Finding Nemo is a great film and you should rush out to see it this weekend whether you like 3D or not.
Hello internet perusers! We are back with round 2 of the four part year break down of things to come. Between April and June, the writers on HST have plenty that we are looking forward to in movies, music, and games,, and we want to share them with you. No, none of these are April Fool’s jokes. Zac is actually really excited to see a movie about male strippers. [Read more...]
In my first post on this site I stated that I there are only 5 movie sequels that I love. Well, I saw Predators the other night…and that didn’t change the count, in fact Predators was bad. But the following night I got the kid some snacks and we saddled up Toy Story 3. I may be the last film nerd to have seen Toy Story 3, and I don’t have a great excuse (it has been on my DVR since May). But I expected the third one to be like the second one, loved by almost everyone, but lacking the magic of its predecessor. Toy Story 2’s themes of ownership did not strike a chord in me like the themes of companionship in the first. Toy Story 3 unlike so many sequels, is a great stand-alone film. Yes, that means there are now 6 sequels that I love, adjust your scorecards at home.
Cars 2 is fun, funny, fast paced, and an exciting spy movie that improves upon the original Cars and has fun with the genre its playing in; while turning in some quality set pieces that a lot of action movies wish they had.
Check out my review of the Toy Story Toons short in front of Cars 2; Hawaiian Vacation.
The original Cars has grown on me every time I’ve seen it and while it’s still my least favorite Pixar film I still think it is quite a good little movie. One thing I realized recently about Cars, don’t know why it took so long, is that it is almost without a plot. Sure there is the race but it is just a character piece more or less and that realization even furthered my enjoyment of the original film. And it wasn’t till we got to Radiator Springs in Cars 2 that I realized how much I liked and missed these characters and their stories. I honestly think I would have enjoyed Cars 2 had it just been another nice and easy character piece in Radiator Springs and this sequel made me retroactively appreciate Cars even more for its great character work.
People that were affected, consciously or not, by Cars lack of plot will have no issues here as Cars 2 is full of it. [Read more...]
As I am sure many people will admit to, when I was little I seriously wondered if my toys could come to life when I wasn’t around. Then Toy Story was released, and though I was a very sophisticated seven year old (don’t make that face mom) it was hard not to hope that maybe my toys were at home right then doing something ridiculous. As I grew older I stopped looking for the life behind those beady little plastic eyes, yet while watching Toy Story 3 it’s impossible not to sink comfortably back into that childhood fantasy.
Mirroring the years that have passed since the last film, many years have passed for our beloved gang in Toy Story 3. Their owner Andy has grown up and is days away from leaving home to start the college experience, packing all the necessities he will need in his home away from home. Some things that have not made the “Things to Pack” list are the toys, who are coming to terms with this the best they can and accepting their future stored in the attic. [Read more...]
The third film in this trilogy takes place eight years after the events of the second film and the toys are dying for some attention. Andy is a teenager, about to head off to college, and the family of toys has gotten smaller and neglected from being played with for some time. The toys are able to deal with the lack of attention for the most part, they are more concerned with being thrown away or being split up more than anything and they are planning to make sure that doesn’t happen. But after a couple of close calls and detours the group ends up at Sunnyside Daycare where they will be seemingly be played with a revolving door of kids for years to come but Sunnyside might not be exactly as cozy as it seems.
Towards the latter part of Carl Fredricksen’s life he decides to take a very unconventional trip to Paradise Falls, South America in order to fulfill a promise he made to his late wife. However, this sentimental trip inside a house toting mass of balloons proves to be much more when he quickly realizes that he has inadvertently kidnapped Russell, an 8 year old Wilderness Explorer who was hoping to obtain his last merit badge by helping Carl out (though he probably had something much simpler in mind). Once they finally reach South America, the journey to the falls proves to be harder than expected, filled with perils involving a giant bird named Kevin, a pack of talking dogs, and a blast from the past.
Pete Docter’s – Monster’s, Inc. (2001)
Pete Docter’s Pixar debut was a heartfelt and hilarious look into the world of monsters and what they do on the other side of our closet doors.
Sully, a tall and furry blue monster, is the leading scarer at Monsters Inc., a company that harvests children’s screams to power the monster world’s electrical supply. Sully’s door operator is a fast talking eyeball named Mike and he enjoys Sully’s success and celebrity more than the lead scarer does. Monsters Inc. has been noticing a drop in scare production recently on their scare floor and it isn’t do to a lack of trying by their scarers. Kids simply aren’t that scared any more and they are finding that they are having to retire more and more doors to the shredder every week that have gone dry of scares.
