Showing posts with label Illumination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Illumination. Show all posts

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Despicable Me 3: Twice the Steve Carell, Half the Laughs

Review of the the movie "Despicable Me 3."
Gru and Dru, both voiced by Steve Carell, in Despicable Me 3. (Universal/Illumination)


When the first Despicable Me movie came out in 2010, it was brilliant. It was not based on any known property or franchise, Steve Carell hilariously voiced the evil villain Gru and surprisingly, the film had a lot of heart. The concept of an evil mastermind adopting three adorable orphans while also attending to herd of minions was unique and different.

Despicable Me 2 showed that Gru had met his match and love interest in the form of Kristen Wiig’s Lucy in 2013 and completed the family. The Minions had their own movie in 2015 proving that while they are funny in small doses, they really weren’t meant to be on the screen the whole time. Now in 2017 we have Despicable Me 3 which should be much better than it is. No longer original, this franchise’s writing has gotten lazy and feels more like a straight-to-video adaptation. But it didn’t have to be this way.

This isn’t the movie that Universal has been promoting either. The TV commercials show a scene with Lucy asking Gru, “So, you’re villains now?” and Gru stumbles saying “yes” and the Minions all get excited to get back in the game. But that doesn’t happen in this movie. In fact, Gru’s Minions quit because he refuses to be a villain.

Review of the the movie "Despicable Me 3."
Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) (Universal/Illumination)
The third installment opens on great note with Gru and his bride working together to fight crime ala Maxwell Smart and Agent 99. These two characters are so much fun to watch together and are the best parts of this movie. The two are called upon to retrieve a giant diamond from arch villain (and amazingly annoying) Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker) who never grew up. He is former child actor who played a villain on TV during the 1980s who shot bubble gum bubbles that wreaked havoc and his tagline was, “I’m a b-a-d boy.” His show was wildly popular until the actor started going through puberty and was no longer cute. Today he is still stuck in the 80s with a mullet haircut, bald spot, Hammer pants and Michael Jackson dance moves. He decided that playing a villain on TV was a lot of fun, but being one in real life was more fun. Yawn.

When Bratt gets away, Gru and Lucy lose their jobs and the Minions leave. Not finding a great way to fit the Minions into the main story, they are smartly kept to a minimum of screen time. Aside from a couple funny scenes (the yellow guys end up on stage at a talent show and break out in a song from The Pirates of Penzance and they cause some mayhem in prison slapping towel at the big, muscular guys in the shower) they don’t have a lot to do here.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

'Sing' Photos Released Featuring the Characters and Their Voices

The cast and voices of Sing (Illumination)
Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal-some might even say delusional-optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life's ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world's greatest singing competition.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

See ‘Sing’ For Free Thanksgiving Weekend: Universal Pictures’ Biggest Advance-Screening Program Ever

How to see "Sing" for free
The voice cast and characters of Sing (Illumination).
Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment, and AMC Theatres announced today that a free advanced screening of the animated movie Sing has been planned for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Dubbed “Sing Saturday,” tickets for the film Sing will be given free to the first 200 moviegoers in line at 200 AMC Theatres nationwide on Saturday, November 26 at 10:00 a.m. The tickets will be given on a first come, first served basis at participating AMC Theatres, but all moviegoers will need to be present in line to receive a ticket.

“We are so proud that ‘Sing Saturday’ marks the biggest advance-screening program in the history of Universal Pictures and are honored to join AMC as we kick off the holiday season with Illumination’s gift for moviegoers of every generation,” said Nick Carpou, President of Distribution, Universal.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New Trailer for 'Sing' Actually Looks Pretty Good - Video of the Day

When TV commercials first started airing spots for the upcoming animated film, Sing by Illumination, I couldn't have been less interested. However, with this new trailer, we get to see more to the actual contestants competing in a singing competition and makes the movie much more appealing. What do you think?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Secret Life of Pets is for the Puppies

Gidget (Jenny Slate) and Max (Louis C.K.), the best thing about The Secret Life of Pets. (Illumination)
As a lover of both cats and dogs, I really looked forward to seeing The Secret Life of Pets. What a great concept! Sure, the commercials for the movie were a bit hit or miss, but the last trailer for the movie I saw in the theater knocked it out of the park. Hilarious. Unfortunately, the actual movie didn’t offer much more.

The Secret Life of Pets is not a bad movie, but it is one of those movies where you want to stand up in the middle of it and say, “Go back and finish this movie and don't come back until you are able to do it right!” While it may not be fair, it was difficult to see Pets right after seeing the more superb Finding Dory, another movie about animals going through an incredible adventure with crazy hijinks.

Pets could have been a great movie as it had so much to offer, but directors Yarrow Cheney and Chris Renaud wasted it all on funny gags. Granted, there are a lot of funny gags in the movie, but that shouldn’t be the whole point of the movie, should it? Yes, little kids will love this movie, but so would have a lot of adults if it was done right. The biggest mistake of the film? There’s no heart. Well, there is some, but not enough. The best scenes are at the beginning when the owners are leaving for the day and at the end when they come home and are reunited with their pets.