An eccentric toymakers last wish is that his brother takes over the running of the business. The brother is a military General, and is out of touch with toymaking, and out of touch with reality too. The business should really have been given to Leslie, who was much more like his toymaking father. When the General starts making weapons instead of toys, Leslie decides to take action.
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Spoilers The visual effects were amazing, and I liked LL Cool J. Butthere was no plot. It dragged on way too long. I fell asleep during andwoke up to more movie. I didn't do anything to deserve this. There wereplenty of good places to just pop up the words The End and save thecost of making whatever inexcusable silliness came after that. The onlyfunny part was when Robin Williams was flattered that he was consideredas big a fool as his father. There, I just saved you 3 bucks. It wasn'tcute. It wasn't "magical" like Willy Wonka. It wasn't even close tobeing realistic, even given the eccentric people involved. There was nodrama. There was no romance. There was just no point. They shouldrecycle the visual effects into something with a plot, like PoliceAcademy 12.
I can entirely understand why many people might think this movie totallysucks, because when I started to watch this today for the first time since1993, I found myself embarrassed, thinking "oh my, I used to *love* thismovie!" Because the style of it is so unique, this can be an instantturn-off. But if you can stick with it for a while, it soon becomes easierto watch and by the last half-hour or so, I found myself thinking "how did Ieven consider this movie could suck?"Aside from the great production design in this movie, I would pick out thegreat score by Hans Zimmer (and many others including Tori Amos who wrote acool song) and as a close second, Joan Cusack, who I can now say withoutdoubt can be perfect in absolutely *anything*. I also think that there is definitely something about the screenplay to thismovie that lifts it above what might be first perceived. Thecharacterisations, though often stereotypical (but if you don't understandwhy that is in a movie like this, then the chance is you're never going tolike it!), are sometimes perfect - the characters played by Robin Williamsand Joan Cusack sit right on the line between totally insane and totallynormal.There's little to be said that might pursuade someone browsing this site tosee this movie because there is something about Robin Williams movies thatjust divides an audience before anymore needs saying . . . but trust me, ifyou get a chance to see this movie, do watch it, you will not bedisappointed. Or maybe you will . . .
Despite its being so sharply criticized by critics and the public, I lovethis movie. It has lovely music and scenery if you enjoy beautiful films.And I found the characters wonderful. The whole movie has a sweetquirkinessI will always remember. I am not ashamed to call it one of my favoritefilms.
I must confess that Toys is one of my favorite movies of all time. But, inmy discussions with everyone I know, the trend appears that people eitherthink this is one of the best movies, or they absolutely hated it.Why do I think it's one of the best? The visual imagery is top of the line,the music is phenomenal (including a track from the then-unknown SherylCrow), and the personality of the film is very joyful. This is not aboutRobin Williams, Joan Cusack, or LL Cool J. It's about Barry Levinson. Fromthe direction and the overall tone, you can tell this is a work of love.Watch it once or twice. You'll either love it or hate it. I personallyhope that you'll see the wonder that I do.
This review is from: Toys (DVD) "We have a tradition of whimsy here at Zevo Toys..."Robin Williams' character is explaining the nature of the company to his boorish Uncle, but he is also describing one of the main reasons I love this movie.I can't really imagine anyone other than Robin Williams and Joan Cusack in the lead roles (Joan is probably at her most charming here). The only things I would change are the couple of scenes that warrant the PG-13 rating, and then only so I felt more comfortable sharing it with my young neices and nephew.Fun, thoughtful, and occasionally thought-provoking. This was the perfect time to upgrade to DVD from my old (and well-used) VHS.
