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Review: Planes

Aug. 10, 2013by: JimmyO

PLOT: Dusty Crophopper has big, big dreams that don’t involve his current position in life. Dusty happens to be a crop-duster that longs to race in the wild blue yonder searching for the “highway to the danger zone.” A little bit of an underdog story with a slight hint of TOP GUN, PLANES is all about the power of following your dreams.

REVIEW: This summer has been a very busy year when it comes to animated features. With Pixar and MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, DreamWorks Animation TURBO and of course the massive hit that is DESPICABLE ME 2 from Universal Pictures Illumination Entertainment, there has been no shortage of family friendly material. Thus, this weekend we find ourselves with a brand new adventure from Disney. Set in the same universe as CARS, their latest high flying flick PLANES is pretty self-explanatory. However, unlike the recent CARS 2 which went over-the-top with the whole spy angle, this new film (it should be noted that this is not a Pixar presentation) is another simple underdog story.

Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) is a crop-duster that dreams of racing high in the wild blue yonder. Well, on second thought, not that high as he also happens to be afraid of heights. Yet the idea of competing in the esteemed Wings Around the World is so great for him that he decides to try and qualify. With the help of his trusty sidekick Mater… er, I mean Chug (Brad Garrett) and the doubting yet supportive Dottie (Teri Hatcher), he reaches for the sky so to speak. Of course he also finds a bit of unexpected help from a currently out of commission plane named Skipper (Stacy Keach) who claims to have seen a number of battles in his day – this whole sub-plot felt like it was inspired by AIRPLANE. With his gang by his side, Dusty narrowly makes the cut thanks to one of his competitor’s use of illegal stimulus... steroids for planes maybe?

When Dusty ultimately races with some of “the best of the best” - another minor TOP GUN reference for fun - he gets a heaping helping of what the real world is like. His idol Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith) is an egotistical jerk and many of the other racers are either shady or untrustworthy. The myriad of characters include Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Rochelle, Cedric the Entertainer as Bulldog and probably the most creative casting with Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer as Echo and Bravo respectively. One thing that I did appreciate was the lack of huge stars in the leading roles. Not that these folks aren’t very successful actors, but it was refreshing to have a familiar voice with a little mystery. Smith was a great choice for the “villain” role as the actor is known for doing animation and he is darn good at it.

With a script by Jeffrey M. Howard, the basic idea of never giving up and trying to live up to your dreams is taken on. And to be fair, this isn’t too bad a story for the young ones that still may hold onto flights of fancy. Yet somehow PLANES looks and feels like something more appropriate for a home video release as opposed to a big screen presentation in 3D. There is something missing here as the script seems to work and the animation isn’t bad, yet PLANES never rises to the heights it should have. While it could have soared, it simply coasts along with a familiar tale without igniting much more than a few minor laughs. For those that felt CARS catered too heavily towards the younger crowd, be prepared for an extra watered down tale of heroism and honest to goodness ambition for the under ten set.

Directed by Klay Hall, PLANES is the kind of middle of the road animated tale that just doesn’t quite work. Even though the CARS franchise is probably the least impressive from Pixar, CARS and CARS 2 seem to be a little more inspired than this. Whether or not the 3D element worked is hard to say as I caught the film in 2D with a small audience of mostly children. At least they seemed amused in Dusty’s plight. For the adults in the audience however, it was mostly a case of been there and done that. PLANES is not terrible, it is just not much of anything at all.

Source: JoBlo.com

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+1
3:38AM on 08/13/2013
Looked mediocre. I don't know why Disney keeps trying to cash in on this series. Do the toys sell well? They must. Yet, Incredibles can't even get a fucking sequel, which boggles the mind. Wth is wrong with Disney. They're milking the wrong franchise!
Looked mediocre. I don't know why Disney keeps trying to cash in on this series. Do the toys sell well? They must. Yet, Incredibles can't even get a fucking sequel, which boggles the mind. Wth is wrong with Disney. They're milking the wrong franchise!
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9:56AM on 08/12/2013
Can we get some high quality hand drawn animation back on the big screen, please? After The Princess and the Frog was a hit I assumed we'd be getting some more, but no dice.
Can we get some high quality hand drawn animation back on the big screen, please? After The Princess and the Frog was a hit I assumed we'd be getting some more, but no dice.
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+0
3:19PM on 08/11/2013
PIxar, John Lasseter and DisneyToon Studios aside, I'm truly sick of this universe either way.
PIxar, John Lasseter and DisneyToon Studios aside, I'm truly sick of this universe either way.
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+4
12:14PM on 08/11/2013
This movie was originally intended for direct to DVD.
This movie was originally intended for direct to DVD.
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3:26AM on 08/11/2013
Don't even know why this exist. They could have spent more effort on something better.
Don't even know why this exist. They could have spent more effort on something better.
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1:18PM on 08/10/2013
So when they decided to change this movie from straight to DVD to theaters, it looks like they didn't bother to change the story. I still remember the trailer from 2 years ago (where I think Dave Foley from Bug's Life was doing the voice of Dusty). Oh well. Hopefully Frozen will redeem Disney this year. Wreck-it Ralph was my favorite animated film of last year.
So when they decided to change this movie from straight to DVD to theaters, it looks like they didn't bother to change the story. I still remember the trailer from 2 years ago (where I think Dave Foley from Bug's Life was doing the voice of Dusty). Oh well. Hopefully Frozen will redeem Disney this year. Wreck-it Ralph was my favorite animated film of last year.
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+3
6:01AM on 08/10/2013

