Inside Out (2015)

Released: June 19, 2015. Directed by: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen. Starring: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black. Runtime: 1 hr., 34 min.

The human mind is a complex thing to dissect. Trying to figure it out and portray it as a comprehensive subject to children, while also making it entertaining for adults seemed to pose to a challenge for Pixar with their latest film “Inside Out.”

And boy, do they do it well. It starts with a question of if we ever wonder what goes on in people’s heads. That’s a question that seems to spark the film’s premise – branching into an original and charming animated feature, where we follow 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and the five primary emotions in her head.

The concept honestly portrays the ups and downs of what an 11-year-old girl’s emotions might be like at a sensitive time in her life – uprooted from her home in Minnesota to a different San Francisco.

The reasoning for the emotions, or lack thereof, is when Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and Joy (Amy Poehler) get sucked into a tube while trying to save core memories.

The tube’s purpose is to ship the day’s memories to long-term memory. Joy and Sadness have to adventure back to headquarters to make Riley happy again.

An interesting concept is that Riley’s core memories power parts of Riley’s personality – called personality islands. They include Hockey, Friendship, Family, Honesty and Goofball. With these hanging in the balance, the stakes complement the narrative with a compelling quality.

The controlling emotions left in headquarters are the hot-head Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). Disgust is so nasty, by the way, she is shaped like a piece of broccoli. Their conflicting attitudes make for some funny scenes and their not-so-delightful attitudes make Riley snippy.

I think the film adds insight to how certain emotional problems start. Since Riley is so snippy, it makes me think that’s how mood swings are triggered. And when Joy and Sadness leave, that’s how you become unlikable – or if the personality islands start to crumble and you become emotionless, that’s how you become a psychopath like Dexter.

My favourite thing created in this world was probably Dream Productions, which puts on little television shows as Riley’s dreams. It’s like her slumber Hollywood. It’s cool. Pixar’s creative new world is something you’d probably envision as a kid, because imagination is so much fun. I think that’s why this is attractive to kids, but also entertaining for adults. The beautiful poignancy at play and the film’s heartfelt narrative could sporadically offers chills, as well as tears, throughout.

The characterization in the film is also great. Riley’s natural reactions and the way she is portrayed is so realistic, she feels like someone you would know. I thought the casting for the emotions was pitch perfect, and their conflicting opinions made for awesome good-spirited humour. The film’s message of not always having to be happy to live a joyful life is also lovely.

Lewis Black’s comedic delivery is anger, and his character is like an everyday dad who reads the newspaper every morning, which has a lot of clever headlines of what’s going on in Riley’s life. Bill Hader has a delivery that suits fear; he’s that one guy who is afraid on his own shadow.

Mindy Kaling’s sarcastic delivery matches her emotion of disgust very well. Amy Poehler’s likable personality and happy-go-lucky delivery is also very entertaining. I thought Phyllis Smith was born to play Sadness, being the most convincing out of the five. The character is like a gentle aunt who wears turtlenecks. Richard Kind offers a delightful performance as Riley’s imaginary friend called Bing Bong. If a man would have played Joy, Richard’s surname certainly could have helped win him the job.

Score: 95/100

Peep World review

Peep World

Release Date: March 25, 2011

Director: Barry W. Blaustein

Stars: Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson

Runtime: 79 min

Tagline: All your family’s dirty little secrets. Now a #1 Best Seller.

The real attraction of this film for me was that it had a pretty sweet cast, including Michael C. Hall, Rainn Wilson and Sarah Silverman. I caught this on TV and didn’t know a thing about it before I watched it, so I really had no expectations. Let’s just say, it’s bad even if you don’t have any expectations at all; there’s really not any impressive material here.

If you look it as as a family drama, maybe you’ll like it. As I look back at this I can only remember one laugh, so to me that’s hardly a successful comedy by any means. It’s not even worth the 80 minutes of my time. The acting talents don’t bring anything great to the table and the plot is quite silly (a family becomes outraged after a sibling writes a bestselling book about their very embarrassing and scandalous personal family life).

I wouldn’t watch it again and I couldn’t recommend it to anyone I like. It’s about as predictable as the odds of you predicting you’re going to wake up the next day. It isn’t ground breaking at all, the characters aren’t really likeable and the only funny gag is a guy not being able to get his boner down (that I can remember). It doesn’t work as a vulgar comedy nor as a family drama (which it felt like rather than a comedy), and doesn’t bring anything special to either genre. Peep World is a failed comedy with nice talents like Sarah Silverman, Michael C. Hall, Rainn Wilson, Kate Mara and Judy Greer.
Unfortunately, C. Hall couldn’t show a comedic side with this poorly written screenplay. If you want to see it for him, just watch Gamer – that isn’t too bad.

Peep World is a film that doesn’t have to be seen, it’ll be disappointing if you have expectations. Even Lewis Black’s narration of the feature couldn’t help this film. If memory serves me correctly, it was a real waste of time, even for a film that was eighty minutes.


– Daniel Prinn