Kids love cars, and kids love CARS — that seems to be the calculation behind Pixar’s latest animated offering, CARS 2. Abandoning the original film’s theme that celebrated the romance of exploring off-the-beaten-superhighway U.S, director John Lasseter and crew have devised an espionage plotline for this sequel, with cocky racecar Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and kids’-fave country-bumpkin tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy, a.k.a. Daniel Lawrence Whitney) embarking on a whirlwind world tour to compete in an international racing competition, and finding themselves dragooned into a deadly conspiracy being battled by suave superspy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and his sexy (check out those steel-belted radials!) partner Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer). With beautifully crafted settings and numerous, exquisitely choreographed action sequences, does CARS 2 overcome the problems found in the first installment, a film that many feel is Pixar’s weakest effort? Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they examine the movie.
Also in this episode: Steve offers his thoughts on Woody Allen’s hit fantasy/comedy, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, Dan discusses the level of human misery he’ll inflict for the sake of saving a few lousy bucks, and the gang discusses the inscrutable artistry of Michael Bay.