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June 29, 2011 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-06-29

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Pixar drops the sappiness for 'Cars 2'

Sequel is a departure
from heartwarming
r gadgetry
By JENNIFER XU
Daily Arts Writer
Let's first get this straight: "Cars
2" is no "Toy Story." It's not going
to make you cry, hug your fam-
ily or even think
particularly hard.
While "Ratatouil- ***
le" took a group
of smelly mice CarS 2
and made them At Quality16
kind of round and and Rave
adorable, "Cars 2"
is as imperson- Disney
able and utilitar-
ian as cars can
be - all right angles, sharp exte-
riors and shiny paint jobs. In fact,
It wouldn't be remiss to call it the

worst movie Pixar has ever made, if
you're judging by that kind of tear-
jerking standard.
But this "emotional deficiency"
(for lack of a better term) is not a
question of biting off more than one
can chew. No critic, no matter how
much they might have hated the
film, can fairly say that Pixar failed
in its mission. After all, we know
what the gazillion-dollar company
is capable of, having proved that
gleaming hunks of metal can be as
innocuous and disarming as puppy
dog tails ("Wall-E" being the evi-
dence). If Pixar had wanted to make
another charming parable about
materialism or whatever, it could
have done so with panache to spare.
So, OK, now that we've estab-
lished that the whole boom-shoot-
whiz thing was purposeful, there
are two ways to approach this. One
more sinister, and vaguely more
probable explanation, is that Pixar
sold out - more interested in mer-

chandising profits and box office
sales than genuine artistic integrity.
The other, more positive one, is that
desire for breadth and diversity won
out over depth.
Look at it this way: Does every
single Pixar movie need to be a
heartrendingly beautiful tale of
love, family and loneliness? We
cried at "Toy Story," "Wall-E,"
"Up," "Monsters, Inc." and "Find-
ing Nemo" because they tugged at
our emotional heartstrings. But if
you think about it, it's really all the
same story: Protagonist X is left
bereft of all companions for Y rea-
sons and has to make a journey to
Place Z. He/she/it succeeds. Audi-
ence collectively sniffles.
Isn't it plausible that Pixar might
have wanted to add a little variety
to the tried and true formula? That
maybe instead of having a contest of
who could put Kleenex out of busi-
ness, they just wanted to make this
really fun, mindless action movie

and screw the rest?
The filmgoer is a fickle fiend.
A few more movies later and we
would have all thrown our hands up
and been all like, Enough with the
transcendentally moving garbage!
Pixar is boring.'
And whatever a person might say
about "Cars 2," boring is not one of
them. There's crazy 007 espionage,
cool gadgetry and kickass stunt-
work that revs and roars with the
exhilaration of a wild goose chase,
as well as a truly sexy James Bond-
ish protagonist by the improbable
name of Finn McMissile (played
by resident Brit Michael Caine
of "Inception" fame). The plot,
in brief, follows the gas-guzzling
circuit of competitive racing, and
contains in its pages a mildly inter-
esting conspiracy involving "lem-
ons" and an imaginary alternative
fuel called "Allinol." In short, it's
an action movie kind of story, one
that exists mainly for the purpose

of blowing a lot of stuff up (Pixar
class intact, of course).
Rather, it is in a character, not
storytelling, where the company
takes its first faltering step. Class
clown and perennial sidekick Tow
Mater (Larry the Cable Guy, "Wit-
less Protection"), who grated in
the first installment, hits a new
low in his larger role as the village-
idiot-come-savior to the automo-
bile industry. Thank goodness for
those Britons, because it's all one
can do from throwingsomething at
the screen every time Mater comes
on in his rusty, drawling Southern
accent.
And while it's excusable for
Pixar to want to make an action
movie - its own animated ver-
sion of "Transformers" with a hot
Megan Fox to match the swelter-
ing sun rays beaming down outside
- what's not so excusable is hiring
freaking Larry the Cable Guy to
star in it.

