Paul McGuire Grimes from “Paul’s Trip to the Movies” reviews two fun summer flicks!
TOY STORY 4 (in theaters)
It’s been a few years since Andy gave his toy collection to little Bonnie. Bonnie is now entering kindergarten which means some separated time from her toys. In her orientation class, she makes a new toy out of some trash and names his Forky. He’s a spork with googly eyes, pipe cleaner arms, and a popsicle stick as feet. He becomes her new best friend so much so that she takes Forky along with Woody, Buzz, Rex, and her other toys on her family road trip. Forky is a bit nervous and scared about what it means to be a toy. Forky’s adventurous and scattered personality leads him to getting separated from Bonnie and the rest of the toys. Woody feels it’s his mission to rescue Forky and reunite him with Bonnie.
-Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keanu Reeves, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Joan Cusack, John Ratzenberger
-Without getting too spoiler-heavy, this is a great vehicle to showcase Tom Hanks and the legacy he has brought to Woody and what he means to Andy, Bonnie, and the other toys. It cements why Hanks as Woody is one of the best voiceover performances of all time.
-New cast members Hale, Reeves, and Key & Peele are perfect additions to this cast. All four of them shine.
-Toy Story 3 ended so perfectly, yet Toy Story 4 provides the closure you didn’t think you needed for this franchise and makes perfect sense as to why they made a fourth film. Never once felt like it was just a money grab for Pixar.
-The writers have gone full out with its wicked sense of humor. There’s no beat, moment, or scene that isn’t given an extra bit of oomph to add to the comedy.
-Like the others, Toy Story 4 is part adventure film with a high-stakes climax involving an antiques store and a carnival.
-Pixar adds those life lessons for kids to teach them to embrace new beginnings and moving on when its tough and the road is uncertain.
-By the end, you may just shed a tear as Pixar knows just what buttons to push as they close out this long journey we’ve been on with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the toys.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Pixar pulls out all the stops for Toy Story 4
RATING: 4.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
LATE NIGHT (in theaters)
Molly works for a chemical plant but is an aspiring comedy writer. She gets the nerve to interview for “Late Night with Katherine Newbury” with no experience in television writing. She gets hired on the sole basis she fills the minority quota in an all-male writers room. The show is sliding down in the ratings. Katherine Newbury has been the host for decades doing long informative interviews. The industry wants short, funny bits with YouTube stars instead. She’s at risk of losing her own show, but Molly may be the fresh, authentic voice to save it.
-Starring: Mindy Kaling (Molly), Emma Thompson (Katherine Newbury), John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy, and Reid Scott
-Written by Mindy Kaling. If you didn’t already know Mindy Kaling’s comedy from The Office or her show The Mindy Project, you’ll fully appreciate it here.
-Her script is sharp, biting, and topical. Emma Thompson’s character may be fictional, but Kaling draws from the real late night landscape as it calls out our culture’s desire for young comics, goofy bits, and pranks that go viral instead of long form interviews.
-Kaling isn’t afraid to talk about gender disparities and ageism in the work place. The network would rather have Ike Barinholtz character who’s a crude, misogynist comedian on air than someone who’s actually talented but is seeing a decline in ratings
-It can be hard to find your footing. We see with Mindy’s character, Molly, that she needs to find her voice and use it and then be so true to yourself that they can’t help but love her. She has to cut through the toxic male culture and remind people she’s more than a diversity hire.
-If that wasn’t enough, the film is incredibly honest about marriage and career as we see between Emma Thompson and John Lithgow. This subplot isn’t completely necessary but when you have the two of them bringing such weight to it, it adds another level to Emma’s character.
-Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson has already had a rich career, and still gives one of the best performances of her career. She can easily let her wicked sense of humor shine with every line but it’s the gravitas and history to Katherine that makes her impactful. You understand who she is and why, you forgive her, and feel empathy to someone who could be considered a cold-hearted villain.
-Late Night generously funny throughout while digging deeper and reminding the audience to really fight for what you want and deserve in the workplace.
RATING: 4.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS