Nerdy Heartbeat

Movies, Reviews, News, Insanity

Toy Story 3: The End of One of the Greatest Trilogies Ever? June 21, 2010

Filed under: Review — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 10:35 pm
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Pixar is on top of the world. They’ve made some of the best films of the past decade: Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall-E and most recently, Up. So what can they do after going on a running streak of masterpieces. Return to what they started by completing their beloved series: Toy Story.

The third installment has literally been teased for years through blooper reels, rough promotional posters (most revealing a different plot where all the Buzz Lightyears are recalled) but it finally hit theaters and audiences had a hunch, after Up and Wall-E, that it was probably going to trek through darker territory.

In Toy Story 3, Andy is leaving for college in a few days. Worried about being stuck in the attic, or worse thrown out, the toys make the decision to escape to a day care center. Still under the impression that he’s Andy’s toy and that he should always be there for him, Woody leaves day care to return to Andy. The other toys are greeted by Lotso, the head toy at Sunnyside Daycare. However, the toys realize that under Lotso’s cuddly exterior is a narcissistic tyrant who has created a strict caste system at Sunnyside. The film quickly turns into an energetic prison escape film homaging to classics like The Great Escape and Escape from Alcatraz.

Throughout the prison escape story arc great new characters are introduced including the ridiculously flamboyant, fashioned-obsessed Ken, the overly theatrical Shakespearean Mr. Pricklepants and of course Lotso who develops into one of the most surprisingly devious (and ultimately tortured) villains of the past few years. He truly is a manipulative force to be reckoned but the big reason he’s such an amazing villain is that all this trickery and evil is coming from this:

a character that’s ultimately a combination of Winnie the Pooh and Barney.

The writing is smart, proving once again that Pixar are truly master storytellers and frankly, remind us why we love all these characters in the first place. The visuals are very impressive although A. not as gorgeous as recent Pixar films and B. doesn’t really show itself off in 3D. The only serious problem about Toy Story 3 is that the ending gets a bit on the awkward side and (let’s hope to G-d not) can possibly give room for another sequel.

But frankly, that’s just me being as nit-picky as possible. This movie is fantastic, not just because it’s a fun, hilarious and deeply emotionally moving summer movie but it brings the series full circle in ways many didn’t think were possible. Toy Story is more than just about your toys coming to life and having adventures. It’s about overcoming the fear of loss and moving on to different, bigger and possibly scarier things. Similar to Where the Wild Things Are, it’s not exactly a kids movie but more of a nostalgic trip for those young adults and 20-somethings who grew up with the series. That being said, unlike Wild Things there’s no severe emotional breakdowns or tearing off limbs, so it won’t scare the crap out of kids: it’s still a family film to an extent. Pixar have truly made their mark on not just the animation world but the entire film industry and ending their first major series (especially on such an emotionally powerful note) is a truly remarkable achievement. Years from now, I think it’s safe to say that Toy Story 3 will be considered one of the best trilogies of our generation. After Wall-E, I said Pixar can’t top this. After Up, I said Pixar definitely can’t top this. Now after Toy Story 3, I can honestly say that this has to be the prime of their work. Not just because it’s a near perfect film…

…but because their next movie is Cars 2…

 

Alice In Wonderland: Classic Tale Becomes “Burtonfied” Whether You Like It Or Not March 15, 2010

Filed under: Review — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 6:53 pm
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Tim Burton is overrated. There I said it. Now I’m not going to lie, the man is definitely an auteur in the filmmaking world and offers visuals that are truly fantastic from an artistic standpoint but that being said I still don’t see how all the pseudo-gothic high school kids worship the ground he walks on. There are much better directors out there. That being said, when I learned Burton was directing an Alice in Wonderland adaptation, I was intrigued. It seems like a project he was made to do. Well does he pull it off? Well yes, to a degree.

This Alice In Wonderland is a sequel to Lewis Carrol’s books, in which Alice is 19 and about to be engaged. Nervous she runs away from her engagement party and once again, falls down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. Since she left, The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) has the world under her tyrannical control and it’s up to Alice to save the day. Alice, with the help of various allies, must traverse across Wonderland to accept her destiny as the White Queen’s Champion and slay the Jabberwocky.

