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Rango

A movie directed by Gore Verbinski.

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Thematic, Pretty And Not For Everyone

  • Aug 31, 2011
Rating:
+4

When you think of the heavy hitters in the animated feature film realm, it’s certainly understandable if the first things that come to mind are Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks.  However Nickelodeon has been hovering around the scene for a while now, hoping to earn a nice piece of the CG animated movie pie.

Rango is by far their most serious attempt and while the film’s deserved PG-13 rating may succeed at distancing it from its key demographic (a concept all studios would be wise to emulate from industry-leader Pixar).

The story follows the comical, transformative journey of Rango (Depp), a sheltered chameleon living as an ordinary family pet, while facing a major identity crisis.  After all, how high can you aim when your whole purpose in life is to blend in?  When Rango accidentally winds up in the gritty, gun-slinging town of Dirt, a lawless outpost populated by the desert’s wiliest whimsical creatures, the less-than-courageous lizard suddenly finds that he’s been preparing for this role his whole life.  Welcomed as the last hope the whole town has been awaiting, the newly appointed Sheriff Rango is forced to play his new role as if it life depended on it.  In fact, it does!  In a blaze of action-packed situations and encounters with outrageous characters, Rango starts to become the hero he’s always pretended to be.

If you didn’t already know, this piece represents Gore Verbinski’s first film since concluding his Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy in 2007 and represented an ideal opportunity for him to continue working with the oddly charismatic Johnny Depp.

Like the Pirates trilogy, Verbinski proves strangely proficient at developing properties that seem almost kid-friendly but continually flirt with adult-only ideals and references.  In fact those viewers expecting a wild-west themed variation of a typical Disney/ Pixar feature will be in for a bit of rude awakening.  Rather than craft an action-driven kids movie peppered with adult humor and pop culture references, Rango is boldly unrepentant for the various tones and complexities it explores.

Industrial Light and Magic does a spectacular job with the look of the film, with drab landscapes and gritty character textures and while the John Logan script is funny at times, appreciation of this film depends heavily on the viewer’s feeling towards old spaghetti westerns.

The pacing is deliberately drawn out and littered with crusty townsfolk, children will likely find the prose a bit too dull to hold their interest even before the objectionable language and references have a chance to upset them.  In fact, a strong argument could be made that this is very nearly like watching a genuine old western film with personified animals transplanted over black and white live action sequences.  Further contributing to the sensation is an extended version release on the DVD & Blu-Ray that comes in at just under two-hours.

I personally enjoyed the idea of a desert down finding so much value in water that it has literally become currency and there’s no denying that, while a bit hideous, there is some serious brilliance in the character design models.

Of course despite the film’s rambling philosophies and lackluster supporting characters, Rango has its moments thanks in no small part to solid vocal deliveries from Depp, Ned Beatty, and Wedding Crashers’ Isla Fisher.

There are some slapstick moments to keep the kiddies in their seats even if the western puns and clichés will be lost upon them.  Adults may get a kick out of a few of the exchanges although truthfully, they can be a bit over the top, eliciting some “ewwws” even out of teens at times.

In conclusion some of the finest computer generated visuals to date (there is a segment depicting a human that is nearly photo-realistic), Rango lacks the type of cleverness that makes many of Pixar and DreamWorks’ pieces so timeless.  Adults who appreciate modern animation (especially those with a fondness for western classics) will find much to enjoy here but contrary to the Nickelodeon backing, kids aren’t the target audience for this one.

Thematic, Pretty And Not For Everyone Thematic, Pretty And Not For Everyone Thematic, Pretty And Not For Everyone Thematic, Pretty And Not For Everyone Thematic, Pretty And Not For Everyone

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September 07, 2011
Loved this one
 
September 01, 2011
I've been eagerly awaiting your review of this one, Jay! I liked this one since it did feel a little more aimed to the mature viewer; I liked the subtlety about it. I saw this a second time and I have to say I liked it a little more. There were some times that it dragged a bit, but hey, I forgave it since it had enough redeeming qualities around it. Nice review!
September 02, 2011
Thanks for the read Will.. Totally agree with you on all points. I liked it quite a bit and just saw Mars Needs Moms last night. Review to follow! Thanks again buddy.
 
