Unilaterally Sarcastic, Dangerously Cheesy

Posts tagged “Toy Story 3

Academy Awards Liveblog – A Day Too Late

So last night on Facebook I liveblogged the Oscars. Here’s the transcript in an attempt to actually post something today.

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Top 10 of 2010 – Films

2010 is officially over. Now it’s time to be overly critical of the entire year and reflect upon it and judge it on the whole by the content it produced artistically. If it were up to me, the following ten films would be the nominees for best picture. But then again, I have no sway with the academy. If anything, these films will be disqualified based on my recommendation…

THE TOP TEN FILMS OF 2010


10. The A-Team (Our Review)

I think that the only other person in the world who will have this on their top ten list would be former Marvel editor Nathan Cosby who loves this film only a little less than his pet bulldog Daffy. (Seriously, check out his twitter feed. It’s amazing.) The fact of the matter is that the chemistry between the leads here is absolutely amazing. Never in my life would I have thought Rampage Jackson could be as funny as he was here. Liam Neeson gives his full effort here and never lets the fact that this is a remake of a campy eighties tv show get in the way of doing a great job playing the leader of the group. Also, Jessica Biel’s legs. So there.

 

 

 

I have this framed in my room....9. Kick-Ass (Our Review)

You know, I’ve said that I don’t care for the original series which they based this one on and that really hasn’t changed. I think the second volume has benefited from the movie by taking what was improved upon and working it onto the page. But where the comic book series by Mark Millar was hobbled by it’s own hype and uncertain tone the film thrived by finding what it wanted to do and rolling with it. It is hard to think of a film that was more fun this year than Kick-ass. That alone earns it a spot on the list. Any film that can overcome the handicaps of it’s source material and come out the better product at the end of it deserves a little bit of praise.

 

 

8.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

While this one has some problems with pacing, but aside from that it’s a testament to how the material has grown since it’s beginnings. The biggest test that the series has had to face was the aging of its stars and keeping the tone of the films consistent with the audience’s development. A generation literally grew up alongside these characters. A new generation is jumping on as well, and they have to be able to latch on as well. The balancing act between keeping the films friendly to the childlike wonder of the earlier entries as well as pleasing the matured sensibilities of the established audience earns this one a place on the list.

 

 

7. Toy Story 3 (Our Review)

This one was a long time coming. The franchise that put Pixar on the map came back to prove that Disney can produce a sequel that isn’t complete and utter tripe. All films are made to make money, let’s be honest, but this one never felt like a cash grab. The narrative is developed, the characters feel in tune with what they should be, and the care that went into making the film is on display in every frame. While other animated fare, like Shrek for example, seem to stop about halfway through development and focus more on cheap gags and silly humor, Toy Story 3 tried and succeeded at being a top notch film first and foremost. That sort of thing earns you loads of credit in the end. The emotional heft of the film is quite impressive and is a testament to what Pixar can achieve.

 

6. Inception (Our Review)

I’m sure a lot of people expected this one to rank higher, but having recently revisited the film on home video I have to say that while it is still quite an amazing film, it’s not the best film to come out this year. I think that Christopher Nolan will come out better because of this film however, because he’s built himself up as a big name in Hollywood because he doesn’t seem to make films that fit the established mold and therefore will be able to make more films like Memento and the like whenever he finishes up his time on the Batman franchise. If anything, the biggest accomplishment of this film is getting the mainstream to engage in layered discussion about a film. Also, good to see that modern audiences can handle cerebral sci-fi.

 

 

5. Black Swan (Our Review)

It’s hard to argue against this one. It’s ham-fisted arthouse with a great deal of marketing hype centered around a thirty second blip in the narrative to draw in the mainstream. I honestly don’t think a lesser director could have pulled this off. It’s not Aronofsky’s best film, as I think the Wrestler is better constructed and that one had Marisa Tomei as a stripper, but Black Swan has the distinction of being his most ambitious and dangerous film since The Fountain, which seemed to crumble a bit under its own weight, a problem that Black Swan didn’t have a problem with.

 

 

4. Scott Pilgrim (Our Review)

I know I’ve run this into the ground. It’s an amazing film and one of the most distinctively off kilter than anything else that hit the cinemas this year. Edgar Wright outdid himself and the fact that so many people were alienated by the style only proves that maybe the movie was released ahead of it’s time. The only problem being that the film captures a time period very much cemented to this era, and so everything about the film works against it while making it unique. Time will do great things for this film, as it creates a bubble of nostalgia that works in ways other films only wish they could attain.

 

 

Hail Mary...3.The Town (Our Review)

Ben Affleck you magnificent bastard. The fact that he has so redeemed himself these last few years is nice. Gone Baby Gone was excellent but The Town was just amazing. The fact that he managed to remind us that he could indeed act while proving that he is one of the better working directors of the moment is a feat that cannot be understated. Also, let’s not underestimate the novelty that at least in my eyes, this was about Daredevil and Hawkeye straight up robbin’ folk.

