Sequel

Film Review: ‘Cars 3’

Cars 3

Lightning McQueen, now facing the perils of being past his prime, returns in a touching sequel that gets the series back on track.

Cars,” back in 2006, was the first Pixar movie that was far more beloved by audiences than critics. That meant something, since Pixar had long been a critical darling. The movie struck many reviewers as being less heady and artful, more insistently conventional, than the “Toy Story” films or “Finding Nemo.” And after it was followed up by the critically revered triple whammy of “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E,” and “Up,” “Cars” languished, in reputation, as a “lesser” Pixar movie. Yet it found a deep place in the hearts of kids (and in many adult kids too), and the critics, in my view, were always too down on its shiny and sentimental off-the-beaten-track-of-Americana appeal.

It was clear that the co-director of “Cars,” the founding Pixar guru John Lasseter, felt close to the film and even protective of it, so five years later, when he made “Cars 2,” you can sort of understand why he shot the works. The sequel, with its globe-trotting chases and Rube-Goldberg-on-STP narrative that wound up spinning, almost deliberately, out of control, was a true Pixar oddball: a piece of candy-colored virtuosity that sent cars flying off in every direction, to the point that you could scarcely keep track of them. It was one of the most visually astonishing films in the Pixar canon and, at the same time, one of the most impersonal. Lasseter had upped the ante on “Cars” by making a work of technological pop art that it was almost impossible to care about. The movie was a commercial success, yet it seemed to leave the legacy of Lightning McQueen lying in the dust of eye-tickling dazzle.

Cars 3,” though, pointedly swings the pendulum back. Lasseter, with “Cars 2,” may have made the movie he wanted to make, but as Pixar’s chief creative officer, he surely registered the mixed reaction to it, and “Cars 3” feels like it has been conceived and directed, with scrupulous love and affection (and a bit of baseline corporate calculation), “for the fans.” It’s the first “Cars” film that Lasseter has handed off to one of his trainee/protégés — Brian Fee, who has never directed a feature before. Fee honed his chops as a storyboard artist, working on “Ratatouille” and the two previous “Cars” films, and what he’s come up with is an exceedingly sweet and polished fable that unfolds with a kid-friendly, by-the-book emotional directness. The CGI animation has a detailed lush clarity highly reminiscent of “Ratatouille,” and the picture moves at such an amiable pace that even the drawling, dawdling pick-up-truck doofus Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) doesn’t slow it down.

Lightning McQueen, voiced by

Al Gore’s Sequel to An Inconvenient Truth Gets Recut for One Very Obvious Reason

Photo: Getty

Al Gore’s sequel to his Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth was scheduled to hit theaters on July 28th, but some major news dropped this week that you may have heard about. Now, an early cut will screen in cities for free next week and the decision for America to drop out of the Paris Accord will be added to the film,

Anyone speculating on potential box office for An Inconvenient Sequel before the November election would probably have guessed that it wouldn’t make the surprise $49.8 million that its predecessor managed. The original film represented a sea change moment in America when skeptics of climate change started coming around. Since then, only the hardest of hardliners deny that humans are causing climate change. Even Donald Trump, a man who has no shame, is now unwilling to say whether or not he believes in climate change. He has said on numerous occasions that he believes it’s a hoax, and he proved his feelings this week when he decided to ignore America’s commitment to the Paris Accord. It’s probably safe to say, there will be a lot of people…

Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ Recut To Include Trump Climate Accord Exit

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, the follow-up to the 2006 climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, starring former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, will be recut from the original version premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January before it hits theaters in July. The updated version will now include U.S. President Donald Trump’s Thursday exit from the Paris Climate Accord, expanding Trump’s antagonist screen presence in the film.

The filmmakers behind An Inconvenient Sequel, which includes the original documentary’s producer Davis Guggenheim as well as many other returning crew members, announced that Trump’s highly criticized withdrawal from the Paris Accord “will appear in the final film”, according to a spokesperson for Paramount Pictures. Just as for the original documentary, Paramount is releasing An Inconvenient Sequel in conjunction with Participant Media.

