Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
Viewed: 2:15pm 06/11/06
Starring: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, John Ratzenberger, Jeremy Piven, Michael Keaton, George Carlin
Directed by: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft
Walt Disney Official Site of the movie
"Pixar at its worst is still 5 times better than Hollywood at its best." Yeah, 2 weeks ago maybe. I’m so tired of companies being infallible. As tired as I am I never expected or wanted inferior quality from Pixar. But Cars failed to impress on nearly every level, even the ones that have nothing to do with my personal opinions on the quality of the film.
As impressive as its box office take has been, including its two weeks at the number one spot despite an onslaught of Mexican wrestlers and sci-fi romantics, it’s still low by Pixar standards and well below the expected amount. It’s a successful failure, and do you know why? Because it’s about a world where cars are people. And even if Pixar took a lot of time to make it look good, it’s still freaking crazy.
Cars looked like a bizarre experiment in storytelling and animation from the very beginning but there is some truth that we had ALL expected it to be good if only because it was a Pixar film. They have a good record. Admit it though - if this was Dreamworks or, God forbid, a Nickelodeon production, the talking car movie would have been mocked and abused like it was a direct to video sequel to Doogal. But we’re blinded by the light. Pixar made Toy Story and Monsters Inc. and the Incredibles! They’re incredible! By default Cars must be incredible!
Uh… Talking. Cars.
It’s true that Pixar makes good movies. Their animation is untouchable. Beautiful in every way and so far beyond the competitors it’s not even funny. You could pick apart a movie like Shrek all day long finding imperfections out the wazoo, but try to do that with a movie like Finding Nemo and you’ll be wasting your time. Cars is no exception. It looks really sharp, but is that enough anymore?
Animation has grown immeasurably in the past 5 years. Pixar set the standard a long time ago and as time goes by more and more the other companies are reaching to meet that mark. So it’s not enough anymore that it looks really good, there has to be something that has never been done before. Something that no one else CAN do. Something that’s so much an achievement of art and technology that the audience will question their own existence. The closest thing in Cars is the desert backdrop. Really stunning, but not enough to make me lean back and soak it in.
The worst part is that this movie had car races and a twenty-car pile up at 150 mph, and it wasn’t anything special. That alone SHOULD have been worth the ticket price, but it just doesn’t work.
But that’s nothing. Really good animation is no reason to condemn a movie. I’m crucifying Cars based on pacing and character development. Both are completely unbalanced and sloppy to the point where I got angry at my own car just for being like the characters in this movie. I’m not changing the oil in my Mitsubishi Outlander for the next 4,000 miles. That’ll teach it!
The pacing is a disaster. Especially for a movie about objects made to move quickly. I guess there’s a bit of irony in there that I should take the time to appreciate. They certainly gave us enough down time to figure it out.
Here’s the setup: Lightning McQueen is a young hotshot racecar on his way to a big tie-breaking race in California. He’s become cocky with his early success and has started to take the things he has for granted. After getting lost and destroying property in a small forgotten desert town, Lightning is sentenced to stay there and make the repairs himself. This is a time consuming task that could (naturally) threaten his appearance at the big race.
Not bad groundwork and what follows plot-wise is pretty standard stuff. Lightning slows down and learns to appreciate some of the things he was taking for granted, and comes to love the small town and its colorfully painted characters. The problem is he slows it down too much. His time in the town of Radiator Springs sputters along with brief moments of actual development that are meant to endear the town to the audience, but its endlessly boring crawl is upsetting and takes away everything the movie had going for it.
When the progression stalls the humor disappears, as does the urgency for Lightning to make it to the big race. If there had been some sense of importance placed on time it would have created tension and dilemma to make us want to find out what’s going to happen. It’s not there.
They take their shot at giving the movie a big emotional moment. That’s something that every animated film makes one big push for, and Pixar has been very successful at this in the past. Man, the cowgirl in Toy Story 2 still chokes me up. I’m sorry though I just couldn’t get wrapped up in the Car love story. No matter how shiny the little blue Porsche was driving in slow motion past the trickling waterfall… I’m not falling for it.
The voice talent is all solid, but the secondary characters completely got the shaft in screen time. I would have loved to hear more from Michael Keaton as Chick Hicks, Lightning’s biggest racing rival, and I could have listened all day to Lightning's fast talking agent Harv voiced by Jeremy Piven. The most shameful thing is that there are a dozen of these supporting players that get completely lost and have no chance to grow. The most well developed character besides the three leads is Mater the rundown tow truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. He has a great presence and really helps some of the slower scenes. Why couldn’t he bring any of that to his own movie this past April?
For all its faults, Cars ends things on the right note. Some of the characters from town step up to the plate and become memorable, the big race strikes the right note with a positive message and some fast paced excitement. Well… as exciting as four left turns can be. It was nice that the last 15 minutes were worth watching but it took far too long to get there. And the journey didn’t have to be that much of a chore.
Rating: 4 out of 10
I caught The Incredibles on TV the other day and if anything it was just a reminder of how good animated movies can be. A reminder of how good Pixar can be. A reminder of how underdone Cars was. It’s not a complete mess, that’s for sure but is it “5 times better than Hollywood at its best”? Nope. It’s not even a close race.
No chance. Usually I’m up for owning the Pixar films, and I dare say that Cars would probably play better with multiple viewings, but it’s not for me. I’ll catch it again on cable in the fall and then be done with it for good.
Trailer Hitch: Ratatouille
There were a few trailers that interested me but I feel as though I should talk about the teaser for Pixar’s next big adventure Ratatouille
. To be honest I wasn’t excited by the animation or the concept. I mean, it’s not “world of talking cars” weird but a closer look at the rat population of France is not something in huge demand.
I don’t know… Talking animals get a free pass over talking cars, but I’m afraid the story will be another recycled wasteland of cliché and repetition. It looks like the odd couple in a sewer.
Hope lives in director Brad Bird who is the man behind the critically acclaimed Iron Giant and one of Pixar’s greatest triumphs The Incredibles. I think he’ll be able to keep the story and animation on track, but if the great Pixar can miss, then Bird himself is overdue for a dud. It’s too soon to tell but I’ll stay positive.
If You liked this movie check out: ??
People have mentioned that this plot is similar to that of 1991’s Doc Hollywood
starring Michael J. Fox
. I’ve never seen it so I can’t speak for how close it mirrors the outline of Cars or how good the film actually is, but MJF always brings his A game!
I must be in a very dark place right now because the most recent incentive images have had either me being attacked or me attacking. I have some rage issues to work out I’m sure, because today’s incentive is no different. Cast your vote to see what happens when you give a movie called “Cars” a bad review. And don’t forget to vote at Top Web Comics to see Jesus and Judas – Buddy Cops!
Non Movie Related Stuff.
Yesterday I had a guest strip go up over at Beaver and Steve. Thanks to James for letting me play with his characters for the day. Beaver and Steve are two of the best characters in any web comic so it’s always a thrill to draw them. If you’re not familiar with the strip enough’s enough. Start reading.
That’s it for today. Stay classy, Internet.
Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Wikipedia/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!
Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V