January 07, 2007
This isn't going to be a comprehensive review of Cars, but more of a "I've enjoyed this film, and here's why you probably will, too" sort of thing.
Cars, 2006's Pixar film, was obviously made by people who either A) love auto racing [particularly NASCAR], or 2) can REALLY research the hell out of the look and feel of a topic. As the above shot shows, they certainly got the LOOK right. Other than the eyes in the windscreen, which is only seen on Team RedBull's cars, you may as well be looking at a camera shot from any superspeedway race.
It goes without saying that the attention to detail is amazing. More than a few times, I noticed little bits of rolled-up rubber (also known as 'marbles') in the corners, for example. Yes, even in the movies, tires wear out (though our hero goes 399 miles on one set of "Lightyear Buzzards" in the opening race), and Pixar got it right.
Even the race graphics are copies of the real thing, INCLUDING the fact that they never quite get the sensors calibrated correctly, so the pointers are often behind the car. I had to pause the film explain to Momzerduck and Ph.Duck why I was laughing so hard after this shot.
Did I mention the cameos? They're all over this film. For example, the above... ...and the below:
Richard Petty, legendary NASCAR driver, voices the car (a Plymouth Superbird , in 'Petty Blue') of "Mr. The King," the soon-to-retire champion. Mario Andretti shows up in the film, as does Dale Earnhart Jr.
Groupies, too. These two are Mia and Tia (Miata?!?! *snicker*), fans of our hero.
The plot is nothing we haven't seen a million times: young hotshot loses sight of what's important in life, but with the help of some regular folks, gains redemption and rediscovers his soul. And these are the regular folks:
I'll admit this: I didn't expect to like this movie. How good can a movie be if it features Larry the Cable Guy in a major role, for heavens sake? The answer? Pretty decent, actually.
Mater (short for 'Tow Mater') is great. Yeah, he's a hick. But he's a FUNNY hick, and he's a barnyard philosopher (even if he can't spell 'philosopher', or doesn't even know the word) to boot. He's not wise, but he does have fun... like going tractor tipping.
The Old Voice of Wisdom is a long-retired racer, Doc Hudson, who seemingly despises Lightning McQueen, but grows to like the brash car, eventually becoming his crew chief in the final race.
I've just realized I don't have a shot of the love interest, Sally Carrera, who followed a similar path as Lightning: hotshot lawyer in California, but not happy, and ended up in the little town of Radiator Springs, where most of the movie is set, but here's one I've stolen from Wikipedia:
Yes, okay, I admit it... it's because they're Ferrari fans, but they make me laugh every time they're on screen. But Guido has a secret:
He's the fastest tire changer in the WORLD!
Oh, one last cameo:
Slappy, you can drive, but you can't act worth a damn.
Watch the movie, enjoy the movie, but don't expect it to be a world-beater. It's fun, and don't expect more than that, and you'll be fine!
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