Minions: The Rise of Gru – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it might not hit as hard as its predecessors, it was still a joy to be back in this world.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Gru and the Minions in the one bed.

Minions: The Rise of Gru Review

This may be due to my never having children, much to my mother’s chagrin, but I have always liked the Despicable Me films. Gru (Steve Carell) discovering who he is through the prism of his daughter’s love and then becoming a better person for it. Well, that is some compelling stuff. Heck, I even like those quirky little minions always up to mischief. I think I was the only one who laughed at their cameo in Mortal Engines. I am sure that would have changed if I had been subjected to them time after time. But coming in here, I thought that Despicable Me 3 might have started to show the limits of this story, and I wondered could a prequel help?

So to set the scene, it is 1976, and a very different set of villains torment the globe, which the film wastes no time showing as we see Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson) race through town, evading the authorities at every turn. In the lair of The Vicious 6, she reveals to their leader Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin) a map to an ancient stone pendent of power. Well, one trip to Asia later, one betrayal, and one Bond-inspired title sequence later, there is now a free spot open in The Vicious 6, and a young Gru wants in.

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Movie Review – Aquaman

TL;DR – Bombastic, silly, overly long, but still by far some of the best fun DC has made so far.    

 Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Aquaman. Image Credit: Warner Bothers.

Review

To say that the DC Expanded Universe has had a rough launch up to this point would be a bit of an understatement. Indeed, of all the past films, only Wonder Woman (see review) felt like a coherent film in any great sense. So, more than ever, the first film after Justice League had to hit the ground running, even more so after background conversations that the expanded universe was losing a lot of its big-name talent. Now while Aquaman is not a perfect film, it is a film with a lot of style, and more than most of the films that have come before it was just fun.

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Movie Review – Creed II

TL;DR – While it may tread along a path that is a bit predictable, the commitment of the actors and the emotion make it a must-see film.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Creed II. Image Credit: MGM/Warner Bros.

Review

Back in 2015, I didn’t really have any great desire to go see the first Creed film, a spin-off of a long-running boxing series that had felt like it was running out of steam didn’t seem like an enjoyable time in a world where remake after remake was getting greenlit. However, some people that I trust called me on my reluctance and really recommended it, so reluctantly I went and soon discovered how wrong I was. It was a beautiful film of struggle and triumph, fighting when no one believes in you, and how we battle both are internal and external demons. It was the film that immediately put Michael B.Jordan, Tessa Thompson, and Ryan Coogler on my radar of performers to watch out for and ended up on my Top 10 Films of 2015 list. So when I heard they were doing a sequel I was incredibly excited, when I heard Ryan was not directing or writing it, I got a little concerned, but now I have seen it once again I should have known better.   

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Movie Review – Hail Caesar

TL;DR – Hail Caesar is an interesting film, with a lot going on, but that is much of the problem, its scattershot nature means the film lacks real substance, but it still has a lot of spectacle to make up for it.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Hail Caesar. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

This is an interesting film, but it is also a very flawed film and that makes it quite difficult to review, or at least score. There are some really interesting ideas at play here, and there are also some amazingly wonderful set pieces throughout which are a joy to watch. However, it is trying to do so much, that it just can’t do any of the ideas justice, so it just feels like a scattershot of a film, which is a bit a disappointment.

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