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Toy Story 3 Critical Reviews

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Toy Story 3 Critical Reviews

Postby lizardgirl » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Post all Toy Story 3 reception and critical reviews here. :D Please use spoilers if neccessary.
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Postby Bryko614 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:24 pm

Variety Toy Story 3 reviews; surprisingly not as glowing as expected. I hid out the spoiler portions.

From the outset, we can sense different hands at the reins. [spoil]Like the original, pic opens with 6-year-old Andy acting out wild narratives for Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the gang -- only this time, director Lee Unkrich (who came up through Pixar's editorial department and handled co-helming duties on "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc." and "Finding Nemo") plunges us into Andy's imagination, which follows childhood logic but looks more like a Jerry Bruckheimer movie.
[/spoil]
Andy's toys are fiercely loyal to their owner, with such playtime being their raison d'etre (though the "Toy Story" movies have long hinged on a rather arbitrary notion of what qualifies as the healthy treatment of toys). Homevideos advance us through a dozen years,[spoil] disposing of Bo Peep and a few other key players along the way. It's gutsy to see Pixar stripping back its ensemble -- the Green Army Men effectively desert, rather than be donated -- in contrast to the unwieldy, ever-growing ensembles of most toon sequels (though Disney Consumer Products has plenty of new characters to be excited about).[/spoil]

Now 18, Andy is packing up for college. Clearly oblivious to the Roundup gang's value, he tosses all but Woody into a garbage bag, which his mom mistakes for trash and takes out to the curb. So begins a convoluted adventure that leads the toys to Sunnyside Daycare Center, which at first appears to be an improvement: The toys haven't been played with in ages, and here, they'll get daily attention. Plus, they'll have plenty of new friends, including "Big Baby" and a Dream House-dwelling Ken (Michael Keaton).
[spoil]
But there's a dark side to Sunnyside, which is overseen by a folksy, strawberry-scented pink plush named Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear (Ned Beatty). "Lotso" lost his owner years ago, and now he runs the place like a prison. [/spoil]Where the first two "Toy Story" installments served as rescue movies, with characters nobly putting themselves in danger to save their friends from harm, this one instead follows the jailbreak genre.

Take a step back, and the film seems to be about the idea of toys coming to terms with being outgrown by their owners [spoil]-- however, everyone but Woody seems perfectly fine with being donated at the outset [/spoil] (and Jessie's song already addressed such abandonment issues quite poignantly in the second movie). As character arcs go, this one doesn't seem particularly compelling: Woody must convince the others to break out of Sunnyside and[spoil] find their way back to Andy's attic, where they can wait until he needs them again --[/spoil] as delusional thinking goes, this tops even fresh-out-of-the-box Buzz Lightyear's identity issues.

Pixar has essentially set an impossible standard for itself, having previously delivered the rare sequel that improves on the original, then followed that up with a run of exceptional work. This latest script, written by "Little Miss Sunshine's" Michael Arndt from a story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Unkrich, feels more gag-driven than the studio's previous efforts -- essentially borrowing a page from DreamWorks Animation, chasing snappy humor over heart-on-their-sleeve sentimentality, within a few months of DreamWorks going the Pixar route with the sincere storytelling of "How to Train Your Dragon."

The visuals look gorgeous as ever, making classy use of 3D to enhance the drama, while staying true to the original aesthetic. Humans are notably improved, [spoil]especially young Bonnie (Emily Hahn), who takes Woody home at one point and introduces him to the film's most appealing new characters, including[/spoil] Shakespearean hedgehog Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton, whose perf amusingly suggests another level of split-personality delusion among toys) and scatterbrained triceratops Trixie (Kristen Schaal).

[spoil]The latter bodes well for Rex's romantic prospects, which seem far better than Barbie's, since[/spoil] Keaton plays Ken as an effeminate closet case (imagine the outcry had Pixar attempted an equivalent racial caricature). But the pic wants laughs, and it's willing to dilute the respect Lasseter showed this borderline-absurd world to get them, goosing auds with punchline-driven cutting, pop-song montages and throwaway silliness. Surely kids could have done without the bathroom humor, though much of the comedy takes the high road, such as an inspired bit in which Buzz is accidentally switched to Spanish-language mode.

But "Toy Story 3" is best when it's being serious, and the final 15-minute stretch -- [spoil]from the moment the toys are dumped at a landfill through the tear-jerking finale[/spoil] -- pays off feelings auds invested 15 years ago. Still, [spoil]there's no reason these scenes couldn't have come 80 minutes earlier (had the toys not escaped their first brush with the garbage truck), which would have left room for the film to explore the curious ontology of being a toy after escaping such a near-death experience.[/spoil]

Pic is preceded by Teddy Newton's visionary six-minute short "Day and Night," an invigorating blend of stereoscopic CG visuals and old-school hand-drawn animation. Set against a black background, two characters serve as windows to opposite halves of the day, their playfully layered dance of sound and spectacle suggesting exciting creative directions Pixar could explore in the future.

