Droid defines the Decades Best Films – #3 The Incredibles (2004)

The Incredibles Poster

What can you say about Pixar except for the obvious? They’ve got a pretty impressive track record to say the least. The only film of theirs I didn’t particularly like was ‘Cars’. But ‘The Incredibles’ set a standard they’ve yet to surpass, despite making the delightful ‘Wall-E’. Not only is it ceaselessly enjoyable as an entertainment, it’s also a clever, sly commentary on society, an intelligent satire and a hilarious spoof all rolled in to one.

The Incredibles 2

The look on his face is priceless.

What happens when a superhero saves someone that doesn’t want to be saved? He gets sued. That’s what happens to Bob Parr aka Mr Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), when he saves a man who tries to commit suicide. This triggers a chain of lawsuits brought against other superhero’s such as X-Ray Vision, Dynaguy and Gazerbeam. The government is forced to initiate the Superhero Relocation Program, sending the Supers into hiding. Fifteen years later, Mr Incredible, now married to Helen aka Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), has three kids and an office job he hates. He receives an invitation from the mysterious Mirage (Elizabeth Peña), who knows his true identity and needs his help. Mr Incredible accepts the invitation and gets involved in a plot by evil mastermind Syndrome (Jason Lee), who doesn’t have superpowers and worshipped him as a kid. Using a giant robot, Syndrome plans to stage an attack on Municiberg and fake the robots defeat to show the world that he is a superhero.

The Incredibles 6

Dash is awesome.

As I said, this film is hugely entertaining. Written and directed by Brad Bird, the amount of character detail jammed into the first 20 minutes, despite an action packed opening, is impressive. We get to know the characters of Mr Incredible, Elastigirl, Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and future villain Syndrome aka Incrediboy (“You’re not affiliated with me!”) in a matter of minutes. We know who they are, what their relationships are and the world that they exist in. In doing so, Bird allows himself the time and space to develop each of the characters, including the kids, Dash (Spencer Fox) who can run very, very fast, Violet (Sarah Vowell), who can makes herself invisible and generate force fields, and the baby Jack-Jack, who doesn’t have any powers. Yet. He’s also given himself time to develop Bob’s alienation from normal society (“They keep inventing ways to celebrate mediocrity!”) and frustration with a job he hates, sitting in a tiny cubicle at a giant insurance company where he is required to deny all claims. He misses the old days, when he was allowed to be his best, not sitting in his car with Frozone listening to a police scanner hoping to secretly help someone in trouble.

The Incredibles 4

Funnily enough, this is how I work out too.

Suppressing his true desires, and compromising who he is, is making Bob miserable. When he accepts the invitation from Mirage, and successfully completes the first mission, he is reinvigorated with a new sense of purpose. It’s classic midlife crisis stuff. He starts working out again, he buys a sporty new car and he’s more passionate with his wife. It’s great writing, and to find these adult themes in what is meant to be a kids film is a pleasure. It’s a film that truly crosses the age barrier. Kids love it for the humour and the action, while adults get involved in the familiar themes and situations.

The Incredibles 5


The performances are all top notch. Bird has subtly designed many of the characters so that they reflect the real actors, and this is instrumental to their believability. Nelson and Hunter in particular are terrific in creating real people that we can relate to. The performances help transcend the usual limitations of an animated film. We take these characters seriously, because the characters are true, recognisable humans, despite their fantastic abilities. Jason Lee is wonderful as well. Despite being very funny, Lee inflects real menace and jealousy into Syndrome, and his actions are the result of old wounds and long gestating feelings of betrayal.

The Incredibles 3

Who hasn’t wanted to do this to their boss?

The action scenes are as good as you can get. Bird has staged them with perfect timing and even though this is an animated film, you still get the sense of danger that many live action films fail to generate. Despite their powers, these characters are vulnerable. A perfect example is the scene where Helen is flying the plane and the kids are on board. When they are fired upon by missiles, the panic and danger of their situation is real. It’s a better scene than most other action films have tried and failed to achieve.

The Incredibles 7

Birds Michael Bay moment.

What ‘The Incredibles’ also manages to pull off is being a spoof of action films. In particular, James Bond. The villain, with his secret, tropical island lair, his hoard of useless minions and his penchant for explaining his entire plan for world domination at inopportune times (“You sly dog, you nearly caught me monologuing!”). The tech genius Edna Mode aka E (Brad Bird), who supplies our heroes with specially designed suits (“Virtually indestructible, yet it breathes like Egyptian cotton.”). The film is very funny, and it’s a credit to the clever writing that it doesn’t simply resort to sight gags. It’s cleverness and understanding of the genre it’s spoofing can be found in the scene where E explains to Mr Incredible why his new suit shouldn’t have a cape. While aesthetically pleasing, a cape just isn’t practical. Just ask Splashdown. Oh, but you can’t. He was sucked into a vortex.

The Incredibles 1

Bomb Voyage. What a great character.

The film is gorgeous to look at. The tropical island, with its dense rainforest and active volcano is spectacular. The shot of the plane coming in for landing, and gliding under the water into the underground hanger is beautiful. The design of the film, from the characters to the architecture, is very slightly exaggerated to give it a unique look, but not so much that we lose recognition and the reality.

The Incredibles 8

The hero shot.

When most animated films are simply happy to look cute and reference popular culture, The Incredibles and Pixar in general are something special. They don’t dumb down the story because it’s a kids film. It respects a childs ability to understand that there is something more to the story than a cute furry animal with huge eyes who knows kung-fu. Just like ‘Wall-E’, it has the confidence in it’s story and it’s characters, and the result is a wonderful film that deserves repeat viewing and I believe will endure where the likes of Shrek or Ice Age will fade. It’s a brilliant film.


The list so far…

#4 – Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)

#5 – Zodiac (2007)

#6 – In Bruges (2008)

#7  – Before Sunset (2004)

#8  – Avatar (2009)

#9  – Requiem for a Dream (2001)

#10 – The Descent (2005)

#11 – Unbreakable (2000)

#12 – Best in Show (2000)

#13 – Open Range (2003)

#14 – The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

#15 – Bad Santa (2003)

#16 – The Hurt Locker (2009)

#17 – Where The Wild Things Are (2009)

#18 – Kingdom of Heaven (2005) Directors Cut

#19 – High Fidelity (2000)

#20 – Friday Night Lights (2004)

#21 – Frequency (2000)



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About Judge Droid

In between refining my procrastination skills I talk a lot of shit about movies and such.

