I read in your blog about how you started writing the script for Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything before the bankruptcy and before the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
How do you think the success of the pirates theme among children these days will help Big Idea’s newest film?
That's a good question. There are more than a few folks who think the timing of a VeggieTales pirate movie is serendipitous, considering the interest in "all things Piratey" sparked by a certain trilogy of big budget movies based on a theme park ride. So… does that mean the veggie pirate movie is a sure thing?
Well, for starters, anyone who uses the words "movie" and "sure thing" in the same sentence doesn't have a very good feel for the film business. The only real "sure thing" in the movie business is that you never know what's going to happen when a new film opens on a Friday night. The veggie pirate movie could certainly benefit from an interest in pirates, but, since it's a movie based on an existing franchise, it seems likely attendence will be effected more by the level of enthusiasm for VeggieTales in general than for pirates specifically. The success of The Simpson's Movie had much more to do with the popularity of the TV show than a widespread desire to see a cel-animated movie about a small town trapped under a glass dome due to an environmental crisis.
So I think the real question is – is VeggieTales currently popular enough across America to successfully launch a feature film? Many fans have written me describing what they perceive as a decline in the quality of VeggieTales videos since Classic Media took over the brand in 2003. Will that perception affect turnout for the movie? Ask me that question January 12th.
Speaking of movies and perceptions, we just picked up Ratatouille on DVD. That's a really nice film – wonderfully animated and gorgeous to look at. But several blogs are abuzz with the notion that it underperformed, and rumors abound that Pixar and Disney are both concerned. After peaking with Finding Nemo, each subsequent Pixar film has grossed less than the one before, a trend now extending through Ratatouille. So what's happening?
Well, perhaps kids aren't as interested in visiting a world of cooking rats as they are a world of talking cars. Perhaps the summer was too crowded with big, noisy movies for a movies about an aspiring rat chef to get much notice.
Here's an interesting notion. CGI films are, in one sense, "synthetic" movies – movies where every single object must be designed and constructed by an artist, as if nothing existed in the "real world" that could be placed in front of a camera. The fun part of making "synthetic" movies is that you can take the audience places that only exist in the imagination – places they've never been before. (George Lucas has a pretty good sense of this, as his films have become increasingly "synthetic.") The less fun part about "synthetic" movies is that as the bar gets set progressively higher (compare Toy Story to Ratatouille or Antz to Shrek 3), these movies become monstrously expensive. Both Shrek 3 and Ratatouille cost $150 million to produce, which would have made them, just a few short years ago, among the most expensive films of all time.
So another way to look at Ratatouille is as a $150 million movie about a rat who wants to cook. George Lucas spent not much more than that on each of the last three Star Wars movies, which took us to worlds we'd never seen populated by creatures we had never before imagined. Pixar spent $150 million showing us a rat preparing a meal. (Yes, I agree that Pixar's story was better crafted than George's, but let me finish my point.) My point is, a $150 million film needs to overwhelm an audience with spectacle and scale – worlds they've never seen before. Replace the rat with a socially-disadvantaged child, shoot live-action, and the Ratatoullie script could have been shot for $4 million – if not less.
So Pixar paid a $146 million premium to produce their film with a rat as the protagonist instead of a child. Now, I'm not trying to pick on Pixar, I'm just making a point. Simply producing a film "synthetically" does not mean the audience will treat it like a tentpole blockbuster. (Witness "Final Fantasy.") Especially as more and more CGI films flood the market, further raising the bar on visual quality. (Witness "Surf's Up," "Over the Hedge," "Open Season," etc.)
There are those who will say "story will always win in the end." As a writer, I really wish that were true. But the fact of the matter is, Pirates of the Carribean 2 and 3, Transformers, Spiderman 3, Star Wars Episodes 2 & 3… all outperformed Ratatouille. Heck, Shrek 2 is among the top 5 grossing films of all time. "Story always wins?" Apparently not!
So what are we to learn from all this? It isn't just about story. If your film has the budget of a tentpole blockbuster, it needs to feel like a tentpole blockbuster. Even the trailers. And no matter how great the story is, a trailer featuring a rat in a French restaurant does not feel like a tentpole blockbuster. Shia LaBouf running from giant robots does. Small rat cooking doesn't.
