Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

New or old, regardless of format, we love talking about movies and the people who make them

Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby JoshRode » Wed May 25, 2011 12:57 am

Pixar has had a remarkable run of hits, thanks in no small part to their ability to think of fresh ideas in a market over-saturated with sequels and cookie-cutter plots. But I have to say that, judging from the Cars 2 trailer, their run might be on the verge of crashing.

First, it's a sequel. Not necessarily a bad thing. Certainly they've had success with sequels. But the plot (at least as depicted by the trailer)! The gang travels to another country? And are mistaken for foreign spies? There's a big race (bigger, naturally, than the original's)? These sound to me like plot points from a sitcom that has gone on for a season too long. Think Lightning McQueen will jump a shark?
I'm just a horse, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.
- Andrew Forbes
User avatar
JoshRode
City Attorney
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed May 25, 2011 7:48 am

JoshRode wrote:Pixar has had a remarkable run of hits, thanks in no small part to their ability to think of fresh ideas in a market over-saturated with sequels and cookie-cutter plots. But I have to say that, judging from the Cars 2 trailer, their run might be on the verge of crashing.

I suppose it depends on how you define "hit." I'll be very surprised if Cars 2 isn't the most financially successful animated flm of the year.

JoshRode wrote:First, it's a sequel. Not necessarily a bad thing. Certainly they've had success with sequels. But the plot (at least as depicted by the trailer)! The gang travels to another country? And are mistaken for foreign spies? There's a big race (bigger, naturally, than the original's)? These sound to me like plot points from a sitcom that has gone on for a season too long. Think Lightning McQueen will jump a shark?

I'm definitely curious to see if there's more substance to the movie than what's indicated in the trailer. So far, it looks more like a feature film adaptation of Pixar's Cars Toons shorts than a sequel to the first movie. If so, it'll entertain kids, but probably be a let-down from the heights of Wall-E and Up for adults.

I wouldn't be surprised if the flick is aimed squarely at kids. After all, a large segment of the chattering classes dismissed the first movie because the inclusion of NASCAR and Larry the Cable Guy offended their delicate political sensibilities. Wee ones, meanwhile, fell head-over-heels for it.
User avatar
Dan Mancini
Chief Prosecutor
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:17 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby the5thghostbuster » Wed May 25, 2011 7:49 am

JoshRode wrote:Pixar has had a remarkable run of hits, thanks in no small part to their ability to think of fresh ideas in a market over-saturated with sequels and cookie-cutter plots. But I have to say that, judging from the Cars 2 trailer, their run might be on the verge of crashing.

First, it's a sequel. Not necessarily a bad thing. Certainly they've had success with sequels. But the plot (at least as depicted by the trailer)! The gang travels to another country? And are mistaken for foreign spies? There's a big race (bigger, naturally, than the original's)? These sound to me like plot points from a sitcom that has gone on for a season too long. Think Lightning McQueen will jump a shark?


...maybe. It will make its moeny back, no question, but I am expecting the first critical blood bath for Pixar ever, and probably a box office underperformance.
User avatar
the5thghostbuster
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 9:17 pm
Location: The Great Country of the North

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby HGervais » Wed May 25, 2011 9:35 am

Financially it will be a monster. How many billions have toys & products from the first Cars generated? Answer: A lot.
On the creative side, we will see. Cars was always a heartfelt passion project for John Lassiter and while he isn't directing this one you know his hand prints will be all over this one. And finally, it's Pixar so the ability to surprise everyone is always present.
"The most dementing of all modern sins: the inability to distinquish excellence from success."-David Hare
User avatar
HGervais
Judge
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:14 am
Location: Greater New Orleans

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby mkiker2089 » Wed May 25, 2011 10:25 am

Like others have said it depends on ho you define hit. As far as money goes, it will probably do well. The Cars franchise is sort of dying out finally but it can come back. Kids are easy to market to since they lack the sales resistance that adults have. It's more like herding sheep than creating a good movie in a way.

Creatively, well I thought Cars was one of the worst movies I've ever seen so who am I to judge. I think it actually looks better than the first movie, but that isn't a great leap. You have to be careful analyzing a movie by plot points. Plot is the foundation but even the most sedate stories can make great movies for example

Silence of the Lambs - a guy kills people, a woman tries to catch him, another killer gets freed in the process
American Beauty - a guy quits his job, the neighbor kills him
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - George Lucas wanted some more money, Harrison Ford agreed
-Marshall-
Nun sacciu, nun vidi, nun ceru e si ceru durmiv.
I know nothing, I see nothing, I wasn't there,
and if I was there, I was asleep.
User avatar
mkiker2089
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1372
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:45 am
Location: Utopia

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Bryan Pope » Wed May 25, 2011 10:49 am

