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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Pixar: The End of an Era (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Pixar: The End of an Era
Speed
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One of the longest winning streaks in cinema has come to an end. Pixar just made its first rotten film.

I haven't seen it yet, but as the parent of a 3-year-old I'm sure I'll have lined John Lasseter's pockets within the week. As a fan of Pixar, I find this very disappointing. But I guess the siren's song of the lazy cash-in sequel seduces even the best of them in the end. [Frown]

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Synesthesia
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Dang... 34%?! That is terrible.
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Samprimary
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Deffo didn't expect a pixar movie to be running 34% on RT. Like, ever, until the entire ruling creative team was either killed or disempowered judiciously by Disney.

Well, maybe I could try to convince myself I shouldn't be surprised. I could do some rationalization. Say, "see, Pixar was just doing this to make a billion trillion dollars off of toys, because Cars has been their most profitable film so far due to the immense quantity of toy sales. They were doing this on the 'back end' while their usual crew was devoting time and creative power mostly towards Brave"

or

OR

I could go full-out apologist! I could say "no, no, the movie is fine, see, critics, see, they're so used to absolutely unmatched genius and pinnacle filmmaking from Pixar that they lose their objectivity and when they see a movie from Pixar that is only merely good they wrinkle their noses in disgust due to expectations"

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Zhil
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I'm not surprised. I personally thought Cars was mediocre at best and nowhere near the quality of other Pixar movies. I just assumed the sequel would be even worse, and the trailers I saw assured me I was right.
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Rakeesh
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I definitely agree Cars was one of, if not the, weakest of their stable of films-I still don't know why they decided it needed a sequel. Having just seen it I'm convinced it didn't, to the extent I'm mystified why they thought this was a good movie to put out. I mean, usually I can get into most things and if it's from something I enjoy, well, I'll usually enjoy the sequel too (case in point, while thinking the Star Wars prequels not on par with the original much less ESB, I still thought the prequels were at their worst mediocre and in some places pretty good-the power of bias).

But having enjoyed Cars quite a bit-and I didn't think it was bad or even average, just the weaker of a group of outstanding films-I *still* couldn't get down with Cars 2.

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Shanna
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Answer: Toys.
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Synesthesia
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I bet they didn't even explain about baby cars or WHY cars have to go to the bathroom
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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When I heard the next Pixar movie was Cars 2, I clutched my forehead and thought "of all the Pixar franchises, Cars isn't one that most needs a sequel (that award goes to The Incredibles)." Funnily enough, although I have been, without exception, thoroughly impressed and entertained by Pixar's movies, every single time Pixar announced or showed a trailer for an upcoming movie since Finding Nemo, my expectations were seriously lowered. Finding Nemo looked boring, The Incredibles looked like an affectionate parody of a genre (superheroes) I was never into (which was true, except the heart and charm of the film was not in the jokes or action, but in the characters), Cars looked positively stupid, Ratatouille couldn't convince me that I would care about a rat who liked to cook, WALL-E looked like a potentially disastrous experiment, Up didn't sell the idea of a septuagenarian protagonist, and Toy Story 3 had a 3 in the title. All of these movies surprised me in the most welcome way by being not only good, but great.

Knowing that the next installment in the Pixar canon is Cars 2, and regarding my previously documented reaction to this news, this cycle had begun once again. Pixar does an amazing job of making me doubt my faith in them every year by either showing unconvincing or unexciting trailers or simply announcing a movie idea that seems inherently flawed.

And this was before this trailer came out. After that happened, "Cars With Guns" became a favorite recurring joke at my house.

Needless to say, I wasn't expecting much from this, but I am disappointed to see the critics tearing it apart. I'm definitely going to see it, anyway, because Pixar could go live-action and film two hours of grass growing and I'd still go see it in theaters because it's Pixar, dagnabbit! Despite their success in making me skeptical about every upcoming release, their track record is strong enough for me to always give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to deciding whether to see the movie in the first place.

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Raymond Arnold
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I've been watching the tomato-meter drop over the past week. It's worth noting that their Metacritic score is 58.

I haven't seen the movie yet. I actually liked the direction the trailers seemed to be pointing in. My guess is that it's a decent actiony-cartoon flick, that the tomatoe-meter is getting a lot of "rotten" scores from people who are disappointed, that it'll definitely be known as the worst of Pixar's movies, but not as bad as the scores are making it look.

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Sa'eed
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There's a problem with those review aggregate websites in that some of the most interesting and compelling films tend to divide critics at first and (perhaps) long after a film has been released. Sure, those websites tend to successfully identify stinkers but trusting them could lead you to miss out on genuine gems that were misunderstood.

But I don't say this to defend Pixar's latest mediocre offering. They've been churning out forgettable stuff that's only appropriate for children for quite a while now. Their last good movie that I actually found involving was "The Incredibles." There was something in that movie that both adults and kids could find compelling. That film was actually something of a thriller and the action scenes were tense. If only "Wall-E" took its sci-fi premise as seriously as "The Incredibles" did its super-hero theme. "A Bug's Life" is outclassed by "Antz," and the rest of Pixar's films are like the Shrek sequels. Pretty but empty.

Oh well. At least their next film looks intriguing:

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/files/2011/06/PIXAR-BRAVE.jpg

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Rakeesh
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*snort* Yeah, Up was empty.
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Sa'eed
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I haven't seen it. After the disappointment of Cars, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, and probably Monsters Inc, and the consideration all those films received rapturous reviews, why bother anymore.
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Rakeesh
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Well, it's good to know you make a nice sweeping generalization without direct knowledge of a given subject. Though...not so much 'good to know' as 'have confirmed, again'.
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Sa'eed
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Well, it's good to know you make a nice sweeping generalization without direct knowledge of a given subject. Though...not so much 'good to know' as 'have confirmed, again'.

I saw:

The Incredibles
Cars
Wall-E
Finding Nemo

I hated three of those movies and decided not to see "Up." Even if "Up" is a masterpiece, I am, considering my disappointment in three of Pixar's latest films, justified in making a generalization. Anyway, I didn't expect you'd get all Data on me, so whatevs.

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Rakeesh
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You said they'd been churning out forgettable stuff for awhile now fit only for children. The list of films you mentioned as having seen is, over the past few years, pretty sparse and incomplete. I stand by my statement. In fact, unless you'd like to expand your list, it's only about a third of their films ever.

Don't like 'em, cool. People don't hafta like the same stuff. Make a statement about all of their films, or all of them in a given range, without having seen many? Whatevs.

On lwww firm, more opinion based grounds, labeling films such as Toy Story 3, Up, and Ratatouille as 'empty' is just strange.

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Sa'eed
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I've seen most of their films. All of their 90s output, most of their output this past decade and, in fact, the ones I didn't see I actually attempted to but turned off after a third of the way through (but I don't count them as ones I've seen). I would have even walked out of Wall-E if I wasn't waiting for a car mechanic to install new wheels on my car. Their last good film, to me, was The Incredibles, which was dark and totally non-cloying unlike everything else they do these days. But in the end, they're just kids films and perhaps work marvelously as that but so often they're nothing more.
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Samprimary
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quote:
But in the end, they're just kids films and perhaps work marvelously as that but so often they're nothing more.
This probably takes the award for being the most phenomenally incorrect thing I have ever heard about Pixar movies ever.
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lem
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Cars 2 trailer dubbed. Lately I have been enjoying The Morning After.
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BlackBlade
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Sa'eed: What about recent Pixar movies makes them purely children's films? You mentioned liking The Incredibles, specifically because it was 'dark' and 'non-cloying'. I thought The Incredibles was as sentimental as any of their other films. That celebration of things that make us all smile is one of the things I love about Pixar movies.

Can they deal with a dark and mature storyline? It's possible, they've certainly hinted that they could. Should they? If they want to. If they don't, that's fine too.

Pixar movies don't treat its audience as if they were all children, if it did you get something more along the lines of some Nickelodeon cartoons. It sounds to me like you would prefer Pixar movies that choose to focus more on material only adults can appreciate, and the exclusion of children.

I don't think that's going to happen, but is that accurate?

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Frisco
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Cars 2 was pretty entertaining. But it was definitely a little over the head of my almost 5-year-old.

He came away understanding more than I thought he would as I was watching it, but less than I expected from a Pixar movie.