Which brings me back to The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, a small "synthetic" film based on a children's video series. Does it stand a chance? Is there an audience for "small" CGI films in a world awash with $150 million spectaculars? "There's always room for small films," you say, "just look at Napoleon Dynamite, or Facing the Giants, for heaven's sake!"
Yes, but Napoleon Dynamite was produced for $400,000. Facing the Giants – $100,000. A CGI feature film of any quality cannot be produced for much less than $10 million, which doesn't really make it a "small film" in the economic sense of the word. So is there a place in the world for "small" CGI films?
Honestly? I hope so, but I have no idea. Ask me January 12th!
Wow, this is really interesting. It seems like Pixar isn’t running out of ideas, it just needs better ideas.
Hmm…this encourages me to make movies…
Great thoughts. I think a good bit of it too is that CGI isn’t the ‘new novelty’ it once was. It’s becoming another form of animation and even mixed with 2D w/o much notice (“Little Einsteins” for example).
I think with so many options and devices (youtube, video iPods, etc.), people set their filter pretty quick on what they are watching and can judge it based on that.
If you start watching a low-res video on youtube, you quickly realize the quality level and go w/ that. It helps that you don’t expect as much maybe.
It’s like black-and-white when we were younger: after a few mins, you forget about it and focus on the story and such. But if the strength is in the visuals, then those have to be really good.
Here’s some fun animation to check out too:
I find it interesting that you say people have felt the Veggie Tales movies aren’t as good in recent years. I must confess that when I had only one child, we bought every Veggie video as soon as it came out. As we added children, there was less money and therefore fewer videos. However, with the addition of our fourth child, now two, there has been a resurgence of interest in the Veggie Tales. We have missed some along the way, but we do have several of the newer movies, and most recently, “The Wonderful Wizard of Ha’s”. I have to say that we ABSOLUTELY love the newest Veggie Tale and watch it over and over around here (including the origianl Veggie viewer in the family, who is now 12 years old!) So, while I can’t have an opinion on all of the movies over the past 4 years, I can definitely say that your latest is one of our favorites of all time, and the silly song ranks right up there with my personal favorite, “The Song of the Sebu!”
Oh, and since someone on the DVD commentary asked…yes, we definitely got the joke at the end where Bob put on the headphones so he couldn’t hear the little song at the end, because he has always hated that song! (Although we’ve never understood what it is about the song he doesn’t like…)
Great article. As William Goldman famously wrote, “In Hollywood nobody knows anything”. If there was a formula you could follow that would guarantee a successful film, Hollywood would make nothing but successful films. But the reality is, some blockbusters fail and some some small films become wildly popular, and nobody really knows why.
To make things even more cloudy, an animated feature film takes years to produce. So the filmmakers have to make a guess 3-5 years ahead of time how interested audiences will be in a certain genre, story, or set of characters (i.e. VeggieTales) once it is finally released. Who really knows what the “hot fad” will be five years from now?
Here’s hoping “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” hits a home run.
I agree that it sounds nice to say “story always wins,” but that’s often not the case (even though Shrek 2 is one of my favorite films because of the great story and characters).
But comparing Spidey 3, Pirates 3, and Star Wars to Ratatouville is totally not a fair comparison. All of them were sequels in hugley sucessful franchises. Even Transformers at least had a pretty large group of fans who had fond memories of playing with the toys. Ratatouville had none of these things. TF’s fan base was one of the things that gave it a huge opening despite the paper thin plot and hilariously bad dialogue. TF just proves that, sadly, you can still sell a movie with nothing but VFX. Hopefully, VFX will finally get old someday, and studios will have to rely more on good scripts.
I don’t think the Pirate thing will affect Veggie’s box office. It’s being marketed as a VeggieTales movie, not a pirate movie.
i love listening to you talk about movies, the “biz” and stuff! or I love reading you write about the movie biz and stuff… oh you know what i mean
it is interesting to note that Ratathingy (a movie i love in fact) was almost not produced because of the very reasons that you stated… it was originally done by a different director who was fired (i believe)because of problems with the story etc. that was back when Pixar was going to be splitting from Disney. so Pixar was left to try and salvage the movie due to the fact that it was to be their first non Disney film and they had already committed serious $. I thought they did well, but something of the concept does seem laking (not to different from limbless talking vegetables?) but it works nonetheless
Phil, I just love reading your perspective on stuff. So many of the people who comment here are also so “in the know” when it comes to filmmaking or art, or computer generated stuff….I shouldn’t even respond to a post that is so above my technical understanding.
I will say that my perspective on family entertainment is that of a mom. I listen to what my kids like. What seems to be important to them when choosing a movie are: likable characters, a fun story that they can get into, funny situations that make them laugh, adventure on some level, super powers of some sort, and good music.
While I respect not only Phil but all of you for the knowledge you bring to this board, when you speak of VeggieTales or Disney / Pixar, maybe the big execs should start asking kids what they like. To be honest, I think the last Pixar film my kids LOVED was “The Incrdibles”. “Cars” was ok, and they’ll watch it. But as for “Ratatouille”, it got only a so-so rating in our house. Personally I was grossed out by the scene where all the rats were cooking in the restaurant kitchen! That was disgusting. Maybe it was too real-looking??? I will admit, it was a beautiful movie to look at. But that wasn’t enough to keep me entertained.
So in my very humble, uneducated opinion, I think for a family movie, story is very important. But so are the other things I mentioned. As for how much a CG movie costs…wow! I had no idea.
I personally loved Ratatouille! Yet, while I love the animation (which was mind blowing) I felt the story could have been a little better. It was enterteining and it did keep you hooked, but it could have been a little better somehow. It`s still probably one of my favorite movies though.
And about the quality of VT, I though it was just me, but I`ve seen a decline in that too. I hope VeggieTales doesn`t change, because I love it so much.
I came out of Ratatouille with a mixed mindset. I thought it was a fantastic film, but I didn’t want to see it again any time in the near future, because it wasn’t a film I’d place in the “entertainment” category. It was more of a thinking piece I spose. It’s more like the Forrest Gumps of this world – movies that are fantastic films, but you don’t want to watch them over and over.
That’s why Ratatouille “failed” I think (though, how a film grossing over $200 million US and almost $600 million worldwide can be considered a failure is beyond me!). Though it was a great movie, it wasn’t a great kids movie. All of Pixar’s previous films depended on their lovable cast of characters that were completely diverse and funny in their own right. Count up the amount of characters in any of them and you’re bound to get into the dozens.
And the best part about that (from a marketing perspective) is that every single one of those characters is memorable and marketable to kids. You can sell a plush toy of the three eyed aliens from Toy Story and kids will buy it, even though those characters were only in the film for five minutes! It’s the same with every other Pixar movie made to date – except Ratatouille. Kids love to talk about Lightning McQueen, or Mr Incredible, or Dory… but I don’t expect that any eight year old walking out of Ratatouille would even be able to tell you the main character’s name (Remy).
So that’s my take on it, but interestingly enough, it’s also why I think so many other CGI movies fail story-wise. They’ve picked up on the fact that kids love wacky characters, and so they fill their films with wacky characters, but most of the time this just acts as a diversion to the story and prevents the movie from being memorable. (Meet The Robinsons was a perfect example of that – a classic Disney story of family ruined by way too many characters. Or look at “The Wild”, where the whole movie was basically a showcase of characters with little to no plot).
What it means for Phil and Big Idea though, is that I think The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything could well succeed as a result. It has the three main likable characters, as well as a whole host of supporting characters – but because they’re all already known by the kids, they won’t detract from the movie itself.
I just read Chris Anderson’s book “The Long Tail.” I am not related to Chris nor am I trying to plug his book but you might find it interesting on a couple fronts (it was required reading for work and I will loan you my copy).
One of the things he talks about is amateur machinima…does that count as movie making/animation? Another specifically ties into your note above, chapter 2 of the book is titled “The Rise and Fall of the Hit” and in it he discusses the decline in movie revenue as well as the revenue declines also being experienced by the music industry, radio and television.
By the way, I know a small CGI film maker that has a big place in the hearts of a certain Mom, Dad and two kids who will be going to see “Pirates” the opening weekend. I hope that “Pirates” is a HIT and that it stands in contrast to the aforementioned current trend.
Jim Hill’s notes (as linked above) on the Rat film have been debunked time and time again, especially when you factor in international sales. Since the Disney/Pixar merger, he’s had an ax to grind.
childrensministrytalk.comPhil – A link was added at childrensministrytalk.com to your blog. God bless. ~ Jason
You know, I REALLY enjoyed “Ratatouille”. But I think I see what Nick Coller is saying. As much as I liked it, I haven’t hurried out to buy it and watch it again.
