Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: ‘Cars 3’

Friday, June 30, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN pwillistein@tnonline.com in Focus

It’s called “Cars 3,” but there are many more than three cars in “Cars 3.” It’s named “Cars 3” because it’s the third in the Disney-Pixar feature animation series about a rambunctious group of cars with anthropomorphic traits. That’s not a stretch because many of us give our “chrome horses” affectionate or not so affectionate male or female names.

“Cars 3” again gives us vehicles that are quite the characters with cute, spiffy or clunky bodies, personalities and voices. The cars’ suspensions and tires animate like frisky puppies or barnyard animals. The grilles function as mouths.

The vehicles include Lightning McQueen (a Corvette-like sports car voiced memorably by Owen Wilson), Cruz Ramirez (a sporty car voiced charmingly by Cristela Alonzo), Smokey (voiced with a lot of oomph by Chris Cooper), Sterling (the “villain,” a futuristic LeMans type sports car voiced by Nathan Fillion), Mater (a beat-up, rusting tow truck voiced humorously by Larry the Cable Guy).

Other vehicle character voices include Armie Hammer (Jackson Storm), Ray Magliozzi and Tom Magliozzi (of NPR’s former “Car Talk” auto advice show, as Dusty and Rusty), Tony Shalhoub (Luigi), Bonnie Hunt (Sally), Lea DeLaria (Miss Fritter), Kerry Washington (Natalie Certain), Bob Costas (Bob Cutlass), Margo Martindale (Louse Nash), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (River Scott), John Ratzenberger (Mack), Katherine Helmond (Lizzie), Jenifer Lewis (Flo), and Cheech Marin (Ramone). There are race car drivers: Darrell Waltrip (Darrell Cartrip), Richard Petter (The King), Jeff Gordon (Jeff Gorvette), and Junior Johnson (Junior Moon). The voice of the late Paul Newman is resurrected (Doc Hudson).

“Cars 3” again takes us to the big race. That’s basically the plot. What’s best about “Cars 3” are the highways and byways it travels on the way to the big race, including scenes in Radiator Springs, Lightning McQueen’s hometown; a demolition derby, and an abandoned dirt track in Thomasville, Ga. All of the characters in “Cars” are vehicles, including fans in the racetrack stands and infield.

The movie is directed by Brian Fee, who worked in the art department on “Cars 2,” Wall-E” and other Disney-Pixar films.

The screenplay is written by Kiel Murray (“Cars,” 2006), Bob Peterson (“Up,” 2009; “Finding Nemo,” 2003), and Mike Rich (“Secretariat,” 2010; “The Nativity Story,” 2006; “Radio,” 2003; “The Rookie,” 2002; “Finding Forrester,” 2000), from a story by Brian Fee, Ben Queen (“Cars 2,” 2011), Eyal Podell (feature story writing debut) and Jonathon E. Stewart (feature story writing debut). Music is by Randy Newman.

The detail in “Cars 3” is amazing. The backgrounds, the settings, the landscapes, the racetracks are fascinating. The vehicles are animated superbly. Each has a distinctive image.

“Cars 3” was seen in 2D. Seeing the film in 3D isn’t necessary.

Two more things about “Cars 3.” It’s one of the few G-rated movies, and it can be seen by all ages. Plus, after you see the movie, you may not look at vehicles on the streets and highways in the same way. Each may take on a personality of its own. And, if you haven’t, you may give your own vehicle a nickname.

“Cars 3,”MPAA Rated G (General Audiences. All Ages Admitted.); Genre: Animation, Adventure Comedy; Run time: 1 hr., 49 min.; Distributed by Walt Disney PIctures.

“Cars 3” is preceded by the six-minute Pixar animation short, “Lou,” a wordless piece of animation beauty and fun.

Credit Readers Anonymous: Stay to the very end of the “Cars 3” credits for a scene with Mater.

Box Office,June 23: In the Summer of Sequelitis, “Transformers: The Last Knight,” opened at No. 1, $45.3 million, one week, with its domestic opening the lowest-ever for the franchise.

2. ”Cars 3” dropped one place, $25.1 million, $99.8 million, two weeks. 3. “Wonder Woman” dropped one place, $25.1 million, $318.3 million, four weeks, and is the highest-grossing release in the DC Extended Universe, and its director Patty Jenkins surpassed Phyllida Lloyd‘s “Mamma Mia!” (2008) as the highest-grossing movie directed by a woman. 4. “47 Meters Down” moved up one place, $7.4 million, $24.2 million, two weeks. 5. “All Eyez on Me” dropped two places, $5.8 million, $38.6 million, two weeks.

6. “The Mummy” dropped two places, $5.8 million, $68.5 million, three weeks. 7. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” dropped one place, $5.2 million, $160 million, five weeks. 8. “Rough Night” dropped one place, $4.7 million, $16.6 million, two weeks. 9. “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” dropped one place, $4.2 million, $65.7 million, four weeks.

10. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” dropped one place, $3 million, $380.2 million, eight weeks.

Unreel,June 30:

“Despicable Me 3,”PG: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon direct the voices of Jenny Slate, Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell, and Julie Andrews in the Animation Feature Comedy. Gru and his twin brother Dru team up for mayhem.

“The House,”R: Andrew Jay Cohen directs Will Ferrell, Jeremy Renner, Nick Kroll, Allison Tolman in the Comedy about a father who starts an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife squander their daughter’s college fund.

“Baby Driver,”R: Edgar Wright directs Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, and Jon Bernthal in the Crime Thriller about a young getaway driver on a heist doomed to fail.

“Amityville: The Awakening,”PG-13: Franck Khalfoun directs Bella Thorne, Cameron Monaghan, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jennifer Morrison in the Horror film about a single mother and her three children who move into a haunted house, unaware of its bloody past. They obviously didn’t see the previous 18 “Amityville” movies.

Three Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes