Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
I didn’t forsee the day that a Toy Story IP film would be met with controversy, a failed box office attempt, and a generally lukewarm reception all the way around. But hey, that day has come. While Lightyear is by no means a bad film, it suffered some serious blows before the movie even came out. First fans were let down that Chris Evans was replacing Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz in the animated film (kinda makes sense as this was the movie Andy saw IN Toy Story, not the toy itself, so it could be construed as two different characters. But personally I think it did hamper audience enjoyment a bit), there there was the hullabaloo when it was announced that there was going to be a same sex relationship in a PG rated kids movie (and to be fair, like MOST things that get ranted about as “woke” by the internet, it was a fleeting scene that really wasn’t as in your face as people were making it out to be). Then came the box office results. Lightyear had a $200 million BASE budget not counting advertisement, other countries taking part of the cut etc, and a GLOBAL sweep of only $222.5 million. Then came Chris Evans going on national TV and telling people who disagreed with the inclusion of the same sex relationship stupid (which kinda went over like a lead balloon like you would expect with the more conservative faction of the viewing audience). So naturally I was a bit hesitant going into this viewing.
The story is supposed to be the movie that Andy watches in Toy Story that makes him want a Buzz Lightyear toy, and as such there is no real reference to Toy Story in any way. The film starts out with Buzz (Chris Evans) and his partner Alisha (Uzo Aduba) going on a routine mission from Star Command that ends up with Buzz accidentally crashing their ship and marooning himself and every member of the crew on this uninhabited planet of doom and sentient vines. Attempt after attempt to creating a working light speed drive fails, but one side effect of the light speed travel is that every time Buzz gets CLOSE to light speed, time dilation slows down. Meaning that while it’s only minutes for him, it’s years for everyone else on the planet. Time and time he fails, and time and time again Buzz watches his crew mates grow old and die around him. Just when he thinks that it’s all over, his robot Sox (Peter Sohn) figures out the final bit in the equation that has been keeping hyper space outside of his grasp.
The only thing is, that this last trip is decades in the future and a race of monstrous robots is attacking what is left of the base, leaving Buzz and Alisha’s granddaughter Izzy (Keke Palmer), along with a pair of misfit recruits, to try and complete the mission. Naturally the isotope that Buzz creates to complete light speed and reverse through time gets stolen by the evil Zurg robots, and it’s up to them to board the Zurg ship, take back the isotope, and complete the mission without getting killed.
Personally, I don’t find the movie to be the train wreck people made it out to be, but it really wasn’t something to write home about either. Lots of people blamed it on the “go woke, go broke” cliché, but I think it was a little more simple than that. This was just a movie that no one was really clamoring for. We had an entire back story to Buzz Lightyear in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and the last Toy Story movie was starting to wear thin on the franchise as well. Couple that with the fact that so many people consider Tim Allen to BE Buzz Lightyear, and it’s not hard to see why this fizzled and sputtered at the box office. Sure, I’m certain that SOME people stayed home because of the politics and hubbub online, but mostly it was due to bad word of mouth, and the fact that no one really was wanting to go see it to begin with. Which is really the film’s biggest fault. It can’t seem to justify its existence in the Buzz / Toy Story universe. It’s a perfectly serviceable move in it’s own right, and wouldn’t be seen as THAT bad if it didn’t just do such a mediocre job of retconning Buzz Lightyear lore, and tell a story that was as generic as they come in animated terms.
Rated PG for action/peril
• Building the World of Lightyear
• The Zap Patrol
• Deleted Scenes
Honestly, Lightyear is not a horrible movie, it’s just a mediocre one. There’s a lot of fun with explosions, pretty colors, standard animated movie story tropes, and a GORGEOUS looking image with some amazing audio. If you can look past the fact that it really doesn’t seem like a massive Pixar production or have that much to do with what we know of Buzz Lightyear, it works as a decent movie by itself. Take from that what you will, but it was fun as a solid enough rental in my personal opinion.
Starring: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, Peter Sohn, James Brolin
Directed by: James MacLane
Written by: Angus MacLane, Matthew Aldrich, Jason Headley
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos, English DD+
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Runtime: 108 Minutes
Digital Release Date: August 3rd, 2022