1. Cars 2 (Disney, 3,900 Theaters, 113 Minutes, Rated G): FBOL Editor-in-Chief Rich Drees started a conversation on Facebook about this film concerning his sense of malaise about it. I have to say that I share the same feeling for the same reason.
Any regular readers of my writing on this site will know how much enthusiastic a fan of Pixar I am. I trust them that any movie they come out with will entertain the heck out of me, and, as of yet, I have not been wrong.
However, if I had to pick the worst of all the Pixar films, it would be the first Cars film. It wasn’t terribly original (it was basically Doc Hollywood with Michael J. Fox replaced by an anthropomorphic cartoon race car voiced by Owen Wilson) and it didn’t have as much charm as the rest of the Pixar offerings.
So, it being the second Pixar flick to get a sequel, and one where they throw out the original concept in lieu of a cloak and dagger international adventure, doesn’t really excite me.
The way I see it, it could go several ways. Pixar is long overdue for a misstep, and this could be it. But this summer is looking for it’s first unabashed blockbuster, and this could be it. And, of course, the two might not be mutually exclusive.
The reason I think that isn’t because I have some sick fascination with Mr. Thornton, but because Cameron Diaz’s role in this film seems like a hybrid of the roles Thornton played in Bad Santa and School for Scoundels.
Diaz plays a, well, bad teacher whose sugar daddy boyfriend dumps her. She is looking for some way to supplement her income when two opportunities present themselves to her: an academic contest which gives a cash reward to the best teacher in a district–a contest she is ill-suited to win, and a new substitute teacher who comes from a moneyed family (Justin Timberlake). Her attempts to snatch that potential sugar daddy is challenged by another hopeful paramour, the popular, yet completely broke, gym teacher (Jason Segel).
This could be savvy counter-programming–a hard R-rated bawdy comedy to counter act the kid-friendly animated fare–or it could fall flat. Odds are on the latter.