Incredibles 2

I guess all bets are off when Pixar does a sequel. Think "Cars 2" and "Toy Story 3" (...sob..). Here we are 14 years later (they point this out in a little introduction done by the actors), no one is older, but unemployment looms (superheroes are still illegal). Helen/Elastigirl is offered a job, so Bob/Mr. Incredible agrees to be a house husband.

Oscar-winning writer/director Brad Bird ("Ratatouille") once again takes the helm, so we know we are in highly capable hands as we happily allow ourselves to revisit the Parr family in another Pixar-animated bit of PG-rated magic.

Part of Bird's brilliant cast:
  • Craig T. Nelson ("Book Club") Bob/Mr. Incredible does his best with their youngsters, but Violet is a tween with all THAT implies, Dash needs help with his homework (New Math!), and Jack Jack is pure unlimited potential.
  • Holly Hunter ("The Big Sick") Helen/Elastigirl enjoys being away from the house and is delighted to help boost the image of superheroes so they can become legal again. The Pixar artists have captured Hunter's mouth so perfectly it's hard to believe it's animation.
  • Samuel L. Jackson ("The Hitman's Bodyguard") Lucius/Frozone turns up at the right time. He modestly tells one character, "You're my biggest fan!"
  • Bob Odenkirk ("Better Call Saul") Winston is an enthusiastic advocate for superheroes, he wants to make them legal again; "We've got resources, lobbyists and insurance."
  • Catherine Keener ("Get Out") Evelyn invents stuff; her brother Winston is in marketing.
  • Jonathan Banks ("Breaking Bad") Someone tells Rick, "Ya want out of a hole, ya better put down the shovel!"
The villain of this one is a creature called the Screenslaver who uses hypnotic glasses to make his victims do his bidding. To me that is almost incidental. Once again I was awed by Pixar's dazzling artistry: look at those waffles, watch that raccoon, and again, see Elastigirl speak!

By the way, the screening I attended included a charming Asian short called "Bao." Don't miss it.
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See what I mean:
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Ocean's 8

Paroled felon Debbie and (the late?) Danny Ocean are siblings. Hmmmm... Can we detect any family traits?

So what have we here: A high-end target? The New York City Met Gala (the theme is the jewelry of European royalty)! Resourceful friends? Look at the cast! Clever heist? This has an "Ocean's 11" reputation to uphold! A treat to the eye? Director Gary Ross ("Hunger Games") knows how to show women at their best. Furthermore, this PG-13 production has women using their brains, motor skills and experience, NOT their sex appeal. What a refreshing treat.

Let's look at part of this huge (beautiful) cast:
  • Sandra Bullock ("Gravity") Debbie Ocean has worked on an idea for over five years, so all she has to do now is convince the parole board, and her friends, and Cartier... By the way, Bullock's fluent German proves that she spoke it as a child with her mother.
  • Cate Blanchett ("Thor: Ragnarok") Lou knows that when you're drunk enough, your drink will taste like vodka.
  • Anne Hathaway ("The Intern") Daphne is fine as long as she is the center of attention.
  • Rihanna ("Bates Motel") Nine Ball can count on her little sister when the chips are down.
  • Awkwafina ("Crazy Rich Asians") Constance impresses us with her skills. Every con has its pros.
  • Helena Bonham Carter ("The Crown") Fashion designer Rose is not a relic, she's iconic.
  • Sarah Paulson ("12 Years a Slave") Tammy tells her little one, "Mommy has a very special job."
  • Mindy Kaling ("A Wrinkle in Time") Amita can do wonders with jewelry.
  • Richard Armitage ("Castlevania") Claude is here? The ego has landed!
This high-end, elegantly dressed production offers a satisfyingly complex heist, celebrity faces (pay attention!), and a generous serving of wit. These women are determined to prove that Crime DOES Pay.

By the way, the diligent young manager at the theater where the screening was held provided excellent service above and beyond what I usually receive when I need a closed caption device. Way to go, Jeff!
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Take a peek:
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