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SDG wrote:

: I think by "presumptuous" Jeff may mean that in the context of the present conversation, in which we have all been accused of complicity in a conspiracy of silence not to allow criticism of WALL-E when "everyone knows" that it runs completely out of steam -- i.e., it's an objective fact that the rest of us "really" know but are suppressing -- to say "Cars is mediocre and that's that" seems to suggest a similar sense of "final answer" preemptiveness and dismissiveness, rather than engagement with a broader conversation.

Well, I'm certainly saying that I'd need a lot of persuading to change my view on the matter. And the past three years haven't been without conversation, in that regard. Heck, I've probably seen bits and pieces of Cars more often than any other Pixar movie, since it's the Pixar film I've played for my kids the most. (They get a fair bit of A Bug's Life and The Incredibles, too. They've seen most of the other films at least once, as well.)

But holding a firm opinion about any given film, and recognizing that this opinion is a fairly common one, is not at all the same thing as being "presumptuous" about the motivations of other critics. I do think critics and fanboys who trot out the "perfect score" line (without taking into account the existing debate around these matters) are peddling a form of ignorance, but whether it's honest ignorance or wilful ignorance is another question altogether.

: Why shake your fist at the world and say "I won't be silenced, damn you!" Who is trying to silence anyone?

If you've never had a review yanked or killed because it stepped out of line with what your editor thought the readership expected, then you might not find it so easy to imagine a situation in which something like that could happen here. But it's happened to me (in non-Pixar contexts), so I can imagine similar scenarios here. I don't know how many entertainment editors would be willing to "step out of line" when a thing like this seems to be so universally popular.

Personally, I'm curious to see what sort of review wins Jeff's contest. And whether a mixed or critical review of Up will ever surface at, say, Filmwell.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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What does this alleged crowd of critics who say Pixar has a "perfect score" mean by that? Do they mean "Pixar's never released a bad movie?" In that case, I agree with them. Or are they saying, "Pixar's never released anything less than an 'A'?" Pixar's released some films that I think have weaknesses, but I haven't seen them produce a film that I wouldn't recommend.

But see... it's when we get into defining what "perfect score" might mean that the whole conversation just starts to sound pretty ridiculous to me. I mean... art is beauty and interpretation and craftsmanship and ideas, and the idea of "scoring" it has become more and more nonsensical to me.

Peter, since you're so skeptical about my discernment of the review contest, it's simple: I'll choose the review that I think is the best-written, based on what little I know about writing. Not the review that I agree with most. Would you sleep better if I appointed some kind of jury? But keep in mind: The prize is an Up poster. That will probably inspire reviews from people who like the movie, dontcha think? If the review ends up being positive, it won't be due to my process of picking a winner, but it might be influenced by what motivated them to submit a review in the first place. That is, after all, what sparked the idea: "I have a poster to give away. What should I do?"

Filmwell is a team of writers with varied opinions and perspectives, and nobody's "vetting" the posts. If anybody on the Filmwell team wants to write about Up, they can, whatever their opinion of it.

Since I look at Filmwell as a place to write about subjects I'm not seeing elsewhere, I probably won't put anything about "Up" there... unless it's focusing on an aspect of the film that I haven't seen discussed elsewhere. (I posted the Terminator piece because it was about "recycling" rather than the film's narrative.)

And I'm going to say farewell to this thread now, as it's becoming the kind of debate that sours me on discussing movies at A&F. I mean... I have the impression that *most* of us here have enjoyed Up. But the thread is becoming an ongoing and extremely subjective debate between, oh, three of us about whether Pixar has a perfect record, or whether it's become a sacred cow. If it becomes a conversation with a larger group about aspects of the movie... well... that would be cool. I might want to be a part of that. Seems like this thread should have been split off quite a few posts ago.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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Maybe I'm wrong: Folks? You enjoying watching us beating our chests and roaring about whether Pixar's perfect or not? Are you glued to your screens waiting to find out whether somebody's going to cry 'Uncle!' and make a daring confession about whether Cars is a 6.5 or an 8.2?

