Thursday 24 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Smart, witty and emotional, 'Toy...

Smart, witty and emotional, 'Toy Story 3' continues Pixar's amazing winning streak

Phil Bacharach June 24th, 2010

When it comes to movies, three is not typically a magic number. And so a bit of trepidation was natural when approaching "Toy Story 3." The previous two entries in the franchise are in the rarified ai...

When it comes to movies, three is not typically a magic number. And so a bit of trepidation was natural when approaching "Toy Story 3." The previous two entries in the franchise are in the rarified air of masterpieces. "Toy Story 3" has tough acts to follow.

If anyone can prove the skeptics wrong, however, it's the intrepid bunch at Pixar. "Toy Story 3" might not be as innovative or polished as its predecessors, but that hardly matters. The film is playful and smart, witty and heartfelt, and it's provocative in ways you would never expect from a tale about children's playthings.

The passage of time since the first "Toy Story" lends itself to a natural storyline. Andy (voiced by John Morris), the boy whose toys have been at the heart of the series, is grown and about to leave for college. That means his beloved menagerie " Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), cowgirl Jessie (Joan Cusack), the Potato Heads (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) and others " have long since been relegated to a toy chest where they fret over their fate. Will they be tossed in the garbage? Stored in the attic for who-knows-how-long? Woody, Andy's longtime favorite, is slated to accompany his owner to college, but the others face an uncertain future.

Through a series of mishaps, the gang winds up donated to a day-care center. What appears to be a toy's paradise is actually a veritable prison lorded over by a folksy teddy bear (Ned Beatty). He dooms the new arrivals to a roomful of toddlers whose playtime makes mixed martial arts look like a tea party. In nods to "The Great Escape" and "Cool Hand Luke," the picture charges into prison-break mode as our heroes defy villains that range from a cymbal-crashing monkey to a foppish Ken doll (Michael Keaton).

This is Pixar at its best, with classic storytelling and vivid characters punctuated by laughs, thrills and tears. Director Lee Unkrich ("Finding Nemo") and screenwriter Michael Arndt ("Little Miss Sunshine") move the franchise along without it seeming tiresome or forced. The previous films created a terrifically inventive universe, and the complexities of that world are further explored here. There is something tragic, even vampiric, about the plight of Woody and his fellow toys. They are things of permanence " never getting older, impervious to all manner of injury " whose very purpose hinges on the impermanence of youth and innocence. Subsequently, "Toy Story 3" nuzzles such topics as mortality and abandonment.

If that sounds like a dour treatise on the human condition, don't worry. Boasting Pixar's customarily superb animation, this is crowd-pleasing filmmaking of the highest order. Some knockout bits include a trio of toys who fancy themselves an improvisational theater troupe and Mr. Potato Head reconstituted on a tortilla. Even the throwaway gags are brilliant; the way Ken pronounces "library" makes it apparent he's been around tykes too long.

Pixar's winning streak continues unabated. By the time "Toy Story 3" concludes with a sentimental but affecting denouement, parents in the audience will want to reach over and hug their kids " and then rush home to hug their kids' toys. "Phil Bacharach
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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