Despicable Me (2010) Film Review

Despicable Me

Gru (Steve Carrell) is an evil villain, but an evil villain is only as respected as his last act of evilness. So when a new villain, Vector (Jason Segal) comes on the scene, Gru, his side-kick, Dr Nefario (Russell Brand), and his minions need to step up big time.

Excellent cast, good story, some reasonable female characters (still not enough, animated film makers, come on), I really should have loved it a lot more than I did. I’d been told by a lot of people that I’d really like it, but it just seemed a bit samey to me. Funny, yes. Cute, definitely. Well conceived, sure. So what didn’t work? I just can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps I am just a bit over the bad guy who ends up not being the bad guy? (Although I loved the bedside stories). I’d be concerned it was being over animated films, but I really enjoyed Frozen just recently. It’s not you, Despicable Me, it’s me. You’ll find someone who loves you for who you are. Just not me.

Despicable Me was nominated for both a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Animated Film.

30 Rock – TV Review


I’ve recently finished watching season six of 30 Rock and I was pretty disappointed. I still had a few laugh out loud moments, but it really felt like it was going over old ground. What’s more, it felt as though it was so aware of it (especially with moments such as Liz Lemon looking directly down the barrel of the camera and announcing that even after five years, there were still things that she and Jack could learn from each other).

It’s my understanding that a lot of television series in the US are commissioned with a potential seven-year life. I recall Hugh Laurie mentioning in an interview that when he was signed on to House, there was a seven-year clause. If this is the case, then I guess when something is popular (in 2009, 30 Rock was nominated for fourteen Primetime Emmy Awards, the most in a single year), there is the inclination to get as much of it as possible, regardless of whether the quality is dropping. Actually, the quality isn’t dropping as such; it’s more that I expect more. Had I watched season six first, I think I would have laughed almost as much as season one.

Of course, I’ll watch season seven (I can never let it lie). But I’m not expecting a lot.

Talledega Nights – The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) Film Review



Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is the top NASCAR driver, rising to fame with the assistance of his wingman, Cal Naughton Jnr (John C Reilly). But then, after his first, fairly uneventful accident, he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and cannot drive. His wife leaves him for his best friend, and it is only the assistance of his absent father, Reese Bobby (Gary Cole) that he can get back on track.

This is one of those dumb Will Ferrell/John C Reilly films. Heaps of people love these films. Not me. I found it such a yawn fest. The characters are so ridiculous that there is no empathy for them. Possibly, they would make good characters for a recurring Saturday Night Live sketch, but a whole film? Whatever.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)


Peter (Jason Segel) and Sarah (Kristen Bell) are a dream couple – she is a gorgeous actor who stars in a TV cop drama and he is the affable composer boyfriend who creates the soundtrack for the show. Peter does not see it coming when Sarah breaks it off with him. In an attempt to get over her he throws himself into the arms of other women, but when this doesn’t work, he takes a holiday to Hawaii. On arrival, he discovers that Sarah is staying there with her new boyfriend, British rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Luckily for Peter, he gains the sympathy of the hotel employees, notably Rachel (Mila Kunis).

This is my kind of humour. Well, there are a lot of things that I find funny. But this, with hilarious pathos, a fair whack of slapstick, a certain amount of filth and more than a little sentimental claptrap – love it. I’m a big fan of most of the cast, and I just really liked the way this was all put together.

Wreck-It Ralph (2012) Film Review


Thank goodness that some kids films are awesome. I love taking my nephews to see films, and a lot of them are tolerable; some are appalling (but I pretend to like them) and then there are the golden few that I really love. Like Wreck It Ralph.

Wreck It Ralph (John C Riley) is the bad guy in an eighties –style computer game in an arcade somewhere in the US. When the arcade closes at night, the various characters can go hang out in bars, or visit each others’ games, or even attend self-help groups. Ralph is unhappy because he is the villain of his game, and even when the game is shut down, the other characters snub him. He is told that when he gains a medal, he will be able to join their party, so he sneaks into a war game and scores himself a medal. However, he accidentally ends up in the world of Sugar Rush, a super-sweet car racing game, and ends up pairing up with Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) to get his medal back and save the day.

Whether it is the references to the games I loved as a child or the sassy dialogue, this film just got me. It was funny when it needed to be, a bit sentimental, but generally fun and got me laughing as much as my nephews.

Wreck It Ralph was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animation and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film.