Anybody want to change the subject? And get us talking about Up?

Anybody else even reading this anymore?

This thing on?

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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Pretty much the entire conversation -- and yes, that is what it has been -- has been tied to Up, so I don't see any point in splitting off separate threads (and splitting individual posts) for "house-as-metaphor" and "John Podheretz" and various other related topics. Unless, of course, one wants to `silence` those digressions. ;)


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Maybe I'm wrong: Folks? You enjoying watching us beating our chests and roaring about whether Pixar's perfect or not? Are you glued to your screens waiting to find out whether somebody's going to cry 'Uncle!' and make a daring confession about whether Cars is a 6.5 or an 8.2?

Actually, I do, in a way... I think it's actually a good conversation to have. Pixar is possibly the most consistent mainstream studio in Hollywood right now producing high-quality and highly-artistic films. Assessing their influence and judging their track record is not an entirely fruitless exercise, IMHO. I'm not sure it needs to get into point ratings like 6.5 or 8.2, and I don't think anyone here has suggested it should.

But, I also hope the conversation doesn't wound anyone in any way... I don't think it's a conversation that should reach that point. Maybe we should have a separate thread on the subject (linking all the standalone film threads) where participation would be voluntary for those who wish to follow along or discuss it.


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Pixar is possibly the most consistent mainstream studio in Hollywood right now producing high-quality and highly-artistic films. Assessing their influence and judging their track record is not an entirely fruitless exercise, IMHO.

I agree. But haven't we covered this in other Pixar threads, or annual award-releated thread before? I'm having serious deja vu. I could probably describe Peter and SDG's views on this matter in my sleep. I'd love to hear some new perspectives. And if the subject is so interesting, then I'd argue it does deserve its own thread. Otherwise I'll find myself wearily noting my lack of enthusiasm for A Bug's Life in the Toy Story 3 thread, when someone decides to suggest again that I'm love-blinded by Pixar product.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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Pixar is possibly the most consistent mainstream studio in Hollywood right now producing high-quality and highly-artistic films. Assessing their influence and judging their track record is not an entirely fruitless exercise, IMHO.

I agree. But haven't we covered this in other Pixar threads, or annual award-releated thread before? I'm having serious deja vu. I could probably describe Peter and SDG's views on this matter in my sleep. I'd love to hear some new perspectives. And if the subject is so interesting, then I'd argue it does deserve its own thread. Otherwise I'll find myself wearily noting my lack of enthusiasm for A Bug's Life in the Toy Story 3 thread, when someone decides to suggest again that I'm love-blinded by Pixar product.

Heh... Then I can respond by noting my enjoyment for A Bug's Life to keep everything in it's proper perspective. :P

I think Pixar's continued quality output begs these types of debates. I'm sure similar discussions are being held on online discussion boards, by the water coolers and probably in teenager's bedrooms all over right about now. The issue here, maybe as you say, is the lack of "new perspectives." I think most of the primary contributors here at A&F have had this and other similar conversations many times over, so it can often feel like a re-tread. But long-term debates aren't necessarily bad, and without the presence of an alternate perspective there is the danger of ending up like Carl after his wife died, sitting alone in his house - or worse, like Muntz, obsessed with his own priorities to the point of madness. (OK, I might be stretching here... Just trying to keep on topic somehow. ;) )

Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Darryl, everyone should stretch with as much finesse as you do. :)

