Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” the charming “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” and the Ralph Fiennes/Jessica Chastain drama “The Forgiven.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to shuck an oyster! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the supremely silly “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” the tiny mollusk with a huge heart, and the period rom com “Mr. Malcolm’s List.”
Not since the Three Stooges has nonsense been this much fun. Over five movies, the frantic, Tic Tac-shaped Minions, the silly sidekicks to former supervillain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), have brought the most kid friendly anarchy to the screen since Curly said, “Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,” for the first time.
Their new movie, “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” now playing in theatres, sets a new standard for silliness.
Set in 1976 San Francisco, the story begins with awkward twelve-year-old Gru and his dream.
“There are a lot of villains in the world,” he says, “but I am going to be a supervillain.”
To make his evil wish come true, he interviews to become a member of the world’s top outlaw team, the Vicious 6. But, he is not taken seriously. At all.
“I am pretty despicable,” Gru says proudly. “You don’t want to cross me.”
“Evil is for adults who steal powerful ancient stones and wreak havoc,” says Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson), the newly-appointed head of The Vicious 6, who took over from the former, recently deposed Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin). “Not for tubby little punks, who should be at school learning, taking a recess and sucking his thumb! Come back when you’ve done something evil to impress me!”
To prove he’s got what it takes to be a supervillain, Gru steals something near and dear to the peach-pit sized hearts of the Vicious 6, their prized Zodiac Stone. Instead of impressing Belle Bottom, the theft turns her against Gru and his loyal Minions. With the mad, bad and dangerous to know Vicious 6 on their tail, Gru is kidnapped by Wild Knuckles. “My favorite villain is also my kidnapper,” marvels Gru. “This is going to be a great opportunity if you don’t kill me.”
Cue the Minion mayhem.
“The Minions: The Rise of Gru” provides fans of the franchise exactly what they want, no deep thoughts, just sublime silliness.
If you want to get all film critic-y about this, I suppose you could say the leitmotif is that of sweetly-inspired mayhem that follows the Minions wherever they go. But this isn’t a movie with layers of subtext or loads of diegetic elements. There is a denouement, a resolution to the story, but why overthink this? It’s short, fast and stupid, with an easily digested message of, as Armistead Maupin always says, finding your logical, not biological family. Or, as Gru says, “find your tribe and never let them go.” More zesty than arty, it’s made for kids, who I’m sure will gobble it up, while parents sit patiently through the 85 minute runtime with visions of the Three Stooges dancing in their heads.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the Melissa McCarthy mob story “The Kitchen,” the kid’s horror “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” the family adventure of “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and the Casey Affleck drama :Light of My Life.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the live action “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” the mildly scary “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” the family drama “Luce” and the mob tale “The Kitchen” with CFRA morning show guest host Matt Harris.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks two kid-friendly flicks, “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and the intense family drama “Luce.”
For most parents reading this Dora the Explorer needs no introduction. The animated Latina superstar has a level of preschooler fame that has inspired a cottage industry that includes three dozen foreign language adaptations, books, play kitchens, cosmetics, hygiene products and anything else on which you can slap Dora’s adorable image. Nineteen years after her TV debut Dora makes the leap to the big screen in the live-action family-adventure “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.”
“Instant Family’s” Isabela Moner plays the explorer, an intrepid youngster who grew up in the jungles of South America with her archaeology professor parents (Michael Peña and Eva Longoria).
As her parents are on the cusp of their greatest discovery, the lost Incan city of Parapata, said to contain more gold than the rest of the world combined, the homeschooled adventurer is sent off to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) and high school in Los Angeles. “I think it would be good for you to be out in the world, around kids your own age,” her mother says.
She’s rather be trekking through the jungles of Peru with her folks and sassy little monkey Boots (voice of Danny Trejo), but a much different adventure, involving mean-spirited teenagers who nickname her Dorka and metal detectors, awaits her in California. “I never felt lonely when I was alone in the jungle,” she says, “but now surrounded by kids I feel alone.”
When her parents disappear Dora, Diego and two schoolmates are kidnapped by some terrible people who want the kids to trek through the jungle, (“You have nothing to be scared of. The trouble is perfectly safe. Just don’t touch anything or agree it’s too deep.”) track down the parents and the location of the riches of Parapata.
A great deal of humour comes from Dora’s naïve approach to school life. “I hope this is a wild goose chase,” her class’s mean girl Sammy (Madeleine Madden). “I hope it is,” Dora replies. “I love chasing wild geese until I catch one. They are nasty.” It’s good situational humour that sets up Dora’s intelligence—the fourth wall lessons from the television show are also firmly in place. “Can you say neurotoxicity?”—her social ineptness and the character’s guilelessness.
The fast-paced film is part message movie featuring life lessons about how anything is possible if you believe in yourself how to do a poo hole in the jungle (“I tell you this to make you wiser,” Dora sings, “and because it’s natural fertilizer.”), part “Scooby-Doo style adventure. There’s even a trippy hallucination scene that pays direct homage to the movie’s cartoon roots.
Like the main character “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is relentlessly upbeat, brought to live-action with fun, performances that, while broad, still have heart. It’s both an updating of thr popular character and a throwback to old-school family adventure films.