So around 10 PM on June 19th, 2021 I just couldn’t sleep for some reason, so I decided to watch Bo Burnham’s Netflix special Inside because a good friend of mine had suggested it to me and showed me a few of his favorite songs.
All I knew going in was a few of the songs, and that it was going to be all over the place with its tone and pacing. For most films, a fluctuating tone and pacing sounds like an awful idea, but Inside its perfect as the special is more just watching a man delve into and make some meaning of his isolation caused by the Corona pandemic early last year. I would not classify it as a film but just an art piece.
With that being said, it is quite a significant art piece that has a lot to say yet stays on the wayside of topics as best explained by one of his characters Socko wherein most people view the issues we point out and talk about we talk about fixing within our own myopic view of self actualization. “Get with it or get out of the way!”
The special is quite an isolating, wild, dark, humorous thing to watch. Its more as if Bo Burnham just made a bunch of things that he thought was funny or catchy to him, and then released it. Not for us, but just because. It seems more just for him and maybe we’ll laugh along with it. Luckily in my case, I was dying of laughter from the amount of metacontextual jokes, the music, everything.
It’s well worth your time granted you aren’t scared of stepping out of your comfort zone and feeling called out by some of his segments (some personal ones for me being “White Woman’s Instagram”, “Sexting”, “Welcome to the Internet”, and his letsplay of Inside)
Still unable to sleep I decided to watch another film on Netflix, Wish Dragon. I was interested in the film when I got weirdly invested into the trailer, cause for some reason all I could think of was “what would I wish for?” after watching it.
Sadly the film goes the very annoying trope of “wealth won’t bring you happiness” and “the rich girl enjoys the life of a peasant more so lets fetishsize the idea of you’d be happier in poverty by means of hiding it behind a thinly veiled disguise that is community and hard work.” I get that wealth isn’t the answer to everything but it’s a bit grating.
Other than that annoying trope the film is a easy fun watch. It brings nothing particularly new to the table, the characters are expressive, the animation simple but bouncy, the music isn’t too much to note about, the story is nothing new. Its just something fun, thats about it and thats all it needed to be. (Its kinda like Abominable but at least better, now looking back on it.)
After watching Wish Dragon, I still just could not sleep, so I took another good friends suggestion and watched Luca. Pixar’s newest film that is a beautifully animated, simplified yet well detailed environment, with a simple yet effective story taking a step back from a large fantasy adventure to a small little town in Italy about two sea monsters trying to get a Vespa.
It’s like watching a relaxing vacation with a few road bumps and low stakes other than personal ones. The world isn’t at risk, there’s no particularly big bad guy (just some prick), just an identity crisis and some fun heartstrings pulling adventure.
The music is your typical beautiful Pixar fare, knowing the producer put some thought into it and probably did some research in different styles of Italian music to better emulate and immerse the audience into the film.
The writing is good, it has some depth if feel like looking. The characters are good, not one note but nothing that we haven’t seen elsewhere. The plot is simple yet effective. I cried in the end which is what matters the most. (Out of the animated films I’ve seen this year, The Mitchells Vs The Machines still 100% deserves any and all the awards but Luca is a strong 2nd)
The last thing I watched was the Pixar short film Us Again, a 7 minute short film that plays before Raya and the Last Dragon if you saw it in theaters, its available on Disney+ if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly reccomend it.
Its a short jazzy dialogue free film about an old couple reconnecting with their past and learning to accept the presesnt. A beautiful, to the point, heart touching short film that deserve your time considering its shorter than most Youtube videos I’d reccomend. (Also if I could ever have La La Land as an animated film it would definitely be in the same style of Us Again)
The good news is I soon passed out afterwards watching all of this. Watch any of these if you’re interested, these are just my stupid opinions.