Here it is, the best of the best and the worst of the worst.
The film starts with a montage, telling the story of Carl and Ellie: their courtship, marriage, and life together. It is a story of undying love, despite countless unrealized dreams, told solely through images and music. It is both beautiful and heart-wrenching, yet never sappy. Of course this would not be a true Pixar movie without it’s fair share of laughs, thrills, and quirky characters, and all three are in abundance. Of special note is the dog named Dug who is equipped with a collar that lets him speak. The animators and writers never fall into the trap of turning Dug into a human on four legs as many talking animals often end up. Instead, he fully retains his doggie-ness, saying things that I fully believe a dog would say if it could speak. This is a wonderful tale about friendship and adventure found in unexpected places, full of emotional highs and lows. And even when something happened exactly as I predicted, it still provoked an emotional response.
10,000 BC (2008)
After watching the trailer and seeing the billboards, I knew this would be a bad movie, and the movie did not disappoint. The characters are poorly defined with no one even approaching likeability. The geography is highly improbable, as our band of “heroes” travels from a tundra-like region, crossing snow-capped mountains, through a rain forest at the base of the mountains, ending up in the desert, traveling all of that distance in about a week. Each region is filled with giant CG creatures, none of which are terribly convincing. The climax of the film is anything but thrilling, and surprisingly small considering the rest of the movie’s epic aspirations. But the real kicker of the movie is that it is The Ten Commandments (1956) remade by Nietzsche. Instead of God rescuing a nation of slaves from tyranny, the slaves themselves rise up against and kill “God” (really an alien) and then go off to live their lives as they see fit. Ultimately, 10,000 BC passes over the “so bad it’s fun” designation into “so bad it’s painful.”
Coming up next: I'm not sure. I'm working on a couple projects that I hope to unveil here soon. I guess I can at least get a start on my 2010 Movie Odyssey.