Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cars 2: Should I Be Concerned?

I feel embarassed typing this and I'm probably going to regret saying this, but I think that Cars 2 is going to be a flop. Well, maybe I should say I fear that Cars 2 is going to be a flop.




I've been a big Pixar fan ever since I can remember and they have never disappointed with any of their past eleven movies. On the off chance you don't know who Pixar is (imagine that!), they are the masterminds behind Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3. Yeah, you may have heard of them. Pixar movies are something that cannot be outgrown and I cherish each movie every time I watch it.

Actually, I should probably have a disclaimer before I go into details: I have feared that the last four Pixar movies would be flops and, clearly, I was proven wrong.

Back to Cars 2. Why do I fear it's going to be a flop? I have a few reasons.

Reason no.1: Disney

In 2006 Walt Disney Studios bought Pixar Animation Studios. I'll confess right now that I'm ignorant when it comes to business matters- including movie business matters- so take this part with a grain of salt. I'm not exactly sure what the ramifications of aquisition are, but I know that Pixar is still Pixar, Disney hasn't absorbed it. That's a sigh of relief. The thing that worries me however is that Pixar has only made one sequel in their first ten movies (Toy Story 2) and suddenly Toy Story 3 comes out and Cars 2 and Monsters inc 2 are greenlit. Toy Story and Monsters inc have been two of Pixar's more successful movies while Cars has made the most in merchandizing (the Cars line is still going strong almost five years after the release of Cars). I smell something fishy. Is it possible that Disney has the power to force Pixar to produce sequels- even if unofficially? Keep in mind this could be entirely misguided, but the evidence makes me uneasy.

Reason no.2: Production Problems

There has been reported "production problems" surrounding Cars 2's production. Little is known about this, but John Lasseter- who had announced he wouldn't be directing anything in the forseeable future- had to come on as co-director with Brad Lewis to get Cars 2 off the ground. However, Pixar has certainly seen production problems before (most notably with Toy Story and Ratatouille) and they've made it through before.

Reason no. 3: The Trailers

The trailers for Cars 2 seem to speak desperation. See below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmd-qmO_wFI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CzqVMWGdZo&feature=related

Maybe it's just me. But, c'mon, secret agents? It's like an Airbud sequel. These trailers make Reason no. 1 seem plausible because it makes it look like this movie is being mad merely for finiancial gain. 

As far as the content of the trailers, they don't impress me but Pixar trailers usually aren't anything special.

Conclusion:
I'm not sure what to think. All three of my reasons could easily be explained away, but I am officially nervous. This isn't just Cars having a disappointing sequel if my fears are realized, this would be historic. Pixar's first flop. I hope I am wrong.

Cars 2 poster:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Music of 2011

Allright! 2011 is a big year for music... for me at least. Keep in mind, this is my blog and, as such, I will be focusing on music that I like. The music I like isn't typically very well-known (with a couple notable exceptions) so sorry radio fans. Here is a list of CDs that I'm looking forward to in the new-ish year.

Band: Hawk Nelson
Album Title: Crazy Love
Release: February 8th
Genres: Christian rock, Pop punk, Punk rock
Hype: Hawk Nelson's last two albums, while good, felt a little... safe. It's almost like they were trying to hard to be role models. Don't get me wrong, it's a fine thing for a band to be a role model, but don't cease to be an artist while you're at it. Both albums seemed like they were trying too hard not to offend anyone and felt just a little flat. But, lo!, it sounds like this album will be a return to the old days.
Expectation: Cautiously optimistic


Band: Eisley
Album Title: The Valley
Release: March 1st
Genre: Indie pop
Hype: I fell in love with Eisley's first album, Room Noises. It had this great sense of purity and ambience. However I wasn't as impressed with Combinations. Maybe it's only natural because the band is getting older, but the innocence was mostly gone and even the ambience was absent in a few places. There were a couple songs on Combinations (mainly Invasion and Many Funerals) that I really liked- they felt like what a mature Eisley should sound like. So we'll see, but the cover reminds me of Room Noises so...
Expectation: Cautiously optimistic

                                    
Band: Yellowcard
Album Title: When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes
Release: March 22nd
Genres: Alternative rock, Pop punk, Punk rock
Hype: Yellowcard left us with an absolute masterpiece, Paper Walls, before going into an "indefinite hiatus". Well, they're back! Paper Walls is one of my favourite albums of all time so it left a really good taste in my mouth- it had the same professionalism of Lights and Sounds but it wasn't as much of a downer. Expectations are high!
Expectation: Optimistic



Band: FM Static
Album Title: My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go!
Release: April 5th
Genres: Pop punk, Christian rock
Hype: You know FM Static's last album, Dear Diary, was surprisingly weak. It was a concept album about a teenagers life and, thus sounded more like it was from a pamphlet than from the heart. Maybe it's the awesome cover, maybe it's Trevor McNevan's track record, back I really think FM Static will have no problem getting right back on track for this one.
Expectation: Optimisitic (with just a sliver of cautiousness)

Band: Owl City
Album Title: All Things Bright and Beautiful
Release: Sometime in 2011
Genres: Synthpop, New wave, Emo, Contemporary Christian
Hype: With one glance of the title, I make a mental note to never carry this CD in plain sight while walking down a dark alley. Seriously though, I shamelessly adore Owl City (maybe I'll get into exactly why in a future blog). I've heard nothing but good stuff from Owl City and I don't expect that to change anytime soon.
Expectation: Optimistic

Band: Relient K
Album Title: Unknown
Release: Unknown
Genres: Christian rock, Alternative Rock, Pop punk, Punk rock
Hype: Okay, so there's nothing official from Relient K, but their last album, Forget and Not Slow Down, was released in 2009 so they're due. Forget and Not Slow Down was kind of a detour from their course, as Matty T was dealing with a breakup from his fiance, but it was a good detour. I'm expecting much from my favourite band and I'd be very surprised if they didn't release at least an EP this year.
Expectation: Optimistic

Should be a good a year,

Shadow

Crazy Love cover:

The Valley cover:

When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes cover:

My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go! cover: