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A JHM exclusive: A detailed description of Comic-Con's "Incredibles" preview.

A JHM exclusive: A detailed description of Comic-Con's "Incredibles" preview.

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"Man, did they get the title of that movie right."

That's what one satisfied Comic-Con participant said last Friday afternoon as they strolled out of cavernous Room 20. Right after they'd been treated to a special sneak peek of Pixar's next smash hit film, "The Incredibles."

"How good does this movie look, Jim?," you ask. "How entertaining were these clips?" Well, "The Incredibles" looked so good, those clips were so entertaining that words fail me.

I mean, I honestly didn't think that it was possible for Pixar to top itself at this point. But this new Brad Bird film ... It just looks flat out amazing. This motion picture appears to have it all, folks. Truly thrilling action sequences. A really clever story that skillfully mixes humor & suspense. Not to mention characters that you immediately take into your heart.

NOT because they have super powers, mind you. But - rather - because they have all-too-human frailties. They're afraid of growing older, of getting fatter, of not being able to do the stuff they love anymore.

Which brings us to Bob Parr. 15 years ago, Bob was one of the world's greatest superheroes - Mr. Incredible. But - thanks to an unfortunate series of mishaps as well as some frivolous lawsuits - Parr (along with all the other great crime fighters around the world) was forced to hang up his supersuit. Bob and his wife, Helen (AKA Elastigirl) were forced to enter a program similar to the Witness Protection Program. Where the government gave them new secret identities ... Average suburban couple.

Which is why Parr is now working as an insurance claims adjustor with a boss he hates. And Helen is taking care of their three kids - teenage Violet, pre-teen Dash and toddler Jack-Jack. And the two of them never ever use their super powers anymore.

The only problem is ... Bob misses being Mr. Incredible. He misses being able to use his super powers to make a real difference in the world. Nowadays, Parr's just some drone with a dead end job. Packing on the pounds. Wondering if he's ever going to be able to feel good about himself again.

Bob's itching to get into action again. Which is why Parr's really intrigued one day when he gets a phone call from a mysterious organization. Which needs the help of an extraordinary individual in order to take care of a little problem on a South Seas island.

Bob hems and haws for a while. He knows that Helen will never allow him to do something as dangerous as this. But Parr really misses pulling on his supersuit. Of being Mr. Incredible. Which is why one night he picks up the phone and says "I'm in."

The next day - after kissing his wife goodbye and supposedly heading off to the office - Bob slips off to the airport. Where he boards a corporate jet. Which whisks him off to this island in the Pacific.

En route, Bob pulls on his old "Mr. Incredible" supersuit. Then he receives a briefing from a pretty corporate rep. Who tells him all about the challenge that he's about to face.

It seems that this company has created this war machine (An omnidroid, to be exact) that has somehow gone out of control. It's now running free on this remote South Seas Island. And - because this battling bot learns as it goes -- the corporation has been unable to shut it down.

This is where Mr. Incredible comes in. This mysterious corporation wants him to parachute in and disable the robot. WITHOUT causing too much damage to this one-of-a-kind prototype.

Bob's really up for this challenge. Even though he has some trouble making an authentic heroic exit. (One of the bigger laughs at this Comic-Con preview came at the sight of Parr's excess flab jamming the plane's hi-tech ejection system.)

The next thing you know, Mr. Incredible is on the island. That 50 extra pounds he's carrying makes it kind of difficult for Bob to escape that escape pod. Not to mention that that excess weight makes it hard for Parr to catch his breath as he jogs around the island, looking for that elusive omnidroid.

As he's leaning against a tree -- gasping for air - Mr. Incredible wonders if he's really up for this challenge. Whether he's just too old and too fat to ... Hey, what's the deal with that mysterious mark in the bark? Mr. Incredible leans in close to examine the tree. It looks like something big and metal just came by and ...

