June 18, 2010

Toy Story 3 Talkback

Walter reviewed it here; what did you think of the film? Let's talk Toy Story 3 and all things related.


Dan said...

Embarassing admission: I have yet to sit down and watch TOY STORY 2 all the way through, as I just keep catching a few minutes here and there on TV. I've never really understood why TOY STORY is *so* revered, though. It's good, I don't hate it, but Pixar have done a lot better since then. Unless, y'know, TS2 really *is* the GODFATHER II of animation people claim it to be. I need to see it.

I'm more excited by the prospect of a MONSTERS INC 2 than the reality of a TOY STORY 3. However, animated sequels take SO long to create, a part of me thinks they'd be best off using that time to think up original material. I guess Pixar have the original/sequel ratio about right.

Can't wait for the timely FINDING NEMO sequel set in the Gulf Of Mexico.

PS - I didn't know you were so talented with Photoshop. You need to send that to Pixar as the cover of your resume.

DCinTechnicolor said...

As much as I praise at the alter of Pixar, the Toy Stories were lesser saints for me - but dammit if 3 didn't deliver much more than I expected. I'm curious if it helps to have Lasseter out of the director's chair? That Monkey will haunt me for days, the tortilla bit absolutely slayed me, and how the hell did they manage to work in the line: "nobody takes my wife's mouth but me!" Sorry if I'm a little scatterbrained about it right now, but if I can take a very slight detour from the topic - I thought the short before the film was one of the best, easily the most ambitious, and better used 3D than the feature itself.

Lastly, I certainly hope I wasn't primed to enjoy the movie THAT much more after seeing the slate of god-awful, cliche kid's movies that fill the months between Pixar releases.

Oh shit - monkey A-Bomb too! Much better than this bomb, oh Armond!

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, I love reading the latest Armond White review and trying to decode just what-the-fuck he's talking about, but this one is just insane, just completely batshit. The only other neg review of TS3 on RottenTomatoes is some idiot who thought the 3D should have things floating around on the screen. Isn't there some kind of process to have these people excluded from the Tomatometer?

schnofel said...

I just love that Armond is pissing off all the idiots. This is like a litmus test - if you complain about Toy Story 3 being denied 100% on the Tomatometer you're an idiot.

Having just seen the film it's interesting to decode it first through Walter's existentialist dread shtick and then through Armond's anti-consumerist rant. I agree more with White in that it lacks invention: it's a best of Toy Story 1 & 2 (an ideal sequel, Hollywood would say). But the hellhole sequence really got to me. And it's such a sweet little cushion of an ending that I feel forgiving towards all the recycling of stale Pixar formula.

And thanks to Armond I've just added Jonah Hex to my watch list. Because if Toy Story 3 is the epitome of filmmaking in the summer of 2010, I can use a little avantgarde, even camp. Hell, I can use a geniunely awful film.

Patrick said...

I don't get the Toy Storys. They're movies that seem to want me to feel bad for not playing with my toys anymore, or for not keeping them around, or for giving toys to toddlers or for replacing a lost toy with a new one.

And then, they bring in really dark moments (the monkey, Big Baby and the moon, the hellhole) before springing back into formula. And while they may be smarter about quoting films than Shrek, they still only quote other sources and don't transform it. "Hey, that's just like the end of Return of the Jedi" – yes, it is. And now?

If you buy into the toys as alive, the third film is quite brutal even though none of the starting cast is harmed (and really, nobody's really harmed) – maybe too brutal for a kids' film (and yet not serious enough for an adult film in kids' clothing, see previous parenthesis). But if you don't buy into it, what's the point. So a few toys get burned or slobbered?

And having Barbie talk about consent of the governed as a side gag will go over the heads of youngsters and doesn't work for an older audience because Pixar films are not subversive in their gender politics at all. I suppose I must be grateful for that moment as well as making the Bonnie into a black girl instead of another white boy, but otherwise Jessie gets to be saved (and carried to safety, as well as romanced by a Spaniard), Ms Potatohead gets to look into Andy's room while her hubby does all the spy work (and gets to talk about taking her mouth away), and Barbie's usefulness extends to dealing with the not-at-all-gay-but-also-not-at-all-manly Ken. Thankfully, Bonnie accepts Woodie as her new favorite toy, and not maybe some lesser cowgirl.

I still enjoyed parts of the film, especially in the second half, but my enjoyment was more from scene to scene or moment to moment, sometimes based on pure pattern recognition when TS3 looked like some other film I once saw, only with toys.

I just wonder: will the toys that served Lotso stage a coup against Ken, Barbie and Big Baby because they liked the power? Will the broken-after-torture telephone be sent into the trash? And who will the toddlers play with now?

Anonymous said...

Maybe a little late on this... but I wanted to determine the rationale behind the caption in karate kid review, "daddy's little douchebag"? I have not been into this site for a while now, partly because it seems to have gotten increasingly meaner and more acerbic over time, so I might be missing out on an inside joke but to me that caption under a 12-year old's pic who doesn't seemed to have done anything to deserve it appears plain out of line. What's the joke guys, help me in on it?

Anonymous said...

Armand is a hack for one simple reason: the focal point of his reviews is not its object, the film itself, but his review of it. Note that in his reviews of Toy Story 2/Jonah Hex, the considerable space that is given to shill-critics and media. he's a polemic for the sake of being a polemic.

Bill C said...

The amount of Anonymouseseses here is getting redonkulous, guys. You can call yourself whatever you want here by clicking the "Name/URL" function; it won't even get back to your parents!

jacksommersby said...

