June 19, 2015, - 6:17 pm

Wknd Box Office: Inside Out, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Hunting Elephants

By Debbie Schlussel

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It’s mediocrity city among the new movie releases in theaters today (I did not see “Dope”):







* “Inside Out“: This is the new animated Disney Pixar flick. It’s getting rave reviews from most mainstream media movie critics, but not me. I thought it was more than a little contrived and quite the bore. And it lacked the usual magic and charm that comes with Pixar movies. I thought the story was kind of blah (with the sub rosa agenda of trying to pimp us on girls hockey). And the movie was quite cloying in a very saccharine way. The animation is fine, but not that spectacular. In fact, it’s kinda dull compared with previous Disney Pixar animation. It’s supposed to be funny, and it did have a few funny lines that made me laugh. But it wasn’t non-stop comedy. In fact, some of it is kind of depressing.

I thought the plot line and devices were interesting and I was expecting to like this movie. But the idea was better than the execution (and the movie trailer). The movie is cheesy and filled with lulls and silliness than interesting.

The story: a young teen girl who is very good at hockey must move away from her native Minnesota with her parents. Once they are in their new location, her father has problems paying the bills. And the girl has problems in hockey and with friends, and is depressed and upset. She decides to run away. Meanwhile, the various feelings (sadness, joy, etc.) inside her head are debating, competing, and also working together to try to help her. They are embodied by different characters, voiced by Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, etc. These characters work inside a giant storage facility that keeps the girl’s memories and has several islands or amusement parks that stand for the various aspects of her life: family, sports, goofiness, etc. When the girl gets depressed and contemplates running away, the islands begin collapsing and disappearing and her memories start turning blue (for sadness). The various feelings are trying to save her and the islands.

Like I said, it’s kind of silly and contrived. And, despite the hype and excessive praise, it’s a letdown given previous Pixar fare. Nothing truly offensive about it (though there is one scene in which bleeping happens, which seemed inappropriate for a kids’ film). I left this feeling underwhelmed.

Though the target for this is supposed to be kids, it is probably aimed at their parents, too. I’m sure the kids will like it and then forget about it very quickly.

HALF A REAGAN
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “I’ll See You in My Dreams“: I have mixed feelings about this film, starring Blythe Danner a/k/a “Mom of Gwyneth (Paltrow)” as a senior citizen widow who enters the dating scene. At first it was a relaxing and slightly funny movie. I laughed a few times, but then it just gets depressing and never stops. And abruptly it ends. I felt it was manipulative at times and for no apparent reason or point. Also, we learn in the movie that Danner’s husband died 20 years ago. And, yet, there is no explanation for why she suddenly, just now, has decided to start dating men. The movie focuses on Danner’s relationships with three sets of people: other female seniors who are friends with her, Sam Elliott whom she meets and begins to date, and a much younger, aimless pool boy, who seems to enjoy her platonic company.

Not a feel good movie. Not even close. Not terribly bad or anything. Just pointless and not something I’d spend ten bucks or more to see.

HALF A MARX

Watch the trailer . . .

* “Hunting Elephants“: I hated this movie. It’s a bank robbery caper movie, which means it should be entertaining. It’s a comedy, which means it should be funny. But, with a few brief exceptions, it is neither of these. Instead, it is the typical drivel that comes out of Israel’s Hollywood, which is even more far left and hateful of its home country than America’s Hollywood. The movie is also unnecessarily funny, to the point of grossness, and it’s very juvenile. You don’t need to be a prude to be annoyed by this movie.

The story: an Israeli teen boy who has a stutter and no friends loses his father to a heart attack. The father was a security guard at a bank and died there one night. So, the boy’s mother, in need of money and someone to watch the boy, contacts her father-in-law (the boy’s grandfather), a man with whom she hasn’t spoken in well over a decade. She seeks the man’s help and, eventually, the two become close. The grandfather was a member of the Irgun, the Jewish “underground,” and is not only a filthy man, but a jerk. His wife, an English woman, is in a coma. Her brother, played by Patrick Stewart, is a failed English actor in need of a lot of money to buy the rights to a play he is producing. Stewart is very anti-Israel and hates Jews. His father headed British police in pre-Israel Palestine. Stewart is the stuttering teen’s great-uncle, whom he’s never met. Soon, the boy convinces his grandfather, British great-uncle, and some of the grandfather’s friends at a nursing home to rob the bank, where the boy’s father was the security guard. All of them need money, and they believe the robbery will solve their financial problems.

There were a few funny lines in this, but mostly it was stupid and slow moving, not to mention anti-Israel, needlessly dirty, and a complete waste of time. In Hebrew and English, with English subtitles.

TWO MARXES PLUS AN ARAFAT
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Watch the trailer . . .

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5 Responses

Thanks for the heads up on Hunting Elephants. At first I though this was some sort of remake or retread of a 1979 film by Martin Brest called Going in Style about three old men in their twilight years who decide to rob a bank to add some excitement to their lives. That film, starring George Burns, Lee Strasberg, and Art Carney–three legendary figures in show business–was funny and moving at the same time.

Ralph Adamo on June 19, 2015 at 7:26 pm

“Hunting Elephant” casts a window into the sick soul of Israeli Hollywood, which is even more loathsome than its American counterpart.

They’re run by selfish, debased, arrogant snobs who happen to hate Judaism and Israel. Its not even funny but they deserve our ridicule.

Israel’s new Culture Minister Miri Regev said this week she won’t fund their “work” and if they want to defame Israel, they can do it on their own time and on their own dime.

Israel’s culture sewer isn’t just worthy of the greatness of the world’s one and only Jewish State. Let’s hope it gets better.

NormanF on June 19, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Yeah, the only comedy worth the price of a ticket so far in 2015 has been “Spy” with the previously god-awful one-note fat actress, Melissa McCarthy, of all surprises. I actually consider it a comedy classic, along with “Wedding Crashers”, “Airplane!”, “This Is Spinal Tap!”, “Office Space” and anything Monty Python and Charlie Chaplin.

Sorry to hear Pixar doesn’t quite live up to it’s reputation with “Inside/Out”.

Robo on June 19, 2015 at 9:12 pm

love reading your movie reviews debbie ..they are better
than the movie previews ..

bob e on June 26, 2015 at 3:36 am

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