I watched a couple of movies on DVD over the weekend. By sheer coincidence, they were the same two that James Lileks also watched over the weekend: Team America: World Police and The Incredibles. Yes, two movies and neither one had any live humans in them; Team America featured some amazing animatronic puppets, while The Incredibles feature some amazingly good animation.

While Team America is a puppet movie, it is not for children, just as South Park is a cartoon which is not intended for children. Not coincidentally, both come from the twisted minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Team America is hysterically funny, but is not for the easily offended or the squeamish. There is something in the movie to tweak just about everyone, although Muslim terrorists, Hollywood political activist actors and North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Il get nailed the worst, and none of it seems undeserved. The musical numbers are quite entertaining, from songs like the gleefully obscene theme song "America (F**k Yeah!)" to Kim Jong Il's poignant solo "I'm So Ronery" to the ballad "Pearl Harbor Sucked... And I Miss You." The action scenes also are amusing, especially the beginning sequence where we watch the Team America agents blithely destroy most of Paris' landmarks while taking out Muslim terrorists. Only a Francophile wouldn't get a chuckle out of it. The end of the movie was quite satisfying, although it does leave the possibility for a sequel wide open.

The Incredibles, by contrast, is suitable for the entire family. There's a lot to see, so you'll want to watch it more than once so that you can catch all of the little goodies in the background. I watched it the second time with the director's commentary track, and it was really interesting to learn how the various scenes had been farmed out to various animators working on the project. The special features on the second disk are also a lot of fun, especially the Top Secret files on the various "Supers." Not to go too deeply into the story, but it's about a couple of married super-heroes (Mr. Incredible and the former Elastigirl) who have been forced into retirement by events, and fifteen years later are living mundane suburban lives, raising their three children (who also have super powers that they must hide) in an early 1960s setting. Mr. Incredible misses the old days, though, and hangs out with one of his old crime-fighting buddies on a regular basis, and through that, gets drawn into what he thinks is a government project to regain control of a military Omnidroid project that has gotten out of control. All is not as it seems, and the story goes from there. This one is well worth seeing, if you haven't already seen it.