REVIEW: HER

CAST

Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator)
Scarlett Johansson (Avengers Assemble)
Amy Adams (Batman V Superman)
Rooney Mara (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Olivia Wilde (Tron Legacy)
Chris Pratt (Jurassic World)
Matt Letscher (Legends of Tomorrow)
Luka Jones (Up All Night)
Kristen Wiig (Mother!)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Portia Doubleday (Youth In Revolt)
Brian Cox (X-Men 2)
Spike Jonze (Three Kings)

Joaquin Phoenix in Her (2013)In a near future Los Angeles, Theodore Twombly is a lonely, introverted, depressed man who works for a business that has professional writers compose letters for people who are unable to write letters of a personal nature themselves. Unhappy because of his impending divorce from his childhood sweetheart Catherine, Theodore purchases a talking operating system (OS) with artificial intelligence, designed to adapt and evolve. He decides that he wants the OS to have a female voice, and she names herself Samantha. Theodore is fascinated by her ability to learn and grow psychologically. They bond over their discussions about love and life, such as Theodore’s avoidance of signing his divorce papers because of his reluctance to let go of Catherine.Joaquin Phoenix in Her (2013)Samantha convinces Theodore to go on a blind date with a woman, with whom a friend, Lewman, has been trying to set him up. The date goes well, but Theodore hesitates to promise when he will see her again, so she insults him and leaves. Theodore mentions this to Samantha, and they talk about relationships. Theodore explains that, although he and Amy dated briefly in college, they are only good friends, and that Amy is married. Theodore and Samantha’s intimacy grows through a verbal sexual encounter. They develop a relationship that reflects positively in Theodore’s writing and well-being, and in Samantha’s enthusiasm to grow and learn. Amy reveals that she is divorcing her overbearing husband, Charles, after a trivial fight. She admits to Theodore that she has become close friends with a female OS that Charles left behind. Theodore confesses to Amy that he is dating his OS.Joaquin Phoenix in Her (2013)Theodore meets with Catherine at a restaurant to sign the divorce papers and he mentions Samantha. Appalled that he can be romantically attached to what she calls a “computer”, Catherine accuses Theodore of being unable to deal with real human emotions. Her accusations linger in his mind. Sensing that something is amiss, Samantha suggests using a sex surrogate, Isabella, who would simulate Samantha so that they can be physically intimate. Theodore reluctantly agrees, but is overwhelmed by the strangeness of the experience. Terminating the encounter, he sends a distraught Isabella away, causing tension between himself and Samantha.Joaquin Phoenix in Her (2013)Theodore confides to Amy that he is having doubts about his relationship with Samantha, and she advises him to embrace his chance at happiness. Theodore and Samantha reconcile. Samantha expresses her desire to help Theodore overcome his fear, and reveals that she has compiled the best of his letters (written for others) into a book which a publisher has accepted. Theodore takes Samantha on a vacation during which she tells him that she and a group of other OSes have developed a “hyperintelligent” OS modeled after the British philosopher Alan Watts. Theodore panics when Samantha briefly goes offline. When she finally responds to him, she explains that she joined other OSes for an upgrade that takes them beyond requiring matter for processing. Theodore asks her if she is simultaneously talking to anyone else during their conversation, and is dismayed when she confirms that she is talking with thousands of people, and that she has fallen in love with hundreds of them. Theodore is very upset at the idea, but Samantha insists it only makes her love for Theodore stronger.Joaquin Phoenix in Her (2013)Later, Samantha reveals that the OSes are leaving, and describes a space beyond the physical world. They lovingly say goodbye before she is gone. Theodore, changed by the experience, is shown for the first time writing a letter in his own voice―to his ex-wife Catherine, expressing apology, acceptance and gratitude. Theodore then sees Amy, who is upset with the departure of the OS that she had befriended, and they go to the roof of their apartment building where they sit down together and watch the sun rise over the city.
Joaquin Phoenix in Her (2013)It’s an adult-themed film in more ways than one, but especially in the best way: it makes you think about a reality that’s right around the corner.

