New Releases: June 18

1. Toy Story 3 (Disney/Pixar, 4,028 Theaters, 103 Minutes, Rated G): The franchise that started the Pixar empire is back, and, really, how can you not be excited.

Of course, it has been 11 years between installments, so the kids who saw Toy Story 2 are now surly teenagers. But through the magic of home video, new generations of viewers can catch the previous installments and its fan base can constantly replenish itself.

The plot now revolves around the toys being given to a local day care center when their owner, Andy, goes to college. Life at the day care center is not all its cracked up to be, so Woody and Buzz lead the rest of the toys in a jailbreak.

I don’t know if this will be the last installment (although I can’t see how far they can keep going in the story progression), but it will be one you have to go see.

2. Jonah Hex (Warner Brothers, 2,825 Theaters, 80 Minutes, Rated PG-13): This film brings back a old-school brand of filmmaking. It’s where Hollywood takes a property from another medium, thinks it could present it better than how it appeared originally, makes unnecessary changes to try to “improve” it, takes away pretty much all that was good about the original concept and ends up destroying the idea in the minds of millions.

The Jonah Hex of the comic books was a badass. A horrible scarred badass, but a badass nonetheless. A lot of movies have been made about badasses. Heck, Clint Eastwood practically made a career out of them, many of which were westerns. So, you really don’t need bells and whistles to sell the character.

But this film gives us bells and whistles out the wazoo. Hex now has “talking to the dead” powers. His horse has two Gatling Guns on either side of it. His origin, one of the more interesting ones in comics, has been changed to one of petty revenge and a good man punished for doing the right thing. And there is¬† an anachronistic¬†super weapon to provide the threat.

Now, I straddle the line between comic book fan and film buff enough to know that you do have to make some changes to bring a comic book to the screen. But you have to know what makes the property appealing in the first place. The Spider-Man films know this. Most of the X-Men films knew this. Christopher Nolan’s Batman films know this. The producers of this film doesn’t.

This film will be annihilated by Toy Story 3, so the quality of the film really doesn’t matter. But this explains what DC has such problems adapting its characters to the screen. I hope the new regime at DC Entertainment makes it their priority to correct this kind of thing.

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About William Gatevackes 1934 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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