Man, I love 3-D. I saw this deep sea movie in
three dimensions a couple years ago and about two-thirds of
the way into it the little kids practically wet themselves when
a shark leapt out of the screen chasing a little flounder. I
didn't have the fancy glasses because I had snuck in, but I
could see enough to know what was going on and I had enough
Mickey's Malt Liquor in me to imagine I was seeing things chasing
I heard once that they made a porno in 3-D and
I thought that would be pretty cool. Not because I want tits
and dicks swinging at my head, but because the old blue-red-glasses
3-D is sort of blurry so you can't see the razor burn on women's
crotches, the hand-shaped bruises on their ribs and arms, or
the tiny white pimples in the wet corners of their mouths. Besides,
fuzziness adds to an object's mystique. Why else would people
be so obsessed with bears? And Turkish candy?
Anyway, I had a lot of goodwill toward the gimmick
of 3-D going into Meet the Robinsons on Friday. I was
really looking forward to seeing it and getting free glasses.
It's not playing in 3-D everywhere, so I couldn't go to the
local Olde Towne Cinemae here in Arvada. Hell, they have a hard
enough time just showing things in two dimensions. Sometimes
they give you a little more height than width, or vice versa.
And sometimes you have to keep current on current trends in
quantum mechanics and imagine that while all you're seeing is
a white line across the screen, some heretofore unknown dimension
comprised of materials we have yet to discover is getting the
rest of the movie.
Allow me to digress for a moment to ponder that.
Yeah, I know I can do that on my own time, but I have important
shit to do then. So, you sit there, and I'll do this. Did you
know that there is increasing acceptance in scientific communities
of the existence of dimensions beyond those we understand? What
dimensions do we know of? Width, depth, height, time and smell?
What if those were only an infinitesimally small part of what
made up the universe? You can't even think in the terms we understand
of things being parallel, adjacent or near each other. Your
body may exist in 40 dimensions and you're only aware of a few
and the elements and compounds that reside in it. Your other
dimensions have things besides neutrinos and quarks. Shit scientists
like to call "dark matter" because they have no idea what it
is. And scientists think this is true because at the subatomic
level they can actually document "dark matter" and even what
could be ripples in the time-space continuum. Do you understand
the implications, how major this could be for our lives? This
means, at its most profound level, that there are ways of getting
loaded we have not even discovered yet. Or that coming home
at 4 a.m. and crying while playing Air Supply records might
upset your wife in this dimension, but it might make your other
wives in the other dimensions give you a blow job. On your three-thousand-foot-long
That's fucking deep. Something Meet the Robinsions
isn't, really. Man, what a loud, manic, unfocused, good-looking
heap. This kiddie cartoon suffers from a lack of restraint that
took over when nobody could think of a way to flesh out the
45 minutes of story into an hour and twenty minutes or so.
In present-day New York, Lewis is a twelve-year
old orphan with a penchant for inventing gadgets. A creepy guy
comes from the future to steal his science fair project, and
then a kid, Wilbur Robinson (also from the future), follows
to stop the creepy guy. They all travel in time machines to
the future, where Lewis discovers that the creepy guy is his
old disgruntled orphanage roommate all grown up and resentful
toward Lewis, who has grown up to be a successful inventor.
In fact, he invented the time machines, and his own son is Wilbur,
who came to the past to get him.
There's some heartwarming shit about an orphan
learning to stop wishing for a family because he gets one in
the future, but even that theme feels secondary to the onslaught
of gags and images geared for a kid with ADD on crack. There
is a dinosaur, singing frogs, a mother who teaches the frogs,
a grandfather who loses his teeth, a grandmother who I still
have no idea what her role was, a fat guy with no lines, a lame
food fight, a pizza delivery guy, school teachers, scientists,
talking robot hats and on and on.
Some of that shit would have been fun, but the
whole middle of the movie is nothing but "wacky" diversions
piled as deep as dead bodies in the Ganges. None of it is particularly
funny because you can see the desperation and flop sweat on
It all looks sort of cool. The movie has a retro-futuristic
vision, like The Jetsons or Tomorrowland at Disneyland.
People travel in bubbles or bubble-top spaceships. They have
robots and elastic lawns. That would be a cool background, but
in the absence of a story, the movie designers go apeshit and
overwhelmed me gimmicks and gadgets and goofy shit like pneumatic
tubes, hidden doors and tons of Rube Goldbergesque crap. Sort
of like getting trapped in a Spencer's Gifts for an hour too
For forty minutes, I sat there wondering when
we would get to the plot, or what exactly the plot is. Finally,
the story flattens out toward the end and gets much better.
Take the middle part out, and you have a decent kids's story,
but not a feature-length movie. And this turd comes up short
even with a 1953 Donald Duck cartoon beforehand. No studio is
interested in a good story they can't make money off of. Meet
The Robinsons is yet another example, along with Polar
Express and those godawful Dr. Seuss adaptations that they
would rather ruin a good story and make money.
Two Fingers for Meet the Robinsons.
Oh yeah, the 3-D is clear to look at, but not used to much effect.