Crazy Childhood: Toys
How did this film get overlooked?
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Starring: Robin Williams, Michael Gambon, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright, LL Cool J, Donald O' Connor, Arthur Malet, Jamie Foxx, Jack Warden, Debi Mazar, Yeardley Smith
This film is brought to you by LSD.
Before Rain Man or Good Morning Vietnam or any other movie made by him in the past, Barry Levinson's first intended film was to be this one, although it took 10 years at the time to get the project off the ground. Luckily, 20th Century Fox realized Levinson's dream to have this whimsical fable on the big screen. And so, in 1992, Toys was finally released and it didn't end up like The Thief And The Cobbler, where about half of the director's original vision was butchered just for the sake of money.
"Don't you realize we drove ino "Mario Golf"?
But, like The Thief And The Cobbler, it wasn't a huge hit like Levinson's previous films. Many people complained that not only did the film not know what to be, a kids' film or a film for mature audiences, they also felt that the visuals were always getting in the way of the story development.
My response to those people: SHUT IT, DIPWADS.
Toys can simply be summed up in one word: fun. It put a smile on my face, I liked the visuals (not LOVED, just liked), and the actors have the energy that help the film be one of the more underrated surreal films out there.
Why are the strangest-yet-entertaining films forgotten so much? I mean, think about it...Pink Floyd: The Wall, Monkeybone, or even Cool World have always some sort of entertainment value for some people out there, and they never get the recognition they truly deserve.
Except that movie. That film sucked.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An dying toymaker's last wish is that his military general brother (Gambon) takes over the running of the family business: making toys. Now that he's in charge, the genearl, bent on world conquest, starts to make weapons instead of toys. It's up to Leslie Zevo (Williams), son of the deceased toymaker, to save the day.
LL Cool J feels a disturbance in the force.
WHAT'S BAD ABOUT IT?
The first few minutes are kinda hard to get through. there weren't a lot of laughs, and the visuals didn't look that innovating to me.
I also felt that the film was too long. It runs for 2 hours and 1 minute. This is just one of those films that could've easily been told in a limit of 80-90 minutes.
Isn't that right Pelham 123?
WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?
Robin Williams is what helps make the film shine. Williams is, in my opinion, one of the funniest guys around. Any film he's in, comdey or drama, he seems to have the likable personality that makes the film watchable (Yes, even Good Will Hunting).
The other actors are pretty good in here, too. Cusack was just adorable as Leslie Zevo's sister, who seems to have a thing for dressing up like paper dolls. Gambon was fun as the evil military general, being a gruffy and no-nonsense guy all the way. LL Cool J was surprisngly not bad as the general's son (I don't know why, either.), Patrick. He actually sticks to the script and doesn't try to act cool or hip like most rappers acting. All he does is add emotion.
The Pink Elephants' current home.
The look of the film may be a tad outdated at times, but it was still fun to look at. There's one scene where Leslie Zevo and his sister try to distract the villian's guards by performing a MTV-esque music video. Not only did the song blow me away, but the visuals did, as well. It look liked like I was watching a painting coming to life, which is a coincidence, seeing that the music video's look was inspired by this painting below.
Artist: Rene Magritte
"Please get this wig off of me. It weighs a ton.
Inside Salvador Dali's head.
Damn it, woman! Do you realize what happens when you don't stop laughing?
If you love weird, you'll love Toys. I love weird, as do I love this film. If you're not into weird, open your eyes and give it a chance. It may be long and kinda hard to get into at first, it will be worth it.