Hey now, movie buffs and buffettes! Those who read my awesome review of MONSTERS UNIVERSITY already know how I feel about goofy computer cartoons for kids. [Note from Mike: that’s Bru’s clueless and prejudiced term for “animated features”] But because of this stupid blog I had to see another one, DESPICABLE ME 2. As with last time, that dope who draws me, Pascale, will chime in within annoying brackets.
- I’ll start off by admitting the sight gags were actually funny. [Mike: my wife and I laughed out loud several times. We’re talking some Warner Brothers’ worthy stuff.]
- The little goils, especially the youngest, Agnes, were cute without being sickening. Hey, I’m a big softie and that’s why the babes dig me. [Agreed they were adorable. The first bedtime scene was both cute and grin-inducing.]
- Okay, I love the Minions. Who doesn’t? They’re stupid but dang, they make me giggle…especially the one-eyed ones. And I like the names—Dave, Kevin, Phil…Real AMERICAN names! [They tend to get the best gags for sure. Plus, they sing and dance, also with comedy!]
- The big fat Mexican guys were pretty funny. [He means Eduardo and the wrestler/villain, El Macho. Clever gags and visual movements.]
- The real stuff looked real. [Surfacing and texture are getting to be Pixar-perfect.]
- The Russian guy’s accent and voice were hilarious. [That’s Steve Carrell’s brilliant Gru, which was even better than the first film. Especially the over-protective Dad shticks.]
- Funny Minion gags during the credits.
- The hot, skinny blonde with the big lips. Would have liked to see her s—[HEY, moron, this is a PG-rated movie—AND blog!] Oh, buzz off, prude-face!
- I didn’t see it in 3D but I bet it was decent…lots of chances for cool effects. [Yes, for once I think it would have been worth it.]
- The main female chick wasn’t hot. [Sigh. The agent, played by Kristin Wigg, was perfectly cast and nicely designed. Even though she was rail-thin, her quirky looks were a good break from the typical “hottie” type.]
- Again, no nudity! I had to squint and stare to see a few babes in bathing suits; blink and you’ll miss ’em. [Ugh. To Bru, the rating “PG” tends to mean, “Pervertedly Good” and he gets disappointed every time!]
- No beginning cartoon like MONSTERS UNIVERSITY! No button at the end, either! [I agree. Guess that’s still a Pixar-only thing.]
- Tons of stupid, loud, talking, crying RUG RATS in the crowd! And BABIES! Why bring babies to movies? They’re too busy screaming for nipples or diaper changes! [Well, the main audience is children, unfortunately. Plan your showtime and seating accordingly.]
Can’t believe I’m sayin’ this, but I think you should SEE IT. At least for the laughs. (Just go in the morning or late at night when there less carpet crawlers!)
[I say OWN IT too. There’s probably going to be a bunch of cool stuff on the DVD. Hopefully more minions!]
And then there’s Disney’s remake/reboot of the legendary LONE RANGER, with baking soda boy actor Armand Hammer [Mike: actually it’s Armie Hammer. Armand Hammer was an old, famous business magnate!] as the kemosabe and Johnny Depp as faithful Tonto.
Let’s go right into the silver-tongued bullet points.
- Most of the film was shot in New Mexico around the famous Monument Valley and surrounding areas, so everything looked real pretty.
- Surprisingly, it wasn’t “updated” like every other major character seems to have been. The film takes place around 1889 just like the original series (except for the framing sequences with elderly Tonto in 1933).
- For the most part it seems pretty true to the time period (except for the usual perfect teeth, hair and skin of all the non-villains like in all Hollywood flicks). Other than some slang, no one says, “hey dude!”, “totally awesome”, “yo, man”, or whatever.
- Helena Bonham Carter has the hottest prosthetic (ivory) leg ever. And she shows off ample cleavage!
