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*** Official CARS Review Thread

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#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin Eckhardt

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Posted May 29 2006 - 04:45 AM

My review....

First the premiere itself.

I expected to have fun at the premiere, but I didn't expect the all out event that Disney/Pixar gave us. It was a bit rainy so we got a little wet and the start was delayed by about an hour but it was a lot of fun. They started the evening off by giving us the "race" experience. The local Army band played, the national Army drill team performed, there was a flyover from 4 F-16's, Diamond Rio sang the national anthem, and there was a 12 lap exhibition race. After the race Larry the Cable Guy came out to emcee. They introduced the stars from the movie. Lassetter and the Disney CEO presented $500,000 checks to two local charities. Brad Paisley and Chuck Berry performed and then it was show time. The movie ended to a roar of applause and we were then treated to a fireworks display. I was a little worried about the rain at first, but in the end I have to think that Pixar was extremely pleased with the results. They projected the movie onto 4 130ft wide screens using 2k DLP projectors. There were at least 8 projectors since each screen had a "live" backup. Pretty cool to think that there were about $1 million worth of projectors there for the premiere.

Now for the movie.

I wouldn't say that this is best movie Pixar has produced to date, but IMO Pixar has another winner on their hands. I wouldn't hesitate to see "Cars" again in the theater. Like many others here my interest was piqued by the trailers but I wasn't completely drawn in. I'm a casual race fan and thought the idea of cars as people was cool, but wasn't sure how well it would go over. Pixar pulled it off. After some initial ambivilance about the talking cars it didn't take long to get drawn in and think of them as "people". I thought the story was good and the message - life isn't all about winning and reaching goals, but about the friends we make and experiences we have along the way - resonates well with me. There are plenty of laughs, the animation is beautiful, and it wouldn't be Pixar without attention to details. Be sure to look for the "bugs" flying around Posted Image I highly recommend it.

And be sure to watch the end credits. They're hilarious.
They parody previous Pixar movies. "Toy Car Story", "Monster Truck Inc."... very funny

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#2 of 19 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens



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Posted June 09 2006 - 10:35 AM

I saw it last night. I loved it. The animation was gorgeous, some great voice work, some very funny jokes, a good level of emotion, and a story that, while unoriginal, still worked. It's definitely lowest-tier Pixar, on par with A Bug's Life and Finding Nemo - but even lowest tier Pixar is far and away past anything anyone else is doing that it's almost absurd to try and criticise.

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted June 09 2006 - 01:43 PM

I'm fairly stunned to see the lukewarm reviews for this one. I went into it without great expectations beyond the usual trust for Pixar. The trailers left me uninspired, but I maintained my faith that it'd be good. I was wrong: it was GREAT! Maybe it won't hold up on second screening, but I think it will. They pack in so much detail that I'm sure I'll find many delights the next time as well. Highly entertaining, fast-paced despite its excessive (for an animated flick) running time, and a total delight from start to finish. I even really like Larry TCB in his Jim Varney impersonation - he made Mater likable and funny. Really, really enjoyable movie. My Pixar rankings (favorite to least): -A Bug's Life -TS 2 -(Cars - I reserve the right to change my mind in hindsight, though) -Incredibles -Toy Story (I've lost some affection for it over the years, partially due to overexposure) -Finding Nemo -Monsters Inc.
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#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Adam_S



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Posted June 09 2006 - 03:10 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Now you go through saint looey
Joplin, missouri,
And oklahoma city is mighty pretty.
Wont you get hip to this timely tip:
When you make that california trip
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

Boy, would I love to be at a packed screening in Joplin (hometown of sorts) tonight when that lyric comes up on the credits.

Cars is a charming old-fashioned wonderful film. It's not at the level of the very tip top best of pixar but it's still a great film. I love the gentle and leisurely way they allow the story and characters to develop. It's definitely very miyazaki influenced in some respects. And it is also very much a John Ford type of film, not in the landscapes but in the way the story unfolds and how the characters disarm you because they're so iconic but are quickly revealed to be fully developed characters.

That said the biggest laughs of the whole theatre came from the 'end credits' drive in movie theatre, so while they are on the ball, they are not at their absolute best.

There's a lot to complement here, and I don't feel like offering negative comments because the film belies that. It's a wonderful film and a very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon and 8 bucks.

Wonderful all the way around, I want to drive back across the country on Route 66 now. Posted Image


#5 of 19 OFFLINE   nickGreenwood


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Posted June 09 2006 - 04:55 PM

just got back from seeing it, i'm more than happy, i loved the music, i liked everything. i'm not even a huge Larry the Cable Guy fan, but I thought he was good in this. I love Bonnie Hunt, she's 22 years older than me, and she's still one of the best actresses around, funny, intelligent and she does shine quite a bit as Sally. Great voice work. I love John Ratzenburger especially in the end credits. Fav. Pixar Films: 1. Finding Nemo 2. Monsters Inc. 3. Cars (it may drop but we'll see) 4. TS 2 5. TS 1 6. A Bug's Life 7. Incredibles (i just can't rewatch this film the way I can the others) I'm looking forward to Ratatouille, and I loved the short in front of the movie, I'm glad that Michael Giacchino is getting a lot work scoring now, he's good at it. Looks like he's doing Ratatouille as well, according to IMDB.
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#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Phil Florian

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Posted June 10 2006 - 04:14 AM

Saw this last night at a Drive-In movie theater (we have a new baby and a 7 year old so it was the only way to get the whole family out...I refuse to even consider taking a baby to a regular movie theater). While not the best way to see a movie it was still a hoot. Also it is a fitting way to watch a movie about cars that has, as pointed out, a whole scene at the end set in a Drive-In. Cool stuff. Put me up there with what seems to be the majority of folks here who a) didn't think the trailers did much but b) had faith in Pixar. I found it to be a fun movie with a good message, some nice performances and the usual Pixar visual wizardry that puts all other current-release animated movies to shame. The background designs (the moutains look like bits and pieces of cars jutting up through the earth) and the dedication to a car-centered world (even the bugs are cars) were beautiful. The story was a classic "fish out of water" tale that I shouldn't have to remind everyone didn't start with "Doc Hollywood." Recent animated movies like "Madagascar" comes to mind as well as Pixar's own "Toy Story." Or "Finding Nemo" (a literal fish-out-of-water story at times). The voice performances were top notch and the fact that they didn't rely on celebrity voices only (as most animated movies seem to do) was nice. Sure, it was known actors but they weren't playing themselves but playing characters. In particular Paul Newman was awesome and I have to say Larry the Cable Guy was good, too. Michael Keaton sounded more animated than he has in the last dozen movies or so. Nice stuff. For kids, it is very inoffensive and not at all scary. My daughter loved it and though not her favorite nothing was as frightening (even in a fun way) as bits in some of the other movies. I agree with above comments that it is a much more leisurely paced movie than some of the others. I think that has to do with the lack of a real "villain" or any real threats. Nemo had sharks, fisherman, latern fish, etc. Toy Story had the neighbor kid and Bug's Life had a plague of grasshoppers. This really was more of an accidental tourist sort of deal with the only thing at stake being the hero and his dreams of grandeur. I must say, it was a refreshing change of pace. I think just about any kid could watch it and enjoy it. Actually, the more offensive stuff was in the trailer for "Flicka." It wasn't that bad but two uses of the word "damn" was a bit heavy for me and my child who really didn't need to hear that once, let alone twice. Hmm... It was nice to see a movie not rely completely on in-jokes or references to other movies (though, as in all Pixar movies, there are references to some of their other flicks). When most animated movies these days HAVE to have some references to current (or not so current) pop culture and product placement it was nice to see that mostly missing in this. The ones I did like were the aforementioned "Lightyear" tires, the inclusion of some real race-car driver voices and most of all to this NPR-loving fan was the inclusion of the "Car Talk" guys from NPR. That was a great treat. I think all the negative criticism comes it not being the high water mark of "The Incredibles." That movie was definitely not for the young-youngsters but it was an outstanding family movie that worked on so many levels that anything following that would be sort of a let-down. And "Cars" really isn't, it is just another fine movie in the Pixar catalogue. As usual the pre-show short "One Man Band" was yet another fine short, too. This one has a pair of one-man bands competing for the attention of a little girl and the coin she had intended to throw into a fountain. Simple, wonderful to look at a nice way to get into the night. Speaking of that, who does these movies? Is it done by the "next team," in this case the Ratatouille team? During Incredibles we had a movie set in a desert which I could see being done by the Cars team while One Man Band looked to be set in a little street scene in Paris, not unlike the next Pixar movie. Just curious. Neat way to overlap the teams. Anyone believing the negative reviews or worse selling them can take all the one-off Pixar knock-offs that dot the movie screens this summer. "Cars" proves again that Pixar is king of the road. As always, stay through the credits as some fine bit happen as in all of them. Not outtakes as in previous years (I would assume those would be on the DVD) but something equally funny.