Pixar itself has already done wonders with what, from the outset, seemed like routine plots (A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo and, well, Cars). So I'm reserving judgment. Besides, Cars is one of mine and my kids favorites. Clever, fun and surprisingly adult at times.
Agnes, it's me...Billy.
User avatar
Bryan Pope
Judge
 
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 10:44 am
Location: Texas

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed May 25, 2011 11:46 am

Bryan Pope wrote:Pixar itself has already done wonders with what, from the outset, seemed like routine plots (A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo and, well, Cars). So I'm reserving judgment. Besides, Cars is one of mine and my kids favorites. Clever, fun and surprisingly adult at times.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Cars is easily their most underrated flick, and a key entry in their evolution toward more thematically mature storytelling. Cars 2's plot may feature a globetrotting McQueen and Mater, but that doesn't really tell me what it's about.
User avatar
Dan Mancini
Chief Prosecutor
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:17 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Steve T Power » Wed May 25, 2011 11:55 am

Here's my issue with Pixar at present:

Until Up, the studio was always at the helm of cautiously conceived and executed bits of animated art, that while engineered to appeal to mass audiences, and while written, re-written, and re-written again, always held evidence of a personal investment. Even their first sequel was a heartfelt work that was brought forth by the creative desire to re-visit beloved characters, and not a cave-in to public or marketing demand. That came screeching to a halt with Toy Story 3, which essentially recycled the plot from Toy Story 2 and crammed as many new characters as was possible into a bloated also ran that redeemed itself with a great final act (seriously, 2 thirds of the movie was utter shite).

Cars was born of Lassiter's nostalgia for the old pre-interstate "Route 66" road trips of his youth, and it did a wonderful job of bottling that nostalgia and stuffing a cork in. It was, and remains a viable work, Lassiter's best with the company (yes, better than any of the Toy Story flicks, deal with it!). The sequel looks like utter, total ASS. It looks like a commercially assembled money grab from the ground up. Like something genetically bred to sell merchandise, the likes of which i'm used to seeing from Sony or Dreamworks Animation. The first film stood extremely well on its own, it certainly doesn't need a sequel. Neither does Monster's Inc, but we're getting one, or rather, a prequel.

From an artistic standpoint, They certainly seem to be reversing positions with Disney's fledgling Animation unit (Bolt and Tangled were both fantastic efforts that could have easily passed for upper tier Pixar!), but with stuff like Brave in the pipeline, I have faith that they won't go completely off the creative rails. Hell, as long as guys like Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo and Wall-E, Pixar's best in my opinion) are cranking out work, I have faith that Pixar still retains the capacity for awesomeness.

Now financially speaking, Pixar is a juggernaut, and that's highly unlikely to change anytime soon. Cars 2, whether good or crap, will make over 300 mil.
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed May 25, 2011 12:25 pm

Steve T Power wrote:That came screeching to a halt with Toy Story 3, which essentially recycled the plot from Toy Story 2 and crammed as many new characters as was possible into a bloated also ran that redeemed itself with a great final act (seriously, 2 thirds of the movie was utter shite).

So I'm not alone? I'd go further, since I found the conclusion terribly saccharine. Consider the light touch used to end Monsters Inc. I'm talking about the final cut to black. That's a perfectly sweet moment. Look at the ending to Toy Story 3: a full scene featuring a teen, sounding like no young adult I've ever met, whose reluctance to even approach the neighbor with his old toys somehow changes into a desire to introduce each toy in cloying detail. Here's the dialogue copied from IMDb:

Andy: [opens box, and takes out Jessie] This is Jessie, the roughest, toughest cowgirl in the whole west. She loves critters, but none more than her best pal, Bullseye!
[pulls out Bullseye, and makes a whinnying sound]
Andy: Yee-haw!
[holds the two tows out to Bonnie]
Andy: Here.
Bonnie: [shyly walks over, and takes Jessie and Bullseyes, a smile on her face]
Andy: [pulls out Rex] This is Rex! The meanest, most terrifying dinosaur who ever lived! RAWR! RAWR!
Bonnie: [recoils a little, but the giggles, and takes Rex too]
Andy: [pulls out Mr and Mrs Potato Head] The Potato Heads: Mr and Mrs. You gotta keep them together because they're madly in love.
[Andy sets them down in front of Bonnie, before pulling out Slinky Dog]
Andy: Now Slinky here, is as loyal as any dog you could want.
[Andy then pulls out Hamm]
Andy: And Hamm, he'll keep your money safe, but he's also one of the most dastardly villains of all time: Evil Dr Porkchop!
[Andy then places the two with their friends, before pulling out the three aliens]
Andy: These little dudes are from a strange alien world: Pizza Planet!
[Andy then sets them down before reaching into his box again]
Andy: And this, is Buzz Lightyear, the coolest toy ever! Look! He can fly, oh, and shoot lasers!
[Andy pops open Buzz's wings, and fires his laser]
Andy: He's sworn to protect the galaxy from the Evil Emperor Zurg!
Bonnie: [Bonnie takes Buzz from Andy, and presses one of the buttons on his spacesuit]
Buzz Lightyear: To Infinity, and Beyond!
Andy: Now, you gotta promise to take good care of these guys. They, mean, alot to me.
Andy: Now Woody, he's been my pal for as long as I can remember. He's brave, like a cowboy should be. And kind, and smart. But the thing that makes Woody special, is he'll never give up on you... ever. He'll be there for you, no matter what.

