TOY STORY 3

Boy have I been slacking off. Can’t seem to get a review written in a decent amount of time. Where does all the time go. By now I am sure everyone has seen Toy Story 3, maybe even twice. Yes, twice….it is that good of film.

Andy is going to college, and his last thing to do before leaving is cleaning his room. Deciding what is to be thrown out, what needs to go in the attic. Woody, Tom Hanks (Apollo 13, Forrest Gump) wants to make sure all the toys stay together and get put in the attic. In a mix up, Buzz, Tim Allen (Galaxy Quest)  and the gang, Jessie, Joan Allen (The Contender), Mr Potato Head, Don Rickles (Toy Story 1, Toy Story 2), Hamm, John Ratzenburger (Cheers) end up at the local daycare.

The daycare is run by an abused teddy bear Latso voiced by Ned Beatty (Superman the movie) and recommends Andy’s toys go to the younger kids that are to young for them. A play scene demonstrates that, a scene pt together with editing and cuts to rival, any decent war movie! Of course Woody can’t have this, and the rescue is on. I won’t give a lot away, but they encounter a Ken doll, Michael Keaton (Batman), that falls in love with who else…Barbi from Andy’s group of toys.

As far as what I thought of this movie, it is a must see. I really can’t think of a trilogy that has been as strong as these three Toy Story movies. Star Wars had a weaker Return of the Jedi, and even the Godfather, although the first two are two of the finest films ever made, it has the weak link of number three. With Toy Story, you love the first one and the sequels you love even more. And just as UP was able to reach an emotional cord with adults, Toy Story 3 with have adults tearing up thinking of their childhood, friendships and family. Toy Story 3 is the best summer movie so far, and one of the best of the year! See it….a couple of times!

Toy Story

ultimatetoyboxcoverNominated for 3 Oscars and winner of a special achievement Oscar Toy Story is a groundbreaking and lovable film for kids and adults. This is the story of  Woody, a cowboy doll, in Andy’s room. His existence is turned upside down when Andy’s mother decides to throw him a birthday party before moving away. At the party Andy receives a new toy, Buzz Lightyear, complete with battery operated laser! Buzz becomes Andy’s new favorite toy and Woody has to deal with the rejection and pull himself up again. By the end of the movie Buzz and Woody have developed a special bond and good friendship.

The talent for this film is perfectly cast and all do incredible Jobs. Tom Hanks (Apollo 13, Castaway) and Tim Allen (Galaxy Quest) are the main characters. The supporting cast is just as impressive, John Ratzenberger (Cheers) as Hamm the pig, Jim Varney  as Slinky and Annie Potts and Don Rickles as Bo Peep and Mr Potato Head.

There really isn’t much to elaborate on this film, it is pure genius and a delight to watch. This is the film that put Pixar Studios (Monsters Inc, Cars) on the map, being the first full length animated film. This film is more than beautiful animation, it has a story and characters that are timeless and will make everyone feel like a kid again. A must see for sure!

The Singing Hot Dog

The Terminal

The TerminalA Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks pairing is pretty hard to beat. This film is about traveller Viktor Nivorski who has landed at JFK airport. Going through customs, his country has had a coupe and the United States does not recognize the new leadership, and the result, Viktor cannot be admitted to the U.S., nor can he return home. He is stuck to live at the airport being unable to speak very much English at all. This makes for a very interesting plot, his dealing with people and where he sleeps and eats. There are some really good side stories in this film too, which gives everyone a nice mental break from being stranded.

Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Apollo 13) does an exceptional job in his role. Although he has become such an icon, it is hard to let it sink in that he can’t speak English since we have seen him do it so much. Not o let that worry you, he is such a great actor that it doesn’t take long until you are completely absorbed in the character and you really don’t notice it. He has some very memorable scenes, pushing benches together to try to make a bed, squeezing ketchup packets onto crackers, and picking out his suite from the store window. The unnoticed performance has to go to Stanley Tucci (Big Night, The Devil Wears Prada) who plays Frank the head of the customs office, who really wants to get rid of Viktor and let him be someone else’s problem. Catherine Zeta-Jones (Best supporting actress Chicago) is basically in the same role she seems to play. She is still attractive and endearing, which is why she was cast for the part to begin with.

Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List), what else can you say about him. He can basically direct what ever he wants, and does a marvelous job at it. The mentioned “suit shopping” scene, was great work, as Tom Hanks is seeing what suit to buy by looking at his reflection in the window superimposing himself over the suits on display. This isn’t ‘ best, but it doesn’t have to be his best  to get a top notch film. This is magical film almost with fairy tale qualities about it. I would recommend this film for anyone to see.

Catch Me If You Can

displaymedia.php

 

You can usually count on Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List) to deliver, and he does. This movie is a pretty good account of Frank Abagnale Jr., who takes being an impostor and forger to a whole new level. Leaving his house at an early age, he pretends to be be school teachers, airline pilots and doctors, and of course gets the hefty pay checks! Although he really never saw his father again, Chrispopher Walken (Pulp Fiction) plays Frank Sr and is a good sounding board for Frank Jr., played by Leonardo DiCaprio. (Titanic, The Aviator) After years of running from the FBI, Carl Hanratty played by Tom Hanks (Best Actor Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) finally rescues him from a French prison to take him back to the United States, just to be incarcerated there. Hanratty seeing his talents eventually recruits him to serve out his sentence helping the FBI as an adviser. 

Leonardo DiCaprio gives a very good performance showing love for his father, and the rest of his family as he is on the run. Christopher Walken was very good, but to me he seems to play the same character over and over again. Nice performances from those who had smaller parts, Amy Adams (Doubt) and Martin Sheen (The Departed).

I imagine most have seen this film, but if you haven’t, take the time to watch this one. It is a very well acted well crafted film, from the opening cut paper look title sequences to the soundtrack. The is great cinema storytelling!

Angels and Demons

angels_and_demons

This film was interesting throughout, and thought it was just as good as The Da Vinci Code. If course working in an art field, it doesn’t hurt that they are darting from church to church in Rome looking at ancient statues doesn’t hurt a thing for me.

The only thing that really did bother me in the movie was that Ewan McGregor’s character jumped into the helicopter and took off as if he were a flying ace with hours of flight time. Yet, in a high position in the Catholic church, something that I think would take years of dedication, I really doubt he could have spent enough time flying to react like that. Oh well, we are talking about movies here. And my wife pointed out that there was mention in a line about the character doing something in aeronautics, an obvious line to justify his later actions.

Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) was his usual inquisitive bookworm type character already developed in the previous film, and his performance was good, but nothing groundbreaking. Armin Mueller-Stahl (Eastern Promises, X-Files: Fight the Future) and Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting) had the most interesting characters since their stance on the mystery at hand is not really as it seems.

This might be a movie that I will enjoy even more a second time, knowing the outcome, might pick up on more interesting details. To me this is a very entertaining film. Worth checking out.