#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 10 2006 - 05:40 AM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Cars". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.


#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Chris


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Posted June 10 2006 - 07:38 AM

I will admit, I had rooted for this film, but was prepared to be dissappointed. I took my children this morning to a packed 10:30am show. I was very surprised by this film. Yes, it's a fish out of water story, but there was a part of this story that got to me and those who went with me in such a way it was hard to describe.

For some of us, we grew up in the shadow of Route 66. And while it had it's heyday, it's now an afterthought. I've read the posts in other forums and hear about "oh condoning gas guzzling" I will say this: the drive down 66, at a normal 55MPH is a lot better even if longer then people zipping along at 80 in their SUVs sucking down 10MPG Posted Image That having been said, that element of the story so got me that I and a few others I knew literally lost it when Steve and Porsche went out for a drive so she could show him all the great things that were there. As they looked over the interstate, and back into the past when the small town was jumping, it brought back so many thoughts of areas of rural Kansas that were once big points of traffic and now virtual ghost towns. At that point, I stopped thinking about their city as just "any city" they were basically telling a story of the towns I loved. And as they looked over the interstate, it really got me. This was a story as much about community as anything else; about how in all of the hustle & bustle, we forget these kind of things. I turned to my wife who was crying at that point, and I knew we were thinking about the same thing: this reminded both of us of the Riverton (KS); Bottlecap (MO); Galena, etc. Small towns were we still have friends.. that all still keep posters and signs up to commemorate when they were the stopping point for the nation.

At that point, the film had me. And it managed to play not just those angles, but almost every angle so well that the message just resonated with me. Yes, I've heard people reference "Doc Hollywood" and I've seen "Doc Hollywood" but "Doc Hollywood" wasn't half as good a film and did nothing to show a rural community as somwhere you would really want to be. "Doc Hollywood" did show it as a backwards cesspool with a few nice things. "Cars" took small communities and showed them as places that are proud of who they are, and they played it to the hilt.

I get the larger message about a fish out of water, and finding your way, but for a small-town kid, this film said so many things that are so difficult to convey to people about the joys of living in a rural community. (I grew up in a population 600 town). When they said "just so people could save ten minutes" It about killed me. The dialogue in those scenes was so dead on, so well written that it just made me feel like every small-town parade and festival where people remember "the good old days".

The movie itself had all the right asides, the right mix of jokes for kids, adult content for the parents. From having Harv as the agent (basically playing the same role as he does in Entourage) to the boys from Car Talk (which I loved). This was a film with just the right mix of everything. The parents near me laughed. And children cheered loudly at all the right moments.

This may be one of the better movie experiences I've had in a long time. And yes, I will admit, the very end was great I love that kind of message in a childrens film.

I sometimes wonder how this kind of film will be received somewhere like a Pittsburg, KS, or those areas now. I think for a lot of people, this movie contains a message that speaks so directly to them that if you didn't live right near there you will "get" the point, but if you lived there, went to school there, know the people, then it is so much of a gut check that it is hard to walk away from.

When Doc first just ordered the racer away "we don't need this fixed" it sounded to me like every small-town city council meeting I had been to where a town had decided to "give up" trying to keep up.

