ABC Film Challenge – Animation – D – Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Directors: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon

Writer: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gairer, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews


Plot: Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.

Tagline – Oh brother.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Substandard Threequel


Story: Despicable Me 3 starts when Gru and Lucy get fired from the Anti-Villain League after letting 80s based supervillain Balthazar Bratt escape from his latest heist. This gives Gru more time and he learn that he has a twin brother Dru.

When Dru wants Gru to show him the ways of villain which leave Gru on a tipping point for a career as Balthazar is tacking over the mantel of best supervillain and Lucy is learning how to be a better mother.


Thoughts on Despicable Me 3


Characters – Gru now part of the Anti-Villain League trying to stop the villains he once competed against. Fired after failing he learns of a long lost twin brother that wants to tempt him back into the life of crime. Dru is the twin brother of Gru that doesn’t have the same abilities when it comes to being a supervillain even after being raised by their father, he invites Gru to help him. Lucy is Gru wife that is trying to become a better mother to the kids, which is a boring side story in this film. Balthazar Bratt was once an 80s television star that had his show cancelled which drove him to a life of crime with 80s style about him (it is really hard to take this character seriously as he is being voiced by Trey Parker of South Park and I can only see Randy in this character). The minions are not in the movie are much as previous film, but still annoying.

StoryThe story follows the hapless Gru as he must face a new villain and his own family to follow his own destiny. We have lots of side stories going on here which only just take away from the main story’s flaws. The villain is interesting but never feels like a threat and the idea that Gru must face a moral dilemma about which side to fight for doesn’t get the true focus it deserves. The whole story just feels like it was designed to be a television episode if we are being honest.

Action/Comedy/FamilyThe action is not as big as the original two even if it does play into the comedy of the movie, the comedy is a complete mixed bag, moments hit well the others just annoy, with the kids being the only ones that will be truly entertained by this one.

SettingsThe film takes us to new locations which will see Gru fight and new enemy and dealing with new family members.

AnimationThe animation, just like the previous films is very good throughout, easily being the highlight of the film.

Scene of the Movie –
The opening heist gets the most laughs.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The random side stories, Lucy trying to be a mother to Margo and Agnes’ unicorn hunt.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak entry into the franchise that could easily be better instead of just giving us too much of the same when it comes to dealing with the side stories.


Overall: Animation 101





Abigail Breslin Weekend – Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Writer: Michael Arndt (Screenplay)

Starring: Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin, Toni Collette, Steve Carell


Plot: A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

Tagline – A family on the verge of a breakdown

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Amazingly Charming Movie


Story: Little Miss Sunshine starts as we meet our family, motivational speaker Richard (Kinnear), hardworking mother Sheryl (Collette), depressed teenage son Dwayne (Dano) who has taken a vow of silence, hyperactive young daughter Olive (Breslin), veteran grandfather Edwin (Arkin) and Uncle Frank (Carell) who is fresh out of a hospital after a failed suicide attempt.

The six go on a road trip across America to enter Olive into the Little Miss Sunshine competition and along the way the family must deal with their own ups and downs to help their youngster member fulfil her dream.


Thoughts on Little Miss Sunshine


Characters – Olive is the youngest member of the family, cute but never going to be able to truly compete in the beauty contests, but this is her dream and the family will come together to help her achieve her dream. Richard is the father of the family, a motivational speaker who believes he has the next big catch for a book, he always encourages his family to believe they will succeed over just trying. Dwayne is the eldest son in the family, taking a vow of silence until he can become a jet pilot, he hates everyone with the only one he will help is Olive. Grandpa Edwin has been kicked out of a retirement home and living with the family, he swears and enjoys a drug or two. Sheryl is the mother of the family who will do anything for her kids which involves taking Olive across country for the contest. Frank is the suicidal genius brother of Sheryl, released under her care in case he tries it again, he sees the family for their flaws and even takes Dwayne under his wing on the journey.

PerformancesWe have six fantastic performances here, we had the established stars, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette and Alan Arkin shining and the star making performances from Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano and Steve Carell who was the it star of 2006.

StoryThe story follows a dysfunctional family that must travel across America to enter their youngest member to a beauty contest. We get the characters with their flaws that can be worked on through the film which gives us a natural feeling about the family. It does have the idea that family will need to come together no matter what gets in their way. This is a fun enjoyable story that can be enjoyed by everyone.

ComedyThe comedy here is delightful it hits on every level and does mostly come from real life moments.

SettingsThe road trip moments give us the idea of how far the family will go and we see this in the settings.

