Movie Review: Minions – A Bit Exhausting To Watch


The Minions, those gibberish spewing sidekicks from Despicable Me, are back with their own feature movie. It’s a bit of an origin story, and a clear shameless attempt to cash in on the success of Despicable Me.

The movie starts out with an intro that covers just why the Minions are predestined to serve evil masters. Following all that, it jumps to 1968 where we meet the brave Minions living in New York City, but are sadly master-less. They then learn of a Villain-Con taking place in Orlando, and off they go, hoping to find a new big bad guy to follow. So of course, they get into tons of trouble, winding up riding along with bank robbers, and meeting a motivational speaker who is set on world domination. The movie jumps to different locales and has a lot going on, making it sometimes hard to follow for a children’s movie.

I think it needs to be said. There’s a reason the minions are pill shaped, and that’s because they should be taken in small doses. While their gibberish is cute for a few minutes, it only takes a while before it starts to grate on your nerves.

The best way to describe the movie is shrill, but cute. It’s at times fun, and mostly cute, but occasionally cloying. This is a kid’s movie for kids, not one for adults to enjoy with kids.



But then, with the rock and roll soundtrack, references to the Beatles, Japanese monster movies and the musical Hair, the jokes sometimes seem focused on adults. Maybe it was a way for adults to feel like they belonged in the audience, but I think the references were mainly just confusing to kids.

I can’t say it wasn’t cute. The movie was straight up adorable. The Minions are designed to be cute, so it’s hard not to enjoy their antics, but they were just too cute. It was too over the top and these little sidekicks are certainly not deep enough to have earned their own movie.

While I know sidekick spinoffs have worked in the past, with movies like Puss & Boots and the Penguins of Madagascar, those side characters actually had an interesting plot around them. Puss & Boots was a suave, debonair feline and the penguins were prison break artists. The most I can tell of the Minions is that they speak in gibberish and bumble around, knocking lots of stuff over and generally screwing up other people plans.

While it’s great for a side gag, it doesn’t work for an entire movie. It’s actually a bit exhausting to watch.

While your kids might make you suffer through this, I can’t say it’s one to watch for single adults. It’s a bit too cute, a bit too loud and a bit too bright for most people over 12 to walk away from without a massive migraine.

Sometimes, a sidekick is just a sidekick and it’s ok to leave them at that. For that reason, I got to say this is one to skip…unless your kids make you see it.

WE GAVE IT: 2.5 Stars

2.5 Stars


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Movie Review: Tammy (2014)

Tammy 2One minute you’re laughing out loud, the next you’re yawning


As a fan of Melissa McCarthy, I was really looking forward to this movie. McCarthy has some serious screen presence and she’s always good for a laugh. So did Tammy live up to the hype?

Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) is having possibly the worst day of her life. She totaled her car, got fired from her job at a greasy burger joint, and just found out her husband was cheating on her. She decides that it’s time to get out of town. The only problem is she has no car and no money. Enter grandma Pearl (Susan Sarandon), a heavy drinking, hard partying woman who is just dying to see Niagara Falls. Think Thelma and Louise, only way more fun and way less depressing.

While Tammy is sitting at number 2 in the box office, it’s also getting panned by critics. I will say I found the film enjoyable and laugh out loud in more than a few places, but I also think the critics had some good points.

Tammy is a pretty obvious attempt to cash in on the Melissa McCarthy fan base. I’m part of that fan base, simply because it’s nice to see a funny woman who doesn’t rely on relationship and period jokes. McCarthy has that slapstick ability and innocent naïveté that I haven’t seen since Chris Farley and I’m pretty sure I could love her antics for years to come.

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That being said, the star studded cast in this movie was utterly wasted. While Susan Sarandon held her own, and showed a surprising capacity for comic timing, the rest of the actors in this film were just plain wasted. Why hire Kathy Bates and Dan Aykroyd if you’re not going to use them?

The place where the film falls flat is with its dramatic moments. I’ve never seen McCarthy as a dramatic actress, with the exception of Pretty Ugly People, and this film is too slapstick to try and cram in some dramatic moments. I really wish they’d just let it be what it was, a road trip comedy, instead of interjecting some kind of lesson.

On the upside, this movie does show that McCarthy has a lot of range and that she can play more than comic relief. Hopefully, this role will open the field for more leading roles for her.

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Tammy is kind of a hit and a miss. One minute you’re laughing out loud, the next you’re yawning. The laughs come too far apart, and the drama misses the mark entirely. But it’s still about 10 times more watchable than most comedies out there, if only for Melissa McCarthy.

I found Tammy mildly disappointing. The best parts of the movie were already shown in the trailer. In addition, if you’re going to put Susan Sarandon in a road trip movie, everyone will expect at least one Thelma & Louise joke, so you might as well do it.

Tammy was a middle of the road effort that was raised slightly thanks to the power of the female leads. It’s still worth the watch, though it wasn’t as good as it could have been.   You can watch the official trailer below:

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Movie Review: Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014)

Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014) movie posterNOT AS SMART AS THE ORIGINAL BUT STILL A REAL TREAT

Star Ratings

I am so glad I have a kid, because I can go to children’s movies without looking like a complete weirdo. While occasionally, it might suck to get dragged to the movies to see some crappy piece of merchandizing by Disney (i.e. The Croods), occasionally, it just plain rocks when I get to see films like Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) is a dog who is a lot like the US Armed forces. He accomplishes more before 6 am than most people do every day. By his side is the mischievous boy sidekick Sherman (Max Charles). The two use their WABAC machine (time machine) to go on crazy adventures though time. Then, Sherman hijacks the machine and accidentally rips a hole in the space/time continuum. It’s up to Mr. Peabody to fix Sherman’s mistake and keep some of the most important events in history from disappearing entirely.

You know when I really like a children’s movie? When it is truly educational and doesn’t fudge facts to fit a stupid plotline (like ‘Barnyards’ male cow lead or ‘Free Birds’ complete obliteration of the facts of the first Thanksgiving.) Mr. Peabody doesn’t fudge facts or pander. In fact, he give a socially conscious satire of many things that might fly over the heads of a children’s audience, but will still resonate with adult viewers.


If you’re old like me, then you know that this movie is based on an old cartoon of the same name. I don’t know what it was, but when I was a kid, Mr. Peabody could be kind of…well, a snarky asshole to be honest. For some reason, Ty Burrell gives this character a cuddliness that he didn’t have before. His sarcasm and clever quips come across as more “everybody laugh with me’ than “I’m the smartest guy in the room’.

Rob Minkoff, who gave us Stewart Little and the Lion King, manages the direction of this film perfectly. There is never a slow moment and the movie rips through one fast paced bit after another, dropping a little knowledge along the way.

The animation is 3D computer animation, which gives Mr. Peabody and Sherman a new life from the old flat one dimensional cartoons. The movie is a pleasure to the eye, with characters that pop and scenes that captivate the imagination.



I could have done with a bit less puns. To be 100% honest, this movie is not nearly as smart as the original cartoon, but that’s ok with me. I like to laugh along with cartoons, not feel like they’re laughing about how stupid I am.

If you’re a parent, then you can rest assured that seeing Mr. Peabody and Sherman won’t be a chore. It will be a rare treat. The right casting gave Mr. Peabody some softer edges, while staying true to the original educational nature of the show gave it credibility. Whether you are a baby boomer fan of the original, or looking for a movie to entertain you and your kids, Mr. Peabody and Sherman is worth the watch.

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