_Some people might call 13 unlucky. I call it a baker’s dozen, which gives us one extra doughnut or sweet roll or what have you, so I’m ok with it. Today, we have Rango. It’s a CG animated family western with tiny animals, featuring the voice talents of Johnny Depp, Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear and Claudia Black, although she only gets like, 5 lines and doesn’t talk in her normal sexy-as-hell Aussie accent. I’m getting over it. I’ll get over it. Someday. The healing process might start down the road…just…give me a minute…
Johnny Depp voices some faceless family’s pet chameleon. They’re driving through the desert (Near Las Vegas, actually. Turns out there’s some Fear and Loathing references in here, but I haven’t seen F&L. The Vegas shot is hilarious though, but we’ll get to that later) when suddenly, the car swerves and his glass home flies out of the car and crashes on the highway! He finds himself having to survive on his own for the first time. He is pointed by a kind armadillo to the tiny desert animal town of Dirt. A couple tall tales and stroke of luck later, he’s adopted the moniker of Rango and he is appointed the sheriff and goes about uncovering the mystery of the town’s drought.
As a huge Pixar fan (fanboy, possibly. Maybe. Probably), I can say this movie reminded me a lot of better Pixar works. It’s a family film that never condescends to any of its audience. There isn’t (too much) objectionable content for kids and it’s not dumbed down. I highly enjoyed it. Not enough Claudia Black voice though. Though maybe that would’ve counted as sexual content and upped the rating. Probably a good thing, then.
OK, I’d like to talk more about the movie, but the shot of Vegas is bothering me. Like a bunch…here we go…
OK…that’s “Las Vegas.” And before you ask, that’s a golf course in the foreground. We don’t have grass everywhere and water firing out around the city. We actually do have a lot of golf courses here, so that’s actually accurate. Now…just because I don’t want to upload a ton of pics pointing out what is wrong with this picture or overload it with text everywhere, let me point out the biggest flaw with this image…
Based on the placement of the Luxor, Treasure Island and the MGM, it’s easy to tell where Las Vegas Blvd, the Strip, is and the cardinal directions of north and south. The Stratosphere is north of the Strip. Vegas Vic is farther north, in downtown Las Vegas. It has mysteriously been relocated all the way to the south side.
What the ever-living-fuck.
The thing that’s really mind blowing about this, though, is that this is actually periodically accurate in regards to the hotel/casinos that existed at the time! The Sands was demolished in late 1996, while the Stratosphere opened in earlier that year, giving a a good approximation of the time period. And while there are plenty of missing places, there’s not much time traveling. I say “Not much” cause I doubt the non-casinos had a time-sensitive pictures referenced to make the image. But even the Stardust, which was imploded in 2007, has the correct, classic logo on the sign. The fact that there was any thought put into making it “historically accurate” and then completely shit on the actual layout of the city is just ridiculous. Did they need to move Vegas Vic 5 miles south in the middle of what would most likely be a residential area to get it in the picture, just to make sure we knew it was Las Vegas? The flashy signs over a hill in the middle of the desert wouldn’t have gotten that across? The giant fucking black pyramid amongst a modern urban city wouldn’t have done the trick?
I haven’t even mentioned the fact that the Gold Coast is west the of Strip, on the other side of I-15. That the MGM’s sign is actually right next to the MGM hotel/casino, which is the big green-blue building on the right side of the picture and that the Stratosphere isn’t wedged into the corner of it on the same property. Or that the Stardust was actually on the north end of the Strip. Or that the two “Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas” signs are located on Las Vegas Blvd. and Boulder Highway, either street that sign is far removed from, are both smack dab in the middle of medians, and aren’t large enough to be seen at all from this distance. Fuck, man. Just…shit.
Maybe I’m going on about this too much. The image doesn’t show up on screen for very long. But as a Vegas native, it only took a second for me to see it and say “Good lord, this is just wrong.” But…good lord, it was just wrong.
_Join me tomorrow for some martial arts! Ip Man. See you then~