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BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

First viewing of Soul

I like it. It's not the best, but I'd say it's in the upper half of Pixar films.

The art, music and voices were great (especially the synth-y music as well as the jazz music.... I loved the great before synths).

My biggest qualms have mostly been touched on.
It felt a little... too loosely structured and didn't quite build up to a solid resolution at the end. I totally get the ending sentiment of "love every moment of life" but it felt like they were VERY strongly hinting at the teacher/mentor angle - especially with the trombone student and then.... it felt like a misdirect almost. Not a deal breaker, but just not a neat bow on everything. But like I mention below, it doesn't stop me from maybe placing it above Inside Out. Because while I feel IO is the much more expertly crafted movie... I just like the risks this one takes sometimes.

The art and style of the great before and the transition times (as well as accompanying music) are loving stellar and I wish it leaned on these more. They are *so good.*

The cat body swap poo poo is bad. Like goddamnit. I love Tina Fey with a passion, but what this movie didn't need was a goddamn white savior and this STILL tried to do it. I feel like this segment, which feels incredibly out of place, was some executive bullshit problem solving of a problem that didn't exist late in the game. It just feels tacked on almost and kind of betrays the tone of the rest of the movie.

The music, jazz and great beyond synths were amazing, sound design was fantastic (loved the "make a trade" creepiness) and the physicality and rendering was spot on. I loved the touches of realism given to the musical movements during the Dorothy scenes. Those didn't feel caricatured. They felt real and fast and sweaty like good jazz.

Onward was bad. Like... real bad (I love the sentiment at the end of the moral being the brother needed to really say goodbye but the rest of the movie was terrible). And this one had me, despite my grievances, immediately wanting to watch it again and re-experience things as well as feel like I needed to get a handle on other things. So I think that definitely makes it successful in my book. Almost my entire family stayed attentive the whole time so it clearly had *something* going for it.

Hopefully we get a full exploration of a POC story soon (that doesn't rely on stereotype or cultural mythos).



Alan Smithee posted:


that was literally how they wanted you to read it


Yeah it's just a literal timeline (that is relatable to the viewer) so people can get a sense of how long they'll be there. Anything else is just a bit of projection.

I mean I do think the jokes could have been written better... but it's not a commentary on the historical figures themselves.

Pick posted:

I didn't like Inside Out whatsoever but it's the better version of Soul. They're also extremely similar movies.

I love Inside Out... and it's the better made version of Soul... it's more concise and structured. But I think I might like Soul better. I'll see after the second watch.

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BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Pick posted:

I agree, Soul is a big step up from Onward. I'd put it below Inside Out, which frankly I didn't like, but well above Onward, which is a profoundly "Secret Life of Pets 2" level forgettable film with no sense of scale. I was about to say that Onward was a "Sony-esque" film, but Sony's now done some really good film (their visuals have always been stellar, back to Surf's Up, but I tend to think of them as perfunctory in the story department).

We watch Disney+ a lot here and occasionally put on Onward from time to time when it's suggested. I'm just really surprised it got *that* far being that forgettable and bad.

I mean hell, The Good Dinosaur did an almost full reset at nearly 80% completion because they realized it just. wasn't. working. And they got one of my favorite Pixar movies out of that effort (granted it took a couple of viewings before I really felt it... but I love it now).

How did Onward go from start to finish like that? Geez.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Hawkperson posted:

To Soul's credit (music discussion, not story spoilers, but it kind of necessarily mentions characters and scenes? idk I'll spoiler it to be safe) they did a whole hell of a lot of work on the music stuff. The saxophone stuff is Tia Fuller and they very faithfully recreated her sax down to the specific ligature she uses. The piano-playing shots are Jon Batiste's hands and as someone who has watched far too much Colbert during quarantine, it's very clearly his hands and his unique piano playing style. I'm super curious to know if they had Fuller and Batiste play together for Joe's audition and if they also surprised Batiste to make it realistic (the "wait what are we playing?? ok I guess I'll use my ears" stuff).

The intro and the middle school band stuff are also literally a middle school band, the nerd band director groups I'm in are all aflutter about it and that band director has been actively sharing tidbits about how recording went. He said they did a "good" version and then the version you actually hear over the castle. I really want to know what their good version sounds like to compare it to my middle school band lmao. Disney has a performing arts field trip where they let the kids have a try at recording movie music so I actually have a recording of my band playing it too haha. I hope they add some of the music from Soul to the field trip music rotation, that would be super cool.