180 responses to “Droid defines the Decades Best Films – #3 The Incredibles (2004)”

  1. xiphos0311 says :

    The Incredible is pretty good, definitely the best superhero flick, but that’s damning with faint praise.

  2. Tom_Bando says :

    I liked it very much too. That whole sequence w/ the kid out-running those saucers thru the jungle and racing across the water-very very good.

    I prefer Monsters Inc outta Pixar’s stuff, to be honest-but there’s nada in the world wrong w/ this one, either.

    This is one movie where you’d really, REALLY like to see a top-notch sequel(or two). To my thinking, anyhoose.

    • Droid says :

      Yep, I want to see The Incredibles 2: Rise of the Underminer

      I am the Underminer! I’m always beneath you, but nothing is beneath me!!!

  3. Jarv says :

    Great choice.

    I prefer Wall-E, because, you know, it’s delightful. But this is a superb film.

    • Droid says :

      Good to see you’re still alive. You email Murphy?

      • Jarv says :

        Did this morning. There’s something wrong with the hotmail account I set up to do it, so I got a new gmail one.

        See if he replies, I wrote a very nice, non pisstaking email.

      • Droid says :

        *sigh* Like a lamb to the slaughter.

        We will miss you Jarv.

      • Jarv says :

        I’ve got no intention of meeting him. I’m not nuts- I am however, curious about something.

      • Droid says :

        You’re after the secret to massive weight gain, aren’t you?

      • Jarv says :


        No I was thinking more along the lines of “how to rise to the top with no discernable talent, charm, charisma or other ability”

      • Droid says :


        Well, let me know if you get a response.

      • Jarv says :

        I’ve a duty to. You’re one of my “dancing monkeys”

        To be honest, I’m a bit annoyed at that. If he’s going to assign me monkeys I either want Monkey Butlers or Samurai Monkeys.

        Dancing Monkeys are rubbish. Can they decapitate enemies? No. Can they bring me beer without spilling? No. What use are they?

      • Droid says :

        I’d even take flying monkeys. Then I could stand at the window and cackle “Fly my pretties, fly!”

      • Droid says :

        I wonder why he’s taken it on his pudgy shoulders to “save your soul”. He’s not a Scientologist is he?

      • Jarv says :


        It is strange- especially considering it isn’t my review that has provoked his ire.

      • Droid says :

        Who knows? I suppose out of all of us you were the least… um… critical of him. So maybe he wants to be your BFF, or your BBF, or your BBFF or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

        I’m suprised he’s not trying to get in touch with The Late Don Simpson.

      • Jarv says :

        Contact the late don simpson?

        He would be a good source of career guidance.

        I think the Murph is a bit unhinged, to be honest.

      • Droid says :

        I keep forgetting to ask Murphy what it was like getting his ass kicked by Cokey.

        Could you ask him for me?

      • Jarv says :

        See if he replies to the first one. I doubt it looking at that tirade from him at me on AICN.

        He’s going to fucking shit one when he sees my actual review. I seem to remembe it being very fucking harsh, although I’m damned if I can remember what I said.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        They are flogging the hell out of Splice over here on TV. Its relentless, like two commercials every hour in primetime.

        If I didn’t know better I would say Splice looks like it could be decent.

      • Droid says :

        You’re lucky you have suckers like us to watch absolute garbage and warn you off it.

      • Jarv says :

        Why are they investing so much in it? It’s a fucking terrible film- and I saw it compeltely unspoilt.

        If Splice is a hit when the vastly superior cube and cypher sank without trace that’s proof that there really is no justice in the world.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I’m always suspicious about movies that have a lot of commercials in heavy rotation. It always seems like those movies the makers know they are really weak so they have to sell it hard.

        Usually those movies end up being rentals or the second movie on a day I decide to take a two for one.

      • Droid says :

        It won’t be. It’ll finish no higher than 5th for the weekend and thats generous. Too many high profile films are coming out at the same time. SatC2 for fucks sake will trounce it. Theres PoP, Get him to the greek, Shrek 4 is out next week and will still be in cinemas, etc etc. It’s not going to be a hit. If they’re really lucky it may find a home on dvd.

      • Jarv says :

        The thing is, at some point, someone must have seen it and said things like “this bit doesn’t make sense” or “if you insert a line of dialogue here then this will clear up a whole lot later on”.

        It’s the script that’s terrible.

      • Droid says :

        Its the script, but it’s been so long in post production I think it’s probably been tinkered with. I wonder if there is a better cut out there somewhere in the ether.

        I only say this because I’ve seen Cube and Cypher and can’t figure out who Natali got it so wrong.

      • Droid says :

        But at the end of the day, this cut or some mystical alternate one, both feature Brody fucking an animal. So it’s reprehensible purely for that reason.

      • Jarv says :

        True. That is such a horrendously ill conceived idea that I don’t know where to start with it.

        I agree- there’s probably a longer cut out there that goes more into Elsa’s backstory and tidies a lot of the rougness up.

        I still don’t think I’d watch it.

        The other thing is, I’ve seen lots of comments about it being “like species”. It isn’t. This film is being deliberately misrepresented (I suspect because they haven’t a fucking clue how to sell it) and as a result there’s going to be a multitude of pissed off people.

      • Jarv says :

        The other thing is, and I’ve been thinking about this since Murphy reappeared:

        If you take that Dren isn’t an animal (big fucking if)- she’s still an innocent child: all her gestures/ expressions etc could be construed as child-like, such as the squeaking in happiness etc.

        Which makes it paedophilia.


        The whole thing is so unnecessary. Is there any narrative imperative for Brody to fuck the manimal? No, of course not, it doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t result in anything. So why the fuck is it in the film?

      • Droid says :

        Yep. Just seeing the comments of people who’ve seen it on AICN is evidence enough. They don’t just say it’s not a very good film or something, they say it’s shit. I nearly walked out. etc etc.

        I might watch Species again. Haven’t seen it for yonks. I like me some Henstridge.

    • Tom_Bando says :

      Jarv and Droid evidently BOTH took one for the team here…..Murphy deserves to be the producer of the inevitable direct to DVD sequel starring Virginia Madsen and Jeff Fahey just because.