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117942 ... st+News%29

As someone who knows what goes on in the story, I feel like this reviewer missed a lot of the purpose and character development/motivations.
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Postby Pieman411 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:00 pm

Another review. I didn't read it because I didn't want to spoil the movie, so I don't know if its positive or negative....http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/film-reviews/toy-story-3-film-review-1004096216.story
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Postby Within A Nutshell » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:43 pm

Pieman411 wrote:Another review. I didn't read it because I didn't want to spoil the movie, so I don't know if its positive or negative....http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/film-reviews/toy-story-3-film-review-1004096216.story


I read it (I know the plot already and there's no such thing as a spoiler as far as I'm concerned), and it's very positive. It sounds like they really enjoyed it. :)
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Postby Dinoco » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:53 pm

The way people are describing it, Toy Story 3 is destined to live up to the others with time. I mean, the original Toy Story had only lukewarm reviews at the time it was released. Toy Story 2, however, was acclaimed from the start, and the way they describe Toy Story 3, it sounds like it has a lot of similarities. And that's a good thing.

They say it has more gags and such. So did Toy Story 2[i]. In fact, I don't even think [i]Toy Story 3 could possibly top all the jokes in Toy Story 2.

And I don't believe for a second that this movie doesn't have the same emotional factor. It may be a little bit of my nostalgia, but Andy going to college is definately a highly emotional event. Even the trailer made me sad.

In conjunction with what looks to be some of Pixar's best action sequences of all time, I'm not letting my expectations slip.
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Postby Kyle » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:39 pm

Dinoco wrote:The way people are describing it, Toy Story 3 is destined to live up to the others with time. I mean, the original Toy Story had only lukewarm reviews at the time it was released. Toy Story 2, however, was acclaimed from the start, and the way they describe Toy Story 3, it sounds like it has a lot of similarities. And that's a good thing.

They say it has more gags and such. So did Toy Story 2. In fact, I don't even think Toy Story 3 could possibly top all the jokes in Toy Story 2.

And I don't believe for a second that this movie doesn't have the same emotional factor. It may be a little bit of my nostalgia, but Andy going to college is definitely a highly emotional event. Even the trailer made me sad.


Lukewarm reviews for the first? I don't buy that. It never once got a negative review on Rotten Tomatoes (neither did TS2), so that tells me it got nothing but rave reviews for the most part.

As for the humor, I hear it's their funniest movie yet. they don't just resort to the cheap one liner puns of the first two either, their actually cleaver. I think it had to be funnier because it's going to be more bittersweet than usual.
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Postby Phileas » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:11 am

Just to let you know Upcoming Pixar & Peach Magazine will have their own exclusive critical reviews, to be published at a later date.

As for Variety's review, I'm not surprised. Debrudge is mediocre reviewer for the most part. He misses the big idea.
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Postby Dinoco » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:23 am

Kyle wrote:Lukewarm reviews for the first? I don't buy that. It never once got a negative review on Rotten Tomatoes (neither did TS2) so that tells me it got nothing but rave reviews for the most part.

As for the humor, I hear it's their funniest movie yet. they don't just resort to the cheap one liner puns of the first two either, their actually cleaver. I think it had to be funnier because it's going to be more bittersweet than usual.
Today, it's obviously known as one of the best films ever made (I don't think that's an understatement), but I remember reading a review that was slightly negative, saying how it didn't live up to the hype from 1995.

And nothing's wrong with a lot of jokes, as long as they work. I'm not worried at all about that.
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Postby Kyle » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:48 am

Was the review in a local newspaper or something? The RT reviews are from the year it originally came out, so any review from anyone who mattered (and plenty that didn't) back then is accounted for.

Though I guess lukewarm doesn't automatically translate to a rotten review. You can claim a movie doesn't live up to the hype and still recommend it to others.
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Postby Dinoco » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:29 pm

The whole point was that it got better with time, which I think will be the case here.
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Postby pixarfan9099 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:37 pm

Mike over at The Pixar Blog emailed Pete DeBruge (the Variety reporter) and asked if he went to watch TS3 and went to seek the failures. This is his response: "Peter Debruge from Variety emailed me this morning to 'assure' me that he "didn't go in seeking to find fault" with TS3, as I wrote he did." I don't know. It looked like he tried.
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Postby UniversalPolymath » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:07 pm

But the pic wants laughs, and it's willing to dilute the respect Lasseter showed this borderline-absurd world to get them, goosing auds with punchline-driven cutting, pop-song montages and throwaway silliness. Surely kids could have done without the bathroom humor...

This is the only section of the Variety review that really troubles me. Someone tell me I have nothing to worry about, quick!
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Postby Kyle » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:35 pm

Dinoco wrote:The whole point was that it got better with time, which I think will be the case here.
And my point was that they don't accept reviews after a certain amount of time has passed. If it was lukewarm back then, it would show even now.
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Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:41 pm

Critics are usually pretty cynical to begin with. The only one I would ever listen to is Leonard Maltin, and I haven't heard anything from him. I still have buckets of hope.
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Postby Disney_Guy » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:03 am

With all this talk about the Variety review... isn't it still a positive review? Of course the guy has quite a few criticisms about it, but it appears he still liked it... I think some of us are getting a little carried away with it. So far I have not seen a single person say they didn't like the film, and I'm talking about all the people who saw the film at a pre-screening months ago, as well as the first two reviews on Rotten Tomatoes... I don't see any reason to lose hope in Toy Story 3. As far as I can say, it's yet another worthy addition to Pixar's list of amazing films according to most people who saw it.
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