'Predator,' 'Despicable Me' Cool Ways To Spend Summer Afternoon
I would like to start off by saying that I saw “Predators” at midnight last Thursday, the same night as LeBron’s “The Decision” aired on ESPN. That decision was talked about by a lot of people that were in the theater with me and my buddy Justin. Since I’m late to the party in putting in my own two cents, I’ll make this rant short.
While I wasn’t shocked that he was leaving Cleveland I figured he’d have the guts to go to the Bulls because then he’d actually have to prove he could beat Wade and Bosh (and he would’ve because that Bulls team is loaded especially now that they have Boozer), he instead resigned to just be a co-star to Wade and essentially eliminating himself from the greatest of all time argument.
I am surprised that he chose to do it in the dumbest possible way with a one hour special that managed to be more awkward and ill advised then Mel Gibson’s latest tirade. Oh well, I am just going to predict this now, the Heat will reach the finals lose to the Lakers because L.A. is deeper and has more role players then they do, but they will ultimately be a dynasty, that is unless Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony join the Knicks.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
“Predators”: Fear is Reborn and it KICKS TOTAL @**!
One of the first action movies I ever saw growing up was 1987’s “Predator,” a movie that featured two future Governors (the Governator, and Jesse the Gubernatorial Body Ventura), and Apollo Creed. It also featured one of the most unique movie creatures since “Alien.”
This movie had it all, explosions, awesome Predator kills, and a bounty of great action movie lines such as “I ain’t got time to bleed,” “Stick around,” “Get to the chopper,” and “YOU ARE ONE UGLY MOTHER*@#$%^,”
Then they made the dreadful “Predator 2” with Danny Glover who by then proved that he was too old for this s---, and then a couple of years ago there were the two abysmal “Alien vs. Predator” films. Even though Robert Rodriguez was producing this franchise reboot, I was skeptical, but after seeing the finished product, I am happy to report that this is the “Predator” sequel that the franchise deserves.
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The movie starts out with Royce (Oscar winner Adrien Brody) falling out of the sky to jungle that seemingly looks like Earth but isn’t. Royce is a mercenary and is dropped with all of his weapons. He meets up with Isabelle (Alice Braga), another mercenary, and a plethora of other killers highlighted by Topher Grace’s (“That 70’s Show,” “In Good Company”) Edwin, a doctor, Walton Goggins (“The Shield,” “Justified”) death row inmate Stans, and Danny Trejo’s (“Desperado,” “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”) cartel enforcer Cuchillo.
They search the planet for a way out and realize that they are all there for a purpose. They are on what is essentially a game preserve and they, of course, are the game. As soon as this realization is made, the Predators begin to take them down one by one, and we are reintroduced to the Predators and what they can do. For instance, they can camouflage to the point of invisibility, they see in infrared, they can record voices to draw prey in, they can blow themselves up when they know they’re going to die, and they’re weapons are awesome.
The whole movie is essentially action, there is no real dead space even when they stay for the night with decade-long survivor and slightly insane Nolan (played by Lawrence Fishburne), who tells them of a ship that the Predators use to leave once hunting season is over.
I thought this movie was awesome, the kills are well done, love that there are two types of Predators (which is a nice addition), and I think that while the characters aren’t all that developed they are still fun to be around for an hour and 40 minutes (especially Goggins’ Stans who provides some sick comic relief). My favorite thing, though, is that it references the first film both with mentioning the Governator, and with the musical score and song used at the end of the film. My only complaint really was that our sound was a tad messed up but that wasn’t the movie’s fault (I’m looking at you midnight projectionist). By the way ladies, you will enjoy this too if for nothing else then to see how ripped Adrien Brody is.
Now let’s switch gears, shall we?
“Despicable Me”: Proving Villains Do Not Have to be Despicable
Last year I remember seeing the teaser for this movie about a dozen times or so. All it showed was some tourists discovering that the Egyptian pyramids were stolen and replaced with an inflatable look alike.
Other then that, all I knew was the movie was to be in 3D (in this case it was a good move), Steve Carell was the star, and that it had a bunch of little yellow creatures called minions. As more information came out I started to really want to see this movie. It looked unique and yet familiar at the same time, and when I finally got a chance to see it (kids really liked this movie, it took me until Monday to get in), I am ready to declare that “Despicable Me” is the second best animated movie that will come out all year (that’s not a knock by the way it just can’t top “Toy Story 3”).
The movie is about Gru (Steve Carell) a super villain who speaks in a weird sort of Hungarian accent. Gru likes to steal landmarks, drive the most politically correct SUV, and have an elaborate Dr. Evil style underground lair.
Gru does all this to essentially get attention from his mean unloving mother (Julie Andrews). He lives with the little yellow minions and his weapons designer Dr. Nefario (voiced by a hilarious and unrecognizable Russell Brand). Gru thinks he is the greatest super villain until his rival, Vector (voiced by Jason Segel), steals an Egyptian pyramid using a shrink ray.
In retaliation Gru decides to steal the moon using Vector’s shrink ray. He doesn’t have a clue how to get it until three orphan girls (the oldest voiced by “iCarly” star Miranda Cosgrove) show up at his door step. He sees them as a means to an end and they see him as a potential father figure. As the movie goes on we are treated to some great sight gags and a lot of great jokes. We also see the inevitable way that the girls essentially melt Gru’s heart.
I liked this movie a lot, it was fun and becomes one of the rare movies that actually makes use of 3D. I highly recommend it as both kids and grown ups will have a blast and I implore you to stay for the credits as you will be treated to the minions essentially poking fun at the 3D craze.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned as tomorrow (and I mean it, it’s almost done), Leonardo DiCaprio invades my dreams (wait does that sound right?) as I see “Inception”.
As always you can see these and other fine films at your local Regal Cinemas.