This may be my favorite of all of the Pixar films, and I would encourage people to see it multiple times - watch it once as a kid, appreciate the humor, the jabs and the incredible animation. But keep an eye out for what is happening as a town struggles to keep it's young home and it mourns those who have left for the big city. Been there, done that, and damn, onscreen I have never seen a film in any format really play it like it is. If I were to have seen this without the kids, I would have been absolutely weeping as they tell of the "big" vehicles who simply outgrew Radiator Springs and left 'oh, fifteen years ago' and their fear that eventually they will be forced to move to find work and life.

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#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Gary W. Graley

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Posted June 10 2006 - 01:09 PM

Great movie and the animation was very fine, you almost think it was
real racing around the track at times!

Good heartfelt story, well done voices, a buy for me...Posted Image
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#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted June 10 2006 - 01:35 PM

Good opening setup, loved the feel of speed on the raceways, but I thought the middle act sagged a bit from a little too much running time, and the final act was pretty good, albeit predictable, good-hearted finish. Trim about 15 minutes from this film, and it'd run a little leaner and meaner, but at almost 2 hours, I got a little restless during the Route 66 sidetrip. Ah yes, the credits had some funny bit of humor, poking fun at Pixar's vocal talent throughout the years. I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.
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#11 of 19 OFFLINE   BrettB



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Posted June 10 2006 - 03:04 PM

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image/ Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

This may not be the best Pixar film but it might be the funnest. I almost never feel this way about a film but if I could have I would have bought a ticket to the next showing and watched it again.

I'm not into NASCAR at all and was a little worried about that part of it. My worries were unfounded and it was the racing that hooked me about 1 minute into the film. Visually I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I was literally mesmerized at points causing me to totally forget about stuff like listening to dialouge.

Storywise it is simple but it works all day long. Listening to James Taylor while visiting Radiator Springs during it's glory days was truly emotional. Sally talking Lightening into a drive and showing him the way things used to be was beautifully done.

Tons of laughs for everyone.

We probably saw previews for at least 4 upcoming animated films from other studios and the difference in visuals is just mind-blowing. It's as if Pixar is using a different set of tools. Pixar is simply on an entirely different level.

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Jose Martinez

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Posted June 10 2006 - 04:05 PM

I liked it a lot but thought it slowed a little in the middle. Still a fun movie though. The visuals were spectacular and blows everything Pixar has done in the past. Really loved the end credits. Did the original voice actors in the end credits come back and redid their lines or did they just take them from their previous movies. I thought some lines were changed. The Incredibles is still my favorite with Cars about 2 car lengths behind. As for the short that played in front of Cars. Noticed it was made in 2005. Did it win any awards? It was pretty funny too.
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#13 of 19 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted June 11 2006 - 05:26 AM

My family and I loved it. My 3yr old son who has been dying to see it. Sat quietly for the entire movie...thats more than could be said to the lady behind us. Who had a very young son and daughter. From the minute they sat down both the kids were yelling when talking or just screaming. My wife and another mother with us. Politely turned around and asked her to quiet them down. They were very nice about it. And the lady got very nasty and starting making comments. Now, as a parents we can understand an occasional yell or talking. But, it was constant. And then about half way through. The young girl kept saying she had to go potty..but, the son didn't want to get up. She was by herself. So she was yelling at this poor girl to shush...when she had to go. Posted Image
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#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Edwin-S



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Posted June 11 2006 - 08:31 PM

The Pixar animation crew are at the top of their game. This period in their history is comparable to Disney's golden age. So far every film they have done has pushed the limits of computer animation and "CARS" is no different. The visuals in the film are A+. The feeling of speed during the races is well conveyed with creative use of camera motion and angles. The backgrounds in this film have to be some of the most extensive yet used in a Pixar film. The wide open spaces of the open road are recreated in masterful detail. All in all a real treat for the eyes. I would also give the characterization in this film an A+. It is no mean feat to create likable, sympathetic "human" characters out of inanimate objects, but Pixar succeeds in doing just that. You actually care about the cars and can identify with them. For a short time you forget that cars are lifeless lumps of metal crafted by men. For that short time you can suspend your disbelief and see the cars as humans with hopes, dreams, ambitions, and emotions. The use of squash and stretch to create animation and emotiveness, while maintaining recognizable cars, is top notch and further demonstrates that the animation team that is at the top of their game. The plot, about a brash, self-centred "hero" getting a lesson about the important things in life, is shopworn. But so what? There are no new ideas:just old ones that are put together in new ways. These guys succeeded in putting together a movie that is part homage to an institution of American car culture and part lamentation for the loss of that culture's history, due to the ever increasing speed and impatience of modern life. The sentimentality is worn on the sleeve in this film and there is nothing wrong with that.
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#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Adam_S



