Sunday, June 04, 2006

More on Cars.

Yet another Cars Review pouring in. One note that the reviewer points out is that there is a tribute to Joe Ranft in the credits and he is listed as a co-director.

I'm aware that most people actually don't want to see Cars, because they have no interest in cars or racing, and whatnot. I have to ask - do you have a particular interest in bugs and fish? I doubt it, and A Bug's Life and Finding Nemo are such good movies that things such as what species the main characters are just doesn't interest me. Here's something the reviewer said to hilight this:

"To put a lot of your minds at rest, the film , although it does have a strong racing theme, was not like watching a movie about racing. I am not a fan of racing for one. But the racing scenes were just thrilling to watch. Don't let the fact that your not a racing fan put you off. [...] When John Lasseter first said to his wife Nancy that he was going to finally make his 'Cars' movie, she said to him that 99.5% of the world are not racing fans. And John Lasseter has made sure everyone will love this film."

Via the [TAG Blog], Wall Street Journal analyses the upcoming release of Cars:

"Still, it's unclear whether the main characters -- cars -- will grip audiences the same way that digital toys and fish did. Mr. Iger has surprised Wall Stree and the world in his first months on the job with a willingness to challent the status quo and operate differently than his predecessor, Michael Eisner. But if "Cars" becomes the first Pixar movie to hit a phothole, his honeymoon as Disney CEO could lose its sparkle."

Oie. Talk about pessimistic!

If want to see more reviews, check out the Rotten Tomatoes Cars page. As of today Cars is at 89% favourable reviews (far cry short of the 100% that Toy Story and Toy Story 2 got, 98% for Finding Nemo the 97% for Incredibles, 95% for Monster's Inc). Keep in mind that Cars is based upon only 9 reviews. Toy Story 2 is based on 106. My guess is that either way it'll probably have mostly favorable reviews from critics (my guess is in the 90% range). The next-lowest rated Pixar film is A Bug's Life with 91%.

Of interest, here is the link to the 1 bad review by Nick Schager of Slant Magazine. A summary of the worst stuff:

"its dawdling, unfunny 116-minute story stalls at nearly every turn, peddling ho-hum morals about community, teamwork, and altruism while also proffering tired, red state-pandering rural-vs.-urban hogwash"

"Despite the fact that their expressiveness is constricted by their physical limitations (i.e. no useful appendages, only one bodily position), Lasseter and company's four-wheeled protagonists resemble reasonably dynamic Matchbox toys sprung to life, their shiny chassis and vigorous velocity helping to partially distract attention away from their insanely creepy tongues (which floppily protrude from their mouths in a manner apt to give small tykes nightmares)"

And last but not least:

"Cars' story is a hoary romanticization of all things rustic (and implicit critique of many things contemporary) that, in its schematism, comes off like a thinly veiled Hollywood olive branch extended toward conservative heartland inhabitants. Musty, corny, and largely devoid of any enchanting magic, it's also the pioneering Pixar's first effort that, trailblazing technical virtuosity be damned, feels disappointingly regressive."

On the flip side Cars gets two thumbs up from Ebert and Roeper.

One more thing about Cars for today: Jim Hill Media posts about how Cars will likely have to make 75+ million in its first weekend to be seen as a commercial success.

Remember, June 9th!

Also on the Tag Blog is this post regarding a visit to Disney Feature Animation. He mentions the movie "Joe Jump" in development, as well as American Dog and Rapunzel. Anyone heard of Joe Jump?

People keep point out to me all the time that I must read a lot of blogs to keep up with the news, or something. I just use an RSS reader. What's that, you say? It's essentially a light browser designed to subscribe to blogs and sites with rss feeds. Ever subscribe to a podcast on iTunes? An Rss reader lets you add your favorite blogs and sites that have feeds to it and tells you which have updated - most let you choose an interval where it regularly checks for updates, as well as a manual way of 'updating now'. This is great if you're looking through 300+ blogs and more than half of them have not updated. If you're on a Mac like I am, the best one that I've found is NetNewsWire - it has a built in tabbed browser based on Safari and works great!. I've also been searching around for a good one for windows and am surprised at how unpopular RSS Readers seem to be. The most popular reader has only had 70,000 Downloads. The one I chose for windows is RSSReader. I'm giving it a whirl and will tell you if it works well. One thing that I've noticed with RSSReader is that it requires you to type in the url + atom.xml. So, for my blog, to add it, you need to enter in "". Other than that it works great so far. Man it sucks adding all the feeds the first time... but believe me, it saves you time in the long run. Believe me.


S. Stephani Soejono 10:14 PM  

As an addition to your opinion of "don't get turned off just because Cars has racing theme" I wanna add a couple other facts about those bad reviews.

