I do a lot of complaining about the state of entertainment here on this blog. I whine and moan about how they just don't make them like they used to. I want everyone to know just how awful the state of the motion picture business is currently.
Until now. I want to say that I had a fantastic time at the cinema on Father's Day, thank you very much, and I owe it all to the friendly folks at Pixar. You remember them, the bouncy light guys? The ones who made "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles?" Last summer I became concerned when I hear they were releasing a film about an old guy who flies his house to South America. Right. That's going to be really funny. But it was. And sad. And exciting. "Up" was as good as any movie I saw last year, with or without the 3-D glasses. I went on and on about it a year ago. "Toy Story 3" seemed like a real gamble, even when one considers the impressive track record the folks over in Emeryville have.
Sequels can be death, and the notion that you could make more than two movies based on the same characters and come away with a winner all three times seems like anything but a sure bet. George Lucas ended up putting Muppets in his. Francis Ford Coppola had an American classic going and then he gave his daughter, a fine director herself, a speaking role in "Godfather 3." The third Superman movie features Richard Pryor as a computer genius hired by Robert Vaughn to kill the Man of Steel. By the time Indiana Jones got to the Last Crusade, it was vital that it began to make up for some of the damage done by the Temple of Doom, but was only a pause on the cliff before plummeting into the abyss of The Crystal Skull. If you were very patient, you could wait out the odd-numbered Star Trek movies and keep your expectations low as the hairpieces got better, but the uniforms kept needing to be let out. Then there are those nutty hobbits, who seemed to be the exception that proves the rule.
Until now. "Toy Story 3" walks the walk and talks the talk. It's not a cash-in straight to video enterprise. It's the real deal. And best of all, you don't have to see it in 3-D. It's the circle of life, and wishing on a star and all that old-time Disney stuff for a generation that grew up with Woody and Buzz. But don't trust me, go out and see it for yourself. It's like when Jerry Rice used to catch a pass, my friend would say, "He just set another record." Of course, it was his own record that he was re-writing, but that's how good he was. That's how good Pixar is. Let's just hope they never go and play for the Raiders.