It was definitely a joy to see musicians in an animated thing holding and playing their instruments correctly AND having the music match what they're doing, it's sooooooo rare. Also, they clearly consulted a middle school band director for the middle school band scenes. Kid laying across the chair because they forgot their instrument being a saxophone player is 1000000% fact


Yeah everything musical in soul was A+

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

FunkyAl posted:

People seem pretty touchy about animation being perceived as for kids, but I think at least Toy Story 4 should be. Toys, surely, must be for kids.

I just cannot fathom a 27 year old, somehow having never seen a previous Pixar film, deciding to go watch Toy Story 4 for whatever reason... And then deducing their entire opinion of Pixar films based off of that. Completely divorced of the multitudes of critical acclaim and billions upon billions of dollars in box office revenue

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Pick posted:

revenues are good. good movies makes renevous

What?

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Looper posted:

i could pretty easily see someone going to check out the latest pixar flick and deciding that studio isn't for them. after incredibles 2 i don't really have any interest in seeing their work anymore

I guess my point is that, if I'm checking a studio out for the first time (one that regardless of how rote they are now has a large collection of well liked films), I'm probably not going to pick *just* the fourth film in a franchise that is long in the tooth to make my sole decision off of.

Just seems setting yourself up to not like it.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Yeah I don't really get excited about Pixar anymore. Feels like they can't really take risks (I feel like the more exciting parts about soul were cut short... Probably by committee).

They need to slow down and get smaller. Too much of a machine at this point.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

theblackw0lf posted:

If you look at Pixar’s output, most of their best work was written either by Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, Wall-E) or Pete Docter (Up, Inside Out, now Soul). And of course Brad Bird. So the talent is still there. I think the decline is more about them bringing in other writers who’s work hasn’t been as strong. Brave, Onward and the Cars series were all written by other writers. Coco seems to be the only one not written by the three I mentioned that was really beloved.

Brave is great!

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Barudak posted:

Im probably not going to watch Soul because Jazz is a thematic element to it. Across all the instruments I played Jazz was the carob of music.

Jazz is a part of soul but it's very melodic jazz and completely inoffensive. It's also only half of the music themes. The rest is this synth abstract stuff and it's awesome.

I def don't hate jazz but I'm pretty indifferent to it. It's not going to even remotely ruin the movie for anyone.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

The_Doctor posted:

Alright, finished Soul. Pretty good, and definitely angling more towards an adult market while still being kid friendly. Top notch music throughout, from both the score by Reznor/Ross (who have been knocking it out of the park with everything they’ve done lately) and the jazz pieces from Jon Batiste. In some ways they’re more transcendent than the some of the plot beats.



Ha poo poo... for some reason I hadn't gotten around to checking out who did the non-Jazz portions of the score. Of *course* it was Reznor/Ross. Yeah they kill it.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Yeah not liking jazz is one thing but actively avoiding it because of jazz is probably some thinly veiled racism as well.

Those folks probably didn't avoid Whiplash bc he was trying to become a jazz drummer.

Anyway, the black culture stuff was great and I just want an animated film set in that world that doesn't have some need to be magical and go somewhere else.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

22 was fine as a concept (although like most mentioned - Tina Feye just didn't really add anything) and would have passed by rather unnoticed ... except they just *had* to do the body swap. Ugh. Without that scene (or just having 22 in the cat so her first worldly experience was a cat) the movie would be miles better. I don't think it's malicious, but just remarkably tone deaf and surely somebody from their trust would have brought that up?

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Onward's payoff is legit. But it feels like that was someone's initial concept thought that it was never about him, but rather his quest to help his brother say goodbye and that everything else was just ill thoughtout filler to get up to that point. Almost none of the jokes were funny nor characters really relatable. Like... whoa dude... BIKER FAIRIES! It's so funny cuz like... they're SMALL but acting big!

It was just very junior level writing. But the last 10 minutes were almost worth it.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Neither of those were cool. I've seen it like 5 times now and it's just... all. so. forgettable.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Hedrigall posted:

Why watch it 5 times if you don’t like it

This probably will seem obvious, but:

Kids.

edit: Also I love watching movies with my kids and we watch tons of animated movies. *tons*. And Onward is one of the very few I find it so hard to get through. But then weep like a baby at the end.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

perepelki posted:

it's one of my paintings, a tribute to the small pointy elves that rule my life



Very cool. Do you have other paintings online and/or things for sale?

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Pick posted:

I think Paranorman is the best-looking because it's not quite so smooth it looks like CGI. By the time of Boxtrolls, which I have other issues with, and definitely by Kubo, it's almost too close to CGI so you've missed the point.

Yeah I don't like how they got too good at it. I mean kudos for the effort... It is no easy feat. But Missing Link is so CG like that the effort becomes hidden from the viewer.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

FunkyAl posted:

I also just thought it was boring though, paranorman and coraline have more going on cinematically, better stories. Corpse Bride is also kind of amazing especially since they shot it with consumer dslrs. This one, I couldn't pinpoint a strong visual idea or art direction, which despite the weaknesses of the last couple ain't something I would say about any of those.

I haven't even seen more than like 20 minutes of it ha. My daughter *loves* Coraline and Paranorman - she used to be obsessed with them when she was 4 and 5. Boxtrolls to some extent. But she bounced right off of Missing Link.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Some tiny extra thoughts on Soul after seeing it at least another 30 times. My 18 month old is for some reason entranced with it.


I didn't notice it the first time, but when Joe is at the You Seminar and they're explaining the Spark, Jerry starts to say "and just what is the spark?" and then right then - as I presume he gives a slightly more detailed explanation that would have spared Joe the misunderstanding - Joe starts daydreaming about saving the day and getting back to earth. He snaps back just as Jerry finishes up. Lol.

Also when Terry tells the main Jerry that the count's off and she says "that hasn't happened for centuries."... is that a Jesus joke? Cracked me up.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Darth TNT posted:

I'll never understand how the Minion managed to get popular from Despicable Me. The movie isn't about them, they don't do a lot of insane hijinks. The silliest thing is probably the shopping trip, which ultimately serves to underscore the kids more then them. Yet somehow that translated to Minions spin off!

I'm guessing you aren't familiar with kids and how their brains work?

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Ghost Leviathan posted:

The minions were the main point of merchandising from the movie, I figured, and it steamrolled from there.

Yeah. They're small bright yellow funny gibberish spouting prat-falling but sometimes sentimental characters. I mean kids *eat that poo poo up.* It was an absolute no brainer.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Robindaybird posted:

Yeah, kids like Minions okay, but it's the wine moms on facebook that really consume it - it's as someone else said they're the New Tweety.

That is so loving strange. I haven't seen that. Why the hell did that happen?

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Secret of Kells is great, Song of the Sea might be the best animated movie ever made.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Hedrigall posted:

It’s coming to D+ same deal as Mulan, so like $30

Interesting that it and Mulan are considered premium and worth charging for, but Soul wasn’t

Could have something to do with Pixar

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Yeah it looks beautiful - i wasn't quite into it until the second half the of the trailer. I'm always down for some girls kickin' rear end with no princes in sight

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

My biggest problem with that trailer on second rewatch - the con baby section is not funny at all and it's the first 35 seconds of the trailer

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

galenanorth posted:

Paddington was a really good movie, the CGI on the bears was great, and the jokes like "Taxi" on the sliding door of a van folding out to "Taxidermist" were great. These kinds of movies are so much better than they were in the 2000s, e.g. Horton Hears A Who and Yogi Bear, which were inexplicably filled with toilet humor and pop culture references no one born since the 1970s would care for

Both Paddington's are really great but goddamnit I can't seem to convince ANY of my friends (even those with kids) to watch them.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Earwig has a CG quality just slightly above garbage US episodic shows. It is not good. Could have been serviceable if the story was any good... But... Welp.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Cemetry Gator posted:

I didn't feel as if the animation was so bad, I think the main thing it was missing was exaggeration. The characters' faces never distort to highten emotion. I think that's why Thomas the cat and the Mandrake are actually interesting visually, because they have features that get exaggerated and are fun to look at.

I really feel like I could spend a while dismantling the film. There's a lot of things they could have done, but didn't.

Yeah it wasn't that it was like.. just so egregiously bad. More that it was so middle of the road, that I can't understand how anybody thought that was up to standards for a Ghibli release.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

The_Doctor posted:

Wanna help fund some animation? Sure you do!



Backed!

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

NieR Occomata posted:

The final minute of Soul is sort of ruinous in how badly it bobbles the ending.

The problem boils down to the fact that the entire thematic arc of the movie boils down to Joe realizing that the thing he had built his entire life around was this hollow, self-destructive and ultimately kind of quixotic quest to validate a life that was made around a singular goal, a singular focus that once he achieves he ultimately ends up rejecting. Further, he realizes that the people and things he has sacrificed at the altar of his own personal validation has made him into kind of a lovely dude and thus the final act of the film is him realizing that he, one, has to redeem himself, which he does, and to come to the realization that what he truly enjoyed being was a teacher and to lift up and validate others.

