Toy Story 3

Pretty much every Pixar animation release is an event for our family.  This time it was even a bigger one than usual.   “Toy Story 3” was the first 3D for Maxim.  All three of us went together – Olga, Maxim, and myself.  While Maxim can sit through a full length feature with no problem, we were worried a bit that he could get distracted by the glasses a lot.  So we went for the both parents combo, just in case.  Gladly, we were able to enjoy it from beginning to end with no interruptions.  Maxim did experimented with the glasses for a bit, putting them on and off, but eventually he settled and started watching.

We were actually waiting for this movie to come out.  Maxim is a big fan of the previous two parts, which we have on DVD, and which he watched more than a trillion times by now.  He also owns at least Buzz Lightyear toys, one Woody toy, and a bunch of other accessories.  And, of course, he quotes both animations quite a bit.

As with many other Pixar works, this one was even better than we expected.  Even with raised expectations. Everything was awesome – the story, the animation, the score, the voices, the attention to each and every tiny detail.  As always, there was a good combination of action, comedy, and morale, engaging both kids and adults.

The 3D was great!  Unlike other 3D titles which flood the movie industry these days, this one is an animation.  Which means that it can be rendered to quality 3D much easier, than re-shooting the film.

Overall, all three of us enjoyed it quite a bit, and I am sure this is not the last time we saw it.  So I’ll give it a 5 out of 5.  This is a must see family entertainment.

P.S.: Traditionally, Pixar opens its features with a short animation.  This time it was “Day & Night” and it was awesome too!

Cradle Will Rock

Noone in the shop could tell me anything about “Cradle Will Rock“. I couldn’t remember any trailers or posters either. The list of names on the DVD cover looked impressive, so I rented it.

Directed by: Tim Robbins
Genres: Drama
Cast: Hank Azaria, Rubén Blades, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Cary Elwes, Philip Baker Hall, Cherry Jones, Angus Macfadyen, Bill Murray, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Jamey Sheridan, John Turturro, Emily Watson, Bob Balaban
IMDB raintg: 6.8
My rating: 7.0 *******

I wasn’t wrong. The film turned out to be excellent.

I’ve seen several films that show theatrical play in development. As far as I remember, I liked all of them. I don’t know why. Maybe it is a theatre lover inside of me. Or maybe because theatre demands more acting and directing talent attention.

“Cradle Will Rock” is an original movie. It mixes the theatrical play development with pre-Second World War political tension and adds a lot of personal drama to the mix.

With all of that, it is a little bit difficult to follow in the first half of the film. Things get developed slowly and it is not always easy to make sense what is what and why is it there. Excellent casting helps the situation a lot. Actors deliver that personal touch that makes the film interesting to watch even without making much sense.

Towards the second half of the film situation changes. I could suddenly make sense of everything that was happening. All those many characters became clear to me. All story lines started to merge. The more they merged, the more I was sucked into the film. It was an amazing feeling.

Another good side of the film was that it was ver positive. Surely, it touched upon some ugly issues of life in society, but it never lost its huge positive charge. Happy ending was expected from within the first few minutes of the film.

Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. I can’t recommend this film to everyone out there as it is not a simple and easy going one like most of the Hollywood crap these days. But if you are in the mood for a good film, make sure you watch this one.