*** Official "MONSTERS INC." Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt Butler, Oct 30, 2001.

  1. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    I saw an advance screening of Monsters Inc.
    Heres my review:
    I am a huge fan of Pixar but I was very dissapointed with this movie. As youve seen in the trailers two Monsters (voiced by John Goodman and Billy Crystal) are best friends who work for a power company in a land of Monsters. They open doors to the human world and collect screams from children for their power source.
    All Ill say about the rest of the plot is that a small child accidentally ends up in Monster land and all hell breaks loose.
    This film has cute moments and laughs are few but thats it. The plot and pacing fall flat. Like the other Pixar films there were wonderful characters but I didnt feel the same watching this.
    BTW im not saying "Dont see the movie" By all means do. This is a fair movie. The cast was wonderful. There are a few key moments and laughs. There are some very clever moments as well. It is worth seeing. Its just not great.
    I will say this that the sound is very good also. I was amazed at how good it was. It will make a good DVD.
    I give it a **1/2 out of 4 Stars
     
  2. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    I saw "Monsters, Inc." last night. Simply put, it's the best movie I've seen in years. It was wonderful and imaginative. It was funny and touching. The visuals were amazing. The voice talents (John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, and even Frank Oz) turned in exceptional performances. There's nothing not to like about this movie. Easily on par with the "Toy Story" films.
    My favorite part was the exciting Spoiler:chase through the storage area with all the doors. It was also cool to see the references to "real-life" monsters, like the appearance of the Abominable Snowman.
    Pixar is my new favorite studio.
    Four stars out of four.
    [Edited last by Carl Fink on October 30, 2001 at 10:34 AM]
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Monsters Inc.". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread. Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning! If you need to discuss those type of issues, I have designated an Official Discussion Thread which can be found at this link .
    Again, without warning, I will delete all posts that are not a HTF member review!
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
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    [Edited last by Robert Crawford on November 02, 2001 at 02:18 PM]
     
  4. steve jaros

    steve jaros Second Unit

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    I saw it this afternoon and enjoyed it immensely. Sweet and funny, and awesome animation.
    This should cop the Best Animated Feature Oscar. IMO.
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  5. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    I enjoyed this a great deal. It's not my favorite Pixar film (I still believe Toy Story 2 is the most "grown up" of all the Pixar films), however, it is a great film that stood out amongst a year where I saw mostly garbage.
    Monsters, Inc. had some great in references (Sissy Kids, Kids who ride on bikes.. bit cracked me up) some great hidden looks and characters (anyone else notice who was the fake kid doll?) And some generally funny moments.
    The ending to the film was far more subtle and touching then I figured I was in for, and found the whole film to be very well done, and well worth the price of admission.
     
  6. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Put me down as a big fan. It's more action adventure than the more sentimental Toy Story films, but it still has a heart.
    Either way, the film is wonderfully made/animated. I mean in terms of direction/cinematography. Good story-telling shots, well written script.
    Not the best film of the year for me, but the best family film for sure. Pixar is doing for animation films what Walt Disney was doing with Snow White, Pinnochio, Cinderella, etc.
    The film charmed me time and again with great moments, including the ending shot which was steller.
    And such great plot ideas, like the door chase, or Buscemi's Randall character. They really work the narrative well.
     
  7. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I highly recommend this. I really don't get where some are coming from wanting a children's movie filled with adult in-jokes. Did adults like Toy Story 1 and 2 because they threw in some in-jokes. No. We liked it because the story was great, the writing was great and the animation was to die for.
    Well this movie one-ups Toy Story 2 on animation and the writing was nearly as good. The story is not quite as good but the story behind the TS series is tough to top. This movie is much better than Shrek in my opinion, which was too hip for its own good.
    The speach pattern of the little girl was incredibly realistic. The characters in this movie were wonderful, especially the bad guy. There was about a 10-minute span towards the middle that started to lose me but the movie picked up very well and ends quite strong.
    No doubt about it, you and your children should enjoy this film. It is a visual feast for the senses.
    Brian
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  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    wow Wow WOW!
    I had my expectations set "low" (A Bug's Life low, the least of the Pixar movie, IMO). Monsters Inc. exceeded them. It's perhaps the equal of Toy Story, though it doesn't reach the stratosphere with Toy Story 2.
    I thoroughly enjoyed Monsters Inc., laughing throughout, and was genuinely touched at various moments. The story was strong, primary characters well-cast (for voice talent), with a couple of themes running on different levels, and the heroes truly enjoyable. The animation was pure Pixar: technically excellent, and stylistically striking the balance between realism and 'cartoony'.
    And the little kid, running amok in the Monstropolis, is one of the funniest characters I've seen in a movie in a long time. "Mike Wazowski!" [​IMG]
    I cannot wait for the DVD!
    Go see this movie. Take your kids, your parents, your roommates. You'll be hoping to find a monsters in your closet, afterwards.
     