  4. Continentalop says :

    Damn this was a good movie. This was either in my top 10 or in my honorable mention category (of course, my top 10 is completely obsolete now that I’ve seen Un Prophete).

    My one complaint, which just shows what kind of comic book nerd I am, is that I hated Violet’s powers. Yes, I know they reflect her personality – she feels “invisible” so that is here power – but it is such a rip off of the FF’s Invisible Woman and everyone else in her family has a physical based power – Stretching, super-speed, super-strength – and yet she has an energy power – force fields. Just drives the comic book nerd inside me nuts; I really wish they gave her shrinking or growing instead (which I personally think would have been more apt).

    But that is my only complaint.

    • Droid says :

      Isn’t that the same with the Fantastic Four though? They’re all physical except for the invisible woman. Is that also an issue for you?

      To be honest, stuff like that never occurs to me. Those are her powers? Fine with me.

      Was Un Prophete last year or this year? I’ve got it at home, just haven’t watched it yet.

      • Jarv says :

        Hang on- With the exception of the Human Torch, all the other characters are recycled FF.

        Mr Fantastic= Elastigirl
        Violet= Incredible Woman
        the Thing= Mr. Incredible (hugely strong and seemingly indestructible. I know he isn’t rocky)

        If anything your inner nerd should be pissed that that whatshisname doesn’t catch on fire and fly.

        Baby doesn’t count as I know bugger all about the FF having a kid.

      • Droid says :

        Reference / Satire / Spoof / Homage… Rip off? Nah.

      • Jarv says :

        Aye- you know what I mean.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        FF have two kids both mutants. Franklin is basically a mutant god with almost unlimited mind power. I think he can do something with manipulating reality also. the younger sister is Valeria I think. she has a bunch of different powers depending on the writers need.

        now excuse while I go punch myself in the head for knowing that.

      • Jarv says :

        *shakes head*


      • xiphos0311 says :

        massively shameful I agree.

      • Droid says :

        I didn’t realise you were a massive comic book nerd, Xi. Or are you just a massive FF nerd?

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I read a lot of them on deployments.

      • Jarv says :

        Yeah, yeah.

        I believe you.

        Just like when teenage boys read Playboy for the articles?

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I don’t really like the FF i just remember the kid is always being talked about because he is so powerful.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        The only one I read stateside is The Walking Dead if I am here when the new volume comes out with the past years books.

        I only read Playboy for the articles. Their political coverage was insightful and social commentary was priceless. The interviews were top notch also.

      • Droid says :

        I like Playboy for the boobs.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I never really liked the nudity in Playboy too airbrushed. Still that never stopped me from swiping one from the store when I ever I could get my mitts on one.

        usually I tried to steal one of the harder ones like Hustler or Swank. I could sell them for more money.

      • Droid says :

        Airbrushed or not, boobs are boobs when you’re 13.

      • xiphos0311 says :


      • Tom_Bando says :

        Xiphos and his breaking news:

        Since when was there a baby sister in FF? Shows what I know. Last I remember Franklin was still a toddler? But I admit I haven’t read a new FF since ummmmm mid-80’s or so.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I don’t know Tom, I just know that there is one.

      • Continentalop says :

        Tom, Xi – Re: the FF’s little girl.

        Her name is Valeria I believe, and she was added in the late 90’s/early 00s. And God do I hate her as a character. Firstly, because of her origin – it is convoluted and ridiculous even by comic book standards.

        And secondly, because it negates one of the great FF stories of all time: when Susan Richards has a miscarriage and Reed Richard’s, smartest man alive, can’t prevent it. It was a great story, destroyed by less talented later writers (Chris Claremont to be precise).

      • Jarv says :

        I’m going to look up that origin now. Sounds daft.

      • Continentalop says :

        As for the recycling of the powers – the Human Torch doesn’t have a physical power, he has an energy power (he can generate AND control flames). And if you want to get technical, you can say Frozone is the Human Torch stand in (a “hothead” replaced by a “cool” costumer).

        Plus the Invisible Girl/Woman Force Field’s are invisible as well, Violet’s are violet. I mean, that even annoys me as well.

        Like I said, it is the comic book fan in me that it annoys (especially since I think something like growing and shrinking would have fit in nicely with the movie and her character).

      • Jarv says :

        *scratches head*

        I’m completely confused now.

      • Droid says :

        Visually, an invisible force field kind of sucks don’t you think?

      • Tom_Bando says :

        I will have to google this Valeria too (remember I’m the one that remembers: Gorilla City, Gorilla Grodd, Sam Simeon, Bobo plus Angel and the Ape as well-a misspent youths’ signs accruing as I type) just because.

        Oh hey they’ve rehashed Killraven now he’s fighting alongside Howard the Duck-? this is weird–

      • Continentalop says :

        Jarv you scratching your head over what I wrote, or did you just read Valeria Richard’s origin? Because that thing is fucking recockulous.

      • Jarv says :

        The origin. Daftest thing I’ve read in a while- and Time travel as well.

      • Tom_Bando says :

        Okay……..I read about maybe a third of that there Wikipedia article on Valeria–about to where she was Dr Doom’s kid by way of Rubberman there wearing Doom’s disguise and then was in the future and the ret-conned as the stillborn–forget it.

        You idiots. Just have her be the Thing’s kid and be done w/ it why don’t ya? Sheesh.

        That was BAD. 88 monkeys and a keyboard could have cobbled that together—

      • Continentalop says :

        Droid, yeah but how are the powers related? I mean, invisibility AND an invisible force field kind of seem like they can be connected, but invisibility AND a violet force field? I mean, how can those two powers even be connected? It just seems incongruent.

      • Droid says :

        Conti, you think too much.

      • Continentalop says :

        Only you would think that is a detriment.

      • Droid says :

        Okay, how come Superman can fly, shoot laser beams out of his eyes AND blow ice cold breath. “It’s the power of the sun” or some baloney?

      • Continentalop says :

        Because he is a Kryptionian.

        Sheesh. Don’t you know anything?

      • Droid says :

        Damn you Conti. You just know everything! How can I compete?

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Supes is from krypton and they have a red sun so when super dork gets to earth the particles of the yellow sun give him power.

        Or superman is jesus. take your pick.