That's called Theme Overtaking Character. I have never met a college-age kid that talks or acts like this (and I've known lots, at all stages of my life), and it robs the finale of emotional verisimilitude. Pixar's hand got real heavy on this one.
Formerly chamucamel
User avatar
Andrew Forbes
County Prosecutor
 
Posts: 2615
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:43 am
Location: Edmonton, AB

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Steve T Power » Wed May 25, 2011 4:21 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:
That's called Theme Overtaking Character. I have never met a college-age kid that talks or acts like this (and I've known lots, at all stages of my life), and it robs the finale of emotional verisimilitude. Pixar's hand got real heavy on this one.


Definitely a valid point, and one that will probably tarnish the possibility of any future viewings. You monster.
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Bryan Pope » Wed May 25, 2011 4:59 pm

Steve T Power wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
That's called Theme Overtaking Character. I have never met a college-age kid that talks or acts like this (and I've known lots, at all stages of my life), and it robs the finale of emotional verisimilitude. Pixar's hand got real heavy on this one.


Definitely a valid point, and one that will probably tarnish the possibility of any future viewings. You monster.

I don't know. If I'm willing to accept that a kid is so sentimental that he would keep all of his favorite childhood toys in a toybox in his room through his senior year, I'm willing to accept the ending scene.
Agnes, it's me...Billy.
User avatar
Bryan Pope
Judge
 
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 10:44 am
Location: Texas

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby JoshRode » Wed May 25, 2011 6:34 pm

I suppose I was thinking more in terms of critical acclaim (taken for what that's worth) than $$ as a barometer of success, at least for Pixar, since they have gone this many movies without a serious flop. I was surprised when I heard about Cars 2 since it's been a pretty good while since the first one came out and most of the original's audience is at iCarly age now. How young is too young for nostalgia?

Not that they can't bring in a new crop of Cars fans. I doubt having a deep understanding of the first will be a prerequisite for following the second.
I'm just a horse, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.
- Andrew Forbes
User avatar
JoshRode
City Attorney
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby HGervais » Wed May 25, 2011 10:39 pm

Bryan Pope wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
That's called Theme Overtaking Character. I have never met a college-age kid that talks or acts like this (and I've known lots, at all stages of my life), and it robs the finale of emotional verisimilitude. Pixar's hand got real heavy on this one.


Definitely a valid point, and one that will probably tarnish the possibility of any future viewings. You monster.

I don't know. If I'm willing to accept that a kid is so sentimental that he would keep all of his favorite childhood toys in a toybox in his room through his senior year, I'm willing to accept the ending scene.

I'd agree. I'm wiling to accept and be moved by the final scene. It was bittersweet...which pretty much sums up the movie to me.
"The most dementing of all modern sins: the inability to distinquish excellence from success."-David Hare
User avatar
HGervais
Judge
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:14 am
Location: Greater New Orleans

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Dunnyman » Wed May 25, 2011 11:43 pm

While two of my former students both work there, (one's a lower tier animator, one's on the render farm) I can't claim inside knowledge, but having seen the Pixar museum exhibit, and seeing the unbelievable amount of detail, planning and care that goes into each and every single frame, I don't doubt them in the slightest. There is nothing that is a throw-away, or carelessly inserted or halfbaked idea in anything they do. When they did over 300 drawings for one of the very minor toys, you know the attention to detail will never fail there. When you can see miniscule bits of rubber coming off the tires in the first Cars and barely perceptible scratches in the rivets in the knives in Ratatouille, you don't see anything that indicates they'll ever let up on their relentless pursuit of creating brilliant films.

Also, if you look back, Pixar's trailers have a tendency to understate what you're getting into. "Huh, an old guy ties some balloons to his house and flies off on an adventure" was what I got from Up's trailer, and in the theater I was treated to one of the most amazing experiences in animation I've ever encountered, as well as the most emotionally moving animated film I've ever seen. Actually, in terms of emotionally moving, it's in the damn top ten of all time for me!!! I still can't watch the Carl and Ellie montage without bawling my eyes out.

Doubt Pixar? Not on your life.
"I ain't a boy, no I'm a man, and I believe in the Promised Land"
-Coming to the USA on January 20, 2009!
User avatar
Dunnyman
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:37 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby mavrach » Thu May 26, 2011 4:25 am

I think I'm in the same boat as the rest of you. Cars 2 is a good move for Pixar solely in terms of it making money as a business. Supposedly the first Cars was their biggest merchandising movie, and they're going to capitalize on that, and this movie will absolutely be a smash hit.

