1. Inside Out (Disney, 3,946 Theaters, 94 Minutes, Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action, Rotten Tomatoes rating at press time: 99% Fresh [134 Reviews]): Hard as it is to believe, but it has been two years since we have been graced with a Pixar film. Of course, it was not supposed to be that way. The Good Dinosaur was supposed to be released last year, but massive creative difficulties caused it to be delayed (it should come out this November).
That, combined with lackluster response to their last three films (Cars 2, Brave and Monster University) and successes at other CGI animation studios–including Disney’s in-house arm–might cause some to believe that the normally reliable Pixar is experiencing a creative downturn. A lot is riding on this film as a sign that Pixar’s quality is still there. Early word leads us to believe that it might be.
The film focus on five emotions of a girl named Riley (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust) as they try to work together to try and help Riley though a difficult relocation from Minnesota to California.
2. Dope (Open Road Films, 2,002 Theaters,103 Minutes, Rated R for language, drug content, sexuality/nudity, and some violence-all involving teens, Rotten Tomatoes rating at press time: 90% Fresh [69 Reviews]): It’s a depressing sign of getting older when films show a nostalgia for an era you have complete cognizant memory of. I could opt out of the abundant amount of 1980s nostalgia because I only turned 8 when the decade began. The early part of the 80s is a hazy, foggy blur to me. The 90s? Well, I was completely and utterly aware of that decade. And every time I hear Nirvana on an oldies channel, a part of me dies.
Nineties nostalgia plays a part in this film, as a unique bonding element for three socially awkward teens in present day Inglewood, California. Their love of the MTV Raps generation pretty much consigns them into never being cool. However, a chance invite to an underground party gives them the opportunity to see how the hipper half lives.
It’s the classic coming of age story told from a fresh and unique perspective. I just wish it didn’t make me feel so old in the process.