Random Factoid #324

17 06 2010

In keeping with the Pixar/”Toy Story” theme of the week for Random Factoids, I was planning on whipping out some massive nostalgia today.

I was planning on referencing this section of Random Factoid #19, describing a birthday party of mine:

Age 7 – 1999: The movie was “Toy Story 2,” which is still one of my all-time favorites.  We hosted it at the AMC Studio 30 theater, and I remember that we got to go upstairs, which is restricted to the general public, to the special party room.  The only other thing particularly memorable was that one of my friends had to leave in the first five minutes because he was terrified by Buzz Lightyear on his own planet (which turned out to be Rex playing a video game).  And he was one of the tough kids.

As I was thinking about factoids, I could have sworn that we still had some “Toy Story 2” pencils lying around my house somewhere.  I was planning on announcing to the world that 11 years later, I still had those pencils (which were used as party favors).

But as it turns out, they must have bit the dust because I couldn’t find them.  I only bother to still tell you because I had big plans and big ambitions.  Sorry to disappoint, but sometimes there’s entertainment in failure.  How else can you explain the popularity of the FAIL Blog?

So to compensate, here are some of my favorite clips from the first two movies:

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Random Factoid #322

15 06 2010

Back in Random Factoid #73, I manned up enough to say that I cry in movies occasionally. But what I didn’t tell you is what those movies were.

Now, 249 days later, I’m ready to reveal some of those movies. In keeping with the spirit of Pixar, you can probably guess what I’ll tell you.

Three Pixar movies have made me cry.

The song “When She Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2” makes me sob. It’s so beautiful and wonderfully done.

The climax of “Monsters, Inc.” – which I won’t ruin for those dumb enough not to have seen it – made me cry the first time, although I don’t think I’ve cried since.

And I pretty much cry the first and last 15 minutes of “Up.” The “Married Life” sequence at the beginning is so incredibly powerful that I cry earlier and earlier every time, anticipating the tragic end.





Random Factoid #229

14 03 2010

Back in the ’90s (strange to think that it was TWO decades ago), the Disney Store would give posters away if you brought a ticket stub for a Disney movie into the store. Naturally, I took advantage of this offer many times – although the only poster I distinctly remember receiving is one for “Toy Story 2.”





What to Look Forward to In … October 2009

29 08 2009

We give the movie industry late August and all of September to recover from the busy summer season, but in October, it starts to kick it into gear again.  Unfortunately, my most anticipated movie in October, Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” was pushed back to February.  But the month still puts forth several great movies for all tastes.

October 2

This week, I can promise you that I will be throwing my money not at a new release, but at the re-release of two staples of my childhood.  “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” will hit theaters again for a few weeks.  1 ticket.  2 movies. 3-D.  Need I say more?

The week also gives us “The Invention of Lying,” which could be a sleeper comedy hit. The movie stars Ricky Gervais, who was the lead of the British version of “The Office.” Around this time last year, he starred in “Ghost Town,” a comedy with a heart that you need to go rent now, that was dismissed by audiences. I have high hopes for his latest, in which he plays a man who tells the world’s first lie on an alternate Earth. He continues to wield the power to suit his own selfish needs. The movie also features Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, and the always funny Tina Fey.

And not to mention, the week delivers Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, “Whip It.” The movie stars the irresistible Ellen Page (“Juno”) as Bliss, a teenager weary of the beauty pageants that she is forced into by her parents. One day, she discovers the world of roller derby and she finds the happiness that she has been so desperately seeking. The movie boasts a hilarious supporting cast including Kristen Wiig (“SNL”), Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden, and Barrymore herself.

And it just keeps getting better.  The Coen Brothers (“No Country for Old Men”) are back with their latest feature, “A Serious Man;” they also wrote the original screenplay.  The movie seems to be a big risk.  It features no marquee names other than the Coens themselves. The trailer is cryptic, giving no indication of what to expect from the movie. I don’t mind an aura of mystique, but this is an aura of confusion. The movie is being marketed as a dark comedy, and I pray that it is the polar opposite of the Coens’ last foray into the genre, “Burn After Reading,” which I didn’t find funny at all. The movie starts in limited release and then will slowly expand from New York and Los Angeles.

The other major release of the week is “Zombieland,” a horror-comedy with Woody Harrelson.

October 9

The only exciting movie hitting theaters across the country this weekend is “Couples Retreat.”  A comedy centered around four couples at a luxurious tropical resort that is revealed to be a marriage therapy clinic, it appears to provide something for everyone.  It has pretty women (Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis) AND funny guys (Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau).  The movie is the directorial debut of Ralph Billingsley, best known for playing Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” and the screenplay is written by Vaughn and Favreau.  Hopefully it can provide some good laughs in a season usually replete of hilarious comedies.

Opening in limited release is “An Education,” a movie that has been garnering massive Oscar buzz for months now.  Most of it has centered on the breakout performance of lead actress Carey Mulligan.  In the movie, she stars as Jenny, a 17-year-old in 1960s England who is set on going to Oxford.  However, an older gentleman (Peter Sarsgaard) comes along and sweeps her off of her feet, introducing her to a lifestyle that she immediately loves.  But reality bites, and Jenny is left at a crucial crossroads.  The movie has also generated buzz around supporting actors Alfred Molina and Rosamund Pike (the red-haired villain of “Die Another Day”).  Raves are also flying in for the screenplay, written by author Nick Hornby, writer of “About a Boy” and “Fever Pitch.”  And with the 10 nominees for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, many people say it has a good chance of claiming one of the ten.

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Random Factoid #19

16 08 2009

It should come as no surprise to you that I had several birthday parties when I was younger at the movies.  Here is what I remember about each of them.

Age 5 – 1997: The movie was “Rocket Man,” which I have seen snippets of since and I now realize is one of the dumbest movies ever made.  I don’t remember specifics about the party itself, but I do remember that we had it at the now defunct Meyerland Cinema in Houston.

Age 7 – 1999: The movie was “Toy Story 2,” which is still one of my all-time favorites.  We hosted it at the AMC Studio 30 theater, and I remember that we got to go upstairs, which is restricted to the general public, to the special party room.  The only other thing particularly memorable was that one of my friends had to leave in the first five minutes because he was terrified by Buzz Lightyear on his own planet (which turned out to be Rex playing a video game).  And he was one of the tough kids,

Age 8 – 2000: The movie was “The Grinch,” which disgraces the name of Dr. Seuss.  It was our first party at the new Edwards Greenway Palace 24 theater, and we organized the party through them.  It turned out to be a very bad decision.  They promised to reserve us a row, but they didn’t tell us it would be the FRONT ROW in front of a large rail.  And to make things worse, there was a screaming baby next to us.

Age 9 – 2001: The movie was “Monsters, Inc.,” another classic.  We did the party at Edwards Greenway Palace 24 again, but we didn’t organize it through them.  I remember having a fit because I wanted to have the party on the movie’s first day, but someone else sent out invites for a party that day before I did.

Age 13 – 2005: The movie was “Man of the Year,” a pretty bad one.  I was 13 and dying to go out and see a PG-13 movie despite the fact that anyone can get into one without being 13.  I had 4 friends to my house, and against my better judgement and their will, I made them leave fun in my backyard to go see an awful movie that only I had any desire to see.