MovieMeditation's "Meditative Memories"!

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Meditative Memories !

Okay, so this is the second review thread I talked about creating. It is also based on a concept that I have thought about in a while and even talked about with a few members here...

I feel like, if done right, it is a great idea to challenge myself and also make a thread that's very organized and organic in style. What I want to create here, is an opportunity to rework my old reviews of otherwise great movies; reviews that I liked, but never tagged, and therefore I want to rewrite them partially or completely and repost them in a way that makes it more exciting than just rehashing my old work.

I basically want to do this in a monthly or weekly thematic style, where each new week/month will have a new theme or basis for the reviews. For example, one week could be "western week", another "Tarantino week" and a third "Fast & Furious week"... what that means is, that I will either post only western reviews for a while, the entirety of Tarantino's reviews in order or the entire F&F franchise in order. That also means that one or more reviews will be completely new, in the between the older but rewritten ones.

Review threads are often dependent on what one randomly watch, so this concept will create a review thread that feels more written, arranged and posted with purpose and meaning behind it.

Hope you will enjoy!



Theme #1 - Pixar
1. Toy Story (1995)
2. A Bug's Life (1998)
3. Toy Story 2 (1999)
4. coming soon...
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Theme #1

Sorry if I scare anyone away who doesn't like animation. But this seems to be the most ideal to pick because of the reviews I got packed up and because it can work as an epilogue to my massive Disney Classics walkthrough back in 2015...

This sounds interesting too, glad to see your reviews haven't died they've only gotten stronger

Pixar sounds like a good start. Don't think i've seen a Pixar film since Finding Dory which was over a year ago.

I'm liking your idea for themed reviewing here, MM! It should be fun And who knows maybe you've started a trend? I'm very interested in this as by doing a theme I think you'll get a lot of visitors with good combos

I'm liking your idea for themed reviewing here, MM! It should be fun And who knows maybe you've started a trend? I'm very interested in this as by doing a theme I think you'll get a lot of visitors with good combos
Yeah, I think there is something to this idea that may very well be a succesful thing. We'll see...

Pixar is very universal, but obviously there are better themes to be picked that can fit a greater deal of this forum. However, it just seemed right for that to be the first theme.

Yeah, I think there is something to this idea that may very well be a succesful thing. We'll see...

Pixar is very universal, but obviously there are better themes to be picked that can fit a greater deal of this forum. However, it just seemed right for that to be the first theme.
I've only seen a few Pixar films, but I liked them. I might try watching a couple of the ones you post. BTW I got the DVD of Patriots Day and I'll post on your other thread once I watch it.

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"Pixar theme" #1

I have been playing with the idea of introducing Pixar movies, as an extension to my former film binging of the Disney Classics catalogue, and this new schematically themed review thread seems to be the perfect opportunity to finally do so. First story to be toyed with is Pixar’s very first feature film, ‘Toy Story’, from 1995 – an everlasting, undying realization of every child’s dream – to see your toys come to life when you are sleeping or away from home. This movie was made the year I was born and the first sequel came when, thankfully, I wasn’t a freaking fetus no more and actually able to appreciate and perceive moving pictures. What a joy to behold – and that joy can almost be held once again by watching a childhood classic like this.

Unfortunately, sometimes these special movies can’t stand the test of time or personal growth. Thankfully, I can comfortably say, that after watching the first ‘Toy Story’ and its sequel a good number of times, they both still hold up as excellent movies. I think I prefer the sequel, but the status of the first one is never to be joked with and it jogs along right in the rear end of my favorite entry and it has the most down to earth story of them all. It starts off fast but firm, by having all the toys introduced almost instantaneously, because of the way we see the toys react and interact with each other when Andy’s birthday has been moved up one week.

As an audience you are already in the moment and part of the playtime. When Buzz is introduced it is done extremely well and they even succeed in making a toy big and frightening to another toy! And the conversation between Woody and Buzz really sets the stage and sells the conflict and the characters behind it. The animation is stunning, the jokes are super funny and all this sets up the film and its characters pretty much perfectly. You are instantly in the world of inanimate figures, who are now so full of heart and soul. The story that follows is surprisingly grounded and close to the heart; filled with well-drawn themes of togetherness, trust, jealously, self-acceptance and more... Everything it touches upon is handled smoothly and expertly, without ever moving away from the smaller story it sets out to be.

