Tag Archives: Movie

Minions, Tortilla Hats, and Laughs

The Husband had to get his oil changed today so we figured since he takes it to Sears Auto Center (since it’s open on Saturdays and cheaper than Jiffy Lube), we knew we were going to have two hours or so to kill.  Even though the Daughter and I went to the movies yesterday, we went again today to see Despicable Me 2.

I was excited.  Minions remind me of penguins.  Penguins that talk.  Yellow penguins in overalls with a sense of humor.  Ok…so nothing like penguins but if penguins had souls, they would be embodied in the Minions.  I love the Minions. I don’t know why, but like the rest of the country, I am enamored with those little yellow oblong creatures that speak nonsense and laugh at fart jokes.

minions

I didn’t know what to expect with Despicable Me 2.  Usually sequels to great movies are a let down, and kids movies especially fit into that category (Return of Jafar???), so I went in with low expectations.  Basically, I expected the Minions to have all the high points of the movie.

But luckily, I was surprised.  First, as a Real Housewives connoisseur, I had a chuckle when the housewife at Agnes’ birthday party looked eerily like Taylor from RHOBH.  Maybe it was just the mouth but there was one shot where I just laughed to myself and wondered if Taylor knew someone who worked there and had them put her in…

The one on the right is the one that reminded me of RHOBH

The one on the right is the one that reminded me of RHOBH – though the one on the left did too…in a trashy kind of way…

There were so many other great laughs: The french maid minion, El Macho riding a shark and tons of dynamite into a volcano, Agnes reciting her poem, Gru’s reaction to Beatrice discovering young love.  I really enjoyed it on so many levels.

I probably would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn’t dropped the medium (2 liter) drink that cost an arm and a leg all over the Daughter, the Husband, and myself.  The movie had even started and not a single sip had been had of the drink.  Despite being soaked, the Daughter did not want to leave and cried because she thought we were going to leave.  So we stayed because we are cheap and didn’t want to have spent all that money for just two previews.

The jokes were pretty good and if you listen closely, there were quite a few one liners thrown in there for parents.  The Daughter laughed a lot and did get scared at one point but it was kind of intense for a small kid.  When the minions did their thing though, she forgot why she was even scared at all.

minions2

Kristen Wiig is my new favorite comedic actress, just for the record.  I love her as Lola on the New Looney Toons Show.  I loved Bridesmaids.  I loved her on SNL.  I loved her as Lucy, Gru’s new partner.  I wish she had a little more to do in the movie…she was pretty awesome.

So go, see Despicable Me 2 and laugh and be envious of the tortilla hat, brim full of tasty guacamole.

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Monsters University – Pass or Fail?

With the heat that was taking over the Northeast today, I needed something to do for part of the day that didn’t have us baking in the sun at the beach.  Being fair-skinned and of Irish and Polish ancestry means I don’t tan, I burn and then go back to glow in the dark white.  I fear that the daughter is the same.

The Husband had expressed no interest in seeing Monsters University so I figured, what the heck.  Let’s go check it out.

Monsters-University-Wallpaper-HD-Dekstop

It opened up with a young Mike on an elementary school field trip to Monsters, Inc. to see how the factory collected screams and then used them for energy.  Poor Mike.  He was that kid that tried too hard.  He was smart but, had no friends.  After a stunt earns him the recognition of one of the big-shot scarers, Mike makes up his mind to get into Monster University and become a scarer.

Cue the opening credits and start the movie with the scene where Mike takes his first step on campus.  It reminded me of so many college flicks where the freshman walks the quad and tries to figure out which stereotypical club he or she fits into.  It was kind of funny knowing that it’s eerily true at some college campuses.  A lot of those parts, the Daughter just didn’t get but she still enjoyed it so that’s what counts.

Mike meets his roommate, Randall (yes the same Randall who tries to terrorize innocent Boo) and the two start out as good friends since both are Scaring majors. First day of class, they are both sitting in Scaring 101 and Sully makes his entrance.  He’s a legacy.  His father set a precedent and a lot is expected of him.  Sully doesn’t disappoint when he lets out an amazing roar that impresses the instructor and everyone else in the class.  Mike quickly sees that to achieve his dream, he has a lot of hard work ahead of him.

As the movie winds on, I found myself surprised at the message I kept picking up.  Mike had a dream.  It was an unlikely dream though, because he just wasn’t built for it.  He wasn’t scary enough to be a scarer, or so they kept telling him.  There was something just not quite there and there never would be.  At one point, Sully tells Mike that Mike may have memorized every scare theory in the book but there are just some things that can’t be taught.

This theme comes up a few more times and the events that transpire were a little shocking to me.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve come to believe Disney is the home of “Good guys who try hard always win” or if it’s just I expected there to be some kind of positive message for the kids.

In the end, yes, the kids can see that with hard work you can get close to your dream but not quite there.  Sully got his dream.  Did Mike though?  Not really.

monsters inc magazine

I felt like they were trying to tell kids “Yeah, you’re going to try hard to achieve your biggest dream, but if you don’t fit that mold, don’t expect to achieve it.”  Ok, so Mike does something no monster had ever done before but it didn’t allow him to get to be a scarer, in fact, it forced him to almost give up on his dream altogether.  We all know that from watching Monsters, Inc.  Mike is a technician.  He’s a paper pusher.  He’s happy.  In the prequel, however, he is constantly reminded that he doesn’t fit the mold.

