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DVD Shopping Bag: The Incredibles Blu-ray

Still waiting for something amazing…

By Robert T. Trate     April 19, 2011


The Incredibles arrive on Blu-ray
© Disney/Pixar/Bob Trate

 

Being that this week is Easter our genre titles are a bit thin. I’ll quickly rave about Tom Hooper’s commentary for The King’s Speech,my number one pick of the week. Hooper delivers both an insightful look at his film balanced with technical jargon and historical accuracy. This is a true treat for any film aficionado and fan of the picture. Thankfully, last week supplied us with plenty of genre titles to cover in this week’s DVD Shopping Bag. In case you haven’t noticed Cars 2 is about to take off. There are tons of trailers already and the toys are already filling up the shelves. This is the right time for Disney/ Pixar to do a little cross promoting so they released The Incredibles on Blu-ray. The quick run down of the film is “A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, is forced into action to save the world” (IMDB). Pretty straight forward and pretty dull to boot.
 
The Theatrical Experience:
When The Incredibles was released back in 2004 I knew what Pixar could deliver. I hoped that this too was going to be something special. I was a big fan of their work and Toy Story in particular. The animation in The Incredibles was spectacular. Each and every detail blurred the fact that I was watching a cartoon. Pixar had raised the bar with reflections, dirt, light and above all color. However, as I sat there in the theater, all I could see was the Disney/ Pixar marketing machine setting up another franchise. A franchise complete with toys, a 2D animated series, and theme park rides. I tried to focus on the story but it was one I had read before in actual comic books: heroes fighting the boredom of normal life, heroes facing real world problems, and heroes with domestic issues. Outside of a great score by Michael Giacchino and breath taking animation The Incredibles wasn’t so incredible.
 
The Seven Years In-between:
In those seven years that have passed I found an even greater appreciation for Pixar. WALL-E and UP (see column) have become two of my favorite films where as, Toy Story 3 (see column) was my favorite film of last year. I never journeyed back to The Incredibles yet stuck to my guns about how dull the story was. The animated series never happened. The toys, as well as, the theme park rides were also a given considering who the parent company was. The Incredibles came and went after wining a few Oscars. Despite The Incredibles Pixar established itself, to me any way, as a do no wrong studio. I have since gone back and caught the few films that I missed after The Incredibles. After hearingPete Docter and Bob Peterson speak at the New York Comic Con they solidified it for this critic that a painstaking effort and a great love of storytelling go into everything at Pixar. I thought that perhaps I was too hard on The Incredibles and picked up the Blu-ray last week. 
 
Waiting for something amazing…
All the Supers in The Incredibles’ universeare forced to retire much like a nicer version of the Keene Act in The Watchmen. Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) finally gets what he said he wanted, a family. Though now he longs for adventure like in the days of old. His wife, Elastic Girl (Holly Hunter), never wanted to settle down but has found domestic bliss with her family. A great contrast but does little in the way of surprises. Further more is the shock of their children’s powers. Violet (Sarah Vowell) is as shy as one and can turn invisible. Dashiell (Spencer Fox) can run really fast, and goes by the name Dash. Apparently, Mr. Incredible and Elastic Girl must have the power of foresight and named their children appropriately. I know this is just a children’s tale but Pixar always has found the balance for their audience. My mind quickly began to wonder as my eyes were treated to the beauty of Pixar animation in 1080p. Scenes became story boards and landscapes became paintings. So again I waited, much like the Incredibles’ neighbor, for something amazing to occur. Then it happened again, I started to root for the bad guy.
 
Quick Tangent:
Rooting for the bad guy is a tell tale sign for me that one of two things has happened. The first is I have seen a particular movie one too many times. The best example of which is rooting for Billy Zane in Titanic. The second happens when the lead characters are so dull that I root for the bad guy to end the story, quickly. I actually cheered Jason Isaacs’ Col. William Tavington in The Patriot. Damn, did I want that guy to kill the rest of Mel Gibson’s children in that film.
 
And we’re back…
Syndrome (Jason Lee) is the best part of The Incredibles. He is a self aware villain who even catches himself monologuing. Like all villains he will succumb to his own over confidence but he is the driving force of the film. If Pixar really wanted to tell a different story, an in depth look of life from Syndrome’s point of view would be something. Something far better than Megamind I’m sure (which was DreamWorks). Instead we are forced to see our own monotony through a superhero’s eyes. I can appreciate the fantasy but I am not a superhero and live with that monotony everyday. This obviously isn’t a film for the guy who has read one too many comic books or seen one too many superhero movies. It just lacks that certain spark that has made the Toy Story trilogy, Up and WALL-E classic films. Perhaps in time I’ll give The Incredibles another chance and watch it with my own children. May be it will be better seen through a child’s eyes.
 
