The Incredibles - merged theatrical thread

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Post by Ben » November 20th, 2004, 7:25 pm

JUST got back from seeing it.

It's rated Certificate U here in the UK, which is like being rated G in the US, and I actually think it should have been a PG here too. The UK has a habit of doing that though - all of the original Star Wars films were PG Stateside and a U over here.

Anyway, first thoughts...

Overlong. The middle section, with Bob on his secret mission alone, was too long and...dare I say...boring? Too many captures/releases/captures again (and then again later with the family).

The score: It captured the tone, but could have been a LOT more gelling in the bigger action scenes. Like Brian DePalma's films, the music didn't seem to be following the action on some occaisions, which threw moments here and there. Love the style though, and it DID capture the tone, as I say, but not bombastic enough. Perhaps too timid?

Animation: overall fantastic. Syndrome especially struck me has having some real visual flair, and there were moments of pur genius animation with him in there.

Best scene: Dash. Yep, I'm with you guys in that his chase moments were just great.

Worse scene: the final showdown between the robot and family downtown. Where were the people? The carnage we're used to in such movies? This needed to be BIGGER! Also, it was over with a kind of whimper rather than a huge bang, and the suspense didn't really hit fever pitch. I was hoping for some second moment where Syndrome would come back and control the robot. They never really built up his character enough, and left it till the very last scene for him to do anything remotely, personally evil.

Mistake: One glaring one that really jumped out was Violet's hair. Her parting jumped sides for the airplane-in-danger scene. Maybe they flopped this late in production in order to have the plane headed in the "right direction" on screen? Interesting, but noticable as being the only time this happend.

Edna Mode: fantastic again. A really good character that certainly lifted the film in the mid sectuion where things were getting bogged down.

Boundin': strange, wonderful short. I enjoyed this, even when the curve ball half way through came. Its sudden end completed the "what the?" feeling of what it possibly Pixar's oddest little film.

The Incredibles: when it was good, it WAS incredible. When it was bad, it was still good, but not always great. The jokes were funny, the set ups great, and it left a good taste in my mouth. But some of it seemed too overly familliar, and I don't just mean in the various references to other films and comic books.

I enjoyed it, but don't see the need that I thought I might have in seeing it again quick. A DVD for Easter I can wait for.

Toy Story 2 is, for me, still Pixar at the top of their game. :)

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Post by Special_Ed » November 21st, 2004, 6:56 am

I have to agree with much that you said, Ben. I still enjoyed the film but it felt a little flabby in places. It kills me to say that because of how I am an advocate to abolish 90 minute rule for animated films over.

When I left the theater I was depressed because I knew in my heart Pixar has peaked as high as they'll get with this film and it's only down hill from here....

Yeah, Toy Story 2 was the best Pixar film. I thought Incredibles would be more like it and A Bug's Life. I think the reason why it feels different is because ever since MI the characters look different and not the typical Pixar team worked on this.


I repeat, I DID enjoy the film. I just wanted to enjoy it more than I did.

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The Incredibles

Post by Dajoka86 » February 16th, 2005, 6:02 pm

THE INCREDIBLES is one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen. Brad Bird really knows how to direct - it was apparent in THE IRON GIANT, and now it’s been proven again. Every aspect was wonderful: the storytelling, the stylistic devices, etc. But what sticks out most in my mind is the superb character animation/acting. There were three specific scenes that made me giddy with delight because they were done so well, and I need to share my adoration for them:

The scene between Mr. Incredible and the boss in his office (before he gets hurled through multiple walls) is amazing for various reasons. First of all, there’s huge experimentation with camera angles and cuts that have never been seen in a Pixar film before (such as the tight close up on the boss aligning his pencils, on his hands while gesturing about gears, etc.) Pixar knows how to use lighting effectively, and TOY STORY is a great example of how lighting is used as an emotional queue. THE INCREDIBLES is no exception, everything feels like it’s under the buzz of florescent lights in this scene, everything has a grayish/white muted tone to it. And when Mr. Incredible heads to the door and is threatened with being fired, a shadow literally darkens his face. I feel that this scene epitomizes how THE INCREDIBLES combines lighting with dramatic camera angles in a way that hasn’t been seen from Pixar. And of course, all of this serves the performance of the characters, which is impeccable. Mr. Incredible’s slow and intensifying anger is subtle, yet (for lack of a better word) “real.” The boss’ maniacal grins and gestures are simply brilliant.

The scene where Mr. Incredible comes home late after saving people from a burning building has some of the best animation acting I’ve seen in a Pixar film. There’s a subtlety in their motions, gestures, and expressions that are hard details to pin down with drawings that can be done brilliantly with computer animation. It’s a great scene.

True, towards the end of the film it began to build up some “sound and fury, signifying nothing,” but overall it’s truly a remarkable achievement.
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more...sorry!

