Despicable Me 3 (2017) Review

Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Directed by Pierre Coffin & Kyle Balda

Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, Jenny Slate, Chris Renaud

Music by Heitor Pereira & Pharrell Williams

Production company: Illumination Entertainment

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
In the film, Gru teams up with his long lost twin Dru in order to defeat a new enemy named Balthazar Bratt, a 1980s child actor who grows up to become a villain.

My Opinion:

Another quickie review today! I’m trying to catch up since I try to review the things I see in the cinema (I managed to finally review Gifted yesterday). At least I missed out on Spider-Man: Homecoming due to a headache so I don’t have to worry about reviewing that! Wait, no – that sucks. I want to see that, dammit. But now I don’t know when it’ll be. Anyone seen it? What did you think? Oops – I’m meant to be reviewing Despicable Me 3…

What can I say? I love those damn minions (one of cinema’s greatest creations, quite frankly). I absolutely adore the three Despicable Me girls (I’d adopt them if you could legally adopt cartoon children) and I love their adorable relationship with Gru. The first Despicable Me film is a favorite of mine, which is extremely rare for an animated movie that wasn’t made by Pixar or Disney. I’m a total Disney/Pixar snob – all other animation production companies can’t even compare. BUT! The first Despicable Me rules. The characters, the soundtrack, the MINIONS…. ! Love it.

As with all money-grabbing animation sequels, though, Despicable Me 2 & 3 obviously pale in comparison to the first. I looked back at my review for Despicable Me 2 (HERE) and I was far too generous with my rating, which I’ve now knocked down slightly to 7.5/10. That’s still probably too high but I think I was buzzing from once again getting to see these characters that I enjoy. I felt the same way while watching number 3 and, when first coming out of the cinema last weekend, probably would’ve rated it slightly too high if I hadn’t waited a week to review it. I at first felt it was a tiny bit better than number 2 but have since changed my mind since watching part of that one with the kid again. 2 & 3 are fairly close but 2 gets half a point more for funnier minion scenes, better use of Pharrell’s brilliant music, and a much stronger opening. Both 2 & 3’s villains are quite weak but, meh – who cares when we get to see Gru, the girls & the minions again? Gru’s long-lost twin brother is probably a love-him-or-hate-him addition but I found him a better character than the lacklustre villains of the last two and slightly less annoying than Lucy (who I’m still unfortunately not crazy about, but that’s not helped by her not being given much to do in number 3).


I think I’m probably going too easy on this film because I love the characters & also love seeing how much my kid enjoys these movies (I think she thinks she IS Agnes sometimes). Despicable Me 3 isn’t a great film but, if you love these characters, I think you’ll get some enjoyment out of it anyway so I would still recommend it to fans. I think reviews have been a bit too harsh since the first movie was so good. But, to be fair, I’ve seen FAR worse animated sequels. And it’s certainly better than the Minions movie, which truly suffered from the lack of the three girls. Oh, and I’ll say I was very worried when seeing the trailer for this one that the girls would barely be in it (why the hell weren’t they in the trailer?!) so I’m happy to say their roles are about as big as they were in the second film. Maybe that’s why I ended up not being disappointed since that horrible trailer gave me very low expectations. But I enjoyed it just fine. It’s watchable. I still adore these characters. But it would be nice if the movies were getting slightly better each time instead of slightly worse…

My Rating: 6.5/10

*I’ve amended this rating – think I was too generous with a 7/10…

Advertisements

My Top Ten Roller Coaster Scenes In Movies

Summer is almost here which means warm weather, amusement parks, and… Roller coasters! I actually hate roller coasters. I used to throw up in the backseat of my parents’ car on short car journeys so I’m not a big fan of anything that can give me motion sickness. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I was going to do a list of amusement park scenes in movies but, after watching True Romance recently, I decided to narrow it down to just roller coaster scenes since there are way too many amusement park scenes to easily do that list. I love amusement parks in movies, though… Not sure why.

I thought the majority of these should heavily feature roller coasters instead of one just being a backdrop in a scene. However, I’ve included two films where the backdrop was so iconic that it didn’t feel right leaving them out. Hey – can I just say it’s annoying how roller coaster is sometimes two words & sometimes one?? Roller coaster seems more common than rollercoaster so I’ve gone with two words!