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
 
1. The King's Speech [Blu-ray]
2. Kes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
3. The Death Kiss
4. Space Kidettes / Young Samson
5. Tokyo Gore Police [Blu-ray]
 
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
 
Born to Raise Hell Starring Steven Seagal and Darren Shahlavi
Born to Raise Hell [Blu-ray]
 
Chicago Overcoat Starring Frank Vincent, Kathrine Narducci, Mike Starr
 
Code & The Contract [Blu-ray] Starring Morgan Freeman
Deadly Drifter (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Peter Coyote, O-Lan Shepard and Danny Glover
 
Death Collector (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Joseph Cortese, Lou Criscuola and Joe Pesci
 
Ip Man 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Simon Yam and Darren Shahlavi
Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster Collector's Edition
 
Ip Man 2 (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
 
The Last Legion [Blu-ray] Starring Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley and Aishwarya Rai
 
Lone Ranger Compilation
Lone Ranger Double Feature
 
Mortal Kombat [Blu-ray] Starring Christopher Lambert, Robin Shou, Linden Ashby
 
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation [Blu-ray]
 
No Code of Conduct Starring Martin Sheen, Charlie Sheen and Mark Dacascos
Street Kings / Street Kings 2: Motor City [Blu-ray] Starring Ray Liotta, Shawn Hatosy, Clifton Powell and Joe Tinpan
 
Street Kings 2: Motor City Starring Ray Liotta and Charlotte Ross
 
Street Kings 2: Motor City [Blu-ray]
 
Target Of An Assassin (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Anthony Quinn, John Phillip Law and Simon Sabela
 
ANIME
 
Claymore: The Complete Series (Classic) Starring Stephanie Young, Brina Palencia, R. Bruce Elliott
 
Darker Than Black: Complete Season One (Classic) Starring Jason Liebrecht, John Swasey and Kate Oxley
 
Goemon [Blu-ray] Starring Yôsuke Eguchi, Takao Ôsawa and Ryoko Hirosue
 
Goemon
 
One Piece: Season Three, Fifth Voyage Starring Colleen Clinkenbeard, Luci Christian, Eric Vale
 
CARTOONS
 
American Dad!, Vol. 6 Starring Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes
 
Bambi (Two-Disc Diamond Edition) Starring Hardie Albright and Stan Alexander
 
Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui / Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows
 
Captain Planet And The Planeteers: Season One Starring David Coburn, LeVar Burton, Whoopi Goldberg
 
Shaun the Sheep: The Big Chase
 
Space Kidettes / Young Samson Starring Tim Matheson, John Stephenson, Chris Allen
 
CLASSICS
 
The Death Kiss (UK PAL Region 0) Starring David Manners, Adrienne Ames and Bela Lugosi
 
Don Juan Starring Jane Winton, John Roche, Warner Oland and Estelle Taylor
 
Noahs Ark Starring George O'Brien and Dolores Costello
 
Upstairs and Downstairs Starring Michael Craig, Anne Heywood
 
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
 
Gulliver's Travels [Blu-ray] Starring Amanda Peet and Jason Segel
 
Short Circuit 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Fisher Stevens, Michael McKean and Tim Blaney
 
The Stork Club (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Betty Hutton, Barry Fitzgerald and Don DeFore
 
Criterion Collection
 
Kes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Perrie
 
Kes (Criterion Collection)
 
Sweetie (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Genevieve Lemon, Karen Colston, Tom Lycos and Jon Darling
 
HORROR
 
Almost Invisible: The Party's Over When You're Dead! Starring Sara Cole, Jeremy Russell and Sam Navarro
 
Atom Age Vampire (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Alberto Lupo and Susanne Loret
 
Beyond The Darkness: Buio Omega - Blu-ray / DVD Combo Starring Kieran Canter, Cinzia Monreale, Franca Stoppi
 
Bloodsucking Nazi Zombies Starring France Lomey, Jeff Montgomery Manuel Gelin
Breed & Day of the Dead [Blu-ray] Starring Ving Rhames
 
Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice / Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest Starring Terence Knox, Paul Scherrer, Daniel Cerny and Ron Melendez
 
Darkness with Bonus Feature: Lost Souls Starring Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen and Giancarlo Giannini
 
From Dusk Till Dawn with Bonus Feature: Full-Tilt Boogie Starring Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis
Hyenas Starring Christa Campbell, Costas Mandylor, Rudolf Martin
 
Idol Of Evil: Hell Is Forever Starring Richard Cambridge, Adrian Bouchet, Eley Furrell
Miramax Hellraiser Series: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth / Hellraiser IV: Bloodline / Hellraiser V: Inferno / Hellraiser VI: Hellseeker Starring Kevin Bernhardt, Paula Marshall, Bruce Ramsay
 