The last paragraph in Walter's "Toy Story 3" review is something of undiluted beauty.

eddie said...

Another terribly done review came from good ol' Ebert. That thing was 75% plot summarization and 25% non-sense. It feels very half-assed (or maybe quarter-assed is more accurate).

I thought the movie was brillant. The first two are my favorite Pixar joints, hands-down. I acknowledge that Pixar has (likely) made better movies, but every time a new one comes out I find myself measuring against the TS 1&2. This one is appropriately melancholic and nostalgic in the right places, and then thrilling, terrifying and breath-taking for the rest of it. As a huge fan of the first two I was thrilled that TS3 met and even exceeded most of my expectations.

Dan said...

@Anon: You'll have to take it up with Caption Boy, I reckon. Maybe he's on Twitter, Bill?

DaveA said...

Regarding Caption Boy, I was much more disturbed by the fact that there was no Penelope Cruz reference in the Splice review. I mean, what the hell?

jacksommersby said...

And no "The Other Sister" reference, either!

Anonymous said...


Yeah, good one, jerk - how about pissing off the people who care not only about movies, but about film criticism? I want to read some valid complaints about Toy Story 3, and any other nearly-universally beloved film. I want smart, educated opinions both for and against, and neither Armond nor the other tossbag have anything to say. Contrarian just to be contrarian. How can that possibly warrant your praise?


James Allen said...


And how many of the 98% positive reviews are by hacks who have nothing to say and are just bandwagoners? (I am not here to exalt or defend Toy Story 3 or any of the reviews, I'm making a larger point.)

Just read people you like to read and stop worrying about 1)agreeing with everything you read and 2) consensus, which is, if you're as serious about film criticism as you seem to want to present yourself as, a waste of time.

Alex Jackson said...

Hey hey hey!

Somewhere trailer

John said...

I liked Toy Story 3, but had some peeves:
Lotsos backstory, along with an introduction to Sunnysides regime, should have been at the start of the film, without the Clowns superfluous narration.
The fake-out opening was redundant; it was merely an amalgamation of the previous films opening scenes.
When Woody is trying to save the others from a garbage truck, it was a bad choice to show the toys using Rexs tail to break out, as it prematurely took away the belief that it was them being crushed.
It was nonsensical that the toys didn't belive Woody when he told them that they were going to be put into the attic. It would have been better if they believed him, but were shut in the van before they could leave.
Peas-In-A-Pod have no importance to the story, and seem to have just been made for merchandising.
The Bookworm's also unnecessary, although he features in one of the funniest moments.
How did Big Baby fit into the vending machine?
It would have been better to leave the reason for Buzzs new personality a mystery until Ken revealed it later.
With this film featuring all of the toys throughout, they end up repeating each other a lot.
The aliens repeat their lines "The claw" and "You have saved our lives" before the surprise rescue. It would have been more effective if they'd been silent until the incinerator scene. As people had their fists in the mouths during that scene, I was honestly expecting the claw to come down, only because it had been mentioned so many times.
Barbie stays with Ken. Really?

Things I loved:
The cleaner almost seeing Woody in the bathroom mirror.
Chatter Telephones shifty eyes.
Tin Toy toys hiding.
Big Baby on the swing.

What did you guys make of Ken, Lotso and the other Sunnyside toys?
I don't agree with Walter on Lotso; someone who leaves a group of people to die in a fire is clearly bad.

Ryan said...

I thought it was an amazing though flawed film, and everything Walter wrote was right on the money. I struggled with the "Inferno" sequence which honestly made me feel worse than the entirity of Martyrs.

Incidentally even the ScreenIt! people liked the film, which is a first because they hate basically everything.

Emmitt said...

Off-topic but Trash Humpers has been making its way around the country and after having seen it, I have to echo what Bill wrote on it. Really a huge disappointment. That "moment of beauty" that I read about in some positive reviews never came for me.

But congrats to Korine for coming up with one of the most annoying laughs put on tape.

Alex Jackson said...

Heh, I'm seeing it tonight. This, of all things, is the first Harmony Korine-directed movie to come to Salt Lake. It's possibly his best distributed film to date.

Alex Jackson said...


I really liked Trash Humpers. Ayup, I drank the Kool-Aid. Suspended my disbelief, I honestly didn't see it as Harmony Korine trying to shock me and waste my time. I thought I was watching actual degenerates in old people masks smash televisions and tap dance.

Funny though, there are a lot of scenes that appear to be staged by the subjects. In character. Like the soapy pancakes or even killing of the old man in the maid's uniform. (I'm unsure if he was really dead or they were playacting. The blood doesn't look any more convincing than the old people masks).

The boring repetitiveness and the VHS were effective in helping the film kind of echo in the memory. The film stayed in my head longer than most movies.

It occured to me that it might be one of the most overtly Freudian films ever made. Whenever I look at anything by Freud, I'm seeing something that's applicable to Trash Humpers. All that Trash Humping and smashing things. It's very infantile, very natural. The movie is people gratifying their basic sexual impulses without guilt or fear of repercussion.

Yeah, I really dug this movie. It's better than ninety percent of everything else that you could possibly see and more specifically it's the best film of the year so far.

Bill C said...

@Alex: I knew you would, and in fact my first draft of the capsule ended with "But Jackson's gonna love it." Then I realized that would sound like an insult in context. I just feel like that movie has nothing to give me.

Patrick said...

You know, I wasn't too impressed with TS3, but its images will not leave me, I keep thinking about it.

John said...

I found a review that seems to directly respond to Walters review: