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2010.06.27

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Tamil Nadu!!!!!! Hell yes!!! Jog, I already liked you, but for recognizing the Tamilians - you have a newfound emotion from me that can only be felt by a reader for a blog person guy.

(I told my wife about your review. She's surprised a white guy not married to a Tamilian person would even care. More proof you're awesome!)

Abhishek Bachchan & Aishwarya Rai are *the* power couple in the world. I keep waiting for them to do a movie with Shahrukh Khan and own every box office record until the end of time.

I had one complaint with Toy Story 3, and it had to do with the evil pink teddy bear, and it was this: by the end of the movie that bear has reached Iago-esque levels of disproportionate, over-the-top malice. I mean, he starts out as "I'm being an asshole to maintain my corrupt little empire," moves onto "I'm bitter and cruel because of my tragic and traumatic past" and rolls straight on to "I'm Satan's fucking pink teddy bear and I will see you all burn in hell, literally, because I am Satan and I smell like strawberries; Satan." I thought, okay, that's laying it on a bit thick and sudden, Pixar.

I'd agree with that complaint, its part of the problem with the movie's massive cast, but more acute in his case. It seems pretty clear that the film is supposed to be about the arc of Woody learning to let go, and I think they pulled that story off pretty well. But when you've got that many other characters, and so many of them have to fill specific roles in the Woody story, a lot of them end up behaving in a way that reads as pretty utilitarian. (The bear is the worst offender, but the cymbal monkey and octopus switch gears pretty quickly as well.) Considering how important Buzz was to the plots of the first two movies, it's also kind of surprising to see him firmly in a secondary romance/comic relief position. I'm not sure any of this stuff is fixable though, unless you're going to shoot for some Apocalypse Now Redux length. Maybe if they'd cut down on how often they show Andy's empty bedroom.

Spot on Tucker. I just got back from taking my kids to TS3, and I agree wholeheartedly, especially about THAT SCENE.

Buzz being turned into a supporting player bugged me more than the villain being all villain-y at the end. It seems off since the two had been treated like equals up till now. Especially since I think a lot of kids tend to gravitate more to Buzz than they do to Woody.

Still, great movie. Lotsa laughs.

The trouble with some contrarians is they really are bullying assholes about their contrarianism. Which is why so many people get pissed off.

The funny thing is, the contrarians are usually the personalities who bitch about fandom actually demanding that the product, you know, be good. Which leads to the conformity because no one wants to look like a LOSER for not liking it, you know?

I have no interest in Toy Story 3 either way, but I refuse to believe that it's SO GOOD that you'd have to be a deceitful contrarian to find fault with it. Contrarians are assholes, sure, but they're still better people (or at least more interesting) than fanboys. I mean, this isn't the HellsYeahSuperman blog we're posting on.

Precious was very good in many ways, but! After all the horrible shit of her childhkkd, it never felt like Precious' went through any real psychological recovery. Also: the dramatic structure felt wonky at times.

I guess I'm the evil hipster contrarian here, with my comment about the evil bear? I liked Toy Story 3, as I thought I made clear (maybe I didn't), but I felt the sudden shift in the villainous bear's villainy went from understandable and explained to over-the-top and undermotivated fairly quickly,* in a way that read as somewhat mean-spirited, and drew me out of the film a bit. To contrast: Stinky Pete from Toy Story 2 is also a nasty piece of work, but most everything he does stems from his belief that he's more or less fighting against his own obsolescence, and indeed for his very survival, against a culture in which toys are considered readily disposable (and the events of the third movie could be interpreted as validating his view). Lotso, on the other hand, is given motives (bitterness, the need to maintain control of a private fiefdom) which appear insufficient to really justify the mass-murder he attempts near the film's conclusion.

In retrospect maybe I should've found the shift away from Buzz more jarring than the thing with the bear, I don't know. Maybe I'm just a great big pansy who fell for the redemption-for-the-bad-guy head-fake and wanted it to be real? Whatever, I kind of felt his last act of betrayal was put there to justify a "comeuppance" scene similar to the one the Prospector get in the second movie, but it felt unearned to me. Call me a bullying asshole for that if you'd like, Dan.

*in a moment that comes right before "that scene," as I guess we're trying to avoid spoilers, because it really is a pretty powerful and well-done scene.

nah Moose, Dan's referring to Armond White.

