Could ‘Kidding’ Season 2 Open 30 Years Earlier? The Jim Carrey/Michel Gondry Series Is Pure Freedom

Gondry, star Catherine Keener, and creator David Holstein celebrate how the Showtime series has allowed experimentation on a whole new level.

Showtime’s “Kiddinghas been renewed for a second season, and according to creator David Holstein, literally anything could happen when it returns.

“I think there’s something about not having rules and about having freedom,” Holstein said to IndieWire before the show’s premiere in September. “For better or for worse, the ability to be able to do that is where I come from. I come from rooms that want to not lull you into a sense of repetition. I have no problem opening Season 2 thirty years earlier and seeing what happens.”

The dark comedy, which marks the return of Jim Carrey to television, spotlights the grieving of childrens’ TV show host Jeff Pickles (Carrey), which takes on a surreal edge thanks to Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), who directed six of the 10 episodes and oversaw the show’s visual design.

“There is this picture on the show that is constant, but in his private life, he evolves,” Gondry said to IndieWire about how he approached Jeff as a character. “Little by little he cracks open and you see the sadness and madness. It’s a sort of chaos due to his position of wisdom, his working for young children, and his real life where this wisdom doesn’t apply at all. So that’s how I define him.”

Jim Carrey in "Kidding."

Jim Carrey in “Kidding.”

Showtime

The hiring of Gondry followed the hiring of Carrey, according to Holstein, who wrote the script with the “Truman Show” star in mind. “When Jim read it, Jim was like, you know who would be perfect for this? It’s Michel. And if Michel says yes, I’m doing it. And then Michel said yes, so yeah,” he said.

That choice of director, Holstein felt, gave him and the writers “license to be as fucking weird as we wanted to be. You’re sitting in a room full of writers, you’ve got Showtime giving you a ton of support, you’ve got this cast, and you’ve got Michel directing it. I said look, we’ve got ten half-hour episodes, we are going to swing for the fences or burn this place to the ground. There’s no in-between. Having Michel around allows you to just do stuff that’s off the grid. It really inspired us to craft some shots, some stories that we wouldn’t normally get to do, but we felt that we have everyone behind us on this.”

Under Gondry’s guidance, the blur between reality and fiction has been intense, with extremely complicated long takes and surreal puppet moments enhancing the show’s depiction of Jeff Pickles’ strange existence. But if Gondry hadn’t come on board, Holstein said, “I think we would have had the same ambition, the same desire to try to be different in a landscape of 500 shows, I think we would have still tried to be our weird selves. There are a lot of very smart weird people on the show that weren’t Michel that all had an axe to grind.”

But that said, Gondry still enabled a whole other level of strange. “What I said to Michel the first day was, ‘Look, are there ever been commercial ideas you’ve had, or video ideas you had, that the executives wouldn’t let you get away with, that you’ve always wanted to do? Because that’s where I start. Keep that in mind as we go through that we can get away with anything we want right now, and let’s try it.'”

Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry at the "Kidding" premiere.

Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry at the “Kidding” premiere.

Michael Buckner/SHOWTIME

“I was surprised at the producer executive for the studio,” Gondry said to IndieWire. “He really let us work, with very few notes… I mean, the subject is really sort of original or if not bizarre. The fact that they went for this subject in itself, we got away with that, I think.”

Gondry said that his motivation in trying new things wasn’t simply for the sake of being unique — and his real focus was to “just make a portrait” of his characters, the good and the bad alike. “I try, in what I do, to be myself. So for instance, most of the time when I do film, I put the camera at the same level as the character. I don’t try to put it so that the character feels superior or put the camera here so the character feels inferior. I like to think like a person, like if they were my cousin. I always think of that way. I think it’s very basic, but I think it’s trying to shoot with a certain kindness.”

“Michel is hands-on in that he knows what he doesn’t like and he knows what he likes,” co-star Catherine Keener (who plays puppet designer Deirdre) said of their collaboration. “I think he’s got a pretty wide girth, he’s sort of accepting of whatever the riff is. He just sees it then which I love in a director. I love, love, love.”

“He encourages [surprises],” Keener said. “He’s very receptive. He’s just cool.”

This meant that Keener would show up on set and not know “how every beat was going to play,” which she valued, because “my experience working with directors, I like that room for… I mean, I ask a lot of questions, I can bug the shit out of people. But I can’t help it, it’s just questions, questions. I’ll go way, way in the middle of something. And I don’t know, they put up with me. They really did in a nice way.”

Catherine Keener in "Kidding."

Catherine Keener in “Kidding.”

Showtime

Also helping enable those surprises was Holstein’s nine-year history with the network, having worked on shows including “Weeds” and “I’m Dying Up Here.” “They’re going along with my brand of insanity. I’ve always been the writer on a staff who says ‘let’s try something crazy,'” he said. “I think they knew, when they were to give me the reins, that I was gonna try some stuff.”

Holstein said without hesitation that he and the team got away with everything they wanted to do, which he credited in part to the cast. “There’s a lot of faith in them. The best networks I’ve worked for give the show a platform for everyone there to do their best creative work,” he said. “And when you have people that are that established, like Jim, and Catherine, and all the Oscar nominations in the air — when all that’s floating around, I think there’s a lot more trust to just let us be who we are.”

When being interviewed by IndieWire, “Kidding” had yet to receive a second season renewal, but Holstein said that he knew how the show ends. “I’m not going to lie and say that I know Season 2, 3, and 4, but I know the movements of the character. I know where they have to arc through to get to the end, and I know how to work backwards from that ending,” he said.

In general, his primary goal is to keep engaged. “I think if you’re not excited to sit down and write it, no one’s going to like watching it,” he said. “You can get bored by just trying to follow the same thing over and over again.”

Kidding Catherine Keener Jim Carrey Showtime

Catherine Keener and Jim Carrey in “Kidding”

Erica Parise / Showtime

The point, Holstein said, is never “to be weird for weird’s sake. We never just want to be, ‘here’s a crazy Michel Gondry shot for the sake of it.’ So to me it was about establishing an emotional foundation in the pilot, a clear emotional want for the character, so that by the end of the season it’s not style before substance. I think it’s an easy path to go down when you have someone like Michel around — ‘let’s think about the crazy shot first, or let’s work backwards from the weird. When you try to work forward from character, they find the weird.”

Added Holstein, “It’s crazy that they put me in charge. It’s nuts. But it’s great.”

Production on “Kidding” had wrapped before the show’s premiere, which Holstein appreciated because it meant that no matter what, “we did this incredibly ambitious thing and if it becomes one of those shows that no one watches and everyone hates, you wrapped. You did that thing, you made it through with these great actors,” he said.

“Our last two days, we were shooting at the Honda Center, we shot an icecapade — an icecapade directed by Michel Gondry. No other show has that. And that alone makes me happy that we even did that, so I’m just living in that euphoria right now of, we fucking did it. They said we couldn’t do it, and we went to the Honda Center and we shot an icecapade, and there was an eight foot baguette with eyes and a frown, and he’s singing. That’s our life right now.”

Nicole Holofcener on Ben Mendelsohn, Catherine Keener, and saying “ugh” to superhero films

Nicole Holofcener first gained attention in 1996 for her powerful comic drama Walking And Talking, a film that also provided one of the first starring roles for her longtime collaborator Catherine Keener. Since then, she’s continued to follow her muse …

Nicole Holofcener first gained attention in 1996 for her powerful comic drama Walking And Talking, a film that also provided one of the first starring roles for her longtime collaborator Catherine Keener. Since then, she’s continued to follow her muse of small, intimate stories about troubled middle- to upper-class…

Read more...

‘Kidding’: Michel Gondry and Dave Holstein on Finding the ‘Scary’ Side of Mr. Rogers to Save Us From Antihero TV

Gondry, creator David Holstein, and Catherine Keener tell IndieWire about the legendary entertainer’s influence on Showtime’s new series.

For a show that can be described as a dark, screwy take on the legacy of Fred Rogers, “Kidding” makes a deliberate effort to escape the legacy of the man with infinite cardigans and good cheer.

“I certainly didn’t want Jim to approach the role thinking of Mr. Rogers like the original man,” director Michel Gondry said. “I really didn’t want that. It’s not the story of Mr. Rogers. It’s much more. I mean, I don’t know much about Mr. Rogers, but we tried to get away as much as possible.”

The inspiration is undeniable. Jim Carrey plays Jeff Piccirillo, aka “Mr. Pickles,” the host of a wildly popular children’s show who’s also dealing with the disintegration of his real life behind the scenes, a concept concocted by creator/showrunner David Holstein.

When he first began writing “Kidding” as a spec script, Holstein had just spent seven years writing for the Showtime comedy “Weeds,” which he thought was part of a larger conversation born of shows like “The Sopranos,” “Mad Men,” and more.

