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out of curiousity (and bordom), i asked my 10-year-old daughter (who is home with strep throat today) to rank the Pixar movies (she's seen all but UP). here's her order:

WALL-E and INCREDIBLES (tied for first place)

TOY STORY 2

A BUG'S LIFE

RATATOUILLE

FINDING NEMO

CARS

MONSTER'S INC

TOY STORY

when i asked her about the ranking, she says TOY STORY is last because she remembers it the least (and it's one of the three we don't own, the other two being WALL-E and CARS). she says she likes WALL-E because she really likes WALL-E as a character and she likes the story. re the INCREDIBLES, she says she liked that the film had kids, heh (she's an older sister to a younger brother). i'll be curious to see where she places UP on her list given the conversation here, heh. i'll hold off on my own ranking until i see it.

by the way, we are watching SHORT CIRCUIT right now and she mentioned that the robot in that film reminds her of WALL-E. heh, she's on to something there. i'm sure others must have already noted this, but it's the first time i've connected the two.

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Baal_T'shuvah wrote:

: 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.

Now see, if you ask a question like that, I have to find an answer. Darn it, you've just given me homework. :)

(FWIW, my knee-jerk reaction is to say that Hans Zimmer might fall into this category, but he's got a sort of soundtrack "factory" at his disposal and it's not clear to me how much of the music written in his name is actually written by him, per se. I do know that one of his associates scored the original Pirates of the Caribbean because nobody expected it to be a big deal, but then Zimmer himself scored the sequels because everyone knew what a big deal THEY would be. Did anyone notice a change in the sound, though? I'm not sure.)

morgan1098 wrote:

: We're doing it more for the "experience" for our girls.

Oh my. I hadn't thought of that yet. I've been thinking only of taking my kids to matinees at regular theatres. But I hadn't even begun to dream of taking them to a drive-in. I'll definitely have to file that one away.

pilgrimscrybe wrote:

: when i asked her about the ranking, she says TOY STORY is last because she remembers it the least (and it's one of the three we don't own, the other two being WALL-E and CARS).

That's fascinating, considering she ranked both WALL-E and Toy Story 2 so high.

: by the way, we are watching SHORT CIRCUIT right now and she mentioned that the robot in that film reminds her of WALL-E. heh, she's on to something there. i'm sure others must have already noted this, but it's the first time i've connected the two.

Heh. Not only do the characters resemble each other, but they even share a gag of sorts in which the robot (actually or seemingly) squishes an insect. I noted it at my blog in October 2007 (on my birthday, as it happens), eight months before the movie itself came out.

"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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pilgrimscrybe wrote:

: by the way, we are watching SHORT CIRCUIT right now and she mentioned that the robot in that film reminds her of WALL-E. heh, she's on to something there. i'm sure others must have already noted this, but it's the first time i've connected the two.

Heh. Not only do the characters resemble each other, but they even share a gag of sorts in which the robot (actually or seemingly) squishes an insect. I noted it at my blog in October 2007 (on my birthday, as it happens), eight months before the movie itself came out.

i thought it was a little too obvious to be missed. heh, my little film-critic-in-the-making also articulated that their "voices" were remarkably similiar and that they "acted a lot the same" (ie, their personalities were simliar). but she really liked both movies (though WALL-E still ranks higher).

btw, SHORT CIRCUIT had many more language elements in it than i remembered. and she's right at the age where she instantly notices it and looks at me with big eyes and a hand over her mouth, heh. she was much smaller when she saw GOONIES, in which all the language (as well as the more adolescent situations) went over her head (and left me looking at my husband with big eyes and a hand over mouth, heh).

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I did say I'd post this as soon as it became available, so ... I think everyone has said their two cents already, but here it is.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I thought I would share this. I found it in a user comment about Up at IMDB:

"Before you watch the film, you are presented with a short film called Partly Cloudy. At first it starts off pretty innocent, but then delves into some garbage about how storks bring these awfully cute babies to their parents. And then it goes on to show you that the clouds went on to create these babies.

"Absolute garbage! Some of us prefer to be upfront, responsible and honest with our children. We would never teach them this! Granted you have to have a suspension of disbelief to reality when watching films, this kind of theological idea is forced on the audience. Worst of all, it was Unnecessary."

Some people are WAY too tightly wound.

If you want to, you can read his comments about Up itself at:

http://us.imdb.com/user/ur2547985/comments

He didn't like it, by the way.

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Some people are WAY too tightly wound.

Wow. Imagination can really make some folks feel threatened. I hope those dangerous perpetrators of myth at Pixar have learned their lesson!

