Whitehall-Coplay Press

Monday, November 20, 2017

‘Despicable Me 3’

Friday, July 21, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN pwillistein@tnonline.com in Focus

“Despicable Me 3” isn’t so much despicable as bland.

This time, Steven Carell gets to voice two characters of the film’s title, the original “Despicable Me,” Gru, and now his twin brother, Dru.

The saving grace in the third of the “Despicable” series (“DM2,” 2012, and the original “Despicable Me,” 2010) are, of course, the Minions, those one and two goggle-eyed, blue denim bib overall-wearing, yellow vitamin capsule looking, nonsense-spouting characters.

The Minions, which had their own film, the imaginatively-titled “Minions” (2015), are mostly funny to look at, utilize as emojis (those pictorial representations of emotions) in social media texting and to purchase as toy statues for your office desk or as plush toys for your children or nieces and nephews. “Minions 2” is set for release in 2010.

In the movie theater, “DM3” had my thoughts wandering and my mind wondering as to who might enjoy the animated feature, seen in 2D for this review (the 3D format is unnecessary).

“DM3” will be of chief interest to elementary and school and preschool children. “DM3” is mostly harmless fun.

However, the animation is filled with silly struggles, tugging and shoving and hitting. Parents take note.

The screenplay by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (screenwriters, “The Secret Life of Pets,” 2016; “Despicable Me” series; “The Lorax,” 2012) is rather incomprehensible. Frankly, I’m at a loss as to tell you what I saw or what happened in “DM3.”

“DM3” is directed by Pierre Coffin (director, “Minions 2,” 2020; “Minions,” 2015; “Despicable Me 2,” “Despicable Me”) and Kyle Balda (director, “Minions”; “The Lorax,” 2012) and co-directed by Eric Guillon (his theatrical co-directing debut).

The characters were created by Sergio Pablos based on his screen story, “Evil Me.” The character of Dru owes a lot to Dr. Evil, the antagonist played by Mike Myers (who also played Austin Powers) in the “Austin Power” feature movies film series.

Parkland High School, Class of 1985 graduate Chris Renaud (director, “The Secret Life Of Pets”; co- director, “Despicable Me 2” and “Despicable Me”) is a producer of “DM3,” but apparently has been busy directing “The Secret Life Of Pets 2,” set for 2019 release. Renaud is credited with developing the Minions.

While Carell’s vocalizations for Gru and Dru are outstanding, the character voices by Kristen Wiig (Lucy), Trey Parker (Balthazar Bratt, the “DM3” villain), Miranda Cosgrove (Margo), Steve Coogan (Fritz) and Julie Andrews (Gru’s Mom) are not as memorable.

Pharrell Williams (hip-pop hit “Happy”) and Heitor Pereira (“Curious George,” 2006; “Spy Kids,” 2001) are credited with the music, which includes several half-baked, warmed-over songs by Williams, mostly heard during the end credits.

The soundtrack is almost as haphazard as “Despicable Me 3.” Score another blockbuster disappointment in the Summer of Sequelitis: 2017.

“Despicable Me 3,”MPAA rated PG (Parental Guidance Suggested. Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children.) for action and rude humor; Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Science-Fiction; Run time: 1 hr., 30 mins ; Distributed by Universal Pictures.

Credit Readers Anonymous:In addition to snippets of pop hits by Madonna, Michael Jackson, Van Halen and Phil Collins, the “Despicable Me 3” soundtrack includes “I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General” by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan from the musical, “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Box Office,July 14: “War for the Planet of the Apes” opened up at No. 1, with $56.5 million, tangling up “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which slid to No. 2, with $45.2 million, $208.3 million, two weeks. 3. “Despicable Me 3” dropped one place, $18.9 million, $187.9 million, three weeks. 4. “Baby Driver” dropped one place, $8.7 million, $73.1 million, three weeks.

5. “The Big Sick” moved up three places, moving into wide release with another whopping box-office increase, 112.5 percent, with $7.6 million, $16 million, four weeks.

6. “Wonder Woman” dropped two places, with $6.9 million, $380.7 million, seven weeks.

7. “Wish Upon,” $5.6 million, opening.

8. ”Cars 3” dropped two places, $3.1 million, $140 million, five weeks.

9. “Transformers: The Last Knight” dropped four places, $2.7 million, $124.8 million, four weeks.

10. “The House” dropped three places, $1.7 million, $23.1 million, three weeks.

18. “The Little Hours,” starring Nazareth’s Kate Micucci, jumped up one place, with another impressive box-office increase, 64.8 percent, with $318,510, still in limited release on 105 screens, $689,732, three weeks.

Unreel,July 21:

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,”PG-13: Luc Besson directs Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Elizabeth Debicki and Emmaus High School graduate Dane DeHaan in the Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction film. Valerian and Laureline oppose an evil force threatening Alpha and the future of the universe.

“Dunkirk,”PG-13: Christopher Nolan directs Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy in the Action, Drama, History and War film. The Nazis surround allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France who are evacuated during a World War II battle.

“Girls Trip,”R: Malcolm D. Lee directs Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish in the Comedy. A trip to New Orleans for a festival reunites four lifelong friends.

One Popcorn Box out of Five Popcorn Boxes