Tag Archives: toy story 3

A Bug’s Life

Today was a pretty good day.  It was Friday, which means Daniel and I always put a little extra effort into dinner.  I also got to watch the Blue Angels flying over campus while I was at work.  That was awesome.  Some people are completely impressed with their flips or turns, et cetera, but Daniel and I agreed that it is most impressive when they all fly together, synchronized.

After dinner, we went for a quick drive over to Henrietta after Daniel called the Guitar Center and they said they had the new Korg Monotribes in stock.  It turns out that they lied; they only had the Monotribe’s younger brother, the Monotron, which Daniel already has.  So that was a disappointment.

We came back to the apartment and decided to watch A Bug’s Life.  This is by far my favorite Pixar movie.  I think it’s because most of their movies are just heart-wrenching.  I can’t watch Wall-E or Toy Story 3 without practically having a mental breakdown.  I just start bawling.  And once the movie ends, I continue to cry.  The last time Daniel and I watched Wall-E, I was still hysterical 10 minutes after the movie ended.  It was awful.  But A Bug’s Life is hilarious.  I love the characters.  It also features voices from a number of different big-name actors and actresses, including Dave Foley (of Kids in the Hall), Kevin Spacey, Phyllis Diller, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Richard Kind, Brad Garrett, Bonnie Hunt, David Hyde Pierce, Hayden Panettiere, Denis Leary, and Madeline Kahn, as well as a few others.  Of the Pixar films, I think this one is the funniest.  A little side tidbit:  The copy that I own is actually on VHS, since it was purchased by my grandmother in the ’90s, long before anyone in our family considered DVDs.  After my grandparents died, I decided that I had to keep that movie.  I still watch it pretty regularly, although it’s difficult convincing Daniel sometimes.

You know, I lived in an ant hill once...

Ant Hill Cooperative, that is.

Strong Museum of Play

This afternoon Daniel and I visited the Strong National Museum of Play.  They had a great discount on tickets, a buy-one-get-one-free sort of deal.  Of course, Class President JJ said that tickets were only $8 when in fact they were $12.

This was my second visit to the museum.  The place is gigantic.  Daniel really wanted to see the American Comic Book Heroes exhibit.  It was a lot of fun.  He ran around pointing out all of the cool comics they had on display.

Daniel with The Man of Steel.

My favorite exhibit is Sesame Street.  Even though I’d already taken a number of pictures at that exhibit during my last trip, I took more this time.

Daniel and Big Bird.

It’s such an interesting place.  They have a lot of hands-on things for kids to play with, but it’s also a toy  museum.  On the second floor they have cases and cases full of old toys like dolls and games, as well as all of the random classic toys you had a as a kid, like a phone similar to the one found in Toy Story 3.

It’s a great place for children, but there are also lots of activities for adults too.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to go to the museum again.

Spring Break Day 5

Unfortunately, today was a bit cloudy and Daniel and I were exhausted from our bike ride yesterday.  We were woken early with the sounds of the dogs howling and barking at some men that were working on the roof.  This resulted in the two of us lounging around most of the day.  His sisters only had school in the morning, so we took his youngest sister to get some Chik-fil-a for lunch.  This makes it sound like all we or they eat are fast food, but this is the exception, not the rule.  Also, both Cook Out and Chik-fil-a are delicious fast food.  I must also note that I will be going on a diet after this week: one piece of lettuce per day.

Before we could go out on a walk this evening, it started to rain, so we opted to stay in and watch a movie.  We really needed a break from our Pixar marathon, since we watched Toy Story 3 last night and I just cried and was despondent for most of this morning.  We decided to watch I Am Legend since Daniel’s family has it on Blu-Ray.  The thing about I Am Legend is that the alternate (original) ending is much better than the theatrical version.  In the theatrical ending, he blows himself and his laboratory up in order to save two other survivors, and gives them the antidote (his blood) for the infected humans.  It makes absolutely no sense so I cannot fathom how that ending was more popular with audiences, but it was.  This ending lets you believe that these “Darkseekers” are the bad guys all along, that they are only out to kill and eat Robert Neville.  Despite the fact that during one scene they set a very elaborate trap to capture Robert, “they have no higher brain function”.  In the alternate (original) ending he escapes and survives with two other people who are also immune to the virus.  In both versions, this is after he has spent years capturing the Darkseekers and performing lab experiments on them, resulting only in their deaths.  The theatrical version fails to explain how they could set an elaborate trap to capture him (which they do at one point, but he escapes only after his dog saves his life).  The alternate ending shows that these “monsters” do have higher brain function, including the ability to articulate an elaborate plan to capture Robert, and the capability to love others.  This makes the most sense, since they used his own materials to set a trap for him; the theatrical ending shows this scene, but never explains how they could have done this.  The alternate ending concludes with Robert Neville giving back one of his “specimens” (a female Darkseeker) to a male, after this male has hunted Robert down out of love for this female.  Instead of just attacking and eating Robert, he allows Robert to bring his mate back to life and leaves peacefully with her return.  Robert realizes that, by capturing and killing these beings, he was the actual monster.  Clearly, there is a lot more to the story than what I have shared here, so if you have not seen the movie with its alternate ending, reserve your judgements.  The alternate ending is slightly closer to the ending of the novel on which the movie is based, which shares its name with this film.

