“I Don’t Care About You” – Fear

If any song summed up my 9th grade year, circa 1984-1985, it’s this under two-minute hyper-negative anthem by Fear.  I first heard this in a cheesy horror anthology film called “Nightmares,” in which one of the segments had a video game addict, played by Emilio Estevez, blasting this song in his headphones.  I then heard it a year later when a friend of mine had Fear’s “The Record” album on cassette and upon hearing it, my eyes lit up like that blind guy in Fritz Lang’s “M” when he hears Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” being whistled by a serial killer.

Despite how twisted (or quaint) this song sounds (in actuality, I wore sweaters/khakis back in the day of hardcore and had a 3.5 average),  I realize that had I admitted my love for this song post-Columbine, I would have been institutionalized or at least, been put on an extreme regimen of SSRIs that would arguably have made me legitimately nuts.  In reality, though, all I really needed back in the day is a “cut the bulls–t” talk by an understanding adult and a kiss by a cute girl.  Regardless, this is still a legitimately great, extremely “negative” song.  Despite the near psychotic suppressing of anything negative these days, it’s actually healthy to have negative thoughts from time to time, folks.  If you need further explanation, see the new Pixar film “Inside Out.”

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“Inside Out” (2015) dir. Pete Docter / Ronnie del Carmen

Just saw Pixar’s “Inside Out” … In a word: brilliant … Smart without being smart-alecky, funny without being pandering, sad without being maudlin, poignant without being cloying.  While it’s a film that safe for kids and that kids will enjoy, it is NOT a kids movie.  One of the best and most complex examinations I’ve ever seen in a film context about emotions, psychology, dreams, and growing up.  Incredibly deep and moving.  It’s a movie that will seriously make you reconsider your life.  The best Pixar movie ever made.  Yes, I said it.

“When She Loved Me” – Sarah McLachlan / Randy Newman from “Toy Story 2” (1999)

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An incredibly moving and emotional scene from the Pixar animated film “Toy Story 2,” featuring one of Randy Newman’s best songs, sung by Sarah McLachlan. Yes, the characters are toys. Yes, I realize it’s some dire triumph of the Capitalist system to ascribe human feelings to otherwise inanimate objects. But I dare anyone not to watch this scene and not be moved. As I’ve said before, between 1995 and 2010 (15 years if you do the math), there has been no other creative entity that sustained a consistently high quality of films than Pixar did. Yes, they really showed their a– with “Cars 2.” But … here’s hoping they bounce back and start scoring classics again.

The final scene of “Toy Story 3” (2010)

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Damn. What the hell happened to Pixar? Never has a creative entity sustained more outstanding, classic films as they did from 1995-2010. I can’t think of any filmmaker (even Martin Scorsese) who sustained consistently excellent films over a 15 year period.

This is the final scene of “Toy Story 3” where Andy (the lead human character) gives up his toys for good as he goes to college. If you want to be an a–hole, you can sneer and say this is some sad statement about how we as a culture have become too attached to “things.” For me, this is one of the most moving portrayals of someone passing on to another stage of their life. And damn, if it doesn’t move me to tears every time I see it.

“Up” (2009) dir. Pete Docter

One of the most moving portrayals of a marriage ever put on film was in Disney/Pixar’s 2009 Oscar-winning animated film “Up.”  The attached montage has no spoken words, and is a combination of two pivotal scenes from the film: one towards the beginning … the other towards the end.  However, both scenes bookend each other nicely and I’m glad someone put these two scenes together.  One of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen on film.  Warning: you will not have a dry eye watching this.