Scene of the Movie –
The dance routine.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The colour-blind test is fake because I am colour blind and I could see the test, when normally I haven’t been able to.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the greatest comedies of all time, it is just delightful on every account with wonderful performance from the whole cast.


Overall: Wonderful throughout.





Oscar Season Challenge – The Big Short (2015)

Rob and I have decided to make a twist on the challenge where we will be looking at Oscar related films first before moving into going back to look at different Oscar winners from the past.big shortDirector: Adam McKay

Writer: Adam McKay, Charles Randolph (Screenplay) Michael Lewis (Book)

Starring: Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Rafe Spall, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo, Karen Gillan, Marisa Tomei


Plot: Four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Comes Up Short


Story: The Big Short starts as Jared Vennett (Gosling) explains the how banking became the biggest industry in America until it all came crashing down in 2008. We go onto meet the few people that predicted this collapse Michael Burry (Bale) who makes a drastic step to invest against the housing bonds, Jared is has jumped on the bandwagon who tries to sell the idea to investor Mark Baum (Carell). When two young upstarts learn of the potential collapse they discuss it with former experienced banker Ben Rickert (Pitt).

We watch how Michael has to deal with his investors questioning his idea and Mark trying to expose all the fraud going on within America. Ben and his young bankers struggle to uncover what is really going on as they look like they will be losing all the money that put into this scheme.

The Big Short is a story that comes off important but is about an extremely boring subject. The story bounces between the character leaving us feeling confused about what each one is doing even when we get the characters talking to us the audience about what is happening it feels like they are just talking to us in a condescending manor. I do understand this one of the more important part of recent history but it is told in a way where we only seeing investor side rather than any of the victims of the story.


Actor Review


Christian Bale: Michael Burry is the mathematician who learns about this collapse in the future, he investors nearly all of his company’s money in capitalising on this happening as rumours start to circulate once he starts making his first moves. He is difficult to work with but know his stuff. Christian is great in this role with most of his scenes in one location.michael

Steve Carell: Mark Baum is an investor that suffered a personal tragedy but when his team learn what Jared is doing they want in as they investigate what is happening even if they start by losing money. Steve shows yet again that he can do serious roles with his great performance.mark

Ryan Gosling: Jared Vennett hears about what Michael was doing before jumping in on the idea, he sells the idea to Mark and others while trying to continue to make money himself. Ryan is good in this role without really getting enough screen time.jared

Brad Pitt: Ben Rickert is a retired banker that gets talked into helping to young bankers expose this scheme, he hates banking and the affects it has on people’s lives but believes he is helping show a real cause. Brad is good in this support role.

Support Cast: The Big Short has a massive supporting cast that all do well in the role.

Director Review: Adam McKayAdam steps out of his comfort zone of comedy to handle an interesting story, but doesn’t give us enough to make this an easy watch.


Biographical: The Big Short shows how the bankers and investors dealt with the bank crash.

Settings: The Big Short uses a mix of settings which sometimes works but other times ends up getting mixed up.
: The Big Short is only one to try because I feel people will get lost trying to keep up with. (Try It)


Best Part: The performances are great.

Worst Part: The story is hard to keep up with.


Believability: Based on the real events involved.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for 4 Golden Globes

Oscar Chances: Could get some nods.

Budget: $28 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

Tagline: This is a true story


Overall: Difficult to follow but great performances.



Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

logoDirector: Lorene Scafaria

Writer: Lorene Scafaria (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Adam Brody, Melanie Lynskey, Connie Britton, Rob Corddry


Plot: As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbour who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow Starting, Powerful Finish


Story: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starts by reports that the final mission to save mankind has failed and the Earth will be destroyed by an asteroid in 21 days. Dodge (Carell) whose wife runs away tries to continue on his normal life, while offers seem to be making the most of the end.

14 days to go and Dodge is going to be alone and his friends Diane (Britton) and Warren (Corddry) try setting him up with Karen (Lynskey) but that just makes him feel awkward. With all that is going on with the end of the world all Dodge just wants to be left alone to get over the fact his wife left him, but when he finds his English neighbour Penny (Knightley) crying on the balcony he offers her a shoulder to cry on. After a failed suicide attempt Dodge finds himself with a new friend a dog called ‘Sorry’ that someone tied to him.