BAM! Mr. Incredible is knocked clear across the clearing. As the huge four-legged omnidroid shimmers into view and begins pounding the crap out of Parr.

It was this sequence that made it clear why "The Incredibles" is Pixar's first PG-rated film. The fighting is fierce. As Bob tries to out-smart this massive fighting machine. Which battles him through a jungle, then down the side of a cliff, then right to the edge of a lake of boiling hot lava.

You know what's great about this action sequence in "The Incredibles"? You get a sense of real peril here. Because it's been so long since Bob Parr has fought a foe like this, because he's so rusty, so out-of-shape, you're not entirely sure that Mr. Incredible is actually going to be able to pull this off. Defeat the giant robot.

And things certainly look grim when - thanks to a particularly vicious whack from the omnidroid - Bob throws his back out. And -- as the vicious robot picks up the ailing superhero in its claws and gives him a twist - you hear Parr's spine go "Crack!" And then ...

Sorry. But that would be spoiling one of the truly fun moments of "The Incredibles." I won't tell you how Bob escapes from certain death. But escape he does.

But not without getting a tear in his supersuit. Which is why - with the hope of getting his "Mr. Incredible" costume repaired - Bob drops in on an old friend: E, that diminutive designer of super hero suits.

How should I describe E. Well, she looks like someone left Linda Hunt in the dryer too long. She is teeny tiny, but a lot of attitude. Years ago, to hear E tell it, "I designed clothing for gods." Nowadays, she just creates outfits for super models. Skinny stupid women that E absolutely hates.

Bob has come to her with his torn "Mr. Incredible" suit, asking if E could discreetly make the necessary repairs. Instead, she proposes creating a whole new outfit for Bob. Something modern, something stunning.

"Something with a cape?," Parr asks.

"No. No capes, "E insists. When asked why, she quickly lists all the superheroes who met their demise in cape related tragedies. Crimefighters who found themselves tangled up in rockets, sucked into jet turbines, snagged on satellites. E quickly goes through this unfortunate roll-call. Which is admittedly grim but still quite funny.

Which is why Bob eventually (if somewhat reluctantly) agrees. "Okay. No cape." With a secretly triumphant smile, E heads upstairs in her sleek ultra-modern home. Anxious to get to work on "Mr. Incredibles" 's new supersuit.

To be honest, all that "The Incredibles" director, Brad Bird and the film's producer, John Walker showed us at Comic-Con was the Mr.-Incredible-gets-briefed-then-battles-the-bot-on-the-island sequence, followed closely by the Bob-meets-with-E-to-get-his-supersuit-repaired scene. But that was enough.

That was enough to make all 6400+ people in Hall 20 gibber like apes. To make us all break out in huge grins. To make us turn to perfect strangers and say: "That looked just terrific. I've GOT TO see this movie."

You know, there's this phenomenon in fandom. Of these people who will park themselves outside of a theater weeks before a movie will open. Just so they can have bragging rights to say that they were among the very first to see a new film.

Well, as part of "The Incredibles" 's promotional campaign, Pixar has created an ad that pays tribute to guys like that. This trailer shows an overweight fanboy - in his homemade "Mr. Incredibles" outfit, no less - parking himself out in front of the El Capitan. Setting up his folding chair right there on the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard. Just so he can be among the first to see "The Incredibles."

Mind you, according to the sub-titles of this particular trailer, this poor slob still has 5 months to wait 'til "The Incredibles" opens. But there he sits. Dozing in his chair. Waving to passersby. Proudly proclaiming "I'm first."

But you know ... After seeing these two sequences from "The Incredibles," I'm beginning to think that maybe this guy isn't so crazy after all. This movie looks so good ... Maybe it really isn't such a strange idea to get on line this far in advance.

You'll have to excuse me, folks. But I have to go down to our basement and see if I can't scare myself up a folding chair. No sense just standing in line 'til November 5th.

Your thoughts?

Looking for more from Jim on the "Incredibles"?  Click here.


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