“Incredibles 2”: Further Feats of the Fantastic Five

Incredibles 2!

The expressions every time Emily Blunt gets top billing over some quote-unquote “A-list” dude.

Writer/director Brad Bird’s 2004 The Incredibles remains one of my all-time favorite Pixar films, and not just because it was about superheroes. I could relate to a film about an aging guy who considers himself talented but thinks he should be doing something better with his life, but whose family had much more important concerns than his, and everyone has to dive deep into their conflicts but come out all the stronger for it as a unit. And a film where there are spectacular chase scenes. And just so happens to draw on seventy years of mainstream super-hero culture.

Fourteen years later Incredibles 2 brings back Bird and the family to pick up where they left off. But are the viewers in the same place fourteen years later?

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“Tomorrowland”: By Science For Science

Tomorrowland!

As Tomorrowland transports you from the real world to the unreal, the music swells and swears you’ve never seen this kind of breathtaking cityscape before, except in Thor, The Fifth Element, the Star Wars prequels, the last several Final Fantasy sequels, the Ratchet and Clank series, the richer planets on Firefly, Jupiter Ascending, Futurama

The trailers for Tomorrowland didn’t do much for me, but the name of director Brad Bird is on my ever-shrinking short-list of creators who commands my automatic attention with each new work. I count The Iron Giant and The Incredibles among my favorite films, “Krusty Gets Busted” as my all-time favorite Simpsons episode, Ratatouille as an underrated gem in Pixar’s back catalog, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol as the rare fourth film in a series that tops the first two. The Tomorrowland trailer could’ve been two minutes of Brad Bird filling out tax forms and I would’ve penciled it into my calendar.

And then I went and saw it.

One of my online cohorts called it “the worst thing Brad Bird’s ever done”. I feel like that’s a phrase that should never exist and everything he shoots should turn into an alchemical blend of gold stars and platinum A-pluses and bubbly magic dust. I refuse to complete this paragraph with “Well, this had to happen sooner or later,” because, no, it didn’t have to happen.

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