Welcome to the Entertainment page. If a product needs reviewing or we just feel like making fun of Hollywood's most famous nimrods, you'll find it here.
For those who have managed to forget, before we got two too many (because there are two movies, geddit?) crappy movies featuring acid-bleeding xenomorphs and silly hunter aliens that for some reason enjoyed befriending humans, there was Predator from 1987. Why is this important? Partially because it establishes the fact that there ARE good movies with Predators in them, and partially because Predators is an extreme love-letter to the first film.
Featuring a cast of all-around military bad-asses (headed up by a “I've been smoking way too much and also gargling razorblades”-voiced Adrien Brody), as well as a crook(Walton Goggins) and some wimpy doctor (Topher Grace), it feels hard to be surprised that at least one of these characters is walking around with a minigun. Also, none of them have any idea where they are, or know each other, and there are of course, as the title suggests, predators hanging around.
So the basic plot is a rather simple thing, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. No one will watch this for the plot, they will watch it to see action and blood, something Predators, after a long introduction of the pretty enjoyable characters, delivers. True enough, some of the CG feels a bit strange, but mostly Predators simply feels like a Predator movie, something those other movies I won't mention never really managed. The vision and stuff is back, although they have a lot better resolution this time around, and there are a few new tricks up the Predators arsenal. For those who remember my AvP2 review, no worries, the Predators are competent in this one! Thing is, so are the soldiers.
The acting is never going to win any awards, but Walter Goggins' character is quite amusing and everyone else pulls off what they need to pull off.
Of course, one of the big things about Predators is the fact that it is completely full of references to Predator, so if you can I would highly recommend seeing the first one very shortly before seeing this one. That way, you might get maximal enjoyment, or perhaps frustration, I suppose is also possible, out of seeing Predators.
Without spoiling too much, there really is not a whole lot more to say about the film. There are a few surprises that happen (or, okay, maybe just the one), there are some cool action scenes and there is a lot of enjoyment to be had. Predators does not need to be the best movie of the year, it just needs to be the movie that shows that yes, there can be Predator movies that are not 2 decades old that are actually worth watching, and it actually does that. Predators is not the best action movie ever, and probably will not win any awards of any kind, but it should win a place within fans of the franchise's hearts, so hooray for Robert Rodriguez and Nimród Antal!
"Despicable Me” makes evil a family activity
By Ezra Mann (Editor in spoof)
With all the things that are good in life, we often will condemn or ignore something that is even the slightest bit fiendish. Sure, the agonizing 24-hour networks seem to thrive on bad information, but rarely do we acknowledge that inside all of us is a small desire to be mischievous.
Now I’m not saying we should live our lives in a nefarious manner and go on a crime spree across the country, but maybe just once in a while we can throw a bone to our dark side. That’s where this particular animated feature fits the bill and it throws in just enough good to satisfy the choir boys. “Despicable Me” gives audiences the full story of what the daily life of malevolent genius is like and does not skimp on making it a fun time out.
We’ve all seen the good guy beats bad guy and foils his plot for world domination or grand theft, but this time we’re introduced to a not so common villain named Gru (Steve Carell). In fact, this time there really is no super guy to save the day and instead the main character is of dastardly fame, finding it ever more difficult to be known to be the most hated around.
To make matters worse, a new cocky villain, Vector (Jason Segel), arrives on the scene and quickly makes a name for himself, displacing old Gru from his personal pedestal. Yet, we cannot count the wily older mastermind out of the despised race, for he’s even willing to adopt children, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher) to reclaim the downright dirty throne. Though done in a predictable fashion, what follows is certainly amusing enough to tickle any sense of humor.
One of the things that this flick did the best was the use of the “minions” to market it to the public. Anyone who sees this will have at least once seen a preview or commercial with these goofy, one-eyed assistants to Gru.
What this movie lacked in originality, it made up for in providing a good story that kept viewers interested. I especially loved Julie Andrew’s role of Gru’s mostly unappreciative mother. The use of subtle humor was also not lost on this movie buff and I encourage you to keep an eye out (Bank of Evil for example).
On some levels I could see it competing with “Toy Story 3” and “How to Train Your Dragon” for best animated feature. However, failing that this movie would be appropriate for any age and at least for a rental, however don’t bother paying the extra charge for 3D effects.
There are even rumors of a sequel, which could work, given that the studio does not sacrifice too much of the winning formula. The only thing I would have added is more scenes with the bank president, Mr. Perkins (Will Arnett), and Gru’s mom. For being one of the few movies of the year that lived up my expectations I give “Despicable Me” four out of five maniacal cackles.
Images are copyright of 20th Century Fox, Trouble Maker Studios and Universal Studios.
Past Entertainment: Julie & Julia and Futurama Returns review.