June 18, 2010, - 3:52 pm

Weekend Box Office: “Toy Story 3,” “Please Give”

By Debbie Schlussel

I did not see “Jonah Hex,” which was not screened for critics, usually a sign that it’s a bomb.  But here’s what I did see:


* “Toy Story 3“:  This was a fantastic movie.  Great for you, great for your kids, great for your whole family.  Be sure to see it in 3D.

Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and the rest of the toys in the gang are back, but their owner, Andy, is now 17, and headed to college.  He’s cleaning out his room and doesn’t want the toys (except for Woody) anymore.  Andy’s outgrown the toys and hasn’t played with them in years.  He puts them in a garbage bag headed for the attic, but ultimately, they end up, instead, at a day care center, where they have to fight off an evil set of competing toys and abusive kids who don’t play nice with them.  They try to escape back to Andy’s house, but end up in other places first, including a landfill.

Wholesome, cute, funny, entertaining, and oh so clever.  So much eye candy, so many smart jokes, and the usual excellent 3D animation.  Charming, magical, and about as good as the other “Toy Story” movies. Sterling Disney Pixar stuff.

I missed the critics’ screening for this and went to the Midnight show, last night, so I could review it for you.  The theater was packed and the movie was very well received.  The Disney/Pixar cartoon preceding the movie, “Night and Day,” is very cool, too.  Lots of applause, throughout.  Be sure to stay through the credits, as the movie and very cute scenes continue.

At $14–which is what I paid to see this last night (cost me $4 extra because it’s in 3D, but I recommend you see it in that form)–it’s a little pricey, especially if you are taking an entire family, so best to take your kids to the matinee, which is usually cheaper.  If there’s one drawback other than the price, it’s that the movie seemed a little long.

Can’t say enough great things about this.  And it’s one of the only good movies this summer, which has a dearth of anything worth seeing.  Very well done.


*  “Please Give“:  More like, Please Skip This.  One of the worst and most pointless movies of the year.  You know a movie is bad when it begins with scenes of various women’s breasts being placed on a mammography machine.  Totally gratuitous.

A couple of vintage furniture dealers living in New York City are waiting for their 90-something next-door neighbor to die so that they can buy her apartment and expand.  They try to get to know the neighbor’s granddaughters, which include an assistant at the mammography lab and a self-indulgent, deceitful facialist (Amanda Peet).  The overweight husband of the vintage furniture dealers (Oliver Platt) soon begins an affair with Peet, which then ends.  The neighbor dies, and they get her apartment.  The end.

Believe me, I’m making this dreadful movie, an utter piece of garbage and waste of 1.5 hours, sound far better than what it is.  Skip at all cost, unless you simply need to throw out money and time you’ll never get back.  A complete waste of time, money, and more.


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13 Responses

There’s a Toy Story 3?!!

How about Jaws 5?

Or perhaps a Rocky 9?

Columbine 101 on June 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I guess if you liked the first 2 “Toy Story” movies, then this will be SSDD. I thought they were the biggest dissapointments from Pixar except for the Ed Asner with young obese boy in the house balloon one.

DS_ROCKS! on June 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Columbine 101
SSSSSHHHHHHHH! Hollywood could be reading this site.You don’t want to give them any ideas for free.

gordito on June 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm

$14? Seems like it is better to wait for blu-ray where it is cheaper and one can have repeated viewings. Nice to see a movie that gets top marks according to the Debbie Schlussel scale.

MH on June 18, 2010 at 6:42 pm

“Up!” may have disappointed, but only compared to the high expectation we have for every Pixar offering. (It had more than a few good moments, and I thought it was better than “Wall*E”.) My favorite remains “The Incredibles” – the most mature of the franchise, and a wonderful homage to the classic James Bond flicks. And the chase scene across the island is a hoot.

Raymond in DC on June 18, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I’ll settle this, RIDC.

#1 – Ratatouille (by far – masterpiece)
#2 – Monsters, Inc.
#3 – Wall-E
#4- Toy Story (all)
#5 – Nemo (dull)
#6 – A Bug’s Life (dull)
#7 – Cars (boring)
#8 – Incredibles (boring)
#9 – Up (loathsome except for the funny dog scene which we saw in the TV ads, anyway)

The only problem is that Pixar is still light-years ahead of the other studios’ trite and crudely executed garbage, so I still take my kids to every one.

DS_ROCKS! on June 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Wow, you really liked Toy Story 3, didn’t you? So did I–almost as much as you did. I was not particularly crazy about the other Toy Story films which I disliked for being overly cutesy, but this one won me over. Clever, funny, genuine, with a solid plot and lots of astonishing new characters (the bear, baby and Ken were amazing).

I also liked Jonah Hex. It’s an old-fashioned guy movie, a western-fantasy mix. The plot isn’t deep, but the scenery, acting (Brolin, Malkovich, along with good support), strong hero, and conservative values, all worked well. Megan Fox did exactly what she was supposed to and what we guys like: she had attitude and was hot! I love the fact that critics detest her so much; it makes me want to see her even more. There were anti-big-government (“tea party”) references; President Grant was portrayed as strong and benevolent (liberals hate him); and if you can just get over the fact that the explosions sometimes looked fake and the editing was a little choppy, you will like this film just fine (especially if you’re a guy).

Burke on June 18, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I saw Toy Story 3 last night, and I am of a same mind as you about it, Debbie. It was fantastic! There are spoilers ahead, so stop reading if you haven’t seen it yet.

