Open-Air Screenings | Festival | Chicago Reader

Open-Air Screenings 

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Both movies are free and will be screened by video projection.

The Incredibles

Pixar Animation's four previous releases have grossed more than $2.2 billion, which makes me feel like I'm reviewing not a movie but an aircraft carrier. This comic book adventure is fun for the first half hour, as the world's superheroes are forced into retirement by personal-injury lawsuits and assigned new identities by the government. In a sort of big-screen New Yorker cartoon, the barrel-chested Mr. Incredible lives a life of quiet desperation, dividing his time between an insurance company cubicle and a vanilla tract home he shares with the former Elastigirl and their three moppets. The fun hardens into Fun after he's lured out of retirement and imprisoned in a remote island compound, though the sleek computer animation is spellbinding as usual. Brad Bird (The Iron Giant) wrote and directed; with the voices of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Jackson. PG, 115 min. (JJ) Wed 6/29, 9 PM, Northwestern Univ. Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston, 847-491-4000.

Shrek 2

At the end of the digitally animated Shrek the lovely Princess Fiona (given voice by Cameron Diaz) flipped the formula of Beauty and the Beast by electing to become a stocky green ogre just like her gruff but tender beau (Mike Myers); this time around she faces the delicate task of bringing him home to mom and dad (Julie Andrews and John Cleese). Like the first movie this is unassailable family entertainment, with a gentle fairy tale for kids and a raft of mildly satirical pop-culture references for parents. Antonio Banderas is very funny as the Zorro-esque Puss in Boots, and there are two priceless set pieces: a parody of COPS and a giddy survey of the kingdom, which is a medieval version of Rodeo Drive. PG, 105 min. (JJ) Fri 6/24, 8:30 PM, Merrimac Park, 6343 W. Irving Park, 773-685-3382; also Fri 6/24, dusk, Sayre Park, 6871 W. Belden, 312-746-5368.

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