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Cars (2006)
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Review Date: June 14, 2006
Director: John Lasseter
Writer: Dan Fogelman, Philip Loren, Kiel Murray
Producers: Darla K. Anderson
Actors:
Owen Wilson as Lightning
Paul Newman as Doc
Bonnie Hunt as Sally
Plot:
Lightning McQueen is a cocky young racecar primed to win the top honors in his rookie season running for the Piston Cup. He has one final race left in California though, but gets lost on the way to the West Coast, and ends up in a small town that was written off the map a long time ago. In that town, he befriends a few locals, and despite not giving too much of a shit about them or their town at first, learns to adapt over time, and eventually…well, starts banging all of the hot chick cars in town! Well, okay…I was kidding about that last part, but you get the picture. Racing, cool-looking cars and a “Disney message” ensues.
Critique:
A nice-looking movie that moves along at a decent pace, splashes plenty of colorful characters onto its palette, tosses in a heartfelt message about how we should never discount “the old” and get too cocky as something/someone “new” enters the picture, but at the end of the day, and at the end of this film, I couldn’t help but ask “Is that it?”. The movie did most of what it needed to do in order to pass my time and entertain me gently along the way – although most of the entertainment came from its visuals, characters and story, not from any laugh-out loud comedy – but I can’t see myself running to the DVD store when it’s released, or for that matter, ever watching it again with great enthusiasm. No major memorable scenes stuck out in my mind, no catchy tunes infected me and no major emotional surge invigorated me as I walked out of the theater. Sure, I smiled most of the way through, but it was more of a fluff-piece, rather than a laugh-a-long, sing-a-long or all-out action-packed extravaganza a la CHICKEN RUN, SHREK or THE INCREDIBLES. What makes that even odder is that this film featured cars, something any boy can appreciate. I guess if I was 8 years old, I might be going a little more ga-ga over this movie, but as a non-8-year old, the characters were definitely fun and unique, for the most part (loved those Italian tire-changers), but I can’t say that the film wowed me like previous Pixar flicks had done. The lack of any real “bad guy” surely didn’t benefit it either.

The imagery was gorgeous though, with some of the shots through the canyon roads taking my breath away (made me feel like taking a trip to the Grand Canyon), and the two Nascar races were pretty fun to watch, but other than that, the film’s promos have really misled audiences into thinking that this would be an all-out “racing” picture, when in reality, the two races in the film only take up about 15% of the movie. The rest of the stuff takes place in a small town with a bunch of quirky characters all trying to turn our lead cocky boy, voiced nicely by Owen Wilson, into a man of greater moral standing. Nice message, I suppose, but like I said, the film didn’t feature enough memorable moments to recommend whole-heartedly. Still worth checking out on the big screen though (looks wondrous), particularly if you have kids, as the “adult humor/insinuations” or movie homages, have been whacked down dramatically in this go-around. It seems like many of the newer animated movies aren’t shooting for the adults much anymore, but rather their main audience: kids. This one might be perfect for those pre-teen boys, but I’m not sure how girls will take to it, or adults for that matter. I thought it was “okay”, but nothing to email my grandma about.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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4:00PM on 07/20/2008
It's too long and just not that compelling story-wise, probably due to really being commissioned by Disney, but Lasseter does his best to add enough breezy characterizations to make it diverting. Aside from the visuals, the action set pieces are actually boring as fuck.
It's too long and just not that compelling story-wise, probably due to really being commissioned by Disney, but Lasseter does his best to add enough breezy characterizations to make it diverting. Aside from the visuals, the action set pieces are actually boring as fuck.
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9:16AM on 07/03/2006

Eat my words

Neither the trailers nor posters for this film ever did much for me...I really didn't think anthropomorphizing automobiles were going to trigger much human empathy, as compared to warm & fuzzy mammals or fish with their big wet eyes. Well, count me wrong again, and chaulk up another score for the Steve-man :-)

I thought this was right up there with Finding Nemo and The Incredibles (definitely better than Monsters or Bug's Life). Besides all the great voice talent ("Don't drive like my
Neither the trailers nor posters for this film ever did much for me...I really didn't think anthropomorphizing automobiles were going to trigger much human empathy, as compared to warm & fuzzy mammals or fish with their big wet eyes. Well, count me wrong again, and chaulk up another score for the Steve-man :-)

I thought this was right up there with Finding Nemo and The Incredibles (definitely better than Monsters or Bug's Life). Besides all the great voice talent ("Don't drive like my brother!"), the otherwise predictable story added at least two thoughtful twists that I didn't expect, and that was enjoyable.