I wonder what would happen to this reviewer if he saw The Nightmare Before Christmas...

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

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I note that the same reviewer praises Leo DiCaprio's Arabic in Body of Lies, takes some of that film's characters to task for the way they quote the Koran, and includes a verse therefrom that he wishes they had quoted. He also gives 10 stars to Meet the Spartans, and 9 stars to Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, about which he observes: "This film has full frontal female nudity in it which was deliciously sweet and hilarious."

Edited by mrmando

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Upcoming Pixar charts the differences between the 2-D and 3-D screenings, e.g.:

First, there

"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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Just returned from seeing it a second time, this time with the whole family (in 2-D).

Love it more than ever. Alas, we missed the trailers, but did arrive just in time for "Partly Cloudy."

“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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Random thought: Muntz does have other inventions besides the talking dog collars and the biplanes. In the newsreel we see robotic dog-walking and bathing machines, and the first time we see the snipe it's running through a gauntlet of traps, including a couple of conventional ones but also an Indy-style dart-gun gauntlet.

“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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Ah! Thanks, Steven. It had been troubling me that the dog collars sort of stood out as an incongruous detail. I kept thinking, when did Muntz become a genius inventor? I'd forgotten all about those things. Wow, I need to see it again. In 3-D this time.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

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Just for the record, I did not forget about those things, but they all relate to dogs (except for the snipe-trap, I guess), so they're all part of the same kit and kaboodle. And there is still the question of whether a robot dog-walker would really be in the same league as a speech-collar, let alone the magical ability to teach a dog how to cook or fly a fighter plane, etc.

FWIW, Alan Jacobs has just posted a few brilliant comments on the film (which he "loved", FWIW):

Two:

Talking dogs who fly little fighter airplanes? There

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"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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Five: I know this sounds like an incredibly English-professorish thing to say, but the plot of Up owes a great deal to Virgil’s Aeneid. Think about it for a minute: Aeneas is forced out of his home by hostile forces and in the process loses his beloved wife — yet that same wife encourages him to pursue a new life in another land. For much of the poem his old life in Troy is a burden to him: in a much-painted scene, Book II ends with him leaving Troy carrying his father on his back and leading his young son by the hand.

In Up, Carl Fredericksen loses his beloved wife and then is forced from their home — or rather, is forced from their property: he manages to take the home with him. Throughout his travels he treasures the mementoes of his life with Ellie, much as the wandering Aeneas carefully preserves the household gods of Troy. Then, in a distant land, Carl drags his balloon-lifted house by a garden hose that he has wrapped around his torso, while also leading a young boy who becomes like a son, or grandson, to him. Like Aeneas, he ultimately has to learn to make his past a source of inspiration for the future rather then a burden; and he gets encouragement to do this from his dead wife.

Awesome. I love AJ.

By the way, he's one of my favorite Twitter-ers.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

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Sharing the Jacobs love.

On #2, Jacobs is completely free to critique the talking dogs; I have no philosophically grounded rebuttal. I can only report that, after a second viewing, I find it difficult to feel the objection very strongly. The movie is such a wonky pastiche of genres and moods that it has to be taken on its own terms or not at all.

“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 loved the talking dogs until the Star Wars reference.

But even Michael Jordan stumbled out of bounds once in a while. Doesn't mean he didn't play a magnificent game.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

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Ah! Thanks, Steven. It had been troubling me that the dog collars sort of stood out as an incongruous detail. I kept thinking, when did Muntz become a genius inventor? I'd forgotten all about those things. Wow, I need to see it again. In 3-D this time.

I saw it yesterday for the second time, this time in 3-D. And there were parts where I really liked what the 3-D added to the experience. But I do agree with Ebert, in that there is a trade off where you lose the brilliant colors by seeing everything through the tinted 3-D glasses. I'm glad I was able to see it in both formats.

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The little fighter planes hanging from the Zeppelin, by the way, are grounded in history.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/epis...ft-carrier-3772

I understand why Jacobs found the aerial dog-fighting a bit much. I admit the dog cooking almost had a similar effect on me. (Anyone Can Cook!) But by then the movie had built up in me such a store of good-will towards towards it, that I was a push-over for almost anything.

Edited by bowen
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I'll have to see this again soon. We took our girls to the drive-in and saw it, but the picture quality was really poor and it's just tough to fully appreciate a movie when you have a 1 1/2 year old crawling all over you. At least we got to stay through the whole movie, though. If we had attempted this in an actual theater we would have had to leave before the end of the movie due to the aforementioned active toddler.