Post by Dajoka86 » February 20th, 2005, 2:51 pm

sorry, one other awesome scene I gotta point out:

I also love the moment that Syndrome’s past as the “fan boy” is revealed. It’s done brilliantly. He walks toward Mr. Incredible, and inquires if he remembers what he told him on their last encounter. As he says this he lifts his arms and his palms up and outward (as if to implore/question Mr. Incredible.) Then we switch to a shot of Syndrome in the past as “Incrediboy.” The shot is from “Incrediboy’s” back and the camera faces Mr. Incredible, scolding him. The young and past Syndrome (Incrediboy) is in the exact same position as the present and older Syndrome when he inquired about the past. Thus, there is an automatic yet understated continuity between the two shots, although they’re in completely different locales, lighting, and time. There is then another cut to young Syndrome, glaring angrily upward toward the camera. We automatically assume he’s glaring at Mr. Incredible scolding at him. However, we notice there are Mr. Incredible posters and paraphernalia on the floor surrounding young Syndrome, and the next shot confirms that he is standing in front of many Mr. Incredible posters in a completely different location. Essentially, in this segment we cut to three completely different times and places within the span of five minutes or less, each subtly strung together. It’s a great example of how Brad Bird and the Pixar team know how to fuse masterful storytelling with masterful filmmaking.
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Post by ShyViolet » February 21st, 2005, 6:07 pm

Very insightful! :o

I can't wait to get this on DVD. Your descriptions have made me even more excited to own this film. :wink:
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Incredible

Post by Dajoka86 » February 21st, 2005, 8:37 pm

Yeah, in case you couldn't tell, I'm excited about getting the DVD as well!
And there's a new short that centers around JackJack, so I've heard?
But yes, without a doubt, this is one I gotta own.
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Post by ShyViolet » February 22nd, 2005, 6:34 pm

Yeah the short with Jack-Jack shows what happened with the babysitter right before Syndrome kidnapped him.

*Can't wait!*
:D
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Post by Ben » February 26th, 2005, 5:15 pm

Although I stand by what I said, I totally agree with the points you raise - the Bob in the office scenes being the most unnervingly realistic to be seen yet in a CGI picture.

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Incredible

Post by Dajoka86 » February 26th, 2005, 6:31 pm

Thanks Ben, and I agree with a lot of the things you said as well!

I loved the film, but I did have my problems with it. The ending is a bit of a cop-out, turning into meaningless "sound and fury." Little problems here and there, but overall it's an incredible achievement.

And I think Toy Story 2 and the Incredibles are tied for my fav Pixar film.
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Incredibles in the LA Times

Post by Dajoka86 » February 26th, 2005, 8:05 pm

M Barrier writes about the Incredibles for the LA Times:

http://www.calendarlive.com/custom/enve ... l=cl-oscst

worth a read!
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Re: Incredible

Post by AniMan » February 27th, 2005, 11:20 am

Dajoka86 wrote:Thanks Ben, and I agree with a lot of the things you said as well!

I loved the film, but I did have my problems with it. The ending is a bit of a cop-out, turning into meaningless "sound and fury." Little problems here and there, but overall it's an incredible achievement.

And I think Toy Story 2 and the Incredibles are tied for my fav Pixar film.
I have to take issue with one thing that you said that I've heard a few others say before that absolutely drives me crazy (I know you like the film; this is not really directed at you :wink:). I've heard the ending referred to as "meaningless sound and fury" on more than one occasion. Now, I don't know how many of you grew up reading comics and loving them just the same, but I did. There was nothing meaningless about it. This is the kind of stuff that makes movies the kind of magical experience that it should be. There was nothing conventional about the action sequence at the end. In fact, all the action sequences in this film were so jaw-droppingly amazing, I felt like a kid again. For me, as man, it brought me back to my childhood and those comic pages, as they literally came to life on screen better than any live-action hero movie ever has. So you see, it wasn't a "cop-out" ending, but more of an homage to the entire super-hero genre. :)
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Post by GeorgeC » February 27th, 2005, 12:06 pm

I'm sorry,

But this stuff that Mike Barrier keeps repeating about Will Eisner being the beginning and ending of modern comics has got to stop!

It's pure B.S. Barrier's just covering up the fact that he's embarrasssed about the juvenile nature of modern comics and the fact that they DIDN'T "grow up with him." That's the biggest problem with modern comic book readers -- fact is that the medium WASN'T developed for them. It was primarily aimed at pre-teen kids for decades until some fanboys became editors, writers, and artists in the last 30 years and "grew" the medium up with them.

Frankly, that whole "growing up" comics in many ways has RUINED them. The innocence that characterized the best comics in the past 50 years has for the most part been lost and replaced with crassness, greater idiocy, even more violence, and more borderline nudity than ever existed in the "dark ages of kiddiedom comics."

Now, I'm not saying there isn't room for more adult comics, non-super hero themes, and porn if people want it. It just hasn't been the greatest thing that these ideas have been infused into what USED to be G-rated comics! It's gotten to the point that RESPONSIBLE ADULTS WITH CHILDREN have to monitor comics much more closely because editors and writers can't be bothered to self-censor themselves and adhere to old systems used to keep more crass adult situations out of Spider-Man, Hulk, and X-Men. (The Marvel Comics, excepting the excruciatingly awful DC Comics' Identity Crisis, are the worst offenders when it comes to comics you OUGHT to be concerned about kids picking up now.)

