Coming to the Procrastinator

Inside Out

5/5 Stars

What if your emotional state-of-being hinged on the competency of free-willed creatures living inside your brain? Or, to put it in a slightly less insidious manner: what if your emotions had feelings of their own? You’d have one heck of a movie plot, that’s for sure. “Inside Out” follows a pre-teen girl named Riley adjusting to a move to San Francisco. Her emotions, personified by little creatures inside of her brain (and the brains of all characters in the film), are working overtime to keep her happy. However, when Joy and Sadness are lost from Headquarters, the other emotions — Fear, Disgust and Anger — are left in control. The film follows Joy and Sadness as they try to find their way back home, while simultaneously following Riley’s journey from childhood to emotionally complex individual.

“Inside Out” represents a return to form for Pixar, who lost their footing somewhere between “Brave” and “Cars 2.” But where those movies floundered, “Inside Out” soars, creating a luscious world and dynamic story out of the seemingly mundane. Hilarious, heartwarming, and incredibly relatable, “Inside Out” is an absolute must-see.

 

The Gift

4/5 Stars

Joel Edgerton wrote, directed and starred in this genre-bending thriller that received nearly unanimous rave-reviews. A married couple’s fairly conventional lives are turned on their heads when a mysterious acquaintance from the husband’s past arrives and starts giving the couple gifts. His motives unclear and their shared past shrouded in mystery, “The Gift” weaves a tale of sinister secrets and horrible consequences.

If that sounded a little vague, it should — the less you know about the details of “The Gift,” the better. The satisfaction of “The Gift” lies in its twists and turns, which come at a fiery, world-shattering pace. And for those of you who hear the word “thriller,” and think, “Could I not have my intelligence insulted today?” then this is the film for you. “The Gift” is smart enough to give the genre a good name, and it’s got enough bite to keep you entertained. Definitely worth a watch.

 

Trainwreck

2 ½ / 5 Stars

“Trainwreck”’s title refers to its protagonist, but it could also refer to the film itself. Well, maybe “Passably Mediocre” would be more appropriate.  “Trainwreck” follows the story of a woman exceedingly cynical with respect to monogamy — one-night-stands are a many-night occasion, but anything approaching a genuine relationship is to be avoided at all costs. That is, until she meets a congenial sports doctor who gives her all the feels. Suddenly, our commitment-phobic protagonist is faced with a potential lifestyle change, and the ensuing conflict is the focus of the film.

“Trainwreck” is sporadically funny but suffers from a conflict of visions. Directed by Judd Apatow (“The 40-Year Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up”) and written by (and starring) comedy it-girl Amy Schumer, “Trainwreck” can’t quite decide what it wants to be. On the one hand, it’s a trailblazing raunchy comedy (a funny lady in the lead? Whoo!), but on the other, it’s a borderline formulaic rom-com. Uneven but reasonably entertaining, this is a film you might like but probably won’t love.