When the riots start happening Dodge, Sorry, Penny and her boyfriend (Brody) try to escape the city but when Dodge tells Penny he can get her home before the end, she steps up her movement and leaves Owen behind. Dodge, Penny and Sorry go on a road trip to find Dodge’s old high school love where they meet a string of unusual people while embracing the idea that they will live for only 12 more days.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starts off feeling very slow as we can kind of tell the way the story will go. I do think the story drifts between too many different ideas with the apocalypse theme throughout, road trip that starts with a strange character but then just turns into a plain old road trip, it also has a long lost love story. The problem is it never manages to really come off funny but does have a nice romantic side and really does make you wonder what you might do in the same scenario. I believe the story is pretty good and it will be one that I remember after. (7/10)


Actor Review


Steve Carell: Dodge everyday man whose wife leaves him after the world is going to be destroyed, he starts accept the idea but a chance meeting with his neighbour means he can go after his lost love. Steve gives a good performance and shows how he can play the serious comedy role well. (7/10)


Keira Knightley: Penny the English girl who misses the last flight home and ends up going with Dodge after he says he knows about a plane that could take her home. Keira does a good job in the role and makes you think about how hard it could be for a character from overseas with limited time. (7/10)


Support Cast: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has a lot of cameo performances that try to add in the laughs but most don’t seem to come off as funny.


Director Review: Lorene Scafaria – Lorene does a good job in her directorial debut pulling off the serious side of the story very well. (7/10)


Comedy: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World doesn’t have as many laughs as it could but I do feel too much comedy would take away from the story. (4/10)

Romance: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World does have a nice romantic story that is slow burner but very touching as you look at how long a perfect romance could have been. (8/10)

Settings: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World uses familiar settings to try and make each scene look like a place people could go in the end of the world. (8/10)

Suggestion: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is one to try, I feel fans of the romantic idea of films will enjoy but this won’t be for everyone. (Try It)


Best Part: Record player scene.

Worst Part: Slow starting.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $9.6 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: The first comedy about the end of it all


Overall: I feel this is a film that really tests your own look at a potential end of the world situation and how you would react.

Rating 65

Minions (2015)

logoDirector: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

Writer: Brian Lynch (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, Geoffrey Rush, Steve Carell

Plot: Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow, Unfunny Animation

Story: Minions starts with the Minions looking for a boss, they always want to work with the most evil possible person. We watch how they go through countless time periods with iconic characters through history including Dinosaurs, Dracula and Egyptians. When the Minions start searching for a new villain to worship Kevin, Stuart and Bob go in search of their next leader.

The search takes them to New York 1968 where the three Minion stumble upon the villain network where they hear about an event where they can make new friends and find a new master. When the Minions in the competition from Scarlett Overkill they become her newest Minions. Scarlett wants the Minion to steal the crown jewels from the Tower of London. When Bob pulls out the mythical sword from the stone he becomes King of England with Scarlett now coming after the Minions.

Minions is a film that is meant to be the origins of the Minions which is fine, but nothing really happens, we watch them try and find a new villain which turns out to be a generic boring one at that. The horrendously stereotyped British jokes just get boring quickly. I was never a fan of Despicable Me but did like the Minions character but in the end the characters are only supporting characters only they can’t carry a film. (4/10)

Characters Review

Stuart, Kevin and Bob: These are our three hapless Minions who go in search of a new master, their adventure takes them to England where they become King of England, but when Scarlett wants to become Queen the Minions have to fight for their freedom. The three work in a supporting roles but not as a lead role. (4/10)minions

Scarlett Overkill: Scarlett is the new super villain that is looking for new henchman when the Minions win the prize she wants them to help make her Queen of England before turning on them. Scarlett is a boring villain that we have seen before. (3/10)scarlett

Support Characters: Minions has supporting characters that are all generic and boring that don’t end up adding enough to the final film.

Director Review: Kyle Balda, Pierre CoffinDisappointed with the final product because we get lay and boring jokes throughout. (3/10)

Animation: Minions has top quality animation but that can’t cover up the poor story. (6/10)

Comedy: Minions lazy simple jokes throughout. (3/10)

Family: Minions would be one for the family to potentially enjoy but then I didn’t enjoy it but the kids could enjoy it. (4/10)

Settings: Minions creates a 1968 setting with simple icon settings to let us know where the Minions are in. (6/10)

Suggestion: Minions is one for the die hard fans of the Minions because I just didn’t enjoy this one. (Minions Fans Try)

Best Part: Gru.

Worst Part: The Rest.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: Odd bits in the credits.

Oscar Chances:

Box Office: $290 Million

Budget: $74 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: Uh oh.

Trivia: Director Pierre Coffin voices all 899 minions in this film.

Overall: Basic, Simple and boring comedy.