So, here are My Top Ten Roller Coaster Scenes In Movies:

10. TIE: True Romance & The Hole (2009)
I had to include True Romance since it’s what made me decide to do this list. And a roller coaster plays a part in the plot of The Hole, a movie I had high hopes for but found disappointing. It could’ve been a great modern Joe Dante film! But it was certainly no Gremlins.

9. Beavis And Butt-Head Do America
Honestly, I don’t remember if this was in the actual movie or just in the Red Hot Chili Peppers video for their cover of Love Rollercoaster… Anyone know?? Oh well – I love the song.

8. Zombieland
This movie always makes me want a Twinkie.

7. Big
Well, he can’t go on the roller coaster because he’s not big enough. It’s the whole reason for the movie’s plot! So I figure it deserves a place on my list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. National Lampoon’s Vacation
Man, I really need to watch this again. Not seen it in years! Still prefer Christmas Vacation.

5. Final Destination 3
I couldn’t exactly leave this one out, either, as the whole plot revolves around the “accident”.

4. Despicable Me
LOVE THIS!! Although it’s still not quite as awesome as when Gru wins the “It’s so fluffy!” unicorn.

3. TIE: The Lost Boys & The Warriors
These are the two I really had to include even though we don’t actually see anyone on a roller coaster. But the roller coasters & the entire amusement park backdrops in both films are so iconic & immediately identifiable. Plus I absolutely LOVE these movies. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom
It counts. Because it’s my list & I say it counts. ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. Fear
I really couldn’t put anything else at number one. Nothing tops this one (especially for Reese Witherspoon!). I have to admit that this movie is truly a “guilty pleasure” of mine. Because it’s pretty bad…

I should point out that there’s a 1977 film called Rollercoaster but I’ve not seen it so couldn’t include it in the list. Here’s the IMDB plot synopsis: A blackmailer threatens to sabotage roller coasters at various American amusement parks if he isn’t paid a huge ransom.

That sounds quite good! However, the trailer makes it look a bit cheesy & dated (but they did do horrible trailers for everything back then). Here it is:

Also, this post reminded me that I saw video of a very cool looking roller coaster at Shanghai Disney Resort. It’s called the “Tron Light Cycle Power Run”. Check it out! It looks cool. There’s video of it at this link: Robot 6.

Finally, here’s the whole video for Love Rollercoaster by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (love them, although I prefer the Ohio Players version):

My Top Ten Toilet Scenes In Movies

Yep, I’m going there! Sort of. I’m not normally a fan of “toilet humor”. I find the loads of poop scenes that Hollywood squeezes out to be gross & only occasionally funny. This was originally going to be My Top Ten Poop Scenes but I didn’t know how to go about ranking that. Would I rank them by humor or by gross-out factor? I found that, in the end, there just weren’t ten poop scenes that I enjoyed enough to compile into a list. So I decided to wipe that idea & start out fresh.

As a companion piece to my most-viewed post, My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies, this list will contain scenes that all involve a toilet in some way. As in, that thing you sit on (or stand in front of if you’re a guy). Outhouses also count as do public toilet stalls. In some cases, poop may be involved. I guess I should move onto sinks next & then I’ll have the whole bathroom covered! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Hmm… that came out sounding a bit like another poop joke).

Anyway! Here are My Top Ten Toilet Scenes In Movies:

Honorable Mention:

Headhunters

This deserves a mention as, although I’ve been planning this top ten list for a while, I decided it was time to finally post it after reviewing Headhunters with Laura of Filmnerdblog on Monday (our review chat is HERE). Very good Norwegian movie with an extremely disgusting outhouse scene!

10. TIE: Dead Snow & Night Of The Creeps

There are so many horror movies with bathroom scenes! I guess I prefer the ones that are more horror/comedy. These are two of the first scenes I thought of when I decided to do this list and I have to say that the Dead Snow outhouse scene was hilariously gross (mainly for the finger-sucking as he’d JUST wiped himself. NASTY!)

