Toys 4 Chucky 

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF DISNEY PIXAR - To infinity and beyond Toy Story 4 is in theatres —and garnering positive reviews.
  • Photo courtesy of Disney Pixar
  • To infinity and beyond Toy Story 4 is in theatres —and garnering positive reviews.

Idioms, adages, proverbs, whatever... Life is full of these ancient sayings, nuggets of wisdom passed down over the ages that are so simple and true no one really knows where they came from, but we keep saying them generation after generation.

Patience is a virtue, just ask anyone who has ever had to tell an eight-year-old to get their shoes on and get out the door for school. In vino veritas is proven: if you pour enough wine down your throat at pretty much any social function, you absolutely will end up saying something out loud you probably should have kept to yourself, except you will also mean it because in wine lies the truth. Or the classic one my grandma Carol used to throw down all the time, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Except grandma Carol never had to review Toy Story 4, which opens this week at the Whistler Village 8.

Let's back up a bit though because the Toy Story franchise is among the most loved of Pixar's creations, mainly due to Tom Hanks' voice work and some solid emotional heart-string tugging in the scripts. (The original 1995 Toy Story was also the very first fully computer animated feature film, a literal dawning of a new era in film.) How could anyone want to shit on that?

The short answer is Tim Allen, who voices the Buzz Lightyear toy. Allen is the absolute worst (granted he is 1,000 times more tolerable when you only hear his disembodied voice, but just knowing he is there ruins the movie for me.) The other answer is Randy Newman's cloying songs with their cheese-ass lyrics. Pounding a railroad spike into my ear would be preferable to Newman's drivel, and it would still have that "Americana" vibe that defines his cadre. (See also: the songs in Cars.)

The good news, for viewers who don't share my Tim Allen hatred, is that Toy Story 4 is being heralded as "heartwarming, funny and beautiful" by almost every other critic on Earth. As well, it puts the female characters—especially Bo Peep—front and centre, Keanu frickin' Reeves appears as a Canadian Stuntman toy, and it still has some of that creepy, toy-on-toy violence/body horror that can scare the crap out of younger kids (this time a mute '50s doll named Gabby Gabby is trying to get her army of ventriloquist dolls to cut out Woody's voice box). So, Allen aside, it sounds OK. Nostalgia wins again, thanks, Grandma. (But aren't those nostalgic warm fuzzies kinda starting to feel cheaper with the current avalanche of remakes/sequels? Time, as the saying goes, will tell.)

Speaking of, there's a Child's Play "re-imagining" opening this week as well, and while there were no pre-screeners, we do have to admire the chutzpah of releasing a flick about an evil talking doll that comes to life and murders people the same week as Toy Story.

This reboot is the eighth film for the maniacal Chucky, with the high-water marks being the 1988 original and 2004's Seed of Chucky, which features turkey baster insemination attempts, sordid doll masturbation photos, and the always-amazing Jennifer Tilly (what ever happened to her? She acts in a lot of direct-to-streaming flicks and apparently has made over $1 million playing live-tournament poker). A Child's Play reboot is utterly unnecessary, and I'll see you there.

They say great minds think alike, so another evil doll is dropping this week too as Annabelle Comes Home hits screens June 26. The third Annabelle flick and the eighth in what is being called The Conjuring Universe, this one will give a more spiritual/curse/cerebral horror vibe than Chucky's slasher style, so pick your poison, I guess.

Also opening, Anna looks like the John Wick-style, hot-chick shitkicker assassin movie everyone was aiming for with Atomic Blonde and Red Sparrow.

This one is directed by Luc Besson (Lucy, The Professional) and stars newcomer Sasha Luss. With John Wick 3 last month, Anna this week, Stuber in July and Hobbs & Shaw set for August, 2019 might be a good summer for action movies. Because, of course, action speaks louder than words.


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