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Posted June 12 2006 - 12:01 AM

Chris, your eloquent thoughts just made me love the movie ten times more than I did before. You put voice to the intangible reason why I didn't want to criticize a thing about the movie, despite not being as 'movie' as the other Pixar films were. If there was one SURE thought I had about the movie while walking out it's that this is a movie my grandpa would have dearly dearly loved. I'm going home next weekend to Joplin and then on to Branson, I think I'm going to gather up all my cousins, uncles aunts, second cousins, great aunts and uncles, as well as immediate family and my grandma that will also be done on Tablerock and get us all out to see the film.

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted July 23 2006 - 02:07 PM

I just saw the movie and definitely agree with those who said that they went in with low expectations due to the trailer. The trailer didn't even hint at the wonderful story line and heartfelt emotion that this film had.

And yes, Pixar has definitely gone miles above anyone else in the 3D department. The visuals (especially the lighting) were absolutely incredible!!!!!

ps. Did anyone notice the brief appearance of the 'birds' from Pixar's previous short film "For the Birds"? Posted Image

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted November 19 2006 - 07:34 PM

Loved this film! I also initially had a problem wrapping my head around the idea that it's a world populated with living cars but I had to remember two very important things, 1 was that I was dealing with Pixar and have the utmost confidence in them to deliever a great movie and 2 I had to remember that a world of living cars is no harder to accept than a world of living toys, talking fish, talking bugs or a family of superheroes.

As gorgeous as this film was to look at Finding Nemo remains my favorite in terms of visuals. As a NASCAR fan I appreciated all the in-jokes thrown in, Darryl Waltrip was 'Darryl Cartrip' in the film (his "Boogety Boogety Boogety...let's go racin' boys!!" was also a real term that he uses to begin races on FOX) and "the King" was of course none other than Richard Petty himself, Dale Earnhardt Jr. also appeared as 'Jr.'

The opening of the film really captured the excitement of a race when it comes down to the final laps and the top guys are up front battling for position, it also went nicely with that Sheryl Crow song. Posted Image

While not my #1 Pixar film, The Incredibles holds that spot with Monsters Inc. in second spot, I would put this at the #3 spot. It's a great ride with fun characters and a lot of heart.

4 stars out of 4 for Cars.
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#18 of 19 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted April 10 2007 - 10:24 AM

I finally feel comfortable enough about this to post a review. My only theatrical viewing was tough, because I had a 2.5 year old only absently paying attention. I liked the film, I didn't love it. It was much better than the middling reviews, and worthy of the Pixar brand.

In the last few days, my son has discovered this film, so I've probably watched it about 5 times (it was Incredibles a few months ago) in the last two days. So I've finally been able to give it my undivided attention enough times to form a strong opinion of it.

And it's a typical Pixar film. Absolutely warm and rewatchable. The sentiments and laughs are earned, the humor is timeless, and there are treats throughout the film. Like other Pixar films, the animation looks about three years ahead of the closest competition...maybe more. It has real characters and real heart.

The only major negative is that it is a variation on a theme that Hollywood loves. But Pixar handles it better than anyone else. It's like eating a twist on a favorite dish by a master chef...it might not be completely new...but it's still outstanding.

As a parent, I thank every deity that will listen for Pixar. They make family films in the absolute truest sense of the word.

No, it's not Pixar's best. But it's worthy to sit next to their entire catalog.

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#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted April 23 2007 - 05:44 AM

Plus, putting on Cars is just about the only way I can get my 1-year-old to put on his glasses and keep them on. "Mater wants to see you wear your glasses!" Posted Image
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