A few things

1. Originally this was supposed to be a straight to DVD release I believe, hence the feeling of the movie being as such
2. This wasn't a Pixar film so no need to rail against Pixar on this particular thread
3. It's flippin kids movie. They won't all be Oscar contenders people
1. Originally this was supposed to be a straight to DVD release I believe, hence the feeling of the movie being as such
2. This wasn't a Pixar film so no need to rail against Pixar on this particular thread
3. It's flippin kids movie. They won't all be Oscar contenders people
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6:48AM on 08/10/2013
@ #3 - That shouldn't be an excuse for bad movies.
@ #3 - That shouldn't be an excuse for bad movies.
9:54AM on 08/10/2013
Now hold on just a minute. I wasn't making an excuse for bad movies to be made. I'm simply reiterating a well known fact that they're not all going to be good. This is true for any genre. Nonetheless, kids will eat this stuff up no matter how good or bad movie is. So adults complaining on a website such as this about how bad a second rate sequel is to a mediocre movie just seems asinine to me.
Now hold on just a minute. I wasn't making an excuse for bad movies to be made. I'm simply reiterating a well known fact that they're not all going to be good. This is true for any genre. Nonetheless, kids will eat this stuff up no matter how good or bad movie is. So adults complaining on a website such as this about how bad a second rate sequel is to a mediocre movie just seems asinine to me.
5:31AM on 08/10/2013
Pixar, had a good run, too bad it's come to this.
But my main source for smart, funny and beautiful animation films is still Studio Ghibli.
Pixar, had a good run, too bad it's come to this.
But my main source for smart, funny and beautiful animation films is still Studio Ghibli.
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6:49AM on 08/10/2013
Pixar didn't make this.
Pixar didn't make this.
7:27AM on 08/10/2013
No shit. I meant that their last three efforts are mediocre at best, and of course the Cars 2 cash-grab debacle is the main inspiration for this soulless knock-off/hybrid turd.
No shit. I meant that their last three efforts are mediocre at best, and of course the Cars 2 cash-grab debacle is the main inspiration for this soulless knock-off/hybrid turd.
12:29PM on 08/10/2013
But that doesn't matter. Pixar didn't make it--a direct-to-DVD animation studio did--so you cannot blame this film on Pixar. John Lasseter, on the other hand, deserves blame. This should have been only released to the shelves, not the theatre. DisneyToons are the ones responsible for the "soullessness" of the product, not Pixar.
But that doesn't matter. Pixar didn't make it--a direct-to-DVD animation studio did--so you cannot blame this film on Pixar. John Lasseter, on the other hand, deserves blame. This should have been only released to the shelves, not the theatre. DisneyToons are the ones responsible for the "soullessness" of the product, not Pixar.
5:08PM on 08/10/2013
Iteration: I'm not blaming Pixar for this movie, I'm saying the way they've been going lately this might as well have been one of theirs.
Iteration: I'm not blaming Pixar for this movie, I'm saying the way they've been going lately this might as well have been one of theirs.
5:23AM on 08/10/2013
Yah I think its hilarious that they make a CGI movie with static objects, bet the animators were like, whooo hooo I get to tilt a plane back and forth. Most likely the interns did all the animation.
Yah I think its hilarious that they make a CGI movie with static objects, bet the animators were like, whooo hooo I get to tilt a plane back and forth. Most likely the interns did all the animation.
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5:08AM on 08/10/2013
Did anyone have high expectations for this?.....no didnt think so

bet its still better than a good day to die hard
Did anyone have high expectations for this?.....no didnt think so

bet its still better than a good day to die hard
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5:01AM on 08/10/2013

Worst movie of the year

I work at a camp this summer and we took the kids to see this film yesterday. Not only did I hate it but all 12 of my kids were begging me to leave 35 minutes in. The film is an obvious cash grab with lame jokes, extremely mediocre animation, bad voice acting, terrible writing, and worst of all...it is just plain boring. I remember when the CGI craze started back with Toy Story I knew a film like this would come along. A film that completely derails the innovation of the the art of CGI
I work at a camp this summer and we took the kids to see this film yesterday. Not only did I hate it but all 12 of my kids were begging me to leave 35 minutes in. The film is an obvious cash grab with lame jokes, extremely mediocre animation, bad voice acting, terrible writing, and worst of all...it is just plain boring. I remember when the CGI craze started back with Toy Story I knew a film like this would come along. A film that completely derails the innovation of the the art of CGI animation.
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4:47AM on 08/10/2013
It just looked like such a run of the mill underdog story from the trailers, and with such an unlikeable actor in the lead role to boot. I feel sorry for Jon Cryer, whose lifelong dream was to provide a voice in a Disney film and who was slated to play Dusty, but was for some reason replaced with Dane Cook.
It just looked like such a run of the mill underdog story from the trailers, and with such an unlikeable actor in the lead role to boot. I feel sorry for Jon Cryer, whose lifelong dream was to provide a voice in a Disney film and who was slated to play Dusty, but was for some reason replaced with Dane Cook.
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6:50AM on 08/10/2013
I'm sure he feels better about it now.
I'm sure he feels better about it now.
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