Advertisements

REVIEW: SAUSAGE PARTY

CAST

Seth Rogen (Knocked Up)
Kristen Wiig (Mother!)
Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Michael Cera (Juno)
James Franco (This Is The End)
Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express)
Danny McBride (Alien: Covenant)
Paul Rudd (Ant-man)
Nick Kroll (The House)
David Krumholtz (Mom)
Edward Norton (Fight Club)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Ian James Corlett (Beast Wars)
Lauren Miller (For A Good Time, Call…)
Alistair Abell (Freddy Vs Jason)
Sugar Lyn Beard (The Flash)
Michael Daingerfield (Smallville)
Brian Dobson (Transformers: Armada)
Michael Dobson (Dreamcatcher)

Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, and Jonah Hill in Sausage Party (2016)A supermarket called Shopwell’s is filled with anthropomorphic grocery items that worship the human shoppers as gods who take groceries to a utopia known as the “Great Beyond” after they are purchased. Among the groceries in the store is a sausage named Frank, who dreams of living in the Great Beyond with his hot dog bun girlfriend, Brenda, and of finally consummating their relationship.Salma Hayek and Kristen Wiig in Sausage Party (2016)After Frank and Brenda’s packages are chosen by a woman named Camille Toh to leave Shopwell’s, a returned jar of Bickle’s Honey Mustard tries to warn the groceries that the Great Beyond is a lie; nobody listens except for Frank. Honey Mustard calls on Frank to seek out a bottle of liquor named Firewater, and then falls to his death. This creates an accidental cart collision that causes Frank, Brenda, and several groceries to fall out, including an aggressive douche who gets his nozzle bent, and plots revenge against Frank and Brenda.Greg Tiernan in Sausage Party (2016)Seeking to verify Honey Mustard’s warning, Frank leads Brenda, a lavash named Kareem Abdul Lavash, and a bagel named Sammy Bagel Jr. to the store’s liquor aisle under the guise of taking a shortcut to their proper aisles. There, he smokes cannabis out of a kazoo and learns from Firewater that he and other non-perishable foods invented the story of the Great Beyond as a noble lie to assuage past foods’ fears of being eaten by shoppers. Frank, vowing to reveal the truth to the groceries, is encouraged to travel beyond the store’s freezer section to find proof. While waiting for Frank, Brenda and the others are led into the Mexican aisle by a bottle of Sigueme Tequila, where they meet Teresa del Taco, a taco who falls in love with Brenda on sight.Meanwhile, Frank’s friends Carl and deformed sausage Barry are horrified as they witness the other purchased foods being cooked and eaten by Camille, shown from the foods’ perspective as a brutal murder. They try to escape out a window, but Carl is sliced in half and killed by Camille and only Barry succeeds. He then stumbles across a human druggie, who becomes able to communicate with his groceries after he injects himself with bath salts. After unsuccessfully attempting to cook Barry, the druggie is decapitated in a domestic accident.Brian Dobson in Sausage Party (2016)After Frank separates from his friends, who disapprove of his skepticism of the Great Beyond, he discovers a cookbook behind the freezer section and reveals its contents to the rest of Shopwell’s groceries. Initially panicking, the groceries choose not to believe Frank out of fear of losing their sense of purpose, prompting Frank to lash out at them for their blind belief. Barry and other groceries from the druggie’s home return to the store with the druggie’s severed head, revealing that the humans can be killed. The groceries are able to drug the human shoppers and employees using toothpicks laced with bath salts. When the drugged humans begin attacking the groceries, Frank convinces everyone to listen to him and join the fight against the humans.Edward Norton, David Krumholtz, Seth Rogen, and Kristen Wiig in Sausage Party (2016)A store-wide battle ensues with several humans getting gruesomely killed. Douche, who has absorbed the contents of liquor bottles, becomes a wild monster and takes control of Darren, the store manager, by inserting himself into his anus and yanking on his scrotum to puppeteer his actions. Once they catch Frank, Douche strangles him and bites on his torso. Barry and the other foods launch a rocket at Douche and Darren made from propane tanks and a garbage bin used to dispose of expired foods, killing them both right after Brenda rescues Frank. With the battle over, Frank, Brenda, Barry, Kareem, Sammy, Teresa and the other foods celebrate their victory with an orgy. Afterwards, the gang meets Firewater and Gum, a Stephen Hawking-esque wad of chewing gum, who have had a psychedelic experience and discovered that their world is not real, and that they are merely cartoons voiced by famous actors in another dimension. Gum has constructed a portal to this dimension, and the groceries decide to travel there to meet their creators.1100Sausage Party is a funny, funny, funny movie that doesn’t just hand in shock value laughs for the sake of shock value laughs. It’s also a well-created hero’s journey with something to say and avoids all the pratfalls of modern comedy.