      • Droid says :

        I know it’s supposed to be the effect of the sun. But, why does that allow him things like xray vision, laserbeam eyes, ice breath and flying. It’s not like he had minor versions of those abilities to start with and the yellow sun just accentuated it. They are abilities randomly plucked out of the air because it was needed for one story or another.

        I’m not hating on Supes. I like Supes. Just pointing out that some things you just need to accept as fact.

      • Continentalop says :

        Droid, I could actually give you a very good, honest answer, but it will be very long.

      • Droid says :

        If you can be bothered to write it, I’ll be happy to read it. Up to you, mate.

  5. xiphos0311 says :

    This is a rip off of the FF they were one stone cock away from a law suit. It’s still the best version of the FF out there.

    • Continentalop says :

      Nope. Best version of the FF was a series of movies by Full Moon Entertainment.

      OK, they were more like the Doom Patrol, but Mandroid and Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight are a lot better than the FF movie.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Almost everything is better then the FF movies. Mostly they are bland and boring.

      • Continentalop says :

        Oh the FF movies suck absolute shit. I am a big fan of the comic book, at least the Kirby/Lee and Byrne years. For me it is “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” but the shit they put on the big screen in their name is just a travesty.

        And Dr. Doom should sue them for defamation of character.

      • Jarv says :

        Isn’t Dr. Doom a big homo in the comics then?

      • xiphos0311 says :

        What they did to Doom was a travesty. they compounded that error by hiring that nip/tuck knobjob. Jesus that guy was awful but it wasn’t all his fault, way to miss they point of Dr. Doom entirely hack writers.

      • Jarv says :

        What is the point of Doom? Isn’t he just some cunt in a metal suit with magic powers?

        I ask this as someone who’s entire knowledge of FF is based on the cartoon that used to be on before I go to work in the morning and exactly 1.5 of the films.

      • Continentalop says :

        Agree Xi. Bad casting, bad writing and bad character design equals a fucking shitty character.

        And Jarv, no he is not a homo (although I think he does repress feelings for Reed Richards, which explains his hatred for him, but that is only my amateur psycho-analysis). But Doc Doom is IMO the greatest comic book super-villain ever. EVER!

      • Continentalop says :

        Jarv, Doctor Doom is basically the evil version of Batman. By that I mean, just like how Bruce Wayne used his own force of will to make himself into the World’s Greatest Detective and went off and studied everything to accomplish his goals (martial arts, disguise, forensics and even pushed himself to physical peak) Victor Von Doom – humble son of gypsies – used his own will power and self-determination to shape himself into the World’s Smartest Man and Earth’s Greatest Super-Villain, mastering science and black magic, and even built himself a suit of armor Tony Stark would have been jealous of.

        Plus he talks like an NFL running back. “DOOM had a good game today, but DOOM knows this team is depending on him to deliver, and DOOM did.”

      • Jarv says :

        but he keeps getting pwnd by the FF- and two of the FF from what I can see have room temperature IQ’s.

      • Continentalop says :

        Jarv, Batman keeps capturing the Joker and he keeps escaping from Arkham Asylum – does that make Bats a complete idiot for just turning him over to incompetent jailers? Maybe, or maybe it is just something you have to accept as being a story. I mean, if we called every villain who keeps losing a loser, well then Lex Luthor, Darksied, Doc Oct, Green Goblin, etc. would all have to be listed because EVERY super-villain loses all the time. It is the nature of the genre.

        Plus, you can never base the FF characters on the movies or cartoons, only the Lee/Kirby and Byrne stories. THAT is the quintessential FF.

      • Jarv says :

        There’s losing, though, and then there’s utter pwnage.

        Admittedly, this is based entirely on the cartoon now.

      • Droid says :

        Yeah, and Doom got melted by the fire bloke creating some sort of super heat inside one of the invisible womans force fields.

        Talk about pwnage!!!!

      • Continentalop says :

        If you are going to count the FF cartoon as the definitive version, then I am going to have to count the old Batman TV series as the definitive version. Where was Batman’s Anti-Shark Bat Repellant in TDK?

      • Jarv says :

        I’m not counting it as definitive. Just the entire source of my knowledge.

        Ps Bar-Anti-Shark-Repellent would be mint. They’d better put that in the third one.

        I’ve also got a feeling that there’s an episode with a Special-Bat-3-Second-Bomb-Defuser as well.

  6. Tom_Bando says :

    This had a Giant Robot, too! gotta like Cliff Clavin as the Moleman. That could be fun.

  7. Droid says :

    This is a random question for you yankee doodle dandees… I’m asking now because I keep forgetting to ask and I just remembered it…

    Do cheerleaders in high school wear their uniform around during normal classes?

    It seems fucking stupid to me, but you see it all the time in tv shows and movies. I even saw it in Veronica Mars the other day, so I’m just curious.

    • Jarv says :

      Good question. I’ve often wondered that.

      Surely Cheerleading outfit is llike games kit, and you don’t see fuckers walking around in football padding.

    • Continentalop says :

      They do on game day Droid. And players will usually wear their jersey (especially football players). It is kind of like an advertisement to remind kids to show up to the big game.

      • Droid says :

        Fair enough. The tv and movies don’t really abide by that rule though.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        usually on game day for football there is a big pep rally and like Conti said you wear your football jersey and the cheerleaders wear their uniforms. The added bonus of that Friday you walk around all day with a hard on that threatens to overwhelm your zipper.

      • Jarv says :

        Droid does that anyway on School Premises.

      • Droid says :

        No, you’re wrong Jarv. It’s just outside the boundary of school premises. I could get in to trouble otherwise.

      • Continentalop says :

        Xi, you never saw the Cheerleaders at my school. We nicknamed them “The Cattle Company”.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        All the HS I went to all had hot cheerleaders but I was lucky enough to attend school in AZ Before the great midwest/California beefalo migration that ruined everything.

      • Continentalop says :

        I went to HS in the Minnesota, and we were ranked #1 my senior year, but every team we faced had better looking cheerleaders.

        And by the way, saying my school was #1 in football is not bragging. This is Minnesota. The #100th team in Texas or California would have eaten us up for breakfast (I learned that when I went to college).

  8. Tom_Bando says :

    Sometimes they do, my HS they didn’t so much but we didn’t have football there. The HS in Texas I went to for a while if I remember right they did. Football was more important there than anything else period. It was kinda scary actually.

