Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Planes" (2013)

I saw Planes twice this weekend.  Not because I loved it (though I did like it), but because my five-year-old son wanted to see it, so I went to see it myself on Saturday to make sure I approved of it and that would meet his stringent requirements of Nothing Scary and No One Gets In Trouble.  It did, so I took him to see it on Sunday.  It was his first time seeing a movie in the theater, and I think he may have slept about twelve minutes the night before, he was so excited.  He did amazingly well -- by the time the trailers were finished, he'd gotten into the groove of only whispering, and he didn't get impatient or want to leave before the movie was over.  When it ended, his two thoughts on seeing a movie in the theater were, "It sure was dark!" and "I need to go home and run around -- that was too much just sitting."  He did like the movie, and wants us to buy it on DVD so he can show it to his sisters.

Fortunately, I enjoyed the movie.  Once again, I'm annoyed by what critics are saying.  I don't think this is a Cars retread.  Yes, there are similarities.  Dusty is a rookie racer, like Lightning McQueen.  Skipper is a crusty mentor, like Doc Hudson.  Chug is a rustic, goofy friend like Mater.  However, you can find the same types of characters in many sports movies, like Rocky (1976) (Rocky's the rookie/underdog, Mick is the crusty mentor, Pauly is the goofy friend) or The Natural (1984) (Roy Hobbs, Red, and Pop fill those roles).  These are character types that resonate with audiences, that's all.

And the story line and themes are very different too.  Cars is all about realizing that friends and integrity are more important than winning.  Planes is all about being true to yourself, following your dreams, and being honest.  Very different, folks.

Did I love Planes the way I love Cars?  No.  Planes is lighter and doesn't hit as many of my sweet spots.  But I will greatly enjoy watching this once a week for months, as I undoubtedly will be as soon as it comes to DVD.

Is it family friendly?  Yes.

Oh, and I chose to use this particular poster because I got a huge kick out of Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards doing the voices for the fighter planes.  They even designed their little canopy thingies to look like their characters' helmets in Top Gun (1986).  I dig it!


  1. Yep, what you said. Very enjoyable, not great, but a very likeable and definitely a kid's-friendly movie. And not a Cars re-telling at all. Totally different story-line, with very different lessons. I really loved Skipper, and I loved that he was a Corsair, as they were one of my favorite planes. Cracked me up hearing Val Kilmer in there! :-D

    1. I loved Skipper too! Probably my favorite character -- though that may be partly because he's voiced by Stacy Keach :-) He's exactly the sort of grumpy old guy I get along with so well in real life, lol.

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