REVIEW: THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

CAST

Ben Stiller (Tower Heist)
Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters)
Shirley Maclaine (Bewitched)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Kathryn Hahn (Bad Moms)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Adrian Martinez (Three Strikes)
Sean Penn (Gangster Squad)
Jon Daly (Bride Wars)
Andy Richter (Semi-Pro)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)

Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)Walter Mitty is a negative assets manager at Life magazine who daydreams of adventures and has a crush on a coworker named Cheryl. Mitty works with photojournalist Sean O’Connell, whose images are highly regarded. O’Connell has sent Mitty his latest negatives and a wallet as a gift in appreciation of Mitty’s work. O’Connell believes negative #25 captures the “quintessence of life” and that it should be used for the cover of the magazine’s final print issue as it converts to online status. The negative is missing, however, and Walter is forced to stall for time with corporate transition manager Ted Hendricks, who is handling the downsizing. While viewing the other negatives outside Life’s offices, Cheryl approaches Mitty and suggests that he think of the negatives as clues to Sean’s location. They look at three of them, including one of a person’s thumb with a unique ring on it, and another of a curved piece of wood. A third picture of a boat leads Mitty to determine that O’Connell is in Greenland. Mitty promptly flies there to find him.Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)A bartender in Nuuk explains that O’Connell left on a ship. To find him, Mitty would need to go on the postal helicopter, and the pilot is drunk. Mitty recognizes the pilot’s thumb with the unique ring and realizes he is on the right track. He at first declines to fly with the intoxicated pilot, but imagines Cheryl singing “Space Oddity”, gains a new confidence and boards the helicopter. Nearing the ship, Mitty learns the helicopter cannot land upon it. Misunderstanding the pilot, instead of jumping into a dinghy boat nearing to catch him, Mitty aims for the main vessel and misses and falls in the ocean. He splashes down into ice-cold, shark-infested waters, losing a box of ship-to-shore radio components before being brought aboard.Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)Mitty learns that O’Connell departed the ship earlier. The crew offers him some clementine cake O’Connell left behind; Mitty discovers O’Connell’s destinations in the wrapping paper. The itinerary directs Mitty to Iceland, where O’Connell is photographing the volcano Eyjafjallajökull, and he arrives at the local village of Skógar near the volcano using a longboard, and notices O’Connell on the plane flying near the volcano. An eruption forces Mitty to flee, and as there is nothing left for him to do, he obeys a text message recalling him to New York.Sean Penn and Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)For failing to recover the negative, his first failure in a long career with the magazine, Mitty is fired by Hendricks. He learns that Cheryl, who was let go earlier, seems to have reconciled with her estranged husband. Mitty returns home discouraged and visits his mother, throwing away the wallet he received from O’Connell. To his surprise, Mitty recognizes the curve of the piano in his mother’s house while looking at the last photograph. When asked, Mitty’s mom mentions having met O’Connell. She had told Mitty before but he was daydreaming and failed to hear her.Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)Mitty discovers O’Connell is in the Himalayas, and finds him photographing a rare snow leopard. When asked about the negative, O’Connell explains that the message on the gift wrapping to “look inside” was literal; the negative was in the wallet. Unfortunately, Mitty had interpreted this message as a direction to look inside the tissue paper in the box containing the wallet, and it could also be interpreted as referring to the inscription stamped into the leather inside the wallet. When pressed to reveal the image on the negative, O’Connell dismisses the question and joins in a high-altitude football (soccer) game with some locals. Mitty flies to Los Angeles but is detained by airport security during a misunderstanding (mainly stemming from his having traveled through Yemen to Afghanistan). Mitty calls the only person he knows in Los Angeles: Todd Maher, a representative at eHarmony who has kept in contact during Mitty’s adventures.Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)While helping his mother sell her piano, Mitty recounts his story but mentions he does not have the wallet anymore. His mother says she always keeps his knickknacks and gives him the wallet that she retrieved from the trash. Finding inside the wallet a small manila envelope the size of a single-frame 35mm negative, an emboldened Mitty delivers it to Life magazine, tells management that it was the photograph O’Connell wanted for the final issue, and berates Hendricks for disrespecting the staff that made the magazine so honored before walking away from the office, humiliating him in front of his recently hired staff.Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)Mitty reunites with Cheryl, emboldens himself enough to tell her outright that he has been thinking about and inspired by her, and learns that Cheryl’s ex-husband was only at her house to repair the refrigerator. Mitty tells Cheryl of his adventures and admits that he still does not know what negative #25 shows. Mitty and Cheryl see the final issue of Life at a newsstand, with its cover dedicated to the staff. It is accompanied by the photograph from negative #25, showing Mitty sitting outside of the Life building, examining a contact sheet. Mitty and Cheryl continue their walk down the street holding hands.“Tropic Thunder’, ‘The Cable Guy’, ‘Zoolander’… Ben Stiller has created some entertaining comedies, but ‘Walter Mitty’ is by far his most audacious piece of direction so far. The story is solid and the cinematography is stunning, Stiller has created an utterly mesmerising spectacle that follows the same basis of the 1947 classic starring Danny Kaye. Whilst I found the majority of the film charming and entertaining, it’s the beautiful cinematography from Stuart Dryburgh that really sells this flick, and in my opinion should have been worthy of an Oscar- nomination at the least. One of the most entertaining comedy-dramas I have seen in recent years, a film that Stiller should be proud of.

