It’s that time again for TGITDNMAR, which (obviously) stands for Thank God It’s The Day New Movies Are Released.
A prequel and a threequel – woo!
I don’t know about you, but I’m trying my damnedest to go into this film as cold as possible (ahem, despite watching the trailers several times each). I don’t know if there’s anything spoilery in it, but if you’re braver than I, check out Simon Columb’s glowing review of the film, posted earlier today. If you follow any number of non-North American film fans/bloggers on Twitter or Facebook, you already know that the people are not generally being blown away by Prometheus, so I was all the more glad to see the heart rating that Simon graced upon the flick (that’s really all I could read of it at this time).
Will it live up to my expectations? Who’s to say – but based on the stunning trailers, it seems a difficult road. If anything, the overall attitude since its release last week has helped to soften the blow, if there is indeed a blow to dealt to me. As I’ve seen others say, though, those who went in expecting another Alien would be wise to consider the filmography of Ridley Scott post-Gladiator – there ain’t a lot of wine and roses to be found.
I’m unsure of how I could possibly be too disappointed – at the end of the day, it will still have a fantastic cast and, judging by the trailers alone, some stunning visuals. So long as it’s better than Alien³ (which itself is not terrible), I don’t suppose my heart will be broken. But it’d be pretty sweet if I was closer to Simon’s camp…
Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 100%
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
I try to separate in my mind what makes efforts like this - along with the Ice Age films or Over the Hedge or even something as high quality as How to Train Your Dragon – so different from the films made by Pixar.
The short answer – the ‘duh’ answer – is that Pixar’s films are just better. But why is that? What it is about them, are there any quantifiable reasons that we can point to? I mean, it’s not like they look all that much better, at first glance, and at second glance (or perhaps thanks to years of glances and a cultural need to knock down that which is upon high) there are chinks in the armor to be found, like Cars and its sequel, and maybe even like Monsters, Inc., depending on whom you ask.
The ultimate answer I’ve come up with is, “I don’t know.” But I do have one theory that goes a bit beyond that other surface level answer of “the scripts are just better:” the voice casts. Somehow, Pixar’s casts of actors that are compiled for their films feel natural, tailored to the characters, rather than reverse-engineered as so many other animation efforts do. It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario that I can’t quite put my finger on, but all I know is that when I look at Madagascar, I see big stars (Ben Stiller, Chris Rock) cast to voice avatars of themselves, and when I look at The Incredibles or Finding Nemo, I see Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter and Craig T. Nelson cast for their vocal talents and their ability to bring depth and life to their 3-D renderings.
Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 4%