It’s interesting to think about which movies will be remembered as classics 20-30 years down the road. Interesting, and also depressing. Stop and think. Is there one film made during the modern movie age that will resonate throughout pop culture like a Godfather or a Star Wars? There are no more Godfathers, mostly because the Mafioso in the modern studio system don’t believe in them anymore.
Movies mirror the culture they’re released into. It’s no coincidence that the biggest movies now are sloppily constructed rehashes used to make a quick buck. See also: the housing crisis. The most endearing movies of the old age are often blockbusters, but they’re also something more: risks that paid off. George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola had to fight like hell to get their movies made, and struggled to keep them once they were financed. In modern times, once you’re inside the system, there is no fighting. You make the movie they tell you to, or else you pay for it yourself.
Despicable Me Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud Written by: Ken Daurio, Sergio Pablos, Cinco Paul Starring: Steve Carrel, Russel Brand, Jason Segel, Will Arnett, Kristen Wigg
Maybe our generation is spoiled. Given Pixar just eleven-peated at the box office and in reviews with the latest Toy Story installment, it seems like audiences can’t stomach any other brand of animation. It’s nearly impossible to read a review of an animated movie (Pixar or not) that doesn’t bring up the success the company has with blending sentiment, humor and cinematic beauty into its layers of computer generated imagination. So when any other work outside of Pixar comes out with one-note characters, cheesy karaoke or dance scenes, celebrity voice actors and the promise of a heightened 3D experience, it’s hard not to find it… despicable.
With Despicable Me, it seems no different. There’s the corny villain, the cute non-talking sidekick character(s) and the ‘everybody dances’ scene in the end because filmmakers couldn’t think any other clever, satisfying or touching way to end the story they just told for two hours. But luckily it is mildly saved in mild sentiment, mild story and mild humor of Steve Carrel. Continue reading →