As for "new voices", I dunno. I've heard a few complaints to the effect that A&F in general, and this thread in particular, reflect a fanboyish mentality that can be discouraging to people who want to probe some of the more complicated issues raised, e.g., in Ken's review. But I'm sure my own efforts to broaden things out a bit can look prohibitive to people who come here expecting a glee club. As with WALL-E and Rachel Getting Married, so here: I like all the films under discussion, and at times I am even tempted to say I love them, or at least parts of them. I don't think anyone has to get defensive just because there is more to say about them than that, or because we sometimes get into the details and the varying ways in which those details can be interpreted. (I notice that Peter Suderman just posted a blog item to the effect that he is glad he didn't have to review Up because that meant he didn't have to get analytical about it -- he could just love it without saying why. I'm not sure I understand that sentiment, really -- nor do I think one can reasonably suggest that any movie deserves "every one of its accolades, and perhaps more" simply because of its prologue -- but at any rate, the possibilities for conversation there are pretty limited.) If we're going to have "new voices", then we need to tolerate -- indeed, encourage -- a certain degree of diversity.

One thing I do know is that the constant demand to split threads whenever a momentary (but thread-related) digression goes in a direction that someone doesn't like is not exactly helpful. It's hard to invest yourself in a conversation when someone is constantly trying to shoo certain participants away to another table. The Terminator Salvation thread got over its momentary obsession with Christian Bale's rant, and this thread will no doubt get over its momentary obsession with JPod's commentary and the fallout therefrom.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Well, I'm certainly saying that I'd need a lot of persuading to change my view on the matter. ... But holding a firm opinion about any given film, and recognizing that this opinion is a fairly common one, is not at all the same thing as being "presumptuous" about the motivations of other critics.

Gotcha, but go back to the comment you were commenting on viz. the supposed "cultural orthodoxy" "imposed on us" making it "impermissible to criticize a Pixar film."

I'm not sure how you would "adjust" that for hyperbole, but somehow you connected Podhoretz's thesis to critics gleefully citing Pixar's 10-for-10 "perfect score" of no mediocre films, especially since, you added, "Cars broke the streak everywhere but the box office ... and that's that."

Whatever you meant by that, the implication seems to be that critics maintaining a 10-for-10 no-mediocre-Pixar-movies stance in the face of the (apparently self-evident) mediocrity of Cars must be at least symptoms if not enforcers of Podhoretz's cultural orthodoxy.

If you want to clarify your meaning, fine, but in context I agree with Jeff that "and that's that" sounds presumptuous -- more so than "perfect score," really, since "perfect score" can be my own opinion whereas "and that's that" seems to preempt and dismiss other opinions.

FWIW. As with our previous discussion about semantics, I'll only push so far, and that's to right here.

Incidentally, what can you mean by "everywhere but at the box office"? "Everywhere" does not mean criticdom, evidently, since (as we may have discussed in previous threads for Wall-E and/or Ratatouille) Cars remains 75% / "fresh" at RT and 73% / "generally favorable" at Metacritic. I'm guessing it's probably sold well on DVD. And it's only the second Pixar feature after Toy Story to get a sequel. So where is the "everywhere" that Cars "broke the streak"?

My view is that if ABL didn't "break the streak," neither did Cars. I don't have a problem with you taking a contrary view. No cultural orthodoxy enforced here. I would have a problem with you thinking that other people who think Cars better than mediocre are prima facie evidence of Podhoretz's cultural orthodoxy.

At least you parenthetically allow for the possibility of some version of a "perfect score" line that "takes into account existing debate." I guess that would also apply to "Cars broke the streak" lines, and ultimately basically any critical opinion whatsoever. So it seems to be not really a statement about Pixar or Cars, but about critical humility in general.

Finally, if Podhoretz has faced censorship of his views, it doesn't seem to have happened over Up, at any rate. But that wasn't the evidence cited or under discussion.

P.S. I've recently run into a number of Cars fans who regard it as their favorite Pixar film. I think that's wack myself, but I'm not going to call them blind victims or enforcers of any cultural orthodoxy (especially since some of them don't like Finding Nemo or Wall-E). They just really like Cars (and cars, for that matter).