- Speaking of cleavage, the Ranger and Tonto enter a brothel! Woo hoooooooooo! Not many Disney flicks with hookers. I’m down wit’ dat!
- Another first, I think: this has the most blood, violence and poop an’ pee shots of any Disney film in recent memory. Cool! Poop is funny.
- I thought Tonto’s “dead crow hat” was stupid but apparently it’s based on authentic stuff. The film credits Kirby Sattler’s painting, “I Am Crow” for the look. (Still think it’s goofy, but it’s an important part of the character and was used for a bunch of gags/bits.)
- Not a lot of beer but lots of whiskey!
- The theme song, the William Tell Overture (I Googled it), shows up twice, both times played by an orchestra. No rock version, no rappers. Big and dramatic at the end, like it should.
- Good bad guys you love to hate, and real redskins [Mike: he means native Americans!] in proper roles.
- Stunts, stunts, stunts!! From trains to horses to fights, this one is chock-full of fantastic fantasy stuff that stretches suspension of disbelief but doesn’t quite break it. (It ain’t “The Searchers”.) Fun to watch.
- Armie Hammer definitely has the Lone Ranger look when in costume. And the way they explain the mask is actually pretty cool.
- There’s a button during the credits, but it’s pretty boring—no spoiler in telling you it’s someone walking away from the camera for five minutes. Woop-dee-doo.
- As to the credits, Pasquale [I told you, it’s “Pascale”!] wanted me to note the three storyboard artists, illustrator and graphic artist were all grouped properly near the top with the rest of the art department. Like I friggin’ care.
- This one suffers from MAN OF STEEL-itis: too looooooooooooooooong. Could use some tightening up.
- Johnny Depp has more range than TV’s Jay Silverheels was allowed (obviously), but he was always Johnny Depp to me. I didn’t stop thinking it was him. Tonto (and the LR) went back and forth from heroes to boneheads to buffoons to supermen.
- A lot of supernatural hokey was thrown in, then explained away, then put in again. Confusing. And what’s with the last bunny scene?
- Adding to the confusion was the unnecessary framing sequences with old Tonto. Really didn’t need them at all. The film was supposed to be one big flashback, but then we see another flashback about Tonto’s origin that starts in a scene without him! Huh?? And what about the scenes he wasn’t in? How does he remember what happened if he ain’t there?
- Indians and White folks both look bad, but the whiteys a lot more. Other than the women and children and the heroes, everyone from the railroad company to the calvary were basically evil, greedy and/or uncaring. I know we treated the Injuns like crap back then, but EVERYONE?
- The sister-in-law and nephew weren’t anything special. The kid was actually kinda annoying.
- The theme song at the big climax could have had better visuals with it…I figgered they’d show the Rangers face close up, then pull back to reveal him riding balls-out on his horse, low angle, toward the camera. Didn’t happen. And why didn’t they credit the composer Rossini, who wrote the song in the first place? (I Googled it.) That’s cold.
- The thing with Silver, the white horse, was weird to me. In the TV show, John Reid was the only person who could tame the wild white horse. (Or as Tonto then said, the Rangers was the only one the horse chose to let ride him.)
- Armie Hammer ain’t no Clayton Moore. Then again, who is? Unlike Batman or James Bond or Sherlock Holmes or Tarzan or Doctor Who where there are multiple guys who could be considered “definitive”, the Lone Ranger is to Clayton Moore what William Shatner is to Captain Kirk—the ONLY one. But at least this guy gave it a good try and looks th’ part.
It was okay but nothing you really need to see in a theater for big bucks unless you wanna be part of the (spectacular) scenery and stunts. So wait and RENT IT. It’s worth a buck for a Red Box.
For now, I say Hi-Yo, you yo-yos—away! (At least till next week.)
P.S.: Pascale can crank out a cool sketch, drawing or painting of ANY character from either film or any comic book you want—get in your request THIS WEEK before he’s gone for Comic-Con! Just ask Craig here!