The Incredibles (2004)
Bob Parr was forced to give up his career in law enforcement. Now he is working at a dead end desk job, trying to support his wife and three children. Helen, his wife, has fully embraced the domestic lifestyle but Bob cannot help but feel restless in his mundane life. And then Bob loses his job. Will this event start Bob on a downward spiral that will end with his family falling apart, or will this be the jumping off point for a new and more exciting life? And did I mention, this is an animated movie and Bob and all his family have super powers? All the characters are wonderfully crafted and the screenplay sings as it creates an emotional roller coaster. There is a villain straight out of a James Bond movie, a wonderfully eccentric costume designer, and a surprising moment of pure joy smack dab in the middle of a deadly pursuit. Sure the action is thrilling, the animation is superb (what else could be expected from Pixar?) but the real strength of the film is the very human family trying to make their way in a mediocre world.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
This film is completely unbelievable on so many levels. Why does dad getting to his son make everything alright, even though they will still be trapped in ice-bound New York City? Why are the merry band of survivors trapped inside a library insisting on only burning books when there are plenty of wooden desks and other pieces of furniture just lying around that will burn longer and better than books? What is added to the film by adding a pointless sub-plot with a pack of bad CG wolves? Why is it that while it is so cold that people turn into instant popsicles when they open the door, they are not visibly cold before opening said door? Why does global WARMING result in an ICE age? Why should we even care about any of these characters when they’re all going to die horribly anyway? And of course there is my favorite exchange: [people on Earth talking to astronauts in space] “We have reports that the storm in North America is breaking up. Can you confirm this?” “Yes. We’re over Europe right now.” So not only does director Roland Emmerich fail story construction, character development, fire 101, and simple scientific principles, he also manages to fail geography as well.
Coming up next: the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Any predictions as to which ones?