Twice the Despicable Fun with Brothers

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 7.40.11 AMImagine Gru if he were blond, rich, and handsome—okay, maybe not handsome, but equally entertaining. Gru’s brother Dru (both Steve Carell) seeks him out to assist him in learning the true ways of villainy. Meanwhile, Agnes has her own agenda—she plans on visiting a forbidden land and discovering a real live unicorn she can keep for her very own. Throw that in the mix with Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and her expectations to continue crime-fighting, despite being fired from their job (for failing at a capture), and you realize there’s no worse time for them to meet up with Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker).

Balthazar, with his bubble gum blowing, 80’s music jive-dancing, urge to continue where he left off as a child, refuses to give in—the way a spoiled child does when he doesn’t get his way. Balthazar decides to steal the world’s largest diamond, and the only way for Gru and Lucy to return to the Anti-Villain League is to capture him. But with Lucy tugging at one sleeve to capture bad guys and his twin Dru tantalizing him with doing what comes natural as a criminal, what decision will Gru make? And more importantly, who will the Minions serve, or will they venture off to find another big, bad, daddy?

Although this show was quite entertaining and omitted a few great laughs from the packed theater, it wasn’t as good as the first two movies. But was it good enough to attend the theater for and perhaps consider purchasing later? Yeah, definitely worth a night out with the kids for clean and unadulterated fun. Then share your thoughts!

 

On a scale of ten stars, this one receives —

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Un-Smurfing Believable

The Smurfs have been around for years, but have taken the leap from Saturday morning cartoons from 40 years ago to the theaters where they can rock the world of little kids. Personally, I was a bit disappointed to find many characteristics reflecting Trolls from a few months ago. But after arguing incessantly with my 10-year-old daughter about how little people are protecting their village while singing and dancing, and also the main protagonist is a misunderstood female, I gave in. No particular reason except that this film wasn’t made with me in mind as much as the little ones.

Some of the main points of the film, however, is that while many of us have our specialties and talents we’re known for, some people are considered the “Jack (or Jill) of all trades.” In some instances, being refined in numerous areas is a huge benefit for problem-solving. Although Smurfette didn’t originate as a little blue creature when Gargamel first created her, inside, that’s who she truly is and rebrands that at the beginning of the movie in case you aren’t aware.

Little kids should be taught the lesson that even though people are different from them, everyone has something useful to add to the lives of others. In this instance, the Smurfs have good reason to be grateful that Smurfette isn’t truly a blueberry skinned comrade.

And let’s not forget that while Trolls had Justine Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, The Smurfs have a few talented tricks up their tiny sleeves too. Meghan Trainor does her part to exemplify the beauty of being a strong and independent woman.

And, of course, they have other big names on their payroll, as they have every time. The question isn’t whether or not these names have a price tag attached to them as when will this movie on the sale rack? I really found that given the choice between Smurfs and Trolls, the former would win hands down. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the talents of such as Julia Robers as the reincarnated “Pretty Woman,” former actor of Dwight Schrute from “The Office” as Gargamel, and Demi Lovato as Smurfette.

By and by, if you have nothing better to do with your time, it’s rainy outside and you want to spend time doing something your children will enjoy, this film has lots of colors.

On the scale of 1 – 5, Smurfs: The Lost Village gets a well-deserved THREE! I gave it an extra star because there were no lewd humorous remarks or two-level innuendos.

Trolling for a Good Time? Don’t Miss Out

Ventured out on this beautiful day and grabbed a totally uplifting film that’s great for the family. I laughed so loud my son told me to quit embarrassing him. But if you can’t laugh aloud, what’s the point, right?

Anna Kendrick playing Poppy and Justin Timberlake as Branch are a wonderful chiming of maniacal talent in this fantastic show of never leaving friends behind and sticking to the plan no matter what. Of course, Zooey Deschanel plays Bridget, an outcast Bergen who needs a great plan to overcome her odds in winning the heart of the king, teams up with the two trolls. Together, they must find a way to overcome the chef, played by Christine Baranski, who was marvelous. Russell Brand is back in United States showbiz with the role of deceitful troll Creek. And then, of course, we have the incredible voice talents of Gwen Stefani.

