Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Car's Life (2006) and Capitalizing on the Success of Other Films

Every year has its own share of blockbuster movies.  These are the movies that get people into the cinemas.  They are the entertainment for the majority of the world movie-going population and they drive the Hollywood money machine.  They are an integral part in keeping the movie business going in this day and age.  There are, however, many who would like to cash in on the popularity of the blockbuster flicks in order to make some money of their own.

Each time that a major blockbuster is released, it is inevitable that there will be a very similar DVD or bluray put out that is heavily inspired or stolen from the blockbuster.  The production company most known for such properties is The Asylum, who has released titles such as Transmorphers, Snakes on a Train, and Paranormal Entity.  These movies get released around the time of the blockbuster’s release in order to capitalize on any name confusion.  There are other examples of this money making scheme that are not as well known.
A Car’s Life was a release by a company known as Allumination FilmWorks.  This movie took the basic elements of Cars and made their own movie with the elements.  The basic elements were the title, which was changed to A Car’s Life, the idea that the cars were alive and there were no people, and the fact that it was animated.  Comparing the overall plot, the two works seem much different.  The theme of maturing and knowing limits was shared between movies, but the journeys to show those themes were different.  One plot involved a hotshot popular racecar realizing that the rest of the world was not beneath him, and the other involved a child learning to become more adult and stop acting out in wild ways.

The point of these knock-offs is not necessarily to create a good plot or even a good movie.  Some of the movies might have a good plot to them, but that is not why the movies are made.  These movies are made to make money off of the confusion of the average person.  If the average person were to go into a store when Cars was in the theater, and they see a movie called A Car’s Life sitting on the shelf, there was a chance that they might think it was the same movie and pick it up.  If Cars was coming out on video and they saw A Car’s Life sitting on the shelf, they might think they were the same movie.  Either way, they might have been getting the inferior knock-off, rather than the superior movie that was being stolen from.

A Car’s Life was one of the worst offenders when it comes to capitalizing off of the bigger movies.  Not only was it a blatant rip from Cars, it was poorly made as well.  The animation was amateur as well as the voice work.  Some of the scenes consisted of the same digitally created shot shown from different angles for extended periods of time.  The world created for the movie made little to no sense in terms of what could and could not happen.  The plot felt very rushed.  The execution felt rushed.  This all added up to forty-one minutes of painful disappointment.

The main difference between A Car’s Life and other movies that try to cash in on the success of blockbusters is that the other movies tend to have at least the smallest amount of entertainment value to them.  A Car’s Life was devoid of entertainment and is thus one of the worst offenders in the “mockbuster” genre of movies.  (“Mockbuster” is not a term coined by the writer of this blog, but rather a term that was already created and just used for the sake of using it.)

In the end, all that a movie viewer can do is better educate themselves on the movies that they want to watch.  Do not get tricked by the simplistic deception of the knock-off movies.  They are trying to take the money out of the average watcher’s pocket.  Make sure that, as a viewer, you know what you are watching before you watch it.  Do not mistakenly watch something that is not what you intended to watch.  Become more aware and you can avoid watching the things that I watch.  I watch them so that you do not have to.  Why don’t we keep it that way?

There is one note that I would like to make:
  • If you have a movie that you would like to see covered in the Sunday "Bad" Movie posts, you can contact me on Twitter or leave a comment.

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