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Today Only: The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series is $25
Deal of the Day: The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series is at a one day special price. Offer valid on July 25, 2016, applies only to purchases of products sold by Amazon.ca, and does not apply to products sold by third-party merchants and other sellers through the Amazon.ca site. Learn more.
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Here's the pitch: "It's like Toy Story but these toys that come to life really kick butt!" That's essentially it for this breezy popcorn flick. In a very smart first 10 minutes, new toy-company owner Denis Leary tells his crew he wants toys "that play back." Hence the small soldiers land in Anytown, U.S.A., and the loner kid Alan (Gregory Smith) opens them up before they are supposed to be on the shelves. Those military-grade chips sure make them smart and give the toys plenty of pithy retorts to boot. Plenty of violence, er, action, most of it fun enough. The vocal talents, including Tommy Lee Jones, Frank Langella, and cast members of The Dirty Dozen are inspired characters, the humans less so. With Gremlins director Joe Dante at the helm, it plays like a sequel to that '80s fantasy. Amazing visual effects, of course. --Doug Thomas
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Top Customer Reviews
All in all, this is literally in my top 5 faves, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
When teenager Alan [Gregory Smith] buys a set of Commando Elite action figures, he's unaware that they have been programmed with military technology. The toys, including leader Chip [Tommy Lee Jones], spring to life and start taking their directives seriously, beginning by "killing" their enemies, the toy Gorgonites. But Archer [Frank Langella] and the Gorgonites won't go down without a fight. Alan gets caught in the middle of the war, as does his neighbour and crush, Christy [Kirsten Dunst].
FILM FACT: Bruce Dern, along with George Kennedy, Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown and Clint Walker from The Dirty Dozen provided voices for the rest of the Commando Elite, Bruce Dern replaced another Dirty Dozen star Richard Jaeckel who died before shooting began. An uncredited Jim Cummings, along with Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest from ‘This is Spinal Tap’ provided voices for the remaining Gorgonites. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Christina Ricci provided the voices for the transformed Gwendy dolls. Dick Miller, who was in the original ‘Piranha’ in 1978, also directed by Joe Dante, also acted in this film. This was Phil Hartman's last role in a major film before his death and the film is dedicated to his memory.Read more ›
The premise: a military defense contractor expands its boundaries by buying up a successful toy company, hoping to put surplus chips to use by remarketing them as toys.
Two races of action figures - soldiers (human) and Gorgonites (totally dissimilar to each other, from the planet Gorgon, both are programmed to be mortal enemies. The soldiers are programmed to win, the Gorgonites are programmed to either hide or lose.
Apparently no testing takes place before they hit the shelves and the soldiers are ruthless, ripping the Gorgonites limb from limb.
They decide that children who play with Gorgonites must also be destroyed, as they are perceived as being collaborators with the enemy. Needless to say, this is entertainmen for grownups, not for little ones.
The chips that are used in them give them artificial intelligence - the ability to learn and to create new weapons using anything they find. Almost like "Universal Soldier" along with the passion and emotion.
Archer, protector of the Gorgonites, is the true heartwarming character of the film. He is homesick for Gorgon, and even though the planet only exists in the mind of the toymakers that marketed him, he longs to be home.
Alan, a boy trying to re-earn the trust from his parents, has a hard time proving that toys are the ones wreaking havoc until they are caught in the act.Read more ›
Gregory Smith(TV's "Everwood"), who plays Alan, wonderfully performs his role as a loner who finds toys in a truck. Alan sneaks them home. Little does he know that the toys are alive. He meets a girl at the toy shop, played by the fabulous Kirsten Dunst. The chemistry between the characters give the movie that added spark. The characters' secret about the toys helps build the storyline, readying the war eruption. The two actors prove that "Small Soldiers" is little about toys who fight; rather, it's about the importance of breaking out of one's shell.
The special effects team made the alive toys more entertaining to watch. Those who provided their voices gave it the added humor, especially the female dolls. Computer animation wonderfully combined them and the real-life people. This was especially crucial in the war scene because of the weapons used.
Though no child would ever fight a war in real life, "Small Soldiers" will never leave their audience disappointed. Note the two rising stars.
Most recent customer reviews
No it was not the same wouldn't even play very dissapointed! Said it was in a different zone or something and could not play it on any of our machines including the dvd, ps4,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Melanie Wicks
Special effects are impressive but the scenario is really poor. Actors too.Published on July 14 2014 by Philbod
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