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More Rango reviews
review by . March 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Clever, Fun and Entertaining....Johnny Depp Rides On As
I am going to be truly honest here; I love spaghetti westerns and I enjoy almost any film with any sort of theme, tone and mood that is the slightest bit similar to a western. That said, I hope you can understand the mindset I went into this new animated film directed by Gore Verbinski called “Rango”. The film was written by John Logan (responsible for acclaimed hits such as “Gladiator” and “The Aviator”), who isn’t exactly known for kid movies; and I have …
review by . March 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Going into this film I had pretty low expectations. It’s released by Nickelodeon, stars Johnny Depp, who tends to be rather feast or famine, and is an animated film that’s not made by Pixar. Due to that latter fact, the probability of it sucking hard went up by, oh, about 300%. So imagine my surprise when I went in and actually liked the movie! Rango stars Depp as the title character, a chameleon who finds himself lost in the middle of the Nevada desert. A kindly, if somewhat …
review by . August 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     When I first discovered that director Gore Verbinski was not going to continue his "Pirates of the Caribbean" saga to work on a new animated film called "Rango", I was a bit of a skeptic. And then, the film released, and I started hearing some good things about it; so I saw it. You can't tell much from trailers, but if you take a good luck as the ones for "Rango"; you'll notice that the animation alone may be enough reason for you to see it, especially if …
review by . March 15, 2011
From the minute I saw the trailer for this movie at True Grit I had high expectations for Rango. Now that I've finally seen it, my expectations were met and exceeded by how incredibly awesome this movie is. Rango is not only the first great movie of 2011, but it's one of the greatest animated films of the last 10, maybe even 20 years and one of the best non-disney/pixar/dreamworks animated films ever. I knew I was going to love this movie, but I had no idea that I would love it as much …
review by . March 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I’m wary when it comes to animated movies because I don’t know when I’m going to experience another Shrek (which was surprisingly awesome) or Hoodwinked (which is easily in the top three worst films I ever had to sit through, and takes the cake on worst kid movie I’ve ever had to endure) I had no intention of going to see Rango, but one of my aunts really wanted to see it for her birthday so to the movies my family and I went. On opening weekend. On a Saturday matinee. …
review by . March 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I think it's fair to say that CGI animated movies are really coming of age. As well as actual animation quality reaching new levels of brilliance, films such as How To Train Your Dragon and recent releases from Pixar, such as Up and Toy Story 3, have shown that you can add real emotional depth and take a less formulaic approach to storytelling without sacrificing good old-fashioned entertainment. We're now at a stage where movies that are primarily aimed and marketed at children are appreciated …
review by . March 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Gore Verbinski’s Rango is a treasure of an animated film – funny, smart, stylish, perfectly cast, and a technical achievement. Although its pratfall humor, bright colors, and usage of talking animals will almost certainly make it accessible to children, I suspect adults will find it more appealing, for they are far more likely to be familiar with the conventions of the movie western. This movie doesn’t miss a beat: It takes place …
review by . March 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Every film product must satisfy it's audience. Since we're talking about an animated film, the goals are harder to obtain simply because you must project a rich and attractive story filled with funny moments and a detailed animated world. We've seen animated movies made for a smaller audience like, for example, The Illusionist from last year, which addresses adults and not underaged idealists. Rango is a movie for all ages because probably everyone will have a good time …
review by . March 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Love this Lizard!
RANGO   Written by John Logan   Directed by Gore Verbinski   Voices by Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty and Alfred Molina       Rango: No man can walk out on his own story.       As I waited for RANGO to start, I was forced to sit through a number of trailers for this year’s other expected animated features.  All are unnecessary sequels hoping to cash in on previous success and they all …
review by . March 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Rango, Is Best Suited For The 12 Year and Older Kids.
When my wife and I first seen the advertisement on the television we thought that it was really cute. If it were not for the fact that our daughter has also seen this preview, we probably never even thought twice about taking her to see it. What the preview doesn't show you is all of the senseless words that the chameleon( voice of Johnny Depp) uses throughout the whole movie. This computer animated western is supposed to be for the kids, but with this language the has transpired throughout …
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Ranked #14
Jason Rider (AKA OneNeo on Amazon.com) is the author of the successful children's fantasy novel series The Uncommon Adventures of Tucker O'Doyle from Bellissima Publishing.      … more
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About this movie

Wiki


The film was produced by Nickelodeon Movies, Gore Verbinski's production company Blind Wink, and Graham King's GK Films. The CGI animation was created by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), marking the first feature animation done by ILM, generally a special effects company.[4]

During voice recording, the actors were given costumes and sets to "help give them the feel of the Wild West". Star Johnny Depp had a 20-day window in which he could voice his role as Rango, and the filmmakers scheduled the supporting actors so as they could do their scenes with Depp and interact with him.[5]

Verbinski said his attempt with Rango was to do a "small" film after the large-scale Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, but that he underestimated how painstaking and time-consuming animated filmmaking is.

An animated Western with a chameleon as the hero is an unlikely concept, butRangois a great film thanks to its witty mix of parody, intriguing characters, and sophisticated humor. When a common pet chameleon who's suffering from an identity crisis crashes headfirst into the stereotypically classic Western town of Dirt, he has the unique opportunity to completely reinvent himself. Dubbing himself Rango, the chameleon boasts of his own heroism and creates a spiral of deception that lands him an appointment as sheriff of a town in crisis. The question is, can one unprepared and completely unqualified chameleon possibly change this little town's future for the ...
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Tags

Movies, Animated Films, 2d, Paramount Pictures, Gore Verbinski Movies

Details

Director: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation
Release Date: 4 March 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: John Logan
Runtime: 107 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures
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