Kidding Jim Carrey Showtime

Jim Carrey in “Kidding”

Erica Parise / Showtime

“What was pushing me was the desire to find the next chapter in that story, and for me it was finding someone who didn’t want to break bad, but wanted to stay good, you know? I didn’t want to write a premium cable character who wanted to fuck hookers, do drugs, and kill people. I wanted to flip it and figure out,” he said. “Take someone who’s really really good, like a Mr. Rogers kind of character, and make the world around them that dark, edgy, premium cable kind of space, and watch them fight against it. Watch them struggle to remain good in sea of dark people.”

The direct connection to Mr. Rogers, Holstein said, came pretty quickly, but not necessarily because Mr. Rogers was an obviously sunny persona.

“I thought Mister Rogers was a really scary person because he never got angry,” he said. “So to me it was, how can someone over 30 years never get angry? And what would happen the first time they did? And to me that was where I wanted to start with this character. Let’s take someone who is legitimately kind, and good, and optimistic, and wants the world to be this beautiful place, doesn’t curse, doesn’t lie. What would be his breaking point?”

Mr. Pickles’ breaking point is the death of his son, which triggers a whole series of spiraling emotions not just for Jeff, but for his entire family. “And then what sort of came out of it when we began to expand it into a series was, times are kind of dark, truth is relative, and people just go on TV and they lie, and they’re mean, and they’re bullies. To me, it brought back this need, this demand for someone like Mr. Rogers, and to tell that story now was exciting,” Holstein said.

While the inspiration was clear, co-star Catherine Keener, who plays a puppeteer working on the Mr. Pickles show, said to IndieWire that comparisons to Mr. Rogers “never” came to mind. “I don’t know why. I never thought of it,” she said. “I don’t think we ever talked about it.”

Catherine Keener in "Kidding."

Catherine Keener in “Kidding.”

Showtime

This might in part be due to the influence of Showtime as a network, which Holstein said would often PUSH TKTK? for the edgiest possible version of this character and story. But for Gondry, the key to keeping Mr. Pickles separate from Mr. Rogers was simple: “Just thinking of [Carrey] took me away from Mr. Rogers,” he said.

It helps that Holstein wrote the role specifically for Carrey, without ever believing there was a real chance Carrey would agree to do it. “I was just this writer who decided to wake up one day and say, ‘I’m going to bring Jim Carrey back to television,’ and my agents were like, ‘You’re crazy.’ And they were totally right,” he said.

“But I had this weird obsession with ‘The Truman Show,’ and ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,’ and I really wanted to create a part with Jim in mind. And what’s funny is that what then happens is reality sets in and everyone says, ‘Well, who can really play this role?’ Then you start to go down that road, and the beautiful irony of this project for me is, we went down that road. And nobody really fit the bill.”

That is, Holstein said, until “Jim read it, and then Jim wanted to do it. I mean it was the coolest moment of my life when I got pulled out of a room by Jim to say, ‘This is the script I’ve been waiting to read for years.’ Your heart just hits the floor and it bounces back up. I did a crazy thing, and it turned out better than I could have hoped for.”

“He evolves,” Gondry said. “So there is this picture on the show that is constant, but in his private life, he evolves. Little by little he… cracks open and you see the sadness and madness, but what would define him? I mean, it’s a sort of chaos due to his position of wisdom, his moral, working for young children, and his real life where this wisdom doesn’t apply at all. So that’s how I define him.”

Michel Gondry and David Holstein on the set of "Kidding."

Michel Gondry and David Holstein on the set of “Kidding.”

Showtime

There’s another factor in ensuring that Mr. Pickles avoids feeling too similar to Mr. Rogers: Holstein poached Joey Mazzarino, who was a writer and puppeteer for “Sesame Street” for years, to help create the world of “Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time.”

“I said, ‘Joey, I don’t want to make fun of children’s television, it’s too easy. I don’t want to do a parody of ‘Sesame Street.’ I want to do a show that would legitimately have the language, and the characters, and the substance of a children’s show,'” Holstein said.

“And so he came in every day and built us a show within a show, that was a legit children’s show, that had a mythology, and had a language to it, and had rules, and things that you would have to keep us from taking the easy route of making it a satire or parody,” he said.

That might, ultimately, be the key. “The easy version of this show was making Mr. Rogers become Bad Santa. That’s an easy show to write, and we did not want to do that. We wanted Mr. Rogers to fight to stay Mr. Rogers — because that was the more emotional ask of the audience.”

“Kidding” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime. For more on the opening episodes of “Kidding,” make sure to listen to this week’s Very Good TV Podcast with IndieWire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Very Good TV Podcast via Soundcloud or iTunes. Make sure to follow IndieWire on Twitter and Facebook for all your TV news. Plus, check out IndieWire’s other podcastsScreen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, the Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast with Chris O’Falt, as well as Michael Schneider’s podcast, Turn It On, which spotlights the most important TV each week.

Why Jim Carrey’s ‘Kidding’ Is the Anti-‘Breaking Bad’

If you’re tired of anti-heroes, Jim Carrey’s new Showtime series, “Kidding,” might be just what you’re looking for.

Writer and executive producer of the series, Dave Holstein, went into the project wanting to write a character that “didn’t want to break bad, but wanted to stay good,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer 2018 press tour on Monday

“To me, it was less about finding a character whose journey was a nervous breakdown and more about coming off a show like ‘Weeds’ that’s full of anti-heroes, and having this sort of fatigue of characters who existed because they were… doing drugs or killing people,” he said.

Also Read: ‘Kidding’: Jim Carrey Goes Off the Deep End in New Showtime Series Trailer (Video)

Holstein is known for writing “Weeds,” another Showtime series about a suburban mother who turns marijuana dealer. “Kidding,” however, follows a man who stars on a children’s show who simply wants to maintain his wise, kind and sunny outlook, even through the implosion of his TV family. As Showtime puts it, “The result: A kind man in a cruel world faces a slow leak of sanity as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.”

“To me it was about finding someone who had a crisis of faith but really wanted to preserve the goodness in a world that is populated by all the dark edges of premium cable, but not the character itself,” Holstein added. 

“Kidding” also stars Frank Langella, Judy Greer and Catherine Keener. Holstein, who wrote multiple episodes, executive produces and serves as showrunner. The series is also executive produced by Carrey, Michel Gondry, Michael Aguilar, Roberto Benabib, Raffi Adlan, Jason Bateman and Jim Garavente.

You can watch the trailer here.

“Kidding” premieres on Showtime on Sunday, September 9. 

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Kidding’: Jim Carrey Goes Off the Deep End in New Showtime Series Trailer (Video)

Jim Carrey Returns to TV as a Children’s Show Host in Crisis in First ‘Kidding’ Trailer (Video)

Fans React To That ‘X-Files’ Twist: ‘Are You Kidding Me?’

Jim Carrey to Star on New Showtime Series ‘Kidding’

If you’re tired of anti-heroes, Jim Carrey’s new Showtime series, “Kidding,” might be just what you’re looking for.

Writer and executive producer of the series, Dave Holstein, went into the project wanting to write a character that “didn’t want to break bad, but wanted to stay good,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer 2018 press tour on Monday

“To me, it was less about finding a character whose journey was a nervous breakdown and more about coming off a show like ‘Weeds’ that’s full of anti-heroes, and having this sort of fatigue of characters who existed because they were… doing drugs or killing people,” he said.

Holstein is known for writing “Weeds,” another Showtime series about a suburban mother who turns marijuana dealer. “Kidding,” however, follows a man who stars on a children’s show who simply wants to maintain his wise, kind and sunny outlook, even through the implosion of his TV family. As Showtime puts it, “The result: A kind man in a cruel world faces a slow leak of sanity as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.”

“To me it was about finding someone who had a crisis of faith but really wanted to preserve the goodness in a world that is populated by all the dark edges of premium cable, but not the character itself,” Holstein added. 

“Kidding” also stars Frank Langella, Judy Greer and Catherine Keener. Holstein, who wrote multiple episodes, executive produces and serves as showrunner. The series is also executive produced by Carrey, Michel Gondry, Michael Aguilar, Roberto Benabib, Raffi Adlan, Jason Bateman and Jim Garavente.

You can watch the trailer here.

“Kidding” premieres on Showtime on Sunday, September 9. 

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Kidding': Jim Carrey Goes Off the Deep End in New Showtime Series Trailer (Video)

Jim Carrey Returns to TV as a Children's Show Host in Crisis in First 'Kidding' Trailer (Video)

Fans React To That 'X-Files' Twist: 'Are You Kidding Me?'

Jim Carrey to Star on New Showtime Series 'Kidding'

‘The Incredibles 2′: In What Year Does the Series Take Place?

“The Incredibles 2” and its predecessor “The Incredibles” take place in a world pretty much like ours, with the key difference being for a while at least, superheroes were as common as they are in comic books. And the similarities to our world have long made fans wonder when, exactly, all this is taking place. The bad news is that both movies are pretty vague about that question. The good news is that they still have a lot of hints and clues that seem to suggest a specific, highly retro time frame. Let’s take a closer look.

The first thing to remember is the context: 15 years before the start of the original film, superheroic activities were made illegal after people hurt during super-events stared suing the heroes for damages. The heroes were then forced into retirement as part of a sort of witness protection program. Furthermore, “The Incredibles 2” picks up right after the end of “The Incredibles,” meaning the two stories happen in roughly the same year.

With that context in mind, the two biggest clues aren’t lines or elements from its alternate, superhero-filled history, but real world TV shows that the family of supers watch during the course of “Incredibles 2”: “The Outer Limits” and “Jonny Quest.”

“The Outer Limits,” which appears in the movie to foreshadow the powers of the villain Screenslaver, first aired in 1963 and ran until 1965. The episode airs late at night, and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) catches the show’s famous opening after leaving his crib the night his father Bob (Craig T. Nelson) discovers Jack-Jack has powers. Meanwhile, Dash (Huck Milner) watches an episode of “Jonny Quest” one morning during breakfast. “Jonny Quest” originally aired from 1964 to 1965, and ran in re-runs for the next 20 years.

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Here’s What the Comics Might Tell Us About Tony Stark’s Kid

“The Outer Limits” and “Jonny Quest” provide the earliest possible year “The Incredibles 2” takes place — 1964 — but we have some other information as to where to place it as well.

Another clue comes from the first “Incredibles” movie, when Edna Mode (Brad Bird) lists several Supers who died in cape-related accidents (it’s why she won’t make capes for the costumes she designs), and even gives years for several of them — 1956, 1957 and 1958.

If the movie took place 15 years after the last death in 1958, though, that would put “The Incredibles” into the 1970s, so it seems likely that some Supers might have been operating after the Superhero Relocation Program kicked off.

There’s one last piece of the puzzle to consider. In “The Incredibles,” Bob is seen reading a newspaper that lists the year “1962” in its date. That’s more of flavor than a hard date, though, it seems. It also seems too early, based on the other evidence in the film.

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – Joe Russo’s Comments Could Blow Out Fan Theories About That Ending

So taking all that into account, it seems a fair bet for the year “The Incredibles 2” takes place is at least 1965. It seems more likely that it’s a little bit later, like 1968. That lines up well with the TV shows and the aesthetic vibe of the two movies, while also taking into account the deaths of the other Supers — putting those deaths after Supers were made illegal, but only by a few years. That seems to fit best with all the pieces, without dragging “The Incredibles” into the 1970s, which seems at odds with the old “James Bond”-type feel Pixar is going for.

Of course, if you really must know, writer and director Brad Bird said in a recent interview with Bustle that he didn’t intend for the first movie to have a hard date at all. He just wanted it more to have a 1960s feel, and apparently he didn’t even know that 1962 date was on the newspaper in the original film.

So we don’t know for sure what year “The Incredibles 2” is supposed to happen in, but we do know that while it happens in a completely different world, it shares a lot of similarities with our own.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – James Gunn Reveals What Groot Told Rocket at the End (Spoiler!)

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – The Infinity Stones Could Have Their Own Agenda

Here’s What ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Could Mean for the Hulk’s Future

The 8 Wildest ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Fan Theories Out There (Spoilers)

“The Incredibles 2” and its predecessor “The Incredibles” take place in a world pretty much like ours, with the key difference being for a while at least, superheroes were as common as they are in comic books. And the similarities to our world have long made fans wonder when, exactly, all this is taking place. The bad news is that both movies are pretty vague about that question. The good news is that they still have a lot of hints and clues that seem to suggest a specific, highly retro time frame. Let’s take a closer look.

The first thing to remember is the context: 15 years before the start of the original film, superheroic activities were made illegal after people hurt during super-events stared suing the heroes for damages. The heroes were then forced into retirement as part of a sort of witness protection program. Furthermore, “The Incredibles 2” picks up right after the end of “The Incredibles,” meaning the two stories happen in roughly the same year.

With that context in mind, the two biggest clues aren’t lines or elements from its alternate, superhero-filled history, but real world TV shows that the family of supers watch during the course of “Incredibles 2”: “The Outer Limits” and “Jonny Quest.”

“The Outer Limits,” which appears in the movie to foreshadow the powers of the villain Screenslaver, first aired in 1963 and ran until 1965. The episode airs late at night, and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) catches the show’s famous opening after leaving his crib the night his father Bob (Craig T. Nelson) discovers Jack-Jack has powers. Meanwhile, Dash (Huck Milner) watches an episode of “Jonny Quest” one morning during breakfast. “Jonny Quest” originally aired from 1964 to 1965, and ran in re-runs for the next 20 years.

“The Outer Limits” and “Jonny Quest” provide the earliest possible year “The Incredibles 2” takes place — 1964 — but we have some other information as to where to place it as well.

Another clue comes from the first “Incredibles” movie, when Edna Mode (Brad Bird) lists several Supers who died in cape-related accidents (it’s why she won’t make capes for the costumes she designs), and even gives years for several of them — 1956, 1957 and 1958.

If the movie took place 15 years after the last death in 1958, though, that would put “The Incredibles” into the 1970s, so it seems likely that some Supers might have been operating after the Superhero Relocation Program kicked off.

There’s one last piece of the puzzle to consider. In “The Incredibles,” Bob is seen reading a newspaper that lists the year “1962” in its date. That’s more of flavor than a hard date, though, it seems. It also seems too early, based on the other evidence in the film.

So taking all that into account, it seems a fair bet for the year “The Incredibles 2” takes place is at least 1965. It seems more likely that it’s a little bit later, like 1968. That lines up well with the TV shows and the aesthetic vibe of the two movies, while also taking into account the deaths of the other Supers — putting those deaths after Supers were made illegal, but only by a few years. That seems to fit best with all the pieces, without dragging “The Incredibles” into the 1970s, which seems at odds with the old “James Bond”-type feel Pixar is going for.

Of course, if you really must know, writer and director Brad Bird said in a recent interview with Bustle that he didn’t intend for the first movie to have a hard date at all. He just wanted it more to have a 1960s feel, and apparently he didn’t even know that 1962 date was on the newspaper in the original film.

So we don’t know for sure what year “The Incredibles 2” is supposed to happen in, but we do know that while it happens in a completely different world, it shares a lot of similarities with our own.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Avengers: Infinity War' – James Gunn Reveals What Groot Told Rocket at the End (Spoiler!)

'Avengers: Infinity War' – The Infinity Stones Could Have Their Own Agenda

Here's What 'Avengers: Infinity War' Could Mean for the Hulk's Future

The 8 Wildest 'Avengers: Infinity War' Fan Theories Out There (Spoilers)

‘Incredibles 2’ Is ‘One of the Greatest Superhero Movies Ever Made’ and 6 Other Fantastic Reviews

The reviews are in for “Incredibles 2” and some critics say it is the best superhero movie to date.

“Prior to this latest effort, Brad Bird made what can unequivocally be called two of Pixar’s best movies,” said CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg. “Now that statement can be updated to say that he’s made three of Pixar’s best.”

The Epoch Times’ Mark Jackson wrote, “‘Incredibles 2 is not only one of Pixar’s best movies ever, but also arguably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.”

Also Read: ‘Incredibles 2’ Film Review: Pixar’s Superhero Family Is Back, Baby – and What a Baby

TheWrap’s Robert Abele wrote, “here comes ‘Incredibles 2’ to save the day, the weekend, your summer, and maybe even your Marvel/DC/superhero fatigue.”

All in all, reviewers have given the sequel a 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Most of the critics praised the animation, the score and the action, and lauded Bird for being able to pick up right where the original left off 14 years ago.

Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabella Rossellini, Jonathan Banks and Sophia Bush voice characters in the film. Brad Bird wrote and directed the film. It will hit theaters on Friday.

Also Read: ‘The Incredibles 2’ Sets New Animation Record for Fandango Pre-Sale Tickets

See 7 of the best reviews below.

Oliver Jones, The Observer

“‘Incredibles 2’ overflows with ideas–the characters engage in philosophic debates during chase scenes or even while brushing their teeth–while retaining the stylistically spare and refined visuals that made the original film so refreshing. This is the rare sequel that packs constant surprises while still delivering on expectations… Like ‘Black Panther’ earlier this year, ‘Incredibles 2’ is a reminder of what a collective joy it can be when a filmmaker with a singular vision and purpose makes a film of boundless scope and budget.”

Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“Perhaps most intriguingly, ‘Incredibles 2’ is both pop-culture eye candy and a sly critique of it — albeit one delivered in the form of the bad guy, who rails against the mediation of screens as a poor substitute for unfiltered life experience. I don’t need to tell you who wins here, but it’s refreshing to see a movie sequel that can question its own existence, even as it revels in it. (A movie theater marquee advertises ‘Dementia 113’ in the background of one shot, a sight gag that evokes the kind of throwaway joke you might see on ‘The Simpsons,’ for which Bird once worked.) It’s been a long time coming for ‘Incredibles 2,’ but the punchline is worth the setup.”

Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend

“Prior to this latest effort, Brad Bird made what can unequivocally be called two of Pixar’s best movies. Now that statement can be updated to say that he’s made three of Pixar’s best.”

Billy Goodykoontz, The Republic

“It’s good — funny, smart and contemporary. By definition it can’t be as groundbreaking as the first film, but never does it feel like a cash grab. The action is once again astounding, as is the animation. There are plenty of laughs. Without revealing too much, Jack-Jack and Edna Mode (Bird) steal a lot of the scenes.”

Mark Jackson, The Epoch Times

“The movie takes about 10 minutes for the pace and excitement to get rolling, but when it does, it’s an, ahem, incredible ride–the type that keeps you on the edge of your seat consistently throughout the movie. That’s a major accomplishment. ‘Incredibles 2’ is not only one of Pixar’s best movies ever, but also arguably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.”

See Video: ‘Incredibles 2’ Sneak Peek: Parr Family Takes On the Underminer

David Edelstein, Vulture

“Brad Bird’s ‘Incredibles 2’ is, much like its predecessor, delightful as an animated feature but really, really delightful as a superhero picture. It’s proof that someone (not anyone, mainly Bird) can make a Marvel-type movie that’s fleet and shapely, with action sequences rich in style rather than tumult. He’s a crackerjack filmmaker first and a marvelous animator a close second, and he has made the jazziest hybrid in years.”

Brian Truitt, USA Today

“Pixar doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to sequels, but this follow-up surpasses most everything without ‘Toy Story’ in the title. The animation is stellar and detailed in excellent action sequences, Michael Giacchino’s score swings harder than ever, and the first film’s family-friendly warmth is just as appealing now as it was then, even if ‘Incredibles 2’ isn’t totally incredible itself.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Incredibles 2’ Trailer: Mr. Incredible Is a Stay-At-Home Dad While Elastigirl Saves the World (Video)

Meet ‘Incredibles 2’ Cast with Side-by-Side Images of Their On-Screen Counterparts (Photos)

‘Incredibles 2’: Holly Hunter on Elastigirl Becoming ‘Full-Fledged’ Hero in Post-‘Wonder Woman’ Sequel

The reviews are in for “Incredibles 2” and some critics say it is the best superhero movie to date.

“Prior to this latest effort, Brad Bird made what can unequivocally be called two of Pixar’s best movies,” said CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg. “Now that statement can be updated to say that he’s made three of Pixar’s best.”

The Epoch Times’ Mark Jackson wrote, “‘Incredibles 2 is not only one of Pixar’s best movies ever, but also arguably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.”

TheWrap’s Robert Abele wrote, “here comes ‘Incredibles 2’ to save the day, the weekend, your summer, and maybe even your Marvel/DC/superhero fatigue.”

All in all, reviewers have given the sequel a 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Most of the critics praised the animation, the score and the action, and lauded Bird for being able to pick up right where the original left off 14 years ago.

Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabella Rossellini, Jonathan Banks and Sophia Bush voice characters in the film. Brad Bird wrote and directed the film. It will hit theaters on Friday.

See 7 of the best reviews below.

Oliver Jones, The Observer

“‘Incredibles 2’ overflows with ideas–the characters engage in philosophic debates during chase scenes or even while brushing their teeth–while retaining the stylistically spare and refined visuals that made the original film so refreshing. This is the rare sequel that packs constant surprises while still delivering on expectations… Like ‘Black Panther’ earlier this year, ‘Incredibles 2’ is a reminder of what a collective joy it can be when a filmmaker with a singular vision and purpose makes a film of boundless scope and budget.”

Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“Perhaps most intriguingly, ‘Incredibles 2’ is both pop-culture eye candy and a sly critique of it — albeit one delivered in the form of the bad guy, who rails against the mediation of screens as a poor substitute for unfiltered life experience. I don’t need to tell you who wins here, but it’s refreshing to see a movie sequel that can question its own existence, even as it revels in it. (A movie theater marquee advertises ‘Dementia 113’ in the background of one shot, a sight gag that evokes the kind of throwaway joke you might see on ‘The Simpsons,’ for which Bird once worked.) It’s been a long time coming for ‘Incredibles 2,’ but the punchline is worth the setup.”

Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend

“Prior to this latest effort, Brad Bird made what can unequivocally be called two of Pixar’s best movies. Now that statement can be updated to say that he’s made three of Pixar’s best.”

Billy Goodykoontz, The Republic

“It’s good — funny, smart and contemporary. By definition it can’t be as groundbreaking as the first film, but never does it feel like a cash grab. The action is once again astounding, as is the animation. There are plenty of laughs. Without revealing too much, Jack-Jack and Edna Mode (Bird) steal a lot of the scenes.”

Mark Jackson, The Epoch Times

“The movie takes about 10 minutes for the pace and excitement to get rolling, but when it does, it’s an, ahem, incredible ride–the type that keeps you on the edge of your seat consistently throughout the movie. That’s a major accomplishment. ‘Incredibles 2’ is not only one of Pixar’s best movies ever, but also arguably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.”

David Edelstein, Vulture

“Brad Bird’s ‘Incredibles 2’ is, much like its predecessor, delightful as an animated feature but really, really delightful as a superhero picture. It’s proof that someone (not anyone, mainly Bird) can make a Marvel-type movie that’s fleet and shapely, with action sequences rich in style rather than tumult. He’s a crackerjack filmmaker first and a marvelous animator a close second, and he has made the jazziest hybrid in years.”

Brian Truitt, USA Today

“Pixar doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to sequels, but this follow-up surpasses most everything without ‘Toy Story’ in the title. The animation is stellar and detailed in excellent action sequences, Michael Giacchino’s score swings harder than ever, and the first film’s family-friendly warmth is just as appealing now as it was then, even if ‘Incredibles 2’ isn’t totally incredible itself.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Incredibles 2' Trailer: Mr. Incredible Is a Stay-At-Home Dad While Elastigirl Saves the World (Video)

Meet 'Incredibles 2' Cast with Side-by-Side Images of Their On-Screen Counterparts (Photos)

'Incredibles 2': Holly Hunter on Elastigirl Becoming 'Full-Fledged' Hero in Post-'Wonder Woman' Sequel

‘Incredibles 2’ Film Review: Pixar’s Superhero Family Is Back, Baby – and What a Baby

Whether you find the dominance of superhero pictures a glut or a bonanza, a cause for artistic concern or a boon to the movie business, the prospect of a sequel to “The Incredibles” always seemed to glide above that fray: Brad Bird’s whizbang 2004 Pixar feature about a nuclear/power family was atomic entertainment that in the years before our Marvel age felt like its own thrilling, funny, stylish universe.

Wanting more of the Parrs at a time when the animation studio was careful about follow-ups, and when Bird was eager to flex his fantasy-tinged stories of exceptionalism with culinary cartoon vermin (“Ratatouille”) and Imagineered live action (“Tomorrowland”), seemed like greediness from us mere moviegoing mortals. (Yes, I’m wink-teasing the whole Bird-is-a-Rand-loving-Objectivist debate, which I don’t quite buy into.)

But lately, with “Finding Dory,” “Monsters University,” “Cars 3” and the upcoming “Toy Story 4,” Pixar’s been quite OK mining its past to mint its present. And now Bird is in greatest-hits mode with “Incredibles 2,” which picks up the action directly after the closing heroics of the original, as if to say “What 14 years? Thank you, computers!”

Watch Video: ‘Incredibles 2’ Trailer: Mr. Incredible Is a Stay-At-Home Dad While Elastigirl Saves the World

The good news is that this continuation is a similarly rousing and savvy adventure that energetically serves up more of what we love — from the sleek retro-futurist designs to the ticklishly severe Eurasian super-clothier Edna Mode — and yet wisely, wittily, reverses the first film’s accommodating traditionalism to make for an even richer, funnier portrait of its tight and in-tights family.

Which means this time around, Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter), aka Helen Parr, aka Mom, is the front-and-center superhero, rather than Mr. Incredible/Bob (Craig T. Nelson), whose mission-minded pride triggered the first film’s peril. And while the newly unified family works together at the start of “Incredibles 2” to vanquish the Underminer, who wields a building-sized drill bit, the Parrs are still unappreciated and illegal, reduced afterward to figuring out another normal, law-abiding, identity-shielded existence. It’s even harder now, though, since learning from government ally Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks) that the Super Relocation program — designed to clean up messes and find supers jobs — is ending.

