I’ve decided to give myself this project of writing up these timestamped reviews of movies nominated for best picture for the Oscars. This way readers can talk about them at parties without having to actually watch them. They are all guaranteed to be 100% accurate, so don’t bother fact-checking or anything. Think of these as Cliff’s Notes, except they’re for people with a fear of movies instead of the illiterate. You can trust me.
A train is transporting people across the desert to the nearest concentration camp. But it’s been hijacked by a man with an inoperable tumor on his gargantuan head, and Tom Hanks is trying to thwart his plot, so the gypsies can be exterminated on schedule. A fight ensues, the gypsies are frightened, but they’re all saved at the last minute by Wernher von Braun. This is all going to turn out to be someone’s dream or something.
OK, it was a flashback. Close enough. When he was a child, Andy used to summon the power of his dark Lord Satan in order to bring his inanimate toys to life. In exchange, the devil took the lives of 6 of Andy’s unborn brothers and sisters, prompting his parents to see a fertility doctor to find out what was going on with all these miscarriages. They received no explanation.
Cut to a montage of Andy growing up with crippling agoraphobia with his “toys” as his only companions. As he went through adolescence, he developed persecutional delusions in which his toys were secretly conspiring against him. And so he locked them up in a box indefinitely without charges.
Andy’s fears, though the product of a damaged and paranoid mind, were of course well-founded. The toys really were plotting Andy’s demise. Fortunately they are awful at being terrorists and the plan to kill him with a cell phone-activated IED failed.
Tom Hanks is going by the pseudonym Woody. He is the Muqtada al-Sadr of the toy insurgency and announces that soon Andy will implement a prisoner transfer from Block one-one-three-eight. Andy’s mom botches the transfer and puts all the toys but Woody before a firing squad. Woody accidentally rescues them at the last minute while dumpster diving for used coffee filters.
Woody is a staunch reactionary who fears change. He tries to rile up the insurgents for one last terrorist attack, but nobody really has it in them anymore. Andy’s mom continues the prisoner exchange.
Andy’s mom brings them to a free love commune in the middle of a rave party. Lotso is the big pimp who will get you “anything at all.” He also preaches on the subjects of eternal salvation in exchange for loyalty to the Sunshine Day Care Commune and their anti-authoritarian ethos.
Due to his right-wing views on private property, Woody decides to ditch Lotso’s commune to go to college with Andy in order to help him show vulnerable female art majors that he’s in touch with his childhood and sensitive and shit. He hitches a ride with yet another garbage reciptical, this one pushed by some Mr Magoo looking motherfucker. Dude loves to hump him some trash. After he escapes, he’s kidnapped by a rival faction of the insurgency.
Back at the commune, the gang discovers the forced labor part of their daily routine. They are beaten mercilessly, and Lotso hangs the slowest worker at the end of every workday (weekends off). They petition the toy leadership for a redress of grievances, but von Braun goes rogue and tries to install wiretaps without a warrant in the leadership council’s private money laundering headquarters. He is discovered like the Watergate criminal he is.
Lotso steps in on Buzz’s enhanced interrogation and brainwashes him. It turns out that Mrs. Potato Head is a Remote Viewer and she experiences seeing Andy back at their old home. She finds that Andy really does love them, and that the only path to salvation is through His Divine Light. But since she and the others did not believe until they had seen, Lotso declared them all not blessed. Buzz is now in the Black Sleep of the Kali Ma, and he keeps the dissidents under 24 hour suicide watch.
Barbie disapproves of Ken’s role in Lotso’s Stalinist purges. Lotso explains that the newcomers must withstand a prolonged hazing period and that only with seniority will they rise through the ranks into the Butterfly Room. More force labor and torture is implied.
Meanwhile, Woody finds out how to get back to his personal lord and savior Andy on 4chan. Before leaving, Woody’s new friends do a LOST-style flashback to Lotso’s dark and sordid past, from before he rose to power at Sunnyside.
Woody is recruited by the CIA and goes on a covert operation to go to Sunnyside and terminate the command of Lotso with extreme prejudice. Together the insurgents carry out a tedious and uninspired plan to reverse Buzz’s brainwashing and escape from the compound. Eventually Darth Vader throws Emperor Lotso into the garbage.
More dumpster diving / trash humping, followed by what is supposed to be – I’m guessing, judging from the sappy music – an emotional ‘goodbye’ scene.
Andy violates his court orders to stay away from small children in order to scare a little girl named Bonnie with his demonic “toys.” They both share a little bit of psychotic delusion time together anthropomorphizing small pieces of plastic. Bonnie guilt-trips Andy into giving her the cowboy toy he wanted to keep for himself. Of course, Bonnie will later grow up to be a high-powered Hollywood agent.
I am very surprised that this was marketed as a children’s story, considering its extremely dark and disturbing subject matter. Shame on Pixar. Will nobody think of the children?
Read Bunting’s completely accurate review of Winter’s Bone.