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251. Up (#123)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, this week with special guests Deirdre Molumby and Brian Lloyd, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT.

This time, marking the passing of Ed Asner, Pete Docter’s Up.

Carl Fredricksen is a widower who finds himself facing the end of a modest life in the small house that he once shared with the love of his life. When it looks like what little remains of that life migth be disturbed and destroyed, Carl decides to embark on the one last adventure that he never got to take with his beloved life: a trip to mysterious “Paradise Falls”, without leaving his home.

At time of recording, it was ranked 123rd on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: Soul

Soul is ambitious and well-crafted.

If Onward had been positioned as the populist Pixar film this year, then Soul is a counterproint. It is a prestige piece for the company, something similar to Inside Out or Wall-E. After all, Soul is the latest project from Pete Docter. Docter has been part of the Pixar brain trust since its earliest days, even working on the stories for Toy Story and Toy Story 2. However, Docter’s most recent high-profile work has been his scripting and directing duties on Up and Inside Out, two Pixar films to have been nominated for Best Picture and to win Best Animated Feature.

The afterlife and all that jazz.

The premise of Soul is suitably abstract. Joe Gardner is a music teacher who always dreamed of being a successful stage musician. One day, a former student gets in contact with him, offering a gig with jazz legend Dorethea Williams. Joe manages to land the gig, and is convinced that his fortunes are about to change for good. Naturally, dramatic irony strikes, and Joe finds himself sent to the afterlife. Refusing to accept that his life is over, Joe commits to doing whatever it takes to get back to Earth and live his dream. “I’m not dying today,” he vows. “Not when my life just started.”

Soul deals with very big ideas in a remarkably clever way. The film creates a compelling and fascinating imaginary world that recalls both Riley’s internal life from Inside Out and even the afterlife depicted in Coco. Docter also uses the story as a meditation on weighty subject matter like death, dreams and disillusionment. It’s bold and striking, and the film largely works as a showcase for the company’s imagination. However, Soul does stumble slightly in its final act, pulling its punches ever so slightly as the film reaches its denouement.

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29. Inside Out (#128)

Do you ever look at someone and wonder, “What is going on inside their head?”

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a fortnightly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every second Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode between them.

This time, Pete Docter’s Inside Out.

Featuring the anthropomorphised personalities of five distinct emotions, Inside Out invites its audience to step inside the mind of an eleven year girl and see how it ticks. Riley has just moved across the country with her family as her father takes on a new job, forcing “Joy” to work overtime to maintain her sunny disposition. However, as “Sadness” begins to creep in around the edges, maintaining that optimism may prove a challenge.

At time of recording, it was ranked the 128th best movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

podcast-insideout

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See the Aborted Monsters Inc. 2 Trailer…

I’m a sucker for all things Pixar, so when this turned up on-line, I thought I would share it. Basically, it’s a trailer for the original planned Monsters Inc. 2: Trouble in Scaradise movie that was in development at the company few years back. It’s apparently radically different from the iteration of Monsters Inc. 2 that we will see hitting our screens next year, but the writers of the original film found some concept art that had been prepared for their draft of the film, and decided to give us a taste of what their version of the film might have looked like. I think it was interesting, but it does seem a little close to Toy Story 3 (with a child abandoning the objects of their fantasy), but perhaps I’m too harsh. Give it a look below.