Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
An eccentric toymaker's last wish is that his brother takes over the running of the business. The brother is a military General, and is out of touch with toymaking, and out of touch with reality too. The business should really have been given to Leslie, who was much more like his toymaking father. When the General starts making weapons instead of toys, Leslie decides to take action. Written by
General Zevo mentions building armed "toy" planes and refers to himself as the "general of tomorrow." Small pilotless aircraft have been used by militaries since World War I, but the RQ-1 Predator (a system that closely resembles General Zevo's idea) entered service three years after the film was released. See more »
When General Zevo is in the arcade playing "Tank Gunner" you notice that his score bounces. It's at -2400 at the point where he only shoots UN Trucks (each truck is -1000 points) and in the next seen he's at 1600 points, down to 400, then up to 3600, then down to -6000, then -3400, and finally -7000. See more »
They'll analyze them to death, wonder what underlying messages are hidden in the subtext, how much the FX cost, what the actors were thinking, all BEFORE they let the movie begin. I don't think about things like that when watching a movie at first. I just decide if I was entertained or not.
"Toys" uses Williams' natural exuberance and Cusack's looniness to its benefit and make them the most unique characters in a movie that ISN'T about toys as much as it is childhood, life, death and whatever happens to be in between. I especially liked Cusack's comment at her father's funeral about the tin horn.
Gambon plays the "serious-minded" adult who traipses into toyland and decides to declare war. What happens? About what you'd expect. Or maybe not, I dunno. What can you expect in a movie where it makes up its own rules along the way, just like a child at play?
I loved the production design and a lot of toys are just downright cute. Williams' speech to the toys near the end that hybrids Gandhi and Churchill with a little of "Begin the Beguine" is a classic in my book. And Cusack's fate is somewhat of a shock. LL Cool J does a pretty good job as does Gambon. Wright is pretty, as always, and you have to love that down-home accent (and dolphin imitation).
In the end, "Toys" breaks free of the world like the elephant during the end credits, making a world all its own, one where children's rules apply and simply allowing yourself to be a child is the perfect remedy to adulthood. Maybe THAT'S what a lot of people don't understand about this movie.
Nice Job, Barry.
Ten stars and a smoking jacket for "Toys", the movie that proves there's a time and a place for children's things, as long as you don't let growing up spoil it for you.
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