Pitbull saturates 'Planet Pit' with beats for the discotheque

OK

By CASSIE BALFOUR
Daily Arts Writer
Pitbull has a lot of nicknames,
most of which he bestowed upon
himself. Mr. International and
Mr. Worldwide
are the most apt
considering his
latest record,
Planet Pit, which bull
is packed with Planet Pit
electro-pop
bangers chroni- Mr. 305 Inc.
cling the play-
boy's worldwide
philandering.
In this rapidly globalizing
world, the Cuban-American rap-
per surveys the planet and deems
all borders permeable, using his
enternational sex appeal and
seductive Spanglish as a diplo-
matic tool to get in the pants of
women all around the world. And
one gets the feeling that nearly
all the sweaty, cosmopolitan jams
studding his latest party album
Ovould be welcome in any club or
discotheque.
The entire album is like a fusion
restaurant, as it samples beats and
sounds from all over the world
to create a multicultural sonic
feast. Pitbull steers away from a

virtual roll-call of rappers and
pop stars on "Pause," one of the
sexiest songs on the album, and
flies solo on this reggaeton track.
Caribbean drums and electro-pop
combine perfectly to create a spicy
song, which has Pitbull switching
back and forth between rapping in
Spanish and English. It's humid
and hypnotic.
Enyique Iglesias lends a hand
on "Come 'N' Go," a song riddled
with strange euphemisms for sex,
like the inscrutable, 21st-century
pick-up line "Mami you're the
internet / And I'm looking for a
download." But if one ignores the
pair's decidedly un-sexy boast-
ing about their respective sexual
prowess, the rum-saturated, top
40-bound track is perfect for after
midnight. Pitbull handles seduc-
tion for grinding co-eds as he
whispers "That's right" over and
over.
Despite a solid roster of hits
on the record, Pitbull stumbles
occasionally. The throwaway
sing-along song "Something for
the DJs" is pretty much unlisten-
able. Of course, the consummate
globetrotting DJ and producer,
David Guetta, joins Pitbull on
this electro-house heavy song.
Unfortunately, Pitbull's creepy

twist on childhood rhymes will
leave listeners cold as he horrif-
ingly implores "If you're sexy and
you know it clap your hands!" and
asks "How much wood can a wood
chop, chop / Ifa wood could chop,
could chop would!" Despite the
terrible lyricism, Guetta some-
what salvages the track with his
universally appealing beats.
Slowing it down, Pitbull opens
up on the requisite confessional
"Castle Made of Sand" with Kelly
Rowland's soaring, but melodra-
matic vocal stylings and new-
comer Jamie Drastik spitting a
lack-luster verse. This song has
Pitbull marveling at his own suc-
cess despite his rough, childlike
rapping, "If you know what I
come from, know what I've been
through / You think there should
have been another outcome." Even
though Rowland's pop tart singing
undermines and clutters the song,
it's hard to resist a track where
hyper-masculine Pitbull says,
"Thank you mom for making me
a man."
As Pitbull says on the intro track
"Mr Worldwide," Mr. 305 takes on
the world without forgetting his
Cuban-Miami roots on Planet Pit.
The rapper has managed to craft a
sultry album brimming with slick

COURTESY OF MR. 305 INC.
"Hey, woman! I'm gonna put my face on your back now. That cool?"
production and club hits that will thing" and "Hey Baby" are already
undoubtedly create the summer mainstays on pop radio, the album
soundtrack for stumbling partiers. is littered with more inventive
Electronica fuses comfortably sleeper hits.
with bachata beats while guests Pitbull's latest may lack depth,
such as Sean Paul infuse tracks but as a party album it is a variable
like "Shake Senora" (also featur- melting pot that will undoubtedly
ing T-Pain) with dancehall reggae. impart the pop charts with some
While songs like "Give Me Every- much needed culture.;Dale!

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