That being said, Pixar's major strength has always been that while they're making animated kids movies, they've nonetheless been solid movies for adults as well. Truly good movies. The Incredibles can stand up against any other comic movie. Toy Story 3 & Up can reduce any adult into a sniffling mess. Wall-E made it onto my freaking wedding cake!

Cars was the only Pixar movie that I truly didn't like. Maybe I should give it a second day in court, but honestly I don't want to see it again. I understand the level of detail there, and that there's a bevy of auto in-jokes, but the overall appeal was just another kids movie.


And, this is Pixar's second sequel in a row. Between Ratatouie, Up, & Wall-E, they'd started to break their initial mold of "take a subject and CONQUER IT" with simply creating an original story. But after that, they went back to their original formulae and sequelized them.
+1. this is very interesting.
User avatar
mavrach
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:41 am
Location: North Jersey, at the end of a one-way dead-end road.

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby JoshRode » Thu May 26, 2011 7:19 am

Dunnyman wrote:While two of my former students both work there, (one's a lower tier animator, one's on the render farm) I can't claim inside knowledge, but having seen the Pixar museum exhibit, and seeing the unbelievable amount of detail, planning and care that goes into each and every single frame, I don't doubt them in the slightest. There is nothing that is a throw-away, or carelessly inserted or halfbaked idea in anything they do. When they did over 300 drawings for one of the very minor toys, you know the attention to detail will never fail there. When you can see miniscule bits of rubber coming off the tires in the first Cars and barely perceptible scratches in the rivets in the knives in Ratatouille, you don't see anything that indicates they'll ever let up on their relentless pursuit of creating brilliant films.

Also, if you look back, Pixar's trailers have a tendency to understate what you're getting into. "Huh, an old guy ties some balloons to his house and flies off on an adventure" was what I got from Up's trailer, and in the theater I was treated to one of the most amazing experiences in animation I've ever encountered, as well as the most emotionally moving animated film I've ever seen. Actually, in terms of emotionally moving, it's in the damn top ten of all time for me!!! I still can't watch the Carl and Ellie montage without bawling my eyes out.

Doubt Pixar? Not on your life.


Excellent points. And to be sure, I'm not concerned about a drop off in animation quality. My chief worry is about the writing. But your point about UP and its minimalist trailer is well taken. I cry every time at the montage, too, and at the end when he sees what's on the previously-assumed empty pages, and the trailer never gave a clue that might be in the cards.
I'm just a horse, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.
- Andrew Forbes
User avatar
JoshRode
City Attorney
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby azul017 » Fri May 27, 2011 8:58 pm

mavrach wrote:And, this is Pixar's second sequel in a row. Between Ratatouie, Up, & Wall-E, they'd started to break their initial mold of "take a subject and CONQUER IT" with simply creating an original story. But after that, they went back to their original formulae and sequelized them.


Well, at least we're getting something radically different next year: Brave. At least there's some creativity left in Pixar.

As for Cars 2, I'm just indifferent to it. Not only did the first film vanish from memory, it just felt like a dumbed-down kids movie. It had that terrific Pixar trademark of beautiful animation and good voice work, but otherwise I don't want to see it again. (Or the sequel.)
"Aliens conquering Earth would be fine with me, as long as they make me their queen."
- Gillian Anderson
User avatar
azul017
City Prosecutor
 
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 5:19 am
Location: Durham, NC

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Bryan Pope » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:30 pm

Well, here's one review. Admittedly, Slant is usually pretty tough to please. Even so...

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/cars-2/5586
Agnes, it's me...Billy.
User avatar
Bryan Pope
Judge
 
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 10:44 am
Location: Texas

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby mkiker2089 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:40 pm

Of all the characters from the franchise I must say that the Tow Truck is by far the least likeable to me. I assumed I was alone in that.

Is something wrong with Toy Story 3? Some toy stores have just dropped all TS3 merchandise to cost and I've seen the DVDs in grocery stores for 10-15 dollars. Did it not hit home like it was expected to?
-Marshall-
Nun sacciu, nun vidi, nun ceru e si ceru durmiv.
I know nothing, I see nothing, I wasn't there,
and if I was there, I was asleep.
User avatar
mkiker2089
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1372
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:45 am
Location: Utopia

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby JoshRode » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:14 am

Bryan Pope wrote:Well, here's one review. Admittedly, Slant is usually pretty tough to please. Even so...

