Tuesday, Dec 01, 2020
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 24, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 25
Movie Reviews
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Motorized Cars 2 an agreeable sequel
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN Contributing Writer

Cars 2
Opening June 24


After another successful season where he won his fourth consecutive Piston Cup, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) has returned to the comfy confines of Radiator Springs to spend some quality time with girlfriend Sally (Bonnie Hunt) and best friend Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). But rest and relaxation are out of the question when Italian champion Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro) challenges the U.S. superstar to accompany him on an international three-race event sponsored by alternative energy proponent Sir Miles Axelrod (Eddie Izzard). The hometown crew - including an exuberant Mater - agrees to join Lightning as he sets out for Japan to prove hes the worlds fastest racer.

Everything is not what it seems. British spy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) has learned that Axelrods race is a front for something sinister, and intelligence expert Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) assists him in trying to uncover the truth. The pair inadvertently mistake Mater for a CIA agent, and the bubbly and likeable tow truck suddenly finds himself embroiled in the middle of a massive conspiracy that puts his friend Lightning in mortal danger.

I cant say I was looking forward to Cars 2. The 2006 original is probably my least-favorite Pixar release (which is a roundabout way of saying its still a three-star achievement and better than almost any other animated family flick released in a given year), and while it certainly had its pleasures, a sequel was the last thing I felt the world needed. It was well-done kiddie fare, nothing more, and while John Lasseter and company had nothing to feel ashamed of with Cars, they certainly didnt change the game like they had done before (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles) and after (Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up) the films release.

While still not up to Pixars usual unbelievably high standards, Im happy to report that Cars 2 is an enchanting and enjoyable automotive frolic thats extremely hard to dislike. Capturing the spirit of old Saturday-morning cartoons, most notably of the Hanna-Barbera variety, the movie is a witty adventure kids will adore and parents will get a pretty decent kick out of. Filled with eye-popping animation, some solidly inventive gags, and a plot thats more interesting than it has any right to be, this sequel is a minor step up from the original.

Ben Queens screenplay, working from a story by Lasseter, Brad Lewis, and Dan Fogelman (Tangled, Bolt), isnt as clever as it thinks it is, and it throws in about as many James Bond clich├ęs as possible with an obvious wink. The central plot does strain a bit under the almost two-hour running time, and some of the stuff during the midsection plods along in a nondescript manner that feels more Disney Channel or DreamWorks than it does Pixar. Theres lots of filler, and one could easily have imagined this as a 45-minute short instead of a feature-length motion picture.

At the same time, switching the focus and making Mater the main character and Lightning the sidekick was a stroke of genius, and as little as I like Larry the Cable Guy, as the voice of a tow truck, hes terribly difficult not to be fond of. His journey is what makes up the heart of this adventure, and watching him discover the hero hidden within him is one of the films beguilingly simple pleasures.

Additionally, it pretty much goes without saying that the vocal work, like always, is extraordinary. The Pixar gang has cast this one to perfection, and from the central characters to the bit players, nothing feels false or out of place. On top of that, there are some simply divine sight gags and bits of verbal jousting that had me giggling uncontrollably, while a quick stop in a small Italian village is as sublime as it is beautiful.

Cars 2 doesnt add up to much substance, but Im not exactly sure it needs to. Its a smoothly enjoyable ride pretty much from start to finish, and speed bumps are few and far between. As sequels go, theres little to dislike, and while Pixar has certainly done better, this pleasant summertime detour is as relaxing a cinematic drive as any I could have hoped for.


Ethereal Buck whispers universal truths
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN Contributing Writer

Buck
Opening June 24


Buck, the new documentary about noted cowboy and 'Horse Whisperer' Buck Brannaman, is a delight in every way. Transcendent, emotional, moving, informative, and ethereal, this surprisingly tough-minded look at a man and his life's work is a wonderful excursion that says just as much about the viewer as it does about the figure at the center of it all.

Director Cindy Meehl follows Brannaman as he crisscrosses the country on his annual nine-month tour of horse shows, county fairs, rodeos, and specialized training events. She photographs him with loving attention to detail, giving just as much weight to his moments caressing and relaxing even the most uneasy of horses as she does the ones where he lets their owners know exactly what he thinks of them. This is a man who doesn't pull any punches, refuses to compromise, and yet treats all who surround him with a calm serenity.