9. TIE: Witness & Lethal Weapon 2

These both deserve to be much higher on the list so I’ll explain why they aren’t. I immediately thought of Lethal Weapon as it’s such a famous scene. In fact, it’s the only scene I remember from any Lethal Weapon movies & I had to Google which one the scene was actually in (number 2! how appropriate). As for Witness, this is the closest I’ve come to “cheating” on one of my lists as, in doing a search for toilet scenes online, I “re-discovered” this one. I didn’t remember this scene at all from when I saw this years ago but after watching it on YouTube I couldn’t leave it off the list. The scene is intense. And, holy shit, the whole movie is based on what happens in that bathroom. Plus… Danny Glover was in the Witness scene too! What?! Okay, I seriously need to re-watch both of these movies.

8. Arachnophobia

The shower scene in this gets all the attention, of course, but I think I was more disturbed by the spider under the lid of the toilet seat while the dad was sitting on it. To this day, I sometimes check under toilet seats for spiders. Seriously. Thanks a lot, Arachnophobia!

7. Full Metal Jacket

Disturbing scene but certainly memorable. (But I still prefer Vincent D’Onofrio as Thor in Adventures In Babysitting) ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. Despicable Me

I adore this movie & certain scenes still crack me up every single time. This is one of them. I love when Gru is explaining his evil plan & turns the page to find the drawing the girls did of him on the toilet. I love those girls. ๐Ÿ™‚

5. Monsters, Inc

And… Monsters, Inc! Another movie that I adore as much as Despicable Me. It’s cute when we see them all hiding in the toilet stall as Randall kicks the door open yet doesn’t see them all hiding there.

4. Jurassic Park

Again, this scene was one of the first that I thought of. I’ve realized that most in my list don’t involve actually using the toilets for their intended purpose! They’re clearly a good place to hide. Except from dinosaurs, I guess…

3. The Goonies

I was always confused by this scene. I mean, would it actually be possible for water pressure to cause a toilet to blow up into the air like that? Plus, the guy is clearly sitting on the toilet with underwear on. How do you poop through your underwear??

2. The Godfather

When I thought of toilets in movies, I thought of their different uses. Such as… Hiding things in or behind the tank. I swear there are several scenes like this (one movie has someone hiding money in the tank – is it Pretty Woman?? Not sure). Anyway, the gun hidden behind the toilet tank in The Godfather was the best one I could think of.

1. Trainspotting

Obviously. Ewan McGregor’s toilet swim is famous. Or infamous? Well, it’s super gross but no one who has seen the scene will ever forget it.

Some That Didn’t Make The List (but I did think of them):

Fast Times At Ridgemont High (since it’s already on my list of My Top Five Movie Scenes Of Self-Pleasure, of course)
The Big Lebowski
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Slumdog Millionaire
Scream 2
Pulp Fiction
Saw

Now let’s end this with some scenes actually involving poop that I did find amusing:

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (“You sank my battleshit!” I love the Harold & Kumar movies)
Bad Grandpa (sorry, but the shart up the wall was pretty damn funny)
American Pie (not the best poop scene EVER but a pretty funny movie overall so I’ll give it some credit)
The Help (there’s a lot involving actual toilets in this movie but I saved it for the “poop list” as the actual “shit” scene is awesome – loved it!)
Caddyshack (okay, it’s not actually poop plus I already included it in My Top Ten Swimming Pool Scenes In Movies)

By the way, I don’t believe I ever actually saw all of Ghoulies

Minions (2015) Review

IMG_0862

Minions (2015)

Directed by Pierre Coffin & Kyle Balda

Starring Voice Actors:
Pierre Coffin
Sandra Bullock
Jon Hamm
Michael Keaton
Allison Janney
Steve Coogan
Geoffrey Rush

Production company: Illumination Entertainment

Running time: 91 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.

IMG_0871

My Opinion:

First of all, I must confess that I love minions. LOVE THEM!!!! They’re hilarious and adorable and I desperately want some of my own (to do my evil bidding, of course). I specifically want a Bob after seeing this movie – he’s so sweet with his little teddy bear!