Also Read: ‘Incredibles 2’: Holly Hunter on Elastigirl Becoming ‘Full-Fledged’ Hero in Post-‘Wonder Woman’ Sequel

A shot at redemption arrives, however, when the wealthy sibling pair behind a telecommunications empire — enthusiastic marketing giant Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and tech-genius sister Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) — introduce themselves as fans with plans to reverse the anti-super laws. Convinced careful image handling and positive viral video will change hearts and minds, the pair zero in on Elastigirl as their role model hero. (In a ripely funny touch, the Deavors’ data shows that Helen’s crimefighting methods are considerably less costly than her more go-big/destroy-big husband’s.)

When Elastigirl steps up to save a runaway metro train, revealing a new hypnosis-deploying supervillain named Screenslaver, Helen feels a newfound sense of purpose. The campaign works, too, earning the support of a supers-friendly ambassador (Isabella Rossellini).

That leaves Bob — sidelined, jealous, but ready to pitch in — as the overly confident stay-at-home daddy, keeping house in a swanky, starburst-ornamented mid-century modern provided by the Deavors. Of course, Bob eventually realizes that dealing with the roiling emotional life of sullen, invisibility-powered teenager Violet (Sarah Vowell), the math homework of lightning-fast son Dash (Huckleberry Milner), and chasing after baby Jack-Jack, makes family home maintenance a task as tiring as any one-on-one with a nemesis.

Also Read: ‘The Incredibles 2’ Sets New Animation Record for Fandango Pre-Sale Tickets

For us, though, it’s a domestic-comedy motherlode, especially when, in a side-splitting riff on toddler terror, the emerging, seemingly uncontrolled, multiple powers of Jack-Jack — first shown at the end of “The Incredibles” — turn him into the de facto ruler of the household. Between his explosively inconvenient gifts (best shown in a raucous tussle with a raccoon) and the animation team’s near-vaudevillian rendering of his googly-eyed reactions and blissful gibberish, Jack Jack is easily the cute-ferocious humor superpower of “Incredibles 2.”

The film’s action engine, meanwhile, gives the Screenslaver room to grow as a mysterious force, but it also introduces us to newly emboldened, fledgling supers, some outlier-cool (like Elastigirl megafan Voyd, who can create dimension holes to make objects vanish and reappear) and some perfectly off-kilter, like Reflux, a lava-vomiting codger who announces, “Medical condition or superpower? You decide!”

As ever, the package is widescreen gorgeous, from the color-popping but realistically lit visuals, to Bird’s classically rigorous framing and shot movement, and, resembling nostalgia for nostalgia, there’s the return of Michael Giacchino’s delectably brassy, spy-movie pastiche score. (Stay through the end credits for the individual, amusingly lyricized themes for our heroes, including a soul-snazzy entry for ice-generating, Samuel L. Jackson-voiced Frozone, who’s back as well.)

And by the time the secrets are revealed, alliances are broken and repaired, while family bonds prove strongest of all. That idea also encapsulates the droll, poignant pleasures of the Chinese cuisine-inspired Pixar short preceding it, “Bao.” Bird has enriched the genre beyond the usual hurrah/comic brio with piquant commentary on fan-cultism, our screen-dependent lives, and gender-role biases.

In other words, here comes “Incredibles 2” to save the day, the weekend, your summer, and maybe even your Marvel/DC/superhero fatigue.



Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Incredibles 2’ Sneak Peek: Parr Family Takes On the Underminer (Video)

‘Incredibles 2’ Sneak Peek Shows What Happened After First Movie Ended

‘Incredibles 2’ Trailer: Mr. Incredible Is a Stay-At-Home Dad While Elastigirl Saves the World (Video)

Meet ‘Incredibles 2’ Cast with Side-by-Side Images of Their On-Screen Counterparts (Photos)

Whether you find the dominance of superhero pictures a glut or a bonanza, a cause for artistic concern or a boon to the movie business, the prospect of a sequel to “The Incredibles” always seemed to glide above that fray: Brad Bird’s whizbang 2004 Pixar feature about a nuclear/power family was atomic entertainment that in the years before our Marvel age felt like its own thrilling, funny, stylish universe.

Wanting more of the Parrs at a time when the animation studio was careful about follow-ups, and when Bird was eager to flex his fantasy-tinged stories of exceptionalism with culinary cartoon vermin (“Ratatouille”) and Imagineered live action (“Tomorrowland”), seemed like greediness from us mere moviegoing mortals. (Yes, I’m wink-teasing the whole Bird-is-a-Rand-loving-Objectivist debate, which I don’t quite buy into.)

But lately, with “Finding Dory,” “Monsters University,” “Cars 3” and the upcoming “Toy Story 4,” Pixar’s been quite OK mining its past to mint its present. And now Bird is in greatest-hits mode with “Incredibles 2,” which picks up the action directly after the closing heroics of the original, as if to say “What 14 years? Thank you, computers!”

The good news is that this continuation is a similarly rousing and savvy adventure that energetically serves up more of what we love — from the sleek retro-futurist designs to the ticklishly severe Eurasian super-clothier Edna Mode — and yet wisely, wittily, reverses the first film’s accommodating traditionalism to make for an even richer, funnier portrait of its tight and in-tights family.

Which means this time around, Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter), aka Helen Parr, aka Mom, is the front-and-center superhero, rather than Mr. Incredible/Bob (Craig T. Nelson), whose mission-minded pride triggered the first film’s peril. And while the newly unified family works together at the start of “Incredibles 2” to vanquish the Underminer, who wields a building-sized drill bit, the Parrs are still unappreciated and illegal, reduced afterward to figuring out another normal, law-abiding, identity-shielded existence. It’s even harder now, though, since learning from government ally Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks) that the Super Relocation program — designed to clean up messes and find supers jobs — is ending.

A shot at redemption arrives, however, when the wealthy sibling pair behind a telecommunications empire — enthusiastic marketing giant Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and tech-genius sister Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) — introduce themselves as fans with plans to reverse the anti-super laws. Convinced careful image handling and positive viral video will change hearts and minds, the pair zero in on Elastigirl as their role model hero. (In a ripely funny touch, the Deavors’ data shows that Helen’s crimefighting methods are considerably less costly than her more go-big/destroy-big husband’s.)

When Elastigirl steps up to save a runaway metro train, revealing a new hypnosis-deploying supervillain named Screenslaver, Helen feels a newfound sense of purpose. The campaign works, too, earning the support of a supers-friendly ambassador (Isabella Rossellini).

That leaves Bob — sidelined, jealous, but ready to pitch in — as the overly confident stay-at-home daddy, keeping house in a swanky, starburst-ornamented mid-century modern provided by the Deavors. Of course, Bob eventually realizes that dealing with the roiling emotional life of sullen, invisibility-powered teenager Violet (Sarah Vowell), the math homework of lightning-fast son Dash (Huckleberry Milner), and chasing after baby Jack-Jack, makes family home maintenance a task as tiring as any one-on-one with a nemesis.

For us, though, it’s a domestic-comedy motherlode, especially when, in a side-splitting riff on toddler terror, the emerging, seemingly uncontrolled, multiple powers of Jack-Jack — first shown at the end of “The Incredibles” — turn him into the de facto ruler of the household. Between his explosively inconvenient gifts (best shown in a raucous tussle with a raccoon) and the animation team’s near-vaudevillian rendering of his googly-eyed reactions and blissful gibberish, Jack Jack is easily the cute-ferocious humor superpower of “Incredibles 2.”

The film’s action engine, meanwhile, gives the Screenslaver room to grow as a mysterious force, but it also introduces us to newly emboldened, fledgling supers, some outlier-cool (like Elastigirl megafan Voyd, who can create dimension holes to make objects vanish and reappear) and some perfectly off-kilter, like Reflux, a lava-vomiting codger who announces, “Medical condition or superpower? You decide!”

As ever, the package is widescreen gorgeous, from the color-popping but realistically lit visuals, to Bird’s classically rigorous framing and shot movement, and, resembling nostalgia for nostalgia, there’s the return of Michael Giacchino’s delectably brassy, spy-movie pastiche score. (Stay through the end credits for the individual, amusingly lyricized themes for our heroes, including a soul-snazzy entry for ice-generating, Samuel L. Jackson-voiced Frozone, who’s back as well.)

And by the time the secrets are revealed, alliances are broken and repaired, while family bonds prove strongest of all. That idea also encapsulates the droll, poignant pleasures of the Chinese cuisine-inspired Pixar short preceding it, “Bao.” Bird has enriched the genre beyond the usual hurrah/comic brio with piquant commentary on fan-cultism, our screen-dependent lives, and gender-role biases.