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/cars-2/5586


The reviewer used Firefly as a reference. I therefore agree with everything he (or she; the name Jaime can be either) says.
I'm just a horse, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.
- Andrew Forbes
User avatar
JoshRode
City Attorney
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Bryan Pope » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:53 am

Roger Ebert loved it. More than the original even, it seems.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110622/REVIEWS/110629995
Agnes, it's me...Billy.
User avatar
Bryan Pope
Judge
 
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 10:44 am
Location: Texas

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby the5thghostbuster » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:11 am

Bryan Pope wrote:Roger Ebert loved it. More than the original even, it seems.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110622/REVIEWS/110629995


I am pretty sure that review is more entertaining than the film itself will be, though I have to admit that I had a laugh when I read there was a character named Holly Shiftwell in the film.
User avatar
the5thghostbuster
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 9:17 pm
Location: The Great Country of the North

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:52 am

One thing I admire about Ebert as a critic, he always seems to be able to get into the headspace of a film, and judge it on its own merits. I still think Cars 2 looks like a steaming pile, but I can appreciate Ebert's review. I just don't see the flick transporting me as it did him.

I also think Pixar needs to STOP with the sequels. Yesterday.
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby JoshRode » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:18 pm

Steve T Power wrote:One thing I admire about Ebert as a critic, he always seems to be able to get into the headspace of a film, and judge it on its own merits. I still think Cars 2 looks like a steaming pile, but I can appreciate Ebert's review. I just don't see the flick transporting me as it did him.

I also think Pixar needs to STOP with the sequels. Yesterday.


That won't happen. Their time with Disney tainted their souls.
I'm just a horse, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.
- Andrew Forbes
User avatar
JoshRode
City Attorney
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Bryan Pope » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:28 pm

JoshRode wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:One thing I admire about Ebert as a critic, he always seems to be able to get into the headspace of a film, and judge it on its own merits. I still think Cars 2 looks like a steaming pile, but I can appreciate Ebert's review. I just don't see the flick transporting me as it did him.

I also think Pixar needs to STOP with the sequels. Yesterday.


That won't happen. Their time with Disney tainted their souls.

Sequel, non-sequel -- doesn't matter to me. As long as the storytelling is good, I'm fine with either.
Agnes, it's me...Billy.
User avatar
Bryan Pope
Judge
 
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 10:44 am
Location: Texas

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:00 pm

"Cars 2" makes $68 million in the US opening weekend (beating the first "Cars" opening numbers), a ton more overseas: http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/first-box-office-cars-2-bad-teacher-look-to-be-overperforming-friday/. If there is any damage to the Pixar brand from "Cars 2" sucking as a movie it won't show-up until the DVD/BD release or the next Pixar toon... if at all. Face it haters, Pixar's bulletproof. ;-)
'You can't make chicken salad out of chicken s***'
User avatar
J.M. Vargas
County Prosecutor
 
Posts: 3120
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:23 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:56 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:"Cars 2" makes $68 million in the US opening weekend (beating the first "Cars" opening numbers), a ton more overseas: http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/first-box-office-cars-2-bad-teacher-look-to-be-overperforming-friday/. If there is any damage to the Pixar brand from "Cars 2" sucking as a movie it won't show-up until the DVD/BD release or the next Pixar toon... if at all. Face it haters, Pixar's bulletproof. ;-)

"Damage to the brand" doesn't mean empty coffers. It means loss of a painstakingly-built reputation for quality.
Formerly chamucamel
User avatar
Andrew Forbes
County Prosecutor
 
Posts: 2615
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:43 am
Location: Edmonton, AB

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby JoshRode » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:08 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:
J.M. Vargas wrote:"Cars 2" makes $68 million in the US opening weekend (beating the first "Cars" opening numbers), a ton more overseas: http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/first-box-office-cars-2-bad-teacher-look-to-be-overperforming-friday/. If there is any damage to the Pixar brand from "Cars 2" sucking as a movie it won't show-up until the DVD/BD release or the next Pixar toon... if at all. Face it haters, Pixar's bulletproof. ;-)

"Damage to the brand" doesn't mean empty coffers. It means loss of a painstakingly-built reputation for quality.


And who's hating? A thread like this shows a lot of love for the reputation Pixar has built. We don't want to see them fall prey to the "it's good if it makes lots of cash" mindset (right, Titanic?)
I'm just a horse, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.
- Andrew Forbes
User avatar
JoshRode
City Attorney
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Bryan Pope » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:14 am

JoshRode wrote:We don't want to see them fall prey to the "it's good if it makes lots of cash" mindset (right, Titanic?)

At the risk of veering off on some irrelevent tangent, I respectfully disagree with the swipe at Titanic. I'm in the minority (especially here in the Jury Room) in thinking that Titanic is spectacular entertainment despite the sometimes overbaked dialogue and one of the worst love songs ever penned for the screen. But I love its attention to historical detail, and I think Cameron and his entire crew (fx, production design, sets, costuming, et al) did an astonishing job bringing the disaster to life while trying to keep the story on a human scale. I get absorbed in it every time I watch it. I'd consider it a very good movie even if it had bombed.