--- SPOILER WARNING! ---I can guarantee all of the IMDB viewers out there that you haven't yetseena movie quite like this one, and you probably never will again. If that'sagood thing or a bad thing is, of course, another question...Comedy favourite Robin Williams is Leslie Zevo, a mild-mannered, ratherchildish dude who designs, tests and plays with toys at his father's toyfactory. Just like his dad, Leslie's a child at heart, devoted tobringingfun and happiness to everyone. But when his uncle (Michael Gambon), anarmygeneral, takes over Zevo Toys, Leslie's whimsical, wonderful worldchangesovernight. Soon the General and his commando son (LL Cool J) are buildingweapons which will be controlled by an army of arcade-trained youngsters.And they've turned the carefree toymakers into regimented robots. NoLeslie,with the help of his sister (Joan Cusack) and his new girlfriend (RobinWright), must find a way to save the company --- and grow up withoutlosinghis playful spirit!Robin Williams does a fine job, as he always does,(most recently in thechilling "One Hour Photo"). Michael Gambon stands above the rest of therather dull cast as Leslie's mad uncle. The rest of the team just seemstosit back while this world is being filmed around them; they never quitemanage to enter the surreal setting of the film.I watched this particular film when I was very young, and I must admit Iabsolutely loved it. But now that I see it again when I'm quite a bitolder,I've started to notice the serious flaws and overall lackof...of...Something! I can't put my finger on it, but there seems to besomething...someone...awkard, strange about "Toys".And that's really the point: Not everyone is going to be able to get pastthe goofy visuals and awkward music that plagues "Toys". It's a ratheroddmovie, I'm afraid to say. It tries to blend grown-up themes (of love, sexand war) with truly childish visuals. The color palette of the factoryconsists of bright blues, reds and yellows; the planning of the factoryandthe construction of the toys is, now that I look at it, completely goofyandtotally nuts; and, finally, the story is a bit, shall wesay...Awkward.And that seems to be the word of the day, people: awkward.And nuts.So there you have it, folks. Some will absolutely adore this film, somewilldislike it immensely. I guess you just have to watch the film and see foryourself. I've got to go take a break from writing, man...This film isjustso...so damn wierd!
I decided to watch "Toys" as it was missing from my childhood, Iremember seeing the trailer on the "Mrs. Doubtfire" video (that wasnever out!) And I thought it looked good. So it was on TV and Irecorded and thought it was definitely something different and whichdefinitely does not LACK imagination! The visuals are the most impressive things in "Toys", it's as if lifeis inside a Dhali painting. Everything is surreal and tongue-in-cheekwhich is quite refreshing to see through the midst of countless filmsthat all start to look the same. Films like this don't come around veryoften and maybe some of you think this is a good thing? But it'simportant that you open your mind when watching this and just enjoy theimaginative images that flourish before you on the screen.The visuals and directing style reminded me of a Tim Burton film, suchas "Big Fish", it was very colourful with Burton-esque ideas and Ireally liked that. Although the film did sort of fall apart during theevil toys vs not evil toys due to the lack of direction and notfocusing on the editing.Hans Zimmer's score was also very impressive. It lifted the child-likeatmosphere. Robin Williams was mis-used however, he did have some veryfunny lines (the Mother Teresa bit is worth watching for those fewseconds) but his talents weren't used to the extent.Weird and wonderful, "Toys" is unlike anything I've ever seen, and ialso think that underneath this child-like exterior is quite a seriousmetaphor. The story-line is simple, the directing is driven and thevisuals are stunning. "Toys" is definitely worth a watch if you have atleast some imagination.
Thank you, Janet! The video is exactly as you described. Perfect mint condition! I received it within days of the order. It was really nice doing business with you.
As years go by , this will become a gem . I have heard that this is one ofRobin Williams personal favourites , and while I admit it's easy to seewhatpeople don't like about this movie ( eccentricity , continual whimsy ) Iagree it's his best film . In it you will see all his vast talentsdisplayedin varying measures , and it's obvious there was a lot his own input duringfilming . The ultimate storyline of good versus evil plays out beautifullyas the demented General ( marvelously portrayed by Michael Gambon ) wageswar with robotical war toys against the more traditional products of thedream factory built by his recently deceased brother . A rare appearance byDonald O'Connor at the beginning adds to film's sense of purity and charm .The opening sequence is , in my opinion , one of the very best everproduced, with a staged musical and ballet depicting the initial innocence tointroduce the characters and the child-like motives of the toymaker .LLCoolJ turns in a great , if muted , performance as the lunatic Gambon'smilitaristic son , and Joan Cusack is perfect as William's sibling foil .Watch for Robin's speech , spoofing many great real speeches , to hiswind-up toys as they prepare to do battle against the evil war machines ,it's clear he had much to do with it's cleverness and scripting . Sure ,there are flaws here, but just ignore them , watch and be happy . I havefound that the more times you view this film , the more little jewels ofmovie magic emerge from it . A lot of people didn't like this film when itcame out, and there are a lot who still don't , but I believe they arelacking in whimsical imagination and patience , because both are needed toenjoy this cinematic masterpiece. Mjc
...I must contest the previous review. Though this film is admittedlyquirky, it has an underlying message that is both hilarious and poignant.And with a soundtrack that includes Seal, Tori Amos, Grace Jones and Wendyand Lisa, I suggest seeing it for the score alone.