Finally, this film gets an added bonus point for being the first-ever animated film to actually make me sniff back a tear at the climax. Yeah, it was that good. Oh, and although I've heard it said that "Orlando audiences will applaud anything," this is the first time I've seen a film receive applause for its closing credit sequence. But yeah, that was a special touch, and I was glad we stayed through the last frame :-)
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6:05AM on 06/28/2006

Worst Pixar Film is still Very Good

Yeah, well, this is my least favorite of the Pixar films, yet I loved it. I had three problems with it: a) It is too flashy, it felt like a long, long commercial at some points and b) it is overlong considering how thin the plot is and c) the story is way too simple compared to previous Pixar films. I mean, they made their popularity because of the equation of GREAT story and GREAT visuals. The visuals in this one are stunning, but the story was... meh! My favorite character was Mater, I just
Yeah, well, this is my least favorite of the Pixar films, yet I loved it. I had three problems with it: a) It is too flashy, it felt like a long, long commercial at some points and b) it is overlong considering how thin the plot is and c) the story is way too simple compared to previous Pixar films. I mean, they made their popularity because of the equation of GREAT story and GREAT visuals. The visuals in this one are stunning, but the story was... meh! My favorite character was Mater, I just loved his teeth LOL. Overall, CARS is lots of fun for the entire family with some fantastic set pieces and action scenes (the final race was awsome and the little "surprise" was really touching) and hilarious lines. Just don't think Monsters Inc, Nemo or Incrtedibles walking into it.
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1:14AM on 06/26/2006

Best Pixar Film

This summer is off to a very surprising start. This movie really, really worked with me and I care nothing about cars or NASCAR. Great comedy and great heart. I think being from a small town myself added to the enjoyment. Right up there with Toy Story and Toy Story 2, but I think Cars gets the edge for the jaw dropping animation. This is the best we've ever seen.
This summer is off to a very surprising start. This movie really, really worked with me and I care nothing about cars or NASCAR. Great comedy and great heart. I think being from a small town myself added to the enjoyment. Right up there with Toy Story and Toy Story 2, but I think Cars gets the edge for the jaw dropping animation. This is the best we've ever seen.
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11:56AM on 06/17/2006
I liked this movie, didn't love it but liked it alot. The visuals were stunning..(Joblo if you really are going to take a trip to a canyon go to Canyonlands or Bryce canyon National Parks, those look more like what was depicted in the movie) The movie was just a little slow for me I guess..ADD.
I liked this movie, didn't love it but liked it alot. The visuals were stunning..(Joblo if you really are going to take a trip to a canyon go to Canyonlands or Bryce canyon National Parks, those look more like what was depicted in the movie) The movie was just a little slow for me I guess..ADD.
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1:55AM on 06/17/2006

Pixar Strikes Again

I gotta tell ya, it may not be Pixar's best, but I sure did have a blast watching this film. The visuals are beyond breathtaking (I agree Joblo--that canyon shot was AWESOME), the characters are fun and interesting to follow, and while the story doesn't quite hold up to Pixar's previous efforts, there's no denying it's 1000 times better than what we've been getting recently (i.e. Hoodwinked, Madagascar, etc. etc.) Something about this film just really got to me, and made me feel like a kid
I gotta tell ya, it may not be Pixar's best, but I sure did have a blast watching this film. The visuals are beyond breathtaking (I agree Joblo--that canyon shot was AWESOME), the characters are fun and interesting to follow, and while the story doesn't quite hold up to Pixar's previous efforts, there's no denying it's 1000 times better than what we've been getting recently (i.e. Hoodwinked, Madagascar, etc. etc.) Something about this film just really got to me, and made me feel like a kid again.

I have to mention the vocal talent here, especially Owen Wilson as Lightning, and Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, who had me in stitches most of the way (the tractor-tipping sequence was hilarious). Bonnie Hunt also gave the film that extra bit of heart, which was actually why I enjoyed the film--I actually felt something.

I do agree with a few of Joblo's points, but I guess everyone's experience with this film is going to be different. For me, it was quite entertaining and definitely left me with a sense of nostalgia (I was obsessed with cars as a pre-teen). All in all, a wonderful addition to the Pixar library.
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