    Don Murphy likes to dress as Hayden Penetierre from Heroes doesn’t he-?

    • Jarv says :

      Christ, I’m tempted to photoshop Cheerverine’s costume onto Murphy. But that’s such a horrible image that I think I’ll leave it.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        The internets wouldn’t let you. The image is much to horrifying to contemplate.

      • Tom_Bando says :

        Do it Jarv. 2True4True will shower you w/ blessings. Or at least put in a good word w/ MrGlover for you. Either way we all win.

  9. Droid says :

    Jarv, you started GTA IV yet? I’m getting Red Dead Redemption on friday. Basically GTA in the old west. It’s made by the same people. Looks really good.

  10. just pillow talk says :

    This is an excellent film, and I think that Frankie would be giddy with excitement over this talk of FF kids. They would be perfect for film #3.

    Hear that Frankie, you FF loving cunt?

  11. Continentalop says :

    Ok Droid, but I am still going to try and make it short (unfortunately it won’t be that short). Here is the deal, you got to remember three things with Superman: 1) what his powers represent, 2) What kind of hero he is, and 3) what his origin is.

    1) By what his powers represent I mean Superman has always been a John Henry character – his powers have always been in correspondence with the current level of technology and because of that they have changed and increased over the years. When he first appeared in 1938, he could run faster than a train, was able to leap 1/8th of a mile and could be hurt by a bursting shell. As time (and WWII, the Cold War and the Space Race) progressed, his powers increased to match and surpass what we could do with technology. He leaping increased until he could jump over skyscrapers and then finally he could fly; his eyesight improved until it got so good he could see through walls with “X-Ray vision”; and because X-Rays were radiation, it went without saying that his vision could burn you if he chose to, and that slowly developed into an actual heat beam (funny enough, his cold breath is probably the most plausible, if still impossible, of his powers – read the Physics of Super-Heroes).

    2) As for what kind of hero he is I mean that there is a number of archetypes amongst super-heroes, but for this discussion I will just keep it to two kinds: Paragons and Specialist. Paragons are guys like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter and even Spider-Man to a degree, who can do a bunch of things and have a wide range of abilities. On the other end is Specialist: guys like Plastic-Man, The Flash, Human Torch, Ice Man, and Storm. People who can do only one thing but can do it really well.

    Superman is obviously a Paragon, someone who represents someone who can do many things. That is why he is called SUPERman, not just Super-at-one-thingMan. The entire cast of the Incredibles, including Frozone are Specialist, guys who have mastered or are gifted in one power (save for Jack-Jack, and even his abilities are so vague you could argue for one rational). Specialist require that all their abilities are someone connected to the same explanation – the Human Torch can fly but that is rationalized as him acting like a rocket and flying under his own exhaust; the Flash in the Silver Age could run through walls but that was rationalized as him vibrating his molecules so fast as to make him able to pass through solid objects. Superman as a paragon doesn’t need to be so limited in what he can do.

    That finally brings us to point 3) what his origin is. As I said, Paragons have many abilities but even these have so sort of rational/explanation (at least in comic book terms). Batman is a master of dozens of talents, but he had to start learning them at a young age; Spider-Man has super-strength, speed, agility, and stamina but he they are all proportionate to the radioactive spider that bit him (even his special sixth sense that warns him of danger is called a “Spider-Sense” and is linked to the spider-bite); Captain Marvel says a magic word – SHAZAM – that grants him the power of each God listed in the acronym.

    So if heroes need a rational/explanation, how does that explain Superman’s heat vision and flight and stuff? Well, simple – he is a kryptionian. And I don’t mean that to be glib, but basically by saying Supes is an alien the writers could give him any powers they want because who are we to say what is the natural characteristics of that alien species? I mean, you can have shape-changing aliens, telepathic aliens, mind controlling aliens, aliens with acid blood, so why not an alien who gets his powers from the yellow sun and has heat vision and can fly? Just because he looks human means he is bound by human characteristics, including powers, abilities that no creature has.

    In fact, once they gave him an ability outside of just an enhanced physical ability, they could do anything they wanted with him and add what ever funky thing and it would make sense and be within the realms of Superman’s interior logic. If he can fly, why not also X-Ray vision and Heat Vision. If he get’s his powers from a yellow sun, why not also say he is allergic to a green rock. And if he can be hurt by a green rock, why not also say there is Red, Blue and Gold rocks as well? Because Superman’s powers come from his alien nature, who is to say when that alien nature ends? The Flash can’t see through walls because the source of everything he does – run through walls, run across water, spin around to create tornadoes – all come from one source, his super-speed, but Supes can do things not obviously connected because it is connected to his “alieness.” That is the source of his powers, that he is so unlike us humans.

    • Droid says :

      1. The problem with 1 then is that they’ve taken him from what was really a super-MAN to what is now essentially a GOD. With one solitary weakness they’ve painted themselves in to a corner when it comes to storytelling. A lot of the problems I had with Supes Returns is that the story was boring and predictable. Lex, real estate scam and green rock. The Smallville tv show from what I have seen (first 2 seasons) has the same problem. When Supes was simply a man who could do super things, like jump really high and run really fast etc, he was still vulnerable and therefore we could identify with him. I love Superman The Movie, but it’s not Supes himself thats in danger, it’s his friends and loved ones.

      2. The characters in The Incredibles are specialist. But together they are Paragon. The family unit is a major theme of the film and working together for a common goal is instrumental in that.

      3. I understand the whole Kryptonian maguffin. It’s an easy excuse.

      “How come Supes can fly?”

      “He’s Kryptonian.”

      Look, I’ve never read a Superman comic (that I can remember). I’ve only seen movies and tv shows and kind of picked up bits and pieces here and there. But from what I understand, the Kryptonians on Krypton are a normal race of people. Not particularly special. But when Supes is sent to earth he has superpowers? All of a sudden someone has the ability to fly because of the sun? If on Krypton it was made clear that they have slight special powers (maybe levitation for example) and then on earth those special powers were accentuated by the yellow sun (levitation becomes flying) it would make more sense.

      As I have said, I like Supes and since I’ve never read the funnybooks much of this stuff may have been addressed in some way.