Of course, if Cameron had thrown in a couple of Killer Klowns, how sweet would that have been...
Agnes, it's me...Billy.
User avatar
Bryan Pope
Judge
 
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 10:44 am
Location: Texas

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby J.M. Vargas » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:17 am

+1 for "Titanic" not being good just because it made a lot of money. It's flawed, at times exceedingly manipulative/too cute by half, but the overall package's entertainment factor and technical polish (circa 1997) far exceeds its failure quota. "Avatar" on the other hand... :?
'You can't make chicken salad out of chicken s***'
User avatar
J.M. Vargas
County Prosecutor
 
Posts: 3120
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:23 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby HGervais » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:30 pm

I have not seen Cars 2 so I can't be dismissive of it yet but my brother's kids loved it. And if Cars 2 is what the studio needed to do in order to pay the bills until we can get to next summer and Brave then I can live with a Pixar movie aimed more at the 13 and under crowd than me for a change.
"The most dementing of all modern sins: the inability to distinquish excellence from success."-David Hare
User avatar
HGervais
Judge
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:14 am
Location: Greater New Orleans

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby cdouglas » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:49 pm

HGervais wrote:I have not seen Cars 2 so I can't be dismissive of it yet but my brother's kids loved it. And if Cars 2 is what the studio needed to do in order to pay the bills until we can get to next summer and Brave then I can live with a Pixar movie aimed more at the 13 and under crowd than me for a change.


But did they really need this film to pay the bills? Everything Pixar has done has been a success at the box office.
cdouglas
Judge
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 10:49 am

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby HGervais » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:55 pm

cdouglas wrote:
HGervais wrote:I have not seen Cars 2 so I can't be dismissive of it yet but my brother's kids loved it. And if Cars 2 is what the studio needed to do in order to pay the bills until we can get to next summer and Brave then I can live with a Pixar movie aimed more at the 13 and under crowd than me for a change.


But did they really need this film to pay the bills? Everything Pixar has done has been a success at the box office.

Considering the first Cars generated literally billions in toys & merchandise it can't hurt the companies bottom line to throw a few more billion in there. And again, I'm basing my impressions on the reactions to a 8 & 12 year old and they both really loved it. Is it really such a bad thing if they have made a movie more for the kids and less for us this time around? I will probably go see it sometime this week.
"The most dementing of all modern sins: the inability to distinquish excellence from success."-David Hare
User avatar
HGervais
Judge
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:14 am
Location: Greater New Orleans

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby JoshRode » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:12 pm

Bryan Pope wrote:
JoshRode wrote:We don't want to see them fall prey to the "it's good if it makes lots of cash" mindset (right, Titanic?)

At the risk of veering off on some irrelevent tangent, I respectfully disagree with the swipe at Titanic. I'm in the minority (especially here in the Jury Room) in thinking that Titanic is spectacular entertainment despite the sometimes overbaked dialogue and one of the worst love songs ever penned for the screen. But I love its attention to historical detail, and I think Cameron and his entire crew (fx, production design, sets, costuming, et al) did an astonishing job bringing the disaster to life while trying to keep the story on a human scale. I get absorbed in it every time I watch it. I'd consider it a very good movie even if it had bombed.

Of course, if Cameron had thrown in a couple of Killer Klowns, how sweet would that have been...


I agree that it was engaging and reasonably well acted and did a great job of putting me on (or, more correctly, off) the boat, especially in the second half, plus it had nekked Kate Winslet, which I will never complain about. But oh the hype! Everyone (speaking in general, not in a literal sense ;) ) just raved about how amazingly awesome it was. It was best this and best that, even won a very undeserved Oscar. It was good, but it wasn't that amazingly good. And Vargas is right; Avatar would have been a better example.
I'm just a horse, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.
- Andrew Forbes
User avatar
JoshRode
City Attorney
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby JoshRode » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:16 pm

HGervais wrote:
cdouglas wrote:
HGervais wrote:I have not seen Cars 2 so I can't be dismissive of it yet but my brother's kids loved it. And if Cars 2 is what the studio needed to do in order to pay the bills until we can get to next summer and Brave then I can live with a Pixar movie aimed more at the 13 and under crowd than me for a change.


But did they really need this film to pay the bills? Everything Pixar has done has been a success at the box office.

Considering the first Cars generated literally billions in toys & merchandise it can't hurt the companies bottom line to throw a few more billion in there. And again, I'm basing my impressions on the reactions to a 8 & 12 year old and they both really loved it. Is it really such a bad thing if they have made a movie more for the kids and less for us this time around? I will probably go see it sometime this week.


No, it's not bad that it's for kids. But then, my boys saw the trailer for Mr. Popper's Penguins and said, "Ooh, Mr. Popper's Penguins!" So just being popular with kids doesn't a great film make. ;)

I know you know that, of course. I suppose the point is that we've just come to expect more from Pixar than that.
I'm just a horse, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.
- Andrew Forbes
User avatar
JoshRode
City Attorney
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby cdouglas » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:19 pm

HGervais wrote:
cdouglas wrote:
HGervais wrote:I have not seen Cars 2 so I can't be dismissive of it yet but my brother's kids loved it. And if Cars 2 is what the studio needed to do in order to pay the bills until we can get to next summer and Brave then I can live with a Pixar movie aimed more at the 13 and under crowd than me for a change.


But did they really need this film to pay the bills? Everything Pixar has done has been a success at the box office.

Considering the first Cars generated literally billions in toys & merchandise it can't hurt the companies bottom line to throw a few more billion in there. And again, I'm basing my impressions on the reactions to a 8 & 12 year old and they both really loved it. Is it really such a bad thing if they have made a movie more for the kids and less for us this time around? I will probably go see it sometime this week.


I don't have a problem with Pixar making a film aimed directly at kids. Honestly, I'm a fan of the original Cars. However, Cars 2 is the first Pixar flick which feels like a cheap cash-in rather than a story which Lasseter & friends really wanted to tell. It's not an awful movie - in fact, it's roughly on par with a mid-level Dreamworks outing - but it feels terribly impersonal, and that's a shame as far as I'm concerned.
cdouglas
Judge
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 10:49 am

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Dan Mancini » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:20 pm

HGervais wrote:
cdouglas wrote:
HGervais wrote:I have not seen Cars 2 so I can't be dismissive of it yet but my brother's kids loved it. And if Cars 2 is what the studio needed to do in order to pay the bills until we can get to next summer and Brave then I can live with a Pixar movie aimed more at the 13 and under crowd than me for a change.


But did they really need this film to pay the bills? Everything Pixar has done has been a success at the box office.

Considering the first Cars generated literally billions in toys & merchandise it can't hurt the companies bottom line to throw a few more billion in there. And again, I'm basing my impressions on the reactions to a 8 & 12 year old and they both really loved it. Is it really such a bad thing if they have made a movie more for the kids and less for us this time around? I will probably go see it sometime this week.

Exactly. Let's assume for the sake of argument that unabashed Mammonism wasn't Pixar's motive for making Cars 2. What if they purposely set out to do a big-screen adaptation of the Cars shorts that are enormously popular with little kids? What exactly is wrong with that?

I haven't seen the flick, so I'm not ruling out the possibility that it sucks. But it's also possible that it's a solid piece of fast-paced entertainment designed specifically for kids. I will note this: Many of the harshest critics of the sequel are the very same critics who shredded the first film because they were offended by NASCAR and Larry the Cable Guy. I take their opinions with a sizable grain of salt.
User avatar
Dan Mancini
Chief Prosecutor
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:17 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby HGervais » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:41 pm

Exactly twice. I kind of liked the first one and as I said, I have yet to see this new one but I'm more than fine with a Pixar movie that doesn't move the par forward and exists only to entertain kids. Not every movie made is for me or for the various middle aged movie critics out there and I'm okay with that. After a worldwide opening weekend take of over 100mil bucks, I would say Pixar is in no trouble and they know exactly who their audience is. I'm pretty sure blu-ray & DVD sales will also be at their usual high levels. And as I said a few posts ago, bring on next summer and Brave so we can have the same discussion about Pixar jumping the shark all over again.
"The most dementing of all modern sins: the inability to distinquish excellence from success."-David Hare
User avatar
HGervais
Judge
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:14 am
Location: Greater New Orleans

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby mavrach » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:22 pm

As film fanatics, we should be upset about this because this year we lost an opportunity for Pixar to make another great family film, that's both a good movie as well as being for the kids. We're going to have to wait it out for another year, and hope that they don't make more sequels. This year we just got another kids movie.

Pixar making just a kids movie is a bad thing, because they were one of the only mainstream outlets for animation that could satisfy adults as well. They were movies that kids could watch, and keep them as they grew, as opposed to growing out of the movies. Now it's just another CGI cartoon with talking creatures, go ahead and lump them in with all the rest of the kid stuff out there that isn't anything special.

What's with the idea that they need Cars to "pay the bills?" You make it sound like Up, Wall-E, Ratatouie, Finding Nemo & The Incredibles were just little indie darlings that needed bigger hits to finance them.
+1. this is very interesting.
User avatar
mavrach
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:41 am
Location: North Jersey, at the end of a one-way dead-end road.