  9. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    It's such a technical marvel and such a funny film, but overall it's a step backwards for Pixar. Pete Doctor directing may have something to do with it, as Lassiter's films make me think first about the characters and their quirks, which led to outstanding humour, here there is very little of it, just the nice Boo/Sulley relationship to fall back on, and that's pretty much it.
    Or who knows, maybe I'm still thinking about Mulholland Drive [​IMG]
    A welcome recommendation, just not as strong as I was hoping.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  10. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Enjoyed this film all the way. I guess that the middle segment of the film was a little weak as they should have developed more of a relationship between the 3 main characters. IN addition, the villains of the movie were a bit weak. The premise promised a story akin to Men in Black, but veers away from this course and goes "cute". HOwever, the nuances of the characters are very funny and entertaining. ON a whole, it wasn't the step forward that I was expecting from Pixar, but neither was it a step back. Toy Story 2 demonstrated storytelling taken to the next level, but Monsters Inc., was simply an imaginative story and delivers just enough for Pixar fans to enjoy, but nothing more.
     
  11. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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    Once again Pixar as hit another home run. Monsters was a very fun and imaginative film that had a fun story, lovable characters, and a cool ass villain in Randall. The animation was just jaw-dropping. Every time Sully was on screen, I was just blown away by the movement and natural flowing of his fur, especially the scenes in the Himalayas. I hope I wasn't going to be annoyed by the little girl, but I felt they did a good job making her seem real, and thus not annoying. The chase through the warehouse that held all the closet doors was well shot and exciting. The closing shot was my favorite out of Pixar's films. You care so much for the characters and to see that expression on Sully's face was a great moment in animation and all of film.
    My only disappointment, no outtakes at the end of the film.
    I give Monsters, Inc. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of 4.
    A great family film that is a great and fun time for everyone.
    -Dean-
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    My HT Equipment
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    [Edited last by Dean DeMass on November 03, 2001 at 06:01 AM]
     
  12. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Another hit from Pixar. Like its three previous movies, Pixar shows that they can mix humor, exciting action sequences, and heartfelt themes into a family film better than anyone else. However, I do feel that the script is a little underwritten--or the film slightly too long--causing much of the second act to be rather predictable and going through the motions. Because of this, I will probably put it behind all three previous movies, though those set a bar quite high.
    The animation on the three main monsters were excellent. Sully's texture, Mike's expressions, and Randall's slick movement were all completely believable. The voice acting is also all very good; I must agree that Boo's speech pattern was nailed down perfectly.
    The roller coaster action sequence is eye popping, one of the best action sequences this year, live action or animation. It is set up perfectly with repeated shots of the information we need to know, yet still revealing its majestic when the actual sequence begins. The ending is also terrifically touching without being too overreaching; one can imagine many filmmakers going further than Pixar while having a lesser effect.
     
  13. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    Although I consider Monsters Inc. to be the weakest of Pixar's feature films, it's still one entertaining and visually stunning flick (I enjoyed it more than I did Shrek, take that as a frame of reference). Although I thought the script could have used some more rewrites (certain plot points weren't fleshed out IMO), the nonstop hilarity makes up for it. The crowd was howling with laughter throughout most of the picture. The film showed some heart as well, with some touching moments between Sulley and Boo.
    I give it 3 stars out of 4.
    quote: My only disappointment, no outtakes at the end of the film.[/quote]
    Pixar will probably add it later on in its theatrical run, like they did in Toy Story 2.
    [Edited last by Richard Kim on November 03, 2001 at 08:55 AM]
     
  14. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    My family and I went to see Monsters Inc at a sneak viewing sponsored by Radio Disney. No little kids in my family -- both my wife and I are in our 40s and our son and his girlfriend are 17. That being said, we all though that Monsters Inc was incredibily funny. There are sight gags layered on sight gags. Most jokes - only the adults will get. There's even a great, slightly crude joke that zings off an old Frank Zappa song. The best CG animation I've seen, especially big, blue Sully. The details are incredible, and this DVD will have a permanent spot in my special edition collection. Pixar remains the ILM of computer animated features.
    Don't go in expecting the depth of the Toy Story films. Monsters Inc has its heart-warming moments, but over all, it's an absolutely hysterical slap-stick style comedy. It does exactly what it intended to go -- entertain in the most imaginative way!
     
