March 11, 2011


From my review in Taki's Magazine:
The audience laughed hyperactively throughout the trailers for upcoming animated blockbusters. “Do talking-animal movies always have extra-long previews?” my wife asked.

“You can never have too many fart jokes,” I explained.

Then Rango started, with Johnny Depp voicing an actor who is (literally) a chameleon, an ugly, asymmetrical reptile. And everybody, including us, finally shut up.

Yet my mouth didn’t stay closed. First my eyebrows went up. Then my jaw dropped. And that was pretty much my only expression throughout this hallucinatory cartoon Western: few chuckles or even smiles, and certainly no dabbing at the eyes, just aesthetic astonishment. As a showcase of the cross-firing neurons in director Gore Verbinski’s brain, the densely contrived Rango is staggering.

Read the whole thing there.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Because of the grotesque appearance of the characters in the trailer (not least among them the lead lizard) I mistakenly concluded that this had to be a Tim Burton-directed movie.

Anonymous said...

This got me thinking on the different uses for and levels of chameleonism. In certain situations, going along to get along can be quite adaptive especially if you are vague and ambiguous enough no one can claim they know your opinions or beliefs. Why you change your appearance/values/etc to blend in is what's really important. Someone who's not committed due to lack of information or interest is probably harmless. Someone deliberately pretending to be other than what they are in order to spy or sabotage can be dangerous. There are probably more neutral, thrill seeking uses for chameleonism as well.

So, what's it gonna be, Sailer, are we gonna have to see that freakish cartoon to find out about this particular lizard or will you simply tell us if the reptile was uncommitted, amoral or immoral.

Jerry said...

So... is it a good movie or not?

Justin said...

Your review... almost... makes sense. Usually you give us more to work with. I still don't know if you thought the movie was good or not.

Anonymous said...

"Ads saying Johnny Depp is Rango’s voice have sold a lot of tickets, but they merely raise the question: What does Depp’s voice sound like, anyway?"

I know what it sounds like. I can hear it in my head, & I'm only a moderate fan. He sounds way more Cherokee than he really is.

As far as I know Steve hasn't written about ethnic voices, but there definitely is an Indian (feathers not dots) voice, & Depp has one.

Anonymous said...

I don't care much anymore for cartoons (except of course Archer) and I'm not particularly fond of Johnny Depp. So I was intending to give this one a pass.

But your review change my mind. You have done a service. Your life has meaning.


TGGP said...

Your criticism of Depp as an actor came off as praise to me.

Steve Sailer said...

"But your review change my mind. You have done a service. Your life has meaning."

But if you don't like it, does my life lose meaning again? I'm not sure I can stand the tension waiting to find out.

DCThrowback said...

My wife and I saw it on opening night. There was several families with kids in attendance.

Let's just say the kids didn't enjoy it half as much as the adults did. I thought it was extremely well done, but then I have a thing for golf carts and Timothy Olyphant.

Anonymous said...

Grew up and worked on rez all my life. I do not hear any 'feather' 'skin in Depp.

Jay Silverheels on the other hand...

Anonymous said...

I read Hunter S Thompson fresh off the presses when I was about twenty and trying to make my own way as a crazy. He's no longer my cup of tea but some of his old lines come back to me as prophetic.
He liked to say 'when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.' But I don't think Hunter quite envisioned how whacked out our celebrity airhead age would be.
Gilbert Pinfold.