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Jeff, thought of you reading Suderman's post on "Why I'm Glad I Didn't Write a Review of Up":

Yes, I love writing about film, and that love is rooted in a passion for sharing

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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That's what I'm talkin' about.

Some of the comments responding to Suderman are good too. Steven, you should post another comment. Someone there expressed interest in seeing a critic compare Up to Monster House.

I really like Suderman.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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To keep on topic, I haven't seen Up yet, but I'll see it tomorrow night at the drive-in (!) with my wife and daughters. I have loved reading all of the Pixar-related commentary and debate in these forums in recent years. Perhaps after seeing Up I'll be able to add something to the mix.

P.S. I've recently run into a number of Cars fans who regard it as their favorite Pixar film. I think that's wack myself, but I'm not going to call them blind victims or enforcers of any cultural orthodoxy (especially since some of them don't like Finding Nemo or Wall-E). They just really like Cars (and cars, for that matter).

Merchandise is certainly no indicator of a movie's quality, but if you go to your local Target, Walmart etc. right now you'll likely find that Toy Story and Cars still rule when it comes to toothbrushes, action figures, bed sheets, etc. More recent movies like Ratatouille and even Wall-E, not so much. Again, this isn't an indicator that Cars is somehow "better" than those other films, but it seems to be resonating with SOMEONE--even 4 years after its release--more than the recent movies are.

Personally, I thought Cars had several flaws (weak story; confusing world in which there are no humans, etc.) but those were overcome by what I feel is probably Pixar's best achievement to date in the use of light, color and cinematic animation (again, I haven't seen Up yet). So I'd rate it higher on my list than those who consider it mediocre.

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Bingo. The comments are great too. Steven, you should post another comment. Someone there expressed interest in seeing a critic compare Up to Monster House..

I didn't see that. Unfortunately I can't post again -- the site seems to be configured in a way to disallow repeat comments at least sometimes.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I'm adding my relatively "new voice" here, but all I really have to say is that I think, as with any films, opinions on Pixar are largely subjective. I do think that, in one sense, it is fair to say that Pixar has a "perfect record" in that they have never, from my view, made a film that is not at least "pretty good", and the majority of them have been a lot better than that. As to which films are better than others, I think that is subjective, even though there do seem to be individual films that are more widely considered to be better, although there will always be dissenters. For instance, I've met several people who can't stand The Incredibles, even though I don't quite understand why, and why I personally love WALL-E and consider it my favorite Pixar film, I have a lot of friends who didn't like it nearly as much as I did. My personal ranking/rating of Pixar films goes like this:

1) WALL-E (A+)

2 The Incredibles (A+)

3) UP (A)

4) Toy Story 2 (A)

5 Finding Nemo (A)

6) Ratatouille (A)

7) Monsters Inc (A-)

8) Toy Story ( B + )

9) Cars ( B )

10) A Bug's Life (B-)

I think my list is very different than a lot of others', but I think that's one of things Pixar does well--they make films that speak to different people in different ways.

As for UP in particular, I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The only real drawback in my opinion was that I do think the villain was mostly two-dimensional, as has already been said by others on this thread. I can elaborate further if people wish to read my views, but I just thought that, since there was a call for "new voices" in this thread, that I would add mine.

Edited by MichLK

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Merchandise is certainly no indicator of a movie's quality, but if you go to your local Target, Walmart etc. right now you'll likely find that Toy Story and Cars still rule when it comes to toothbrushes, action figures, bed sheets, etc. More recent movies like Ratatouille and even Wall-E, not so much. Again, this isn't an indicator that Cars is somehow "better" than those other films, but it seems to be resonating with SOMEONE--even 4 years after its release--more than the recent movies are.

I really think it's highly correlated with the fact that little boys play with and like toy cars aside from the film. If little boys were brought up from infanthood playing with rats, Ratatouille would be the marketing king.