      • Continentalop says :

        1. But Superman is a God, and should be. Even in his early days when he had more limitations he was still never in any danger (very few criminals and gangsters carry around bursting shells) and has always been someone beyond anyone else. That is because he is a mythological being representing abstract forces. Like how Gilgamesh battled a Bull that symbolized death, Superman challenges what we think science and technology is capable of. He also is like Marduk and Athena, who represented civilizations and cities – Superman himself represents how we view the US, both our strengths and limitations.

        Superman is like the US in that he truly can’t be harmed or defeated except by incredibly powerful forces. Kryptonite is only a plot device, something rare and unique that can actually harm Superman (and is it any surprise that a radioactive rock would be his weakness, introduced during an age when bombs made with uranium and plutonium where the US’ biggest fears?). But like the US, Superman can face challenges that tax his abilities and dilemma’s that even his powers can’t overcome. Almost all great Superman stories involve him trying to solve such a dilemma: saving two people at once, changing human history, someone threatening people he loves or innocents, fighting a foe as powerful as him but at the consequences of many people dying, etc (all these shown in the first two Superman movies, BTW).

        The US has no military equal and no one who can “destroy” us or even really harm us, but we do have foes and challenges that push out and that even our mighty strength isn’t enough to overcome. Superman represents America dealing with those challenges. In many ways Superman is more about America than even Captain America is.

        2. Yes, I agree about the Incredibles being a Paragon together. They are like the FF or the X-Men, much stronger together than separately (which is the point of them).

        3. As I said, Superman is a God and you can’t put logic on a god or other gods. It has less with Sci-Fi and much more mythology. But I will say this, one of the ironies of Superman is his dad sent him to earth to survive Kryptons destruction where he is now a god, but in the process he is so far removed from other people and has such responsibility he never feels like he truly fits in. In a bunch of old Imaginary Stories, they show Supes living on Krypton as just regular Jor-El, married and happy.

        So it is part of mythology and not any sort of science: on Earth, a world of mortals, he can live as a god, or he could have lived on Krypton, a planet of gods, and lived as a regular man.

  12. koutchboom says :

    Also having seen How To Train Your Dragon. Fuck Pixar. Dreamworks is where it is AT! Well until Shrek 4 comes out, then they are dead to me and Toy Story 3 is next so Pixar will be king. Then Charlie Kaufman is writing the script (at least Punching it up) to Kung Fu Panda 2, so Dreamworks will be back on top!

    • Jarv says :

      Wasn’t KFP deeply meh?

      • Droid says :

        KFP is overrated shit.

      • koutchboom says :

        Who gives a shit? KFP was Pre Dragons.

      • koutchboom says :

        I mean Dragons was directed by the team behind Lilo and Stich and the guys that Lassassater was pretty much afraid of (probably because they don’t want to see their animals talking) and pretty much fired them from Disney because he knew they were better then him.

        They were on track to direct American Dog before it became Bolt!, but Lassassater scrape all their stuff because “”too quirky for its own good.” Whatever sounds like jealousy to me.

        Also other fun fact Hit Girl originally had voiced all of the female part of Bolt before Disney decided they wanted to just make a ton of money and forced Miley Cyrus to redo the whole thing.

      • Jarv says :

        If you compare track records then Pixar is clearly better with fewer bad films.

        Dragons may be great, but I seem to remember everyone wanking themselves senseless over Antz or some such.

      • koutchboom says :

        We are done with the past. Seriously Dragons is probably the best animated film since Toy Story.

        Also so you know one of the co-directors was fucking Don Bluth’s appretice. So think about that.

      • Droid says :

        While I haven’t seen Dragons so I can’t comment, I would like to point out how entertaining it is when Koutch just makes shit up.

        Lassetter was scared of the people that made Lilo and Stitch?

        because he knew they were better then him?

        You have missed your calling, Koutch. Get your ass over here and come work for the Daily Mail.

      • koutchboom says :

        Lassater knows that they are better then him. Have you seen Lilo and Stich? Its a good movie? Have you seen Bolt? Its terrible. Lassater probably saw them as a threat to him becoming heir fuhrer of disney and promptely fired them.

        Also they don’t make their animals talk which Lassater finds incredibly offensive.

      • koutchboom says :

        At this point all Lassater gives a shit about is making money. Look at the fact that Cars is getting a sequel just because it had the best selling toys. Also the fact that he got Chloe Moretz replaced (after she voiced the entire film) by Miley Cyrus just to have her name in the credits. He doesn’t care about art anymore.

        Also remember I am talking about HERE ON FORWARD.

      • Jarv says :

        I was going to say that I seem to remember L&S being shmaltzy shite.

      • Droid says :

        Never seen L&S.

      • Jarv says :

        There’s probably some truth to the firing thing. However, I have seen Lilo and Stitch (once, years ago) and it’s schmaltzy crap. It is certainly NOT good.

      • koutchboom says :

        Umm look at the crap Disney was putting out at the time. Home of the Brave? Atlantis?

        Also Lilo and Stich is about kids so of course you hate it Jarv.

      • Droid says :

        Yep. The billionaire behind the most successful animation company is scared of a couple of guys that made one animated film. Not sure I follow your logic there mate.

        I’ve seen Bolt and enjoyed it for what it was. Would it have been better if the girls voice was Hit Girl? Um… no. It would’ve been the same.

      • koutchboom says :

        Sure it wouldn’t have mattered who voiced the girl, but notice instead of making a better movie Lassater just went the money route. Also its pretty much the same plot as Toy Story 2.

      • Jarv says :

        I’m basing that opinion on that I know first hand of talented people in creative industries (albeit music) that were done by a dramatically less talented head of department for being a threat- despite not having anything in the way of track record- just that they may potentially take over at some point.

        It happens a lot, and not just in creative industries.

        Having said that, Dildo and Shit is shit, and was years ago. This is revisionism.

      • Jarv says :

        Atlantis is better than Dildo and Shit.


      • koutchboom says :

        No fucking way, first off Atlantis is probably the uglyest animation Disney has ever made. Secondly I fucking love the idea of Atlantis and it was such a giant let down because the animation was fucking garbage.

        Seriously Jarv, your like the only person on the planet that hates Lilo and Stich. Its because its about Kids. Sure Atlantis is more of an advanture tale and all but that animation should have been SO much stronger. Had Don Bluth made that movie in the 80s it would’ve been fucking amazing. Lilo and Stich is a solid animated film that is not as schmultzy as you are making it out to be.

