All original written content is (c) 2015 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: Sorry I’m late on this, but the Pascale geek who types these up for me was at that dumb Comic-Con.
Anyway, the lovable and laughable yellow pills-with-goggles-and-overalls from the DESPICABLE ME films finally get their own flick.
This one traces their origins from prehistoric times up to a full adventure circa 1968 when they attend Villain Con to hook up with the queen beehive hairdo of the underworld, Scarlet Overkill. And of course, all kinds of things go wrong in all kinds of hilarious ways.
Written by Brian Lynch (PUSS IN BOOTS). Directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin (who also did the Minions’ voices).
- You know what movie you’re seeing right off the bat as the Minion voices “sing” along with the Universal theme song during the opening “planet trademark” animation.
- Since Universal doesn’t have their own animation studio, this was farmed out to Illumination Entertainment. While I don’t think of them in terms of Pixar-level work, the animation was noticeably great! The early scenes of a prehistoric pond/lake blew me away. Several of the “outdoor” scenes like that and NYC looked surprisingly real. (For all I know, it was rotoscoped over real footage, but however it was done it looked great.) The figures, monsters and such all looked top-notch too, especially the movement and gag stuff. Parts reminded me of old Warner Brothers ‘toons.
- Speaking of gags, there’s just way too many to mention, or even remember. Some were laugh-out-loud funny, some silly, some clever, some cheap, some obvious, some subtle, some brilliant, but none that really didn’t work. Something for everyone.
- The characters’ voices and nonsense language, to my surprise, didn’t get annoying like I thought it would. Part gibberish, part English, part Spanish, part who-knows-what, it worked well. Some things you could pick out easily (not just “banana” either) and others you could get the gist of even if you didn’t understand the specifics.
- The plot made sense for what it was. A couple twists but nothing complex or major, except maybe the introduction of a major character you may not recognize right away (at least till they say his name). Story worked just fine for me.
- Sandra Bullock as Scarlett, Jon Hamm as her hubby Herb, Michael Keaton and Allison Janney as the tourists, Geoffrey Rush as the narrator, all good choices and all did really well.
- King Baaaaaaaaab!! gives a new twist to “the King’s speech.”
- Other than Van Halen (see next), the music choices were pretty on-period and fit well. Despite being set in 1968, it didn’t feel old or anything. A few gags were based on the time period, but I focused more on the characters, plot and action. I don’t think kids will have an issue “relating” or anything.
- Stuart cranks an Eddie VH solo on his “super-mega ukulele!”
- Hardly any bodily function gags. (Alert the media! It’s possible to be funny without puke or poop!)
- Gotta stay for all the credits. First you get a bunch of goofy bits during the main ones, then a funny button at the very end.
- One of the first movies I’ve seen in years that I wish I saw in 3D. A bunch of gags (especially those during the credits) specifically geared to take full advantage of the effect. I bet they looked awesome with the glasses!
- The three main guys, Kevin (tallest), Stuart (one-eyed) and Bob (shortest), do make you care about them. They’re technically evil-following idiots, but they’re still kind of adorable.
- While they didn’t annoy me, I do understand where the gibberish might get on some grown-ups’ nerves.
- Seeing Bob in a thong…from the back! And we see a bare Minion butt for a second, which is either funny or disturbing (I still haven’t decided).
- The PC police will probably gripe about the “lack of diversity” as there were a lot of white folks (much of the main story takes place in 1968 Orlando and London). But hey, the main baddie is a lady, so there’s a plus.
- Similarly, the blue-nose critics and “serious animation” crowd (talk about an oxymoron) will probably poo-poo the lack of “human condition” and “pathos” crap like that in the “beloved-but-unfunny” INSIDE OUT Pixar flick, but gimme a break. There’s a place for slapstick comedy in any medium at any time. (And frankly, I prefer it. Gimme the Three Stooges over MODERN FAMILY any day!)
- Those parents super-sensitive to cartoon violence might gripe. Drop off your kids while you go see a documentary about flowers or something.
This works best on the big screen, and if you have the dough and tolerance for 3D, you’ll probably enjoy it more. But even if you have to see it on TV, it works. And you’ll want the DVD/Blu-ray to see it more than once because you’ll forget most of the gags in a year. And hopefully there will be a bunch of cool extras, documentaries, shorts, music vids and other stuff to make you laugh more with the greatest yellow goofballs since the Simpsons!
P.S.: It’s time you treat yourself to an ORIGINAL ART commission of the Minion of your choice, or all three, or how about YOU or a friend/family member with a Minion…or as one? That Pascale guy can do it good. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, yellow animated people, villains, or pill-shaped persons. Bru is scared of women with rockets in their dresses but they strangely arouse the bottle-rocket in his pants. Just leave the goggles off, girls!