Despicable Me

O Despicable Me! You owe Dr. Seuss lunch! Didn’t your friends warn you – you are exactly like How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Still, you accomplish something very few films do – you are a satisfying modern adaptation/remake. Very few films ask themselves the question – do I really need to be re-adapted? Do I need to be remade? Can the original not stand on its own? Is the original so dated, or has the American viewing audience grown so retarded, that they cannot decipher its messages?

And I am not just referring to modern remakes. American-made versions overwhelmingly scar the legacy of their foreign-born counterparts. Just look at some hideously bad American-made versions – Scott Hicks’s  No Reservations, Yann Samuell’s My Sassy Girl, Neil LaBute’s Death at a Funeral. All mental midgets. All grossly inferior and misconstrued renderings of the source materials. But I digress. You Despicable Me are a gem. A real god amongst insects.

O Russell Brand! O Jason Segel! I was listening out for you and I did not even slightly recognize your voices. Steve Carell on the other hand – your voice was only thinly disguised. But why disguise? Why act at all actually? If producers are paying you all this money – why wouldn’t they want you to sound like yourself?

There is not much to say beyond these minor points. Other than there are some adorable animations. And a brilliant score produced by Pharrell Williams. Pretty much everything is better with Pharrell around. Music. Skateboards. Hats. A round of applause . . . $6

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Get Him to the Greek

O Jonah Hill! You haven’t lost your touch. Or any weight. Stay fat my friend! You’ve really packed them on recently – was it for Cyrus? But it works for you. Not like Val Kilmer. Val Kilmer looks like Val Kilmer’s obese older brother. But you’ve really grown into your body. And you run surprisingly fast! You do so much running in this film! I love watching fat kids run. It’s like watching a dog swimming. There’s something beautiful and miraculous and grotesque about it all simultaneously.

O Russell Brand! You are somehow more feminine than any woman and yet a perfectly masculine rock ‘n’ roll demigod. They need a new category for what you are. It would be just you and Michael Stipe. And maybe Gael Garcia Bernal in Bad Education. You also cry fantastically well. Tears of a clown. But you sold me. I thought, this guy knows what it is to be a heroin addict, father to an Italian photographer’s son, separated from a maniacal model/musician (whom is engaged to Lars Ulrich), gold medalist in debauchery, rock legend to millions, and sick enough (or generous enough) to engage in multiple gay sex acts with Jonah Hill. Good call on Nick Stoller’s part to focus the Forgetting Sarah Marshall spinoff on Aldous.

Puffy Diddy – sometimes you surprise me. When I saw you in Monster’s Ball I thought hey, that guy actually didn’t ruin the movie at all. Same goes here except you were good! A true asset to the movie as you got my expectations real low, and then you delivered a B+ performance. Applause to the whole team . . . $8

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