      • Jarv says :

        Also, he’s got a point about the Myley Cyrus thing. That’s a cynical marketing decision done with nary a thought to whether it will make the product better or worse. That shit happens all the time.

        I’m just surprised he didn’t get the cast of high school musical to do one line each.

      • koutchboom says :

        Also I think Pixar is scrapping some interesting new movie in order to make way for Cars 2.

      • koutchboom says :

        Sorry its the movie Newt was canned in order for Monsters Inc 2 to come out.

      • Droid says :

        “I am, by nature, an honest person,” Mr. Lasseter said. “I wear my emotions on my sleeve. There is no ‘behind closed doors’ with me. It’s the nature of Hollywood that there are the people in power and the people who tell them what they want them to hear. We choose to be honest and open.”

        So much so that Mr. Lasseter established a “story trust” at Disney, a mirror of the “brain trust” at Pixar where directors and story editors criticize a movie’s flaws more than any filmgoer might. “They are not back-patting sessions,” Mr. Catmull said. The six-hour meeting about “Meet the Robinsons” was one such session. Mr. Anderson later called it “one of the hardest days of my life.”

        Harder still for those animators who don’t adapt. Chris Sanders, a longtime Disney animator who was a director and writer of the hit “Lilo and Stitch,” had developed a movie called “American Dog,” the tale of a Hollywood dog star who gets lost in the desert. Last year Mr. Lasseter and directors from both Pixar and Disney attended two screenings of the movie and gave Mr. Sanders notes on how he might improve the story, Mr. Unkrich said. Mr. Sanders resisted the suggestions, Mr. Lasseter said. So in January he was replaced by another director.

        Asked about the episode, Mr. Lasseter abruptly interrupted an interview to confer with publicists, asking “What can I say here?”

        After a brief discussion Mr. Lasseter explained that Pixar often added or replaced a director if a film needed help. “Chris Sanders is extremely talented, but he couldn’t take it to the place it had to be,” he said carefully.

        Mr. Sanders, who is negotiating his exit from Disney, declined to comment. “John doesn’t force his solutions on you,” said Brad Bird, who directed “The Incredibles” and is close to Mr. Lasseter. “But that doesn’t mean he is going to go quietly.”

      • koutchboom says :

        That sounds like strong arming if you ask me. Lasseter comes into Disney as the new boss all of the sudden and has to show them who’s boss. So of course he fires the first person who doesn’t jump when he says jump.

      • Jarv says :

        I don’t honestly remember that much about either of them, just that D&S was aimed at paste eating pre-schoolers with that sensibility and bored me to tears, whereas Atlantis looked like shite but was much more interesting.

        PS- For Kids is not an excuse, this fucking film, of all of them, proves that.

        This is like Danny’s argument about 8 year olds thinking AOTC is great- who gives a fuck, they’re children- they basically think everything is great. Something “family” has to really such ass before you can’t find at least one kid that doesn’t like it.

      • koutchboom says :

        No it has nothing to do about it being made for kids, its that it has kids in the movie as the star and you just fucking hate children. So of course you are going to hate a movie about a child.

      • Droid says :

        He was there for a while before that, Koutch. He’d already done it to another film, and the makers of that film changed a lot (the article says almost 60% of the film). It may have been him flexing his muscles, but I guess he’s the boss and wanted things how he wanted them.

        But have you seen the original version? How can you know that it is better or worse? On faith for the guy who made Lilo and Stitch?

      • koutchboom says :

        Like I said I’m basing this on the fact that they guy went on to make How To Train Your Dragon, so fuck it, fine he didn’t wanna put up with Lassaters bullshit and left and went on to make an amazing movie. Good for him.

        I seriously think it came down to the fact that he probably didn’t want the animals talking and Lassater just didn’t fucking get it.

  13. koutchboom says :

    You know every geek shits their pants about the score from this movie. You didn’t mention it at all, so I’m guessing that I remember it correctly in that it fits well but is not very memorable. That’s how I find a lot of Michael Giacchino’s work (outside of Speed Racer), though he is the next John Williams (just as Clint Mansell is the next Danny Elfman).

    What say you?

    • Droid says :

      Yeah, I didn’t mention the score. It is really good, but as you say it fits really well with the visuals so kind of gets a bit tied up with that (for me anyway). I don’t really dwell on the score for films too much because generally I don’t have much more to say than “it was good” or “it was bad”.

  14. DocPazuzu says :

    The Incredibles is genius from beginning to end. You look at how effortlessly Pixar puts together a virtually PERFECT superhero movie and you wonder why nobody else can succeed at even a fraction of that level.

    As for Dr. Doom, he should have been played EXACTLY the way Frank Langella played Skeletor in Masters of the Universe. Don’t believe me? Watch the opening of MOTU with Skeletor stalking the halls of Greyskull and substitute the word “He-Man” in his rants with the word “Richards” and you’ll see what I mean. Oh, and it would have helped if Doom hadn’t been played by A FUCKING METROSEXUAL MILQUETOAST!!!!

    My favorite FF arc is the one which culminated in what was then (1978) billed as the “final” showdown between Doom and the FF, with Doom ending up in the loony bin after an awesome fight with Richards.

    Good times, good times…

    • Jarv says :

      Another FF fan.

      Am I missing something about it?

      Oh, and Murphy returned last night.

      • koutchboom says :

        Ehhh i didn’t think much of FF till recently. Millar and Hickman have made them interesting.

      • DocPazuzu says :

        I think with Dong Smurfy it’s a case of online “drink ‘n’ dial”. He gets drunk and instead of calling old girlfriends (since he doesn’t have any) he goes online for a bout of “…And another thing, you dicks!”, mistakenly thinking that this time — THIS TIME! — he’ll show us.

      • Jarv says :

        That’s ever so sad.

      • koutchboom says :

        Xi is right there are Splice commercials all over the place.

      • Jarv says :

        Are you still taking Mrs. Koutch?

      • DocPazuzu says :

        I know, it’s like the worst Tom Waits song ever written.

      • Jarv says :

        No, it’s a moody blues song:

        “Nights in white satin, reaching the end
        Postings I’ve written, Emails to send,
        Beauty in manimal, stroking one out,
        I’m right damnit, and I’ve got the clout

        But they’ll looooooove me, oh they’ll love me

        one daaaaaaaaay”

      • koutchboom says :

        Splice….I may go see it, but I’ll pay for something else.