So then we come to the final minute of the film, where Joe has completed his redemption arc and is now more or less where he started, but with the knowledge that what actually intellectually satisfies and validates him is teaching and guiding others. The obvious conclusion to this is to turn Joe into one of the pre-life teachers or at least a mentor.

The problem with having that ending is that it backhandedly argues that suicide is, in fact, the solution to your problems, so they have to give Joe his life back because otherwise it has some Bad Implications. This despite the fact that giving Joe his life back sort of invalidates his redemption arc in the first place and as a ending to the movie as written doesn’t make any sense.

That’s the fundamental issue with Soul. It is a movie with an ending that doesn’t make logical, thematic, or narrative sense as written but is quite literally the only solution they could realistically go with that doesn’t end up subtextually arguing to commit suicide.

I don't think Joe's take-away was supposed to be he truly enjoys being a teacher and mentor. That merely swaps one goal/purpose for another. It was just that life was made up of millions of small moments (some of those involved his teaching and mentorship, others involved watching fireworks and writing a bike). And that it's ok to just enjoy life and not grind yourself to salt in pursuit of a purpose you're made to feel is important to you.

It's interesting to see all these takes on Soul because, merits of the film aside, I thought it's moral was very crystal clearly that you didn't have to have a purpose to just enjoy life. I'm not trying to be condescending, but it just seemed really spelled out. But obviously I guess it isn't.

I do think your suicide angle is a real stretch here though.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Hawkperson posted:

I think they also realized it was a very bad look to have their first Black main character’s arc to be “gave up his life so a middle aged white lady could enjoy hers”

Oh that's a HUGE misstep (and I only left it out because we discussed it a bunch in this thread back when the movie first aired).

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Owlofcreamcheese posted:

I feel like “I found my life’s calling! It was teaching instead!” Is exactly what I mean. They actually had a new moral (your life’s purpose isn’t one singular thing like a job, it’s liking and doing things, big and small) and everyone wish they ditched that and took the same moral everything else does.

But his life's purpose wasn't teaching? Your wording is a little confusing though so I can't tell if that is what you're arguing.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Owlofcreamcheese posted:

I think that is the moral though. People are told from birth that happiness comes from achieving a singular purpose. That the value of a soul is it's ability to find it's one true calling (and particularly to make money off it) and a soul is incomplete without that.

The moral of the movie is that actually that isn't anything, no one has a purpose, eating a good slice of pizza today can make you happy and you don't need to wait to be happy until you find your "spark". It even went out of it's way to show he really did have a literally transcendent ability with jazz, but it still wasn't his "purpose" and in fact showed people that chased that flow too much grew obsessed and became nonfunctional monsters, because it's just one part of a life to be good at something. Like there was the whole scene with the vet/barber. He wasn't "meant" to be a barber, he would still have rather been a vet, but it didn't happen and he made his peace and had found a new source of happiness and there was no calling about any of it, for either thing.

And at the end Jerry literally asks what he'll do with his life and he says "I don't know."

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Robindaybird posted:

I still maintain the whole Zing thing feels like a stupid, tacked on thing and has the nasty idea of 'oh you have ONE true love' when you know, Dracula having the realization that his overprotectiveness and prejudice had hurt and alienated his daughter would've been a more natural realization.

Isn't the realization that there is no "one" true Zing the plot of the third?

As for those movies, they aren't great... but the 2nd was the first animated movie my then 3 year old ever latched on to. So I have a soft spot for them.

2 was good.
1 was ok.
3 was bad.

Not holdin' out hope for 4.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Y'all suck, The Good Dinosaur is good.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

Terrifying Effigies posted:

The Good Dinosaur mood:



I honest to god think I laughed out loud at that more than anything. I mean it got an instant belly laugh.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

MinionOfCthulhu posted:

Explain because I just saw it and unless I missed something, it was actually quite bad

It's tough because since my kids loved it I have seen it like 40 or 50 times literally.

I did not like it at first.

But now I've come to just like the slow pace, scenery, music and just... Quietude of it all. It definitely feels built out of pieces meant for something else at times, but it just strikes a chord for me. I wouldn't say it's their best by any stretch but repeated viewings does help.

It's just chill.

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

My favorite crowd experience was the first Jackass in theatres. My god what a good time.

I don't mind crowds getting into it in Marvel movies or whatever. But most theater experiences are ruined by just continual constant loving chatting during the movie and phoning. It's not the fun things that ruin it.

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BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

I like going to the movies, but with kids and other stuff it's like a once or twice a year thing for us. It's nice to be able to have the option.

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