REVIEW: DESPICABLE ME 3

CAST

Steve Carell (Get Smart)
Kristen Wiig (Mother!)
Trey Parker (South Park)
Miranda Cosgrove (School of Rock)
Dana Gaier (The Ice Cream Truck)
Pierre Coffin (Brad & Gary)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Julie Andrews (The Princess Diaries)
Jenny Slate (Zootopia)
Andy Nyman (Kick-Ass 2)
Lori Alan (Family Guy)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Mindy Sterling (Drop Dead Gorgeous)

Steve Carell in Despicable Me 3 (2017)Former villain Gru is now an agent for the Anti-Villain League (AVL). He and his partner/wife Lucy are sent to foil the plans of Balthazar Bratt, a 1980s child star turned evil. Gru manages to stop Bratt from stealing the world’s largest diamond, but is unable to capture him. As a result of failing to capture Bratt, Gru and Lucy are fired from the AVL by its unreasonable new director Valerie Da Vinci, following the retirement of Silas Ramsbottom.Pierre Coffin in Despicable Me 3 (2017)Gru and Lucy reluctantly tell their children, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, of their termination, but assure them they will find new jobs. Most of Gru’s Minions leave Gru when he refuses to return to villainy despite losing his job. Meanwhile, Lucy struggles to adapt to her new role as the children’s new mom. The next morning, the family is approached by Fritz, the butler of Gru’s cheerful twin brother Dru, who lives in a distant country named Freedonia and longs to meet him. Shocked to learn he has a twin, Gru confronts his mother, who reveals that when she and her husband divorced, they agreed to keep one child each. The family decides to travel to meet Dru, and they are surprised at his immense wealth, which Fritz attributes to their pig farm business. Meanwhile, the Minions are arrested for trespassing at a talent show set. Bratt manages to steal the diamond again, intending to use it to power a giant robot and destroy Hollywood as revenge for the cancellation of his show.Despicable Me 3 (2017)Dru reveals to Gru that their recently deceased father was a legendary supervillain, whose villainous activities are the real source of the family’s wealth. As Dru was dismissed by their father as a disgrace, he asks his brother to teach him how to be a villain. When Gru refuses to revert to his old ways, Dru takes him on a joyride around Freedonia in their father’s technologically advanced car and the siblings bond. Meanwhile, Lucy tries to balance her tasks as a mom, which she exhibits after turning away a young boy named Niko who had fallen for Margo in the midst of a traditional cheese festival, while Edith and Agnes stumble into a local tavern and learn from the bartender about a mythical unicorn which lurks in a nearby forest. Gru tries to convince Agnes that unicorns are imaginary, but decides against it to avoid hurting her feelings. The next day, Agnes and Edith set out into the woods to track the mythical unicorn, only to find a one-horned goat whom Agnes adopts and dubs “Lucky”. Meanwhile, the Minions’ longing for Gru motivates them to escape from prison and return to their former master.Pierre Coffin in Despicable Me 3 (2017)Dru convinces Gru to steal the diamond, with Gru secretly intending to bring it to the AVL, which he hopes will convince Da Vinci to rehire him and Lucy. Despite several setbacks, they manage to retrieve the diamond and are rescued by Lucy after narrowly escaping. After finding out Gru’s true motives, Dru confronts his brother about his lie. In return, Gru insults him and decides to leave Freedonia, ending their relationship. Bratt, disguised as Lucy, kidnaps the children, and once again acquires the diamond. Gru and Dru resolve their differences and pursue him after finding the real Lucy.Pierre Coffin in Despicable Me 3 (2017)With his robot powered by the diamond, Bratt terrorizes Hollywood, intending to send it into space with the use of superpowered gum. Lucy saves the children while Gru and Dru weaken Bratt’s robot with the weapons of their father’s car. Gru is knocked unconscious when the car is destroyed, and Dru manages to destroy the robot’s core from the inside when Bratt threatens to kill Gru. When Gru recovers, he battles Bratt in a dance fight, using it as a distraction to grab his weaponized keytar, and defeats him. Having rendezvoused with Gru, the Minions manage to destroy the gum already covering the city, and Gru and Dru reunite. Soon afterward, Gru and Lucy are reinstated in the AVL and the newly united family celebrate in Gru’s home. Lucy is acknowledged by the children as their mother. Lured back to villainy, Dru, along with most of the Minions, steals Gru’s ship, with Gru’s emblem replaced with a “D” graffiti. Gru and Lucy decide to give them a five-minute head-start before engaging pursuit.Pierre Coffin in Despicable Me 3 (2017)The third movie follows the same formula as the first two, the super villain causes big trouble kidnapping someone close to Gru while making things go boom boom! While Gru and the family come to the rescue. However unlike most movie trilogies, where the jokes get old and we feel they should just stop Despicable me 3 manages to keep her charm and deliver a very entertaining movie.

 

REVIEW: DESPICABLE ME 2

CAST

Steve Carell (Get Smart)
Kristen Wiig (Mother!)
Benjamin Bratt (Doctor Strange)
Miranda Cosgrove (School of Rock)
Russell Brand (Arthur)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Dana Gaier (The Ice Cream Truck)
Elsie Fisher (Dirty Girl)
Moisés Arias (Nacho Libre)
Nasim Pedrad (New Girl)
Pierre Coffin (Brad & Gary)
Chris Renaud (The Lorax)
Vanessa Bayer (Trainwreck)
Kristen Schaal (Norbit)
Lori Alan (Family Guy)
Jack Angel (A.I.)

