Monday, July 18, 2011

Rango DVD review


Rango was so far under my radar, I didn't post ANYTHING about it on this blog.  I don't know why, but I really had no desire to see it.  It made a lot of money in the theaters and received a lot of praise in the process.  It received an impressive 88% positive reviews on RottenTomatoes.com. Well, I waited until the Blu-Ray came out and whoa... let's begin.

What I liked about the movie:
The Storytelling
Johnny Depp plays the loveable lizard in this animated western.  Depp plays Rango, a lizard who loves to act.  After a few twists of fate, and some clever acting, he ends up the Sheriff in a small town called Dirt.  The western aspect of the film ensues.  I don't want to talk plot, but the story is terrific.  Rango and his new found friends take off for a grand adventure.  What's beautiful are all the intricacies they built into the story.  For instance: It's the desert, so naturally, the currency for the city of Dirt is water.  Brilliant (sort of like The Book of Eli too, but don't tell anyone).  Those kinds of details are what made Pixar the juggernaut it is today.  There is so much adventure to be had, computer animation was the perfect medium for this story.  Well done. 

The Voice Actors
Depp is always awesome, but there are so many others in this film.  Isla Fisher plays Rango's pal Beans.  Also in the film: Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy and Timothy Olyphant just to name a few!  What's great about this movie is the way the voices were recorded.  The actors acted out their parts as if they were recording a live-action film.  This gave the actors the real feel for their characters' movements and speech.  

It's Smart!
I really wouldn't say this movie is for kids.  There are a lot of smart jokes that small children may not understand.  Granted the movie looks amazing, and that alone can keep a child occupied; but the jokes are so smart.  I know it sounds funny referring to Rango as a person, but the animators made him so interesting.  The dialogue is delivered beautifully by Depp.  And, the animators play off of a lot of western films' cliches. 

The Emotion
Maybe I'm getting a little soft in my old age, but I love the story of friendship.  The movie plays out very nicely and gives the characters an arc.  But what is great is the relationship between Rango and his friend Beans (Fisher).  She's the smart and savvy girl to save his butt in trouble.  I enjoyed the dynamic they created for them. 


What I didn't like about the movie:
The Stupid Birds
I'm not a fan of mariachi bands, so that's probably a large part of why I didn't like these characters.  They narrate the film through mariachi sing-song, and I didn't like it at all.  In fact, I was fast forwarding towards the end of the movie, right past them.  I know, I know I'm supposed to do that, but man they're annoying.

The Length
There are times when the movie is so slow.  It comes in at 107 minutes, that's a lot for an animated film.  ONLY A FEW TIMES, the movie had to fight to hold my attention, imagine a whiny kid at the theater, wow. 


The Verdict:
It's too good not to buy!
The story is engaging, the animation is beautiful, the actors kill it, what more do you want!  There's a moral to the story for the kids, and smart jokes for the adults.  Plus, there is so much to see on screen, a second and third viewing will be essential. 


The Blu-ray/DVD combo:
Tons of Goodies
There's an alternate ending, 10 deleted scenes, commentary, featurettes, a look at the real creatures in the movie, and and and.  There are so many goodies on this Blu-Ray.  I really enjoyed watching them all.  There are also some games for the kids to play with.  Overall, a great movie and an even better Blu-Ray offering.  Bravo.

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