March 4, 2011

Rango - 2011

Director: Gore Verbinski
Writer: John Logan
Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Ned Beatty, Bill Nighy, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina

"You want something to believe in? Believe in that sign. As long as it hangs there, we have hope." A pet chameleon with thespian aspirations is suddenly thrust into the role of a lifetime when, after falling out of his family's car during a drive through the desert, he comes upon a town entrenched in the old Western tradition, and his mettle is tested when as the new sheriff, he must track down a great deal of water suddenly missing from the town.

OSCAR NOMINATION FOR BEST ANIMATED 2012. (Pixar might take it again, but it's Cars 2 this year, so maybe not.) Yeah, it's that good. Nickelodeon is mis-marketing this as a children's film, but it's anything but; a vast majority of the dialogue (and jokes especially) will be lost on the young ones, so leave them at home. Even though he didn't have anything to do with it creatively, George Lucas (founder of Industrial Light & Magic, the company who made this their full-CGI debut) should be just as proud of it as he is of Indiana Jones or Star Wars. Johnny Depp plays a great fusion of the best parts of Jack Sparrow and Ed Wood, and young Breslin proves she can handle an accent with the best of them. There's two great cameos from legendary characters it'd be evil of me to spoil...and the whole thing only gets better when you know it was made with the actors being recorded while actually acting out the film, which I think helps the physicality greatly (as opposed to having the animators record themselves). The opening sequence is delightfully meta, and any true fan of film will love it as much as I did. Not many good movies out in wide release, so make this a priority. A

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