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Rango
BLU-RAY disk
Jul 21, 2011 By: J.A. Hamilton
Rango order
Director:
Gore Verbinski

Actors:
Johnny Depp
Isla Fisher
Alfred Molina

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When an unfortunate accident lands someones awkward pet chameleon in the desert, he decides to take a sojourn out into the wilderness in search of his calling in life. What he finds in a town called Dirt, an isolated, dried up wasteland in need of a hero. Knowing the part he needs to play in order to fit in, Rango is born and ready for battle. That is of course, until true battle presents itself.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I remember not so long ago when animated flicks were few and far between, so when one did come out it was usually quite a site to see as it was still a genre trying to prove itself. These days however, theres a new animated flick or two popping up every week, sometimes even more, making them hard to keep track of. Ill be honest, RANGO didnt look one bit enticing to me from a conceptual, storyline or even trailer standpoint. So this lizard walks into a bar...yep, I think Ive heard that one before. Theres an oppressed town, a dude posing as a hero, who in the end he rises up to meet the challenge (yawn). Yep, Ive DEFINITELY heard this one before. So how did RANGO fare? Both good and bad, but mostly bad.

On the good side, this has to be the most beautiful animation Ive ever seen. Each and every detail is a crisp, well shot work of art. The desert, the wind, the moon, even the moisture on the lips of these critters, we get it all and the result is pure eye candy. Gore Verbinski may have set sail from the PIRATES OF THE CAREBEAN franchise (and I cant say that I blame him after the last one, that franchise is dead in the water if you ask me) but clearly he and Johnny Depp are still in deep and the two make for a pretty good team here. The voice talent from Depp is awesome but then again, hes the man when it comes to zany off the wall characters so I wasnt worried there (Im still prone to SECRET WINDOW myself). Isla Fisher, Bill Nighy, Alfred Molina, how could you not win with voice talent like that? But sadly thats about where the good dries up.

On the bad side, let me start by saying this film isnt exactly funny, nor is it something that should be aimed at children (which is ironic seeing as how I was elbow deep in kids at the theatre). The humour here was pretty low brow, when there was humour at all, and as for the tone, subtext and over all presentation of the film, it was all a bit off. First off, Rango went into a trance type mode every now and again which was an acid trip in itself and reminded me a bit of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. Was Depp going for this? Could be, I wouldnt be surprised if he acted these parts out with a grin but there was a messed up feeling in my gut as I looked around at the wide eyed looks of confusion on kids faces around me. Im not fond of these tricky Hollywood tactics for films posing as children movies when theyre clearly not and this was clearly not.

RANGO is a film that much resembles the character; a lone ugly duckling that just doesnt belong with the rest of the films in this genre. I kinda dug the acid trip where Rango runs into Clint Eastwood (voiced by Timothy Olyphant) who just happens to be combing the dessert for fish hooks in a golf cart packed with...Oscar statues? Hrmm, not sure where they were going with that but again, this sets the strange tone of awkwardness Im talking about. As for good ol Rango, well, you know how this story ends, youve seen it a million times before, maybe not on acid, but I dont think you need to. If morbid curiosity gets the better of you sometime down the road, by all means check this out but Im chalking this one up to a big waste of time, albeit a beautiful one, but still a waste. What a shame.
THE EXTRAS
Breaking the Rules: Making Animation History: Gore Verbinski and his crew throw down about the story, music and phenomenal animation featured in the film. Unfortunately it seems like too much time and focus went into the visuals and not enough effort went into making this film something other than another bland dud.

Deleted Scenes: There's eight minutes here nothing really new, just variations of current scenes and even then nothing really stands out or matters.

Real Creatures of Dirt: Easily the coolest features on the disc, Donald Shaulty, an insane animal guy, takes us into the desert where he wrangles up all sorts of deadly creatures. The nonchalant way he handles (and seemingly ignores) the rattlesnakes is ridiculously cool.

A Field Trip to Dirt: This cool interactive menu lets you explore every nook and cranny of the town. If you need me, I'll be in the saloon.

Previews: There's a theatrical trailer, a bunch of other previews and a DVD Copy as well as a DIGITAL Copy of the film. There's also some BD-LIVE content if you're hooked up to the web.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
There was all sorts of potential here especially with Johnny and Verbinski re-teaming. I don't understand where they went wrong, but they definitely did. Sure, Rango has a couple moments but sadly you already saw them if you happened to catch the trailer.
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10:41AM on 07/21/2011

Wow?

Couldn't disagree more!?
Couldn't disagree more!?
Your Reply:



11:09AM on 07/21/2011
WTF?????? This probably is the best CG anime I have seen. Pixar always seems to do the same picture with the cliches.How refreshing it was to see something else...and the man with no name guys!!!! [link]
WTF?????? This probably is the best CG anime I have seen. Pixar always seems to do the same picture with the cliches.How refreshing it was to see something else...and the man with no name guys!!!! [link]
Your Reply:



11:17AM on 07/21/2011
This is a terrific, clever, subversive, hilarious film that is a true ode to cinema. I think you missed the point.
This is a terrific, clever, subversive, hilarious film that is a true ode to cinema. I think you missed the point.
Your Reply:



12:35PM on 07/21/2011
I beg to differ. I find Rango to be surprisingly amusing and better than I expected. I especially like the Clint Eastwood part (Olyphant does sound like him). And the best thing is Rango is, for me, a big homage to Western genre. Love it.
I beg to differ. I find Rango to be surprisingly amusing and better than I expected. I especially like the Clint Eastwood part (Olyphant does sound like him). And the best thing is Rango is, for me, a big homage to Western genre. Love it.
Your Reply:



12:46PM on 07/21/2011
I agree w/ sebgecko. I found Rango to be a fun, great departure from the usual Pixar fare (nothing against Pixar). I LOVE the western genre and this is an awesome tribute of those great movies of the past. Also one of the best looking CG animated movies I've seen.
I agree w/ sebgecko. I found Rango to be a fun, great departure from the usual Pixar fare (nothing against Pixar). I LOVE the western genre and this is an awesome tribute of those great movies of the past. Also one of the best looking CG animated movies I've seen.
Your Reply:



1:35PM on 07/21/2011
I loved Rango!
I loved Rango!
Your Reply:



3:41PM on 07/21/2011

plait-il ?