What makes this aura of tranquil civility all the more surprising is that Buck didn't exactly have the easiest of childhoods. Forced to perform in traveling road shows with his brother by an iron-willed father who would frequently abuse and belittle him, the fact that this mild-mannered cowpoke became so easy-going and relaxed is astonishing. His insights into horses are the same ones he uses when looking at people, finding correlations that have allowed him to become something of a cultural icon and folk hero.

Interview subjects include Robert Redford, who directed the film version of The Horse Whisperer, Buck's wife Mary, and his teenage daughter Reata, with various other figures from his past and present popping in to add more insight. But it is the man himself who cuts the most impassioned swath, and listening to him talk about Reata and what she means to him was enough to bring tears to my eyes.

Then there are the sequences of him handling the horses. These scenes are so transcendent that they seem staged. But what makes them most amazing is when things don't work out the way Buck would like them to, when he must take an owner aside and let her know that the way she is handling her horses is bad for the animal - and her, as well. These sequences, the ones showing how he is able to handle disappointment, hit home the hardest, and are intimate and moving reminders that even when something goes tragically wrong, something else magnificent and life-affirming can still rise out of the despair.

'Your horse is a mirror to your soul,' stated Brannaman, with his typically casual nonchalance. 'Sometimes you may not like what you see. Sometimes, you will.' It's this sort of straightforward thinking and belief that allows Buck to connect.

As the movie progressed, it burrowed deeper and deeper within my psyche until it touched my soul. Meehl's debut isn't so much a documentary as it is a heartfelt country song celebrating family, faith, and forgiveness. It is a mesmerizing spectacle showcasing a man as he truly is, laid bare, and even in his failures, managing to find cause for celebration.




Beginners movie pass giveaway at Purr on June 4
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Prepare to be McSmitten. Yes, that easy-to-love Ewan McGregor is at it again with another Gay-themed film, but this time he plays the hetero one. Beginners, which premiered to rave reviews at the Seattle International Film Festival and thus far has an 89% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is the story of an older man (Christopher Plummer) who delivers two shocking announcements to his son Oliver (McGregor): he's dying of cancer, and he's madly in love with a younger guy (Goran Visnjic from ER). Oliver reflects back on his father's last days as he focuses his attention on his own new flame Anna (Melanie Laurent, from Inglourious Basterds). The movie opens locally on June 10, but Seattle Gay News has free movie passes for an advance screening of Beginners two days before. To get a free pass, be at Purr Cocktail Lounge (1518 11th Avenue) on Saturday, June 4 - bar staff will start giving them away no sooner than 8 p.m. Enjoy the show!


Victor Cruz crowned as Seattle's 2011 Pride Idol
------------------------------
Matthew Morrison: As Gay as he gets: Glee actor talks Queer career, Elton duet, and sex in public
------------------------------
The soft-spoken cowboy with the magic touch: An interview with Horse Whisperer Buck Brannaman and director Cindy Meehl
------------------------------
Dyke About Town: Ann Patchett's talk very entertaining
------------------------------
SGN reviews RuPaul's Glamazon
------------------------------
DeLaRue Presents brings Freedom Fantasia to celebrate the 4th of July
------------------------------
Jesus Christ Superstar a powerhouse performance
------------------------------
Queer Teen Ensemble Theater celebrates biggest group yet
------------------------------

------------------------------
AIDS at 30 - Special Forum From KQED Public Radio in San Francisco
------------------------------
Where It's At: Britney Spears too toxic to pass up
------------------------------
Motorized Cars 2 an agreeable sequel
------------------------------
Ethereal Buck whispers universal truths
------------------------------

------------------------------
Beginners movie pass giveaway at Purr on June 4
------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------
Diane Schuur returns to Jazz Alley stage
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
EXCLUSIVE interview: Armistead Maupin for SGN
------------------------------
Seattle Symphony: Too much Schwarz, not enough music
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2011

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News