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The Incredibles

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I wouldn't say I was "alarmed" by the violence, but I do remember thinking it went beyond Saturday-morning fare, definitely. Enemies crashing into trees and exploding -- and therefore dying -- are all well and good in a Star Wars movie, which is all about the violence and the fun thereof, but for a Disney cartoon, I can see why it might have pushed some boundaries for some people. (And then there's the back story with all those superheroes being killed.)

Heck, even for a superhero movie, the violence might have seemed a little much. (In the classic mold of, say, Superman, villains are meant to be apprehended, not eliminated.) But if you see the film as a giant riff on James Bond, as I did (note the music, the production design, etc.), then the violence definitely fits.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Due to all the noise around here, we generally watch our movies with the subtitles on, and thanks to having the text spelled out on our screen, I just noticed two details that had never really registered with me before (or if they did, I forgot):

One: When Edna describes rattles off the list of superheroes who were killed by their capes, she gives specific dates for at least two of them -- in '57 and '58. And Mr. Incredible's reply seems to indicate that he knew these people. So when does the movie itself take place? I know the STYLE of the movie, visually and musically, has a strong '60s element, but it never occurred to me before to think that the movie might actually be SET during that decade. Is there anything in this film that would point to it taking place in a later decade? I can't remember.

Two: When Mr. Incredible's plane approaches the island, the computer says something about the weather being good in "Nomanisan" space. So this island is called Nomanisan... as in Nomanisan Island... as in No Man Is An Island. Cute.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Fantastic catch on the latter, PTC. Wow...


That's just how eye roll.

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Coincidentally I caught this yesterday as well with our 3.75 year old. I still love it, she found the climax a little much but otherwise enjoyed it.

I also found myself wondering about the chronology because everything about the opening sequence suggests it's set in the 50s-60s (plus the dates as you say), but the main body of the film is "15 years later", which would make it 1984 at the latest. But most of the elemnts in the main part of the film suggest it is at least 90s, and probably early noughties. There's the technology, Violet's clothes / look, the cubicled office, language, etc. and probably 100 little details.

Didn't catch "Nomanisan" though. Do you think Buddy named that after Mr I rejected him, or is that considering it too much?

Matt

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MattPage wrote:

: I also found myself wondering about the chronology because everything about the opening sequence suggests it's set in the 50s-60s (plus the dates as you say), but the main body of the film is "15 years later", which would make it 1984 at the latest. But most of the elemnts in the main part of the film suggest it is at least 90s, and probably early noughties. There's the technology, Violet's clothes / look, the cubicled office, language, etc. and probably 100 little details.

I don't know about the clothes or the language, but as far as the cubicles are concerned, there's a quasi-famous shot in Tron which shows Bruce Boxleitner's character working in a cubicle, and there is a SEA of cubicles behind him; I remember my dad pointing out that the cubicles were a matte shot, and that the matte shot wasn't perfectly aligned because you could see a slight movement between the two elements of the frame.

tron-28-office-cubicles.jpg

So, the cubicled workforce was already something that people were commenting on in films of the early '80s.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I asked SDG if he would be willing to contribute a 10 Years Later piece on The Incredibles, and he graciously said yes. Here it is

 

It may seem odd, but the way the characters argue is among the film’s most striking achievements. Family members in other Hollywood animated films—even good ones like Brave, How to Train Your Dragon and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs—argue like family-film characters hitting overly familiar beats. The characters in The Incredibles argue like flesh-and-blood human beings who love each other, but come with different baggage and different blind spots.

 

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Thanks, Jeff. 

Btw, I have tentative plans for retrospective considerations of Eternal Sunshine and Troy coming up...so stay tuned.

In one of those coincidences, I was listening to the book The Man Who Lied to His Laptop today while driving. In Chapter One, it was talking about evaluations and making a lot about what research says about feedback coming from a "fixed" perspective (whether critical or laudatory) vs. a growth perspective. It indicated that research showed that while flattery is accepted and is effective at making the recipient like the person, the sort of self-esteem culture of praising everyone that the film pokes is largely ineffective at promoting growth since it makes people (kids especially) even more ineffective at acting on critcism and promotes a fixed sense of identity. (I.e. that people are good at something or not can do it or cant and that cant be changed. So a system of feedback that focuses on the person/ability rather than performance is more likely to create a student/recipient who does not try again when thwarted and may not try at all b/c failure is viewed as threatening to that which, once established (competence/ability) is thought to be unchangeable.

 

Edit: There's some interesting studies at the end of that chapter about how people perceive "critics" (i.e. professional evaluators). In short, the more critical you are, the smarter people think you are; the more praise you do, the more people like you...but the less competent they think you are. (I didn't quite catch it, but I thought he said, too, that if people already don't like you, that switching to praise [not of them...just in general] isn't effective at making them like you more but does still lower their estimation of your intelligence. Hence the stereotype of the critic who is hyper critical to try to show how smart he is actually has some data that that strategy works.

Edited by kenmorefield

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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And now, Disney Pixar ANNOUNCES A SEQUEL!!!


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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