On the other hand, I’ve become way too enthusiastic about “Chicken Little”. I could watch it over and over. Oh, but what’s the difference? I think “Ratatouille” was better-made. Why am I more nuts for silly “Chicken Little”? Let me think…
Well, one subtle thing is that I liked the exaggerated movement of the “Chicken Little” characters. They went back to Goofy for inspiration, and made the animals move less realistically, and more cartoony. Kinda fun! And kinda refreshing after all the CGI realism.
I was suckered by Chicken Little’s cute looks and hard luck from the start. The whole movie just struck me as fun and sweet, and I’m ready to watch it yet again, even now. Somehow, “Ratatouille” didn’t do all that for me. I liked it a lot and will probably buy it eventually, but I wasn’t “delighted” as I’ve been with other toons.
I don’t quite know what’s lacking. Some win my heart, and some merely amuse me. But hey! I’m still a loyal Pixar viewer. I still think Pixar puts more thought into its movies than most, and I’ll be there in theatres for “Wall-E”.
I’ll be there for “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” as well. VeggieTales has already secured me as a fan, for one thing. And secondly, it is SO hard to find clean entertainment! Of course I’ll go see a good family cartoon when it hits theatres. That’s usually the only time I can go to the theatre at all. I don’t even have children yet – it’s MY mind that I’m trying not to taint.
I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but I know why I wouldn’t buy Ratatouille, or go see it again (even though thanks to my kids, I did see it more than once at the theater).
When I go to a movie at the theater, I want to be entertained. I want to be taken to a place far away from what is around me — like you said — a place where I’ve never been before. Paris is such a place, and I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery in Ratatouille. But that was about all I enjoyed.
Movies that tug on the ol’ heart strings are good movies to watch, too. Movies where you get wrapped up in the crisis the main characters are facing, and you become totally involved in what they’re battling with. And at the end of the film, you breathe a sigh of relief that it’s all resolved, and everyone lives happily ever after. (I’m thinking animated film here, such as “Bambi”, “Cinderella”, “Snow White”, “Finding Nemo,” etc.)
But one of the things that makes a movie like that fun to go watch, is the element of humor. There has to be humor involved, or the movie becomes too heavy, too emotional. For instance, “Bambi” was a heart-tugging movie — everybody loves Bambi and felt for him as he dealt with all the issues that deer deal with in a human world — but there was an element of humor, and that being “Thumper.”
Cinderella had an element of humor in “Jacque” the mouse. Snow White had its element of humor in “Dopey.” Even “Finding Nemo” had its element of humor in “Dory” even though the situation surrounding Marlin and Nemo was intense. “Cars” had its element of humor in “‘Mater.” (And I think that movie would have performed better if it hadn’t been a “niche” movie, but it was obviously centered around a certain niche in society, that being the NASCAR world and those who love it. However, even though I’m not a NASCAR fan myself, I enjoyed that movie because I loved the concept of relationship that it was trying to get across, and having lived near a NASCAR track for around 20 years, I have always been entertained by the behavior of NASCAR fans. Who else in this world will buy outrageously large RVs and pay for all that gas, just to go from track to track to watch cars run around in circles for 2-4 hours? The neat thing about the “Cars” movie for me was that I recognized the track that they used for the first race in the movie, that being the very same track that I lived near for so long, which is affectionately referred to by many as “the world’s largest cereal bowl. But I digress…)
The point is, “Ratatouille” does not have that element of humor. It is ironic that a rat ends up cooking in a kitchen, but that’s not humorous. It’s not funny at all. And the scene where they showed the rats hanging in the window of the store? Well, the movie had been very realistic up to that point, extremely realistic. But I don’t think that even in Paris, the home of “really good food,” a store owner would show off his rat traps by hanging dead rats in the window of his store. I was extremely thankful at that point that I had not eaten anything before coming to the theater.
So I think maybe everyone at Pixar created a good story, and maybe they thought the idea of a rat becoming a cook was funny. But rats are not a friend of man, and never will be. So I think the movie lost it because they didn’t place in it the element of humor that it so badly needed.
