Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Phil sees TOY STORY 4 at The Cinelux Almaden Theatre & Lounge - July 3, 2019


Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Jordan Peele,  Keegan-Michael Key, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves
Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Stephany Folsom
Cinematography by Patrick Lin, Jean-Claude Kalache
Edited by Axel Geddes
Produced by Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Mark Nielsen, Jonas Rivera
Directed by Josh Cooley
Distributed by

When I saw TOY STORY 3 back in 2010, I balled my eyes out! Seriously balled my eyes out! If you saw that movie and said that that last half hour of the film didn't leave you a weeping like a little girl, then you are lying your monkey ass off!! Everyone I spoke to since the film's release have stated that they cried like a three-year-old. As I walked out of the theater all those years ago, I thought for sure that this would be the last time I would see Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Slinky, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, and the rest of the gang. Then in 2018, Pixar announced that they were making TOY STORY 4, for a 2019 release. And yes, I went and saw it this past weekend, and it was very good, just not great.

The film's official synopsis: Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.

So, let's get down to the nitty gritty of this movie. The computer animation is absolutely, mind-blowingly stunning!! I am always taken aback on just how awesome and realistic the animation looks! It's just astounding!! It's light years from what the original film looked like! You can see the blades of grass, hair blowing in the wind, individual rocks and pebbles, dust bunnies, it's all there for you to behold with your own two eyes!!

As for the story itself, it was OK. Truth be told, I found the film to be more of an epilogue than a true sequel. The third film ended on such an emotionally satisfyingly conclusion that there was no way this film could top it. And it doesn't even come close to that. With TOY STORY 3, we were on such an emotional roller coaster of ride, especially those last twenty minutes. Here, I felt like this was more of, "Hey, let's see where these characters are now. Just in case you were wondering." I wasn't wondering at all. In the years between the third and fourth film, we've been treated to some hilarious shorts and a couple of half hour specials, and I was fine with that. I didn't need, nor did I want, this sequel. It's totally unnecessary, but I can see why Pixar made it. I just wasn't emotionally invested in it, but if you have kids, then they are gonna love this! And that's why it was made: this is a love letter for all those kids who have now grown up with it, thanks to their parents, who watched these when they were kids. TOY STORY crosses generations, and it brings families together. It doesn't matter if your a child or a parent; there's something for everyone to love and enjoy. And. in the long run, that's all that matters. So pay no attention to me, I'm just sounding like "Old Man Phil" but I'm still glad I saw the movie. It made me want to bring my family to see.

TOY STORY 4 is a solid entry to this beloved franchise and is Pixar's best animated film to date!! You have never seen a film like this before!! And FYI, you might cry during the film, especially at the end! Anyway, this was a great movie for fans of the series! So take the family to your favorite theater and go see this movie!! 4 out of 5 stars!! Recommended!!

TOY STORY 4 is currently playing in theaters in 2D, 3D, and IMAX nationwide, including at the Cinelux Theaters here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at www.cineluxtheatres.com. 

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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