Archive for Frozone

Incredibles 2

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Family, Movie Reviews, Pixar, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Three months following Syndrome’s defeat, the Parr family – Bob, Helen, Dash, Violet and Jack-Jack – continue operating under their superhero identity, the Incredibles. After unsuccessfully preventing the villain Underminer from robbing Metroville Bank, the authorities become concerned over the level of damage caused by the incident. As a result, Rick Dicker informs the Parr family that his department’s “Super Relocation” program is being shut down, forcing supers across the world to permanently adhere to their secret identities. Soon thereafter, Bob and Helen, along with family friend Lucius Best – the superhero Frozone – are contacted by Winston Deavor, a superhero fan, telecommunications tycoon, and owner of DEVTECH, who proposes a publicity stunt to regain the general public’s support of supers.

Helen Parr, considered the least-destructive of the supers, is selected to undertake the stunt by openly fighting crime in New Urbrem, under her old identity of Elastigirl. As part of the plan, Winston provides the family with a new home, to which Bob offers to take care of the kids while Helen is away. During her absence, Bob discovers that Jack-Jack has various super powers, but struggles with controlling the family’s infant. Seeking help, Bob takes Jack-Jack to Edna Mode, a family friend and superhero-costume designer, who agrees to help upon seeing the baby’s superpowers in action. Helen meanwhile confronts the Screenslaver – a mysterious villain who hijacks screens in order to project hypnotic images that can brainwash civilians.

After rescuing an ambassador from the Screenslaver’s clutches, she manages to defeat him, only to find that he is no more than a pizza delivery man, who has no recollection of what he did. While attending a celebration of the Screenslaver’s defeat at the Deavor’s, Helen realizes that the pizza delivery man was being controlled by hypno-screens within his goggles. Before she can alert anyone to this, Winston’s sister Evelyn Deavor overpowers her and brainwashes her with Screenslaver’s goggles glasses. Evelyn reveals herself to be the mastermind behind the Screenslaver – seeing supers as a threat to humanity’s independence, she sought to undermine her brother’s mission, and plans to brainwash the world’s leaders so that they cannot re-legalize superheroes. Evelyn then manages to lure Bob and Lucius into a trap, and place them under her control with brainwashing glasses.

Avoiding the same fate as their parents, Dash, Violet, and Jack-Jack, whom Edna had outfitted with a super-suit, sneak aboard the Deavor’s ship to rescue their parents, as the world leaders meet for a hearing on supers. After freeing their parents and Lucius, the group reveal Evelyn’s plan to the assembled leaders. A battle on the boat ensues, threatening to crash the ship into New Urbrem. However, the group manage to stop it, while Helen apprehends Evelyn when she tries to make an escape. Following the incident, the Supers Relocation Program is reinstated in response to the group’s heroism, making supers legal once again.

REVIEW:

There have been some long-awaited films to be released in the past 12 months including, but not limited to Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Star Wars : The Last Jedi, etc. None of these come anywhere near the anticipation for Incredibles 2. 14 years we have been waiting for this sequel…14 years!!! Will this be worth the wait or a major letdown? Let’s find out!

What is this about?

Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2”–but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life. It’s a tough transition for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again–which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.

What did I like?

Right where we left off. Every now and then we are privy to a sequel for a film that was released some 5, 10, 15 yrs prior. While it is great to see these characters, and in some cases actors, again, the feeling just isn’t the same…even if they move the story forward and age with the actors. The brilliant thing about animation is that these characters don’t age (I read they did think about aging them in an early meeting, though). The only difference in this cast over the past 14 years is the voice of Dash is a different actor, for voice change reasons and the guy that was agent Dicker retired and passed away. Once those holes were filled, it was easy to come in and pick up right where The Incredibles left off. Literally, they pick up in the same scene that ends the first film!

Jack-Jack of all trades. There has been a real emphasis placed on marketing the baby, Jack-Jack. Can you blame them, though? The kid is cute, has a seemingly unending array of powers, and there is a fight with a raccoon that steals the show! If this moves forward with another film, I am interested to see where they go with him and his powers. One theory is that he’ll stop being cute, rebel against the family, and become a supervillain. Meh, I’m not much a fan of that theory, but this kid does need to be reigned in a bit. Strangely enough, he seems to have a rapport with Edna…maybe that will lead to something?

Comedy. Let’s face it, outside of the Guardians of the Galaxy films and Ant-Man, superhero films are serious business (Marvel does throw in jokes here and there, unlike the brooding, depressing DC Universe). I don’t know why, but I was afraid this film was going to go in that direction as well. Instead, there are plenty of jokes to go around. Pixar may be known for tugging on the heartstrings primarily *COUGH* Up *COUGH*, but leave us not forget they know how to make an audience of all ages laugh, too, something they succeed with in spades with the film. Situations with Jack-Jack, Bob learning new math, the character Voyd’s nervousness around Elastigirl, etc. All the jokes land and make for a thoroughly entertaining film.

What didn’t I like?

