Friday, June 18, 2010

Toystory 3 - To Infinity and Beyond

When a movie has been in the works for five years, you know that it will obviously have a reputation that it is required to live up to. But when a movie has been in the works for over a decade, then you know that there is truly something special in the works.

The date was November 22, 1995; a date that changed cinema history forever. A small computer company named Pixar, released Toy Story around the globe. Since that day the movie has become one of the biggest landmarks in film history, and Pixar has become one of the most respected companies in the world. The thing that made Toy Story so special was the fact that Toy Story was the first full-length computer animated film, and fortunately, it is also the best one ever made.

Toy Story was released on November 22, 1995. It changed films forever.

It only took Pixar four years to work their magic again and release a full-length sequel, that not only lived up to expectations, but exceeded them as well. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 instantly became two of the most influential and most important films in cinema history... but there was more to these films than technological innovations that made them so important to the world. The Toy Story films reached an audience unlike any other film in cinema history. The two films touched the hearts of millions of children and adults. The two films firmly stood as testimony to the world that animated films are not just for kids. The themes and elements presented in the first two films were unlike anything ever seen in an animated feature before. The films not only contained drama, but they also had truly mature and emotional themes that could move a person to tears. Elements regarding abandonment, life and death, and maturity in life were all major themes that were expanded upon in the films.

Launched four years after the first film, Toy Story 2 was just as perfect as the first film. Some people argue that it's even better than the first film.

Children grew up watching their favorite drug, Toy Story. It's hard to find someone who didn't grow up watching Toy Story as a child, or watched it with their children. The films are simply classics. I remember as a wee little lad waiting for the third installment in the series... but it never came. The worldwide audience had given up on any possibility of a Toy Story 3.

Then one day in the year 2008, Pixar announced to the world that the long awaited Toy Story 3 would receive a world-wide release during the summer of 2010. I nearly jumped through the roof with joy. Finally, after a ten year long wait, Toy Story 3 is playing in theaters around the globe. With an incredible reputation that the series has built, and unbelievably high expectations to fulfill, does Toy Story 3 soar to infinity and beyond, or does it belong in the attic with all of our abandoned toys?

Taking place years after the second film, Toy Story 3 stars all of the toys that you have grown to know and love. There's still the overly-anxious dinosaur, Rex; the incredibly knowledgeable piggy-bank, Ham; the friendly yet courageous dog, Slinky; the stupid, but loveable horse, Bullseye; the beautiful cowgirl, Jesse; the loving spuds, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head; the space-ranger Buzz Lightyear; and the greatest Cowboy of all-time, Woody. Pixar has even thrown in some new toys into the mixing bowl in order to spice things up. As you've come to expect the cast to Toy Story 3 is just as strong as the past two films. The characters may look like plastic, but their dialogue and characterization are made out of solid steel.

The incredible cast to Toy Story 3.

I will avoid speaking a lot about the plot to the film simply because I believe that the less you know about the film, the more you will enjoy it. But for a basic outline, Toy Story 3 mainly deals with the same concepts regarding abandonment from the previous film, Toy Story 2. Andy is now seventeen, and he's going to college. Which can mean only one thing; does he keep his toys, or pack them up? Through the events of that take place during the film, the toys end up getting sent to a day care, and from there on the film turns into "The Great Escape." I will not say anymore about the plot from there, because it is something that no one wants to have spoiled for them. However, I will say that the plot is just as brilliant as the other two films. It is full of plot twists and rich and dynamic characters.

The crew to the film ends up at a Day Care known as, "Sunnyside."

Speaking of characters, let's talk about the cast in more detail. As mentioned before, all of the major characters from previous films have returned in the film in full glory. Every character seems to get a special moment where they are fully explained to the audience, and we become closer to them unlike ever before. It is something truly sweet to behold, and only a person who has grown up watching the films will understand how satisfying this can be. Most of the new characters in the film are incredibly deep for entering into the trilogy for the first time. The new bear, Lotso (Ned Beatty), is one of the deepest and most well-crafted characters in the entire trilogy. The cast is definitely more mature than the previous films. All of the characters have bonded with each other, and are more developed. There's definitely a lot more to these characters then there was before.

The design to the film is top-notch. Everything looks impeccable. Humans finally have a look that sets them apart from the toys. The flawless writing has also improved, along with the already perfect pacing. In short, nearly everything in Toy Story 3 is perfect. However, the overall feel of the film is definitely different than the previous two films. Pixar was obviously taking the series in a new direction, and they made it work.

I must also mention the flawless voice performances. Tom Hanks (Woody) goes over the top again. He is simply perfect for every role that he is cast in, and I find it amazing that he could return to a role that he has not done in over ten years,and do it again flawlessly. Tim Allen (Buzz) also deserves just as much credit for doing the same thing with his character, Buzz Lightyear. All of the cast is incredible, Ken (Michael Keaton) and Barbie (Jodi Benson) almost steal the show.

John Morris (Andy) and Erik von Detten (Sid) return in the film as their original characters. (See if you can spot Sid in his entertaining role in the film.)

The music to the film is just what you would expect from a Toy Story film; it is epic. Randy Newman returns for the third time and sings appropriate songs for the film, and the actual score itself surprised me. I was not expecting the music to be so grand in the film. Half way through the film, I turned to my brother and said, "The music is really good to this one." I think he didn't hear me... maybe because he was listening to the music? The musical score in my opinion, is the best of the three movies, which is saying a lot.