Veggie Pirates, on the other hand, always bring with them a “boatload” of humor, no matter what crisis they face. So I think the movie will do well mainly because of that, but also because it is “anchored” to a great story line, and will help all of us “sail” to a place in our imaginations where we’ve never been before.
Sorry… couldn’t pass up the puns… 🙂
HI What prog. do you use for jellynews?
Yes… I love PIXAR, and Star Wars and Spider-Man…
But I agree completely with Phil.
Phil – I stumbled across your blog serendipitously, and this discussion was worth the time.
To me the reason for the relative underperformance of Ratatouille was the failure to center the story on love. Remy is a classic Disney/Pixar shorts comic character, not a classic Disney/Pixar features lead. Compare Nemo (father/son love), Incredibles (family love), etc. The nature of the gimmick (rat cooks great food) overpowered the unfortunately downplayed relationship between a shy, bumbling man and an assured, strong woman – now that’s a story with legs, made many a time to great applause.
Classic Disney features are not that far off from classic Hitchcock (not Psycho, the exception) – love conquers all.
It’s been a few years since I retired from producing (Berenstain Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.), and I’ve only followed the biz from afar – for the most part not with pride. I know I sound like an old fart when I say that they don’t make them like they used to, but in this case they didn’t.
Well I must confess i ddn’t read all stuff because is late, i’m really sleeping… and I do’nt understand english very well.
I stopped here because i really like Ratatouille. In fact I find this searching for my heros! They are here ^^ i’m so happy! And I do’nt know what you are saying about ratatouille I must say that i love this movie as i love veggie all-stuff.
Well, i’m here to ask a favor, i mean if you really are Phil Vischer, my sweety potato belongs to you! And my coolest cucumber of all time! And my cute grape! So if you are really you I need a favor! I’m not american ((as you can see)) and here where i live veggie is not easy to find (( I am sad but you need to see my mom, she is worse than sad = / she love veggie!)) but god really loves me and send a friend to USA this year! He will watch The Pirates Who Don’t Do anything at the Movies and will tell me everything! if he has money I will ask for the puppets of the film ((sooo lovely))
I want to ask you to send Mr Lunt, Larry and Pa Grape to talk with my friend! They can find him! He will stay at San Diego! Can you ask them to give to my friend a Hug? Take a looot of pictures! And send me a kiss? Can you do it? It would be a great birthday present! Don’t forget San Diego California in January. =]
Well i’m really tired…
Kisses for all! Thanks for remembering me that I’m at least special for for somebody; I’m special to god and to everybody in big idea because they make my days special and happy!
O-o-o-o-oh… I think BuzzP hit the nail on the head.
“But I don’t think that even in Paris, the home of “really good food,” a store owner would show off his rat traps by hanging dead rats in the window of his store.”
Just had to comment on The Cookie Lady’s post from above… that’s a real store. Take a look:
Thank you for pointing that out, though it doesn’t make the movie any more special to me. As a matter of fact, it makes it much less special.
The article you referrenced gives the impression that the same, I repeat, SAME rats have been hanging in that store window for over 75 years. 75 years! I’m sorry, but that’s a little extreme, don’t you think? One could only hope they’re stuffed…
(but with what, I wouldn’t even want to imagine…)
All: I’m sorry, but even though I have been impressed with Pixar up to this point, the knowledge of this article and what it says turns my stomach, and creates within me a complete turn-off to the company in general. I mean, what was the point in using a real store in their movie? I am like so many others; I go to the movies to get away from reality! I don’t need to stare at reality in a store front window! Especially not that type of reality! And if you’ve never dealt with rats or mice, then you don’t know what it’s like. Granted, I’ve never had to deal with large numbers of them at one time, but one at a time is enough.
Ratatouille has beautiful,beautiful scenes, some of which are the most beautiful I have ever seen in a movie, especially an animated movie. The only other scenery that in my opinion even compares is the scenery in the movie “The Man From Snowy River” which really shouldn’t be a comparison since it’s not animated. But the rest of Ratatouille? I can leave it all behind. Two confused story lines: a rat trying to “find himself” and a bumbling boy who doesn’t even know who he is. Yet he helps the rat find his place in the world? Please…
Forgive me if I sound a little sour, but I think Andrew Stanton and John Lasseter and all the others at Pixar have better ideas and better talent than this. So it makes me wonder: who has been infecting them? I love most of their other movies, and believe they have exceptional creativity at Pixar, but if Ratatouille is an indication of things to come… well….