Still, it was fun. Like a Bond thriller made for ages 7+.

Definitely wouldn't recommend it for a 3yo, though, Speed :/

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Speed
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quote:
Originally posted by lem:
Cars 2 trailer dubbed. Lately I have been enjoying The Morning After.

[ROFL] Awesome.

quote:
Originally posted by Frisco:
Definitely wouldn't recommend it for a 3yo, though, Speed :/

I'll take that into account. Although I have a feeling if I don't take him he'll swipe my wallet and drive himself to the theater. [Smile]
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Frisco
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You're probably right. And I guess it's less about understanding what's going on than it is seeing your favorite characters on screen when you're 3. My son seemed to enjoy it, regardless of whether or not he could follow the plot.
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Geraine
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I am a little confused as to why they did Cars 2 as well. Cars was the weakest of all Pixar films. They would have done a lot better if they had just finished the second Monsters Inc. movie, thought now that I know it is a prequel I do not have much hope for that either.
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Samprimary
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quote:
I am a little confused as to why they did Cars 2 as well.
Cars, while being their weakest creative offering, has just earned them buckets and buckets and mountains and planets and worlds and galaxies and multiverses of money, as well as money hats that they could all individually wear on their heads, while sitting on their individual eternal continuums of money, while they sip tea which is also made of money, out of money cups (money).

If anything, Cars 2 appears to be a capitulation to the lure of the bankable sequel versus their otherwise flawless approach towards creating cinematically noteworthy offerings. Dire portent of the future at Disney/Pixar? I kind of hope not.

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Raymond Arnold
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At least it looks like Disney is taking over the Cars franchise, so Pixar can get back to backing good stuff
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AchillesHeel
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Rob Zombie...... Disney movie preview. I think part of my early childhood just ate part of my late childhood.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
I bet they didn't even explain about baby cars or WHY cars have to go to the bathroom

Or why the boy baby cars have to get circumcised.
(not a scene they show in the trailers!)

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Raymond Arnold
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Wait, I can't tell if you're joking
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kmbboots
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Yeah. I'll just let you dangle.
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Wingracer
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Trailer for Brave is up. Looks pretty darn good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYg0VgPy6Uk&feature=player_embedded

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
I bet they didn't even explain about baby cars or WHY cars have to go to the bathroom

Or why the boy baby cars have to get circumcised.
(not a scene they show in the trailers!)

That's just one part I don't think cars have... which is why the cars having babies and the babies starting off as sedans, or are they tiny little toy cars?
I'm reading too much into this movie. Typical. [Confused]

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
I bet they didn't even explain about baby cars or WHY cars have to go to the bathroom

Or why the boy baby cars have to get circumcised.
(not a scene they show in the trailers!)

That's just one part I don't think cars have... which is why the cars having babies and the babies starting off as sedans, or are they tiny little toy cars?
I'm reading too much into this movie. Typical. [Confused]

I don't know, did you see that trailer for Planes? Now imagine the refueling probe on naval aircraft. [Big Grin]
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Samprimary
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this is a movie that you should not think too much about no no no no no
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anti_maven
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Bad or not, I risk being smothered in my sleep by a (Cars) pillow if or strangled by a (Cars) bathrobe cord if I don't take the Young Master to see it. I hope he's not disappointed.

My personal rating for Pixar films is in terms of the number of times I've watched the DVD:

Up: 1
Wall-E: 2
Incredibles: Loads
Cars: Squidillions*

*possibly influenced by Four Year Old Obssessive Cars Mania...

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kmbboots
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It is a favorite of my 2 year old nephew, too.
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BlackBlade
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My niece and nephew (7 and 5 respectively) like Cars more than any other Pixar movie, and they've seen them all.
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Dobbie
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
I bet they didn't even explain about baby cars or WHY cars have to go to the bathroom

Or why the boy baby cars have to get circumcised.
(not a scene they show in the trailers!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m49P6xHRBGk
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Speed
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I took my 3-year-old to see it today, and he hated it. He insisted on leaving half way through. This is a kid who can sit all the way through WALL-E on a regular basis, so if a bunch of car races and Larry the Cable Guy jokes bore him, it's not a good sign.