Even with all the distractions, I really, really enjoyed this film and would rank it high on the list of Pixar movies. I wasn't thrilled when the dogs started flying the airplanes, but that's ok. I missed the much ballyhooed Star Wars reference, though. I'll wait for it in the second viewing.

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Screenwriter-actor (and fellow Kindlings Muse panelist) Kevin Miller says Wall-E and Up "were a huge disappointment to me in terms of story (and this is coming from a guy who counts Monsters Inc, Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo amongst his favorite films", and seconds this bit from Film Threat's review:

PIXAR must be bound to convention if something as thrilling as

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"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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Screenwriter-actor (and fellow Kindlings Muse panelist) Kevin Miller says Wall-E and Up "were a huge disappointment to me in terms of story (and this is coming from a guy who counts Monsters Inc, Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo amongst his favorite films"

He's also the Kevin Miller who wrote Ben Stein's Expelled... right?

And then there's the valuable bird, which has all the purpose of a dodo tossed in to move the plot.

Uh, the bird works in the plot on all kinds of levels. The primal connection of parents and children, and an example of a parent who will not abandon her children, which echoes Russell's mother and implies a rebuke to Russell's father. The idea of "treasure" and how we seek it and how we respond to it. It's zany, playful nature also suggests the kind of creature that kids dream about when they dream of Lost Worlds, so Russell loves him immediately, and Frederickson treats him like a pain the butt. The...

...oh, never mind. Words like "shallow manipulative hackwork" being thrown out against Up in the face of all that's being said about the depth of its meaning suggest that arguing with Sorrento on this point won't work. It's shallow if you aren't willing to keep moving into the story to see how deep it goes. Manipulative? How is it manipulative in any way worth objecting to, compared to any other Pixar movie? "Hackwork"? This is a story *about* dreams being fired up by old-fashioned adventure stories, so of course it's going to be full of conventions and familiar archetypes. It's what Pixar does within that framework that's special (at least for me, SDG, and, based on other testimonies I've read, many others who love the film. I don't think "shallow manipulative hackwork" usually moves critics like Suderman to want to protect and enjoy their experience and shield themselves from the noise of nay-sayers.)

Hmm... I wonder if Kevin Miller had any objection to the "valuable bird" because Docter named him... Kevin? :)

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

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Overstreet wrote:

: He's also the Kevin Miller who wrote Ben Stein's Expelled... right?

Yup. And he played Lex Luthor in an episode of Smallville. And he's got another documentary coming out in the near future that sounds very different from Expelled, at least in terms of the kind of audience it'll court. Remember how Mel Gibson went all red-state with The Passion of the Christ and then went kind-of blue-state with the environmentalist subtext of Apocalypto? Something like that. (No, the new documentary isn't about environmentalism; but if Expelled appealed to the red-state grassroots, the new documentary could very easily tick them off. Kevin's alluded to this at his blog, so feel free to browse around there.)

: Hmm... I wonder if Kevin Miller had any objection to the "valuable bird" because Docter named him... Kevin? :)

Heh.

FWIW, I agree that the bird is more integral to the film than Sorrento suggests -- certainly it's more integral in terms of plot, theme, and fitting into the movie's internal world than those Amazingly Humanoid Dogs.

But the appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, and I don't think a regrettably conventional film becomes somehow not-so-conventional just because a checklist of names happens to like it. (And did Suderman really want to shield himself from naysayers? Did he say he felt "threatened" by them? No, rather, he said he simply did not want to put any "distance" between himself and the film, which he would have had to do, at least in part, in order to write about it.)

"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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Speaking of Suderman:

As Alan notes, the best sequences in Up (and WALL

"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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Alas, Andrew Stanton has said that Pixar films will always be "family films" (and this is why his John Carter of Mars movie will NOT be a Pixar film, though it will be released by Disney under one of its other labels). And of their next four films, three are sequels to some of their kiddier movies (Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Monsters Inc.) and one will be their first-ever "fairy tale" (The Bear and the Bow), so it doesn't sound like they're planning on taking things to the next level any time soon.

"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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I don't know. Making films that can appeal to both adults and six-year-olds is no small feat. I hope it's not something that the folks at Pixar feel they need to take to the next level. It's got to be easier to make a film that appeals exclusively to six-year-olds or exclusively to adults than it is to make films that so gracefully speak to a wide age range.

If Pixar ever does make an adult film (er, that doesn't sound right), I'm sure they'd do a great job... but I hope they don't do it out of some perceived need to be "taken seriously" by adults.

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