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Reviews for June 19th, 2015

The Ark of Mr. Chow

Directed by Xiao Yang


Number of times I checked my watch: 1
Released by China Lion Entertainment.
Opens at AMC Empire 25.


Directed by Rick Famuyiwa


Number of times I checked my watch: 0
Released by Open Road Films.
Opens in select theaters.

Infinitely Polar Bear

Directed by Maya Forbes


Number of times I checked my watch: 1
Released by Sony Pictures Classics.
Opens at Landmark Sunshine Cinema and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

Inside Out

Directed by Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen

      11-year-old Riley (voice of Kaitlyn Dias) lives happily with her mother (voice of Diane Lane) and father (voice of Kyle MacLachlan) in Minneapolis. She and her family soon move to all the way to San Francisco where her father starts a new job. Inside her head, there's Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Bill Hader) and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling). As Riley has a hard time adjusting to living in a new city, her mixed emotions concurrently struggle to keep Joy from continuing to be the dominant feeling in her mind. Joy and Sadness go on an adventure together as they're ejected from headquarters and must find their way back to the control room before Sadness, Anger and Disgust wreak havoc.

      Smart, funny, thrilling, imaginative, inspired and exhilarating, Inside Out is everything you want a Pixar movie to be, and more. At its core, it has a heartwarming story about a pre-teen going through an emotionally complex moment in her life which anyone can relate to. In other words, she's experiencing what everyone experiences to a certain degree around that age: the mixed, confusing emotions of growing up. That relatability and universality helps to ground the film in humanism. Everything that goes on inside Riley's head feels real, and the same can be said for the brief (and quite witty/humorous) glimpses into the mind of her mother and father. The adventure that Joy and Sadness end up going through are filled with thrills, poignancy and even some clever surprises none of which will be spoiled here. Just like in any truly great animated film, there are many moments for both adults and children to be entertained by and to cherish.

      While the animation certainly looks beautiful and dazzling while providing for plenty of eye candy, the real triumph of Inside Out is that its heart, mind and soul remain intact from start to finish. This is the kind of film that you'll probably love on very different level when you see it an another stage of your life. There's something for everyone to take away from its lessons about the complexities of our emotions and memories, and how it's natural for happiness to come with sadness and other healthy emotions that shouldn't be suppressed. Prepare to be thinking about and discussing Inside Out for a long time after watching it. You might even find it to be therapeutic. At an ideal running time of 94 minutes, Inside Out is destined to become a new animated classic, and it's a potent reminder that we're living a Golden Age of Animation. Preceding the film, there's a very sweet animated musical short entitled Lava, directed by James Ford Murphy, about volcanoes in love.

Number of times I checked my watch: 0
Released by Walt Disney Pictures.
Opens nationwide.
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