“ Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 1992 / Parental Guidance / Director: Barry Levinson / Actors: Robin Williams, Michael Gambon, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright Penn, LL Cool J ... / DVD released 2003-10-13 at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL, Widescreen „
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FILM ONLY REVIEW Kenneth Zevo owns a toy factory but as he is dying he has to decide who he wishes to leave in charge of the factory. His son and daughter are not mature enough to make sure the running of the factory continues smoothly so he decides that he brother, General Leyland Zevo will have to take charge. Leyland is a military man and has no idea how to make and invent toys, he turns the factory into a prison where every door and entrance has security and starts to invent his own line of military toys. He has the help of his son, another military man and soon he is upsetting the rest of the Zevo family members by being so secretive. Leslie is the son who should have been left the factory so he has such a fun imagination and knows what the children want in a toy. He is not happy with the way the factory is being changed and sets about discovering what Leyland is doing and making in his own private part of the factory. Leslie enlists the help of sister Alsatia and worker Gwen to uncover the mystery toys and try to gain control of the factory from Leyland but will he be successful? I have seen this film advertised so many times over the years but have never got around to sitting and watching it fully. I made the time to sit and watch and actually enjoy the film and the first impression I got once it had finished is that it would make a good Christmas film for the whole family to enjoy together. The storyline was good but nothing new and I found the actors were great and very appropriate for the roles that they placed. Robin Williams took the role of Leslie and he was great as he played his daft self which we have all come to associate with him. He came across as slightly slow mentally and the way he was with the toys just added to this. There was a daft side to his character and as this was a children's film it worked very well. There were a few moments in the film where he did show us a more serious side but these were few and far between. He worked well with the characters around his and I loved the connection between him and sister Alsatia. Alsatia was played by Joan Cusack and she was very good, she too had the weird and child like mentality and it was only towards the end of the film did we find out why she seemed quite wooden at times and I did like this little revelation. She worked well with all of the daft things she had to do and I thought she delivered her lines well and seemed genuine and honest. We had a good support cast and for me the stand out performances came from General Leyland who was played by Michael Gambon, I liked the slightly evil streak he bought to the story line and how different he was from the other actors and the rest of his family members. He was hard but he did at times soften and this slight bit of depth to his character made him seem more human. I also thought that the role of his son, Patrick, played by LL Cool J, was good, he bought some fun to the film with his master disguises. We also saw the likes of Robin Wright, Donald O'Connor and Jack Warden starring in the film. The story is a comedy but for me I found that there were a lot more daft and silly moments than funny ones. The comedy will appeal to the younger audience and they will love the toy gags and the silly walks and faces Robin Williams pulls. I think there are a few moment which might be a little disturbing or upsetting for very young viewers but people of the age 5 and upwards will find this film very funny and should follow the story with ease. The special effects were good considering this was made back in 1992. There were a few dodgy backdrops and weak effects but overall it was all in keeping with the story and age of the film. The clothes were quite strange and loud at times but again I think this will appeal to the younger market. Don't get me wrong this is still a film the parent can enjoy as long as they don't expect too much from it. The music was also good and fitted the film very well. This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to talk about. The running time is 118 minutes and for me this was just slightly too long,. Maybe if it would have been shortened to 90 minutes the story would have moved at a slightly faster pace and been more engaging. The rate is a PG and I do agree with this. The DVD can be bought for just a few pounds now but I would not waste money buying it, wait for it to shown on the TV again. Overall I give this film 3 stars, the story was good and there is a magical Christmas feel to it. I think if the daftness had been less then I would have awarded this a slightly higher mark. It is a good family film which would be better viewed at Christmas.
Well as far as weird films go, this one has to be right up there! Its crazy! Toys came out back in 1992. Surprisingly the film was nominated for two Oscars and quite a few other awards. The film was directed by Barry Levinson and stars Robin Williams, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright Penn and L L Cool J. The film tells the story of a toy company that has recently been inherited by a military general. When he takes over the company he decides its time to start making some changes! The company has a good reputation for making nice simple toys that children have loved for many years. However the crazy general wants to take the company in a new direction. He wants to create weapons out of his toys! But of course there are many loyal employees who have been there for many years and do everything they can to foil his evil plot. This is one of the strangest films I have seen for a long time. Robin Williams is perfect for the role he plays. He is basically a nutty professor kind of guy who helps run the factory. His friends are all very strange as well and he gets involved with a new woman who works at the company and this is one of the major storylines. The film is very well shot, its kind of feels like a fantasy film it is so strange in some places. I think at times it gets a little to silly and looses some of its appeal. I usually like Robin Williams but found him slightly annoying in this film. Its an interesting idea for a film and it is all put together quite well. But for me it just lacks something and does not quite do it for me. There were parts of the film where I was getting a little bored and wishing it would speed along. The film runs for 118 minutes, which I think is to long. It just feels like it is dragging near the end, as I said I was getting bored by this point. I think it would have been better if they had knock fifteen minutes off somwhere. The film is rated as PG. There is nothing to serious to upset anyone in this film. There is some mild language and adult situations as they say, but nothing to bad. This is really a family film. The DVD itself has all the standard features, traliers etc... Nothing that would really make you want to dash out and buy a copy. Overall this is a decent film but nothing to special. Its just a little bit to weird for me. Some good acting and well shot but other than that not much to ride home about. So if you have not seen this don't go out of your way to. Your not really missing that much!
**The Plot** Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams) is the son of an eccentric toy maker, Kenneth Zevo. Unfortunately Kenneth Zevo is seriously ill and dies, and the toy factory falls into the hands of his brother, Leland Zevo (Michael Gambon). Leland Zevo is a Military General, who lives and breathes the Army. He is a lifetime away from his placid brother, and doesn't even really like toys. He brings in his son, Captain Patrick Zevo (LL Cool J), to help whip the toy factory into shape. Leslie and his sister Alsatia (Joan Cusack) try and help the General in making the toys that have always been made, but the General has other ideas and starts to cordon off areas of the factory, making them restricted access. It all gets a bit sinister when Leslie finds that his uncle is making real war toys, that fire live ammunition and making children play video games which are in actual fact real helicopters. Leslie, his family and friends band together to try and save Zevo Toys. **What I Thought** This film came out in 1992 when I was just 9 years old, and I have to say it is still one of my favourite films to watch. Robin Williams is fantastic as the slightly odd but sweet Leslie Zevo. He is the perfect choice to get slightly wacky but not scary, and also very loveable. Michael Gambon is also brilliant as General Leland Zevo. He is the complete opposite to Leslie and is actually quite scary. Another brilliant casting is Joan Cusack as Alsatia. Alsatia is not all that she appears (as we find out during the film) but she is very sweet and also slightly quirky, but it doesn't come across as forced, it just feels quite natural and how that family is. This film is just a lovely, sweet natured film, and has some brilliantly funny moments, some real heart warming scenes that really make me smile. It may not have fantastic special effects, or a brilliantly dramatic script, but to be honest it is aimed at children and it has everything that a great film should have.