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Boats (2013)

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Title: Boats (2013)

Boats (2013) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Release Date:

20 September 2013 (USA)  »

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Roberts: Seaweed!
Johnson: What about it?
Roberts: I'm not sure yet.
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Spoofs Planes (2013) See more »


Sail On (Theme from Boats)
Music by Jesse Wiener
Lyrics by Justin Dec
Performed by Jesse Wiener featuring Maggie Joy Anderson
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Amusing but perhaps too broad in tone and character, lacking an edge that it needed to have
23 August 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A group of young enthusiastic suits get together to pitch their next big project to the studio executive before he heads out for tee-off. Given the success of putting faces on other objects (Cars, Planes etc) and making a kid's film out of them, the group excitedly unveil their next sure-fire hit, 'Boats' – or at least, the poster for it, which is testing very well.

With big-studio films such as Cars, Planes and their various sequels, spin-offs and marketing, the joke that the same basic stories may be being repeated as the studio just keeps sticking eyes and mouths on things that will make good toys is not really a joke that comes out of nowhere. Indeed many parents now meet the generic posters for such films with a certain amount of defeated acceptance; so with this being the case, the short film had to do more than the basics to make itself stand out. It is a shame that it doesn't do this, but it must be said that the broad comedy and familiarity of the feeling here formalized into a film does offer appeal.

The poster for the short film itself is the start of the joke because it does inherently look like yet another Pixar films where you feel they just aren't trying as they once were. From here we get jokes about studio executives keen to get to the golf course, lackeys being talked down to, pretty young things being overly praised by the powerful, older man, product placement being discussed before anything else, and anyone who thinks it is about making a classic film is laughed out of the room. In doing all these things the films sets its stall out very broadly and this is the tone that it continues with as the music, the performances and the general delivery of the material is done with broad farce in mind. This is a shame because there is not a lot of subtlety to the film as a result but, more surprisingly, there isn't really any edge to it.

Instead of being harsh, critical or really going for the jugular, the film is so broad that it just seems to be repeating the gag rather than criticizing it – the moment where one of the group tries to stand up to the madness is just part of the gag and his address to the group is so clunky and lacking in reality that it is hard not to see him as a deliberate set-up for the joke. With the material the cast play it very broad, with plenty of one-shots of them pulling reaction faces and generally mugging as part of the film's amusing air – some of it works but again mostly it just makes the film feel lighter than it should have done.

Overall the film is short enough and broad enough that anyone who has ever seen a poster for one of these many films will get the joke so it works on that level; just a shame that it doesn't push for more satire and is far too gentle and broad in what it does.

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