“Soapdish” (1991)

“Robin Hood” (2010)

“Toy Story 3” (2010)

Am I crazy, watching so many films in one weekend when I should be working feverishly on the blog? No, I’m simply a newspaper reporter, which is an artful way of saying “procrastinator.” There are, after all, reasons for deadlines, and I’m one of them.

What these three films have in common is they are all takeoffs on things familiar: soap operas (“Soapdish” with Sally Fields and Kevin Kline), old English legends, (“Robin Hood,” with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett) and crazy, big movie franchises (“Toy Story 3,” with the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, etc.) To their credit, all three films focus on family, loyalty and sacrifice.

Takeoffs can be tricky, but these three films all succeed in their own ways. “Soapdish” has some loopy humor (a brain transplant to be conducted on a bar in a café). “Robin Hood” has Crowe and Blanchett looking longingly at one another and each sword fighting with villains beneath the white cliffs of England. And “Toy Story 3” has in its favor the zany, creative juices of the team at Pixar. This last movie shows what happens when toy owners grow up.

My tip of the hat has to go to “Toy Story 3.” It likely will be remembered far longer than these other films for the way it tugs at our hearts. In any case, sequels are often disappointments. Making one this good is the work of great storytellers.

— Robert Digitale