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Not a fan of “Toy Story 3”? The internet suggests you keep that to yourself.

Not a fan of “Toy Story 3”? The internet suggests you keep that to yourself. (photo)

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Audiences and critics love “Toy Story 3” so much that it’s become news when anyone dares not to. Friday, movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes logged their first two negative “Toy Story 3” reviews, and movie sites went into attack mode against the two evildoers who’d dare to besmirch the beautiful utopia of 145 other critics in perfect agreement.

Writer Cole Smithey called the film “wrongheaded and overtly mature for young audiences.” He probably meant overly mature, but whatever; he’s got a point that the film is a “hard G” and probably too intense for very small children.

And, not surprisingly, but not so surprisingly that some folks were actively anticipating it, New York Press film critic Armond White dismissed “Toy Story 3” as well. “The ‘Toy Story’ franchise isn’t for children and adults,” he wrote in his inimitable style. “It’s for non-thinking children and adults.”

Responses quickly poured in from venues ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Slashfilm posted a lamentation entitled “‘Toy Story 3’ Finally Gets Negative Review, Becomes the Second Best Reviewed Movie of All Time,” as if that designation a) could be accurately measured and b) would mean anything even if it could actually be ascertained.

06192010_ts5.jpgWhat’s perhaps the most strident response came from Josh Tyler at Cinema Blend in his article, “Meet the Only Two People Who Hate ‘Toy Story 3.'” The amount of outrage some people can summon over a movie they had no part in creating always blows my mind; did these folks watch “Toy Story 3” or make it?

Maybe some of these writers do feel some kind of ownership. If the film earned an arbitrary title like “The Best Reviewed Movie of All Time,” and they were a member of the group that got it there, then they could claim some small part of its success as their own. Certainly, for some, enjoying the film is not enough. Sharing that enjoyment with others isn’t satisfying enough either: nothing less than complete and total consensus will do. In his piece, Tyler didn’t just disagree with White, he declared White’s opinion invalid:

It’s impossible for an opinion to be wrong. Most of the time. Sometimes though, something is so self-evident that it moves beyond opinion. When everyone in the world gets together and agrees that yes, this is really good, that one lone voice standing in the corner and shouting the opposite isn’t just a different opinion, it’s a wrong opinion… An island of wrong. Hundreds of film critics have proclaimed their love for ‘Toy Story’ over the course of three movies and the two baldies who hate it can’t really tell us why. Most of the time film is subjective. This time it’s not.

Let’s ignore the fact that Tyler’s “one lone voice standing in the corner” is already two different negative reviews. Does an opinion gather weight — and even objective truth — as more and more people believe it? For thousands of years, thousands of people believed the earth was flat. Did the fact that an overwhelming majority agreed upon it make them any more correct? Certainly, it can be comforting to have one’s opinion confirmed by the opinions of others. But someone’s agreement or disagreement doesn’t make that opinion any better or any worse than any other.

White gets a kick out of diminishing internet critics. Most of his complaints are uninformed and out of line, but whenever White stirs sites’ ire with his unpopular beliefs, the over-the-top reactions of his targets validate his stereotypes. Ironically, while web commenters are trying to figure out ways to get White and Smithey’s reviews thrown off Rotten Tomatoes, the traffic they’re driving to White’s New York Press review in particular will only ensure he’ll be around to bash the things they love for a long time to come.

White and Smithey’s opinions do nothing to change the fact that “Toy Story 3” has a profound effect on the vast majority of people who see it. Nor does my belief that “Toy Story 3” is easily the weakest in the series change the fact that Tyler thinks it’s perfect (feel free to denounce me after our review podcast goes up on Monday — update: here it is). Instead of grabbing our pitchforks and torches, let’s leave the comfort of objectivity to people who cover sports. The opportunity for individual interpretation is what makes film special. Let’s embrace that. Let’s choose discourse over dismissal. Film can’t — and shouldn’t — be boiled down to a box score.

[Photos: “Toy Story 3,” Pixar/Disney, 2010]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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