Monday, September 23, 2013

Turbine failure!

I used to fly all the time. Usually alone, too. Once, when I was probably eleven or twelve, I remember being on this long overnight flight. We had left Honolulu and were flying over the Pacific, ultimately headed to the East Coast. I had an aisle seat in the middle section and awoke to a strange noise. To my left and up a row, a young girl, maybe nine or ten herself, was trying to open the door. At first I thought she was just pretending to do so, but then she started putting her tiny back in to it. She actually placed her foot on the door for leverage, and yanked down as hard as she could. The long red handle seemed to move, even if just a little. I frantically looked for help, or at least some form of non-verbal agreement that this was actually happening. But outside of some blissfully unaware passengers, loudly sleeping nearby, I was alone in my quiet desperation.

Unfortunately, I wasn't alone when I saw Planesyet another aviation-related catastrophe I've had to endure. This time, my wife and young son were along for the ride, too. At least we weren't at 30,000 feet.

Weeks after his sister was born, we were desperate to give Matty a little concentrated face-time, and for the three of us to get out of the house. A teaser for Planes had been slapped in front of the original Cars blu ray (a movie that once played incessantly in our house). This was a flick that we basically had to see. Originally, according to this teaser anyway, the plan was for Planes to be a direct-to-video release. If only we had been so lucky.

Planes is pretty bad. Almost shockingly so. I'm sure it took years to make, and I'm sure there were hundreds of talented people involved, but the end result seems incredibly half-assed. It's all very bland, very uninspired. It's also very, and I hate to use this word, boring. It's likely the worst Disney movie to hit theaters since the cash-grabbing, Mater-fueled Cars 2 [review]. Truthfully, I was so desperate during this one, I would have welcomed that annoying tow-truck with open arms. Read that again. I wanted Mater. That's like having a knife jammed in your eye and really wishing someone would kick you in the balls, just to mix it up.
Speaking of something no one ever wished for, here are the Yays and Boos. It's been six weeks since we saw this, so they might be a little spotty. Though, to be fair, six hours later I'd forgotten the whole thing anyway. Maybe the break will soften my hatred of this movie. Or, at least make it less specific.

  • There was one scene where I actually was interested by something other than the pretty colors. See, some old British plane, voiced by John Cleese, couldn't see or something (sorry...), and our hero Dusty had to guide him to safety. Clearly this isn't much, but that was about the only sustained peril in this flick. For a moment, probably the majority of a minute, I kind of cared. Aww.
  • Um, there's some sweet pairs in this one. For you pervy types, there's the foxy tandem of Teri Hatcher and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to listen to. But for you new dad's somehow not thinking about sex, there's the ass-kicking goodness of Goose and Iceman, as Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer make brief vocal appearances.
  • And finally, in a moment that entertained me more than anything on screen, my son lost the ability to speak at a reasonable volume and damn near shouted WE DON'T HAVE ANYMORE??? regarding my request for some more popcorn. I'm pretty sure he completely forgot where we were. If only I could have done the same. 
  • Cedric the Entertainer. I love this guy, but his role of old, singing black fool infuriated me for some reason. Oh, right. Because it's terrible.
  • Holy crap! The main character is about to crash! I'm so worri- nevermind. They just cut to him landing safely.
  • Obviously, this movie isn't aimed at middle-aged jerk-offs, but I'm sorry, a plane that's afraid of heights? That's not cute. That's horseshit.
  • There are entirely too many shots of sexy lady planes. Really. If I have to see another plane basically eyef--k someone, I'm going out on the wing and just jumping.
  • Oh, and speaking of, waaaaaay too many jokes about cutting of Dane Cook's balls. Even if that's kind of awesome.
  • The worst part about this movie is that is essentially a carbon copy of bits of each of the Cars movies. And honestly, I hate both of those flicks. Even if the first one has worn me down like a bad pop song that I've heard so many times I end up singing along. Don't believe me?
    • The reluctant old crotchety plane that used to be a legend? Um, Doc Hudson, anyone?
    • The annoying sidekick with an accent that won't shut the Hell up? It's been done.
    • The peaceful trip with the woman you love? Yeah, that awkward mess returns, too.
  • Uh, hope you like airplane jargon. A lot.
  • That cameo that I sadly longed for? Well, it's from Cars, but it's not a car. Lame.
  • And finally, the entire premise. This is a movie about a race around the globe, broken into a bunch of stages. Do you know what's fun about watching a race that takes days to finish? Nothing.
More than any rambling of some a-hole, the best indicator that this movie really isn't that good? It's been over a month and my son hasn't even asked for one Planes-related toy. He hasn't even asked to go down the aisle. Even though it's true, I still find it hard to believe.

Kind of like seeing a kid trying to open the door at thirty-thousand feet.


  1. Always knew this film was made for selling toys. Going from direct-to-video to a cinematic release just proves that. Your story at the beginning is probably more entertaining than the movie itself. Hey, where's the end of that story?

    1. Yep. DTV is a bad enough cash-in on alleged beloved franchises, but throwing a DTV flick in theaters is even worse. A Mickey Mouse move if there ever was one...

      Dude! That was the end. I think she eventually got bored/tired and just gave up. I'm only 85% sure it happened. It's a lot like that episode of the The Twilight Zone with that weird ass gremlin thing on the wing. I was the only one watching and freaking the f--k out.

  2. This whole movie seemed like Disney just phoned the whole thing in. Please tell me you ripped that girl off of the door? I know they can't open in flight, but I'd still freak if I saw someone trying to. I actually got all paranoid on a flight once because this woman was standing by the door just staring at it for like 10 minutes,. Then when she turned around I saw she had a "flight attendant in training" badge on. I felt stupid.

    1. Completely phoned in. Hell, I think Dane Cook was checking his e-mail while reading half his lines.

      I was trying to play it cool, basically ready to die rather than look stupid.

      Holy shit -that's funny! I can only imagine sitting their watching that woman looking at the door thinking Don't do it, bitch. She then turns around and it's all...ohhhhhh, um...could you get me a pillow?

  3. I didn't see this (thankfully), but the wife took my daughter. Apparently there was some flashback to a war scene or something? My daughter's jaw dropped, she turned to my wife and demanded they leave. So, yeah. Don't know what they were thinking.

    1. Oh yeah, that flashback stuff was ridiculous. Just a terrible flick all-around, really.

      Your little girl sounds like a sharp one. As long as there's popcorn involved, I'm pretty sure my son would watch just about anything.

  4. I'm pretty sure, with my youngest being 9, all my kids are too old for this movie. So I dodged this bullet. :-)