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Despicable Me
DVD disk
12.29.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Despicable Me order download
Director:
Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin

Actors:
Steve Carrel
Russell Brand
Jason Segel

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Gru is so close to being crowned “World’s Greatest Villain” he can taste it, that is until a new kid on the villainous block, Vector, goes and steals a pyramid. Obsessed with showing him up, Gru decides to steal a prototype shrink ray and steal the ultimate treasure: the moon! Gru’s determination starts to dip however, when he reluctantly becomes attached to the three little girls he adopts to help with his plan.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The diversity surrounding animated movies gets more and more interesting every year. First Disney led the way, then Pixar and now it’s a no holds barred free for all out there. TANGLED was pretty funny, TOY STORY 3 felt like they were pushing things too far and MEGAMIND was simply terrible. DESPICABLE ME was not a film I expected to see shoot ahead of those titles but I couldn’t help but find myself captivated from beginning to hilarious end. Then again, I’m always one to root for the bad guy.

Gru is gunning for the title of World’s Greatest Villain and doing a great job at it I might add. He had me at hello with the freeze ray at the coffee shop and that was just the tip of the iceberg as this dude’s got more toys than Batman himself. Everything about his weapons, his house, his car and his lab all point to the extreme but instantly become grounded and believable when you find out he gets his funding from the bank and like the rest of us, Gru’s a little behind. I loved that this was a film that focussed upon super villains for a change which right off the bat makes this film a lot like one of my favourite animated flicks of all time, THE INCREDIBLES. The shrink ray is always a fun toy to play with and what better way to flex its powers than by using it to steal the moon (loved it).

I’ve never been a big fan of Steve Carell but thankfully his goofy persona works here and with a thick German accent it was damn near impossible to tell it was actually him. He did a great job though, proving the man still is funny despite the many flops that have come his way recently. Speaking of surprises, I had no idea Russell Brand was in this film, let along voiced one of the main characters, Dr. Nefario, and the Doc provided more than a couple laughs along the way. Kristen Wiig’s Miss Hattie was also pretty funny, especially her “time out” box (priceless). The only underwhelming performance here was from Jason Segel but not because he was awful, just that his character Vector wasn’t nearly as over the top or drawn out as he should have been considering the brooding war between villains. He had a couple big moments but nothing special or memorable.

DESPICABLE ME was far funnier than I thought it would be, even with all the cutesy moments brought on by the children and Gru’s gibberish speaking minions. To be perfectly honest, those minions were hilarious as was Agnes’ obsession with unicorns. Make no mistake this film’s underlining premise may indeed feel a bit like a new age, hipper ANNIE (without the annoying singing) but as I quickly found out, this doesn’t at all hurt the film or make it less entertaining. If anything, this makes the film more well-rounded and likeable considering we’re dealing with villains instead of heroes. Either way, young or old, you’ll get a good kick out of this one.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: Directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin are joined by a couple of Gru’s minions for this commentary. Now if you liked the minions as much as I did you’ll love them bickering back and forth with the boys as they try to steer us through the film.

The World of Despicable Me: Here the Directors, cast and crew discuss the idea of making a film that solely revolves around the villain for a change. Evil has never been funnier.

Despicable Beats: Pharrell Williams, the film’s composer, gives us some quick insight into the film’s score. I loved the opening scene at the coffee shop with the freeze ray that played to the tune of “Despicable Me”.

A Global Effort: Here the Directors explain the relevance, fun and work involved with trying to coordinate several shooting locations all over the world (and off the world if you include the moon).

Gru’s Rocket Builder: Here’s a cool mini game where you and the minions have to fix all the world landmarks that Vector ruined before it’s too late. Good times.

Previews: There are some trailers here as well as previews for both the Despicable Me video game and the Despicable Me: Minion Mania App.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Make no mistake there are a slew of animated flicks out there to choose from but from where I’m sitting, quality outshines quantity any day and quality is what you get here. The voice talent is spot on, the animation’s slick and the laughs just keep on coming. This is definitely one you can re-watch time and time again.
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