Tag Archives: Despicable Me 2

My top 10 movies for kids

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am not a great one for kids’ movies. I don’t like the cheesy happy endings, the lousy way the female characters are dealt with (for the most part) or the heavy handed morals and I particularly don’t like Disney… however… I do have exceptions, and these are them. (Please note for this blog I am focusing on films predominantly made for preteen audiences, which is why things like Harry Potter haven’t been included.)

alice-with-caterpillar-2Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Starring (voices): Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn
Why?: It’s like one giant acid trip, which really captures the essence of the novel (let’s just pretend it wasn’t written by a a dodgy older man for the underage object of his affection).
Best character: The Cheshire Cat
“Cheshire Cat: If I were looking for a white rabbit, I’d ask the Mad Hatter
Alice: The Mad Hatter? Oh, no no no…
Cheshire Cat: Or, you could ask the March Hare, in that direction.
Alice: Oh, thank you. I think I’ll see him…
Cheshire Cat: Of course, he’s mad, too.
Alice: But I don’t want to go among mad people.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can’t help that. Most everyone’s mad here.
[laughs maniacally; starts to disappear]
Cheshire Cat: You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself.”

snowflakeThe Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Starring (voices): Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
Why?: Because it’s really creepy and dark and kids love dark, creepy stuff. They’re macabre little buggers.
Best characters: Lock, Shock and Barrel
“Santa: [from in the bag] Me on vacation? On Christmas Eve?
Barrel: Where are we taking him?
Shock: Where?
Lock: [removes his mask] to Oogie Boogie, of course. There’s no where in the whole world more comfortable than *that*. And Jack *said* to make him comfortable, didn’t he?
Barrel, Shock: Yes, he did.
Santa: Haven’t you heard of peace on earth, and goodwill towards men?
Barrel: NO!”

my-neighbor-totoro1My Neighbour Tortoro (1998)
Starring (voices): Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Toshiyuki Amagasa
Why?: Because it brings the imaginary friends so common to small children to life.
Best character: Catbus!
“Mei Kusakabe: To-to-ro? You’re Totoro!… I bet you’re Totoro…

Matilda-matilda-4452227-640-480Matilda (1996)
Starring: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidz
Why?: it’s a great intepretation of a great story, plus it glorifies reading which is always a good thing.
Best character: Mrs Trunchbull
“Harry Wormwood: A book? What do you want a book for?
Matilda: To read.
Harry Wormwood: To read? Why would you want to read when you got the television set sitting right in front of you? There’s nothing you can get from a book that you can’t get from a television faster.

How to Train Your Dragon movie imageHow To Train Your Dragon (2010)
Starring (voices): Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Why?: Because it’s really funny and it has a lot of heart
Best character: Snotlout
“Snotlout: Watch out babe, I’ll take care of this.
[Throws weapon at Deadly Nadder but misses; Astrid glares at him]
Snotlout: The *sun* was in my eyes, Astrid! What do you want me to do, block out the sun? I can do that, but I don’t have the time right now!

Horton-hears-a-who-pics-horton-hears-a-who-19717311-1109-529Horton Hears a Who (2008)
Starring (voices): Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett
Why?: Because music saves the day and because Jim Carrey is perfect as the utterly silly Horton
Best character: Katie
“Katie: In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies.”

despicable_me_1Despicable Me (2010)
Starring (voices): Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
Why?: Every little detail is just perfect. I have seen it countless times and it still cracks me up.
Best character: Agnes
“Agnes: [singing] Unicorns, I love them. Unicorns, I love them. Uni uni unicorns, I love them. Uni unicorns, I could pet one if they were really real. And they are! So I bought one so I could pet it. Now it loves me, now I love it. La lala la la…

despicable-me-2-paradiseDespicable Me 2 (2013)
Starring (voices): Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt
Why?: As funny, if not more funny, than the first one. Also more Minions and god knows I love Minions!
“Best character: Minions
Silas: I am the league’s director, Silas Ramsbottom.
Minion: [giggles] Bottom.
Silas: Hilarious”

booMonsters Inc (2001)
Starring (voices): Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs
Why?: The idea of seeing behind the scenes of the “monsters” under children’s beds is genius.
Best character: Boo
“Sulley: Mike, this isn’t Boo’s door.

Mike: Boo? What’s Boo?
Sulley: That’s… what I decided to call her. Is there a problem?
Mike: Sulley, you’re not supposed to name it. Once you name it, you start getting attached to it. Now put that thing back where it came from or so help me…
[Mike pauses, realizing that they suddenly have the attention of the entire scare floor]
Mike: Oh, hey. We’re rehearsing a – a scene for the upcoming company play called uh, Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me. It’s a musical.
Mike: Put that thing back where it came from or so help me… so help me, so help me and cut. We’re still working on it, it’s a work in progress but, hey, we need ushers.”

