22 November 2017

I'm in Love with the COCO

Seriously, Disney / Pixar really should have thought about their new animated movie's title. I mean, not only this, but do they get this at all? This is why you need an insane, inappropriate, drug addled pervert on staff at all times, Disney. Give me a call. But anyway, COCO (2017) comes out today, so let's talk about that.

And this dog! That looks pretty funny. Good enough!
This is the latest effort from Pixar, which is always a big deal, although it certainly feels a little less of a bigger deal than it was five or six years ago. Pixar has certainly lost its luster of late. Did you know that Cars 3 (2017) came out like five months ago? Because I completely fucking forgot. In those last five years the only film I've really been excited about is Inside Out (2015), and I didn't even see that in theaters. The last Pixar theme I got off my ass to see was Brave (2012), which is still a totally underrated movie.

That opinion isn't shared by that many people, though. So besides Inside Out the last really universally loved Pixar film goes all the way back to Toy Story 3 (2010). That's a significant amount of time, people. Now, I'm not one to trash sequels just for being sequels, especially because the first two Toy Story sequels were money as hell, but retreads of Monsters, Fish, and Car-people felt stale and forced. Pixar seems to be more comfortable retreating into its dependable library of hits rather than branching out on its own, which is totally insane because Brave and Inside Out had incredible characters and stories.

All of this is saying that we can't just expect Pixar to be good anymore. I haven't even mentioned The Good Dinosaur (2015), which is such a blip regardless of its actual quality. Everything we've heard, though, is positioning COCO to be one of their better flicks. This is a good thing. The movie is about some Mexican kid who wants to play guitar but his family won't let him so he goes to hell or something. That's as far as I can reckon. I wonder how this will play to Trump's America that would totally want to deport little Coco or whatever, but it's already the #1 movie of all time in Mexico, which is amazing.

This basic plot seems really played out. The "I can't do what my family wants me to do so I'm going to get lost and whatever" is a trope as old as storytelling. Apparently the plot gets really complex and spoiler-y, so maybe like Brave it gets super weird, unexpected, and awesome. I'm down for that. In Mexico it helped that it actually premiered near Dia de los Muertos on Noviembre 1, instead of three weeks later like in the United States. Imagine a Christmas movie coming out mid-January. Of course, Disney can't let it bump up against THOR: Ragnarok (2017).

It was so hard to find a picture NOT of Ice-T's wife.
I digress. This has gotten really positive reviews so far, and already feels like a Pixar event unseen since Inside Out. Sure, Finding Dory (2016) made a ton of money, but I never sensed that anyone cared. I didn't care about it. Maybe I'm just an asshole. COCO is apparently one of the most visually sumptuous Pixar flicks ever, which is saying a lot. Can it beat The Book of Life (2014)? Remember that shit? Like the same exact plot? I'm gonna go ahead and say yes. In addition to the pedigree being a little higher, the cultural force and interest seems far more significant.

And there's not a ton to compete with right now. Sure there's Justice League, but hell, that shit's going to be lucky to crack $40 million next week. It's been a while since families had something as good as COCO to check out in theaters, especially over a Thanksgiving break where Grandma doesn't want to watch Ben Affleck snarl for two hours (Maybe she does want a shirtless Jason Mamoa, but that's another story). This ought to do fine, especially with Disney essentially monopolizing theaters through Star Wars in a few weeks. Everyone else seems scared to drop their film in the weeks before The Last Jedi (2017), which basically means that COCO can run away with as much dough as it wants until then. It's crazy.

Culturally this could be a significant drop because it's all anyone will talk about until Star Wars really ramps up. It hasn't quite been that high level of discussion yet, which is odd because it actually drops today, on a random Wednesday. There's always a danger of getting lost in the Thanksgiving holiday, but flicks usually do well around here. I think it is definitely just geared towards a pretty specific, brown section of the population, which should be strong enough to give it a solid boost. Still, it's understandable that a lot of white dude film sites don't really care about COCO. I'm into how trippy and dream-like the Land of the Dead might be, but I probably won't see it with my bros in the theater over T-Give Break.

So what do you think? You down for some coco? And after a line, go the theater?

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