Tag Archives: Pixar

‘Incredibles 2’: What parents need to know (for The Buffalo News)

My latest Buffalo News parents’ guide looks at the fun, as-good-as-the-original “Incredibles 2.”

In the pantheon of Pixar films, 2004’s “The Incredibles” ranks highly for both kids and adults. So the audience for the sequel to the family superhero smash, “Incredibles 2,” should include just about everyone. Happily, all are in for a treat. “Incredibles 2” may lack the originality of the original, but amps up the action and proves to be tremendously entertaining.

Pixar sequels can be very good (“Toy Story 2,” “Toy Story 3,” “Finding Dory”) or very meh (“Monsters University,” “Cars 2,” “Cars 3”). But with Brad Bird back behind the camera and the stellar returning voice cast (Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell), “Incredibles 2” counts as a real winner.

What’s the storyline? The super-powered Parr family — Bob (Mr. Incredible), Helen (Elastigirl), Dash, Violet and baby Jack-Jack — are given a chance to make superheroes re-accepted by society. While Helen battles a strange villain known as the Screenslaver, Bob attempts to deal with the kids, including newly powerful Jack-Jack.

What’s the rating? “Incredibles 2” is rated PG for action sequences and some brief mild language. It must be noted that there are some very intense moments. Specifically, one rather creepy fight sequence between Helen and the Screenslaver involves rather obnoxious (but very cool-looking) flashing lights; it was the only part of the film that annoyed my 7-year-old.

What’s the ideal viewing age? With a running time of 118 minutes and some dark moments, “Incredibles 2” is best for ages 6 and up. Like my son, they’ll be particularly enamored with the hilariously out-of-control Jack-Jack.

Will my little one sit through it? Oh yes. “Incredibles 2” is a blast of action and humor, and sure to be one of summer 2018’s best. Pixar has come through once again with film that will entertain the whole family. That’s an achievement worth celebrating.

Is there anything else parents need to consider? It’s worth noting that pre-feature short film “Bao,” a strange story of a mother and her dumpling baby (you read that correctly), features a rather shocking occurrence that might scare younger children. If they make it to the end of the short, they’ll find a happy-ish ending. However, they may never look at a dumpling the same way again.

Wednesday Round-Up: Zod, Pixar, Critic-Bashing, and Brigitte Nielsen (of course)


If you’re searching for film-related articles this week there’s a very good chance you’re reading about “Man of Steel,” which opens in theaters this Friday. And that’s where we kick off this week’s round-up:

  • The great Playlist ranks the Superman films from worst to best, and it’s hard to disagree with their list. I’ve pondered watching “Superman Returns” again one of these days, since I recall not hating it, in fact, rather liking. But I feel as if I cannot remember a single scene, and that means … something. (It could just mean I’m losing brain cells as I age.) It will be interesting to see where we’ll all rank “Man of Steel” on this list, and whether or not it will breathe new life into Krypton’s favorite son.
  • Incidentally, I am most intrigued by “Man of Steel”’s villain, Zod, played by the great Michael Shannon. I am dying to see his take on the iconic character; when I interviewed him for The Playlist back in 2011, he discussed his take on the Zod, and his respect for actor Terrence Stamp: “I found his performance so powerful that I would be overwhelmed by it if I tried to incorporate it into what I’m doing. There’s no reason to try and replicate it, because it’s perfect the way it is. I’m just trying to go down a different road with it; the script’s a little bit different than the original script. It’s going to have a different look and feel to it, visually. I’m looking forward to really settling into it, and playing with it.”
  • I could probably make these Wednesday round-ups include only Indiewire articles; every week, I’m impressed by the sheer number of interesting articles posted on the network of sites. Here is one from a favorite of mine, Eric Kohn, on Pixar’s upcoming “Monsters University.” I’ve spent a lot of time on Pixar lately, since my son’s favorite movie (today, at least) is “Toy Story 2.” I have not seen “Brave,” yet, but it certainly does seem as if Pixar is in a bit of a rut.
  • And one more from Indiewire, a pretty fascinating look at “critic bashing.”
  • If you follow movie news sites closely, you know Nikki Finke, and this is the latest news on … Well, I’m not sure what’s going on.
  • Life magazine features vintage photos of American drive-ins.
  • Will a film featuring an, um, wildly diverse cast that includes the late David Carradine, Brigitte Nielsen, Kerry Washington, Jeff Fahey, Steve Guttenberg, and Michael Madsen, and narrated by Peter O’Toole ever get released? And should we care?
  • I’ve been meaning to put together an “Upstream Color” feature for weeks, and I will, soon. Here is one of many insightful looks at the film, from the L.A. Review of Books.
  • Lastly, one of my favorite writers on film, and one who lives and works in Buffalo, Girish Shambu, takes on the concept of “vulgar auteurism.” Great comments here, too.

As always, these links are more can be found on my Twitter page, Twitter.com/FilmSwoon.
Michael Shannon photo from Warner Bros.’ “Man of Steel,” found on tgdaily.com.