With plentiful laughs and wonderful singing, I say you should leave feeling pretty happy.

The Secret Life of Pets is Revealed

Universal Studio did some amazing things with this film’s animation. Some of the attitudes and activities these pets do can easily be imagined as happening in one of the homes of the writers. Hopefully not the dachshund with the mixer, but to each his own.

If your little ones love pets as much as my 9-year-old date, the plot doesn’t matter much. In this case, that’s a good thing. Momma’s stockings have a lot more to hide than the happenings of this show. That hardly seems to matter because, throughout the entire show, people were cracking up. We got to see animals wiggling their derrieres at us throughout the show and urinating. I guess nowadays that’s funny to see as if it hasn’t been happening all along, but the kids seemed to enjoy it.

Speaking of letting a little liquid loose, if you are a big laugher who drinks a lot of soda, make sure to use the facilities before entering if you’re wearing drawstring pants. The consequences can be devastating if the strings tangle into a knot. Not that this happened, but I will no longer wear pull string pants to a theater.

The kids seemed to enjoy this, as did the guffaws of a few adults. However, the little ones were so hammered with advertising they were almost finished before the actual movie started. It’s best when you have little tykes if you have reserved seating, to wait about 5 minutes after starting time to prevent the wiggles from breaking out. A few started getting restless and even crying a bit more than halfway through. Thank goodness their parents removed them politely from the theater. Also, make sure to hand around partially through the credits. One of the cutest parts of the movie is seeing the pups dressed in costumes.

The graphics were excellent, the voices were great, but the plot was thin. Again, tiny kids loved it for a little while, but seeing as how most of them can’t type, you’ll have an adult’s opinion to work with today.

On the scale rating this movie, it deserves no less than a 6.5. Then again, if you’ve seen it, leave us your feedback on what you thought of the show.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The problem with serial movies is the writers become lazy and figure they’ve won the audience, and even if the sequel stinks, they’ll get their fans’ invested dollars. Sort of like, “If you build it, they will come,” because the ratings are already there. That’s why there are so many sequels to begin with when making movies and remakes. Fortunately for the fans of Avengers, this film was written with high tenaciousness. The audience will revel and cheer while sitting back and observing what happens when Joss Whedon does his magic.

In order to simplify the 2 hour and 21 minute feature by revealing the best part, let me start by saying the whole movie was fairly kick ass. In fact I didn’t even know until the credits at the end that James Spader is Ultron, and boy did he nail it! The usual suspects punch their way across the screen with characters Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Their interviews always lead the viewer inside to the personalities of the actors, which is always fascinating when revealing their characters strengths and weaknesses.

This PG-13 movie’s rating boasts high due to the astounding special effects created using CGI by their artists. With a 220 million dollar budget, this film made over $200 million it’s first weekend, but with the last movie grossing over $1.5 billion, this won’t leave any workers of this project in the bread line.

With this film performing so well at the box office, either we can anticipate an even better film from Joss Whedon with Avengers, or waiting for the next and greater work of him could be anything – perhaps a movie about a young displaced school girl making the most of an unfamiliar situation? Who knows? One thing we all know is that it’s bound to be a blockbuster.

Joss Whedon is the sails beneath artist Stan Lee's wings.

Joss Whedon is the sails beneath artist Stan Lee’s wings.

On the Ten-Star Review, this movie receives a 9!

The only reason this work doesn’t receive a 10 is we want some space for improvement on the next venture.

“Home”

When you have an ordinary girl such as Tip, who has trust reservations of her own, and introduce Oh who would challenge anyone without reservations, a terrific movie for kids learning how two very different beings can work together to accomplish something extraordinary. The interview is on Good Morning America with Steve Martin, Jim Parsons, and Rihanna as the cast.

Oh comes from his planet The Boov in order to find a place for his race to prosper. No one on his planet considers him anything more than an irritating loser, but when he manages to make friends with an earthling, they find they must work together in order to save everyone.

