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PCR # 241  (Vol. 5, No. 45)  This edition is for the week of November 1--7, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Incredibles"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Four stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

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Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar     
Starring the voices of: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee and Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by: Brad Bird
Rated: PG
Running Time: 1 hour 55 mins

Look out Shrek! If you had asked me a week ago what film I thought was a shoo in for the Best Animated Film Academy Award for this year I would have bet the farm on "Shrek 2." What a difference a week makes. With the upcoming "Polar Express" and "The Incredibles" in the mix, I have to say the big green guy is going to be in for a fight.

Created by the makers of such great films like "Finding Nemo" and the "Toy Story" movies, "The Incredibles" matches an excellent story line with mind boggling animation work and easily earns a spot right next to it's predecessors. Our story begins with the various adventures of several popular super heroes: Elastigirl (Hunter), Frozone (Jackson) and, of course, Mr. Incredible (Nelson). As they go about their daily duties of keeping the world safe they earn the love and admiration of everyone. In fact, Mr. Incredible has acquired a kind of tag along partner, Buddy (Lee), who seems to show up wherever the big man is needed. Despite his attempts to dissuade Buddy from his actions, Mr. Incredible grows increasingly flustered. "You're not affiliated with me!" he yells at one point, causing Buddy to skulk off in a huff. Soon, Mr. Incredible and the rest find themselves forced into retirement thanks to the frivolous lawsuits that are increasingly filed against them by the people they have tried to help. Slipping into his "secret identity" of Bob Parr, mild mannered insurance adjuster is not easy for "Mr. I." Neither is married life to Helen, the former Elastigirl. Both were forced into the Superhero Protection Program and now find themselves, fifteen years later, with three kids and a very boring life. But when a new evil doer rears his head, Bob and family must brush off the dust of retirement and return to action.

It would be quite easy to say this is one of the best animated films ever. But it is more then that. "The Incredibles" can proudly stand alongside "Superman the Movie" and Sam Raimi's "Spiderman" films as one of the best super hero films ever. Pixar has built a reputation of developing stories that would translate just as well to live action.. When Bob attempts to put on his super suit after 15 years and 50 pounds have passed or when Helen worries about how her butt now looks clad in spandex, you can relate to them as if you were watching Craig T. Nelson or Holly Hunter on the screen. The vocal performances transcend the animation and keep you emotionally glued to the story. That's not to say the animation isn't spectacular. I marveled at the water in "Finding Nemo." But the majority of that film was UNDER the water. Here, waterfalls, oceans, even the way water beads off of the characters costumes are breathtaking. I caught myself several times mumbling "wow" to myself at some of the visual magic. It truly is amazing in how it is all achieved. And, as has been an additional treat with the Pixar films, there is a great short entitled "Boundin'" preceding the movie so make sure you get there on time. I made a promise to myself not to use the word "incredible" in this review. So let me just say that "The Incredibles" is.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "The Incredibles"  Four stars

This week's movie review of "The Incredibles" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.