Toy Story 4
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I was nervous from the onset when I heard Toy Story 4 was a thing that was happening. After the sheer brilliance of the third installment, why mess a good thing up? However, I kept my trust in Pixar, knowing they wouldn't let their best series take a hit by releasing a simple cash grab. Now that the fourth film is out, however, I'm disappointed to say that after the perfection that was Toy Story 3, this fourth film is somewhat unnecessary and rings with a very commercial and less organic tone than the first three films. TS4 obviously did not need to try and be TS3, but the tv series feel of the film, mixed with sit-comesque humor really rubbed me the wrong way. The plot is changed thirty minutes into it, after we have spent time building up the character of Forky, only for him to be forgotten twenty minutes into the film. Bo Peep is a welcome reintroduction, but the narrative is never tight enough for the film to settle on an arc for any one character. The emotional heft of the film is completely stale as the payoff at the end of the film feels unearned, and rather random. Buzz is also reduced to comic support but is considerably more dumb than previous installments, hinging on an inner voice joke that doesn't land and takes his characterizations several steps stupider. That's not to say the film is bad. The animation is stunning, especially in the first and best scene of the film featuring a rainy night. Some of the dialogue is very witty and perceptive (this is Pixar after all). But it's kind of a shame to imagine this being the last film in a series that already concluded in heart wrenching perfection. Mostly, Toy Story 4 is an amusing skin-deep extended tv series epilogue, with glimmers of heart, that shows concern in the current state of Pixar's head creative team. I liked it, but Toy Story 3 will always be the definitive end for this series, with this fourth film, a minor footnote. Pixar only has originals slated for the foreseeable future, and hopefully, they will get back to the stunning films that defined so much of their filmography. Rating: 71
Taron Taron Taron... he killed this movie. Give him every award. Rocketman the film, is also a delight. Rating:92
An utterly charming and downright hilariously written and performed coming-of-age high school comedy. The script is so witty and the characters so easy to love, that you wish you could be their friends too. Olivia Wilde steps into the directors helm for the first time and puts a decidedly edgier and outlandish stamp to the usual realistic-ish coming of age high school films. What results is frequently funny and soon quite heartwarming. Probably my favorite of the year thus far. Rating:90