A temporary home and repository for television and film critic Daniel Fienberg, formerly of HitFix.com and Zap2it.com and one half of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Director: John Lasseter
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 67
In a Nutshell: Neither the triumph you'd be hoping for in the aftermath of "The Incredibles," nor the massive disappointment you might be fearing based on some truly annoying trailers. "Cars" is clearly the worst Pixar film to date, an over-long exercise that asks viewers to find human sympathies in cars, while simultaneously asking viewers mostly to revel in how wonderfully the sun shines off the metallic surfaces. Artistically, "Cars" is a complete triumph, a visual treat laden with colors, textures and rousing action set pieces. Narratively, though, it's simplistic, blandly Disney-Conservative -- it's all about the yearning for a mythical version of '50s America when people respected each other and Route 66 could take you any place you want to go -- and offers fewer treats for older viewers than other recent Pixar films. That being said, despite the fact that the story didn't much interest me and the characters were mostly flat and archetypal, I felt an immense amount of warmth for the endeavor by the end. It's difficult to explain why except that the Pixar guys seem to know what they're doing even when they aren't working at their very best. Oh and the kids are going to love Guido, a little blue, Italian-spouting tire merchant. Mama Mia! Also, you've gotta stay for at least half of the closing credits to see the movie's funniest material.
This will have to do until my review runs on Zap2it on Friday, June 8.
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