It was maybe a mistake to watch this right after Mission: Impossible, but it was fun to see the characters again, and I’ll probably appreciate it more after a rewatch. The movie makes a big surprise deal out of baby Jack-Jack’s powers even though they were revealed in both the original movie and the Jack-Jack Attack short, and it’s obvious that the casually-mentioned tech-genius sister of the telecom company president is gonna turn out to be Screenslaver (the anti-superhero TV-mind-control supervillain), and Edna Mode is kinda pried in there, and the whole plot where the townspeople are made to think superheroes are actually bad then they have to redeem themselves is played out, and the whole plot where mom gets a cool job and dad has trouble managing the domestic life is really played out.

The short before the feature was Bao by Inside Out story artist Domee Shi, about a woman who relives the joys and pains of raising a son through her dumplings. This and Sanjay’s Super Team join Coco in the new ranks of culturally interesting Pixar movies.

Another installment of the consistently high-quality series, the best thing Tom Cruise has ever gotten himself involved with. He escapes from prison, climbs the highest building in the world with malfunctioning suction gloves (a much better use of Dubai than in Sex & The City 2), gets into so many car accidents, sneaks into the Kremlin (all you need is a fake mustache) and stops a nuclear missile from destroying San Francisco.

Jeremy Renner is a spy-turned-accountant-turned-spy with a dark past (he failed to protect Ethan’s wife from getting killed by foreign agents), Simon Pegg is the comic-relief tech spy with an awesome rear-projection screen used to fool a Kremlin guard into thinking a spy-infested hallway is empty, and Paula Patton is the sex-appeal spy who gets to kick the enemy spy (Lea Seydoux, Mysteries of Lisbon) who murdered her boyfriend (Josh Holloway) out of a 300-story window.

Ving Rhames gets a cameo at the end, and Tom Cruise’s wife is still alive if anyone gives a shit about that. Brad Bird knows how to plan an action scene and shoot it coherently, and that’s really all we wanted.

“Why do they do it, Snitter? I’m not a bad dog.”

I didn’t have any more horror movies handy on my laptop, so since it was Shocktober (actually Shocktember – I started early) I picked the non-horror movie with the most horrific title… Plague Dogs!

Same team as Watership Down, but not nearly as popular due to its reputation of being as depressing as Grave of the Fireflies. I wouldn’t go that far, but the story isn’t a heartwarming one. Black Snitter (voiced by John Hurt a couple years after The Elephant Man) and brown-and-white Rowf (TV’s Christopher Benjamin) escape from a cruel animal testing lab, wherein Snitter is regularly drowned then revived, and little Rowf receives brain experiments (he wears a cap to cover scars atop his head). Out in the wild they tenuously befriend a fox (James Bolam of O Lucky Man!) who helps them find (hunt) food. But rumors spread among the townsfolk that the dogs who have been eating their sheep and chickens (I know it’s a rural location, but is TV/radio news really so slow that they have daily stories on two escaped dogs that have been “terrorizing sheep”?) are infected with bubonic plague (no evidence that’s true) so lab personnel hunt them down.

from watery grave:

to watery grave:

Good animation, especially the movement of the animals. We get good little side plots, like Rowf’s tendency to accidentally kill people, making it more than just a story to bum out animal-rights activists. Maybe I’m inhuman (or incanine) but I didn’t find it to be the most depressing movie. I didn’t find Colossal Youth or The Cranes Are Flying depressing either, but In Praise of Love and The Hangover I did. The most depressing kind of movie isn’t a sad one, it’s a crappy one.

“You’re a bit thin for someone who likes food.”
“I don’t like food; I love it. If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow it.”

Another top-notch excellent film from Brad Bird and Pixar.

Some gripping action sequences, like when our hero first ventures into the restaurant and hops from cart to cart to floor to table. Perfect image, not as consciously stylized as The Incredibles of course. Great story + characters, satisfactory ending. What more could a rat desire?

I liked the miniature, fat imaginary chef that would appear to Remy and lead him places… but of course the power was within Remy all along, making the chef a sort of Yoda to Remy’s Luke.

“100% Genuine Animation! No motion capture or any other performance shortcuts were used in the production of this film.”