I wondered what the Daughter got out of it, because let’s face it, kids pick up some pretty wild things from movies.  She said she picked up the part where they broke into Monsters, Inc and didn’t want to get caught and go to jail.  “That was pretty funny, Mommy.”  Great, at least she knows that going to jail is bad.

She picked up on the bully fraternities and sororities that picked on Mike and his brothers.  She thought they weren’t very nice.  She also thought that the dean of the Scare College at Monsters University was scary and not nice.  I suppose that I shouldn’t worry too much that she didn’t say anything about accepting mediocrity, but the subconscious works in a funny way.

I know I’m probably reading too much into a Pixar movie, but it just struck me as funny that they kept hitting that point of you may not be cut out for something but that doesn’t mean you can’t find another thing that’s close to it and do that instead.  This is America, dammit! I want to keep believing in the American Dream! I want to believe that no matter what I look like, no matter where I come from, no matter what my name is, I can be whatever the hell I want to be as long as I work hard and am honest about my work!  To me, that’s a message I want the Daughter to learn, especially because she has been saying for the past year that she wants to be a doctor like her heart doctor.  I want to believe that if she works hard enough, she will be reviewing Echos and talking with her patients at some point in her life.  I don’t want anyone to tell her she’s just not scary enough to be a Scarer.

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“In a hole the ground there lived a Hobbit.”

The Husband and I saw “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” on Saturday night.  I was happy to visit Middle Earth again.

There was so much talk about the film format.  To be honest, I thought it looked amazing!  We saw the movie in Real 3-D (you know as opposed to fake 3-D) and I actually was glad to have paid the astronomical ticket price for once.  I am not sure though if that was the format that was so controversial.  I know that it’s only screening in 450 cities with that high-speed format, though I highly doubt that little old Cape Cod is one of those places.  Hell, we can’t even get real sized Walmart built here, why would we get the high-speed movie?  Though I do have a bone to pick with the makers of the 3-D glasses.  Some day, can someone PLEASE create 3-d glasses that fit over my real glasses.  Even after delicately stretching the glasses out, they still squeeze my head and sometimes give a headache. It would just be nice to realize not everyone wears contacts.  Just sayin.

The Husband and I are still not totally sure why there needs to be three movies for one book but after tonight, I will be ok with it.  The amount of detail in the movie was fantastic. The first movie covers the beginning to just past Bilbo’s escape from Gollum.  The ending of this first film of the Hobbit trilogy definitely left us wanting more.

The dwarfs!  How I love the dwarfs! The elves are beautiful but the dwarfs know how to have fun!  From the first ring of Bilbo’s front doorbell, they introduced a lightheartedness to the quest at hand and provided many moments of laughter between the tossing of Bilbo’s mother’s china to the teasing Bilbo about the mountain trolls, they made me laugh.  I have to say that I sometimes got them mixed up and that may be because it’s been SOOOO long since I read the Hobbit.  If you’re like me and you might lose track of the joyful little dwarfs, here is a great cheat sheet:

Image of LOTRProject.com

Image from LOTRProject.com

I definitely would recommend going to see this film.  It was a fun beginning to the journey that Bilbo goes on and the spirit of adventure leaps from the screen into your heart.  I cannot wait for the next movie, even though it’s a whole year before it comes out, but it will be well worth the wait.

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Wreck-it-Ralph Full of Sugary Sweet Kindness

Once upon a time, you were in school.  You can easily remember the groups of kids, the cool kids, the kids in sports, the kids who were sitting in the front row of every class that didn’t have alphabetical seating.  Chances are pretty good that you also played one or two video games, whether in an arcade or at someone’s house at some point in your childhood.  Combine those two main themes and you now have the basis for Wreck-it-Ralph, Disney’s latest animated feature.

Disney’s Wreck-it-Ralph

The video game, Fix-it-Felix Jr. has its virtual world rocked when their nemesis, Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) leaves the game to search for a medal of his own so that the residents of Niceland will love him just as much as they love their hero, Fix-it-Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer)  In order to win the medal, Ralph must jump to another game where anyone can win a medal.

His first attempt to win a medal in the game Hero’s Duty under the command of Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch), ends somewhat disastrously and causes him to flee the game.  Crash landing in Sugar Rush, Ralph makes an unlikely friend in Vanellope von  Schweetz (Sarah Silverman).  The little girl wants nothing more than to race in her game’s big race but, King Candy wants to stop her and will do anything to make sure she does not ruin the race.

Ralph and Vanellope team up and work together despite being considered outcasts, even by each other at first, to prove that judging people based on how they look is not the way to live life.

Disney, once again, hid a very valuable message for kids in this fun adventure through the video games of Mom and Dad’s childhood.  The Husband got quite a kick out of seeing all the old video game characters and references.  I got most of them but, I will admit there were quite a few that I missed.  All of those references went over the Daughter’s head but the main point of the movie did not.

People just want to be appreciated and sometimes it’s the smallest action or a simple thank you that will help that person realize they are not invisible.  It was a lesson in doing acts of kindness and appreciation despite whatever preconceived notions we may hold.  Get to know a person or just show them some kindness and that simple action can have a very lasting effect.

So during the next few months, when stress levels reach critical mass, take a minute and do something kind for someone.  They may be feeling invisible and you just might be able to make them feel a little better.

And go see Wreck-it-Ralph.  But, word to the wise, buy some candy, not popcorn.  Forgo the popcorn because after watching all the candy and sweets in Sugar Rush, you leave with the oddest craving for some Twizzlers, Mentos, chocolate in any form, Laffy Taffy, cookies, Little Debbie snacks of any variety, and hot chocolate.

 

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