Thursday, February 02, 2012

RANGO, PUSS, in BOOTS, and CARS, too!

RANGO is a strange but enjoyable animated film. It is not a perfect script, especially in the first act, but once it gets moving in the second act it really gels. The voice casting is exceptional, and if you are a fan of film, you will enjoy all the allusions to famous movies, most noticeably the Sergio Leone films I love so much, and CHINATOWN. And a few others thrown in.

Also a shout-out to my former student Addison Teague who was the Supervising Sound Editor, the sound design was spectacular. As was the animation.

Over the last three days I have watched eight movies. That's what happens at awards time. I will try to review most of them, but I make no guarantees. Last night one of the ones I watched was PUSS IN BOOTS.

Although there was a lot to enjoy, there was also a lot to snooze through. I think the major problem is that although this is a funny (and well cast) character, he is essentially a second-banana, and his character (and this story) is not enough to flesh out a feature film. When the film is good, it's very good, but the back-story flashbacks were terrible. Ans the ancillary characters were terrible. Humpty Dumpty was terribly conceived, and Jack and Jill were completely wasted. It's an interesting study in contrasts with RANGO, which stands up much better.

I am one of the few people who will publicly admit to disliking CARS. (Click to see my review of the original.)



I don't get it. I *love* the other Pixar films, like TOY STORY, which reminded me of my own imaginative childhood where I gave all my toys personalities. Except the cars. Cars are cars. YOU drive them. They don't have a personality of their own.

The sequel is a colossal misfire. Like Puss, Tow Mater is not a lead character. I guess I can understand the desire to dumb things down for the NASCAR audience, but it sure didn't work for me. 
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