Anyway, one thing that I hope kids take away from this film is an understanding of how totalitarianism works.

When Jesse and Buzz and the rest show up at Sunnyside, they are greeted by Lots-O-Huggin’ Bear, who initially comes across as a nice, benevolent leader who is looking out for them. They are shown a wonderful social welfare system where all their needs are met, and are promised that they will be loved by generations of children. Of course, the toys discover soon enough that this society is run like a prison camp, for the benefit of a very select few, and ruled with an iron fist by Lotso Bear. If you want to explain to kids what is going on in North Korea or Iran, take them to see this film.

rglovejoy on June 19, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I will not pay to hear Tom Hanks voice. I waiting for him to apologize for demeaning the WW II veterans.

Jim on June 19, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I went to see Toy Story 3, and it hit me, I think it is referencing a part of history that some are trying to revise and say did not happen. I don’t know, maybe I was reading too much into it. I think I will go see it again by myself (I had a 5 year old with me) just to make sure my mind was not playing tricks on me. I have to agree with Debbie, this one was well worth the money I paid for it(and will pay again to see it).

Penelope27 on June 20, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Debbie… I love your reviews and look forward to reading them every week. The only problem is with your rating and hating on bad movies.

Since Marx is becoming more irrelevant to this Zeitgeist (let’s face it: he’s another megalomaniacal proto-fascist rehashing ideals created by crazed thinkers like Nietsche and Hegel), we should look at other personalities who should represent the worst of the worst…

1) Hitler – who else but the big, genocidal demagogue who gave face to abysmal hatred and evil, yet managed to galvanize an entire nation despite an ulterior motive;

2) Goebbels – this choice is often overlooked. The ultimate, evil spin doctor with an eye for the arts. The politicizing of popular entertainment is not a new concept (Sergei Eisenstein, Richard Wagner anyone?) but Goebbels made it domestic policy. The “progressive” bent of Hollywood is an indirect consequence of Onkel Joseph;

3) Mao / Qiang Qing (sp?) – yet another demagogue who caused millions of deaths, but who could forget the great experiment called the “Cultural Revolution”, full of endless, mandatory adulation of the self-described “Great Helmsman”? Regardless of the cheap goodies we buy at Walmart, Costco and Target, he is still revered in the People’s Republic. But it was Madame Qiang’s state-sponsored brainwashing that won me over. when Nixon went to the Peking Opera, he didn’t see any classic wushu: he saw the “Red Detachment of Women”. Either one is eligible for Avatardom;

4) Pol Pot – one must be smoking a lot of pot to ignore the example of genocidal megalomania. He nearly wiped out an entire culture to further his “Year Zero” ambitions. Almost every “progressive” fascist – hell, all fascists – dream of a “Year Zero”. Even Elitist Hollywood – hello, “Avatar”?

5) Kim Jong-il – is there anyone alive to have the skills to doctor the spin like Kim Jong-il? Hoarding movies and DVDs while peasants toil and starve just to go to Arirang to experience the masturbatory excesses of the personality cult that even the New Jesus Obama can never attain, not even a fraction. Romanian despot Nicolae Ceausescu was inspired by daddy Il-sung’s godhood – look where it got him and his country. Imagine the cleanup that would need to be done if Jong-ill were to topple. Good consideration here;

6) Osama bin Laden – whether he planned 9/11 or not, one thing is for certain: great producers get recognised better than great directors. Whoever has the cash to pay for any given project would eventually get credit/blame for the outcome. Hence you have the Mayers, the Goldmans, the Brukheimers, the Warners. And now we have bin Laden. Bravo, Osama: may whatever god exists judge you for your deeds, for we are merely players and mortals;

7) Any of the “Mohammeds” mentioned in the Quran – notice the plural. Notice the great paradoxes/contradictions in the text that can only conjured up by that great science fiction auteur L. Ron Hubbard (ever read “Battlefield Earth” or “Dianetics”? I had – may brain never forgave me for that). The saddest thing is, while all other triumphalist faiths such as X-tianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc., have learned to accept enlightenment, logic and reason, Islam, with it’s many proxy dictators, is still stuck in the middle ages. Hence, cultural progress is in a state of terminal arrested development. What gives? Do any of the Moes have an answer? What about the Suras and Hadiths? I don’t care much: I’m agnostic. But choose any Mohammed – there must be a picture of him somewhere :p

So there you go. What’s your pick?

The "Reverend" Jacques on June 22, 2010 at 8:32 am

I’ll watch Toy Story 3 when it’s on cable, soon enough. But I did buy a Toy Story trinket. I bought a Pez dispenser of the piggy bank. Now when a muzzie comes to visit my cubicle I can offer them a Pez!

Richard on June 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Personally, I thought TS3 was okay, but not as fresh or innovative as the 1st 2 in the series. From a purely plot-standpoint, there seemed to be an awful lot of “borrowing” from the first 2 movies, signs of a few too many trips to the well. (The whole “toys trapped in the wrong house, doing a ‘jail-break’ & trying to get home again” shtick had a whole “Haven’t we seen this kind of thing before?” feel for me…) Sure, the visuals were nice (though I didn’t see it in 3D–which gives me migraines), but other than that, not much new in this one. “Family friendly,” sure, although some of the small-fry in the audience I saw it with got a little scared by some of the more intense scenes, so I’d say it’s parents’ call as to whether they could handle it or not. Anyway, like I said, not a bad flick; Like Deb Sed: Still better than anything else currently out.

Paul GC on July 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm

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