    • Continentalop says :

      Doc, is that the one where Reed is involved with Zorbo and the Latverian Resistance, and Doom goes nuts when Reed unmasks him in basically a mirrored room?

      Fucking awesome story.

      • DocPazuzu says :

        That’s the one! I was ten or eleven at the time and it was the coolest, most exciting thing I had read in comics up to that point. They were fighting in some sort of power chamber the walls of which were covered in thousands of mirrors. Reed managed to slide Doom’s mask off just before being choked to death by him. Doom then sees his face reflected a billion times and goes boi-oi-oi-oinggg.

        Seeing the omnipotent Dr. Doom reduced to sitting in a straitjacket in a rubber room on that last page was quite a jolt.

        Funny thing is, when I saw the final battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin in ROTS, all I could think of was that fight between Doom and Richards and how much more exciting the comic was.

        Man, I gotta dig those comics out again…

  15. DocPazuzu says :

    “Beauty in manimal, stroking one out,”


  16. Jarv says :

    Fuck me. Looking at the actual lyrics to Nights in White Satin, I barely need to doctor some of the verses to fit that.

    Poor old Murph.

  17. Jarv says :

    Off to pub

    Will check in later.

  18. Stuntcock Mike says :

    Wait a sec Koutch.

    Miley Cyrus is in Cars 2?


  19. Tom_Bando says :

    I’m late on these things(as is usual) but-here goes:

    *Lilo and Stitch was great. C’mon. Funny and SO different from what else Disney was putting out. I’m happy to hear that they’ve landed on their feet at Dreamworks(the L and S guys)…

    *I can remember being deeply unimpressed by Atlantis. Rockford is cool but it just hit all the wrong cliches the wrong way.

    *I remember that! Marv Wolfman had something to do w/ it, didn’t he? Doom hadda see his face in the mirrors, went nuts, etc. That was a good time. The FF was semi-breaking up at the time.

    *Newt? what was it about? Besides the Gingrich I mean.

    *Conti Pops-I liked your breakdown of all things Supes. What was your breakdown for Popeye? a Toon-?

    *Giant Robots make everything better.

    • Continentalop says :

      I will take what you wrote as a compliment, Tom_Bandito.

      • Tom_Bando says :

        I thought it was well put. Supes Returns was a big missed oppurtunity. Who even remembers that they made this movie ?! it made Zero impact-and that’s a shame considering the franchise involved. Oh well. Maybe Kevin Spacey shoulda played Supes and Routh Luthor-it woulda made as much sense-

      • Jarv says :

        SR was, and this is the final word on it, unspeakable shit and they’re lucky that Spidey 3 exists, else it would be the worst Superhero film.

      • Continentalop says :

        Jarv, both are lucky that Catwoman exist.

      • Droid says :

        Catwoman is lucky Spawn exists.

      • Jarv says :

        I’d rather watch Catwoman than SR and Spidey 3.

        However, Droid is right. Spawn is worse.

      • Tom_Bando says :

        I didn’t mind Spidey III so much, it just was overkill, too many baddies and not enough sense. I liked Sandman for what it’s worth. But you certainly needed things to go a better way, and jamming Venom into the works was a Mikey Bay kinda move. Raimi’s heart was clearly NOT in it.

        I’d have enjoyed another entry w/ Electro and the Lizard, but both ya gotta do the right way or else you wind up w/ Bats and Robin, and no one (SAVE DON MURPHY)-wants THAT.

      • koutchboom says :

        And Spawn is lucky Elektra exists.

        Fuck you Spawn is awesome. And really out of all the people that have ever played a comic book hero I would put my money on Michael Jai White as being the only one who could actually kick all sorts of ass. Followed by Snipes then Ray Park. With Heath Ledger (pre death) coming in last just slightly under Tobey.

      • Jarv says :

        Elektra is better than Spidey 3 and SR.

      • koutchboom says :

        So that puts Spawn above Spidey 3 and SR then, good.

      • Jarv says :

        Not really. Elektra is also better than Spawn.

        Although this is pointless as it’s very much a “cleanest turd in the sewer” competition. Although Spawn is better than Pwawn Cwacker Hulk.

      • koutchboom says :

        I think I’m gonna do Spawn for the underrated.

      • Jarv says :

        Brave choice.

      • koutchboom says :

        Is Elektra actually any good? I’ve never seen it, don’t know why? It looked halfway decent.

      • Jarv says :

        No- it’s shit. Don’t bother with it.

      • Continentalop says :

        Actually Spawn is worse than SR and SM3, but Catwoman is worse than Spawn and Elektra is worse than Catwoman.

        SR isnt actually “bad”, it is just incredibly mediocre and ill concieved. What makes SR such a failure is that you have a Superman movie which isn’t fun to watch. It feels like work. And SM3 is just all over the map and incoherent.

      • koutchboom says :

        I’m gonna go with Ebert’s positive review of Spawn, man knows what he is talking about.

      • Jarv says :

        Spawn is bad, but it didn’t actively piss me off unlike SR and Spidey 3.

        SR is a terrible film for a lot of different reasons, but number one is that it’s dull as fuck.

    • DocPazuzu says :

      Right, and at the beginning of that arc, Reed was losing his powers. He then went back into space for some more cosmic radiation and came back stretchier than ever, just in time for the showdown with Doom.

      • Continentalop says :

        That’s the same story arc where Doom gets a “son”, a clone of himself who he gives the FF’s powers, right?

    • Tom_Bando says :

      And I’ll pollute the TB by once again opining that, yes: Vichi France Hulk> Kai Shek Hulk.

      I also liked DareDevil, never saw Elektra, never bothered w/ Katwoman or all of Spawn. Most of the bad superhero flicks are just that-really bad.

      So how was Hancock anyways? Story goes-First half good, last half lousy. Izzat so?

  20. ThereWolf says :

    I’ve got to watch The Incredibles. I keep promising meself I will (cos the DVD is dirt cheap now) and then I don’t.

    No excuses now…

  21. ThereWolf says :

    “the DVD is dirt cheap now.”

    Erm, apparently not – ranges between £15-£25 notes!

    I’ll wait.

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