1. Journalists oftentimes don't know what they're talking about so they try to make themselves look good by trashing films they review.

2. Oftentimes, they don't want to see a movie to review but they have to. So bearing the fact that they're forcedto write, they blame it on the film.

3.They hate animated movies. Period. A lot of animated movie reviews in Indonesia circa late 90's are swarmed with these types of critiques

4. There was a good line from Nez Rouge, "Critics are usually failed artist themselves." Since they can't "break in" to the industry they try to bring down the industry with them.

I've given up listening to media critics. Some critiques trash Corpse Bride because it's made by Tim Burton (WTF??), trashed Narnia because it's blatantly Christian (errr...ok), and trashed Tarzan because of the "tree surfing" (yeahh....). That's my two cents Monsieur Cook

Rob Bodnar 8:00 AM  

I have several computers I use thoughout the day. So far I like for an RSS reader.

Seo Kim 9:39 AM  


Some idiot on IMDB wrote a review and said, "I can relate to superheroes, I can relate to fish, I can relate to monsters, I can even relate to bugs, but a machine that looks like my childhood Hot Wheels? Sorry." What the hell? Obviously the only reason you can relate to BUGS and FISH is because Pixar created those relatable characters. People like this just makess me mad!

Thomas Huxley 2:14 AM  

Don't take into account what that guy said in his review. COMPLETELY WRONG! I was lucky enough to see Cars the other day and it was bloomin fantastic! He's obviously a self centered f*^ck and i Totally agree with what s. stephani soejono said...

1. Journalists oftentimes don't know what they're talking about so they try to make themselves look good by trashing films they review.

2. Oftentimes, they don't want to see a movie to review but they have to. So bearing the fact that they're forcedto write, they blame it on the film.


Keep up the great work on the cool blog though!

Cookedart 6:39 PM  

Steph - I don't really want to trash critics too much - all I know is that sometimes I agree with them, sometimes I don't. They're people just like anyone else, but they get paid to watch movies. Their opinion is just their opinion in the end, and I think it's strange to go to a movie on the basis of one other person's opinion, but that's just me.

Hey Rob - bloglines sounds great for multiple computers! Right now I really only use 1 or two so it works great for me. I'll be sure to recommend bloglines to anyone who asks though.

Seo - I couldn't agree more!

Jake - That is pretty cool! The diecast toys that I've seen are pretty fabulous too! I'm gonna get me some Cars swag eventually. Have you seen the Art of Cars? Simply awesome!

Tom - Great to see you come by here! I definetly visit Upcoming Pixar regularly! Glad to hear you liked Cars - I'm totally looking forward to it.

Jinny Liang 7:58 PM  

Hey Alan,
Thanks for all the news info and the information on the RSS readers. I've always had a vague idea of how/what RSS readers do. I'm just wondering, can all types of blogs/journals/podcasts be added to an RSS reader? I'm in search of a better way to be able to check on ppls blogspots, as well as podcasts. If you could keep me updated or let me know somehow, that would be awesome! Thanks and Regards!

Cookedart 9:02 PM  

Hey Jinny - All Journals and Blogs can be subscribed to via RSS. To my knowledge, Podcast subscriptions are a different technology so a typical RSS reader won't handle Podcasts as well. If anyone knows the wiser, please post here.

Keep in mind there's always the option of going to the website for the corresponding podcast. Animation Podcast, for instance, is a blog and a new post will show up in your rss reader whenever the owner of the site posts - And my assumption is that the posts would reflect whenever a new podcast is updated. To my knowledge, iTunes is still the simplest way to subscribe to podcasts.

The tricky thing with RSS is that it's not always apparent what the feed url is. For instance, a blogger rss feed is always "", changing blogname to whatever the blog's real url actually is. This is different for LiveJournal, TypePad, MovableType, and all the other kinds of blogs out there. I'm sure a quick google search will let you find out where each one of these stores their rss feeds. If you know any html, it should also show up in the source code:

The rss feed should always show up in between the 'head' tags, usually in the beginning of the source code.

For instance, mine reads something like:

link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Cooked Art (Atom 0.3)" href=""

If you're interested, I'll post my RSSReader feeds file if you want. That way all you have to do is import the one file and you'll be checking on all the blogs that I have linked. I find it's easier to delete the blogs from an rss reader than having to enter them in one-by-one.

I hope this helps!

P.S. If I find an RSS reader that will allow you to specifically add podcasts I'll make sure to make a post or at least a comment on your blog.

Jinny Liang 5:27 PM  

Thanks Alan for the wealth of information! =) Yes please, I'd like to have a copy of your RSSfeeds file. That way I can keep up with the latest animation/art related news as well. Thanks for all the help! =3

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