MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Cars 3” is voiced by Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris, The Internship), Cristela Alonzo (The Angry Birds Movie, Cristela [TV series]), Chris Cooper (The Bourne Identity, The Patriot), Nathan Fillion (Castle [TV series], Serenity), Larry the Cable Guy (Tooth Fairy 2, A Madea Christmas), Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger , The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ), Tony Shalhoub (Monk [TV series], Men in Black), Bonnie Hunt (Jerry Maguire, Return to Me), Kerry Washington (Django Unchained, Scandal [TV series]), Bob Peterson (Up, Finding Nemo), and John Ratzenberger (Cheers [TV series], Toy Story). It is directed by Brian Fee, who also wrote it with Ben Queen (Cars 2, Drive [TV series]), Eyal Podell, Jonathon E. Stuart (Doing Time [Short]), Kiel Murray (Cars, Green Thumb [Short]), Bob Peterson, and Mike Rich (Finding Forrester, Radio). After racing for quite some time, Lightning McQueen (Wilson) faces his biggest challenge yet when a rookie by the name of Jackson Storm (Hammer) enters the track, showing off new technology advancements that make McQueen seem like old news. With the thought of retirement slowly creeping up McQueen’s back, he sets out to prove naysayers wrong by figuring up a new way to beat out the new competition.
The “Cars” franchise hasn’t gotten much of a good rep over its course of eleven years, and there is reason to it. The first entry wasn’t the greatest and the second adventure was the worst movie Pixar has made this far. No one was asking for “Cars 3,” but we got it. Was it for money in marketing? Possibly, even though it’s one of John Lassiter’s favorite projects. I for one don’t mind the series. Sure, Pixar could definitely put their time to good use by making original features instead of dwelling on old properties, but the company has yet to make a film that is trash. I was lenient on “Cars 2” because it is entertaining, and “Cars” is a personal favorite even though I didn’t give it that great of a score. Did I expect much from this third outing? Actually, yes. The teaser trailer that promoted this picture looked riveting, as if the company was actually taking their time to churn out something excellent. Lightning McQueen having to think about whether to give up racing and go into retirement because of the high-tech rookies sounded promising; probably the deepest concept this franchise has received. However, as more trailers and clips came out, “Cars 3” began to show its old roots once more, so the hype was not as high. I still ventured out to see this flick with my youngest brother though, because I was interested to see what Pixar concocted. My overall feelings towards this release after coming out of the theater were pretty solid. In fact, this is quite possibly the best “Cars” film of the lot. I know, that isn’t saying much, but in its entirety the third film is something to enjoy. With great voice acting, amazing animation, and a lot of heart poured into the story, I found myself engaged with what Pixar has turned in. “Cars 3” returned to their roots, focusing on Lightning and racing. It’s truly what this franchise was about, but what really pulled the heart strings was tying in old Doc Hudson into the mix. Using outtake audio from the first movie, Pixar brought Paul Newman back to the screen, and it made me tear up to see him doing the same old routine once more. This was a way more touching feature than the first one as it honed in on what it takes to try new techniques to stay ahead of the game before you get knocked out of the spotlight. Doc served as the foundation, where Lightning still honored the old racing by implemented techniques that weren’t new, but new on the track to make things smoother for him. The theme itself wasn’t that heavy or hard to grasp; the story was often predictable, but even so it was enjoyable. Families will love the message and there is enough entertainment for all ages to take fun in. I just appreciate how they focused on Lightning and further developing him since we didn’t get that in “Cars 2.” What was utilized to bring this story to life was fantastic. All of the voice acting was really good, aside from the terrible stand-in used to replace Michael Keaton (sorry Bob Peterson. You’re great, but you aren’t Keaton). I don’t know why they brought back Chick Hicks if they couldn’t get Keaton to return. The animation was astounding as everything besides the characters seemed life-like. Watching the beach scene and how they animated the sand, grass, and water was picturesque and reminded me of Seabrook, South Carolina. If you want to see top quality animation in use today, see this film. Pixar just keeps going up and up in that department and it begs the question as to when they will plateau. I guess that’ll happen when characters are actually realistic (that’ll be scary). When it comes to flaws, I would say most of them reside in the first half. The story can be slow and dry in certain parts and it really takes until the training sequence on the beach for things to pick up speed. Whatever else is wrong with it mainly lies in the fact that the plot could’ve been more dark and unpredictable. The teaser certainly suggested it, and I would’ve loved to see a style like that come to fruition. Overall, “Cars 3” is slightly the better film of the franchise. It offers a solid foundation to tell an enjoyable story that will surely entertain audiences. The conclusion was predictable, yet satisfying, and I had fun watching the picture in its entirety. If you love “Cars” or are looking for a good animated feature, you might like this one. FINAL SCORE: 80%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer:
And now, my review for the Pixar short “LOU”:
MOVIE SHORT REVIEW: “LOU” is a 2017 Pixar short film written and directed by Dave Mullins. A creature who lives in the lost and found box at a schoolyard teaches a bully a lesson when the kid begins taking other people’s stuff.
Yes! Another Pixar short film to indulge on. I find that nowadays their shorts can exceed their movies, and “LOU” catapults past the film it played before (though “Cars 3” doesn’t present too much competition). The idea was fresh, yet resonate of “Toy Story,” and the moral of the story was genuine. I loved watching this, and was blown away by the skill of animation. Not just the look itself, but how they were able to animate Lou, a character who is made up of a bunch of small objects. He took many shapes when moving outside his box, and I had fun studying them in the heat of action. This is a simple story with a theme that isn’t high concept besides the character itself (similar to “Cars 3”). However, I enjoyed it nonetheless because of its weight. It was still a nice feature to behold, and was a heck of a lot of fun. Though it certainly doesn’t sound this way in my analysis, I would place it as one of Pixar’s best to date. I loved the idea of a little being hiding in the Lost and Found box. It’s original, and we deserve as much of that as we can get this day in age. FINAL SCORE: 91%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is a clip: