Illumination Presents 3 Movie Collection – Blu-ray Edition

Despicable Me directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud:

If you got caught up watching the many trailers for “Despicable Me” then you would probably go to the film expecting something very different than what it actually is. In actuality it is at times a dark comedy, at others a cutesy comedy, throw in some slapstick, and then finally has an emotional finale. Much different than what I expected. I thought it was going to be another silly animated film, but it was an intelligent one told in fable style. A welcome deviation from the standard kids’ film.

There is nothing that a movie-going audience likes better than a scene stealing villain. Especially if he is an odd-looking animated character. In all truth the story about two competing villains is not an original one. Nor is it new to see a bad guy have his heart softened by a child (or three, in this case). But the way they mesh these two stories together is quite original. Also the twists and turns keep you guessing which is not something that you usually have to do with an animated feature.

Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is a sadistic creature who enjoys bringing misery to others. But underneath it all he is a man who was moulded by a cruel mother (voiced by Julie Andrews), who always made him feel like he wasn’t good enough. Because of this loveless upbringing, Gru spends his days harassing people and believing himself to be the number one criminal in the world. He is so good at what he does that Gru has a legion of minions (who provide much of the comic relief) working for him and his own mad scientist, Dr. Nefarious (voiced by Russell Brand). But his whole world is turned upside down when a new kid on the criminal mastermind block named Vector (voiced by Jason Segal) steals his thunder. This new guy proves his point when he steals a pyramid.

Not willing to be second fiddle, Gru decides to come up with a bigger heist. He plots to steal the moon. Stockpiling shrink rays, freeze rays and land/air battle vehicles, Gru is ready to do what no one else has dared attempt and regain his criminal mastermind throne. A large wrench is thrown into his plan when three young orphaned girls, Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (voiced by Dana Gaier) and Agnes (voiced by Elsie Fisher), don’t see him as a dastardly guy, but as their potential father.

Bottom line the film is charming without being corny, absurd, intelligent, and hilarious in parts. Humour, action and heart in an animated film – who could ask for anything more?

Despicable Me 2 directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud:

Fun! Fun! Fun! Okay, that is my review…

Are you still here?  Expecting more? Well, I really cannot sum it up more concisely or better than that, but here goes…

After not having seen the first Despicable Me I really did not know what to expect.  I knew people liked the first one.  Especially those little yellow Minions.  In my experience rare is it that the sequels live up to the bar set by beloved originals.  I’m here to tell you that Despicable Me 2 is a lotta fun.  Plenty of laughs due to silliness and intelligent humour.  Enjoyable for kids and adults.

What is fresh and particularly enjoyable about the Despicable Me films is that the villain or bad guy is the protagonist.  This time around he is not a bad guy, though.

Gru (Steve Carell – The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Date Night) has devoted himself to raising his three adopted daughters, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove – Despicable Me, School of Rock), Edith (Dana Gaier – appeared in an episode of 30 Rock) and Agnes (Elsie Kate Fisher – from television’s Masha and the Bear).  Realizing that being a super villain is not really a good role model for such young, impressionable kids he is now managing a company that makes manufacturing jellies with flavour developer, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand – Get Him to the Greek, Saving Sarah Marshall).  His idyllic existence is shook up when another villain steals a formula that puts the entire world in danger.

The Anti-Villain League headed by Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan – Tropic Thunder, Night at the Museum) recruits Gru to help them stop this new bad guy.  Gru works with a partner, the silly ginger Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids, Paul), and he soon develops romantic feelings for her.

The film is really joke heavy.  Once they started coming they never stopped.  Plenty of laughter to be heard throughout the theatre from all age categories.

Once again the little yellow Minions steal the film.  They are a scream.  Even though you cannot understand one word they are saying.  This makes them even funnier as every noise/sound that they make elicited laughter from me.  Kids will once again love the Minions as they are energetic and full of mischief.

There are a couple of new characters that I enjoyed.  The best of the lot is Lucy Wilde/Kristen Wiig with all her frenetic energy she is a riot.  Vibrant enough a character that she does not get pushed to the background.  Another one of my favourites was Dr. Nefario/Russell Brand.  Now, I am admittedly a huge Russell Brand fan, so it is hard for me to tell if he was good or I was mesmerized by my affection for him.  All I know is that I wanted the character to have more screen time.