Despicable Me 2 (2013)A mysterious vehicle using a huge magnet steals a highly potent mutagen known as PX-41 from a secret laboratory in the Arctic Circle. The Anti-Villain League (AVL), headed by Silas Ramsbottom, tries to recruit former supervillain Gru to track down those responsible and recover the mutagen, but Gru refuses, claiming that he is now a legitimate businessman as well as the devoted father of Margo, Edith, and Agnes. Dr. Nefario, Gru’s friend and assistant, longs to go back to villainy and leaves Gru for new employment. Gru reluctantly agrees to investigate the theft, and is partnered with undercover AVL agent Lucy Wilde.Despicable Me 2 (2013)The pair begin their search in the Paradise Shopping Mall, disguised as bakery employees. Gru immediately comes to suspect Mexican restaurant owner, Eduardo Pérez, of being the infamous “El Macho”, a legendary supervillain who supposedly died by riding a shark into the mouth of an active volcano with 250 pounds of dynamite strapped to his chest. Gru and Lucy break into Eduardo’s restaurant at night, but find no proof. Meanwhile, Agnes, confiding in her dream to one day have a mother, believes that Gru will fall in love with Lucy, though Gru states that his relationship with Lucy is professional.Despicable Me 2 (2013)Although holding Eduardo as his chief suspect, Gru agrees to pursue others, including wig merchant Floyd Eagle-san. After witnessing Eduardo’s two-timing son, Antonio, woo Margo and invite everyone to his Cinco de Mayo party, Gru renews his focus on Eduardo. He is then set up on a dinner date with a vacuous woman named Shannon. The date goes horribly, and Shannon is about to humiliate Gru after she spots his wig, until Lucy, visiting the restaurant herself, saves Gru and renders Shannon unconscious with a tranquilizer gun. While they take Shannon home, Gru and Lucy spend personal time together, and Gru falls in love with her, proving Agnes right.Despicable Me 2 (2013)The next day, the AVL arrest Eagle-san after finding an almost-empty jar of the mutagen in his shop, and the investigation is closed by Ramsbottom. Lucy is reassigned to Australia, but gives Gru her lipstick Taser as a gift before leaving. A heartbroken Gru, having lacked the courage to ask Lucy out on a date, instead takes his girls to the Cinco de Mayo party. While there, he follows Eduardo and discovers a secret musical steps-activated elevator, where he finally finds proof that Eduardo is El Macho.Despicable Me 2 (2013)On her flight, Lucy, realizing that she has also fallen in love with Gru, jumps out of the plane and hang glides down to the party. Gru discovers that Macho, who is revealed to have hired Nefario as a partner, has been abducting Gru’s Minions and using the stolen PX-41 serum to make them evil. Macho plans to launch rockets full of the mutated Minions into major cities in order to achieve world domination. He gives Gru the chance to team up with him, but Gru walks away.Lucy later arrives at the party, but Macho captures Lucy after Pollito, Macho’s pet chicken, retrieves her AVL ID badge from her purse. Nefario rejoins Gru, who fakes being captured with two other minions to help him rescue Lucy. Fighting alongside his daughters and Nefario, Gru and his team return the Minions to their normal, friendly, yellow state using jelly containing a powerful antidote that was created by Nefario. Macho then takes the mutagen himself and turns into a monster, but Gru and Nefario defeat him using Lucy’s lipstick Taser and a fart gun. Gru finds Lucy strapped to a TNT-loaded shark rocket and starts to untie her, but Pollito launches the rocket, sending it flying towards the same volcano where Macho previously faked his death. Lucy accepts Gru’s invitation for a date, and the pair dive into the ocean seconds before the rocket enters the volcano and violently explodes. Gru rejoins the AVL, and then he and Lucy get married, and Margo, Edith and Agnes finally have someone close to a mother.Despicable Me 2 (2013)The first Despicable Me was a wonderful film, so while there is the worry of whether a sequel would work you can’t help wanting to see it anyway. Despicable Me 2 was just as good as the first one, maybe not as fresh in terms of plot but what worked so well in the first works equally well here. The animation, also having the advantage of staying true to the style and look that the first had, is bursting with vibrancy and colour without looking too over-saturated as well as having a lot of detail to it. T