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby HGervais » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:18 pm

mavrach wrote:As film fanatics, we should be upset about this because this year we lost an opportunity for Pixar to make another great family film, that's both a good movie as well as being for the kids. We're going to have to wait it out for another year, and hope that they don't make more sequels. This year we just got another kids movie.
1st off, I have not seen it so I don't know it will appeal to me as well yet and I would argue the contention that because it works primarily for children it is some how a lost opportunity. Pixar has a reputation for quality family fare...how does Cars 2 cheapen that? So by your definition Pixar is obligated to push the boundaries of the medium every time out?

Pixar making just a kids movie is a bad thing, because they were one of the only mainstream outlets for animation that could satisfy adults as well. They were movies that kids could watch, and keep them as they grew, as opposed to growing out of the movies. Now it's just another CGI cartoon with talking creatures, go ahead and lump them in with all the rest of the kid stuff out there that isn't anything special.
I think as a collective group film fans place a whole more on Pixar's shoulders than they deserve or would volunteer to take on. And again, I can't speak to the quality of this venture personally but I can say that based on what I've heard from friends & kids Cars 2 is entertaining and a great way to spend a couple of hours. If it doesn't last in the memory the way Toy Story 2 & 3...those pesky sequels...or Finding Nemo or Wall*E do, that isn't a cause for alarm. It just means all they made was a very good movie and not a great one or an instant classic. There should be no shame in that.

What's with the idea that they need Cars to "pay the bills?" You make it sound like Up, Wall-E, Ratatouie, Finding Nemo & The Incredibles were just little indie darlings that needed bigger hits to finance them.

None of those movies became the merchandise juggernaut that was Cars and when you have an extra billion or two towards the corporate bottom line it gives you more flexibility to do new and more creative things in the future.
All I'm saying is that the hysterics and predictions of doom & gloom for the "glory days" of Pixar is rather a knee jerk reaction.
"The most dementing of all modern sins: the inability to distinquish excellence from success."-David Hare
User avatar
HGervais
Judge
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:14 am
Location: Greater New Orleans

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby mavrach » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:44 pm

It does cheapen Pixar's reputation. They're going to be mostly great movies with some junk thrown in. They just went from the stunning Toy Story 3 to this. No, it isn't the end of the world, just a disappointment. It's like when the Coen brothers made Intolerable Cruelty. I'm not going crazy over the subject, and I'm sure Pixar will bounce back afterwards (as they did after the original Cars), but can't I be disappointed after a single movie? I'm sure Brave will knock my socks off next year.

I actually think they should push the boundaries on every movie, because that's what they've been doing the whole time! They started out by revolutionizing CGI animation, which they further refined with each film. Then they continued to show that they could make family movies that everybody could enjoy (hell one of them was a bug movie for the kids, while being a Seven Samurai remake for the adults). Then, once the "subject" movies became routine for them, they made Up, Wall-E & Ratatoullie, which were straight up original stories. They have been improving family filmmaking. There's a reason that a 31-year old with no kids like myself will go to see these movies, while dodging Dreamworks and most of the other stuff out there.

Since when do we care about a company's bottom line? That doesn't affect us unless maybe they're in danger of going out of business and thus losing our movies, but that's not a problem with Pixar. They're going from making excellent blockbusters, to making a crap super-blockbuster. There are so many mediocre hits released every year, but we complain because we want to see the better movies becoming the most successful, not the lowest-common-denominator forgettable stuff.
+1. this is very interesting.
User avatar
mavrach
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:41 am
Location: North Jersey, at the end of a one-way dead-end road.

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby hoytereden » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:15 pm

I did see it and my thoughts, for what they're worth, are under the watching thread. Btw, it was the 2-D version if that matters.
"You can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be lead"-Stan Laurel
Moe-"Were you scared?" Larry-"No, just apprehensive." Moe-"Apprehensive, that's a pretty big word.What's it mean?" Larry-"That's scared with a college education!"
User avatar
hoytereden
County Attorney
 
Posts: 1083
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 5:24 pm
Location: The Big Island of Hawaii

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:50 am

Well, their two most talented directors have moved on, Brad Bird is working on some indie espionage thriller with Tom Cruise, and Andrew Stanton (who made the very best flicks out of Pixar in my opinion) has moved out as well
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby JoshRode » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:39 am

Saw it last night and, although it doesn't have the emotional zing of Up or Wall-E, I was very entertained all the way through. I guess "stumble" is a very subjective term. :)
I'm just a horse, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.
- Andrew Forbes
User avatar
JoshRode
City Attorney
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby stypee » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:23 am

Yes.
It's not as though I really need you, if you were here I'd only bleed you..
-jonathen michael stipe


Image
User avatar
stypee
City Prosecutor
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:54 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Will Pixar Finally Stumble?

Postby HGervais » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:24 pm

Excellent interview with Andrew Stanton from the recent John Carter press gathering. I especially like his comments about reshoots.
"The most dementing of all modern sins: the inability to distinquish excellence from success."-David Hare
User avatar
HGervais
Judge
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:14 am
Location: Greater New Orleans


Return to Movies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests

cron