Movie Review: DESPICABLE ME 3

DESPICABLE ME 3 movie poster | ©2017 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG Stars (voices): Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker Writers: Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio Directors: Kyle Balda & Pierre Coffin, co-director, Eric Guillon Distributor: Universal Release Date: June 30, 2017  In DESPICABLE ME 3, there’s a moment when Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) mutters, “I miss the Minions.” Well, yes. So likely will most of the audience. Although the little yellow hench-beings are heavily promoted in the DESPICABLE ME 3 trailers, they are largely missing from this third entry in the animated series. In the original 2010 DESPICABLE ME, Gru was a professional super-villain, supported by his mad […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SING

SING | © 2016 Universal

Rating: PG Stars (voices): Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth McFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll Writer: Garth Jennings Director: Garth Jennings Distributor: Universal Release Date: December 21, 2016 Given the amount of time it takes to make an animated film, it seems almost certain that SING was developed with no knowledge of ZOOTOPIA. However, both movies seem to be set in the same universe, where animals of all kinds live and work together, wearing clothes, driving cars, constructing buildings, etc., with no humans in sight. It is SING’s misfortune to be released later, by […]Read On »

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MINIONS: Composer Heitor Pereira gives Groo’s hench-things a swinging ’60s spy-pop groove

MINIONS | ©2015 Universal Pictures

While the films he scores might not have to do much with his homeland of Brazil (even if they’re filled with yellow characters with mad love for a certain tropical fruit), there’s most often a joyous, rhythmic energy that fills the soundtracks of Heitor Pereira. With a surfeit of kids’ movies to his credits, Pereira’s lovably bouncy, melodically eccentric scores are the equivalent of smurfs, chimps and Chihuahuas, all jumping for joy and lapping your face. They’ve got enough unrestrained, clever fun to put an energetic smile on anyone’s face, perhaps most notably one super villain hell-bent on being the […]Read On »

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CD Review: DESPICABLE ME 2 and THE SMURFS 2 soundtracks

DESPICABLE ME 2 soundtrack | ©2013 Universal Records

Perhaps there’s just a natural, festive spirit of his country’s carnival celebrations that’s in the musical genes of Brazilian composer Heitor Pereira. Rapidly making a name for himself in family-friendly scoring, Pereira’s work for the likes of CURIOUS GEORGE, BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA and THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD comes across as being just plain “nice” in the most fun, melodic description of that word as possible – especially when dealing with a cartoon supervillain on the mend, or munchkins with playfully bad attitudes for two sequel scores that actually improve on Pereira’s original, bouncy work. Having shown sympathy for Mr. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DESPICABLE ME 2

DESPICABLE ME 2 movie poster | ©2013 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG Stars (voices): Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand Writers: Ken Daurio & Cinco Paul Directors: Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud Distributor: Universal Release Date: July 3, 2013 Between the 2010 release of the original DESPICABLE ME and its new sequel, DESPICABLE ME 2, the filmmakers seem to have figured out that their primary selling point is not their main character Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), now a reformed villain and not the, well, despicable figure he was in the original. It’s not even the trio of cute little girls he adopted last time around. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX

Dr. Seuss' THE LORAX movie poster | ©2012 Universal

Rating: P G Voices: Danny DeVito, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Betty White, Rob Riggle, Jenny Slate Writer: Screenplay by Ken Daurio & Cinco Paul, Based on the book by Dr. Seuss Director: Chris Renaud & Kyle Balda  Distributor: Universal Studios Release Date: March 2, 2012 Dr. Seuss is not an easy thing to adapt to a full length feature, and there have been hits and misses over the years. THE GRINCH was a passable Seuss film, but Mike Myers as THE CAT IN THE HAT was kind of an unforgivable slight on the author’s original work. Now Universal […]Read On »

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Exclusive Photos: HOP World Premiere at Universal Studios Hollywood

Russell Brand and E.B. at the World Premiere of HOP | ©2011 Sue Schneider

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment held the World Premiere of the live action/CG-animated comedy HOP at Universal Studios Hollywood on March 27th. HOP is from the creators of DESPICABLE ME. Blending state-of-the-art animation with live action, Hop tells the comic tale of Fred O’Hare (James Marsden), an out-of-work slacker who accidentally injures the Easter Bunny’s teenage son E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand). E.B. headed to Hollywood, determined to become a drummer in a rock ‘n’ roll band and now Fred must take him in as he recovers. As Fred struggles with the world’s worst houseguest, both will learn what it […]Read On »

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The Dork Side: To be or not to 3-D?

AVATAR - IMAX movie poster | © 2009 20th Century Fox

I blame AVATAR for this whole thing. AVATAR, you owe the world an apology. You came out last year with the most amazing 3-D and now every crapsterpiece movie that comes out is in 3-D. Sure, there were movies that did 3-D before AVATAR, and some of them did it well (CORALINE). But ever since AVATAR the movie studios have started releasing even more movies in 3-D hoping to capture some of those unobtainum dollars. But, really, none of those movies put in the time, effort and money to look as great as the 3-D in AVATAR did. Don’t believe […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MEGAMIND

© 2010 DreamWorks/MEGAMIND movie poster

After the success of this summer’s super-villain animated feature DESPICABLE ME, it was a big question mark if the similarly themed DreamWorks animated comedy MEGAMIND was going to pale in comparison. Thankfully that’s not the case. MEGAMIND exists in its own animated universe spearheaded by hilarious and cheeky vocal work by Will Ferell and Tina Fey. They take the material and elevate it by transcending the animated universe by delivering a great overall movie that takes the superhero genre and spins it on its head.

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