Just as Sully is about to break the all-time scare record, his nemesis Randall loads a door to try and get some after hour scares, only Sully comes across it trying to return some paper work and takes a peek inside to find nothing. When Randall comes back with his scream canister, he finds the room empty as well and retires for the night from mischievous activities. Sully’s fear of getting caught by Randall catching him in the act isn’t even his biggest problem. As a child, Boo, which are apparently toxic to the monster world has escaped through the door which has been sent back into the factory. Sully, who is stuck with the child, upon detection of contamination will be quarantined seeks out the help of Mike and while they try to find a way to put Boo back in her door discover an even sinister plot at Monster Inc. beyond Randall’s action.
Docter and company at Pixar successfully created a world that we can believe monsters troll around in and seemed to have a lot of fun creating some unique and fun monsters to inhabit their world. Filled with plenty of nods and winks there is more originality at play in this foreign world. From the factory system for the doors, the ideas that scares fuel the monsters world, or even the fact that all monsters don’t start as hardened scarers and can even be scared themselves at all ages. The comedy is also broad age wise with something for the kids and adults alike. Be it sight gags, character driven humor, or well written jokes the humor always works and never really let’s up.
The film is actually quite scary at times and it kind of surprises me that kids connect with it as well as they do with some of the images they throw at us here. In fact, it was rather risky I feel for Pixar to bank on a monsters story that would win the hearts of kids everywhere, but the main characters are so easy to love and get behind I think that over powers any fear in the end.
Sully our main hero is as nice as a guy you can get and leaves any sense of terror he instills in his job, at his job. At home he is a light hearted and easy going monster that works hard to be the best at his job everyday, and John Goodman’s laid back and calm demeanor suit him perfectly. Mike on the other hand is a wound up and klutzy spaz of sorts that is as neurotic as he is loud mouthed. Never shutting up, Billy Crystal brings Mike to life and is one of the more endearing characters Pixar has made so far. Props also need to go out to Pixar for creating such an adorable and loveable character in Boo with little more than her eyes to tell us how she feels. Her brief dialogue and noises are played for laughs more than anything, but they tell us so much through her eyes. Steve Buscemi is also great as the sleazy and vile Randall and he creates a character that fits the monster just right.
In the end, Monsters Inc. is a fine effort by Pixar that is on par with their second tier efforts. And if that isn’t saying something about Pixar in that their second tier stuff is still some of the best stuff of the decade I don’t know how to better laude the studio. Funny and adorable and punctuated with a jaw dropping final chase through the door warehouse that takes us everywhere in the world and racing at blazing speeds along the door lines. Also ending on a near perfect note and never dragging from start to finish you can’t really find a whole lot to complain about and helped firmly plant Pixar as the finest studio working today, both animated and live action, period.
Pete Docter and company have made yet another masterpiece in the Pixar line up and while I’m not quite ready to anoint it with Wall-e and The Incredibles as my favorite, it is definitely in that just behind second tier of their work with a chance to maybe sneak its way up there after repeat viewings; which is better then 95% of the animated movies released over the last 10 years.
Carl Fredricksen grew up idolizing the great adventurer Charles Muntz who discovered a beautiful hidden sanctuary of nature in South America. The news reels that played at the theater enthralled Carl and he lived his life acting out many of the great acts in his own world as a child. One day while playing in the street he comes across an abandoned house with a lot of shouting coming out from it, calling Muntz’s catch phrases about adventure, Carl decides to investigate who has the same passion as him and the culprit is a young girl named Ellie. [Read more...]
Andrew Stanton and Pixar’s latest is right up there with the best of theirs, which is certainly saying something, as Wall-E is one of the best characters in cinema history.
The humans have abandoned Earth and left behind an army of robots to clean up the mess. Wall-E is the last of these robots left to clean up all the trash and mess that earth has become as the proposed plan of returning in a few years has stretched to a few hundred for the human race. Wall-E has continues to do his job while also becoming self aware and forming emotions and a curiosity that helps him bide his time on the planet. Unfortunately, he has also become lonely and longs for someone to simply spend time with; maybe even hold his hand.
Enter Eve, a sleek and highly engineered robot that gets dropped off on earth by an unmanned space craft sent to scourer what’s left of earth in search of some form of natural life. [Read more...]