Possibly only next to Peter Sellers THE MOUSE THAT ROARED, this has to be the most ingenious film of all time. It's simply a shame that they have yet to release it on DVD (and yet they carry Adam Sandler films? what should this tell us about intellegence and sophistication in America?). Oh, well, I'll just have to buy another copy of the film and press it to DVD myself. The only trouble with this film is that, since Barry Levinson took his time writing it, it shows wit and compassion on so many levels that I doubt the average American intellect could understand the film. Most people that I enjoy being around find this to be one of the funniest films in existence. Leonard Maltin must not have understood it, which is odd, because Roger Ebert did.
This was one of those films that I had heard about, found out it was bad,and was afraid to watch it out of losing respect for Robin Williams, but Iwas pleasently surprised. The story was ridiculus, but saved by Williams. The film was supposed to be follow up to "Good Morning Vietnam" from thesame director, but it bombed. Director Levinson has had two back to backhits "Good Morning Vietnam" and "Rain Man", but has never made anythingexcellent since. Overall "Toys" is not half as bad as they say, if you likeRobin Williams, give it a try. 6.5 out of 10
I love this movie. I don't know what it is about it, but I could watchit 1,000 times over and never get tired of it. The movie is so packedwith spectacular images it almost overwhelms the senses at times. Themovie also starts off strong with a 1st hour that is absolutely Oscarworthy, and then culminates in a 2nd half that seems to have no ideawhere it wants to go.The camera work, set design, costume design, and music are top notch.The images are sometimes a tad heavy handed, but usually they're subtlemessages hidden inside of a large, pretense message (the dancing coupleat the end of the big battle comes to mind). Unlike many movies, suchas American Beauty and almost everything made in France, the symbolismnever is so strong it detracts from the movie. It is in this delicatenature of many aspects of the script that the rumored 12 years of timeinvested into it shines through. The movie is definitely anti-war, butthe final battle between the "good" toys and the "bad" toys doesn'tmake any sense. The message is lost as the good toys are used asweapons themselves. And as an example of simply bad film making, thebuild up to the final battle lacks urgency, and the characters juststay in the enclosed warehouse for very little reason. They couldcontinue to run but they don't. This results in a battle where we don'tcare about the outcome. All we care about is the inevitableconfrontation with the characters of General Zevo and Leslie Zevo. Thisis a confrontation that is incredibly disappointing since they bothfall out of character to an extent in this scene.The acting is very solid all around. Joan Cusack lends a particularlyinspired performance that I believe should have landed her an Oscarnom. Once the revelation about her comes at the end of the movie, andwe look back over her performance, we begin to understand how perfectlyshe acted. Robin Williams begins to stretch his acting muscle, but ingeneral Robin Williams playsÂ Robin Williams. It's a good performanceno doubt, but it's still just himself. Robin Wright (Penn) is good asthe love interest, and she does a good job of being the new recruit whodoesn't quite understand the way things work yet (the theme of her notbeing able to initially ride a bike isn't carried out as it should havebeen. It was a bad oversight in the script. You'll see what I mean).Michael Gambon does his best with a character that changes more than isbelievable. His character by the end of the movie falls apart and onlybegins to rebuild into a well written piece on par with the first partof the movie in the second to last scene.'Toys' is a movie with a very distinct message and seemingly no way tosay it. It wants to say war is bad and innocence and whimsy is good,but it turns around and uses innocence and whimsy as a weapon. It hasdeep symbolism in many parts, and then has shallow symbolism thatfrequently contradicts what was said earlier. I love the movie. I do.Don't get me wrong. I think everyone should see it. Sadly, the movie isincomplete. It took 12 years for the movie to be half good. Maybe ifLevinson had taken 24 it would have been all good, and possibly one ofthe greatest films ever made.
