Toy Story 3 proved itself to be both a critical and box office smash this past weekend, breaking records as Pixar Studios’ highest-grossing opening weekend and earning a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Yet, there are bound to be contrarians among us, those longing for a bit of grit beneath that Pixar sheen. Thankfully, someone with a keen sense of humor and exemplary syncing up skills has answered our prayers with a trailer that crosses Toy Story with The Greatest Television Show Of All Time, The Wire.
We can only hope that Jon Lasseter’s people will be making negotiations with David Chase’s people before the week is out.
The last big animated hit at the box office was DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon, which has taken in over $400 million worldwide since it opened last March. A mixture of great reviews, happy early audiences, and a relentless merchandising campaign spearheaded by Wal-Mart turned the movie into a big success. However, this week, a new animated movie is seeking ticket sales, the highly anticipated Toy Story 3. Not surprisingly, its makers seem to be using the same strategy as Dragon’s backers did, in featuring the film in a couple of high-profile commercials. Whereas recent flop Shrek Forever After used the same cliched trailers and McDonalds promotions in order to spread the word, Toy Story 3 is serving up interesting commercials that manage to boost two different products/services to consumers.
Somehow, this commercial for the Visa debit card introduces you to the movie’s central characters, makes you want to see more of them, and makes you want to use your Visa debit card to buy official merchandise at a local toy store. I adore the attention to detail put into this. At the very beginning, the toys are standing on top of a display for the probably fictional “Red Herring” board game, which advertises itself as “a game of skills and scales”.
In an age where movies about board games are being green-lighted faster than the speed of reason, it’s refreshing that someone would actually try to see if a property could, y’know, work before it was produced.
That’s the case with director Kevin Tancharoen’s Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, which is not a trailer for a movie that exists (yet), but a pitch to see what said movie would be like. And what it would be like is a darker, more realistic, and overall more legitimate interpretation of the fighting game franchise than 1994’s Mortal Kombat (which is not without its charms).
The promotional film takes place in an alternate version of the Mortal Kombat universe, with Michael Jai White’s Jackson “Jaxx” Briggs going over case files of other beloved characters in order to get to the bottom of the murder of movie star Johnny Cage. The characters have different origins than we have seen in the past, but it serves to give the story a touch of realism, not disrespect the source material.
If the “trailer” is any indication of the future product, this project is more than welcome. The Mortal Kombat universe has always had an interesting mythology that’s never realized its full potential in the story department. Who wouldn’t want to see all these characters in respectful story arc. I say get started on this project ASAP and “FINISH IT”.
Paul McCartney was born on this date in 1942, so today we can celebrate 68 years of singer, musician, songwriter, actor, artist, and author, Paul McCartney. To be honest, he didn’t start composing hits on the day he was born, though, if anyone could, it would be him. Technically, the earliest the larger world knows of him dates back to 1961, when he was just a back-up musician for little-known singer Tony Sheridan.
For those of us who were worried that the ever-endearing John Goodman would soon jump on celebrity death craze bandwagon, you can put your concerns to rest. A shockingly slim and sober Goodman appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman this week to discuss his new healthy lifestyle, and presumably a project of some sort. Goodman said he was pushing 400 at his peak and cites quitting drinking as the source of his success. Goodman’s target weight? “30 pounds”. It’s good to know he’ll be around for awhile.