 and while that isn't a bad thing I think they get more attention that they deserve.  For instance I enjoyed UP and and found the opening montage particularly heartbreaking and the dog was also pretty hilarious, having a Labrador I could definitely relate to the retriever jokes.  UP was enjoyable, but other than that it wasn't anything special. The same can be said for WALL-E the first 20 minutes were breathtaking genius, but after that the rest of the movie is fairly weak and a bit preachy. 

Anyway enough about Pixar.  I went into Megamind not expecting much, I didn't think it would be awful, but wasn't really expecting brilliance either. But brilliant it was.  To start off this film has an amazing cast Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and David Cross to name a few. And unlike some animated films that take actors' voices but smother their personalities Megamind managed the delicate balancing act of simultaneously allowing its cast to be themselves without letting any one personality overshadow the plot.  In fact this may be the best Will Ferrell movie I've ever seen, because while he's funny you don't spend the entire movie going "oh look at Will Ferrell hamming it up" in fact I found I was able to totally forget it was him and just enjoy the incredible dialogue.   The dialogue is incredible! It's funny without hitting you over the head or spelling things out, there were tons and I mean tons of jokes that you'd have to be in at least your mid 20s to fully appreciate and that doesn't even count all of the little details you could catch in the background, such as the nods to Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Maltse Falcon.

This film does something that I haven't seen in animation for a long time which is that while it is without question a kid friendly movie it's also peppered throughout with humor for adults.  Not just quick references either, really clever stuff that parents taking their kids to the movies will enjoy and 20 somethings looking for a fun night out will also fully appreciate.  So thank you Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons for realizing that if you're clever enough cartoons movies don't have to be written just for kids or just for adults, but can actually be written so that both audiences will equally enjoy them.

And if all of that weren't enough the animation itself is really incredible and easily rivals anything Pixar can do.  I saw Megamind in regular D as it were, although it is offered in 3-D and IMAX.  Honestly I don't think it needs either, the film can stand on its own without any gimmicks and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Mustache --> :{D

Have you ever experienced that ever so disorienting feeling that time is simultaneously speeding up and slowing down?  A week will fly by in a blur and yet be packed with so much brilliance that everything that came before it becomes small and insignificant by comparison.  The past week and a half have been unreal, or rather they have been a new reality. 

I'm so happy it frightens me a little, but I think fear is a good sign.  Many of the things I'm most glad of having done frightened me at the beginning.