This review is from: Toys (dvd) (DVD) "We have a tradition of whimsy here at Zevo Toys..."Robin Williams' character is explaining the nature of the company to his boorish Uncle, but he is also describing one of the main reasons I love this movie.I can't really imagine anyone other than Robin Williams and Joan Cusack in the lead roles (Joan is probably at her most charming here). The only things I would change are the couple of scenes that warrant the PG-13 rating, and then only so I felt more comfortable sharing it with my young neices and nephew.Fun, thoughtful, and occasionally thought-provoking. This was the perfect time to upgrade to DVD from my old (and well-used) VHS.
Robin Williams has been funny at times, but not rarely in movies that youexpect him to be funny in. This was the worst, and I mean, really, theworstkid-like movie I have ever seen. Pathetic, to be exact. Whoever thought ofthis one didn't think too clearly. No one should view this movie withoutextreme caution. I certainly wasted my time watching this!
"Laughter is a state of mind" says the tag, and I hesitate to commenton Barry Levinson's. What could he have been thinking during the makingof "Toys"? When he watched the rushes, did he see a successful, funnyfantasy? If so, then he's working on a different plane than I. This isan excruciating picture, one in which the production design is 90% ofthe thing (and even the cartoon colors are a disappointment). RobinWilliams and (most especially) Joan Cusack are humiliated as brotherand sister of a toy mogul who are bypassed as inheritors of the factorywhen their dad dies. There's nothing remotely funny (satirical orslapstick-wise) on display here. It is uniformly draggy, ugly, and oneof the very worst "big" movies ever made. NO STARS from ****
I'm just curious to know how many people really feel that we should just be blowing apart anyone who doesn't agree with his/her way of life? Degrading our military? Hardly! Honestly, folks, this is a movie! A movie about when force and power get out-of-hand. A movie about the power of people who believe in a better future. And better than a fun colorful touching story about innocence and toys, it hints that perhaps there IS something better. That perhaps someday we won't need to send our children into war, that perhaps someday we won't need to attack BEFORE we are attacked. Maybe, just maybe someday Milton the Friendly Elephant will replace a handgun in the hands of innocent victims protecting their families and lives. The truth is, just as the movie portrays, deadly force is the way to be powerful, to be strong. But remember all the stories and all the fables we were taught as children. That good will win. This movie was not an attack on those that protect our way of life. It was a nod that sometimes childhood toys must be put away, but will someday return and that the anger of the world will be turned into rejoycing. We do not WANT to attack other nations, we simply want to protect freedom, protect our way of life. In the end, they DID send the toys to war, and many of them would not return, but they did it because it had come time to prove their quality, their truth. That joy and innocence would prevail
This film is definitely not one of Robin Williams' best. The plot is flimsy and not very engaging. I consider it a waste of time. I thought this movie would never end.
This movie is an insane attempt at perhaps comedy or maybe horror. It triesto be Willy Wonka and the Choclate Factory but fails badly. The only goodthing about this movie is that Tori Amos has a cool song in it called "HappyWorkers." But If you want that song, get the soundtrack. Stay away from thismovie.
When I was a kid, this used to be quite an amusing film with RobinWilliams as a joking toy person, and from Razzie nominated directorBarry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam; Rain Man). Basically the fatherof Zevo Toys has recently died, and he has left the company to GeneralZevo (Sir Michael Gambon), I think he was his brother. Unfortunately,the General does not have the same taste of toys as Leslie Zevo(Williams). It's not long before the General secretly starts somethingin a restricted area of the company. Leslie discovers that he is makingwar toys and computer games where the children help destroy real things(I think) because the General believes kids have good eyes. Towards theend it turns into a war to claim back the factory, i.e. humans againstthe toys, and then wind up toys against the General's toys, accompaniedby Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Welcome to the Pleasuredome". Alsostarring Forrest Gump's Robin Wright Penn as Gwen Tyler, LL Cool J asCaptain Patrick Zevo, Donald O'Connor as Kenneth Zevo, Arthur Malet asOwen Owens, Jack Warden as Old General Zevo and look out for youngJamie Foxx as Baker. It was nominated the Oscars for Best ArtDirection-Set Decoration and Best Costume Design. Adequate!