American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
There is probably a movie critic’s code of conduct out there that requires reviewers to maintain an open and unprejudiced mind when plying their trade. Perhaps similar to what the Boy Scouts have. Or maybe more like the Cosa Nostra creed.
But I have found it often pays to lower one’s expectations to rock bottom to avoid the agony of disappointment when encountering a potentially dicey film.
That is how I came to fully expect to be underwhelmed by "Planes: Fire & Rescue," despite its blessedly brief 80-minutes-or-so running time, minus the interminable end credits that are a hallmark of tech-loaded animation.
This assumption was based on its 3-D predecessor from last year: "Planes," a onetime straight-to-DVD Disney effort inspired by Pixar’s "Cars" that was presumably upgraded to a theatrical release when someone noticed they could sell a bazillion more tie-in toys that way.