In other words, here comes “Incredibles 2” to save the day, the weekend, your summer, and maybe even your Marvel/DC/superhero fatigue.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Incredibles 2' Sneak Peek: Parr Family Takes On the Underminer (Video)

'Incredibles 2' Sneak Peek Shows What Happened After First Movie Ended

'Incredibles 2' Trailer: Mr. Incredible Is a Stay-At-Home Dad While Elastigirl Saves the World (Video)

Meet 'Incredibles 2' Cast with Side-by-Side Images of Their On-Screen Counterparts (Photos)

Samuel Goldwyn Picks Up Home Ent On Eminent Domain Drama ‘Little Pink House’ Starring Catherine Keener

EXCLUSIVE: Film Mode Entertainment has struck a deal with Samuel Goldwyn Films for North American home ent rights to Catherine Keener-starring drama Little Pink House.
Writer-director Courtney Moorehead Balaker’s (The Collector) feature, based on…

EXCLUSIVE: Film Mode Entertainment has struck a deal with Samuel Goldwyn Films for North American home ent rights to Catherine Keener-starring drama Little Pink House. Writer-director Courtney Moorehead Balaker’s (The Collector) feature, based on the book of the same name, follows the true story of Susette Kelo (Keener), a nurse who takes on a huge corporation that tries to use eminent domain to seize homes in her working-class Connecticut neighborhood to make room for a…

Film Review: ‘Little Pink House’

As the thorny matter of eminent domain — the power of the government to seize private property for debatably public use — continues to flare up in American headlines, Courtney Moorehead Balaker’s “Little Pink House” arrives on screens as an earnest, adamant statement of opposition. Revisiting the Supreme Court’s famously contentious decision in the 2005 […]

As the thorny matter of eminent domain — the power of the government to seize private property for debatably public use — continues to flare up in American headlines, Courtney Moorehead Balaker’s “Little Pink House” arrives on screens as an earnest, adamant statement of opposition. Revisiting the Supreme Court’s famously contentious decision in the 2005 […]

‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ Trailer: Benicio Del Toro & Josh Brolin Are Locked And Loaded For A New Cartel War

Just when you thought the drug war was over, a new trailer for Sicario: Day of the Soldado (formerly titled Sicario 2: Soldado) has been released and it looks like the cartels still aren’t getting along.
Benicio Del Toro reprises his role as Alejandro in the sequel to 2015’s critically acclaimed Denis Villeneuve-directed action drama. Academy Award-nominated Taylor Sheridan returns as the screenwriter for Soldado with Stefano Sollima in the director’s chair and a new…

Just when you thought the drug war was over, a new trailer for Sicario: Day of the Soldado (formerly titled Sicario 2: Soldado) has been released and it looks like the cartels still aren’t getting along. Benicio Del Toro reprises his role as Alejandro in the sequel to 2015’s critically acclaimed Denis Villeneuve-directed action drama. Academy Award-nominated Taylor Sheridan returns as the screenwriter for Soldado with Stefano Sollima in the director’s chair and a new…

Jake Gyllenhaal, Anjelica Huston Help Bring Letters Live to U.S.

Letters Live traveled across the pond for its first-ever U.S. celebration. Celebrities, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Hamill, Anjelica Huston, Isla Fisher, Catherine Keener, and James Corden, read comedic and intimate letters — some written centuries ago, others a couple of years old. Proceeds from the event, which began in 2013, go to charity. One by […]

Letters Live traveled across the pond for its first-ever U.S. celebration. Celebrities, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Hamill, Anjelica Huston, Isla Fisher, Catherine Keener, and James Corden, read comedic and intimate letters — some written centuries ago, others a couple of years old. Proceeds from the event, which began in 2013, go to charity. One by […]

‘Nostalgia’ Review: Strong Performances From Jon Hamm And First-Rate Ensemble Make It One To Remember

The title says it all. Nostalgia is a movie worth remembering, a beautifully constructed multi-character drama with interconnected storylines and exceptional performances. It is one of those small, independently made films that impacts you stays with you long after you leave the theater. Director Mark Pellington and writer Alex Ross Perry have created a film about grief, loss, memories and stuff, the things we hang on to for numerous reasons that don’t always have a…

The title says it all. Nostalgia is a movie worth remembering, a beautifully constructed multi-character drama with interconnected storylines and exceptional performances. It is one of those small, independently made films that impacts you stays with you long after you leave the theater. Director Mark Pellington and writer Alex Ross Perry have created a film about grief, loss, memories and stuff, the things we hang on to for numerous reasons that don’t always have a…

About as subtle as its title, Nostalgia still provides a fine showcase for Jon Hamm

Like something you might find tucked away in an attic or a basement, Mark Pellington’s Nostalgia is a plainly personal curiosity. Handmade with care and also a touch of clumsiness, it probably means a lot to those who have lived with it, so to speak, even if there are also plenty who will look at it and see only the…

Read more…

Like something you might find tucked away in an attic or a basement, Mark Pellington’s Nostalgia is a plainly personal curiosity. Handmade with care and also a touch of clumsiness, it probably means a lot to those who have lived with it, so to speak, even if there are also plenty who will look at it and see only the…

Read more...

Meet ‘Incredibles 2’ Cast with Side-by-Side Images of Their On-Screen Counterparts (Photos)

Disney Pixar announced additions to the “Incredibles 2” cast Monday — including “Chicago P.D.” alum Sophia Bush and Italian film star Isabella Rossellini — and shared side-by-side images of its entire voice cast with their on-screen counterparts.

As previously announced, Catherine Keener of “Get Out” and “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk will be joining the Pixar superhero sequel. They will play Evelyn and Winston Deavor, the face of and the brains behind a world-class telecommunications company, respectively.

Plot details are scarce, with Pixar only sharing that Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) will take center stage as “a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot.” Her husband, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), will stay at home and navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life with baby Jack-Jack and his emerging superpowers.

Also Read: 4 Reasons Why ‘Coco’ Became Another Pixar Hit

Bush will also join the cast as Voyd, who is described as “a young, overeager ‘wannabe’ Super and a mega-fan of Elastigirl.” She has the ability to divert and manipulate objects around her by creating voids that allow objects to appear, disappear and shift in space.

“Breaking Bad” star Jonathan Banks plays Rick Decker, the head of the official Super Relocation Program, tasked with helping the central family keep their superhero identities a secret.

They’ll also be joined by Rossellini, whose character is only identified as Ambassador and described as a foreign official committed to the support and legalization of superheroes.

Also Read: All 19 Pixar Movies Ranked, Worst to Best (Photos)

“Incredibles 2” will hit theaters June 15. Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson and director Brad Bird also star.

See the character sketches below:

This experiment yielded some Incredible results. ??’? Follow this thread to meet the cast of #Incredibles2. pic.twitter.com/iAkmsR96xg

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/9EinmcSDXY

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/R3S5QJokLw

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/9s9JVWaNk6

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/swvHUpgoT8

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/x2jJUvCVnq

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/Nqa6TQfW0q

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/27SoZTRRIg

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/DdrL3q6Gzi

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/EZbuOx1D8v

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

#Incredibles2 pic.twitter.com/6apBWNYYda

– Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 22, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Incredibles 2’: Holly Hunter on Elastigirl Becoming ‘Full-Fledged’ Hero in Post-‘Wonder Woman’ Sequel

‘Incredibles 2’ Teaser Trailer: Jack-Jack Unleashes His Powers (Video)

Samuel L. Jackson and ‘Incredibles 2’ Cast Unveil Details at D23 Expo

Disney Pixar announced additions to the “Incredibles 2” cast Monday — including “Chicago P.D.” alum Sophia Bush and Italian film star Isabella Rossellini — and shared side-by-side images of its entire voice cast with their on-screen counterparts.

As previously announced, Catherine Keener of “Get Out” and “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk will be joining the Pixar superhero sequel. They will play Evelyn and Winston Deavor, the face of and the brains behind a world-class telecommunications company, respectively.

Plot details are scarce, with Pixar only sharing that Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) will take center stage as “a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot.” Her husband, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), will stay at home and navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life with baby Jack-Jack and his emerging superpowers.

Bush will also join the cast as Voyd, who is described as “a young, overeager ‘wannabe’ Super and a mega-fan of Elastigirl.” She has the ability to divert and manipulate objects around her by creating voids that allow objects to appear, disappear and shift in space.

“Breaking Bad” star Jonathan Banks plays Rick Decker, the head of the official Super Relocation Program, tasked with helping the central family keep their superhero identities a secret.

They’ll also be joined by Rossellini, whose character is only identified as Ambassador and described as a foreign official committed to the support and legalization of superheroes.

“Incredibles 2” will hit theaters June 15. Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson and director Brad Bird also star.

