Toy Story 3

The first time I saw Toy Story 3, I totally started crying when Andy finally handed Woody over to Bonnie. Even now, roughly 537 viewings later, I still get all weepy at the end…so weepy that I get paranoid that I need to take a pregnancy test or something.

Lots of people cry during movies – it’s nothing to be ashamed of, necessarily – but NOT ME. I just don’t do it. It’s exceedingly rare that a film moves me to the extent that the waterworks start flowing. Only a few come to mind – Ma Vie en Rose (the one about the little gay French kid, not Edith Piaf), Wild at Heart (although I admit, I might have been fucked up) and Armageddon (don’t judge me, Motherfucker – I have daddy issues). My eyes did get slightly watery the first time I saw the trailer for A Dolphin Tale, but there’s virtually no chance I’ll sit through that movie, so it doesn’t count.

Crying aside, the whole movie is really good. It goes without saying that Barbie and Ken are my favorite part of the whole film. Is it sad that I recognized all of Ken’s vintage outfits? Or that I still wish I had gotten a Workout Barbie when I was a kid? One thing…how did PIXAR manage to slide in all those “almost” gay jokes? I say “almost” because none of them were vicious, but just on the edge of politically correct. Well played, PIXAR, well played…

As I mentioned above, Toy Story 3 is one of the films my kids are currently obsessing over. As they have it on DVD and on the DVR, it’s in double rotation. I can’t complain, it’s one of the least shitty movies that I watch each week. They actually have all 3 Toy Story films on the DVR. Occasionally, they watch Toy Story, but they never, ever watch Toy Story 2. Does that mean that Toy Story 2 sucks shit? I haven’t watched it yet either, so I don’t really know…

One caveat…Toy Story 3 may turn your children into hoarders, reluctant to give up their toys to an unknown future. To combat this, I regularly force my children to watch Hoarders. They’re not OCD clean freaks…yet. My proudest moment was a few days ago, when my son actually asked my husband if we could watch Hoarders during dinner. “Hell NO,” was my husband’s response. I may have lost the battle, but I’m winning the war.

Toy Story

Can you believe that I have never seen Toy Story before now?

You CAN’T believe it? You think I’m fucking lying? Why would I lie about that? What do I have to gain by admitting that I hadn’t seen the single, most important piece of Computer Animation until 15 years after its initial release? Well…FUUUUUUUUUCK you!

No review for you…I’m out of here.

   

Ratatouille

I was trying to think of a way to introduce my son to my favorite comic – Patton Oswalt – and Pixar came through for me.

My son only made it through the first 13 minutes the first time we tried to watch Ratatouille. The scene in which Remy is separated from his family was just too intensely scary for him. He couldn’t handle the cries of “Dad! Dad!” and the separation anxiety. It was fucking weird, because he was watching Finding Nemo for what must have been the fucking 100th time that very same day. In any case, my son was fine with picking up with the film a few days later. The only other part he seemed to have a problem with was Skinner. every time Skinner appeared, he asked me, “He’s a baby, isn’t he? A little, bitty baby!” He was convinced that Skinner was a mean little baby. I guess that’s because Skinner is bald, fat and short – like his little sister.

Oswalt definitely doesn’t look like a rat – more like a hedgehog or a gerbil – but his casting as Remy the rat was a stroke of genius. His characterization was perfect. My mother-in-law was convinced that Linguini was voiced by David Schwimmer, but I thought he was voiced by the brother on The New Vagina on Old Christine. We were both wrong – it was some guy named Lou Romano. I was shocked to the core that Colette was voiced by Janeane Garofalo. I didn’t know that she could do French!

Ratatouille’s France is much more appealing than the twisted version portrayed in the The Triplets of Belleville. It’s bright and busy, instead of seeming to be made solely of dark alleys and dangerous intersections. Having never been to France, I don’t know which one is closer to the truth. There’s someone I really wish I could ask, but I can’t. I think she would have really liked Ratatouille, too. (On a side note, my Grandma used to cook Ratatouille – it was utterly disgusting and I wouldn’t touch it.)

Even though Ratatouille won the Oscar for Best Animated Film, it could have been a contender for Best Picture. It’s an antiquated system, designed by people that are either long dead or barely alive with genitals that have rotted away to dust. (The same could be said for most awards that are given out these days, from president on down.)