That said, the bits I saw were fine. Far from Pixar's usual brilliant standards, but not worthless on the scale of Disney's usual direct-to-video sequels.

And on the bright side, if they had to ruin one of their previous movies by turning it into a mediocre franchise, this is the best candidate. Lightning McQueen & Mater don't lose a lot of integrity through the experience. But if they pull this crap on The Incredibles, Up, or Toy Story 4, I'll never forgive them.

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Emreecheek
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
My niece and nephew (7 and 5 respectively) like Cars more than any other Pixar movie, and they've seen them all.

Therapy might be able to help them.
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Hobbes
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quote:
I took my 3-year-old to see it today, and he hated it. He insisted on leaving half way through.
My first reaction to that was shock that your three-[year-]old thought about leaving a theater at all. I think I didn't realize that was a legitimate move in a movie theater until my teens (and have actually never done it). Then I figured at three I probably asked to stop doing anything that wasn't fun for 15 seconds straight. Of course I didn't go my first movie until year 3 either (I know that because I know it was The Land Before Time and the projector stopped working 15 minutes into the movie) so maybe if I had more experience as a youngster I would've been more discerning...

Hobbes [Smile]

[ June 29, 2011, 12:03 AM: Message edited by: Hobbes ]

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I don't know, did you see that trailer for Planes? Now imagine the refueling probe on naval aircraft.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs7EikHQGlA
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umberhulk
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The Incredibles taking itself seriously made me hate the movie.

Top 10 is so much better.

The first hour of Wall-E, Ratatouille, and Toy Story 3 are all really good. I need to see Panda.

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Jeff C.
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Up is one of my all time favorite movies. It is just amazing. Anytime you have a kids' movie where the love interest DIES in the first five minutes of the movie and the main protagonist is left feeling empty and depressed, you have a winner in my book. That is a seriously risky film, but it WORKED, and I loved it.

Cars was the complete opposite. It was empty and full of a disconnection that only talking cars can provide. The problem with the premise is that it's hard to relate to a car because, well, it's a CAR. Fish, an old man, superheroes, and even toys are easier to relate to than cars. It's hard for me to care if a car dies or does whatever because I just don't care. That, and Larry the Cable Guy annoys the life out of me.

Still, I'll keep seeing Pixar films because most of them are brilliant. The only ones I haven't liked were Cars and Finding Nemo. I know I'm in the minority with not liking Nemo, but I just didn't get into it.

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Synesthesia
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I liked cars. I admit I got all weepy at a certain scene, but...

Why were they cars?
Cars need people to drive them? How do you even EVOLVE as a car anyway?! GAH! Why am I over thinking this?
I can't help it. Everything has to make sense even if it's a movie.

I have liked all the Pixar movies I've seen. And they make my eyes wet. I hate that.

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TomDavidson
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I have to admit that I liked the original Cars considerably more than I liked Up. *ducks*
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I have to admit that I liked the original Cars considerably more than I liked Up. *ducks*

I liked the idea that old small town America had changed because of freeways, but that was pretty much the extent of what I liked about the movie.
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TomDavidson
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I found Up largely tedious and lacking in both humor and plot; it barrels towards an epiphany that's obvious after the opening montage, and fails to make decent use of its antagonist. Carl's as much of a caricature as Lightning McQueen, and McQueen is at least charismatic and energetic.

I liked Russell and the "squirrel" gag, but at the end of the day felt that the movie was trying far too hard to do something that Finding Nemo had already done better.

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quote:
Originally posted by Zhil:
I'm not surprised. I personally thought Cars was mediocre at best and nowhere near the quality of other Pixar movies. I just assumed the sequel would be even worse, and the trailers I saw assured me I was right.

+1
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Jake
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I loved the opening montage for Up, and remember it pretty well, but the rest of the movie has largely faded from memory for me.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I liked the idea that old small town America had changed because of freeways, but that was pretty much the extent of what I liked about the movie.
That part of the movie, and it's message of "interstates bad, rural highways good" left me cold. When I'm traveling, I want interstates where I can zoom by without having to deal with every small town along the way. I want to get to my destination, ASAP, and the journey there is mostly a hassle. Don't make it worse.
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