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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cars 3

I went to see Cars 3.

Cars 3 Movie Poster

Yup, that's pretty much all that's in this blog post.  No other grand adventures in the city.  It's starting to be the busy time of year for us radio folk, with every weekend full of festivals and fairs that we're live on location from.  So, no time for lollygagging on my day off!  It was just go see the movie I wanted to see then come back home!

Although, I really haven't done a true lollygagging day in a while, all the way down to West Edmonton Mall.  Last one was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 back at the start of May.  I think I'll have to make the effort for Spider-Man: Homecoming, though.  I've seen every Spider-Man film at the Scotiabank Theatre in West Edmonton Mall.  Hell, I've been watching Spider-Man films there back when it was Silver City.  So I must maintain the tradition!

But until then, Cars 3.  I love Pixar.  Always try to make it out to their films.  But the Cars franchise has always felt a little...phoned in to me.  It lacks that trademark heart that's made Pixar famous.  I put down Cars as "good, but not great."  Cars 2 was the first film that made me say, "No thank you," to a Pixar film.  Skipped it in theatres, but I still bought the Blu-Ray because I couldn't have a gap in my collection.  Watched it and...yeah.  It was worth skipping.

But that first teaser for Cars 3 where our hero, Lightening McQueen, gets trashed in an accident had me go, "Ooo.  Interesting."  And so I went to see Cars 3.

Cars 3 has something in common with another Pixar sequel, Monsters University.  They both get into the topic of the death of dreams.  I liked Monsters University because it captures that melancholy moment in our lives when we realize that, no matter how hard we work or how much effort we put in, we just may not achieve our dreams.  Cars 3 tackles the question, "Where do we go once we've peaked?  What do we do when the dream starts coming to an end?" 

Lightening McQueen has been the king of the raceway for about a decade now.  But one by one, he sees his compatriots begin to retire as the next generation of racers begin nipping at their bumpers.  When McQueen attempts a desperate move to defeat a cocky upstart named Jackson Storm, it leads to the wreck that we see in the teaser.  

After spending the off-season sulking, McQueen decides he'll retire on his own terms, and sets out to get his mojo back.  His new sponsor sets him up in one of the most state-of-the-art training centres in the league, and McQueen gets to work with his new trainer, Cruz Ramirez.  Frustrated at his slow progress under Cruz's statistics-based training regime, McQueen decides to hit the road for some old school training.  With Cruz in tow, and the first race of the season coming up quick, can McQueen and Cruz get McQueen back in fighting shape to take down Storm? 

This has got to be one of Pixar's most photo-realistic films.  I swear, some of the backgrounds look just like live-action pictures.  But, Pixar always brings it in the animation game.  Voice acting is solid, as usual.  Cristela Alonzo voices Cruz Ramirez, and brings enough joy to the role to show that she's passionate about the sport, and just not another Queen of Numbers.  Nathan Fillion is good, too, using his natural charm for a slightly darker purpose as Sterling, McQueen's new sponsor. 

And for those who didn't like Larry the Cable Guy's Mater the Tow Truck, and really didn't like Mater taking centre stage in Cars 2, will be relieved to know that Mater is back to being the comedic sidekick.  In fact, his role is so reduced, I'd almost call it an extended cameo. 

But...it's still Cars.  The plot is rather predictable, and as I did see the big twist coming, I like the fact that at least they tried.

Cars 3 finally has some of that heart that Pixar is known for.  Not much, but there's a little peaking through.  I liked it.  3 Nibs.  Full review at the website.

Lou, peaking out from his lost and found box

Oh, and as is the Pixar way, it started with a short film.  Lou is about a sentient lost and found box at a school playground, and his efforts to make sure everything gets back to their rightful owners.  And then Lou has to do battle with a bully who steals stuff.  It's really cute, and honestly, has a lot more heart than Cars 3

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