Woody and Buzz ends up out in the huge human world, but to me it never feels that big, merely just… human. And that is mainly because of the center of the story being the strong bond between Andy and the toys – both in the way the toy characters are focused on him but also the way us as human beings are focused on him and how the ‘camera’ makes it easy to connect because that is the clear approach and emphasis taken. Furthermore, that is what makes the grander finale work so great. You never really expect it, but oh my what a high-flying, tears falling finale that is. It is strong, intense, emotional as well as the epitome of the entire movie. The movie also has great subtlety and sometimes it is simply the little things that makes it all work – and yes, I guess that kind of does mean “literally” in this example.


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"Pixar theme" #2

’Toy Story’ was a tough act to follow and reaching for the skies is hard enough on its own… staying there is even harder. But Pixar seemed to know which parts to play and tweak with and I’m sure if they ever did fall this early on, they would fall with style. ‘A Bug’s Life’ has been bugging me in the past, mainly because I didn’t know quite what to think of it. I thought it was good, but sitting in the middle of two “Toy Stories” towering up beside it just made this movie seem like a little, insignificant insect. Thankfully, at least this time, I was kind of able to see it as a stand-alone film and an extension of the evolution of the studio. This is actually a really fun film…

And that may very well be the main problems here – the impact that comes from the heavy emotional involvement is missing this time around. ‘Toy Story’ had it all and ‘A Bug’s Life’ is not without excellent elements, but the emotional angle is not really there and therefore it fails to feel just as grand and cinematically potent as its predecessor. That said, I think ‘A Bug’s Life’ works just fine being a fun, thrilling and excitingly amusing little energy spark, which takes you on a fun ride with a small wink to that of Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’. The movie does have this feeling of being almost a fable in a way, where it goes about its themes and story beats as morals and lessons to be learned. It has a clear structure and a broad group of characters, who keeps the story interesting and bit more unpredictable than such.

The voice acting is also excellent with pretty much perfect casting choices; I especially like Kevin Spacey (obviously) as the villain, Hopper, and Joe Ranft as Heimlich. For its time, the animation is still gorgeous, though a bit more outdated than other Pixar flicks. The audio mixing and editing is always excellent in every Pixar film seems to always be some of the best there is. A shame the studio represented in the audio mixing/editing categories at the Oscars, because they really deserve it. Anyways, overall ‘A Bug’s Life’ is a fun little film, with a big heart and simple but strong themes. It isn’t as well-rounded or cinematically sublime as other films from the studio, but it is better than its reputation, that’s for sure…



Good reviews. Toy Story is actually my least favourite of the trilogy and i'd rank it 8th in Pixar films, still good. I enjoy A Bugs Life but would only have it 12th for Pixar. As a kid i preferred Antz, not seen that in about 15 years though.

Good reviews. Toy Story is actually my least favourite of the trilogy and i'd rank it 8th in Pixar films, still good. I enjoy A Bugs Life but would only have it 12th for Pixar. As a kid i preferred Antz, not seen that in about 15 years though.
I don't think I've ever seen Antz, actually...

Shame you don't like Toy Story more. The Third is by far my least favourite. It didn't really bring anything new to the franchise. The climax was sublime, But that's it for me. Anyways, the review for that will come soon enough.

Thanks for checking in, Camo!

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Toy Story changed the way animated movies were done. It's historic and hilarious. A great film that holds up and a rare instance where all 3 movies in the trilogy are really good.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

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"Pixar theme" #3

There is ‘Aliens’, there is ‘Terminator 2’, there is ‘The Godfather Part II’ and then there is ‘Toy Story 2’... This is one of the greatest follow-ups ever made, in my opinion, though I’m equally sad and surprised to see it mentioned as the weakest in the franchise by quite a few here and there. I will admit that the first and second films are childhood favorites of mine, which definitely holds a good dose of nostalgia, but nevertheless the films quality isn’t lessened or clouded much at all, I think. There have been times where I have rewatched childhood favorites that unfortunately ended falling flat, so it isn’t always a guarantee to love a past favorite…