Ultimately, I’m thankful that Ratatouille has replaced Underdog as my son’s most requested movie. Seriously, he wants to watch Ratatouille every single night. It’s so good, that I don’t mind at all.

 

The Incredibles

Ohhhh PIXAR…I was on the fence, but now I’ve decided. PIXAR good. Dreamworks not so good.

I’m sorry Dreamworks…we can still be friends, right? It’s not you, it’s me. I just don’t like you in that way. I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you. Am I seeing someone else? No, of course not. Oh, The Incredibles? I just watched it once…it didn’t mean anything, I swear!

Maybe I’m being a little bit overdramatic, but I really do feel like I’ve dumped someone. For years, I’ve been singing the praises of Shrek and Shrek 2. I even watched several episodes of the ill-fated crapfest Father of the Pride. (Even I couldn’t handle all the Siegfried and Roy bestiality jokes.) But then I saw Over the Hedge. It didn’t suck, it just wasn’t exceptional in any way. In retrospect though, when compared to The Incredibles or Finding Nemo, yeah – it was pretty sucky.

So, The Incredibles was…would it be ridiculous to say it was incredible? I know that Superheroes are all the vogue these days and The Incredibles didn’t really bring anything new to the table – but somehow, it still felt incredibly fresh. The story had a good family-oriented message, but wasn’t sappy or cloying, something that is incredibly hard to find in a kid’s flick these days. It was incredibly long, but I never once got bored. The incredibly brisk pace managed to keep my toddler’s attention for fifteen minutes at a time in places – incredible!

Ok, I’ll stop using the word “incredibly.” It’s become incredibly unfunny in just one short paragraph. Doh!

Jason Lee makes me very happy in everything he’s in – Kevin Smith or not. (I think it’s his nostrils.) He made a great nemesis for Coach’s Mr. Incredible. (I can’t NOT think of Craig T. Nelson as Coach…sorry.) Holly Hunter I can usually take or leave, but she was pitch perfect as Elastigirl. I wouldn’t ordinarily buy Samuel L. Jackson as a sidekick, but his performance was so subtle that it took me a few minutes to figure out it was him. Now THAT’S some acting. As a matter of fact, all the voice talent seemed to acting, as opposed to reading. How incredibly refreshing! (Oops, I did it again.)

Jack Jack is the stuff of nightmares. Seriously.

P.S. I still haven’t seen Toy Story. Or Monsters, Inc. Or A Bug’s Life. Or Cars. Is my rebuke of Dreamworks premature? Or am I spot on? As I start watching more of these films with my son, I think I’m going to start keeping score.

 

Finding Nemo

We finally got to go see Finding Nemo! And there was only one yowling kid in the whole theater! Zero would have been better, but one is definitely better than 100. Regardless of the kid and a raging migraine, I managed to enjoy Finding Nemo quite a bit. I should know better than to go to the movies right after work…

My husband definitely loved it as well – I’m pretty sure he left a wet spot in his seat. See, his love of reefs knows no bounds. Have I ever told you about the fish tank he bought me for Christmas one year? No? Well, let me sum it up for you – we now have 3 saltwater fish tanks, he works at a fish store and he installs and maintains tanks in his spare time. He is the fish master. He is my Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo. Seriously. We even have a clownfish living in an
anemone – check him out to the right.

Marlin!

Before the film, we were treated to one of Pixar’s first shorts – Knick Knack. It was really cute, but obviously spruced up for re-release. One drawback – Bobby McFerrin makes me want to kill, not get happy.

For some reason, I was convinced that Marlin was voiced by Jason Alexander. Until I saw Albert Brooks in the credits, I was picturing Marlin as George Costanza. Even so, Albert did a bang-up job as Marlin.

“I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a fish…” quips Ellen DeGeneres as Dori, Marlin’s buddy. Oh, but I beg to differ, Miss DeGeneres. Really though, Ellen really was funny. She wasn’t annoying at all…okay, maybe just a little bit.

This is the first time I have watched a film with Willem Defoe without the gag reflex going every time he was in a scene. Probably because I didn’t have to look at him. He is one ugly mofo.

As is inevitable with Disney, there’ll definitely be a sequel. Fortunately, the CGI produced by Pixar is too damn expensive to fuck around with. For the sequel, I’m sure we can expect something of a bit higher quality than The Return of Jafar or Cinderella 2.