Since I did not get the opportunity to go out and take pictures today, here is one that I had taken a few days ago.

 

The Historic Carolina Theatre

 

Spring Break Day 2

It was a rainy day in Durham, so we didn’t get out and do much today.

After dinner at Daniel’s favorite Chinese restaurant, Shanghai, I started to watch The Kids Are All Right, and to be honest I can’t figure out why is was nominated for Best Picture, other than the fact that there were lesbians in it and the Academy is trying to be progressive.  Or something.  I stopped a little more than halfway through to go watch Bob’s Burger’s with Daniel.  (This week’s episode was hilarious, and if you have not seen it you can catch it on Hulu later this week.)

Since the weather was bad and it was a little bit chilly tonight, Daniel and I decided to start a Pixar marathon.  Naturally, we started with Toy Story.  It is truly amazing to see how technology has developed in the last 16 years.  They have come a long way, both with the animation and the stories.  Although all of their movies have been gigantic hits in the box office, I think that Wall-E, Up, and Toy Story 3 have set the bar to a new height that won’t easily be surpassed.  At this point, I have seen all of the Pixar movies except for Ratatouille.  Luckily, Daniel and his parents own all of the Pixar movies, so we will have something to watch each night this week (and every day that the weather is bad).

I don’t recall watching Toy Story in theaters.  And after I had watched it, I didn’t remember liking it very much.  I realized that my distaste for it probably had something to do with the character of Sid, a child who would rather blow up toys and decapitate them than actually play with them.  I can appreciate the Toy Story movies more now than I could when Toy Story and Toy Story 2 first came out.  Maybe that is because Toy Story 3 was so amazing and so poignant.  Or maybe it is just because now I have a deeper appreciation for Pixar and their computer animation than I did when I was 7 years old.  Back then, I don’t think I understood that it was a big deal for a movie to be completely computer animated.  Also, I don’t think I really connected with any of the characters from the first movie.  Every child has toys like those of Andy’s, but I guess I lacked the imagination to see them that way, to see them alive.  Now, it is less about trying to connect that to my life as a child and more just appreciating the art of those movies and the story itself.

On a small side note, I have never actually seen Toy Story 2 in its entirety.  Now I can appreciate the technology and how far it has come, and I’m enthusiastic to watch it later this week.

I love all of the old, faded signs around Durham.

This was taken yesterday, when it was still very sunny and very warm.  Tomorrow should be much better than today.

The Old Toad and The Oscars!

Last night, I met my friends Ryan, Jenab, and Matt at The Old Toad, an authentic English pub on Alexander St. here in Rochester.  They have the largest selection of beers that I have ever seen.  Jenab and I ended up getting a Southern Tier Crème Brûlée something or other.  The boys were boring, and instead of trying something new, they both got Guinness.  The Crème Brûlée beer was interesting.  It wasn’t really for me; I got it more out of curiosity than anything else.

We sat in a booth and drank our respective beverages while we played Scrabble.  Now, I’m just not really the type of person that likes to go out to clubs or to frat houses to get wasted.  However, my friends do typically like to do those types of things, and that’s fine (once in a while).  The Old Toad has more of the atmosphere that I prefer, a place that is good for having a conversation.  I could have done without the Scrabble, but Jenab and Ryan really wanted to play.  On a side note, I sent a text to my mother and sister, saying how “white” I felt, since I was sitting in a pub, drinking a pint of beer, and playing Scrabble with a guy who was wearing an argyle sweater (Ryan).

Daniel told me a long time ago that, after he turns 21, the first bar he wants to visit is The Old Toad.  While he has never been inside, I think he has made a great choice.  This is just the sort of place he would love, with a practically infinite list of ales, beer, et cetera.  Also, for the last two years, we have attended the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, and when we go we always go to the The Olde English Parlour.  The Old Toad has a very similar feel, so I am excited to take him there when he turns 21.  It is also within walking distance of our apartment, so when the time comes, we can really celebrate.

But what’s the big news for tonight?  It’s Oscar Night!  I wish I could have made a Top 10 list for 2010 movies, but I can’t even make a Top 5 list.  Except for Toy Story 3Alice in Wonderland, and the short Pixar-animated Day & Night, I haven’t seen any of the nominees.  I was watching the Red Carpet and Academy Awards with Jenab at her dorm.  Daniel and I don’t have cable, and last night Jenab asked if I was going to watch.  I told her that I had not originally planned on it, but I wanted to see it.  So she invited me over, we had some pizza, and watched all the beautiful faces and glamorous dresses parade down the carpet.  It has been a very enjoyable weekend.

I took these photos two years ago, while exploring the abandoned subway underneath the city of Rochester, with the University of Rochester’s Urban Explorers club.

There was a lot of very cool graffiti down there.

 

Underneath Rochester.