Movie Talk – Cars

I know a good chunk of my writing has sort of been absent from the Internet for quite some time now and while I’m not quite ready to bring things back just yet (…still waiting on the new site…), I do have a couple of favorites here and there that I’m going to be posting over the next several days in an effort to get myself motivated enough to finish the rebuild for In the meantime, I hope this will suffice… 🙂

A word or two before I begin – I truly mean it when I say that I can’t say enough good things about this movie. Sara and I went to see it only two nights ago and we probably would’ve turned right around and watched it again, if it hadn’t been for that having to go to work the next morning thing. The soundtrack was acquired merely hours later and we’ve both been listening to it pretty much religiously to and from work each day ever since – it’s just a really, really good film. Seriously – if you’re only going to go see one film this summer, or even if you’re really cheap and don’t like to spend the extra money to go out to the movies, this one is by far worth the ten or fifteen bucks that it’s going to cost you for a couple hours of movie magic. If you wait ’til you see it on DVD, you’re gonna wish that you’d sprung to see it in the theater, so just go already!

Movie Talk…
as reviewed by: Scott Sevener

Life is a highway…

Now I should preface this week’s installment with the note that it really could’ve gone either way with this trip to the movies. While I was excited to be going to see the latest release from Disney / Pixar, I was also noticing many distinct arguments for just why people don’t really go to the movies anymore these days. The attendants throughout weren’t really all that friendly, the price tag for the outing after visiting the snack bar was simply staggering (nearly forty bucks for two people!), and the people who had to sit right next to us in an otherwise empty theater all sort of rubbed me the right way, but let’s just say that all sort of went away when the picture started…

Best movie of the summer…and probably of the entire year, too.

Seriously – hands down, Disney and Pixar absolutely and utterly knocked it out of the park with Cars and it didn’t take thirty seconds into the movie for me to completely forget about all of that nonsense before that had been bothering me. And as odd as it sounds, it was enlightening for me on another level because just in watching the opening credits, with the music cranking and the colors flashing by, I’ve got to admit thinking something along the lines of “Disney spent $7.4 billion on this company and they got one hell of a bargain…” In recalling last year’s column regarding The Incredibles, I believe I made a comment or two holding out with the hopes that Disney and Pixar would be able to reconcile their differences and continue their creative interests together, so with another year behind us and another stunning masterpiece under their collective belts, allow me to append this – I really couldn’t imagine it any other way. The future of Disney animation is Pixar … end of discussion.

So on with the movie – the very first thing that you notice as the film opens up is that Cars is a visually beautiful movie. It’s truly amazing to see just how far they’ve come with computer animation, even since only eleven years ago with Toy Story, and if you think the opening sequence at the racetrack is sweet, then be prepared to pace yourself because it only gets better and better. The country scenes through the desert arguably look better than the real thing and I’d even go so far as to challenge anyone to pick a real chase scene from the race between Lightning McQueen and Sally Carrera that sends water droplets flying from puddles and everything. We watched the film in a digital theater, so I’m a little curious to see if the presentation is any different from an older projector, but somehow I’ve got the feeling that just about any presentation of this film is going to be just amazing. It makes me wonder why Disney doesn’t do a little more exploration of IMAX distribution for their films, but that’s another column for another day! Regardless, I just can’t say enough good things about the beauty behind Cars – it just looks impeccable by the highest of standards, but why stop there?!

Clearly no expense was spared in the creation of this brilliant piece of work, from the most mundane details of the “bugs” all the way up to the minute references to past Pixar perfections every here and there, but really, it’s exactly what we’ve come to expect from this dynamic duo that certainly shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. The storyline, albeit very Doc Hollywood-ish, is still quaint and heart-warming throughout the course of Lightning’s adventure, and offered plenty of tender moments for anyone like me who wishes there were more studios like Disney in the grand scheme of Hollywood. Character-wise, I was pretty impressed as well, with Owen Wilson pulling off the lead role and proving that he can entertain without Jackie Chan by his side (not that there’s anything wrong with that!); everyone from George Carlin to Paul Newman to Bonnie Hunt and even Cheech Marin did a great job creating the voice of the classic, middle of nowhere towns that really do get bypassed more and more everyday; and lest we not forget Larry the Cable Guy, who really moved me most of all. Allow me to explain – I can’t stand Larry the Cable Guy and the redneck, “Get ‘er done!” following that he’s created, and even in seeing his appearances in the previews and making of specials, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect…but after seeing his performance in this flick, why I’ll be darned if that rusty, little pick-up truck didn’t grow on me! And while you definitely won’t catch me shopping at whatever the heck store sells wife beaters anytime soon, Larry’s alright in my book.

I guess there’s really no other way to say it than simply, “This movie was amazing – go watch it right now!” In fact, even if you have seen it already, by all means go see it again – we’ve already decided that we’re going to here later on this summer when we need a pick-me-up of sorts because it really is that good of a movie. Cars is one of those experiences that justifies why I place the Walt Disney Company up on the pedestal of all pedestals as I do and why I don’t mind paying a little extra money for that kind of entertainment. It’s that special rush that you get when you see the magic unfolding right there in front of you on the silver screen – a rush that makes you forget that you just spent forty bucks on movie tickets and a couple of baskets of curly fries for two hours of entertainment. Maybe it’s just me, but offer up more than one or two true experiences like that each year and perhaps I’d spend a little more time at the theater and a little less in front of the DVD player at home…

Yeah, it’s a nice thought, but in all reality, just remember – only twelve more months until Ratatouille comes out in 2007. Of course, Cars patrons have already been treated to a preview of the next Pixar feature being drafted by The Incredibles creator Brad Bird, and although the concept admittedly sounds a bit sketchy to this day, a year ago I was saying the exact same thing about Cars – go figure! So go see it now, enjoy the show, and although I really shouldn’t have to remind any real Pixar fans of this – don’t leave until the lights come up in the theater!

Pixar – come for the beautiful graphics, amazing storyline, and purely spectacular presentation … stay for the outtakes.

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