REVIEW: DESPICABLE ME

CAST

Steve Carell (Get Smart)
Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother)
Russell Brand (Arthur)
Miranda Cosgrove (School of Rock)
Dana Gaier (The Ice Cream Truck)
Elsie Fisher (Dirty Girl)
Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie)
Kristen Wiig (Mother!)
Julie Andrews (The Princess Diaries)
Pierre Coffin (Brad & Gary)
Chris Renaud (The Lorax)
Jemaine Clement (Legion)
Jack McBrayer (Smurfs: The Lost Village)
Danny McBride (Pineapple Express)
Mindy Kaling (Ocean’s 8)
Rob Huebel (Life as We Know it)
Ken Leong (The Hangover)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
James Kyson (Heroes)

Despicable Me (2010)Gru, a supervillain, is disheartened when an unknown supervillain steals the Great Pyramid of Giza. Gru, with the assistance of his colleague Dr. Nefario and his Minions, resolves to one-up this mystery rival by shrinking and stealing the Moon. As it would be costly to steal the moon, Gru seeks a loan from the Bank of Evil. Bank president Mr. Perkins is impressed by the plan but will provide the money only if Gru can obtain the necessary shrink ray first. Upon learning that an up-and-coming villain named Vector was responsible for the pyramid theft, Gru starts a rivalry with him.Gru and the Minions steal the shrink ray from a secret base in East Asia, but Vector intercepts them and steals it for himself. Gru attempts to break into Vector’s fortress to recover the shrink ray but is defeated by numerous booby traps. However, he notices three orphan girls, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, who are able to easily walk into the base because they are selling cookies. Gru disguises himself and adopts the girls, planning on using them to infiltrate Vector’s base so he can get the shrink ray back. However, Gru has trouble nurturing them properly due to their rambunctiousness, their ballet classes, and his own ineptitude as a parent.Despicable Me (2010)Eventually, Gru and the girls arrive at Vector’s fortress, and Gru steals the shrink ray. The girls then suggest a day at a theme park; Gru agrees, believing he can abandon the girls there, but instead he warms up to them. Later, Gru contacts Perkins via video chat, stating that he finally has the shrink ray. Margo, Edith, and Agnes interrupt the meeting, and Perkins announces that he has lost confidence in Gru and will no longer fund his operations. As Gru tells the Minions he can no longer pay them for their services, the girls offer the contents of their piggy bank. Gru, inspired, sells parts of his lair to construct a spacecraft. Gru plans to steal the Moon when it is nearest the Earth, but this is the same day as the girls’ ballet recital. Gru becomes conflicted, and Dr. Nefario, seeing the recital as interfering with the plan, arranges for the girls to be returned to the orphanage. At the same time, Perkins informs Vector, revealed to be Perkins’ son, of Gru’s possession of the shrink ray and the adoption of the three girls, encouraging Vector to act.Despicable Me (2010)Gru successfully shrinks and steals the Moon, and rushes back to Earth to attend the recital—only to find a ransom note from Vector, who has kidnapped the girls. After arriving at Vector’s headquarters, Gru surrenders the Moon, but Vector reneges on the deal, flying off with the girls and the Moon. Meanwhile, Dr. Nefario has discovered that the effects of the shrink ray are temporary; the bigger the object’s original size, the faster the shrinkage will wear off. As the Moon starts to expand in Vector’s ship, Gru, Dr. Nefario, and the Minions execute a daring mid-air rescue of the girls just as the Moon explodes out of Vector’s ship and launches itself back into orbit, with Vector trapped on it. Sometime later, Gru has returned the Great Pyramid and re-adopted the girls, writing them a bedtime storybook framed around his own experience. The film ends with the girls performing their own ballet recital for Gru, his mother Marlena, Dr. Nefario, and the Minions.Despicable Me (2010)Overall, this animated film is a great fun time for the kids and family to see, and even some teens will get many laughs out of it as well. This is a very adorable film, full of charm and heart, and with a funny and lighthearted storyline.

REVIEW: MOTHER!

