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Non-Review Review: Shrink

There’s a good movie to be found somewhere within Shrink. I’m just not sure exactly what it is. Ensemble dramas are a lot tougher to get right than they may initially seem: lining up a variety of interesting plot lines is only half the battle, as the movie has to balance these threads and ensure that all remain intriguing, while none dominate. Shrink doesn’t really do that. Using Kevin Spacey’s “self-medicating” Los Angeles psychologist as a jumping-off point, the film never really finds a compelling hook for us – and the performances aren’t strong enough to get us to invest in the characters colliding and intersecting like balls on a pool table.

Small problems...

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Pixar and the Weight of Expectation…

Well, it probably had to happen. I know it’s probably not statistically impossible, just highly improbable – but I guess that I always knew (deep down) that Pixar’s batting average was too good to last. I mean, I (at the very least) really like all of their films, and I genuinely love the majority of them. And that fact is borne out by the Rotten Tomatoes ratings of the various films. The vast majority rank in the 90% to 100% range, something any studio would kill for: Toy Story (100%), A Bug’s Life (91%), Toy Story 2 (100%), Monsters Inc (95%), Finding Nemo (98%), The Incredibles (97%), Ratatouille (96%), Wall-E (96%), Up (98%), Toy Story 3 (99%). Even the single film that ranks lowest, the only one not in the range, still had mostly positive reviews, Cars with 74%. However, Cars 2 looks to have bucked that winning trend, with reviews that not only fall far short of Pixar’s impressive average, but is actually pretty negative.

I can’t help but feel more than a little bit sad.

Do Pixar need to get in gear?

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