Miramax Psycho Killer Series: Halloween: H2O / Halloween: Resurrection / Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Meyers / Mother's Boys Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J
 
Phantoms / The Faculty Starring Peter O'Toole, Ben Affleck, Liev Schrieber
 
The Prophecy Triple Feature Starring Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Russell Wong
 
Prehistoric Woman (UK PAL Region 0) Starring Laurette Luez and Allan Nixon
 
Renaissance / Equilibrium Starring Daniel Craig, Catherine McCormack, Jonathan Pryce
 
Stripperland! Starring Daniel Baldwin, Linnea Quigley, Lloyd Kaufman
Tokyo Gore Police [Blu-ray] Starring Eihi Shiina
 
Worst Horror Movie Ever Made
 
Zombie Holocaust [Blu-ray] Starring Ian McCulloch
 
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
 
Pirates of Caribbean: Curse of Black Pearl Starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom
 
Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
 
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Bill Nighy
 
TV LAND
 
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air: The Complete Sixth Season Starring Will Smith, James Avery, Daphne Reid and Alfonso Ribeiro
 
Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles - Seasons 1&2 [Blu-ray] Starring Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau
 
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 11
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ddiaz28 4/19/2011 7:07:09 AM

Wow, I don't think I've ever read anything negative about the Incredibles.  And I have to completely disagree with your statement that it lacks the spark of other Pixar films.  The film's story and visuals excited me all the way through.  It's probably my 2nd or 3rd favorite Pixar film and I'm highly anticipating a sequel at some point.  I'm really excited to finally pick it up on Blu Ray and watch it with my son.  I'll definitely be buying the King's Speech as well.  That was a damn good movie.

karas1 4/19/2011 7:49:34 AM

I think you're being a little hard on The Incredibles.  I thought it was a fine movie, and you do realize that you are not the intended audience.  While perfectly enjoyable for adults, all the kiddies who went to see it were doubless less familiar with super hero cliches than you are. 

Of course, I thought Megamind was pretty cute too.

PappyVanWinkle 4/19/2011 8:14:26 AM

I'm surprised that you found The Incredibles so mediocre except for the artwork.  Familiar story?  Yes but then again, so is almost every other story.  The key thing about Pixar is that they do it so well with great characters.  The Incredibles is one of my favorite Pixar movies.  I really hope they make a sequel.

MrGarabaldi 4/19/2011 8:45:51 AM

Have to agree with everyone here.  This reviewer has lost all credibility.  Even friends and family that are not animation or genre fans LOVED INCREDIBLES.  I find it sad that there is no mention of the entertainment value, which  IMHO was HUGE!  I would love to see a sequel.

Higgy 4/19/2011 10:16:10 AM

Puh...pah...what?!?!  Your review makes me want to unleash my Wolverine like squirrely wrath on you.  The Incredibles is one of the best Pixar movies EVER!  My kids LOVE IT!  You sir...are a hack.  And I mean that with all the love in my heart.

doublec 4/19/2011 10:45:25 AM

Maybe the Slurpee people PAID Mr Trate to take such a contraversial stance. Since the line between news and ads has been broken hear at Mania, EVERY choice they make like this is now suspect. Sad.

goldeneyez 4/19/2011 11:01:53 AM

 I've probably read too many comics myself, and I think The Incredibles is arguably one of the best comic book movies to date and one of Pixar's best pictures to date.  It's ironic that you said they were setting up a franchise.  I wish they were.  We've had two sequels to Toy Story and now one sequel to Cars coming out this summber (anthropomorphized cars works for about 30 seconds in terms of keeping me interested).  I really REALLY wish they would actually make a sequel to The Incredibles.

boxker 4/19/2011 3:30:54 PM

ARE YOU ON CRACK! The incredibles was the shit. It was everything the fantiasitc four should have been.

redhairs99 4/19/2011 5:42:16 PM

Got to agree, Incredibles was damn good and a fun watch.  I too was wondering how Cars has a sequel coming out and a spin-off DVD in Mater's Tales and The Incredibles has neither yet?

Kara, I thought Megamind was enjoyable too.  It's not my favorite CG-Animated film, but it's good for a watch.

boxker 4/20/2011 5:37:09 AM

RedHiars, that is exactly what I was thinking. Until now,  Toy Story was the only Pixar/Disney movie to get a sequel. Now we we've got cars and Monster Inc. ( well, I guess the Monsters Inc. sequel is really a pre-quel) and all before an Incredibles sequel. Ok, I guess I can understand M-inc...but Cars? Reall now.

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