The trailers for Disney’s film Bolt look funny, especially that gung-ho hamster character. However, I can’t imagine the movie will be very good for one simple reason.
The main character is a dog who thinks he has superpowers, but he actually just plays a super-powered dog on TV and the show’s creators hide the truth from him so that he doesn’t know he’s on a show.
In other words, he’s never heard the word, “Cut!” Nor has he ever had to retake a scene. And apparently, there are no stunt-dogs or stand-in dogs. Also, every one of his adventures must be done sequentially.
Can you buy that?
I’ve often been baffled at how much we average citizens know about movie-making (and TV, natch) that the movies assume we don’t know. By that I mean: I think a LOT of us know that movies are grueling series of retakes, they aren’t shot in sequence, there is no soundtrack playing while they do it, stunt-people are used, stand-ins are used during back-and-forth conversations that are then assembled to look as if two actors are opposite one another, etc.
How does it occur to movie-people, who know this better than anyone else, to make films that are entirely dependent on a fictitious style of movie-making in which all special effects are done in real time and action scenes go on for five minutes without any cuts? Think of the Robin Hood-esque movie within "The Rocketeer" where there’s a soundtrack playing during the fight scene and the entire fight scene has to be redone due to an actress’ flubbed line in a close-up. Nobody makes movies that way. Or the countless films that rely on the "movie being made by hundreds of hidden cameras everywhere" premise, the most recent being "Tropic Thunder."
When I saw the trailer for Bolt, I couldn’t believe the premise at all. Too bad.