VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Despicable Me (2010) [watched in 3-D]

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Julie: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Matthew: 3/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.6/10 IMDB.

Carolyn: Cute movie about a villain learning to change his ways after discovering that being evil isn’t that important to him anymore. It was pretty funny, and it had a great cast.

Claire: Agreed. I really hate movies involving children, but this movie did demonstrate the transformative effect that being responsible for children can have on an individual — in a way that even *I* am forced to accept. But if that’s all there was to the movie, I wouldn’t have rated it this high. The superhero/supervillain aspect is exactly the type of thing I like in a non-comedy setting, and I like it even more in a comedy setting (e.g. The Venture Bros., Space Ghost Coast To Coast, Stripperella, The PowerPuff Girls).  The minions were awesome, and I want my own fucking minions like those minions. I’d seen those yellow sonsabitches all over the internet and it was nice to finally understand what they were, even if I was 3 years late to the game.

Unfortunately, the 3-D was awful. I don’t know if it was the encode we watched, or if the movie used more depth than my TV was capable of displaying. Home 3-D is in its infancy — think VHS, not DVD or bluray — so I expect there to be problems, and for me to have to stop and futz with every 3-D movie every 2-3 minutes for the first 20 minutes until I am happy with the settings. I feel like some of this is that there is not necessarily a standard to how to do things. With my TV, there is a range of depth, and you will ALWAYS get 3-D ghosting at certain depths. You can focus that depth front (+5) to back (-5) to create an area that doesn’t ghost, but whatever area is farthest from your focus will always ghost.

For this movie, almost everything ghosted. It was easily 50X as much ghosting as usual. It was by far the worst 3-D I’ve seen. I’m starting to think that the HOU (horizontal over-under) 3-D movies might provide better 3-D than the more common SBS (side-by-side) 3-D movies. Suffice to say, Smurfs 2 was best 3-D yet, and this was worst yet. I wish it had been the other way around, because this was a better film.

Matthew: I’m just not that into animated movies. I loved Toy Story and The Simpsons Movie, but other animated movies I’ve never really gotten that into. I liked the movie. It was cute. The 3-D experience was very interesting.

Julie: I tend to like animated movies like this one. It’s probably because I work with children and am practically a child myself. I really can’t pinpoint anything I really don’t like about the movie but at the same time its not the best movie of all time.

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud (The Lorax).
Written by Cinco Paul (The Lorax, Horton Hears A Who, The Santa Clause 2), Ken Daurio (The Lorax, Horton Hears A Who, The Santa Clause 2), and Sergio Pablos.

Steve Carell (The Office, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Date Night, Dinner With Schmucks, Anchorman movies, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Crazy Stupid Love, Saturday Night Live, Bruce Almighty, Horton Hears A Who, Dan In Real Life, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Gru.
Jason Segel (I Love You Man, This Is The End, This Is 40, Bad Teacher, Gulliver’s Travels, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Can’t Hardly Wait, 7 eps of Undeclared, SLC Punk, Slackers) as Vector.
Russell Brand (Get Him To The Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, St. Trinian’s, Rock Of Ages) as Dr. Nefario.
Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, The Song Of Music, Queen in Shrek movies, uncredited singing voice in The Pink Panther Strikes Again) as Gru’s Mom.
Will Arnett (Gob Bluth in Arrested Development, Sit Down Shut Up, The Brothers Solomon, Horton Hears A Who, Ratatouille, Men In Black 3, The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, The Secret World Of Arrietty, 2 eps of The Sopranos, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Delocated, 1 ep of The Office) as Mr. Perkins.
Kristen Wiig (Young Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, Date Night, Adventureland, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, The Brothers Solomon, How To Train Your Dragon, Saturday Night Live, Despicable Me, Girl Most Likely, 2 eps of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Miss Hattie.
Miranda Cosgrove (Carly in iCarly, 1 ep of Smallville) as Margo.
Dana Gaier as Edith.
Elsie Fisher as Agnes.
Pierre Coffin (the co-director) as Tim the Minion / Bob the Minion / Mark the Minion / Phil the Minion / Stuart the Minion.
Chris Renaud (The Lorax) as Dave the Minion.
Jemaine Clement (Men In Black 3, Dinner For Schmucks, 2 eps of The Drinky Crow Show, 1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job) as Jerry the Minion.
Jack McBrayer (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The To Do List, Movie 43, Wander in Wander Over Yonder, 2 eps of Drunk History, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 2 eps of Arrested Development, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job, 1 ep of Ugly Americans) as Carnival Barker / Tourist Dad.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, This Is The End, Clear History, Superbad, Good Vibes, Despicable Me, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as Fred McDade.
Mindy Kaling (Kelly in The Office, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, This Is The End) as Tourist Mom.
Rob Huebel (Owen Maestro in Childrens Hospital, Human Giant, Axe Cop, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, I Love You Man, Little Fockers, Funny Or Die Presents, Rapture-Palooza, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Anchorman.
Ken Jeong (The Hangover movies, Rapture-Palooza, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Step Brothers, 2 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Office, 1 ep of Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole) as Talk Show Host.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1323594/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

Clio: 2.8/5 stars, 5.8/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Man. This movie had such potential. The main cast is Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, and (less so) James Gandolfini (Sopranos!) and Alan Arkin (The Change-Up, Argo, Gattaca, Grosse Pointe Blank, The Last Unicorn, Edward Scissorhands).

These are all great actors.

The premise was suspicious — rival magicians? Well, it’s just ridiculous enough that it could work! They make fun of Criss Angel, and do make a valid point that these new “magicians” aren’t doing tricks… They are doing stunts, and that’s not “magic”.

It’s directed by the 30 Rock director. People say that’s funny, right?  Well at this point, I’m less likely to watch 30 Rock than ever… Because this movie FELL FLAT. Let’s look at who wrote it… A guy involved in Shit My Dad Says (the show). If I’d known that… I’d probably have steered clear of this movie. The other writer was Mitch from the movie Waiting, but yea… These guys don’t write funny things I’ve heard of.

So yes. Magic-partner buddy bromance with a side of romance, and a side of friendship. Many ingredients that could have worked together well, but ultimately did not.

 

This movie is hollow and fell flat. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t that good.

There were definitely laughs, and a scene or two I’ll never forget in my entire life. But I don’t know if it was worth our time. Perhaps we would have enjoyed it better if we had seen The Prestige.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790628/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

Clint/Carolyn/Parthena: 4/5 stars.
Clint/Carolyn: 8/10.
Parthena: 7/10.
Native ratings: Netflix: 3.2/5 stars, IDMB: 6.7/10.

This would have been a 5-star movie if it had kept up with the comedy as strongly in the 2nd hour as it did in the first. But like a lot of romantic comedy movies, the comedy stops dead about halfway through, never to be revived.

It was still a great premise, though… Providing somewhat unique situations. The writer is the same writer as Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008), and while I actually rated this one ever-so-slightly higher… I think I enjoyed Nick & Norah more.

If the 2nd half had stayed as funny and ridiculous as the 1st, this would have blown Nick & Norah away. But it didn’t. Still good though.

This actually reminded me of The Sure Thing with John Cusack.

And oh… VERY DARK. SO DARK FOR A COMEDY. JESUS.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1307068/