IMG_0873

So, anyway – I’m probably going to be far more forgiving of this movie’s flaws because…. MINIONS!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Is this movie great? No. Is it even remotely as good as Despicable Me or Despicable Me 2? Hell no. But that’s okay – I didn’t expect it to be. I was hoping it would be better than it was, though, so that was a little disappointing. For the record, I think the first Despicable Me is absolutely brilliant (which shocked me as I’ve never really loved a kids’ film that wasn’t made by Pixar or Disney). I think it’s very funny as well as very sweet (without being schmaltzy). The relationship between Gru & the girls is done perfectly and I knew when they announced there would be a movie with just the minions that it would never live up to the Despicable Mes as Gru and the girls are what really make those movies so great. The fault with Minions isn’t the minions, though – they’re just as silly and loveable as ever. Unfortunately, the story and script are very weak as are all the non-minion characters. Bullock’s Scarlet Overkill is especially boring – I found her and the family the minions first meet to all be a bit stupid and pointless. We cared about Gru in Despicable Me and, even when he was at his most evil, he was at least funny & entertaining. In Minions, I really just wanted the human characters to go away. Maybe the next minions movie should be nothing but minions??? I suppose it would have to be narrated or subtitled through the whole thing, though… Okay, I suppose it wouldn’t work. I’d still watch it, though!

IMG_0872

I’m keeping this review short because, well, there isn’t much to say. If you adore the minions as much as I do, you’ll have fun with this movie even though you’ll recognize that it’s far from perfect. If you’re not a fan of the Despicable Me films or of the minions, I wouldn’t recommend Minions (I’m not sure why you’d want to watch it anyway in that case). I had plenty of fun laughs throughout the film but it’s lacking the heart of Despicable Me (as well as the amazing Pharrell soundtracks). For a soundtrack full of pre-existing music, though, I’d have to say that I did really enjoy the great 60’s songs they chose for the film (from The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who, etc). Plus, thank god, they were smart enough to include Mellow Yellow by Donovan! (because, like, minions are YELLOW! Yeah?!). ๐Ÿ™‚ I also enjoyed several 60’s pop culture references but, overall, it didn’t make up for the mediocre story and villain. I still love those minions, though!!!! Just do me a favor & watch Despicable Me instead if you’ve never seen it.

My Rating: 6.5/10

And if you’re curious, these would be my Despicable Me ratings:
Despicable Me: 9/10
Despicable Me 2: 7.5/10
**Updated post to add Despicable Me 3: 7/10**

IMG_0870

My six-year-old’s opinion: I’ve not done this as a “family” review as, to be honest, I’d have watched Minions even if I didn’t have a kid. But I did ask her for her opinion of the movie as I always do after we watch one together. She of course enjoyed it and giggled plenty throughout the film but I know she didn’t like it as much as Despicable Me. She gives the Despicable Me films 10/10 & Minions 8/10 (she tends to rate things too highly). ๐Ÿ˜‰ She sat pretty still through the whole movie so it did keep her attention the entire time. I’d say it’s definitely worth going to if your kids love the minions as much as mine does. Oh, and her favorite bit has to do with a famous band (but I can’t say any more to avoid spoilers).

What my hubby had to say:
“Such a wasted opportunity. Yes I giggled at the odd thing here and there… but what a waste of some of the most iconic creations of the past ten years.”

Is there a scene after the credits? YES! There are a lot of scenes throughout the credits but there’s also a very long scene after the credits as well. It’s worth staying for (in my opinion. if you’re a music lover…).

Jon Hamm Joins Sandra Bullock in Despicable Me Spin-Off Minions

20130501-075747 PM.jpg
I love these dudes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait for Despicable Me 2 & the Minions spin-off. This article from SlashFilm contains the following synopsis:

This spinoff establishes that Minions have existed since the beginning of time, in service of historyโ€™s most ambitiously evil villains. Through their lovable ineptitude, Minions have managed to thwart and ultimately destroy all of those bad guys. This story picks up in the 1960s, before they hench-ed for Gru. With no more super-villains to serve, the Minions fall into a collective depression and three of them set out to seek a new evil master. They wind up at a villain convention, where they compete for the right to be henchmen for Scarlet Overkill, whose Audrey Hepburn-like high style appearance belies her world domination ambition and her aspirations to become the worldโ€™s first female super-villain.