As the Toy Story films get farther and farther into the series, they get darker and more mature as they go. Toy Story 3 is not only by far the darkest of the three films, but it is by far, the darkest and most dramatic film made by Pixar. Sure the film is full of a ton of jokes that made me laugh, but, the main basis of the film was its story, which was a dark drama. For the first time in a Pixar film I felt kind of freaked out and disturbed by a particular character. (Name rhymes with... Maybe.)

Darker, and more dramatic, Toy Story 3 is full of surprises.

Toy Story 3 was simply a flawless film. Sure there were some things that really bothered me, such as montage of "Freak Out," some potty jokes that felt too Dreamworksish, (If that's even a word) and I really wasn't a fan of the Spanish speaking Buzz, but that part was a short part of the film, and it went better than I expected it too. I am willing to excuse all of the things that bothered me because it really didn't ruin the film experience for me.

But what really made the film for me, and I think everyone else, was the ending. The last fifteen minutes of the film soared to a new level of drama and emotion for me that I have never seen before. I was watching the film, and could not believe what I was seeing. The film did not end how I was expecting it too. It was actually the exact opposite of what I was expecting; I will not say what happened, but to put it simple, Toy Story 3 made me cry. It was a painful, and almost tragic ending. By the time the credits were rolling, I was wiping away tears so that I could look manly for my girlfriend.

Some people may find it funny or just plain embarrassing that a kids movie made me cry; but they probably didn't grow up playing with their own Woody or Buzz Lightyear toys, or watching the movies. They won't understand the emotional connection that I have with the film. Over the years Toy Story has grown to be a part of me. And it was hard to see it leave.

Whether or not Pixar intends to make a Toy Story 4 is unknown. But I think that they were trying to say, "This is the end." To put it simple, I will be mad if they make a Toy Story 4. The ending to Toy Story 3 was just too powerful. It is definitely the must see movie of the summer. Anyone who thought that Dreamwork's had beaten Pixar with "How To Train Your Dragon" needs to see Toy Story 3. It is an unbeatable film, and a perfect conclusion to one of the greatest trilogies of all time. In the end, Toy Story 3 succeeds in the mission of the franchise, and it soars into infinity and beyond.

STORY: 10/10
DESIGN: 10/10


Friday, June 11, 2010

Movie Trailers! Yay!

So, in case you are unaware, I am a sucker for movie trailers. I loooove watching them... a lot. I don't know why, but I find them highly entertaining, and when I go to see a movie at the old Cinemark, I expect nothing but top notch movie trailers. If I don't get good movie trailers while I'm at the theater, then I feel really ripped off.

During the past few weeks I've seen a handful of trailers that have made me rather happy. I want to share them with the few people that actually read my pathetic blog. I hope you enjoy all of them... I actually hope that you just watch them. They're cool people! ... try to accept them. Please?


If you have never heard of Tron, then you are living under a rock. Tron is an old Disney film from 1982. It was about a program inside of a computer that was fighting for his survival... it was awesome. It was not only epic, but it had romance, and crappy special effects! (My favorite.)

For whatever reason, Disney has decided to make a sequel to the film. I wasn't happy when I first found out, but it actually looks really cool! I hope it doesn't suck... Check the trailer out below.


I'm a sucker for Disney and Pixar films. Toy Story is simply one of the best movies ever made. It excels in every possible category of film making. Everything is perfect. The sequel to the original is just as good as the original, and some consider it to be even better. That is almost unheard of in film making. (Except with Terminator. Go Terminator 2!)

Toy Story 3 is finally coming, (In one week) and I'm super exicted but also extremely nervous. Pixar has never let me down with their films, and I really don't want Toy Story 3 to be the first movie from them to not be good. I'm excited for the film, but judging on this trailer, I'm not sure what to think...

I don't know... the spanish speaking Buzz does not feel very Pixarish (If that's even a word) to me. I'll just have to wait and see. I'll be sure to have a full review up on this blog for those who want to know what I thought of Toy Story 3.

On a more uplifting side, Pixar has been making these Ken Doll video promotions for Toy Story and they are hilarious. My girlfriend, Christina, would love this.


One of my all time favorite movies, The Sixth Sense, is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. He's kind of disappeared for a few years, but now he's making a comeback with his newest film, The Last Airbender. If you are unfamiliar with this film then allow me to fill you in on what this movie is about. It is based off a children's cartoon called, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Avatar is a being that can control all of the four major elements in the world and holds the godly task of holding world order and peace. The Avatar's have long vanished for hundreds of years, but after an accidental finding, a young girl and her brother discover that the Avatar's still exist.

I personally found the show dumb. It was good at what it did though. My little sister is obsessed with it. She literally watches it every night on Netflix. The movie looks fantastic. The visuals are incredible, and the fight scenes look like what Prince of Persia SHOULD have been. (Check out my Prince of Persia review if you haven't yet.)


No need to explain this one. Watching it should say everything. This looks... incredible.


If you are unaware, Assassin's Creed is a video game. But the trailers are designed to mimic the trailers of movies. Recently Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood was announced. Unfortunately, it looks awesome. (Unfortunate, because I'm going to have to pay $60.00 for a game I'm never going to play.) Check out the trailer below. It looks epic... really epic.

Those are some trailers that have made me rather happy. I hope they made you happy or a little less bored at home. Until my next post!