2006-06-09

Cars

.I don't care who you are, that there is funny!

I don't know how the Big O got wind that Cars was coming out soon, but somehow he did. Not that that's why we went. We would have gone anyway. It's a Pixar movie.

Let me say that again:

It's a Pixar movie.

And it certainly lived up to the Pixar name.

But let me start by talking about the trailers, including a host of crappy-looking, same-same-looking animated movies from Sony and Nick and you name it. They are all the exact same movie. Just with varying degrees of crappy animation.

Then the promo for Ratatoille (Pixar's next film) comes on. The difference is astonishing. Here is a movie with quality, I can tell already. The animation is sharp. The voices aren't handy celebrities, but actually match the characters and their film. And the humor? Yes, I see a rat eating something gross. But the execution raises it high above the deer-in-a-bra I saw six minutes earlier.

Then we saw One Man Band and loved it. The audience clapped. This is not six bucks down and poop out all memories the next day; Pixar makes art.

So! Cars!

I have to admit talking cars are a little weird. This may not ever become my most-watched Pixar film. But I nearly cried as James Taylor sang and we watched a Route 66 town be passed by the freeway and turn to dust.

I already hate the death of small-town America, but no movie has made me cry over it before.

And yes, Pixar hires celebrities. But Owen Wilson was perfect. And Paul Newman--he could live comfortably doing voiceovers alone, I know it. What a voice! And even Larry the Cable Guy managed pathos as well as a trademark line or two. The voices were the right voices--not mere marquee weight.

Pixar....

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Mr Lasseter? If you're reading this, I would cut off my right arm to work in your story department.

Wait. No. Maybe not. Maybe not my right arm.

But make me an offer. I'll say yes.

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Anyway, O loved it. I loved it. Lady Steed loved it. My parents loved it. My sister loved it. Her friend loved it. We laughed our heads off and nearly cried and were honestly moved.

I knew enough about the story's premise to fear Lasseter's big return would be his least movie, but no no no. I don't know how, precisely, you take talking cars and give them limited time together and create meaningful, believable relationships----but I'ld like to learn, Mr Lasseter-----but they managed. And editing is a mystery to me too.

Hitchcock said film is the artform whose medium is time, and watching Pixar seems evidence of that. The perfect pause for a joke to work. Done. The hold that moves the soul. Done. The cut that tells you not just where you are and the time of day but the state of mind and heart and the meaning of life. Done.

Impressive.

Anyway, I gush. But they deserve it.

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I remember reading about Joe Ranft's death last year and hurting for his Pixar colleagues. I, of course, never knew him. I heard him on the DVDs and I knew some of what he did and I enjoyed his Heimlich, but I didn't know him.

I wish I had. I wish I could have mourned him as a friend and not a fan.

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Anyway, Cars is great. Go see it. Go see the best writers and animators do their stuff.

I love animation. And I love this animation explosion, even if the market is being flooded with crap.

But all is not dark.

We have Pixar.

And me. I'm between gigs at the moment, Mr Lasseter. If you're looking, I'll make myself available.

13 comments:

  1. I'm still unconvinced. I think that if their previews are so absolutely unsuccessful at making me even remotely interested in the movie, I will likely not enjoy the movie. But I'm glad that you did.

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  2. .

    You know, with the exception of Ratatouille, I have never been that taken by Pixar's teaser method of trailering. I prefer teasers to tellalls, to be sure, but I didn't much care for Mr Incredible's belt or Finding Nemo's whale shot either.

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  3. Th. - My understanding of Pixar's teasers is that they often aren't done with the movie yet, so they can't show shots from the final film. (At least that would make sense for the teasers which come out long before the actual movie does.)

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  4. Th. forgot to mention that we do not have TV, so we are not exposed to all the trailers and hype that would proceed a PIXAR movie, or any movie for that matter.

    I enjoyed CARS very much. It was worth the price. But it is not, however my new Pixar favorite.

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  5. .

    Katya is right. And I think that works to their advantage more often than not. After all, this way, no Disney minions sort through the footage, pick some vital plot point and set it to the Braveheart soundtrack.

    If I were a director, I would require the responsibility of traler-making to be my own.

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  6. lucky ducks i want to see that movie sooooooooooo bad! but my parents don't beleive in paying full price to go to movies, so i have to wait for it to come out at the dollar movie, and it sounds like i'll be waiting a long,long,long time.

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  7. Am I the only one who makes a very clear distinction between Disney and Pixar? I mean, I know that Disney happens to fund and distribute Pixar's stuff right now, but Disney's been putting out sub-par movies for years, now, and Pixar's been doing fabulous stuff since before they were working with Disney.

    I told someone I didn't like Disney movies any more and they asked if I liked The Incredibles, and I was all, "That's not Disney. That's Pixar."

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  8. I, too, saw Cars this weekend and thought it was great. (Don't tell anyone, but it's true that I cried. Just a little bit.) The best thing about Pixar (which, Katya, I agree, is totally different than Disney)is the good quality, yes, but also the many subtle things they throw in there to make it more real, more interesting (like the tire track "airplane" clouds in the sky, or whatever those are called). Anyway, good flick.

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  9. Huh. We'll have to see it. (We're huge fans of Paul Newman, having recently seen the version of Our Town in which he plays the narrator.)

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  10. .

    Paul Newman says that Cars is his best work since The Verdict in 1982.

    And confusing Pixar and Disney is despicable. Now that John Lasseter runs both animation studios, maybe we'll see some improvement--don't run yourself too thin, John!--but as of now, Pixar is lightyears ahead of the other big studios.

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  11. I just saw it last night. I loved it! I will definitely get it for my collection when it comes out. I also LOVED One Man Band!

    When we were leaving the theater, I ended up seeing a girl I knew from high school (16 years ago!) and she started going on and on about how there are all these connections (?) through these Disney/Pixar movies...like there is a mobile in Monsters, Inc. that is the same one in Toy Story.

    I'm not sure if I'm making sense--but do you have ANY idea what I'm talking about?

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  12. .

    I do.

    And it's true!!!

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