Welcome to my blog, there will be nothing but movie reviews and film related content here. I try and review a wide variety of films, from old to new, and throw in film reviews from the current year as well. All comments are appreciated here, I will reply as soon as possible, and feel free to follow!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rango - 2011


Well, another review for a film that released this year. I feel very out of balance, and assure anyone reading I will be back to reviewing more classics and such as I have done in the past. But I could not hold in my love for this film, Rango. It was much better than any animated film I have seen in awhile, the best animated film of the year so far, and quite honestly my second favorite film of 2011. After I see a few more films coming from the current year, I will write a post of early awards, and the films that I personally believe would deserve to win in specific categories (Screenplay, Best Picture, Actor, etc.) if the Oscars were in the next few weeks. Rango will be up there with all of the films we have enjoyed this year, including Harry Potter, Super 8, Midnight in Paris, and Kung Fu Panda 2. I loved the film, can't you tell?

Nowadays animated films we see (Despicable Me, Megamind, Gnomeo and Juliet) are all terribly borrowed from other smarter, better animated films (Toy Story, Up, anything Pixar). But what I love so much about Rango is how as hard as I have tried, I absolutely cannot come up with an animated film similar to this one. It is incredibly creative and full of old western references, including the surprise appearance of a famous character that you will not see coming. That point, however, does make Rango more of an adult film rather than a child's film, because only someone who has seen these older westerns will actually get the movie.

Rango (Johnny Depp) is a lonely household pet that writes musicals and attempts to have a happy life. Though one day while riding in the car it hits a bump in the road, and Rango is tossed from the car and left to survive by himself. He meets an armadillo that points him in the direction of a small town where Rango can find water, but once he arrives there he discovers that the town of "Dirt" is struggling to keep hope due to the substantial amount of water they have recently lost. Rango begins to tell lies about how he is a hero of the west, and kills a hawk in front of the entire town. This heroic deed sets Rango straight into the job of being the town's new sheriff, and possibly their new hero as he promises to return water to their land.

Onthe note of Rango being advertised as a kid's movie like most animated films, that is probably the only flaw, if there is one. If it was up to me I would have gone to see this film on opening day, but unfortunately I had to wait for it to release on Netflix. Why? Because I could not find a single person to see it with me! And any of the kids I know that saw it did not like it for the film's "stupid" storyline, and of course the unusual amount of language. I am a John Logan fan, but if he was going to try and make a film for kids and adults he easily could have done better.

Though aside from the fact that Rango could have been more appealing to a wider range of people, it has no visible flaws coming from a regular viewing. To me, the western references along with the idea of making an animated western was absolutely hilarious. Not only did I love everything possible about the story, I found myself laughing out loud more than I ever had in any animated film I have ever seen. John Logan may not know how to make a kid's movie, but he sure knows how to write a script and story, as well as plenty of unforgettable characters to go with it. Logan's previous work with animation in Sinbad may have been a terrible piece of writing, but he sure proves his talent with Rango.

When I first saw that Gore Verbinski was going to direct this film, I was ecstatic. Sure, Verbinski isn't the most consistent director ever to make films, but in my opinion he is an underrated director and a good one, and his directorial style was the perfect fit for Rango. As I suspected his direction worked very well in the film, and was actually one of the more impressive parts of it. Obviously with his partner Depp leading the film, the whole feel of the movie was going to be very different, but Verbinski knew what kind of movie he was trying to make, and made it.

The acting, for the most part, was fantastic. The only thing I have to complain about is that it seems to me the cast was chosen more to grab money, rather than for their talents. This is becoming a pattern with animated films of recent, and I do not like it one bit. Yes, people like Brad Pitt are good actors, but no he does not make a good lead for every single animated movie! Thankfully the lead in Rango is Johnny Depp, who as always does a brilliant job with his role, never ceasing to completely become the character he is playing, this time it being a lizard. Isla Fisher was her annoying self, though her performance was not awful, I never can get into any of her roles. Alfred Molina was pointless, and I have and never will be a fan of Ned Beatty. But other than the few cast slip ups, the acting was all around very good.

Overall, Rango is an unbelieavably creative animation outing by Gore Verbinski and John Logan. Johnny Depp does a wonderful, and funny job as Rango, and the film is about as visually stunning as any animated film these days, Pixar or DreamWorks. For all of the kids out there in the world, go ahead and miss this film, but everyone else, animation lovers and all, Rango is a fun ride of a film that you do not want to miss.

