“Rango”: Yeehaw!

This move just needs to win Best Animated Picture. It’s not because of the storyline, but because the way it was constructed. I included below how Director Gore Verbinski used a type of motion capture to get his actors “playing.” Johnny Depp who plays the leads liked to call it “emotion capture”.

I saw this behind the scenes footage and the film a while ago, but I decide to rewatch it today to catch anything I missed before the Oscars.

“Rango” is about an identity crisis Chameleon who must change his life to fit his new life situated in the Wild  West. Chameleons would have an identity crisis. He has lived his whole life in an aquarium as a pet. His only friends are a headless Barbie, a dead bug and orange fake goldfish. When his tank suddenly falls out his owner’s truck and into the highway, he must learn the Spirit of the West.

As he learns about the Spirit of the West from a roadkill Armadillo, he comes to the town of Dirt that is dependent on water. Too bad, their water supply is looking pretty bleak. The chameleon creates the persona of Rango, a tough westerner who must find the cause of the missing water. Another notable character is Beans who has semi-states of unconsciousness. Hysterical!

Gore Verbinski assembled a great cast of actors to play dress up including his good friend Johnny Depp. Verbinski was the director on the first three Pirates of the Carribbean movies. I’m sure you know who Johnny Depp played. More of the cast includes Isla Fisher as Beans and Bill Nighy plays Rattlesnake Jake.

This movie might not be the most kiddy movie because the characters are quirky, but this film is definitely favorite for fans of Western films. Verbinski litters his film with them.

Check out the indiewire which did a great interview with Verbinski on all his Western homages! Just click on the picture for the article. The music is a great mix of Western tunes especially with Hans Zimmer returning to work with Verbinski.

The Playlist from the Indiewire

The Playlist from the Indiewire

While I am sure “Puss in Boots” is entertaining, I don’t think it is going to win best animated picture. “Rango” definitely plays a unique take on animation thanks ILM or Industrial Light and Magic. This is their first full length future film.

Oscar Nominations: 

1. Best Animated Picture





Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Here’s a story about my love of “Pirates of the Caribbean”…it almost didn’t happen. Say What???  That’s right, the Halloween I dressed up as Jack Sparrow or my quoting of the movies to my friends almost didn’t happen. When the first movie came out back in 2003, I had wanted to see the Legally Blonde Sequel,that’s right “Red White and Blonde”, but I didn’t. I was dragged to”Pirates” because my cousin and my sister wanted to see it because of Orlando Bloom. I guess I have to say I’m thankful for Orland Bloom.

Now fast forward 8 years later: I went to go see the newest Pirates of the Caribbean, “Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides” and let’s say I was still pleased with the results. I had prepared myself over the past four years that news of a fourth movie was coming out and that is would be different.

  • It wouldn’t be in the Caribbean because it’s too expensive, we’re going to Hawaii.
  • It wouldn’t be directed by Gore Verbiniski, the leader of the first three, but now by Rob Marshall.
  •   Here comes the worst part… there would be no Keira Knightley or  Orlando Bloom. Granted, they wanted to move on and that these movies take up a lot of time.

Now let’s talk about the fourth movie: I enjoyed it, but I had to adjust myself. First I had to adjust myself to the change in Johnny Depp’s hair color. Literally it was five minutes of me staring at his hair going, there’s something different… I’m a girl of continuity so yes I did just complain that they lightened Jack Sparrow’s hair with highlights. Yes, I know get over it. Sorry, little things bother me.

It was the same bits of mayhem and mischief from Cpt. Jack that I love and I loved the new characters Blackbeard and his supposed daughter Angelica.

Blackbeard played by Ian McShane is probably the most terrifying of all the villains in Pirates. Barbossa is now just a big softy and Davy Jones wasn’t every really too bad. Ian McShane is just bad especially with his sword that controls his ship and his beard that gives off smoke. Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, the screenwriters, finally got a villain right.

Angelica played by Penelope Cruz was something else. She’s not the governor’s daughter, she’s been around the block a couple of times.  My favorite part was how she was introduced. Won’t tell you. (This will a be spoiler free discussion for once.) I loved that it only took her one movie to be bad ass with a sword rather with Keira Knightley who had to persuade the screenwriters that hey I’m not a just a girl in a dress.

The mermaids were fantastically scary and that’s way they should be. Disney made every girl want to be a mermaid with that flowing red hair that belonged to Ariel and then we had a slight switch with “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” where J.K. Rowling made them all out to be fearsome and screechy, perfect. In Pirates, the mermaids reminded me of the singing sirens that Odysseus faced. Charming you with beauty and song and then pull you under to your death. Fantastic if I must say again.

Throughout this movie I was annoyed that Will and Elizabeth weren’t even mentioned, (yes groan, I’m bringing it up again) but come on, even Gibbs and Jack didn’t say anything. They spent three movies with them and that’s a lifetime in movie time and nothing? No help or visit from the flying Dutchman? Really? I know it’s Jack’s character to use people and forget about them like Angelica, but ugh… it was painful. I got over it…I think.

The one story that I really fell in love with was how Barbossa came back into Jack’s company, a couple critics have called them frenemies now. I’m not going to spoil what Barbossa’s story is about, but I really think this was my favorite part that I took away from it. Probably the number one reason, I would actually tell people to go see it.

My other favorite part was probably the set for the fountain of youth.. gorgeous. I’m pretty sure that was the one set they used.

My one last complaint: the music. Soundtracks are usually the top favorite bits of movies. I have the soundtracks from the first three movies. This one I won’t. Hans Zimmer used the same melodies pretty from the two movies which he scored too much again in this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Cpt. Jack tune, but really I was expecting more spanish influence with Penelope and the Spainards joining the hunt for the fountain of youth.

Yes the story was a little predictable, but if you enjoyed Cpt. Jack and could sit through the confusing mess of the last movie, you’ll probably enjoy this one a little bit better. Of course like all the other movies, stay after the credits with another last clip that shows maybe promise for another movie with Penelope if she so wishes.