Sunday, November 21st, 2004

I Guess You Could Call It Superpowers

I walked out of The Incredibles last night with the same warm feeling of geek validation that I usually only have from seeing an excellent adaptation of classic material, even though it’s technically an original story. An obvious riff on the Fantastic Four super-hero family dynamic, The Incrdibles pulls off the rare feat of being simultaneously classic and modern.

With the bright, colourful costumes, simple powers and killer robots. there’s a real Golden Age-esque that never gets ironic or campy. The humour is typically Pixar, often understated and subtle (though there are a number of laugh-out-loud sequences), it keeps a grin on the audience’s face through the sheer sense of fun on the screen rather than in-your-face jokes. It also remains enthralling for its entire almost-two hour running time, which is epic-length for an animated feature.

While much of the praise as always goes to Pixar’s animation house, the real strengths of the film (as with all their features thus far) are in the writing and voice acting. I maintain that if The Incredibles‘ had been done in traditional cell animation, it’d still be an exceptional piece of film (though it’d probably still be in production for the next ten years). Craig T Nelson and Holly Hunter are both marvelous as the parents of the titular super-powered brood. Nelson in particular perfectly captures the square-jawed hero sound, kinda like Patrick Warburton without being quite so over the top.

And to get back to the animation for a moment, it’s as exceptional as always. To my memory, this is Pixar’s first film that doesn’t feature anthropomorphisized inanimate objects (read: the first one featuring real people), even if they are exagerratedly comic book-y. The end product looks like superb claymation, so convincing is the three-dimensionality and texturing of the Incredibles’ world. And they had the best CGI hair since Final Fantasy. It’s mind boggling that with each new film, Pixar consistently betters their past work, and not by just a little. Of course, having seen the lacklustre trailer for Cars before the film, I’m banking on that trend to end next November.

So yes, great movie. And it nteresting that they used the name ‘Elasti-Girl’ despite it being a character in DC’s Doom Patrol. I dunno, elastic-powered superheroes have always creeped me out. Mr Fantastic, Elongated Man, Plastic Man… that’s just gross.

And as a perfect comic book-movie chaser, there’s three new episodes of Justice League Unlimited available on bit torrent that haven’t even aired on television yet. Wonder Twins? Ach! The Warren Ellis-scripted episode in particular, “Dark Heart”, has some great dialogue.

And back to the Fantastic Four tangent for a moment, here’s a pic of Julian McMahon in costume as Dr. Doom.

np – Liz Phair / Exile In Guyville

By : Frank Yang at 10:17 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Rachel says:

    "And they had the best CGI hair since Final Fantasy" –uh Frank? Dude, next time, don’t mention the hair. We’ve talked about this. Now I actually want to see the movie. I didn’t before. Pixar should pay you to review for them.

  2. Justin says:

    This movie is right up there with "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" for best movie of the year so far. "Spider-Man 2" right behind, of course.

  3. graig says:

    Actually, those three episodes of JLU have aired already on YTV. I watched the Warren Ellis one last week, the "Superfriends" spoof the week before (I loved the fake Samurai, Wonder Twins, Apache Chief and Black Vulcan… what no faux Gleek?), and this Friday’s saw the return of Hawkgirl and Solomon Grundy.

    I don’t know how YTV got a step ahead of the curve but somehow they did.

  4. Frank says:

    I’ve been using Cartoon Network’s broadcast schedule to figure out when I should go bit torrenting new JLU episodes. Imagine my surprise to find three new ones! They had better give this season a full DVD release, none of this lame 2- or 3-episode sets like for the last couple seasons.

    "The monkey watches"