[Amazon Link] [4.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

The movie marathon weekend continues… we didn't see Cars at the theater for some reason, but put it up at the top of the Blockbuster rental queue. It's somewhat of a letdown from The Incredibles. The plot is a cliché, and one of the more annoying ones: famous personality comes to live among ordinary folks for a time, and Learns A Lesson.

The difference is that the characters are automobiles, not people. There are no people, apparently all "life" is mechanical; even the bugs are by VW. Nobody explains how that could have happened. I would imagine a Darwin in that world would have a pretty tough time explaining the Origin of Species.

So that's neat, and the Pixar people know how to make even annoying plots, and even annoying plots that you already know exactly how they'll turn out, fun to watch.

Last Modified 2022-10-16 5:36 PM EDT

Under Orders

[Amazon Link]

I wasn't really expecting Dick Francis to write another book. He's just turned 86 years old. His last book came out in 2000. His beloved wife, Mary, long suspected of being the actual writer of his books, died back in 2000 as well.

But here's a new book, and while it's not his best, it's still pretty good. The main character is Sid Halley, who's been the hero in three previous books. Things begin with three deaths at Cheltenham racecourse: an attendee, a racehorse, and a jockey. The first two are natural causes, but the third is due to three bullets in the chest. Sid gets involved with the latter. He's used to taking punishment, but in this one he's got a vulnerable girlfriend, and that turns out to be a source of anguish itself.

I'm not sure how many more books Mr. Francis has in him, but I'm game as long as he is.

Last Modified 2022-10-04 8:44 AM EDT

Ice Age: The Meltdown

[Amazon Link] [2.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

When I watch a sequel to a movie I enjoyed, I often imagine what the moviemakers said to themselves in deciding to go ahead; either:

I really think we could explore these characters in a different and enlightening way in another movie; we've got more to say about them.

or [Amazon Link]

Let's see if we can hustle the rubes out of some more money. Make sure there are scenes we can make into a quickie video game.

I'd really like a sequel to at least pretend that it's not all about cash-sucking. And, unfortunately, this one doesn't try that hard. Although there are some cute moments, and John Leguizamo is really good as the voice of Sid, the sloth. But it's mainly bland and prefabricated.

Last Modified 2022-10-16 5:36 PM EDT