Monday, 26 July 2010

Toy Story 3 - Phil's Five Words for Films -

Toy Story 3 ( seen in 3d ) It seems like such a long time ago that I was blown away by the first Toy Story film - can it really be 1995 since that first incredible journey? Well, time flies and now Andy is all grown up and heading off to college, packing his much-loved toys in to a box and consigning them to the attic. Can there be one last adventure and a happy ending for Woody et al.? Of course there can. And what a roller coaster. With a cast of new characters joining the old friends - a super camp Ken who falls for Barbie being the best of the bunch - the laughs just keep coming, you really can't help smiling. There are moments of sadness too and they are more profound and darker than the earlier films as a sense of mortality and loss is gently introduced. However, it is friendship and team work that shine through and the more adult themes are handled really well. The plot, script, jokes and voices are as perfect as ever and the whole lot is wrapped in Pixar's flawless animation - the 3d version is beautifully unobtrusive. Endlessly inventive and full of imagination, humour and heart, this is not just an outstanding film, it is a triumph as a trilogy too. Classic.

10 out of 10
Cert PG ( uk ) 2010.

Monday, 12 July 2010

The Box - Phil's Five Words for Films -

The Box A mysterious package and a curious offer. Would you push a button if it meant that somewhere in the world, a stranger died and you received a million dollars? What if you were struggling for money? What if the unknown victim was a criminal? A moral dilemma to get your teeth in to. There was some nice Prisoner-esque conspiracy in the early stages - informants with nose bleeds etc - but from a promising and intriguing opening idea, I was hoping for so much more than we actually got. The film just grinds to a halt having seemingly run out of good ideas. In an effort to jump-start the action, all manner of silliness is thrown in. Garbled stories of lightning strikes, Martian space projects, afterlife and teleportation. Directed by Richard Kelly ( Donnie Darko ), Cameron Dias, James Marsden and Frank Langella limp through the remainder of the film and it all ends as a bit of a mess. So many dead ends and hanging threads. The main premise for this film was taken from a short story by Richard Matheson and that probably worked as a snappy piece of storytelling. Here, lumbered with poor acting, an overblown soundtrack and overstretched by an hour, it doesn't. Start with the seed of a good idea and stretch it and twist it until it breaks. Snap.

4 out of 10
Cert 12A (uk) 2009