See the character sketches below:

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Incredibles 2': Holly Hunter on Elastigirl Becoming 'Full-Fledged' Hero in Post-'Wonder Woman' Sequel

'Incredibles 2' Teaser Trailer: Jack-Jack Unleashes His Powers (Video)

Samuel L. Jackson and 'Incredibles 2' Cast Unveil Details at D23 Expo

Film Review: ‘Nostalgia’

Just as a laugh is generally bigger the longer its setup, so tears require even more preparation to be properly jerked — which is to say, we can’t be expected to weep for, or with, fictive folks we’ve hardly met. Yet that’s exactly what “Nostalgia” insists upon: This well-meaning dirge of grief introduces audiences to […]

Just as a laugh is generally bigger the longer its setup, so tears require even more preparation to be properly jerked — which is to say, we can’t be expected to weep for, or with, fictive folks we’ve hardly met. Yet that’s exactly what “Nostalgia” insists upon: This well-meaning dirge of grief introduces audiences to […]

‘Nostalgia’ Film Review: Jon Hamm and an All-Star Ensemble Prop Up a Disappointing Examination of Grief

Hating on a movie like veteran director Mark Pellington’s “Nostalgia” costs you something. It’s an achingly sincere, Proustian mosaic about grief and memory, co-written and directed by a bereaved filmmaker as a therapeutic exercise. (Pellington’s wife died suddenly in 2004, leaving him to raise their then two-year-old daughter alone.)

The film is low key and very slow, but there’s a quiet missionary zeal at work: a fervid desire to impart Big Truths about the human predicament by preaching personal epiphanies, traumatically acquired.

“Nostalgia” means well. It tries hard. It wants to help. And there’s nothing at all pleasurable in stomping on this particular butterfly, so painfully assembled from shards of personal loss. But just as you can feel compassion for the grief-struck friend who finds God, or who self-medicates, or suffers a breakdown, without becoming an atheist alcoholic in a straightjacket, it’s quite possible to watch this tone poem to mourning with the fullest empathy while finding its central message a little unsound and a lot unwise.

Also Read: Bleecker Street Acquires Domestic Rights to Jon Hamm Drama ‘Nostalgia’

This is a movie about the props people leave behind when they exit the stage of life, the bric-a-brac in the attic and on the shelf, which Pellington sees as a kennel full of spirit animals embodying those who have gone. “Nostalgia” begins with what might be its best scene: a freckled waitress (Shinelle Azoroh) reacts to an off-screen customer who queries her about her jewelry.

Each piece is a family heirloom with a story behind it, so we get to know this woman we’ll never see again through her objects, in an easy and offhand manner the rest of the film won’t even aspire to. As an overture, it sets an intriguing tone. But then we meet the customer himself (John Ortiz, “Silver Linings Playbook”) and things start to drift and go wrong.

Ortiz plays either an estate appraiser or an insurance claims adjuster; in the space of two sequences he seems to serve both these related but distinct functions. He stops in on Bruce Dern, a crusty widower whose family wants him to simplify. Dern is irascible, Ortiz quietly intense — a traveling angel whose unblinking interest in the old man’s personal artifacts is supposed to be compassionate but carries an unintended aura of creepy voyeurism. He takes Dern’s picture and later superimposes it on a youthful portrait of Dern he surreptitiously photographed, a gesture meant as soulful but instead feels disturbingly intrusive.

Also Read: Jon Hamm Says Social Media Is ‘the Visual Equivalent of Masturbating’

Ortiz meets with Dern’s daughter (Amber Tamblyn, in a nuanced cameo) for some pieties about his vocation bearing witness to other people’s lives. Then he’s off to the next plotline, about an elderly widow (Ellen Burstyn) whose house has burned down. (Ortiz takes a moment when no one’s watching to perform a “Honey, I’m home” pantomime in the ashes, a “heartwarming” gesture that feels like an outtake from “The Stepfather” or “Strangers on a Train.”)

It’s in the ruins of Burstyn’s home that we begin to notice how pseudo-poetry of the dialogue by Pellington and co-writer Alex Ross Perry (“Listen Up Philip”). The legendary Burstyn struggles through thankless speeches about losing her past, jousting with what amounts to blank verse and narrowly wrestling her lines to a draw.

The only survivor of the blaze is a valuable autographed baseball bequeathed by the widow’s late husband, and times are pretty hard. So Burstyn is off to Vegas to meet a memorabilia dealer (Jon Hamm) whom she’ll regale with more speechifying about the totemic power of objects as the next story in what turns out to be an anthology movie is introduced.

Hamm, an extraordinarily subtle actor whose quiet craft often gets overlooked, is perfectly cast for the tone Pellington wants to strike, and he’s able to emote convincingly in the narrow elegiac range in which “Nostalgia” tries to operate. Even better is Catherine Keener as Hamm’s more energized sister. As happens in a movie arranged around a thesis, Hamm and Keener are also called on to bury their past by emptying their childhood home of its furnishings. But fate has a dark twist in store, one best left unspoiled since it provides the only narrative tension in an otherwise willfully monochromatic work.

Also Read: Asa Butterfield Movie ‘The House of Tomorrow’ Lands at Shout! Studios

First time cinematographer Matt Sakatani Roe elegantly manages the jump from short films and commercials, making a low budget film look lush. But composer Laurent Eyquem’s overbearingly Chopin-esque music is maddeningly sentimental, literally underscoring the biggest flaws of a movie trafficking in emotions far shallower than the ones it thinks it’s reached.

Give Pellington points for taking a deeply materialistic approach to a spiritual topic, because “Nostalgia” quite seriously argues for the healing power of estate planning. There are characters (including Hamm’s) who question the wisdom of filling their cars and spare bedrooms with the Hummel figurines, outdated appliances and “Best Dad in the World” coffee mugs of their nearest and dearest, but “Nostalgia” converts them or punishes their lack of wisdom in every case. In the real world, many people react to personal loss by lightening their load and simplifying, an ethereal position the heirloom-driven “Nostalgia” sees as ill-considered and wrong.

If you disagree with Pellington’s main metaphysical point, the whole movie can feel like a put-up job. There’s a scene, for example, where James LeGros makes a speech to Hamm about how perishable memory has become in a digital age, where a teenager’s entire photographic history can vanish in an instant if she loses her computer and phone.

Apparently Hamm and LeGros have never heard of social media, where the average teen’s every meal, night out and camping trip is chronicled across friends’ profiles in greater detail than Boswell gave to his “Life of Samuel Johnson.” It’s a straw-man argument, and a fusty old-guy one at that.



Related stories from TheWrap:

Amber Tamblyn to Rose McGowan: It’s ‘Beneath’ You to Shame Women Who Try to ‘Create Change’

FX President ‘Confident’ That ‘Mayans MC’ Will Move Forward Despite Shakeup

Stars at Palm Springs Film Festival Discuss the #MeToo Movement ‘Wave’ (Video)

Palm Springs Film Fest: Female Power, Embracing Superheroes and Other Things We Saw

Hating on a movie like veteran director Mark Pellington’s “Nostalgia” costs you something. It’s an achingly sincere, Proustian mosaic about grief and memory, co-written and directed by a bereaved filmmaker as a therapeutic exercise. (Pellington’s wife died suddenly in 2004, leaving him to raise their then two-year-old daughter alone.)

The film is low key and very slow, but there’s a quiet missionary zeal at work: a fervid desire to impart Big Truths about the human predicament by preaching personal epiphanies, traumatically acquired.

“Nostalgia” means well. It tries hard. It wants to help. And there’s nothing at all pleasurable in stomping on this particular butterfly, so painfully assembled from shards of personal loss. But just as you can feel compassion for the grief-struck friend who finds God, or who self-medicates, or suffers a breakdown, without becoming an atheist alcoholic in a straightjacket, it’s quite possible to watch this tone poem to mourning with the fullest empathy while finding its central message a little unsound and a lot unwise.

This is a movie about the props people leave behind when they exit the stage of life, the bric-a-brac in the attic and on the shelf, which Pellington sees as a kennel full of spirit animals embodying those who have gone. “Nostalgia” begins with what might be its best scene: a freckled waitress (Shinelle Azoroh) reacts to an off-screen customer who queries her about her jewelry.

Each piece is a family heirloom with a story behind it, so we get to know this woman we’ll never see again through her objects, in an easy and offhand manner the rest of the film won’t even aspire to. As an overture, it sets an intriguing tone. But then we meet the customer himself (John Ortiz, “Silver Linings Playbook”) and things start to drift and go wrong.

Ortiz plays either an estate appraiser or an insurance claims adjuster; in the space of two sequences he seems to serve both these related but distinct functions. He stops in on Bruce Dern, a crusty widower whose family wants him to simplify. Dern is irascible, Ortiz quietly intense — a traveling angel whose unblinking interest in the old man’s personal artifacts is supposed to be compassionate but carries an unintended aura of creepy voyeurism. He takes Dern’s picture and later superimposes it on a youthful portrait of Dern he surreptitiously photographed, a gesture meant as soulful but instead feels disturbingly intrusive.

Ortiz meets with Dern’s daughter (Amber Tamblyn, in a nuanced cameo) for some pieties about his vocation bearing witness to other people’s lives. Then he’s off to the next plotline, about an elderly widow (Ellen Burstyn) whose house has burned down. (Ortiz takes a moment when no one’s watching to perform a “Honey, I’m home” pantomime in the ashes, a “heartwarming” gesture that feels like an outtake from “The Stepfather” or “Strangers on a Train.”)