  15. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I forgot to mention 2 things in this thread, although I mentioned them elsewhere at HTF.
    The credits. Were those titles great or what. It was like Saul Bass was back and working for Pixar. Proving that Pixar understands that animation art is about a LOT more than just technical wizardry. The feel of those titles just had that fun mood built in, and presented a nice contrast to the coming 3-D animation about to be shown.
    Also, the short "For the Birds". Someone else around here said what I thought. How do they pack so much life into what are basically simplistic figures being copied over and over. And that wheat field in the background could have been live action dropped in behind the animation, it's that good.
    I had a hearty laugh watching this short. It was visually clever and cute. It certainly jazzed the crowd up too.
    I would expect For the Birds to be in the running for best animated short of the year easily.
     
  16. Todd_Brown

    Todd_Brown Second Unit

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    My family gives this [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] !!! We took my two boys (8 & 5), they both thought the movie was great, as did my wife and I. We laughed out loud quite a few times, and its been a while since I've been to a movie that the audience applauded enthusiastically at the end. My wife and I hadn't seen "Shrek", so after "Monster's Inc." we went home and watched "Shrek" in our theater. Loved them both, but give the edge to "Monster's Inc.".
    By the way the trailers for "Harry Potter", "Star Wars II", and "Peter Pan II", really wetted my appetite.
    Todd
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  17. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I saw the movie last night and enjoyed it for the most part. I will agree with people that this is probably the worst of the four films Pixar has made, but it is a tribute to this company that all of them are high quality films. Technically, it is very well executed, as I've come to expect from Pixar. The plot was very servicable for what this was.
    I think what bugs me a little about this film were the use of some overused cliches and the fact that the characters, for the most part, lacked character. For John Goodman and Billy Crystal being in this film, their characters were pretty darn flat. It doesn't help that the ending of the film is telegraphed from a mile away.
    In fact, what saves this film in my eyes is Boo, the little girl. She had far more character than anyone else, and I give Pixar credit because her character comes mostly from the animators and has little to do with the actress playing her, because of the lack of lines. She felt like a real 2 year old.
    I say go see it. It is an enjoyable ride, if a bit familiar one.
    Jason
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  18. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    Overall, I thought Monsters, Inc. was very enjoyable. It did bog down a bit in the middle and the chase scene...well, that didn't do all that much for me, personally. I think the one aspect that this film suffered from was it didn't have the cross-over appeal of earlier Pixar films. It was a GREAT kids movie. It was a so-so adult film. Not enough in-jokes or references to keep an adult really interested, but great animation and amazing clarity and sound kinda make up for that. The one aspect that this film benefited from was its heart. It had a very touching and thoughtful storyline, one that a child and an adult could identify with. A great touch, in my books.
    P.S. This was the first film in my memory that recieved a round of applause. Granted, the theater was packed with kids, but it was still a pretty surreal moment.
    Monsters, Inc. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Bruce
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  19. Yoshi Sugawara

    Yoshi Sugawara Stunt Coordinator

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    Although I somewhat agree that this isn't the best feature Pixar made, it's still a very fun movie. It was just lighthearted and slapstick comedy all the way, not to mention the breathtaking action sequence at the end.
    It's all a matter of expectations - those looking for some significant meaning present in Toy Story and Toy Story 2 will be somewhat disappointed. But come on, does every Pixar outing have to be very deep? For a kid's movie, it does a solid job appealing to the adults - I was throughly entertained.
    I liked the SW Episode II Teaser - just made me feel excited about it. I hope Hayden does a good job portraying Anakin...
     
  20. AJ Johnson

    AJ Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the same feelings as others about this movie. Great movie but it left me feeling a little empty unlike the Toy Story movies. It felt more like a Disney type movie formula than a Pixar film to be honest. The only part that really made me laugh was how Randall went out...in fact I was dyin laughin at the "big lizard" part. The chase scene that everyone is raving about was so pale in comparison to the final chase scene in Toy Story. I was kind of let down by it but it was still good nonetheless. I think I just got my hopes too high after reading so many posts about. I would definitely recommend it to anyone (even adults should enjoy this) and I give it a 3 out of 4 stars.
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    [Edited last by AJ Johnson on November 03, 2001 at 11:40 PM]
     

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