I’ll stick with the Veggies… and the Veggie Pirates.
I thought Ratatouille was good, until reading some of these other comments. I purchased the DVD and have watched it three or four times, enjoying it each time … except for the ‘extra’ song by Remy and his brother, which was simply stupid. But now that I’ve read these comments, it occurs to me that the story was a bit lame. The romance between the boy and the girl was a joke. He came across as a teenager, and she was (at first) much more sophisticated and mature. The attraction (on her part) was not convincing. The bit with the dead rats in the window was gross.
When I first saw it in the theater, what convinced me to see it again was the ‘twist’ ending. It didn’t wrap up with the happy ending that seemed inevitable.
Now I fear we won’t be watching it again for a long time.
Well said!!! Ratatouille used superb storytelling and I remember wanting to see it in theaters but somehow it got lost in whatever else came out during that time and I ended up seeing it recently on DVD.
I hope Pirates does well in the theaters!!!
I just liked Ratatouille because of how Brad Bird directed it…it really makes you feel like a rat crawling around a kitchen! Kinda gross for the people who can’t take rats as movie stars, (I did make a face in one part of the movie) but I still really liked it aside its flaws.
Actually, there is a movie Plumiferos, a family friendly CGI flik made for $700,000 US. What happened to it, I dunno, but it was, or is, supposed to hit theaters sometimes.
I think that sometimes we need to honestly look at what we are trying to accomplish with any enterprise. In the case of The upcoming The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, I doubt that Phil is hoping for POTC-type numbers or even Ratatouille-type numbers. Ratatouille, however, did something that no other animated film, even the Best-Picture nominated Beauty and the Beast, has done: it was the best-reviewed film of the year, and with good reason: it transcends being a CG film and can rank with the best films out there. Its box office was nothing to sneeze at either, and is only marginally lower than Cars was, which was regarded as more of a failure by Disney.
What TPWDDA needs to do is what Hoodwinked did: be well-reviewed and get decent box-office numbers. If it shows itself as being truly “different” and worth the public’s time, the audience will come.
Our family just saw a screening of Pirates today, and we all loved it! I hope it does well in the theaters, and I’ll definitely be recommending it.
Hiya Mr. Vischer! It’s Friday and my friends and I are walking out the door to go see the movie! My entire children’s youth group that I volunteer at is coming with the creative veggietales shirts we made on Wedsnday they all have different designs on them like Bob and Larry, The Pirates, Junior, and even Boys In The Sink! We are all excited to see it and we hope it’s a big hit!
It is now after January 12th. The date you mentioned above for commenters to ask you if The Pirates will survive the competition. Do you have anything to add now?
Thanks for all you do and have done. I just finished your book last night in a record time for reading a book. I could not put it down. It hit home for me in so many instances and I am strongly suggesting that my wife (also named Lisa) read it too. Looking forward to whatever way God’s ocean current pushes Jellyfish.
I actually disagree. After seeing the trailer for Ratatouille many many times, I was ready to go out and buy it the first week it was on DVD (I didn’t have the opportunity at the time to see it in the theater). Me, my wife, and kids were all excited about getting the film and watching it multiple times over. We are big VeggieTales fans, and have worn out those tapes and DVDs, and still watch them over and over. Ratatouille’s trailer had us on the edge of our seats, ready to snatch it up as soon as we could. It looked like an awesome film. We had really enjoyed Cars (and own it), so we were expecting
another good film.
Then, I had the opportunity (for which I am now very thankful) to rent the movie right after it came out in the video stores. All I can say is WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!!. Most (all?) of the funny lines from the trailer don’t even appear in the actual movie! Throughout the film, I found myself wondering “Where are they going with this?” As the movie went on, that turned to “Is this ever going to be over?” I had a house full of 16 kids plus me and my
wife. It should have been a fun evening. But while there were some funny moments, I found the plot weak, the message uninspiring, and the movie overall a bit boring. And I almost always *like* movies where the underdog wins. I was *so* happy that I hadn’t bought this one (because I would *not* have kept it).
I think the trailer *did* do its job in making this film look like a winner. The trailer was *great*. It was the movie that was a major YAWN.