Just forget the words and sing along

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Traditional Birthday: Pizza and a Movie

Well, it was my birthday a few days ago.  I'm now the ripe old age of 38.  I'm as old as Homer Simpson.  That is a very frightening thought.  And I've been celebrating my birthday the same way I've been celebrating it since I turned 11:  pizza and a movie.

Mom wanted to treat me, so of course I let her.  I met up with Mom down in Spruce Grove.  There's a newish pizza chain that's sprung up called Famoso.  They're part of the new trend in dining known as "fast casual."  It's a step up from fast food, but still not as ornate as casual dining.  If you read the financial pages, you'll know it's the trend that's currently killing McDonald's.  Anyway, Famoso specializes in your very traditional Italian pizza...Neapolitan pizza is the official term, according to their website.  Very thin crust, baked in a stone oven, and very good.  As I've always been fond of mushrooms, I went with the Funghi Pizza.  It's good stuff.  I recommend them.

And then the debate was on as to what movie to drag Mom to.  At first I was thinking Terminator Genisys, simply because it was an early show, and Spruce Grove is about an hour's drive home for each of us.  Didn't want us to be on the road too late.  But, dang it, I just wanted to see Inside Out more, even though it meant a later show.  So we saw Inside Out.

Holy moly.  Inside Out is so good, you guys.  After being in a bit of a slump with their past few films, Pixar is back in a beautiful way.  What Pixar's last few films lacked was heart...the emotional gut-punch that kept me trying very hard not to cry.  Well, Inside Out gave me that gut punch.  The emotional wallop that Pixar films used to be guaranteed to provide was finally back.

I think you the know the premise right now.  It is a tad complicated.  It takes place within the mind of an 11-year old girl named Riley.  We see that she's influenced by five personified emotions.  Joy kind of runs the show, and Anger, Fear, and Disgust play their roles, but they've never figured out what Sadness is supposed to do.  But then, one of Joy's attempts to keep Sadness in check goes awry, and Joy and Sadness are soon stranded away from Headquarters in the deepest recesses of Riley's mind.  Joy and Sadness are soon on a dangerous trek back to Headquarters.  But, they have to hurry.  For the longer they're away, the more Anger, Fear and Disgust mismanage things, and soon various aspects of Riley's personality begin shutting down.  Will they make it back before Riley does something drastic?  Will they find out the role of Sadness in everything?

At the end of the day, Inside Out is a coming-of-age story told from a very unique point of view, as Riley's emotions learn that it's OK to feel certain things and it's all part of growing up.  The setting allows for a very unique landscape.  The characters are very imaginative.  Everything about this film is just so good.

Of course, a few quibbles.  As you can see from the premise, it's also a road movie, a formula which has worked very well for Pixar.  But it's easy to overlook that and just get caught up in the journey.

I give it a full 4 Nibs.  Full review is over on the main site.

And, as I've done in recent years, for my birthday present to myself, I went nuts on iTunes and bought some music.  But rather than spend $5 on some singles, I went a little overboard and bought two complete albums.

First up...the Inside Out soundtrack.  I think Michael Giacchino is one of the finest composers working today, and I find his score for Inside Out is haunting me.  Some of the themes in it are so unique.  It really does sound like the music you hear when you dream.

And speaking of Michael Giacchino, he's done the score for another very popular movie in theatres right now...Jurassic World.  And hearing Giacchino slip in and reinterpret John Williams' original Jurassic Park themes in the soundtrack always made me smile throughout that film.  So I also bought, well, not Giacchino's Jurassic World soundtrack, but John Williams' original Jurassic Park soundtrack.  I mean, I've been wanting it ever since I saw Jurassic Park back for my birthday movie in 1993.  This is truly some of Williams' best stuff.

And that main theme has always had a great "emerging from the wilderness" vibe to it. 

So that's what I'll be rockin' out to for the rest of the summer.  Well, this isn't the kind of music you rock out to.  This is the music I'll be quietly chillin' to for the rest of the summer. 

All in all, not a bad birthday. 

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