However, ‘Toy Stort 2’ still stands strong with me, no matter how many times I watch it. Since it is quite relevant for this review, and the entirety of the actual film, I will simply say it right from the beginning: what makes the sequel superior to the first one, in my opinion, is that it expands and develops on all aspects of which generated quite a lot of curiosity when seeing the first one. And it does it in a natural but quite ambitious way, and to my surprise it manages to keep everything balanced and afloat, without ever breaking from the pressure. It references the original film in fun and inventive ways, but that aspect never carries the entire film, and it has so much that is new and bigger, yet it never ruins the core of the actual story. It is grander and more fun and adventurous, which perhaps makes it great in other ways than the original, so which you prefer isn’t really that important. I always use this slightly odd comparison with the Alien-franchise, since the grounded and more simplistic original is made bigger, and to some extent better, with the more adventurous and action-filled sequel, which also develops greatly on its original atmosphere and its ideas. That is basically the recipe for a successful sequel and ‘Toy Stort 2’ does that to perfection.

Sorry, let’s get back on track here… Right from the fantastic opening sequence with Buzz actually being realized as a true universal galactic hero, which I’m sure some were curious about in one way or the other. We now get to see what “planet Buzz was living on” during the first film and what his past is basically all about when realized. Same goes for Woody, when he is introduced to what kind of character he is, or rather was, and he almost takes on the role that Buzz had in the first one… And in connection to the story, instead of Andy receiving things like he did in the original, he is now giving things away on a yard sale… Woody is kidnapped by this toy collector, which is quite an inventive way to expand on the story and universe, since it discusses the opportunity of toys not being meant to be played with, and this creates a whole new perspective on things…

The rescue mission executed with Buzz in the lead is fun and quite adventurous, and this is also where I think it manages to go even bigger but with the character-driven atmosphere still intact. In the original, I felt like Buzz and Woody only quickly touches upon the human world, and somehow it also comes across as less big and dangerous, especially since we are quickly back in the smaller settings again, at Sid’s house. But in the sequel the toys are truly introduced to the great big world and how dangerous and enormous it actually is. Not only thinking of the amazing road scene, the huge baggage-travel madness, following the even bigger plane chase and rescue scene, but also the fact that a few cheese puffs spread across a floor suddenly seem particularly enormous and dangerous. There is truly a lot of talent behind this film, making it all seem so huge; even the everyday stuff.

The story touches upon some of the same aspects as the first film, but it develops on them and creates new ones as well. It is still about togetherness, trust and so on, but it is fun to see the tables turned a bit this time, with Woody doubting his entire life and with the film now touching upon self-discovery, abandonment and outgrowing the past. It feels natural and fresh even when it reflects on past ideas used in the original… It is just such a fun, big and adventurous ride, which feels so huge and crazy with all your hopes being fulfilled almost at once… We get to experience the backstory of Buzz, Woody and a bunch of new characters – as well as being introduced to the evil emperor Zurg – also being in an actual toy store, Buzz meeting “himself”, toy collectors, and well… basically the entire world seems to be used as a fundament for the fun and games going on in ‘Toy Story 2’. A truly excellent sequel.


Great review. Glad to see that's your favourite of the Trilogy too, in my experience it's usually the first or third. I'd have it as my fifth favourite Pixar.

You can't make a rainbow without a little rain.
It's been a while since I watched any of the Toy Story movies, and the last time I watched them, it was as a marathon, so they kind of blend together for me, but as I recall, I liked them in release order. (Toy Story was my favorite, followed by Toy Story 2, and then Toy Story 3 was my least favorite, but they're all good movies.)

I remember when the first Toy Story movie was released, everyone was talking about how it was a breakthrough in animated movies, so I went to see it just for the animation. I didn't know what to expect, but I remember it quickly became one of my favorite animated movies. (It has since been surpassed by other animated movies, including several other Pixar movies.)

I collect figures of the little green aliens, and I even have a toy crane machine that's filled with little green aliens.

It's been even longer since I watched A Bug’s Life, so I don't remember much about it anymore, but I remember thinking that it exceeded my expectations, (which wasn't very hard to do since it was a movie about bugs.)
If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.

I found Toy Story 2 such a disappointing sequel, how you can compare it alongside T2 in sequel territory is a mystery to me. Toy Story 3 captured the magic again.