Feminism. Over the course of this blog’s history, I have made it no secret that I am no fan of feminism. Everyone should have equal rights, sure, but don’t shove your agenda down my throat, or say I am a bad person because I prefer seeing a damsel in distress once in a while. The level of feminism in this film isn’t bra burning, stop shaving your armpits, listen to 90s era lesbian grunge, for lack of a better term…blame the ladies I went to college with…but it does reek of trying to put the focus on Elastigirl and shove her down our throat. I’m ok with that, except for the fact that we for a good chunk of her in the last film. If you wanted to give us some girl power, why not put the focus on Violet, which some of the film was, or make a new super, which they did and i’ll get to her next. Hell, even give some more with Edna, even though she doesn’t have powers, one gets the feeling she could do some damage. All in all, though, in this day and age where is seems to be a crime to be male, let alone a straight male, this film took the easy road and pushed all the guys to the back of the bus.

Voyd the other supers. We saw in the last film that all the supers were killed, either by horrific accidents, which Edna Mode blamed on capes, or by Syndrome’s robots. As one generations falls, another one must rise. Enter a new group of supers. Most are forgettable, tbh, except for Voyd. I have two issues with the new guys. First, all of these powers are what we’ve seen a billion times, electricity (Black Lightning), telekinesis (Jean Gray), super strength (Mr. Incredible), flight (Angel), and the one that did stand out was an old man whose acid reflux allows him to spit lava! *SIGH* Second, Voyd is a great character. Her fangirling over Elastigirl almost made me want her to turn on her, but that would be a rehash of the first film in some respects. I do think they could have dialed her back a bit or given her compatriot supers some more time to develop personalities. I don’t think the electric dude said anything outside of introducing his powers when we first meet him!

Seen it all before. There is a misconception that this is the exact same film, just with the genders reversed. That isn’t the case. For instance, the villain isn’t anywhere near as strong a characters as Syndrome. There is a twist that comes before the last act, which you can probably see coming a mile away, but it doesn’t affect a character like you would think. Elastigirl isn’t hiding her superhero assignment. Blah, blah, blah All that said, there are more things in common with the first film that I would like for there to be, such as the main plot of one going out to be super, while the other stays home and takes care of the kids. If that was done for familiarities sake, then ok, but if it took Brad Bird 14 years to come up with that perfect story, I am highly disappointed.

The Incredibles is my all time favorite Pixar film. I have waited as we have had a sequel, and a prequel, to just about every Pixar film that was released before (and after) 2004. Not all of them have been good, some have been an obvious cash grab, and others were just horrible, but Incredibles 2 delivers. Is it as good as its predecessor? No, but let’s look at the superhero landscape and people’s general attitudes since the original was released. There has been a definite shift. That being said, I highly enjoyed this film and look forward to watching it again, and again, and again. My only real issues are that the Underminer got away and there are now 2 blueprints for how to do a solid Fantastic Four film for whichever studio ends up getting the rights. Do I recommend this? Yes, very highly! Stop reading and watch it multiple times with the whole family!

5 out of 5 stars

Advertisements

The Incredibles

Posted in Movie Reviews, Pixar, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2008 by Mystery Man

 

One of the most original movies to come along in a long time. What happens when superheroes are forced to live a normal life and raise a family?

PLOT:

The film starts during a Golden Age of superheroes, also known to the public as “supers”, when government-sponsored superheroes assist a grateful public with everything from freeing cats stuck in trees to foiling bank robberies. The plot itself begins when Bob Parr, a.k.a. Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), who is gifted with super strength, saves a man attempting a suicide. He then foils a robbery by the villain Bomb Voyage, while being harassed by Buddy Pine (Jason Lee), a young fan who wishes to be his sidekick. When Bomb Voyage plants a bomb on the young would-be superhero, Mr. Incredible manages to dislodge it, but in doing so, causes a train wreck that injures many. He then races to his wedding, where he marries Helen, a.k.a. Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), a dexterous, flexible super. Βoth the suicidal man and the victims of the train wreck sue the superheroes community for prevention of suicide and injuries sustained in these events respectively. As part of the government’s settlement, all superheroes are placed into a government-sponsored protection program similar to witness protection, and forbidden to use their powers for heroism.

The film then jumps 15 years later; Bob and Helen Parr have settled into relatively normal suburban lives raising three kids, Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dashiell (“Dash”) (Spencer Fox) and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile). The children have powers which reflect their personalities; Violet (a shy 15-year-old) has the power of invisibility and the ability to create force fields, while Dash (a hyperactive 10-year-old) has super speed. Jack-Jack appears to be a normal baby without powers. Bob, stuck in a thankless job at a corrupt insurance agency, laments the passage of his superhero glory days. He and his friend Lucius Best, a cryokinetic super and fellow retiree called Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), still occasionally listen to police radios and secretly aid the authorities, much to the consternation of Helen. On one such night, the two are watched by a mysterious white-haired woman. The next day, Bob is called into the office of his unsympathetic boss. As he is receiving a lecture, Bob notices a man getting mugged outside. Bob offers to go help, but his boss threatens to fire him if he does. Enraged, Bob throws his boss through several walls, ironically losing his job anyway.

Upon arriving home, Bob discovers a video message in his briefcase featuring Mirage (Elizabeth Peña), the white-haired woman from before. She appears to know his secret identity, and offers to hire him (at a salary triple that of his current one) to subdue a renegade robot, the Omnidroid 8000, on Nomanisan, an uncharted island. After telling Helen and his family that he is going on a business trip, Mr. Incredible completes the task. Upon returning, Bob finds his life has begun to improve. He begins spending more time with his family and starts to work out more (Bob had become immensely obese due to his years of inactivity). Over the next two months, Bob maintains the image of still being employed, but secretly works out in preparation for his next assignment. One day, Bob notices his super suit had gotten damaged in the Omnidroid battle. He takes the suit to his costumer, Edna Mode (Brad Bird), who instead offers to create a new suit for him and made it clear about the two words she uses: “No capes!” Meanwhile, Helen begins to have doubts and starts to suspect Bob of having an affair.

Bob is again summoned to Nomanisan, but is overpowered by an improved Omnidroid, and encounters Buddy Pine again, now revealing himself to be a psychotic villain and wealthy weapons designer called Syndrome. Buddy had been embittered upon rejection by Mr. Incredible, and wished vengeance upon his former hero. Mr. Incredible escapes and dupes Syndrome into thinking he is dead. He then learns that Syndrome used previous versions of the Omnidroid to kill other supers, and that the device learns and adapts from any previous defeat.

Discovering Bob’s old patched up suit, Helen contacts Edna, who insists she come visit. Edna reveals she’s designed matching super suits for the entire family, and also that each suit has a homing beacon on it. Using this, Helen learns where Bob really is, but her use of the signal device results in Bob’s capture. Reluctantly donning her new super suit, Helen flies a private jet to the island. Nearing the island, she discovers Violet and Dash have stowed away, wearing their own suits. The jet is attacked by missiles from Syndrome’s base, and Helen attempts to evade them, while telling Violet to put a force-field around the plane. Neither are successful, and the plane is destroyed by the missiles. Helen and the children narrowly escape the explosion, and make it to the island.

Helen urges the children to stay hidden in a cave, and pursues Bob herself. However, the cave is found to direct the flames of a rocket, and the children are forced to flee it. Upon being discovered, the children are pursued by Syndrome’s henchmen. Meanwhile, Helen discovers Bob with Mirage, but realizes that Mirage was merely there to rescue Bob from capture (Syndrome had previously allowed Mirage to be used as a hostage by Bob, though Bob had proved too “weak” to kill her). After a brief argument while running through the island, Bob and Helen later meet up with their children, and together impressively take down their pursuers. Syndrome, however, appears and personally takes the family captive. He informs the family of his ultimate plan: unleash the Omnidroid on Metroville, and use his most impressive weapons technologies to stop it, making himself appear to be a superhero. After playing the superhero game for long enough, he would sell his weapons, so everyone could be “super”, thus making the true superheroes less impressive.

Violet is able to release herself and her family from confinement, and the family attempt to return to Metroville to battle the Omnidroid. They find themselves in need of the same kind of rocket used to launch the Omnidroid to Metroville, and Mirage gives them the command codes to operate it. In the city, the Omnidroid “learns” that Syndrome’s remote controls it and blasts it off of Syndrome’s wrist. Shooting one of his rocket boots, Syndrome is knocked unconscious into a building. Bob and his family then arrive and with the help of Frozone, subdue the robot. Returning home, they discover Syndrome attempting to kidnap Jack-Jack, who then flies off to his jet above. Jack-Jack then begins to display a whole slew of powers, causing Syndrome to drop him. Bob then throws Helen to catch Jack-Jack, as well as his car at Syndrome, knocking him into one of the jet’s turbines. Syndrome’s cape is caught in the turbine and he is sucked in, causing the jet to explode; the wreckage falls on the family’s house, but Violet creates a force field to protect them from the falling debris.

Three months later, Bob is now content with their civilian life, Dash controls the use of his powers in track events, and Violet, having found confidence, is asked by her heartthrob on a date. However, a new villain, The Underminer (John Ratzenberger), appears and attacks the city. The family members don their masks, and prepare to fight anew.

REVIEW:

This is without a doubt, my favorite Pixar film, and definitely up there in terms of my all time favorite movie! Words can’t describe how much I love this movie!

First of all, the music is awesome. It brings to mind the jazzy themes of James Bond and the crime serials of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. The character development  and interaction of the family is some of the best writing in cinema I have seen in a long time. Samuel L. Jackson is phenomenal. The animators did a good job of capturing his facial movements.

The only negative thing I have to say is that I would have loved to see a bit more of the other superheroes they mentioned, but that’s a minor personal preference. I think a bigger injustice is that there is no sequel in the works, and the ending sets up one perfectly. Maybe one will happen in the future. Until then, I’m more than happy with this one!

5 out of 5 stars