I guess you haven't seen the same movie as I did, because I couldn't disagree more with you about RANGO ! It was funny (for adults more than for kids, I agree!), clever, incredibly beautiful... Ho, and don't forget to mention that the "deleted" scenes, edited back into the movie, are the expanded cut you can see on both DVDs and BRs.
I guess you haven't seen the same movie as I did, because I couldn't disagree more with you about RANGO ! It was funny (for adults more than for kids, I agree!), clever, incredibly beautiful... Ho, and don't forget to mention that the "deleted" scenes, edited back into the movie, are the expanded cut you can see on both DVDs and BRs.
Your Reply:



6:34PM on 07/21/2011
Terrible review, this is one of the best movies of the year. Verbinski should get a best director nod for this, the action sequences were amazing.
Terrible review, this is one of the best movies of the year. Verbinski should get a best director nod for this, the action sequences were amazing.
Your Reply:



6:36PM on 07/21/2011
Also, it's pretty obvious the Oscars were referring to Eastwood's wins for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. Pretty damn obvious to anyone with a pulse.
Also, it's pretty obvious the Oscars were referring to Eastwood's wins for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. Pretty damn obvious to anyone with a pulse.
Your Reply:



1:56PM on 07/22/2011
[link] And this reference needed to be there why? Exactly!
[link] And this reference needed to be there why? Exactly!
10:16PM on 07/24/2011
Really SnakeEyes?? You know I could say the same thing about eeevery reference ever made in another movie? how does that make it a bad movie?
Really SnakeEyes?? You know I could say the same thing about eeevery reference ever made in another movie? how does that make it a bad movie?
10:48AM on 07/25/2011
It was there because Eastwood has moved beyond his Man With No Name persona. The character we see is a shell of his former self. He has wisdom, but he's no longer the badass he once was. And he's Clint Eastwood by another name. You don't have to like the reference, but I think it works.
It was there because Eastwood has moved beyond his Man With No Name persona. The character we see is a shell of his former self. He has wisdom, but he's no longer the badass he once was. And he's Clint Eastwood by another name. You don't have to like the reference, but I think it works.
6:37AM on 07/22/2011
How refreshing to see a negative review of this film. Visually beautiful, yes, but clunky in every other way. This film doesn't know if it's for adults or children, and so awkwardly shoehorns misplaced and boring action sequences into the tedious and dry plot. The plot itself is just a drawn out homage (rehash?) of Chinatown with self-conscious references to various Westerns cynically interspersed. It's self-aware to the extreme, and presents itself as being more "knowing" than it is ever able
How refreshing to see a negative review of this film. Visually beautiful, yes, but clunky in every other way. This film doesn't know if it's for adults or children, and so awkwardly shoehorns misplaced and boring action sequences into the tedious and dry plot. The plot itself is just a drawn out homage (rehash?) of Chinatown with self-conscious references to various Westerns cynically interspersed. It's self-aware to the extreme, and presents itself as being more "knowing" than it is ever able to really demonstrate. References for the sake of referencing does not make for interesting viewing. Muddled, boring, tedious. A real let down.
Your Reply:



1:54PM on 07/22/2011
I agree, this movie was nonesense, boring, uninspired nonesense. Sure, it broke the fourth wall when it comes to animation, but hey, there are lots of pretty animation films out there.
I agree, this movie was nonesense, boring, uninspired nonesense. Sure, it broke the fourth wall when it comes to animation, but hey, there are lots of pretty animation films out there.
Your Reply:



10:46AM on 07/25/2011
I agree this wasn't a kids movie, and I'd almost say that was a positive thing, except traditionally all animation is kid-friendly. That Rango was a little bit different from the norm is to its credit. And I am a big fan of Clint Eastwood-style westerns, and Chinatown is arguably my favorite movie of all time, and homage was paid to both. The voice cast was pretty inspired, and it worked. This is the first cg-animated non-Pixar film I've seen that could actually stand shoulder-to-shoulder with
I agree this wasn't a kids movie, and I'd almost say that was a positive thing, except traditionally all animation is kid-friendly. That Rango was a little bit different from the norm is to its credit. And I am a big fan of Clint Eastwood-style westerns, and Chinatown is arguably my favorite movie of all time, and homage was paid to both. The voice cast was pretty inspired, and it worked. This is the first cg-animated non-Pixar film I've seen that could actually stand shoulder-to-shoulder with that studio's work (not saying it's Wall-E, but it's at least as good as Ratatouille).
Your Reply:



12:52AM on 09/28/2011

Fun movie but...

I wanted more on the DVD/BluRay. I remember seeing those scenes where the actors perform on a sound stage doing both physical and vocal work all together. I was surprised not seeing it in the behind the scenes since that type of approach to voice acting is very different than the norm.
I wanted more on the DVD/BluRay. I remember seeing those scenes where the actors perform on a sound stage doing both physical and vocal work all together. I was surprised not seeing it in the behind the scenes since that type of approach to voice acting is very different than the norm.
Your Reply:



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