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Links to our threads on Despicable Me (2010) and Despicable Me 2 (2013).

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Illumination And Universal Hatch ‘Despicable Me’ Spinoff About The Minions
EXCLUSIVE: After coming right out of the gate with the animated hit Despicable Me and turning it into a sequel and a just-opened 3D theme park ride at Universal Studios Orlando, Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment has set an untitled feature spinoff based on The Minions as its fifth feature film with Universal. The adorable yellow-colored critters that began as henchmen for Groo in Despicable Me are now leading men (?) for a film Universal will release in 2014.
The film is an original story that will introduce new characters and reprise others that originated in Despicable Me, but the focus is on the antics of the yellow fellows as they interact with human characters. The script is already written by Brian Lynch, and Pierre Coffin will direct and Kyle Balda will co-direct. Coffin co-directed Despicable Me and is helming the sequel with Chris Renaud, and the two of them also do the voices for The Minions. Balda co-directed Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax with Renaud for Illumination. . . .
Deadline.com, July 23

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 years later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 months later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Ok, the Dracula joke was kind of funny. The rest? Eh. It'll probably be popular with folks who find the minions funny. I thought they were the least funny part of Despicable Me, and my antipathy toward them has only grown with their inexplicable popularity as a Facebook meme.

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Given my veneration of "Under Pressure" as a song, this may be the worst trailer for a movie I otherwise was looking forward to...ever.

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I'm afraid I might always associate 'Under Pressure' with the trailer for 40 Days and 40 Nights, i.e. the romantic comedy in which Josh Hartnett is raped by his ex-girlfriend.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...

Changed the thread title. 

 

My review. One of the things I complained about was how the Minions, almost like the cast of Shaun the Sheep, resemble silent-movie comedians — except here, during the first act before there are onscreen humans to do the talking, they've got Geoffrey Rush doing voiceover narration, explaining visual jokes that didn't need explaining. (I wound up comparing this to the 1942 talkie re-edit of The Gold Rush, which was probably a bit over-the-top.)

 

I enjoyed writing this disparaging paragraph about the villainess. (For some reason the production notes make a big deal about repeatedly calling her "the world's first super-villainess," which I can only assume means "in the Despicable/Minionverse." Do they think that's feminist, to specifically establish that prior to the 1960s all supervillains were men?)

 

The belle of this ball is a femme not-so-fatale who goes by Scarlet Overkill. Scarlet is voiced by Sandra Bullock, who is so implicitly girl-next-door that you never really believe Scarlet is anywhere near as despicable as Steve Carell’s Gru. In her Mary Tyler Moore bob and ruby cocktail dress, she’s like a 1960s TV mom’s glamorous, mildly evil twin. Minions has no interest in exploring possible dark sides of a 1960s housewife, the way Despicable Me cast Gru in the role of a neighborhood grouch. And, unlike Gru, she has no character arc, because it’s not her story. (Scarlett’s husband, Herb Overkill, who is nothing like a 1960s TV dad, is voiced by Jon Hamm, perhaps because "Mad Men" was also set in the 1960s.)

 

Also, I have to say I didn't expect to have problems with the film specifically as an Arthurian enthusiast (!): 

 

Although this is more of a spoiler, for me it’s where the movie goes south, and I can’t dance around the point, so here goes: The London caper leads to a loopy detour in which Bob encounters the sword in the stone — yes, that sword in the stone, though what it’s doing back in the stone I have no idea — and pulls it out, heralded by doves and choirboys.

 

Think about that a moment. The filmmakers apparently didn’t, so somebody should. I guess I can roll with a franchise so far defined by cartoony sci-fi and caper-movie logic taking a left turn into Arthurian legend, with its blend of sorcery and Christianity. (After all, I bought the Dracula cameo.)
 
But this also means Bob has been divinely chosen as king of England — a fact that everyone, including an eye-rolling Queen Elizabeth, accepts without argument. The movie even makes a point of noting the role of the archbishop of Canterbury in crowning (or “coronating,” as someone incorrectly says) a new monarch. (“You are so squishy!” Scarlet gushes over the primate of the Church of England, squeezing his cheeks. I’d love to believe that was an intentional theological joke.)
 
I’m a fan of silliness and nonsense, and Minions are about as silly and nonsensical as kiddie entertainment gets. But everyone has limits.
 
In my book, if Bob is divinely chosen as king of England, that should mean something. Of course it doesn’t. 

 

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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With $115 million in the bank since Thursday night, it seems kind of hard to believe that this film now has the second-biggest North American opening of all time for an animated movie, doesn't it?

 

What has the biggest opening, you're wondering? Shrek the Third.

 

Yeah, huge openings don't exactly translate into something that audiences will still remember or be talking about a few years later, do they.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Peter T Chattaway may find this interesting

 

 

Forget ‘Minions,’ ‘Monster Hunt’ and ‘Monkey King’ Smash Chinese Box Office Records
monsterhunt_monkeyking.jpg

“Monster Hunt” (l.) and “Monkey King: Hero is Back” helped lead the Chinese box office to a record-breaking weekend.

The top-grossing international feature film was neither Ant-Man norMinions this weekend; it was a Chinese 3-D live-action/animation hybrid called Monster Hunt. Below is its insane trailer which includes a man-giving-birth-to-a-cartoon scene:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Minions has now earned just over $300 million in North America and just over $600 million overseas, for a global total of just over $900 million.

 

That makes this currently the #9 animated film of all time in North America (behind Shrek 2 + 3, The Lion King, Toy Story 3, Frozen, Finding Nemo, Despicable Me 2 and Inside Out), the #5 animated film of all time overseas (behind Frozen, Ice Age 3 + 4 and Toy Story 3) and the #7 animated film of all time worldwide (behind Frozen, Toy Story 3, The Lion King, Despicable Me 2, Finding Nemo and Shrek 2) -- and it will easily pass at least a few of those films in the next few weeks.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is still the #9 animated film of all time in North America, but it is now the #4 animated film of all time overseas, and when you put the two things together, that makes it -- believe it or not -- the #3 animated film of all time worldwide, behind only Frozen and Toy Story 3. (The precise figures are: 320.0 domestic + 669.4 overseas = 989.4 million worldwide.)

 

This is also on the verge of becoming the fourth film *this year* to gross over a billion dollars worldwide, following Furious 7, Jurassic World and Avengers: Age of Ultron. The only other year to have four billion-dollar grossers is 2012 (The Avengers, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey). (As recently as 2007, we actually had a year without *any* billion-dollar grossers.)

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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