Tag Archives: Russell Brand

Review: Despicable Me 2

Despicable-Me-2-PosterThe Anti-Villain League needs a better mission plan, but there’s still more than enough family charm and minions to keep “Despicable Me 2” firmly afloat.

The whole gang is back – and then some. Gru’s (Steve Carell) living the dream, playing happy homemaker and loving dad to Agnes, Edith, and Margo, (Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Miranda Cosgrove) until someone zaps him with a taser (or, more precisely, a lipstick taser), snatches him right off his front lawn and stuffs him in a car trunk. When he’s released, Gru comes face-to-face with his abductor, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), and learns that he’s been taken to the Anti-Villain League (AVL) headquarters. AVL head honcho, Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), explains that someone made off with an entire top-secret lab. They’ve got a short list of suspects, but the problem is, they can’t pinpoint the villain so having been a villain himself, they recruit Gru to get the job done.

It’s easy to jump right back into this world courtesy of an opening sequence that appropriately highlights the film’s prime assets – Gru’s relationship with his girls and those crazy little minions. In mere minutes you’ve laughed out loud because the minions’ giggles are infectious and have gotten that warm and fuzzy feeling when Agnes admits she knows her birthday fairy princess’ secret identity, making this an ideal and very necessary jumping off point for a film loaded with unforgettable moments, but also with an underdeveloped through-line.

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Review: Rock of Ages

Hello, guilty pleasure.

Based on the Broadway show, Rock of Ages centers on the story of two wannabe rock stars, a small town girl who moves to LA to live the dream, Sherrie (Julianne Hough), and a bar back with a killer voice who suffers from stage fright, Drew (Diego Boneta). After getting mugged on her very first night in the big city, Drew comes to Sherrie’s aid and helps her get a job waitressing at the Bourbon Room. The place is an undeniable hotspot, but times are rough and owner Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) still can’t earn enough to keep the place afloat. With the mayor’s anti-rock wife, Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones), eager to shut the place down, Dennis and his right hand man, Lonny (Russell Brand), have their fingers crossed that their big show featuring Stacee Jax (Tom Cruise) will bring in enough cash to save the Bourbon Room.

Just like the original Broadway production, there’s a lot going on here, but all of the storylines are generally straightforward making them easy to follow and letting the music take center stage. If you’re interested in checking out Rock of Ages for the budding young love, the nobodies trying to hit it big or the authority vs. rock and roll scenario, you’re in for a major disappointment. The relationship between Drew and Sherrie is as trite as they come, you can see Drew’s chance at making it big coming from a mile away and Patricia Whitmore’s battle against the Bourbon Room never really feels like much of a threat. But really, who cares about any of that? Rock of Ages features a slew of famous faces singing some of the best music rock and roll has to offer.

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Review: Despicable Me

Pixar may be at the top of the animated film business with DreamWorks Animation following right behind, but they better watch their backs because a new company, Illumination Entertainment, is about to get in on the game with its feature debutDespicable Me. The film can’t quite compare to the two seasoned studios most recent hits, Toy Story 3 and How To Train Your Dragon, but Despicable Me still is packed with top-notch animation, amusing characters and even a little heart, making the film and Illumination Entertainment warmly welcomed additions to the industry.

Gru’s (Steve Carell) just your average guy living in a quaint suburban town. Well, except that he walks around with a freeze ray in his pocket, has an army of minions and is determined to be the most notorious super villain the world. After an unknown evildoer manages to snag an Egyptian pyramid, Gru comes up with a plan to one up that feat, stealing the moon. But his evil operation won’t come cheap so Gru’s got to go to the Bank of Evil to apply for a loan. The institution he once viewed as a goldmine turns its back on him in favor of a younger villain, Vector (Jason Segel). The only way the bank will finance his venture is if Gru nabs a shrink ray first. It’s too bad that in the midst of doing so, Vector arrives, foiling Gru’s plan, taking the weapon for himself and storing it in his seemingly impenetrable fortress.

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Review: Get Him to the Greek

We’re not in Hawaii anymore. Get Him to the Greek may be a Forgetting Sarah Marshall spinoff, but this is a different movie entirely. Whereas the original was the tales of a lovesick man’s effort to shed his sorrows, Get Him to the Greek is one in which the main character opts to embrace his vices, making for a much wilder ride. The film still retains the spirit of the first, but we’re in Aldous Snow’s (Russell Brand) world now and there are no singing vampire puppets here, only an unruly rock star with the uncanny ability to drink and smoke his way into our hearts.

Aldous has no problem in the dating department after breaking up with actress Sarah Marshall (Bell), but sadly his music career is suffering. He and pop star Jackie Q (Rose Byrne) are a music industry power couple until Aldous releases the catastrophic record, “African Child,” landing him at the bottom of every chart, putting his career in the gutter and destroying his relationship leading Aldous to ditch the sobriety effort and bring on the booze full force. Even in the constant haze of drugs and alcohol, Aldous still has the desire to return to his glory days.

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