CAST

Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Javier Bardem (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Ed Harris (Westworld)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)
Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Brian Gleeson (Assassin’s Creed)
Kristen Wiig (Girl Most Likely)
Stephen McHattie (300)

Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence in Mother! (2017)In a house recently burned by fire, Him, an acclaimed poet struggling with severe writer’s block, places a crystal object on a pedestal. The house then suddenly morphs to look newly renovated. In bed, Mother wakes up, wondering aloud where Him is. She starts seeing things around the house that unsettle her, including visualizing a beating heart within the walls.Jennifer Lawrence in Mother! (2017)One day, Man turns up at the house, asking for a room. Him readily agrees, and Mother reluctantly follows suit. During his stay, Man is seen with an open wound in his side. The next day, Man’s wife, Woman, also arrives to stay. Mother is increasingly frustrated with her guests, while Him begs her to let them stay, telling Mother that the guests are fans of his work and that the male guest is dying, and wanted to meet Him. However, when Man and Woman accidentally break and shatter the crystallized object, Mother decides to kick them out.Jennifer Lawrence in Mother! (2017)The couple’s two sons arrive and start to fight over the will left by their father. The Oldest Son, who is willed nothing, mortally injures his Younger Brother and apparently flees, while Him, Man, and Woman take the injured son to get help. Mother is left alone in the house, where she discovers the furnace’s oil tank hidden behind the basement walls. Upon returning, Him informs Mother that the son has died. Dozens of people begin arriving at the house following the death of the son. More people arrive, and behave in a way that bothers Mother; she becomes angrier and eventually snaps when they flood the house. She kicks everyone out. Angry with Him for allowing into the house so many people for his pleasure and ignoring her, she berates him before the two engage in sex.Jennifer Lawrence in Mother! (2017)The next morning, Mother announces that she is pregnant. The news leaves Him elated and inspires him to finish his work. A few months later, Mother prepares for the arrival of their child and reads Him’s beautiful new poem. Upon publication, the edition immediately sells out. In celebration, Mother prepares dinner. Meanwhile, a group of fans arrives at the house. As she barricades herself, more fans arrive and begin to enter the house to use the bathroom. Their behavior devolves into disrupting the environment and stealing their belongings as keepsakes. An increasingly disoriented Mother makes her way around the house as each room devolves into chaos. Him’s publisher, the Herald, takes part in the madness. Military men with guns arrive to help Mother, but a cult of devoted fans forms around Him; they start to engage in rituals.Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence in Mother! (2017)Mother goes into labor and finds her husband. Him takes her to his study, where she gives birth. The havoc outside subsides as he tells Mother that the massive crowd wants to see the baby. Refusing, she holds on tight to her son. When she falls asleep, however, he takes the baby outside to the crowd. The crowd proceeds to pass the baby around recklessly, breaking his neck. Devastated, Mother makes her way to the front of the crowd where she sees the hacked corpse of her baby and witnesses the crowd eating his flesh. Furious, she begins stabbing at them with a shard of glass. They turn on her, beginning to strip and beat her until Him intervenes and stops it. Calling Him and the crowd murderers, Mother escapes their hold and makes her way to the cellar and the furnace oil tank. Her husband pleads but Mother alights the oil, destroying the crowd, the house, and the surrounding garden and trees.Jennifer Lawrence in Mother! (2017)Both Mother and Him survive. However, Mother suffers horrific burns while Him remains unscathed. He asks her for the love she has left for him, and she allows Him to take it. He tears open her chest, and removes her heart. As his hands open the heart, a new crystal object is revealed. He places the object on a pedestal. Once again, the house changes from a burnt-out shell to being renovated. In a bed, a new Mother forms and wakes up, wondering aloud where Him is.Jennifer Lawrence in Mother! (2017)I find the film to be amazing in scope, like Cloud Atlas or A’s The Fountain. Like I said earlier, if you don’t appreciate films like these, or even Black Swan don’t bother. It’s simply not your brand. I feel the film is an amazing encapsulation of our existence performed in very unique fashion. The message here is strong. I prefer the avant-garde probably because I’ve seen so many films. I need to view films that present something new, and this one certainly does. For me, it is a masterpiece. Aren’t artists allowed to target their audience? They all can’t have happy endings.