Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3 - Movie Review

Oh, what's the point of reviewing Toy Story 3 when Lileks has already said everything I want to say:
In the end it’s difficult to describe without spoiling it, which is why I’m not going into more detail. But since everyone talks about misting up at the end – or flat-out sobbing, depending – and yes, it’s a killer. It’s a surprisingly long goodbye that gives each character their due and closes the story with gentle grace. (And they promptly pick you back up and makes you laugh with an extended credit sequence.) For me, though, the most effective episode came earlier, in the final Scene of Great Peril. All of these movies have moments were everything seems lost, when escape seems impossible, when Evil seems about to triumph, and of course TS3 had that scene. Usually the heroes are just about to do something before they’re saved, or they make one desperate last lunge that turns to be the exact right thing to do, and if they have a moment of doubt and fear it lasts one beat, two beat, three – SALVATION!

Not this time. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, but in retrospect it reminded of “Titanic,” only inasmuch as the emotion in TS3 were absent from the sinking of the ship. Cameron uses emotion to explore the possibilities of computers; Pixar uses computers to explore the possibilities of emotion.

You’ll know what I mean when you see the scene. If you saw, you know, right? The expressions, the hands, the dread, the quick and necessary assumption of acceptance. It’s a Bambi’s-Mom-is-Shot moment but much deeper, and I don’t think there’s anything like it in the Disney canon.

Read the whole thing. But there are a couple of things I need to add:

I'm one to lament long and loud about how Hollywood doesn't make 'em like they used to but TS3 is how they used to make 'em: movies aimed at kids but with adult themes with scenes and dialogue with true, hard-earned emotion wrung out of 'em. I was startled at the sophistication of the movie's themes - when was the last time you saw a movie where the main characters struggled with the purpose of their creation? Strange how this kind of thing has to come from a children's movie.

I'll be sorely glad when this 3D fad is over with. We watched it in 3D and the experience was not at all enhanced; I find the glasses to be a distraction and the theater's policy of not leaving until you checked in your pair is cumbersome.

This movie has already made a ton of money. Will Hollywood learn that making high-quality movies with high-stakes emotions can be profitable? Nope. They haven't yet. Back to the trash-making machine.

Still, Hollywood does manage to spin out a classic every once in a while. This is one of them.

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