 

 

 

Profile Picture Updated2. The Social Network (Our Review)

This film is a perfect storm of acting/writing/directing. This is a film that had to overcome a serious handicap in the fact that everyone in the civilized world laughed at the very concept. However, when word spread that the film was actually quite good, people felt the need to see it as if to prove to themselves that the concept was too silly to be a good film. The joke was on them as I’ve met very few people who can say with a straight face that it wasn’t one of the best films of the year. Jesse Eisenberg managed to make Mark Zuckerberg, a certifiable cunt if there ever was one, a somewhat sympathetic character and future Spider-Man Andrew Garfield turns out an impressive performance as the partner Zuckerberg pushed to the side. The film captures the attitude of a generation so succinctly that it deserves any and all praise I can heap on it.

1. True Grit

It’s been forever since we got a straight forward western on the big screen. I think the last was probably 3:10 to Yuma a few years back. The last people you would expect to play the western straight on film would be the Coens, but they manage to pull off one of their most mainstream efforts while simultaneously reinvigorating a seemingly dormant genre by playing to its strengths. They manage to give us a film that reminds the audience why westerns were so popular once upon a time. The characters play to a part of the human condition and the stories do too. This isn’t a very complex story. It is an open and simple theme held high by complex characters. Every actor in the film gives their all to create memorable and unique characters that set the film apart from the 1969 version in nearly every way.

 

 

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I have to admit that I didn’t get to see as many films as I would have liked this year. I still haven’t seen some supposedly great films like Winter’s Bone but of the films I’ve seen this year, this is the best I could put together. That having been said, if I decided to put together a list of the worst shit I saw this year it’d likely be a top twenty.


Film Review – Toy Story 3

Man, I feel so old when I think about how much has happened in the time between the release of the original Toy Story and the arrival of the third film in theaters. I mean, I’m a young guy. I’m not even twenty-five yet. But the fact that it’s been fifteen years since the first film hit theaters weighs heavy on me. Mainly because I can’t remember much about that portion of my childhood. I was transitioning into middle school a year down the line and priorities seemed to shift. I do remember that Toy Story was an inspiring movie for me. It was so new and I hadn’t ever seen anything like it. 3D prior to that point had been mostly hideous. Looking back on it now, it’s amazing how far we’ve come in the quality of animation. It’s the same sort of gulf that there was between the 3D at the time and what Pixar brought us with Toy Story the first time around.

Toy Story 3 feels like something just as new and fresh as the original was fifteen years ago. Not because of the story or the characters, but because the first time around Pixar was clearly aiming the film at the hearts of the young. It worked. I still count the first film as one of my childhood favorites. This time around, they’re aiming at the same demographic but fifteen years older. This film is made, undoubtedly, for the kids who are no longer kids. The themes of growing up and transitioning into a world where we have to leave our childhood behind is one that everybody who saw the original has now gone through. Just as we could relate back in 1995 to the wonder of getting that cool new toy, in 2010 we can relate to wondering if we can bring ourselves to part with them.

The majority of the film takes place at the Sunnyside Daycare center, where the toys are donated in the wake of Andy leaving for college. And they soon come to realise that it’s not enough to just be played with, there has to be a connection. A special bond between the toy and the child. I know I had a favorite toy when I was a kid. I can easily relate to what’s put up on the screen here. I’m not so sure that younger kids will entirely embrace the message because the nature of kids toys have changed. Electronic gaming is skewing younger and younger and the imaginative world-building on display in the film’s intro where the toys interact in an elaborate scenario dreampt up in the mind of an innocent child might not be as widespread as it was when I was younger. I don’t know for sure, as I have yet to take the plunge of breeding my own offspring yet.

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of my friends get married and have kids. I’m all too familiar with the message Pixar is sending with this one. I think it connects with me emotionally because of it. The kids will like the film because it’s got amazingly crafted action scenes and it plays out, like all of Pixar’s films, as a legitimitely good film in addition to being an animated feature. It’s how they manage to get films like Up! nominated for best picture awards. They know how to make a good film. The daycare being treated like a prison, and the detail taken to play with well established “escape film” tropes serves to make the film enjoyable in what can almost be seen as a reversal of the second film. Only, with the third film, the action and the pacing is done, in my opinion at least, with much more skill and finesse.

A good deal of chatter has gone on as to whether the film is necessary. Sequels by nature are a bit of a beast. They’re really only there for financial gain in the eyes of most. Here, at least we get a little bit of emotional closure for those of us who grew up with this as a childhood gem. And in that closure, we get a sort of passing of the torch to a new generation who, should Pixar choose to make another film down the line, can look back to this film with the same reverence that I do for the original.

Pixar doesn’t do bad movies, folks. Unless you count Cars, but let’s not mince words here. Just go with it.