Besides the expected humour there was also plenty of heart to the film.  Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud injected a warm and emotional facet.  Love is a central theme in the film.

The visuals are great.  Colourful and lively they really captivate your eyes.  The characters are animated very well making them seem very realistic.  It really makes the film come to life.

Also what was enjoyable was that it was not the same story over again.  It was completely different and original.  The same characters are there from the first film, but it is almost like they are real and have matured and developed.

Despicable Me 3 directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda:

Films like this don’t need to be the best films ever. What I mean there is that they can be funny, silly and occasionally touching and that is enough. Escapism for the 90 minutes is all you should expect. And a film like this delivers more often than not as long as you don’t go into it with unrealistic expectation.

Gru (voiced by Steve Carrell) is in the midst of a identity crisis; he doesn’t know who he is anymore. He has been fired from the Anti-Villain League due to his inability to capture the latest bad guy threatening humankind. In the nick of time just before he hits rock bottom a mystery man shows up with some surprising news.

Apparently Gru has a twin brother that he never knew about. Dru (voiced by Steve Carrell) is happy, charming and successful. Cue sibling rivalry. The two meet and work together against a former child star, Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker), who is now a horrible villain. Actually, to be more precise, Dru lures Gru back into a life a crime as he makes it so appealing. The attraction to the dark side pulls Gru back in.

Don’t know what fans of the film series would complain about here. It has got everything you like previously. Minions (a little bit not so much that you get sick of them), the cute kids, pop culture references and Gru being a lovable anti-hero. Some might say it is predictable, etc. I say it knows its audience and strengths and plays to them. Films like this are pretty much review-proof anyways. Critics will be less and impress while the target audience (kids) will be won over.

Feel good summer flick. Nothing more, nothing less.

Special Features:

-Digital Copy

 

  • Gru-Control
  • Despicable Me Mini-Movies
  • The Voices of Despicable Me
  • The World of Despicable Me
  • Despicable Beats
  • Super Silly Fun Land
  • Gru’s Rocket Builder
  • Miss Hattie’s Top Secret Cookie Recipes
  • A Global Effort
  • Despicable Me Games Previews
  • Commentary with Directors Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin Featuring the Minions
  • My Scenes
  • The World of Despicable Me
  • Despicable Beats
  • Gru’s Rocket Builder
  • A Global Effort
  • Despicable Me Games Previews
  • Commentary with Directors Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin Featuring the Minions
  • Deleted Scene – Gruties
  • The Minions
  • Evil Minions
  • A Gru-Some Transformation
  • El Hombre Malo: The Villainy of El Macho
  • Gru’s Girls
  • Gadgets Galore
  • Feature Commentary with Directors Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin
  • Mini-Movies with Introductions By Steve Carell
  • Making of the Mini-Movies
  • Deleted Scene – Gruties
  • The Minions
  • Evil Minions
  • A Gru-Some Transformation
  • El Hombre Malo: The Villainy of El Macho
  • Gru’s Girls
  • Gadgets Galore
  • Feature Commentary with Directors Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin
  • Mini-Movies with Introductions by Steve Carell
  • Making of the Mini-Movies
  • Deleted Scene with Intro by Dana Gaier
  • Minion Moments
  • Character Profiles
  • The Making of Despicable Me 3
  • Developing Dru
  • The AVL Files
  • Freedonia Visitors Guide
  • Despicable Me TV
  • “Doowit” Sing-Along
  • “Yellow Light” Music Video
  • Minion Mug Shots
  • Wanted Posters
  • Mini-Movie: The Secret Life of Kyle
  • Deleted Scene with Intro by Dana Gaier
  • Minion Moments
  • Character Profiles
  • The Making of Despicable Me 3
  • Developing Dru
  • The AVL Files
  • Freedonia Visitors Guide
  • Despicable Me TV
  • “Doowit” Sing-Along
  • “Yellow Light” Music Video
  • Minion Mug Shots
  • Wanted Posters
  • Mini-Movie: The Secret Life of Kyle

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*