Thanks for your personal ranking, MichLK. I'd give almost every Pixar film a B+ on my relatively tough grading scale, with WALL-E and Monsters, Inc. maybe at A-s and Most People's Least Favorite Pixar Film and Most People's Other Least Favorite Pixar Film probably as Bs. Ratatouille would have been an A- as well if Linguini had been less annoyingly voiced.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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Darryl, everyone should stretch with as much finesse as you do. :)

Why thank you. I just wish I had more time to see, if not as many movies as I used to, at least more than 2-3/month and post more often. But as it is, I'm trying to make the most out of the threads I can participate in.

I can elaborate further if people wish to read my views, but I just thought that, since there was a call for "new voices" in this thread, that I would add mine.

Please feel free to elaborate... Thanks for those comments!

I'd give almost every Pixar film a B+ on my relatively tough grading scale, with WALL-E and Monsters, Inc. maybe at A-s and Most People's Least Favorite Pixar Film and Most People's Other Least Favorite Pixar Film probably as Bs. Ratatouille would have been an A- as well if Linguini had been less annoyingly voiced.

...and M. Dale wins the thread! :lol:


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Bingo. The comments are great too. Steven, you should post another comment. Someone there expressed interest in seeing a critic compare Up to Monster House. I really like Suderman.

I chuckled while reading that TAS entry because I don't think Suderman has ever actually written a film review in the first place. His film contributions at Culture11 were... odd.

But I am glad he posted that because I sympathize greatly with SDG's response. It seems that the natural critic often has a complusion to write about experiences that they are even hesitant to analyze. Suderman just banked on a Sontag-ese that only she could ever really pull off.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Darryl, forgive this incredibly delayed reaction, but I just realized I could have made a joke based on "stretch" and "Armstrong". But now the moment has passed. Oh well. :)

SDG wrote:

: Whatever you meant by that, the implication seems to be that critics maintaining a 10-for-10 no-mediocre-Pixar-movies stance in the face of the (apparently self-evident) mediocrity of Cars must be at least symptoms if not enforcers of Podhoretz's cultural orthodoxy.

Yeah, I think that's pretty much correct. And as we discussed in some earlier thread, the fact that Cars scores "only" 70-something at sites like RT while every other Pixar film is in the 90s is, itself, evidence that a "streak" of sorts was broken by that film. (I refer you back to Glenn Kenny's already-quoted remark about how critics sighed with relief when Cars turned out to be only okay -- but only okay at a very high level.) (And keep in mind that even "fresh" reviews often contain within themselves a fair bit of criticism; you have to be pretty solidly opposed to a movie in order for your review to be counted as "rotten", no?)

: Jeff, thought of you reading Suderman's post on "Why I'm Glad I Didn't Write a Review of Up":

Ahem. ;)

But now that there are comments there, I have to say I agree entirely with Noah Millman:

Actually, in general, the two things that are fun to write are good

criticism

and bad

reviews


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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: Whatever you meant by that, the implication seems to be that critics maintaining a 10-for-10 no-mediocre-Pixar-movies stance in the face of the (apparently self-evident) mediocrity of Cars must be at least symptoms if not enforcers of Podhoretz's cultural orthodoxy.

Yeah, I think that's pretty much correct.

I won't argue the point further, I just want to be sure I understand. It is what I take to be my considered opinion that Pixar has a 10-for-10 record of no mediocre films, and that if there is a weak link or an asterisk, it's ABL, not Cars. I do not regard my considered opinion as normative for anyone, and I reserve absolute freedom to dislike and even hate any Pixar film in the future. Do you mean to implicate me, either as a victim or a perpetrator, in a cultural "orthodoxy" seeking to suppress brave dissenters?


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Since I haven't mentioned this yet: It occurs to me that the two movies that have made me shed actual tears so far this summer -- i.e. this film and Star Trek -- both had scores by Michael Giacchino. If I still had the time, space and money to devote to soundtrack albums that I used to, I'm sure I'd be carving out space for him in my CD library. (Well, except for the fact that Disney is releasing the Up soundtrack purely as a digital download, and NOT as a CD.)

