Paul McGuire Grimes, author of Paul’s Trip to the Movies says there are some pretty good movies to go see this weekend.
DESPICABLE ME 3 (theatrical release)
Gru’s days of being the world’s greatest villain are long over. He and his wife Lucy are currently working for the Anti-Villain League only to be kicked out when they fail to capture Balthazar Bratt. Bratt was once a former teen star in Hollywood in the 80s who saw his hit TV show cancelled too early. Life imitated art when Bratt turned evil much life his famous character. He swore vengeance on Hollywood for cancelling his show. Gru is settling into family life with Lucy, his three daughters, and the gaggle of minions when he receives word of a longtime family secret. Gru learns he has a twin brother named Dru. Gru and his family go visit Dru in his lavish mansion where Dru opens up about wanting to live the villain life like his brother and their father. Gru falls into temptation and joins Dru in his attempt to track down Evil Bratt and find the prized diamond that has been stolen.
-Featuring the voices of: Steve Carell, Kristin Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Julie Andrews
-Best in this franchise since the first Despicable Me
-Plays up like a kid-friendly version of a James Bond or Mission: Impossible style movie with the gadgets, amped up cars, secret underground lairs, and action scenes.
-Adults will be happy to know it runs less than 90 minutes. Despite the short time frame, the story feels a bit stretched out with a few other subplots thrown in to fill the movie out.
-Plenty of laughs all around for kids and adults. There’s a funny number where the minions are caught unexpectedly on a TV singing competition and end up performing a song from The Pirates of Penzance. Kids won’t get the song, but adults may find it funny. There are plenty of references to the 1980s, which should also appease the adults more than kids.
-The minions are back up to their old tricks. They are cute in small doses and they don’t overstay their welcome in this movie.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Mindless entertainment for the kids that won’t totally annoy their parents.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
BABY DRIVER (theatrical release)
Ansel Elgort, the teen heartthrob from The Fault in Our Stars, stars in the title role as Baby. He’s a driver working under Kevin Spacey’s Doc who is the ringleader of a covert operation to rob banks. His crew switches up with each job with Baby being the only member of his team who returns each time. For a lack of better words, Baby is driven by music. He is constantly wearing earbuds and beats along to the rhythm of any song. This personality trait doesn’t sit to well with Bats who believes Baby’s ways will get them caught. After the second heist of the movie, Baby believes he’s worked his last job for Doc and thinks he can get back to his normal life where he’s the caretaker for a deaf man. There’s a really sweet and endearing relationship between them. He proceeds to take on the job of being a pizza delivery driver. Baby finds that just when he thinks he’s out, he’s being pulled right back in. This doesn’t bode well for the newly formed relationship that’s budding between him and diner waitress Debora.
-Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Flea
-Due to the heavy use of music, it has the elements of a musical minus the full-fledged dance numbers. Much like a traditional musical, the film’s soundtrack of songs played on Baby’s iPod is constantly driving the tempo of the film. It’s perfectly curated with the likes The Commodores, Beck, Carla Thomas, Simon and Garfunkel, and Focus to name a few.
-There is a specific choreography to the driving sequences. They’re slick, energetic, and in your face to the point where they make some of the Fast and the Furious scenes look weak.
-Ansel Elgort has proven to be more than a one-hit wonder actor. He brings vitality to Baby that makes him a joy to watch. He pairs well with Lily James who plays love interest Debora. James has this charming spirit to her that we previously saw in Cinderella and Downton Abbey.
– It’s high on action while keeping its consistent wit and sense of humor. There were times where the audience was laughing so hard I missed the next line of dialogue.
-Baby Driver stands above the rest as one of the most original movies you’ll see this year. There have been many other movies about bank heists and the crew behind them, yet Baby Driver still feels fresh thanks to the music, dialogue, humor, and performances.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? A high-octane thrill ride with a fantastic soundtrack
RATING: 4.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (home release)
One of the best parts of that The LEGO Movie was its depiction of Batman, voiced by funnyman Will Arnett doing his best Christian Bale impression. Now Lego Batman has his own movie, and it lives up to the expectations of the first film. In a big sweeping opening scene, the Joker rounds up all of Gotham’s finest villains and plants a bomb at the energy facility plant. He naturally swoops in and saves the day in pure Batman fashion. The Joker and his crew return for their revenge at a gala for Commissioner Jim Gordon’s retirement. They stage a big takeover leaving new commissioner, Barbara Gordon, and Batman scrambling to take control over the situation. In another surprise move, the Joker turns himself in and locks up the rest of his cronies. Batman’s ego starts to get in the way when gets the idea to send the Joker up into the Phantom Zone. Sounds great for the Caped Crusader but what he doesn’t realize is that he’s playing into the Joker’s hand. Batman beams him up to the Zone where the Joker joins forces with some of cinema’s greatest villains like King Kong, Godzilla, Sauron, Voldemort, and the Wicked Witch of the West. Back down in Gotham, Batman learns that he inadvertently agreed to take in an orphan boy. Surprise, its Dick Grayson, aka Robin! When the Joker and his swarm of villains strike down in Gotham, it becomes too great of a battle for Batman to face alone. He’s a guy that typically likes to work alone but calls on Barbara, Robin, and even Alfred to save Gotham.
-Featuring the voices of: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis
-Acts as a big tribute to the Batman canon, multiple references to ALL of the previous movies and the old Adam West TV show.
-Like the first film, it is high energy right from the very beginning. Silly humor for the kids as well as some witty moments for the adults that will easily go over their kids’ head.
-Animation isn’t as detailed oriented as the first film, which really adhered to everything looking and feeling like Lego pieces. Nor does this one have the “surprise” ending that the first film had.
-Leagues better than any of the recent DC movies. It’s a very self-aware movie as it knows it’s a Lego Batman movie and really plays into the fun of it. Doesn’t take itself too seriously.
-Contains a new theme song “Friends Are Family” highlighting one of the movie’s messages about the importance of family for both Batman and Robin and that it takes a village to make a change in this world. There’s also fun take on Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”