Despicable Me

The other day I got my hands on a copy of “Despicable Me“.  Maxim watched all of it and somewhat enjoyed it.  For me though it was a disappointment.  One of the biggest setbacks were the characters.  I think that characters are one of the main things that separate animations from movies.  Movies are more or less forced to cast actors.  And the best actors are only a few.  So movies have to rely a lot more on the acting talent in order to create unique characters.  In animations, the characters are drawn.  And while that is not an easy job either, I think it is much easier to draw a new character than to create one in the actor.  In this animation, all characters were carbon copies of characters from other cartoons.  And that alone is enough for me to disregard this cartoon.

On top of that, the story was anything but engaging and original.  And to add insult to injury, I personally thought that the voice of Steve Carrell didn’t match Gru’s character.  Every time Gru spoke, I had a feeling that there was someone else in the scene, someone who was actually speaking, someone that I could not see.

As a result of all that, I got bored and disgusted by the animation and left the room about 20 minutes into the story.  And that is, I assure you, not something that I do very often.  Hence, my overall rating is 1 out of 5.  There are so many beautiful animations out there, and this one is not one of them.

Date Night

Last Friday I went to see “Date Night“.  Actually, I went to see another movie, but I was confused by the scheduled and arrived at incorrect time.  So instead of going back home decided to see this one.  Even though I didn’t particularly liked the trailer and didn’t expect much of this movie.

It wasn’t exceptional by any means – the story was average, the acting was average, there were plenty of things we’ve seen before in other movies.  But somehow it still made me laugh a lot and left me with a couple of things to think about.

Good Friday evening entertainment altogether.  4 out of 5.

Dan in Real Life

I almost missed “Dan in Real Life“.  I wasn’t even planning to see it, since the poster is does not appeal to me and I’m not a big fan of Steve Carell.  I mean, he is OK, but he’s not someone who attracts me to the movie.  But anyway.  I ended up alone in the cinema.  And I’m glad I did.

This is a strong 8 out of 10.  There is no point at telling the story or bringing up any scenes from the film – most of them are rather traditional and have been seen before.  The movie follows the stereotypical love story with all elements such as close family involvement, road trip, hurting someone’s feelings, kids, rain, “go get her”, etc.  All these were present here too, and, I should say, there were very well done.

But the strength of the film is not in the love story.  It’s in other things.  For me personally, it was very refreshing to see a healthy family. And a big one a that.  This whole film was around a well managed and developed family – something they don’t show very often in the movies.  This film shows how parents can spend time with their children, how siblings can be good and supportive friends, how important are good family values and how they are passed along and cultivated.  This part of the film was so good that I almost could not believe my eyes.  That alone is worth the time.

And that wasn’t the only good part.  Somehow, the film is very romantic and sentimental.  Sometimes it’s said, sometimes it’s funny.  Sometimes it’s very social, and sometimes it’s very private.  And it “feels” very good too.  There is an almost natural balance of moods and transitions.  It’s not boring, and it’s not trying to squeeze any tears out of you, while, at the same time, it’s not trying to make you laugh so hard you fell from your chair.  It asks its share of questions, tries to provide some answers, and leaves a lot to think about, while still entertaining.

With all that, I am a little glad that it didn’t have a strong overwhelming story to tell.  It already offered enough, and with a good story it would be pushing its luck.  (However there are movies that do both).

Also, there is plenty of good acting in this film. It’s not brilliant or anything, but it is very believable and human.  There were some familiar faces cast for this movie, and those that aren’t so familiar, did equally good.

Overall : strongly recommended.