This situation in modern comics didn't really exist until the early 1990s when the US industry thought it was great to cater almost exclusively to adults. As a result, there's been a 2-3 generation gap where there basically HAVEN'T been newer (re: younger, pre-teen) readers coming into comics and the industry has been steadily shrinking even faster than before! Don't let all the sales statistics fool ya, folks! The COVER prices of comics have been rising to prop up profits and disguise the fact that unit sales are STILL going down generally across comics' lines. The fact is that comic shops are STILL closing and inflated sales figures can't disguise that comics are STILL declining -- a lot of that due to the fact that modern comic companies haven't figured out how TO write to kids and haven't been writing to kids since the 1980s.

Now, I liked Will Eisner's Spirit, BUT to pretend that Eisner was the soulman of modern comics is pure B.S. JACK KIRBY was the true godfather of modern comics, superhero comics in particular, whether Barrier appreciates that fact or not. The only time people mention Will Eisner is when they want to be poseurs and pretend that comics are higher, more respected art than they really are. They're basically fooling themselves into believing Eisner was a bigger influence on modern comics than he actually was!

The Incredibles was based more on the 1960s sensibility of Marvel Comics' like Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Spider-Man -- comics created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko. There's very little if anything Eisner in that movie. It's almost pure undistilled Jack Kirby and Stan Lee pathos. The closest thing to a Mike Barrier-idol in that movie is Elasti-Girl who happens to share powers with Jack Cole's Plastic Man but that's about it.

It's when Barrier editorializes like this and misconstrues the facts that I wish he would stop writing about animation and let people have fun because it sure sounds like he DOESN'T have fun with animation 99% of the time anymore. Invoking names like Will Eisner and Jack Cole when they don't apply to situations makes it even more obvious that he's missing the point.


*********************************


Yes, I liked The Incredibles.

Is it original? NOT REALLY. It's a great distillation of what made Marvel Comics great back in the 1960s.

Most of you have NEVER read those comics so I don't expect you to understand what I've said about this film in the past. Please, please don't take this as a put-down or "I'm better than you" statement. It's just a fact that most people have NEVER read the comics The Incredibles is based on and are assuming that Brad Bird has done something new when even he admits in interviews that he's basing the film on the old Marvel Comics!

There's a reason why I wrote earlier that after people see the upcoming Fantastic Four movie that they're going to scratch their heads and say, "Gee, The Incredibles was better than this piece of @$^%@!"

Hopefully, if you can, pick a Marvel Essentials volume or Masterworks of Fantastic Four and other 1960s Marvel Comics and you'll see what I mean about The Incredibles.

Educate yourselves. Just don't let cynical or misguided media critics and animation historians like Mike Barrier and Amid Amidi do that for you.

Barrier and Amidi definitely both have their agendas, but they don't realize how corrosive and ultimately self-defeating a lot of what they write is.

Fact is the Hollywood Studio System is what it is. It hasn't changed in decades and won't now no matter how much they may wish otherwise. The most successful people are the ones who navigate this system OR bypass it and spend less time complaining about it and writing Internet blogs or posting on Animation Nation...

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Post by ShyViolet » February 28th, 2005, 7:06 pm

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Incredible

Post by Dajoka86 » February 28th, 2005, 7:28 pm

I don't know who's argument this helps, but in the Barrier interview, Bird talks about how he really wasn't much of a comic fan, and one of the few things he read was SPIRIT. He's aware that showing the human/every day site of superheros isnt a novel idea, but claims to have never read anything of that nature.

And concerning what I said about the ending being "sound and fury:" all I meant was that the movie did such a good job being original, that the ending seemed to be a let down.

Here's a quote from the LA Times review that I think puts it best:

"...perhaps Mr. Bird steers his heroes in the direction of compromise. The Incredible family may stand up to the forces of mandatory mediocrity, but THE INCREDIBLES, in the end, has no choice but to succumb. The climax is loud and unimaginative - a situation cribbed from "Spy Kids 2," tricked out with noise and fireballs. this, of course, is waht the public demands, and while it may help the movie succeed as a large scale entertainment, it does so at the expense of some of its daring idiosyncrasy. The lesson is sobering, and a little dispiriting. If every movie is required to be spectacular, then no movie really can be."

Essentially, this movie is so great with character and plot development, that it's sad to see such a conventional ending.

And let me once again remind you that I still loved the Incredibles beyond words!

-DK
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Post by AniMan » March 1st, 2005, 1:22 am

The ending was essential to wrapping up the story: the family, united together, against the enemy. Again, its really an homage to all super-heros, of film and the comics. It's the classic good versus evil battle. It HAD to be there, and it needed to be LOUD. :roll: Really, what would have been a better climactic battle? No one seems to know..
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