673952-finding_nemo1Finding Nemo (2003)
Starring (voices): Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
Why?: It’s like an aquarium come to life… and I love an aquarium.
Best character: Dory
“Dory: [about the humpback whale] Maybe he only speaks whale.
[slowly and deeply, imitating the whale]
Dory: Mooo… Weeee neeeed…
Marlin: Dory?
Dory: …tooo fiiind hiiis sooon.
Marlin: What are you doing? Are you sure you speak whale?
Dory: Caaaan yoooou giive uuuus direeeeectioooons?
Marlin: Dory! Heaven knows what you’re saying! See, he’s swimming away.
Dory: Cooome baaaaack.
Marlin: He’s not coming back. You offended him.
Dory: Maybe a different dialect. Mmmmoooooowaaaaah…

Film Friday #138

Despicable Me 2

In this sequel to the 2010 original, Gru (voiced by Steve Carrell) has retired from super villainy, content to play father to his three adorable orphan daughters, Margo, Edith and Agnes… and experiment with jam production. But when someone attempts to steal a secret formula that turns even the gentlest bunny into a senseless killing machine, Gru is recruited by the AVL (Anti-Villain League) to help track down and stop this new super villain. He finds himself paired with feisty female agent, Lucy (voiced by Kirsten Wiig) and undercover in a shopping mall. But why does the local Mexican restaurant owner (voiced by Benjamin Bratt) look so familiar? Where are the Minions disappearing to? And what will he do when Margo starts to show an interest in… boys? Regular readers of this blog will know that I don’t much like animated movies or “kids” movies but I will admit that Despicable Me is one of my very few exceptions and I can fortunately say that the sequel does not disappoint, quite possibly because the writers have cleverly cranked up the Minion quota. I can’t explain to you how much the Minions’ well-meaning but haphazardly ineffectual behaviour cracks me up. The ice-cream van scene alone will keep me quietly amused for weeks (gelato!) Brilliant. 4/5



Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Following on directly from Wrath of Khan, the third Star Trek film sees the crew of The Enterprise turn rogue when Kirk (William Shatner) discovers that Dr McCoy (DeForest Kelly) has Spock’s (Leonard Nimoy) consciousness trapped inside him. Forbidden to visit the Genesis planet to retrieve Spock’s body, the crew steals the ship and heads there anyway. At the same time Saavik (Robin Curtis) and David (Merrit Buick) are exploring the surface on the planet on discovery mission and come across a mysterious Vulcan child. And some Klingons lead by Christopher Lloyd are attempting to capture the secret of Genesis and use it as a weapon. Basically there is a lot going on and it’s all pretty exciting. And pretty cheesy. And very original series. A must for all aspiring Trekkers. 3/5

How YOU doing?

How YOU doing?

Stick It

Teen rebel, Hayley (Missy Peregrym) is forced to attend an elite gymnastics academy in order to avoid jail time. Hated by her fellow students after pulling out of a world championship at the last minute in her past, Hayley has a lot to prove both to herself and her new coach, Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges). I’m not entirely sure why Jeff Bridges decided to do this uber predictable teen movie about learning to be part of a team and how to use your individuality to your advantage but he does what he can with a lacklustre script and a tired concept. In the end what this amounts to is really fitness porn because watching what some of these athletes can do with their bodies is eye-boggling. However the same affect can be achieved (more satisfyingly) by just watching The Olympics and Bring It On successively. 2/5

Because there is nothing more metal than an orange leotard

Because there is nothing more metal than an orange leotard

Miss Bala

After aspiring beauty queen, Laura (Stephanie Sigman) inadvertently witness a drug gang murder law enforcement officers, she is kidnapped by the gang leader, Lino (Noé Hernández) and forced to do his bidding. Although Laura is desperate to escape, the threat of violence against her brother and father means she is dragged in deeper and deeper with less and less chance of ever getting out. The power in this film comes from watching Laura’s innocence slowly stripped away scene by scene. As she witnesses more and more brutal violence and is made to participate in more immoral activities her disconnection from what is going on around her is evident and harrowing to watch. Sigman is outstanding in this bleak and somewhat hopeless tale, however it is sometimes hard to understand her behaviour, particularly early in the film and the camera work can be distracting. Good but not the best in this genre. 3/5

Yup... just chilling under your bead. Don't mind me.

Yup… just chilling under your bead. Don’t mind me.