Inside Out (2015) asks and answers the question of sadness

by Banned Library in


What if we had little people running around in our heads directing the action? Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear all pushing buttons. Forcing issues. At least you'd then have someone to blame, right?

    Inside a little girl named Riley are the personifications of the five base emotions. They've grown up with her, formed her personality, and helped her maintain her composure. First among them is Joy. Joy dominates to a degree far above the others, making the best of every situation to the detriment of Sadness.

    Riley's family moves from wintery land (I forget where but there was hockey) to San Francisco. With all the changes, Joy begins to lose control. Forcing the issue, her and Sadness are cast into the mind out of the control room. They must fight their way to get back, finding old imaginary friends and riding trains of thought. The movie's real clever.

    The central theme of the movie is embracing sadness. It sounds like a bad theme, but it works. Throughout the film, Joy forces the issue. Hides behind platitudes and tries to protect old happy memories from turning sad. But then we learn without the sadness, how do we know about the joy? We learn depression is not the absense of happiness or overwhelming sadness, but a shutdown of all emotions. That the most dangerous thing the human mind has to fear is itself.

    Also, it made me care about a goddamn thing monster called Bing Bong. So it's got that going for it.




14. Blackway (2015) Movie Review: Where did this come from?

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When movies get released, they often have some fan fair. Somebody, somewhere, spent money and they are going to damn sure let you know. Except in rare occasions a few big stars get a film and it just fades away.

    Blackway stars Julia Stiles as a waitress in the Pacific Northwest trying to blend in to her mother's hometown after inheriting the house. She's made an enemy of Blackway (Liotta) a former cop now drug kingpin who is stalking her. The police can't help her so she goes to logger Anthony Hopkins for help.

    Yeah, I wrote that description and I don't believe it. This movie forces you to suspend your disbelief that the only part that makes sense is Ray Liotta as a crazy violent nutbag. Julia Stiles still looks like she should be ordering Jason Bourne around rather than waitressing. Anthony Hopkins as a far from a revenge-bent Pacific Northwest logger than I can imagine. And the plot is so simple and straightforward that it becomes a slow, boring slog by the end.

    Should you watch this movie? Yeah, why not. Another lazy Sunday afternoon hangover movie, the only thing this movie has going for it is nobody has heard of it. Then when someone else sees it and says "did you see that movie where Anthony Hopkins plays a logger who revenge-kills Ray Liotta with Julia Stiles?" you can say, "Yeah. Kinda boring."




5. The Great Gilly Hopkins (2015) Movie Review: They did the book and it works

by Banned Library in


I won't plug the podcast too much, but our book for next week is The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

I won't plug it anymore, anyway. 

As for the movie, it's pretty much nailing the book. Spoiler alert for our episode on Notebook for Patreon subscribers. 

Ha, got another plug past you. WAIT, sorry, I'll talk about the movie.

GGH is the story of Gilly, a foster kid moving into a new house. She's a bit of a brat, so for a while she tortures her new foster brother and mother and the blind guy next door.  Through the events of the narrative, however, her heart is melted and she saves Christmas.

Should you see this movie? It's not necessary. If you want something for the family that's got a good hear, sure. Kathy Bates and Octavia Spencer nail the fairly standard role of matriarches and the lead Sophie Nelisse is charming as she is bratty.

A solid streaming flick when you and the kids can't agree. 




Invitation (2016) Movie Review: Because I can't get enough what the fuck did I just watch

by Banned Library in


Going home is hard. In this life, our new generations has decided that home is an expansive topic and we create our own families bereft of blood. So recreating those cobbled relationships after devastation is frightening as the people we choose choose different paths.

    Will and his girlfriend attend a party given by his ex-wife Eden and her new husband as well as all their friends. The gang hasn't all been together since Will and Eden separated and find it awkward, especially when Eden starts talking crazy cult nonsense and shows a snuff film. Are Eden and her new husband in a murder cult or is Will just seeing an imagined spectral trail of insanity stemming from deep trama?

    I'm not answering that fucking question because the truth is kinda amazing. Director Karyn Kusama has lacked some punch in her previous directorial efforts, especially the high profile and campy fun Jennifer's Body, but man… The suspense and tension in this movie as you wonder what the hell is going on builds and builds. Just a crazy good story.

    Not sure how to end this. Wanna talk about the ending? Well, you see, after everything goes down and all the secrets are