Cole Smithey Responds to "Toy Story 3" Defenders
After beating Armond White to the punch of upsetting "Toy Story 3's" perfect 100% RottenTomatoes score I realized how militantly fetishistic RT [RottenTomatoes.com] readers are about such ridiculously innane things as protecting a "perfect score" for a movie. You can't make this kind of stupidity up.
What's more surprising to me is how few "critics" exercise the demands of their job description. There isn't a film I can think of that doesn't have detractors, so why should "Toy Story 3" be any different? That I had to come along behind 150 "critics" to be the first one to point out about the film's weaknesses — and they are many — speaks volumes about the feable state of film criticism in 2010. Based on this example, you might surmise that film criticism barely exists anymore.
Personally, I have young nieces and nephews with responsible parents who are very sensitive to what their kids see. I could not in good conscience endorse "Toy Story 3" as a G-rated film that meets their criteria. The ever-lessening number of G-rated movies is indeed a worrysome trend.
On top of that, Hollywood is currently changing the game on what audiences should, or can, expect from a "3-D" movie in order to charge higher ticket prices across the board on all theatrical releasese. As a critic, I've had the luxury of seeing many "3-D" films, and know what that medium should deliver on a consistent basis. Again, I cannot endorse the watered-down version of "3-D" that Disney/Pixar is selling with "Toy Story 3." See my article on 3D Breaking the Window: What You're Not Supposed to Know About 3D.
As for all of the personal attacks — some including death-threats — that readers make in their nasty emails to me, I understand that people need to let off steam, especially in these difficult economic times. It goes with the territory of being a critic who takes his job seriously. Sticks and stones. I'm not going away.
By definition, being a critic means it is my job to "criticize." I wrote this review just as I approach writing any piece of criticism — with honesty, patience, sincerity, and a singular mission to express my ideas as clearly and briefly as possible. I gave "Toy Story 3" a C+, and I stand by that grade, although it probably deserves a "C-" because it is a "dissappointing" movie. A masterpiece like Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" only has a "96%" rating on RT, but I don't think anyone's losing sleep over the fact that it isn't a perfect "100%." It's still a far better film than "Toy Story 3." If you doubt me, I challenge you to watch them back-to-back. There is only one right answer. Not only does TS3 not belong in anyone's list of the top 10,000 films of all time, it is clearly the weakest film of the franchise trilogy — by far.
To feign indignation over such a trivial issue as an aggregate website's score is a sign of ulterior motives from people pandering to some imaginary form of lowest common denominator. It's the same kind of intellectual virus that has ruined journalism and the media in America. Bon appetit. You came to me for my opinion, and I freakin' gave it you.
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