01 August 2010

Toying with 3D

Before today, I had seen only three films in 3D (not counting any under-the-sea/dino flicks at the Science Museum)--Avatar and Alice in Wonderland--and as I paid for neither, I didn't really care about the more expensive tickets (the former was in Cannes where film tickets are dirt cheap compared to London, anyway). Today, though, I went to see Toy Story 3 and as the IMAX (where I get a BFI members' discount) was fully booked, I ended up going to Cineworld and paying £13.30 (including 80p for my well stylish 3D glasses). 

I don't hate 3D films but I'm decidedly ambivalent, even if the effects are often quite cool, so I wasn't exactly thrilled with the extra charge. Luckily (?), though, after sitting through 15 minutes of ads and trailers, five minutes of the obligatory Pixar short film and the first 20 minutes of the movie, the screen went completely blank. Actually, it happened a few minutes earlier for about 30 seconds but as the characters were in a box at the time, I didn't realise. The supervisor came in and tried to fob us off with just going to the next showing (starting in about 15 minutes) or having a refund but given the screen problem would involve sitting around in the Trocadero for an extra hour, I said that when there are technical problems at the Odeon, they give you a free ticket as well as a ticket for the next showing and so we were all given a "comp" ticket. Also, the later showing was on a bigger screen so I didn't mind too much, even though it did make the movie feel longer than it was.

As for the film, it was, of course, great. I was 11 when the first Toy Story movie came out--on the verge of being "too old" (or far too young)--and I don't remember much other than going to the nearest multiplex (High Wycombe) so we could watch it on a big screen and that I did enjoy it. I was 16 when the sequel was released and definitely too cool to see it so the Bro and I went to see Teaching Mrs Tingle (the only other film showing in this particular Amsterdam cinema) while our parents saw Toy Story 2; with hindsight, this wasn't the best choice ever, even if (as well as Katie Holmes), it starred Helen Mirren (as the eponymous Mrs Tingle), Michael McKean and Molly Ringwald and was written by Kevin "Dawson's Creek/Scream" Williamson.

Anyway, I'm no longer too cool for Toy Story and the plot of this third film worked well and had some good nostalgic value for me, although I suspect I'm still too young as I didn't cry (or even work out which was "the bit" that makes a tear spring to the eye of many adults--or at least, parents). It's also the first Tom Hanks film I've seen since Catch Me If You Can and somehow, he irritated me a lot less than usual, here. And yes, Barbie and (particularly) Ken were very funny but I couldn't help but think of Blair Waldorf's stepfather whenever Rex spoke (well, and The Princess Bride). 

The only toys I have left in London with me are a tiger I bought as a set along with S and Monsieur E at the end of the first year of university and a cat from the parents; all my favourites are back in the Shire, in particular, a cat named Charlotte, Panda Louise and Funny Bunny. Maybe I should say hi next time I'm back in the Shire.

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