Before we go into some of the problems with the film let’s just say straight up: Alice in Wonderland is absolutely gorgeous. If you can afford to put in the extra few bucks to see it in 3D, do it. Wonderland truly comes to life through Burton’s vision that is both beautiful, frightening and eccentric. If you need another Avatar-esque fix, look no further. Additionally, there is a great cast here. From the obvious stars, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway, to more surprising appearances from Alan Rickman and Crispin Glover. Everyone in this cast seems to give there all, even if there isn’t a lot there at times.

In fact seeing this world in jaw-dropping Disney Digital 3D will probably help you overlook some of the issues the film has story and character-wise. It’s pretty obvious that the film, much like the original book and several adaptations, would have a very surreal and idiosyncratic style however, Burton uses his typical embellishments to make the characters and world even more out there. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because you eventually get used to the madness but at first, it’s hard to wrap your head around what’s going on. Burton also attempts to flesh more complex personalities for Carrol’s creations. Sometimes it works, other times not so much. There are even characters, such as The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) who don’t really have that important of a role and just give off the impression of just “being there”.

Overall, this is a very typical Burton experience which is why a lot of people will love it and why others won’t. At times the film even shifts to completely ridiculous where even diehard Burton fans will just not understand, most notably when Mad Hatter spontaneously starts doing a celebratory breakdance.

While this film isn’t perfect however, you’ll tend to forget that when gazing at this world, even if you’re not a fan of Tim Burton. Visually, it’s that impressive. Burton fans will obviously be in heaven but those who aren’t may just want to catch a 3D matinee if they’re curious.

 

Nerdy Heartbeat’s Guide to What You Should Watch On Valentine’s Day February 13, 2010

Oh Valentine’s Day. The most disgustingly obnoxious/commercial holiday ever conceived by the big businesses of America. But enough about the drama regarding how American love has morphed into mass consumerism and socially histrionic tendencies it’s here, it always will be and complaining won’t do anything. Whether you like it or not, tomorrow you WILL snuggle up with your significant other (or a significant other), go to dinner, exchange gifts and probably watch a movie or two. I’m here to talk about the latter. I know. The average chick flick sucks. Looking at films like Leap Year, the most recent of “romantic” catastrophes, chances are these films are mindless escapism for delusional depressed women who want to forget how pathetic their lives are: that as long as someone falls in love within their grasps they can fall asleep without having to blast Taylor Swift while crying themselves to sleep. ANYWAY… I’m here to help you. To make sure you don’t watch one of those films because, shockingly enough, for every 3 horrible rom-coms, there’s 1 that is so damn good, it will make you forget about all that mediocrity. So when that special person wants to watch a cute date movie, you can recommend one of these, pop it in and not have to deal with all the cliched ridicule that plagues the genre. Additionally, the following list consists of films that you would both enjoy

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Julia Roberts is always gorgeous. Plain and simple. But her charm is only one of the reasons people love this movie. In short, Julia Roberts falls for her best friend (who’s a guy), best friend proposes to Cameron Diaz, hilarity and/or chaos ensues. The premise may not be super original but the dialog is sharp, the ending isn’t the Hollywood type but conversely, it doesn’t delve into self-loathing tragedy. Rupert Everett, as Julia’s gay friend, is fantastically hilarious and the “I Say A Little Prayer for You” scene is especially noteworthy. Plus, it’s nice to remember a time long ago when you didn’t find Cameron Diaz incredibly irritating.

Any Judd Apatow Rom-Com (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Forgetting Sarah Marshall)

Let’s face it. Judd Apatow is funny as hell. But underneath all of the absurd sex-ridden conversations and endless dick jokes, these films are romantic-comedies with as much heart as they have raunch. 40 Year Old Virgin starts off as a tale of a man’s lack of sexual experience and the awkwardness that comes with it, but it progresses into a simple but charming “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back, boy and girl live happily ever after” story. Forgetting Sarah Marshall deals with the evolution of a relationship, the good and the bad of a person and how some relationships do end but it only leads to finding someone new and better. Even if you dislike sexual humor you can’t help but appreciate the wit within the dialog. I’d put Knocked Up on the list but it’s frankly a bit too cynical at times for a V-Day setting.

Any Disney Movie

Okay not any Disney movie but you know what I mean: the one’s that are essentially love stories (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Lion King, Aristocats, Snow White, Hercules… yeah you get the idea). And I get it, some of you may think you’re too old for these kinds of films but even if your “too mature” for the story, you can’t help but marvel at the animation and music. Plus, recommending a film like this for a date may show off your playful side. I know. It sounds ridiculous but these films are adorable and you’d be straight up lying if you said these movies didn’t brighten your day.

(500) Days of Summer

You all know I love this movie. So I don’t need to explain it anymore. Seriously fools, go watch it.

Moulin Rouge!

A musical about love? It sounds like something that would completely destroy your masculinity. But no how much of a woman you may feel like while watching it, you won’t care. The visuals are so phenomenal that’s it’s basically an orgy for the eyes. Additionally, there’s some Nirvana and Beatles covers in here: both of them are pretty manly bands right? And if that doesn’t help just keep telling yourself it’s a movie about prostitutes. Come to think of it, any other musical would work just as well too… unless you’re not into that kinda thing.

When Harry Met Sally

Every other rom-com after this movie sucks, to an extent. This is the mother of them all, it’s responsible for all the Hollywood boy meets girl stories that came out within the past two decades. And it’s still really really good to this day. See it. No seriously. That’s all I have to say. I mean come on if you’re a fan of the rom-com genre you have to respect your elders. And you can’t get more classic than this.

Annie Hall

Speaking of classics… watch Annie Hall while your at it. Next to It’s A Wonderful Life, this is my all time favorite movie. A tale about love and all the insanity that comes after it. Woody Allen knows how to express the quirkiness of human interaction regarding love and sex. See it.

Honorable Mentions:

Zack and Miri Make  A Porno

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Juno

Can’t Hardly Wait

Garden State

Pretty Woman

Paper Heart

Jerry Maguire


 

No. September 12, 2009

Filed under: Don't Believe The Hype — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 3:59 pm
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pirates-on-stranger-tides

ANOTHER PIRATES MOVIE?

They even ran out of ideas for good titles, let alone a plot that makes sense.

 

New Princess and The Frog Trailer September 9, 2009

Filed under: Believe The Hype — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 9:39 pm
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Catchy sing-alongs, gorgeous animation, comic relief sidekicks that will potentially annoy anyone above the age of 10. Yup Disney’s back everybody and it looks like they’re gradually going back to their roots. This is their first step. With the exception of really really annoying fly character, this looks fantastic. Brace yourself. 2-D comes back with a vengeance this Christmas.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Disney Plans to Remake Cult Classic May 26, 2009

Filed under: movies,News — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 9:45 pm
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The Hollywood Reporter reports:

Disney is readying another launch of sci-fi adventure movie “Flight of the Navigator.”

Brad Copeland is writing the remake, which is being produced by Mandeville partners David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman.

The 1986 original told the story of a 12-year-old boy who is abducted by an alien spacecraft in 1978 and reappears eight years later, still the same age and with no memory of what happened. NASA scientists discover a connection between the boy and a downed spacecraft and try to exploit the boy, who ultimately escapes with the ship and attempts to reunite with his family.

…sigh. I would say I would be excited but Flight of the Navigator was one of my favorite films as a kid and I REALLY don’t want it to be ruined. Plus I really don’t see how remaking a film a little over 20 years old is necessary. Disney, please please please don’t mess this up…

 

Trailer for the Mega Anticipated New Disney Film May 10, 2009

Filed under: movies,News,trailer — andthismakesaheartbeat @ 3:10 pm
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The Princess and The Frog is hyped up like all belief for a lot of reasons. Mainly cause it’s a return to the classic roots of traditional animated adaptations of a classic Fairy Tale but also, it’s the first Disney film to feature a predominantly African American cast (well besides Song of the South but that doesn’t really count). Maybe now all the overly-analytical Disney haters can stop whining about how Disney’s racist. Maybe… Anyway, here’s the trailer and prepare for some serious nostalgia of when Disney made good movies. This baby’s gonna put Disney back on the map and looks like we only have to wait till the end of the year.

 

Photo courtesy of frederatorblogs