I'm a fan of the work of Pixar... Finding Nemo is up there in my list of favourite movies (even if it does make me cry like a big girl)... although I have to say that I think maybe Pixar kind of peaked with Nemo... The Incredibles was pretty good, but not stellar... and tonight's cinema excursion, Cars was kind of the same. Good, but it didn't break any new ground or show me anything that new.
The Pixar animation and ability to render realistic looking objects and scenery just keeps getting better though. I can't fault them at all there (okay, there was a slight problem I kept having with the way the eyes of the cars looked, but I think that was more my brain than an actual issue)... but the story was a little weak... and highly predictable...
Main character starts out selfish and without any friends, gets into a situation where he's stuck somewhere and then learns the value of friendship and helping others... all that good stuff that parents like to instil in their children, but to be honest, I could see it coming a mile off. In fact, I'd worked it out within about the first five minutes. So the plot wasn't really a surprise... and for the most part, neither was the way it was executed. Yeah, there was a couple of small surprises towards the end, but nothing radically out of character for where I thought it was headed.
I will say this for the movie though... the music is great... to be completely honest I only really noticed it at the beginning and end of the movie, but the first ten minutes or so of music are fantastic and definitely had me humming and toe tapping along (possibly because there were a couple of songs in there that I recognised).
I'm sure that for people who are into cars and racing (the American NASCAR kind, rather than the F1 or European kind) there is probably a whole heap of stuff in there that they would get that just went right over my head... I only know that the "champ" in the movie, The King is voiced by real life NASCAR "king of stock car racing" Richard Petty thanks to IMDB (and in a nice touch, Mrs The King is voiced by Petty's real life wife Lynda).
One of the other details that I thought was cute was that the bugs and flies in Cars-world are actually tiny blue VW Beetles with wings.... and the landscape around Radiator Springs is full of rock formations that look like cars.
All in all though, its a sweet movie. Just be sure, as always with Pixar movies, not only to stay for the credits... this time around for brief "car versions" of Toy Story (Toy Car Story), A Bug's Life (obviously the VW Bug) and Monsters Inc (Monster Cars Inc) which are actually hysterically funny... as well as a "what happens next" type sequence... but after the credits there's a final "capper" scene.
I also enjoyed the brief opening cartoon that tends to come with Pixar movies (Finding Nemo had Knick Knack, Monsters Inc had For the Birds) again... and after the disappointing (to me anyway) Boundin' that came with The Incredibles, I enjoyed the fact that they went back to the "silent movie" style of storytelling with the new one, One Man Band.
yani's rating: 3 Piston Cups out of 5