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REVIEWS OF MAX & INSIDE OUT IN TWO PARAGRAPHS

year: 2015 grade: D
MAX: Like a dog buries a bone, the makers of MAX buries the titular lead, and instead of centering on a military Marine dog suffering shell shock, as promised, or an unlikely friendship between dog and boy, we follow a confusing melodrama about white trash bullies with some kind of military secret as Max the German Sheppard circles around this boring mainline also including a group of teenagers with less chemistry than a bad After School Special… So Max not only gets lost in the confusing political intrigue that’s hardly intriguing, but his young master’s new human friends hijack any purpose he would have otherwise… After all, it’s supposed to be his very own Dog Gone movie, so where on earth is he?

year: 2015 grade: C
INSIDE OUT: Now for a venture that can be compared to two films that shouldn’t be mentioned in a review about a children’s movie: EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK and THE EXORCIST… In the first, Woody Allen took us inside a body as we saw humans, as mechanics, controlling from the outside, like a bridge on a spaceship, the person inside… And in the latter, well, a little girl is wielded by something other than herself – in this case a handful of personality traits including Joy, Sadness, Anger and the token goofball relief, an Imaginary Friend elephant creature that, in trying to be the Josh Gad FROZEN favorite, winds up more annoying than helpful in a somewhat creative yet rather bland trek – the personalities traipsing slowly through the child’s cerebrum as, on the outside, a little girl deals with unrealistically jovial parents and a new school, which all seems an afterthought to the candy-coded fluff going on elsewhere: perhaps too much for grownup taste buds yet INSIDE OUT might make kids think... about thinking.
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