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This movie was terrific fun for the family, however there were a few discretionary “jokes” that the movie would have survived without that would have still managed to entertain the crowds without having the rating lifted to PG.

The creators were Dreamworks Animation, creating a masterpiece of 3D art that flew from the screen in both colors and excitement. 20th Century Fox distributed the film after being created from Adam Rex‘s 2007 release of The True Meaning of Smekday, receiving a 4 and 3/4 star rating. He is an avid writer with a variety of silly stories available.

What does the rating of the movie stand at? 8.5. With the animation, story, and teamwork used to create this wonderful film, the potty talk was a bit of a waste and brought it down a little. As a mother, there are certain questions we shouldn’t have to answer and certain behavior we shouldn’t have to entertain from our children. Having them laugh aloud in public by repeating some of their favorite portions is unnecessary.

“The Croods” are Crudely Hilarious


With Nicholas Cage setting the scene as Grug, the overprotective father living in a cave with his wife (Catherine Keener), pesky mother-in-law (Cloris Leechman), and three children, his oldest daughter Eep (Emma Stone) is ready to venture forward exploring on her own. It isn’t until Eep discovers Guy (Ryan Reynolds) that her father’s word becomes questionable.

Soon Grug struggles for acceptance by the clan that used to belong to him–his family. Eep’s father sees the success in trying new approaches through the gentle coaxing of his daughter, and in desperation he conforms to non-conforming with the help of Guy, the Neanderthal inventor.

This is a great way for kids to realize in order to progress, risk must be taken, otherwise they are destined for destruction.

“Toy Story 3” stays out of the Toybox

There comes a day when every kid outgrows his favorite toys, but what happens to them then? Nobody could imagine what these toys go through trying to avoid the unthinkable–being forgotten. When Andy heads to college, his mother tells them to donate his toys, but Woody, Buzz, and friends end up finding out there’s more to being loved than commitment to one boy.

Join Tom Hanks Tim Allen, and a host of other well-known voices as this story manages to captivate the audience for yet another tale in the life of toys unseen by humans in this terrific film adults can enjoy with their children.

This movie receives a 7 on the Ten Star chart, even though Barbie is able to find her one true love for keeps and the Potato Heads adopt the kids they never had.

“Monster House” gives Monster dreams

This movie has some super cast members including Steve Buscemi as the teen in this (2006) middle school thriller. Kevin James, Nick Cannon, Fred Willard and Catherine O’Hara, are also thrown in, just to name a few of the fantastic cast.

A boy spies on the house across the street, owned by a crabby old widower, making notes about the mysterious disappearances of the neighborhood toys. Never mind there aren’t any leaves on the lawn and it’s fall. In fact, Halloween is in one day and DJ’s parents are gone for the weekend, leaving him with a not-so-choice sitter, Zee.

DJ sets off with his friend Chowder on their own adventure when a gorgeous and intelligent girl selling candy comes to call and soon gets roped in to the fun. The question is, when this house is done, will there be anyone left in the neighborhood to tell the ending of the story?

This house is a hard 7 on the Ten Star Chart, but the suggestion to play this movie for elementary kids is not a good one. If you enjoy your child using the restroom alone, this movie is not for them as the impression of a dead woman is utilized, as well as extremely great graphics.

Welcome to “Hotel Transylvania” (2012)

When a vampire’s daughter turns 118, she’s ready to venture into the real world–the world responsible for her mother’s death. Horrified at the thought, her father attempts to deter her until the unthinkable happens; a human somehow locates the hidden away castle and enters during a party. Now the count needs to rid himself of the intruder before the kid manages to undo all of the preparations the father made to protect the one love of his life. But will he be successful?

This movie deserves a five star out of 10 review. Adam Sandler is a true stretch for comedy beyond ridiculously tongue-in-cheek, obvious and stupid humor, but he manages to crack the code on this Dracula character. Selena Gomez is his rebellious daughter, Mavis, eager to cut her teeth on adventure and Adam Samberg is Jonathan, the fly in the soup human.

Other cast members are recognizable heros of comedy Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, and David Spade.

This show is rated PG due to non-sexual, crude humor.