Wake at 9am and begin revision of Toy Story 2 as self has date with non-flatmate current-workmate Valentina at 3pm to watch Toy Story 3 at Empire cinema in Leicester Square. Self has seen original toy tale several times but sequel toy film only once. Self forgot how annoying Joan-Cusack-voiced cowgirl Jesse is. Self pleased self didn’t have to watch Banditen! with her.
Film filled with talking toys. Problematic to self. Has self been abusing childhood fur-stuffed-critters by turning blind eye when all critters want to do is play at make believe, whilst pretending to be inanimate whenever self arrives home? Self assesses toys in room: tiny stuffed cow in bag, yellow bear on window sill, charred cow of similar size next to yellow bear. Realise that cow has serious cowslaughter lawsuit case potential against self as self made film in youth about numerous ways cow could be tortured: crucified, frozen, oven-baked, covered in pegs, squished by weights, punched, kicked, elbow dropped, forced to listen to Britney Spears, forced to watch Multiplicity with Michael Keaton. Worriment of triple threat toy blitz on self in middle of night calmed by glaring love for toys since self took toys with self when self moved from family home to flat.
Annoyance felt towards cowgirl Jesse lessened when Sarah McLachlan classic When She Loved Me comes on. Self refers to gift from flatmate Johnny: Disney/Pixar Greatest Hits Album (released 19th July). Song important enough to achieve placing at track three, twenty-three tracks closer to beginning of album than Para El Buzz Espanol cover of Randy Newman classic You’ve Got a Friend in Me.
Film concludes and although overtly better than 90% of Hollywood output, not quite up to par for self on Disney/Pixar scale. Self decides to compile Disney/Pixar list for future reference.
Disney/Pixar List for Future Reference
(films ranked in terms of quality according to self [qualifications available on request])
3. Toy Story
4. Monsters Inc.
6. Finding Nemo (which at time of release was widely considered best Pixar film)
7. The Incredibles (which at time of release was widely considered best Pixar film)
8. Toy Story 2
9. A Bug’s Life
Self disappointed to learn that next Pixar film on horizon Cars 2. (Self feelings on film available for perusal above.)
Research prior to threequel screening completed, self composes salad and cleans kitchen. Smug feelings because of ownership of Foundation Certificate in Basic Food Hygiene (qualification proof available on request) lead to self watching Ratatouille (feelings regarding film available for perusal above) whilst labouring in kitchen. Ratatouille one of best examples of artistic representation of class and race divides, whilst at same time, rather unfortunately, fine example of American-based stereotype of French people.
Film, like elaborate version of Lobster Bisque (see bottom of post for further explanation), exquisite (if not for flatmate Johnny, possessive as he is of certain allergies). Self almost moved to tears when food critic Ego takes food of rat and whisked back into childhood. Scene perfect on screen rendering of deep-routed metaphysical feeling of nostalgia. Scene also inclusive of voice-over critical review of rat restaurant. Scripting of voice-over beautiful dissection of license of critics and almost seemingly geared towards making reviewers of film tear up. Self needs no authorisation to cry freely, but self pacified by mostly happy conclusion.
Self takes two-wheeled bicycle to Leicester Square to meet workmate Valentina for screening of Toy Story 3. Self usually unwilling to pay extortionate West End sum for ticket for films self can acquire four months later by other means, but self was directed to Peter Bradshaw review by flatmate Tom last Friday. Bradshaw review of new toy film around 50% description of critic personal life, thereby brilliant. Self and Valentina take full advantage of Valentina phone contract with Orange and take seats in plush auditorium. Self handed pair of 3D glasses. Self unaware film in 3D. Self wildly discontented with state of current Hollywood pretend-you’re-on-a-rollercoaster cinema. Self resigns self to unstoppable force of entertainment-aimed-at-attention-deficit-children.
Usual Pixar short begins before main feature. Self decides use of 3D in Pixar film now acceptable as there was no additional entertainment in form of short film provided before fucking Avatar.
Film, like large pink strawberry scented bear featured in film and unlike now-less-annoying-but-still-on-screen-cowgirl Jesse, extremely loveable. Film introduces concept of metrosexuality (which self has embraced like a feminist to hair growth [apologies to self mother – support of remark available upon request]) in form of Ken doll character. Similarities to Ken doll disturbing to self. More disturbing to self is revelation during end credits that Ken doll voiced by Michael Keaton. Decide that voice work does not constitute equation of self with animated character and so self remains in no way related at all to Multiplicity.
Film reaches apex when toys engineer escape from day-care facility. Scene reminiscent of brilliant giant-gingerbread-man climax of Shrek 2. Self, along with workmate Valentina, tears up behind 3D spectacles when seventeen year old Andy gives childhood toys away to young girl. Self also felt pangs of emotion when toys all face death-by-massive-inferno together. After elongated-but-no-less-gripping scramble to escape, toys stop moving, give each other longing looks of acceptance, and join hands, prospect of death eased by amity. Moment undeniably powerful and, after three films, resonant in way that most human films fail to achieve in even remotest way.
Self leaves screening with workmate Valentina feeling humbled by gravitas of Disney/Pixar comfortable dwarfing of most other film studio offerings. Realise that Disney one of most valuable assets of cinema. Self feels no desire to punctuate end of blog post with surreal-attempted-comedic phrase.
Recipe for elaborate Lobster Bisque
- 1 live lobster
- 1 pint of cream
- 3 sticks of celery
- 1/3 of a cup of chopped onions
- ¾ of a cup of plain flour
- ¼ lb of butter
- ¾ of a cup of tomato purée
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 2 chicken stock cubes
- 1 tbsp of steak sauce
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp of white pepper
- 8 black peppercorns
- Pour 5 litres of cold water into a large pot, add the stock cubes, chopped onion, celery, salt and peppercorns and bring to the boil.
- Once the water has reached a fierce boil, carefully add the live lobster, placing it headfirst into the boiling water.
- Cover the pot with the lid, return to the boil and then start timing. Cook the lobster for 12 minutes on a reduced heat.
- Once the lobster shell has turned bright red after the 12 minutes, remove the lobster from the stock and place it in a dish to cool and so that the juices are caught and can be added to the liquid.
- Continue to simmer the broth, leaving the pot uncovered.
- Once the lobster has cooled, remove the meat from the shell, chop it up into small pieces and keep it to one side.
- Place the shell and lobster parts (not the meat) back into the pot and continue to cook until it has reduced by half.
- In a separate large saucepan, melt the butter gently.
- Add the flour and mix into the butter, stirring continuously in order to form a paste. Cook the mixture for 1 minute to get rid of the taste of the flour, stirring constantly.
- Then, add the tomato purée and mix together. Cook for another minute.
- Next, gradually add the lobster stock through a sieve, so that only the liquid goes through, always stirring continuously.
- Once a smooth sauce has been formed, reduce the heat.
- Add the lemon juice, salt, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper and the sugar, mix together and then simmer for a further 10 minutes, making sure that you stir the broth occasionally.
- Slowly stir in the light cream and slightly turn up the cooking temperature.
- Add any extra seasoning if required and then add the reserved chopped lobster meat to the soup.
Cook for a further few minutes, then serve hot.