SDG wrote:

: It is what I take to be my considered opinion that Pixar has a 10-for-10 record of no mediocre films, and that if there is a weak link or an asterisk, it's ABL, not Cars.

I've always been happy to count BOTH as mediocre; I just don't think ABL (the Blu-Ray of which is literally starting in my living room as I type this; I'm renting it to compare it to my DVD before I decide whether or not to purchase it) is publicly acknowledged as such to the degree that Cars is.

But I think I can agree with your earlier statement to the effect that Pixar has never made a BAD film. I mean, Cars did bore me etc. when I saw it in the theatre, but I play it for my kids all the time and I can pretty much agree with Glenn Kenny's "just okay" evaluation.

: Do you mean to implicate me, either as a victim or a perpetrator, in a cultural "orthodoxy" seeking to suppress brave dissenters?

You've always peppered your remarks with too many gracious qualifiers for me to implicate anything like THAT. :)


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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In comparing ABL and Cars, I would cite the following differences, all of which I think favor ABL.

(1) ABL lifts its basic story from Seven Samurai. Cars lifts its basic story from Doc Hollywood. Stealing art from museums has always been regarded as a higher class of crime than knocking over a 7-11.

(2) ABL applied more creativity to its use of its source material than Cars did.

(3) ABL is much the funnier and cleverer of the two. Watch the Flaming Death bit from ABL and try to find anything half as funny in Cars.

(4) ABL varies its supporting characters without simply making them into ethnic and regional stereotypes.

(5) Kevin Spacey as Hopper vs. Michael Keaton as Chick Hicks

The bottom line for me is that I have a copy of A Bug's Life, even if it has hit the DVD player very rarely, but I don't have a copy of Cars.

Edited by bowen

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bowen wrote:

: (1) ABL lifts its basic story from Seven Samurai. Cars lifts its basic story from Doc Hollywood. Stealing art from museums has always been regarded as a higher class of crime than knocking over a 7-11.

Brilliant analogy -- though I have always thought that ABL lifted its basic story from Three Amigos! rather than Seven Samurai. (The "heroes" turn out to be only entertainers, etc.) That makes this a harder one to call. :)

: (4) ABL varies its supporting characters without simply making them into ethnic and regional stereotypes.

Oh my. Remember how the original trailer for Cars emphasized that "Dad gum!" thing? I'm not even sure that that phrase was used in the final film, in the end; the backlash from the trailer might have killed it.

: (5) Kevin Spacey as Hopper vs. Michael Keaton as Chick Hicks

No contest. "Do I... look stupid... to you." Classic. (Even if we're not talking about the out-take. ;) )


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Since I haven't mentioned this yet: It occurs to me that the two movies that have made me shed actual tears so far this summer -- i.e. this film and Star Trek -- both had scores by Michael Giacchino.

Hmmmm. I wonder if Giacchino's score for Land of the Lost will have the same effect on you. But seriously, when is the last time that a composer has had his music featured in three big films released over a 28 day period. I know John Williams has had multiple scores in a single year, but even as prolific as he is, I don't think he's had that many scores released in that tight a time line.


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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morgan1098 wrote:

: I'll see it tomorrow night at the drive-in (!) with my wife and daughters.

Here's a thought that never occurred to me before: Do they have 3-D at the drive-in? I'm guessing probably not, not with the "polarized" lenses. My understanding is that one of the reasons the format hasn't found a home on the home-video market is that you need to be able to guarantee that the screening room is very dark, etc. I imagine all those stars and car headlights, etc., would pose a problem in that respect.

I'm sure the drive-in will be 2D. The drive-in is the last place to see a movie if you're concerned about picture quality. :) We're doing it more for the "experience" for our girls. Unless I really hate the movie, I hope to see Up a second time in a proper theater, whether 2D or 3D.

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