It’s in the ruins of Burstyn’s home that we begin to notice how pseudo-poetry of the dialogue by Pellington and co-writer Alex Ross Perry (“Listen Up Philip”). The legendary Burstyn struggles through thankless speeches about losing her past, jousting with what amounts to blank verse and narrowly wrestling her lines to a draw.

The only survivor of the blaze is a valuable autographed baseball bequeathed by the widow’s late husband, and times are pretty hard. So Burstyn is off to Vegas to meet a memorabilia dealer (Jon Hamm) whom she’ll regale with more speechifying about the totemic power of objects as the next story in what turns out to be an anthology movie is introduced.

Hamm, an extraordinarily subtle actor whose quiet craft often gets overlooked, is perfectly cast for the tone Pellington wants to strike, and he’s able to emote convincingly in the narrow elegiac range in which “Nostalgia” tries to operate. Even better is Catherine Keener as Hamm’s more energized sister. As happens in a movie arranged around a thesis, Hamm and Keener are also called on to bury their past by emptying their childhood home of its furnishings. But fate has a dark twist in store, one best left unspoiled since it provides the only narrative tension in an otherwise willfully monochromatic work.

First time cinematographer Matt Sakatani Roe elegantly manages the jump from short films and commercials, making a low budget film look lush. But composer Laurent Eyquem’s overbearingly Chopin-esque music is maddeningly sentimental, literally underscoring the biggest flaws of a movie trafficking in emotions far shallower than the ones it thinks it’s reached.

Give Pellington points for taking a deeply materialistic approach to a spiritual topic, because “Nostalgia” quite seriously argues for the healing power of estate planning. There are characters (including Hamm’s) who question the wisdom of filling their cars and spare bedrooms with the Hummel figurines, outdated appliances and “Best Dad in the World” coffee mugs of their nearest and dearest, but “Nostalgia” converts them or punishes their lack of wisdom in every case. In the real world, many people react to personal loss by lightening their load and simplifying, an ethereal position the heirloom-driven “Nostalgia” sees as ill-considered and wrong.

If you disagree with Pellington’s main metaphysical point, the whole movie can feel like a put-up job. There’s a scene, for example, where James LeGros makes a speech to Hamm about how perishable memory has become in a digital age, where a teenager’s entire photographic history can vanish in an instant if she loses her computer and phone.

Apparently Hamm and LeGros have never heard of social media, where the average teen’s every meal, night out and camping trip is chronicled across friends’ profiles in greater detail than Boswell gave to his “Life of Samuel Johnson.” It’s a straw-man argument, and a fusty old-guy one at that.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Amber Tamblyn to Rose McGowan: It's 'Beneath' You to Shame Women Who Try to 'Create Change'

FX President 'Confident' That 'Mayans MC' Will Move Forward Despite Shakeup

Stars at Palm Springs Film Festival Discuss the #MeToo Movement 'Wave' (Video)

Palm Springs Film Fest: Female Power, Embracing Superheroes and Other Things We Saw

Catherine Keener signs on for Jim Carrey’s sad puppeteer Showtime show

Fresh off of scaring the shit out of us in Get Out, Catherine Keener is set to add another tally mark on her very niche list of sad puppeteer TV shows or films. The former Being John Malkovich star has signed on for Jim Carrey’s new Showtime series Kidding, about a cheerful children’s entertainer whose life suddenly…

Read more…

Fresh off of scaring the shit out of us in Get Out, Catherine Keener is set to add another tally mark on her very niche list of sad puppeteer TV shows or films. The former Being John Malkovich star has signed on for Jim Carrey’s new Showtime series Kidding, about a cheerful children’s entertainer whose life suddenly…

Read more...

Catherine Keener To Co-Star In Jim Carrey Comedy Series ‘Kidding’ On Showtime

In her first series regular role, Catherine Keener (Get Out) has been cast opposite Jim Carrey in the upcoming Showtime half-hour comedy Kidding.
Created by Dave Holstein, and directed by Carrey’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind helmer Michel Gondry, the 10-episode Kidding centers on Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles (Carrey), an icon of children’s television, a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America’s impressionable young minds and the parents who grew up with him – who also…

In her first series regular role, Catherine Keener (Get Out) has been cast opposite Jim Carrey in the upcoming Showtime half-hour comedy Kidding. Created by Dave Holstein, and directed by Carrey’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind helmer Michel Gondry, the 10-episode Kidding centers on Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles (Carrey), an icon of children's television, a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America's impressionable young minds and the parents who grew up with him – who also…

Catherine Keener Joins Fred Armisen-Maya Rudolph Amazon Comedy Series As Recurring

Two-time Oscar nominee Catherine Keener (Capote, Being John Malkovich) is set for a recurring role opposite Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph in Amazon’s single-camera straight-to-series comedy, from Master Of None co-creator Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard.
The logline for the untitled project is being kept under wraps, though I hear Armisen and Rudolph play a long-term married couple residing in Southern California. Keener is believed to be playing their mysterious new…

Two-time Oscar nominee Catherine Keener (Capote, Being John Malkovich) is set for a recurring role opposite Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph in Amazon’s single-camera straight-to-series comedy, from Master Of None co-creator Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard. The logline for the untitled project is being kept under wraps, though I hear Armisen and Rudolph play a long-term married couple residing in Southern California. Keener is believed to be playing their mysterious new…

‘Incredibles 2’ Teaser Trailer: Jack-Jack Unleashes His Powers (Video)

Disney has released the first teaser trailer to Pixar’s “The Incredibles 2,” which shows baby Jack-Jack discovering — and unleashing — his super powers.

Check out the clip above.

The sequel to Pixar’s 2004 Academy Award-winning animated feature will make its way into theaters next summer. In the trailer, a curious Jack-Jack finally discovers his powers, which excites Bob at first… but then high jinks ensue. “You have powers! Yeah, baby!’ says Bob.

Also Read: Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Becomes Mexico’s Highest Grossing Film Ever

Full details on the plot for “The Incredibles 2” are unknown, though the film is said to center on Elastigirl’s own adventure while Bob stays at home to watch over Jack-Jack. The story will pick up immediately after the first film, as the Parr family faces off against the supervillain, Underminer.

Directed by Brad Bird, “The Incredibles 2” stars Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell and Samuel L. Jackson, with Huck Milner joining the cast as the new voice of Dash. Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener are also joining the cast in new roles.

“The Incredibles 2” will be released in theaters on June 15, 2018.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Pixar’s ‘Coco,’ 2 Lego Movies Top List of 26 Oscars Animation Contenders

‘Coco’ Review: Pixar’s Journey Down Mexico Way Pays Colorful, Moving Tribute to Family

Pixar Writer Debunks ‘Toy Story’ Theory Regarding Andy’s Father

Disney has released the first teaser trailer to Pixar’s “The Incredibles 2,” which shows baby Jack-Jack discovering — and unleashing — his super powers.

Check out the clip above.

The sequel to Pixar’s 2004 Academy Award-winning animated feature will make its way into theaters next summer. In the trailer, a curious Jack-Jack finally discovers his powers, which excites Bob at first… but then high jinks ensue. “You have powers! Yeah, baby!’ says Bob.

Full details on the plot for “The Incredibles 2” are unknown, though the film is said to center on Elastigirl’s own adventure while Bob stays at home to watch over Jack-Jack. The story will pick up immediately after the first film, as the Parr family faces off against the supervillain, Underminer.

Directed by Brad Bird, “The Incredibles 2” stars Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell and Samuel L. Jackson, with Huck Milner joining the cast as the new voice of Dash. Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener are also joining the cast in new roles.

“The Incredibles 2” will be released in theaters on June 15, 2018.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Pixar's 'Coco,' 2 Lego Movies Top List of 26 Oscars Animation Contenders

'Coco' Review: Pixar's Journey Down Mexico Way Pays Colorful, Moving Tribute to Family

Pixar Writer Debunks 'Toy Story' Theory Regarding Andy's Father

‘Ordeal By Innocence’: Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener & More Join BBC Agatha Christie Mini

Ordeal By Innocence is the first Agatha Christie adaptation under a 2016 deal struck between BBC One and Agatha Christie Productions for seven dramas based on the author’s works. With filming starting in Scotland this month, the three-part mini has set its ensemble cast led by Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener and Matthew Goode.
Published in 1958, the book was one of the author’s personal favorites. It begins with the murder of wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll at her…

Ordeal By Innocence is the first Agatha Christie adaptation under a 2016 deal struck between BBC One and Agatha Christie Productions for seven dramas based on the author’s works. With filming starting in Scotland this month, the three-part mini has set its ensemble cast led by Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener and Matthew Goode. Published in 1958, the book was one of the author's personal favorites. It begins with the murder of wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll at her…