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from The American Conservative:

All the King’s Men – Sean Penn as Huey Long
The Science of Sleep – Gael Garcia Bernal in Michel Gondry’s comedy
Quinceañera – Chicanos vs. gay gentrifiers
Cars – Pixar hit
A Prairie Home Companion – Robert Altman and Garrison Keillor

All of my film reviews back to 2001 are here.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Sorry Steve, but I think your review of Cars mostly misses the mark. The film is full of humor and, as usual, has many jokes in the background that only adults are going to pick up. And what you say about the photo-realism of the animation is just way off. If the implication is that they could just have filmed the real thing, then I have to remind you: cars don’t have faces or talk and monument valley is not filled with the jutting forms of cars!

    But you were right about the story being lifted from Doc Hollywood (and a lot of other films besides) and you were right that it is a major weakness that there are no children characters.

    But the real problem the film has is that it is not really for children at all. There is really no heart here — or rather there is not one that is going to resonate with a child. It is an adult’s story about one of the least attractive and least interesting sub-cultures that America has to offer: stock car racing. Children will appreciate the merchandising much more than they will ever “get” the film. With Finding Nemo children had something they could understand and love: but not here. The real genius behind Pixar’s great successes was the writer and director Andrew Stanton. He was able to put his own relationship with his children into the story to give it warmth. But Stanton’s name is nowhere to be seen in this effort: it is Lassetter’s baby, and his weaknesses as a story teller are starkly in evidence. He seems not to understand children and he has made a film that probably will spell the end of Pixar’s greatness. Once the PC nabobs at Disney get hold of Pixar it will lurch from one bad story idea to another — and the children will withhold their love, as they do from Cars.


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  2. I really like the phrase “shock troops of gentrification,” but I’m curious to know how white homosexual men are less vulnerable to crime than are hetero couples.

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  3. Because women are more vulnerable to violent crime than men are.

    To Eluard: Thanks, I’ll keep an eye out for Andrew Stanton.

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