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Mini-review: Despicable Me

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Friday evening, Kam and I went to see Despicable Me, and we enjoyed the heck out of it.

It was at least as much fun as the previews made it look.

I had assumed my favorite characters would be the little yellow minions, because they reminded of the squeeze-toy aliens from Toy Story (“The Claw!”), which I've always been very amused by. But in fact, my favorite characters turned out to be the three little girls, who barely appear in the previews I saw but who are central to the story.

(And btw, this movie does pass the Bechdel test, though arguably not really in the spirit of the test's intent.)

And although I'm not a Steve Carell fan, I liked him in this.

The plot is pretty much the plot you'd expect from the premise; it's not like we don't know what happens in movies when a curmudgeon ends up taking care of adorable moppets. But this movie has so much fun getting there that I didn't care at all about that; in fact, its very familiarity lent it a kind of pleasant glow.

I could have done without the two or three semi-obligatory fart jokes, but I wasn't as annoyed by them as I normally am by such things (partly because I'd already seen them in the previews). And those were among the few jokes that didn't work for me. The movie wasn't pure nonstop hilarity, but I did laugh quite a lot. I was especially amused by a bunch of the sight gags and slapstick and little semi-backgrounded details.

Anyway. Much fun, worth seeing.

. . . On the way out of the theatre, I was thinking something along the lines of The movie industry seems to have figured out how to put together animated movies that I really like; they keep coming out with one after another. And then I looked up and saw a poster for Alpha and Omega, the previews for which look really really terrible, and I thought, Or maybe I've only been watching the good ones.

Unrelated side note: As I was typing this, I was listening to music in iTunes, and a voice memo I'd recorded a couple of years ago played. It was a reminder to myself to look up comedian Russell Brand, whom I'd heard on NPR and thought was interesting. So I did a quick search for him—and discovered that he was in Despicable Me. The Cosmic Coincidence Control Center appears to be on the job once again.

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Our family's favorite line was "It's so fluffy!!!" We all knew exactly how that child felt.


The little girl who voices Agnes is named Elsie Fisher. She is the daughter of friends of mine
here in Idyllwild. She is quite the actress and is being offered lots of commercial work.


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