Acomment: Nobody is saying that you'd have to be an asshole contrarian to find complaint with Toy Story 3 (Chris, moose and I are definitely criticizing it), in fact, that's the point of those first two paragraphs.

People often misunderstand "criticism" to mean "tear the subject to pieces", or "destroy a sacred cow", and react accordingly. Often, critique is the attempt to make something you like even better.

Modern fanbases need more perspective. I'm a big fan of many things, yet I don't object to people saying negative things about them, and I often have some myself. People expressing themselves doesn't reduce my enjoyment at all, in fact healthy discussion increases my love, and I wish more people would be comfortable with the whole spectrum of opinions.

Mr T-Stone: it seemed that Dan Coyle was saying something along those lines, although he may have been addressing contrarianism in general.

I was in the first paragraph with White, but in the second paragraph I was trying to get at the flip side of things, where bad material gets a pass because people don't want to look like fanboys or nerds for criticizing it, which does happen.

I'll try to use myself as a test subject: I don't like J.J. Abrams. I've never liked J.J. Abrams. I think he's a master producer, director, and marketer, but as a writer he's emotionally stunted and a plotter only slightly better. Every character's motivation can be boiled down to I'm lonely, I had a bad relationship, or a combo of both. His female characters are especially lame in this regard. Felicity flies all the way to NYC to go to college because she had no friends in high school despite the fact that she looked like Kerri Fucking Russell. and one guy signed her yearbook in a way she thought was hitting on her. Sydney Bristow joins the CIA "because I didn't fit in anywhere" (Jesus Christ, WHAT?) and the entire end point of the series turns out to be her mom's an evil bitch and she should have listened to daddy all along, even though daddy was just as bad. And then there's Kate Austin.

Olivia Dunham is the exception that proves the rule, but like Kate, Sydney, and Felicity, she started off being primarily defined by a relationship with a boy that ended badly.

Lost is the Abrams project I like the most, mainly because his involvement went as far as the first 13 episodes (note how the idiotic "caves guys Vs. beach guys" plot went out the window immediately) and the excrebale "A Tale of Two Cities".

Of course, these days, I consider one of the biggest mistakes in my life was ever watching Lost, but that's my fault.

What's also irritating is that despite the acclaim that's dumped on him, his stories have little point of view, subtext, or ANYTHINg besides the most basic meat and potatoes action scenes and character bits. There's not much there there.

So when I heard he had been given the keys to the Star Trek reboot, while I wasn't surprised- he's bankable- I was tremendously disappointed. Abrams' work shows NOTHING that indicates he would be interested in doing what I want, personally, out of the franchise.

AND THAT'S FINE. BUT.

I have a right to not want that, okay? I have a right to think that an incontinuity reboot (as opposed to starting from scratch) is not only pointless, but is a drag on the plot? I have a right to think that "my dad died, so I'm miserable and lonely" is a pretty weak and unimaginative way of establishing a character, don't I? So I wasn't looking forward to the film.

And I still haven't seen it. Because I know, if I saw it and didn't like it, I'd be judged as just another fanboy, just another loser, just someone who can't get the franchise has to move on. And you don't have to look far to find the people who will judge me for that.

This isn't coming out right, but I'm trying to articulate this feeling I have. And why I'm so angry sometimes at people like- well, like Tucker.

HELLSYEAHSUPERMAN!

(Just in general, I don't know if that is an actual thing or not, but HELLS YEAH anyway).

"Of course, these days, I consider one of the biggest mistakes in my life was ever watching Lost..."

I haven't seen any Lost to speak of, but if I watch it, will the horrible horrible things I have done in my life finally lose their significance?

I was just holding out hope that the machine in Eternal Sunshine would someday actually get invented and I could just send gift certificates to all my ex-girlfriends as x-mas/goodbye presents. No shit, man, there are some wonderful women out there who would be far happier if they could simply forget I ever existed. I of course, would have to bear the baggage gracefully, in order to derail any eternal recurrence-type cute meet 2.0, but that will be far easier if I was the only one to remember why they needed to forget me in the first place.

If an asshole falls in the woods and all that jazz...

/throws Lost to the tip-top of the Netflix queue post-fucking-haste

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