An Inconvenient Truth, which followed Gore as he worked tirelessly to convince U.S. legislators and the general public of the impending catastrophic events resulting from climate change, was critically acclaimed, winning 32 awards and was nominated for 11 more. Two of those wins were Academy Awards, making An Inconvenient Truth the only documentary to have achieved this.

Al Gore is once again the featured star of An Inconvenient Sequel, and the passion he shares with the documentary’s creators for environmental activism is unmistakable – the DVD carton packaging for the original film is made from 100 percent recycled material. It is unsurprising that Gore would have some strong feelings about Trump’s commitment to exit from the Paris Climate Accord.

Please join in the fight to protect our home. Make your voice heard and share the official poster for @aitruthfilm. #BeInconvenient pic.twitter.com/WjvH7veLMw

“Removing the United States from the Paris Agreement is a reckless and indefensible action,” Gore admonished in a statement released shortly after the announcement that the U.S. would be backing out of the climate deal.

“It undermines America’s standing in the world and threatens to damage humanity’s ability to solve the climate crisis in time. But make no mistake: if President Trump won’t lead, the American people will.”

“Civic leaders, mayors, governors, CEOs, investors and the majority of the business community will take up this challenge,” the statement went…

Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ Sequel to Include Trump’s Exit From Paris Accord

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL

Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” will get a last-minute edit to incorporate President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

“An Inconvenient Sequel” is slated for release July 28. Paramount said the filmmakers will revise the movie to include Trump’s controversial move, announced Thursday.

“The final film will address today’s news,” Paramount spokesperson Katie Martin Kelley told Variety.

Al Gore
Al Gore: Exit From Paris Deal Is ‘Reckless and Indefensible’

Gore stars in the film, which shows how the landmark 2015 Paris agreement came together. The documentary, produced by Participant Media, kicked off this year’s Sundance Film Festival, on the day before Trump was inaugurated. The film was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

The movie includes footage of then-candidate Donald Trump joking about global warming. Trump issued a sweeping executive order in March rescinding many of the climate change regulations introduced by former President Barack Obama, including reducing carbon emissions and lifting the moratorium of mining coal on federal lands.

“Inconvenient Sequel” is a follow-up to Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar-winning 2006 film “An Inconvenient…

How ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ Beat Marvel’s Sequel Curse

'Age of Ultron' and 'Iron Man 2' couldn't top their predecessors, but a mix of emotion, character growth and personal stakes helped James Gunn's film rise above.
Courtesy of Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2]

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had the nearly impossible task of living up to the expectations of the surprise 2014 hit — and in some rather surprising ways, it succeeded.

Marvel Studios has a mixed track record with second installments (there are few fans who would rank Iron Man 2 and Avengers: Age of Ultron above their immediate predecessors, but Captain America: Winter Soldier is largely considered to top the first Cap movie). And while the reviews were positive, even many praising the film argued James Gunn’s followup didn’t totally recapture the magic of the first installment. I humbly submit that those claims are wrong, and here’s why:

Vol. 2 is more emotional than its predecessor.

Movies like The Avengers feature makeshift families, but never has a Marvel movie tackled the theme of family so poignantly. Unlike another Vin Diesel-starring blockbuster, the way writer-director James Gunn employs family throughout Guardians 2 makes it more than a buzzword. The main plot shows Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finally meeting his father, the man-shaped planet known as Ego (Kurt Russell), while Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and her vengeful sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) attempt to smooth over their rough history, and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) bonds with the Ravager Yondu (Michael Rooker).

From the outset of the first Guardians, the mystery of Peter’s heritage has hovered over his arc; when he first meets Ego, he’s encouraged by Gamora to get to know the old man better. But Gunn’s script, aided by the performances from Pratt, Russell, and Rooker, gets at the larger question: does being Peter’s blood relative really make Ego his dad emotionally, or is that Yondu, his old overseer?

The third act makes it clear that the answer is the latter. Ego’s plan is to rebuild the universe and destroy the current one with Peter at his side, until he reveals he gave Peter’s mother the brain cancer that killed her. Then we learn that Yondu’s choice to abduct Peter as a youth was to save the boy from Ego, who deliberately impregnated life forms on various planets to gain a god-like progeny. He simply killed those who didn’t measure up. That revelation demonstrates that, of all relationships, the bond between Peter and Yondu…