Toy stories

Time Out selects some other classic toys and turns them into movies

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Lego! The Movie

Suggested directors: The Wachowski Brothers.
Suggested stars: Voices of Lawrence Fishburne, Steve Zahn and Kareem Abdul Jabar.
Synopsis: The first film to be made in digital 4D Cinerama and requiring a special neural implant to ‘experience’ it properly, this eight-years-in-the-making animated epic chronicles a colossal battle between pirates, spacemen, Vikings, scuba divers, and Star Wars characters. But underneath the action there’s a sensitive plea for more educational toy buying and racial tolerance.
Spin-off potential: Inter-generational, inter-gender fun times for all. A commercial lock.

Swingball

Suggested director: Andy Warhol.
Suggested stars: Misc ‘70s New York jet trash.
Synopsis: In a single take lasting nine hours, Warhol trains a crudded-up 8mm camera on two intoxicated and scantily clad ladies playing Swingball. Though virtually impossible to follow, the film actually encompasses a single first-to-15 game between the pair.
Spin-off potential: This ain’t gonna play to the retail park multiplex set. But otherwise, good.

Slinky Joe

Suggested director: Darren Aronofsky.
Suggested stars: Robert Hayes, a Slinky.
Synopsis: The iconoclastic US indie director returns to his high-concept roots for this, his first toy cash-in movie. Working as a companion piece to his feature debut, Pi, this film captures a brooding, neurotic Hayes wandering around Harlem in a trenchcoat trying to dream up a movie around a man working in a bed-spring factory, but ends up locating the meaning of existence in the thermodynamic system of a humble Slinky.
Spin-off potential: And lo! the new-age toy market was born.

Scalextric

Suggested director: Peter Morgan
Suggested stars: Michael Sheen, Rebecca Hall, Damon Hill
Synopsis: In this leftfield directorial debut, the Brit screenwriter dives in to the squalid world of ’80s F1 racing, giving specific focus to an incident at the San Marino Grand Prix where Nigel Mansell (Sheen) couldn’t get his car around the track without covering it in Brasso and having 10 men blow it from behind.
Spin-off potential: Beating Days Of Thunder’s World Record for most product placement in a car-based flick.

Rubik’s Snake

Suggested director: Bob Dylan.
Suggested stars: Casey Affleck, Joan Jett, Emile Kusturica.
Synopsis: Another existential puzzler from occasional director and folk enigma Dylan. Affleck is an itinerant toymaker wandering 18th-century Provence in search of a fabled ‘Rubik’s Snake’ that unlocks the secrets of alchemy. But fate, revolution, severe budgetary constraints and the director’s touring commitments in Ontario have other ideas.
Spin-off potential: Soundtrack, obv.

Twister

Suggested director: Zack Snyder.
Suggested stars: Jessica Alba, Harry Connick Jr, Dennis Rodman.
Synopsis: Roger Ipswich’s morally repugnant and legally dubious art-house flick My Naked Twister proved that the limb-flinging party pastime had cinematic mileage. It’s a gaudily coloured, confusing game that always elicits an unnecessary amount of gurning and shrieking – director Snyder would be in his element.
Spin-off potential: No.

Spacehopper!

Suggested director: David Gordon Green.
Suggested stars: Jack Black, Cheech Marin, Dennis Hopper.
Synopsis: Everything changes for portly local schlub Frank McGaskill (Black) when he samples a shipment of new happy sweets from the laboratories of madcap genetic scientist Marin. His body swells, his ears extend into long rubbery protrusions, and pretty soon all he wants to do is bounce. Hopper appears in a self-mocking cameo as a zany drugs baron who attempts to kidnap our hero for the amusement of his children.
Spin-off potential: Surely there’s got to be something in the collision of old-school bouncing technology and new-fangled geosynchronous digital gadgetry?

Contributors: Adam Lee Davies, David Jenkins, Tom Huddleston Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is scheduled for release on June 25.

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