Review by Gordon Justesen
Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Elizabeth Pena,
Director: Brad Bird
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, French Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Features: See Review
Length: 115 Minutes
Release Date: March 15, 2005
WAS TOTALLY WICKED!"
realm of computer animated films has been perhaps the most competitive film
market amongst the studios. Disney and Pixar Studios paved the way with 1995's Toy
Story, and since then, other studios such as DreamWorks (Shrek),
Fox (Ice Age) and even Warner Bros. (The
Polar Express), have offered their own impressive features. However, nothing
more confirmed Disney and Pixar's reign of the market than last year's
astonishing smash, The Incredibles.
Not only does it
represent the most state of the art animation that has yet to be captured on
screen, but this is also the edgiest animated film to emerge from any studio. It
is a family film, but it also happens to contain some of the most mind blowing
action and effects of any recent action adventure movie. Believe me when I tell
you that, in terms of hero movies, this one even gives Spider-Man
2 a run for its money.
In addition, the
movie carries a sharp, more mature tone in its humor and story than any animated
film I've ever seen. It is perhaps the first film of its kind that plays like a
regular live action movie would. It also acquires a lengthier running time of
115 minutes, creating a more epic feel.
You simply have to
hand it to the film's writer/director, Brad Bird (the director of the heavily
underrated The Iron Giant); he is a
filmmaker of extraordinary imagination. He definitely knows a thing or two about
comic book super heroes, and all the elements and cliches that go along with
them. He has taken this and woven together an outstanding adventure comedy about
heroes forced into retirement, only to be forced back into the business.
The story begins
with the introduction of Mr. Incredible/aka Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson), whose
daily doings of saving the world come with assistance in the form of Elastigirl/Helen
(Holly Hunter) and Frozone/Lucius (Samuel L. Jackson). However, unwanted rescues
and various citizen injuries help to call for a boycott of all heroes with
secret identities. As a result, their secret identity can be their ONLY
Fifteen years pass,
Bob and Helen are married with three kids in tow. Bob, however, is increasingly
depressed by his job at an insurance company, where he's forced to tell clients
he can't help them, making him miss the old days even more. He yearns for it so
bad that some nights, he and Lucius listen to the police scanner in order to
secretly aid the cops, while telling his wife that their going bowling.
Then one night, Bob
gets a secret invitation from a mysterious individual. It regards the
possibility of returning to his superhero roots. It results in a trap set up by
a new nemesis named Syndrome (Jason Lee), who has a personal bitter taste for
Before long, Helen
is suspecting that her husband is up to something. She is soon confronted with
the truth of where Bob is, and is then confronted by eccentric suit designer
Edna (voiced by Brad Bird, himself). Edna has a knack for creating unique
costumes, as long as no capes are involved (something that is explained in a
fantastically funny sequence.)
reassumes her Elastigirl identity, with a hero suit that would make J. Lo
jealous, and runs to her husband's rescue, The
Incredibles turns into a non stop ride of breathtaking action sequences.
What's more, every following action scene seems to outdo the previous one,
something that is hardly ever accomplished.
I haven't even
mentioned the children in the family. Young son Dash (Spencer Fox) has
incomparable speed capabilities, while daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell) is able to
disappear and create protective force fields. Then there's baby Jack-Jack, whose
capabilities I'll leave for you to discover.
Without a doubt, The
Incredibles is the finest achievement yet from Pixar, and I seriously think
it will be for quite some time. Never before has state of the art computer
animation been put to such extravagant use. This is a movie that works on so
many levels, and I think will go down as the top animated film of the decade.
Keep in mind,
though, that I have yet to see The Polar
Express, so I'll have to wait to see if that comment holds up! For now,
families and film lovers alike owe it to themselves to discover, or re-discover,
this marvelous cinematic accomplishment.
In a word...INCREDIBLE!
There was no doubt in my mind that Disney would produce a magnificent piece of
digital video, but let it be known that this is one of the most breathtaking
presentations you will ever come across. The anamorphic picture is brought to
life through a digital to digital transfer, just like Finding
Nemo was. Each individual shot provides its own amazing quality. All around
detail is at a format high, and colors are nothing short of monumental. Full
screen version is available separately, but if you want the full visual effect,
you should only opt for this version.
The 5.1 EX mix is
perhaps the most outstanding sound mix I've heard on a non-DTS format. This is a
movie that provides every possible ingredient for a fantastic sound
presentation, and the mix does it, how shall I say...INCREDIBLE justice. Action
is played out in jaw-dropping, channel rocking form, spoken words are strong and
clear, and the lively music score is tremendously delivered. A pure home theater
reference disc if there ever was one!
A lot of work went
into this movie, and Disney's stunning 2-Disc delivers the best set of features
I've seen so far this year.
Disc One contains
two commentary tracks; one with writer/director Brad Bird, and the second with
various members of the animation team.
Disc Two includes
extensive material, including two shorts; the new "Jack-Jack Attack" and the
Pixar short "Boundin" which was featured in the movie's theatrical run. Also
included are bloopers/outtakes, deleted scenes and an alternate opening, top
secret files on all of the super characters with optional character commentary,
and close to two hours of behind the scenes footage.
Both discs include
an introduction by Brad Bird.