Rating: 9/10

32 comments:

  1. I was pleasantly surprised how good this movie was when I watched it. Its not really a kids movie at all, is it? Its clever and funny with an original story concept for an animated film, there isn't anything I can complain about it.
    Great Review
    ~Andy

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  2. great review, I have high expectations for this!

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  3. I agree, this is a great film.

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  4. Great review, I loved this movie! 10/10!
    -Indiana Jones 79

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  5. great review! I really did enjoy this one and the animation was beautiful. Plus, it was presented in glorious 2-D, which is always great. Abigail Breslin was great as well as the little girl with the braids.

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  6. Great review Matt, I really need to see this one.

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  7. Very right Matt! there isn't anything like this. It has striking originality and I loved it as much as you did. Look forward to seeing more classic review. Nice review.

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  8. Brent - The Silver ScreenAugust 4, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Now this is a great animated feature film which has really raised the bar. Other animation studios will have to watch themselves because if they don't compete with it they'll be buried very quickly.
    The detail in this was just staggering and I had to see it on the big screen twice to take it all in.
    Perfection, absolute perfection for me, and 12/10!!

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  9. No, it certainly isn't, and that, other than Isla Fisher, would be the only thing to complain about. Thanks Andy!

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  10. And you should, thanks Quinn!

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  11. Thanks for reading Ryan, glad you agree.

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  12. Thanks Indy, good to see you loved it as well.

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  13. Yeah, but when dealing with computer animation I don't really care what it is, 3-D or 2-D, I just go see it in 2-D, so it makes no difference. I just wish the world saw a little more traditional animation (Winnie the Pooh). Anyways, thanks!

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  14. Thanks man, yeah, get to it soon!

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  15. Thanks Thomas, I plan on reviewing Sergio Leone's films next. Probably not all of them, but at least the Dollar trilogy!

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  16. Good o see you enjoyed this one as well, and respect you for rating it as high as you did. Thanks for reading Brent!

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  17. Excellent review. I absolutely love this film, and if Nickelodean made more like this I'd say they'd be Pixar's most serious competition. This is the best looking animated film I've ever seen, and one of the best overall. I love this movie.

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  18. The best looking one for me would have to be "The Place Promised in Our Early Days." Thanks for reading Daniel!

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  19. I gave this one a similar review and score. Well written Matt. I was surprised at the level of adult humor in with it being advertised as more of a kids movie. A little strange at times...sure...but fun to watch. Glad you liked it.

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  20. Hello Matt- Your blog is awesome and I love your writing! I am inviting you to join hefilm critics guild- it is sort of like LAMB and is somewhere for bloggers like you to post there work :) Please take a look as I'd love for you to join http://filmcriticsguild.blogspot.com/

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  21. It was..just ok for me.

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  22. Good review. £9 on I tunes. So I might wait until I can rent it. May put this on Love film, however. Also you spelt road wrong =P

    And can I ask why do not post on RT?

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  23. Glad you agree Scarlet, thanks for reading!

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  24. Sure Thomas, i'll check it out.

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  25. Ah sorry to hear that!

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  26. Yeah, just because it's harder for me to keep up the blog and RT, so I just comment over there.

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  27. Dude. Fantastic. I like how you're completely honest to your opinions and you're not trying to appease or intentionally offend anyone in your critiquing. Well done. I agree that Rango was an interesting movie. I took Zach to see it while it was still in theatres. I thought it was pretty good. Like you said, it was kind of an adult film seeing as it came from Nickelodeon, which was strange, I thought. But all in all not a terrible film. I saw a video online that kind of made fun of Rango (but not really making fun of it) but contrasted the similarities of it with another one of Depps films called "Fear and Loathing In Los Vegas." Though I've never seen Fear and Loathing in its entirety, I felt that Rango did have it's similarities to it. That, however, is a pretty strange film. Acid Trips. Bats. Anyway. Good post. I look forward to reading more.

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  28. Ah Thanks Caleb! Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas never really interested me though, so I wouldn't know the similarities. Thanks again!

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  29. NeverTooEarly MoviePredictionsAugust 8, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Great review Matt! I usually wait to see the animated films until they come out on DVD (limited resources means I have to pick my in-cinema options carefully), but I have to admit that your review is making me wish I'd caught this one already!

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  30. Yeah, seeing as it is my second favoite film of the year, I would have loved to have seen it in theaters! Thanks!

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  31. A lot of fun here withe the constant homages and parodies that really add so much more to this film than I expected. Good Review!

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  32. Thanks Dan, glad we agree.

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