Despicable Me

Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Synopsis: In a happy suburban neighborhood surrounded by white picket fences with flowering rose bushes, sits a black house with a dead lawn. Unbeknownst to the neighbors, hidden beneath this home is a vast secret hideout. Surrounded by a small army of minions, we discover Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), planning the biggest heist in the history of the world. He is going to steal the moon. (Yes, the moon!) Gru delights in all things wicked. Armed with his arsenal of shrink rays, freeze rays, and battle-ready vehicles for land and air, he vanquishes all who stand in his way. Until the day he encounters the immense will of three little orphaned girls who look at him and see something that no one else has ever seen: a potential Dad. The world’s greatest villain has just met his greatest challenge: three little girls named Margo, Edith and Agnes.

Release Date: July 9, 2010

Despicable Me 2 Trailer

Pardon our confusion, but aren’t the minions of Despicable Me fame getting their own feature? (The answer is yes, they are, in 2014.) So why then is this first full-length trailer for Despicable Me 2 so minion-focused? Why are we watching approximately two minutes of two minions talking in their minionspeak, being silly, finding themselves terrified by furry creatures, and maybe (just maybe!) getting abducted by aliens? Is this plot of this film such a closely guarded secret that we can’t even see the vast majority of the project’s most recognizable non-minion lead characters? Well, perhaps. We actually don’t know much about the plot of Despicable Me 2; even its official logline only tells us that the film is “an all-new comedy animated adventure featuring the return of Gru (Steve Carell), the girls, the unpredictably hilarious minions…and a host of new and outrageously funny characters.” Dare to dream that means Jason Segel and his tiny toilet are set to return. Watch the minions get (maybe?) abducted by aliens after the break.

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Minions

It’s always excellent when movie studios want to engage in experimentation, especially when it’s to test the elastic limits of how cutely annoying a character can be. If something’s funny for a few minutes of comic relief, can it work for an entire movie? Dreamworks and Illumination are betting that their minions can. According to Deadline Abernathy, the tiny yellow creatures from Despicable Me and the upcoming sequel might possibly get their own feature flick. They’re just like the Madagascar penguins except they speak entirely in bleeps and bloops and slapstick. Hopefully there will be subtitles. It feels like it could be a lot of fun, but there’s a twinge of the terrifying possibility that it’s a horrific idea – like giving the Crazy Frog Ringtone its own reality show. Or the aliens from Toy Story getting a book deal. Or something. The point is that it’s going to be two hours of high-pitched screeching.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column dedicated to what’s happening. We begin this evening’s rather slim pickings with a shot from Dredd, which is one of a number of images from Dredd that hit the web over the last few days. I will say this: Lena Headey looks pretty fierce as Ma-Ma.

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Couple of questions for you: are you full up on adorable teaser trailers for the day after that charming Frankenweenie spot? Or do you have room in your heart for more cute? Have you missed the minions? Fine, that’s three questions, but they’re all applicable. Universal Pictures and Illuminations Entertainment’s Despicable Me came out of nowhere in 2010 to become a charming box office smash. Who knew that an animated film about a super-villain who adopts three tiny orphans as part of one of his evil super-villain plans would end up being so sweet, touching, and funny? Not me. I had no idea. And then I cried in the first film – I cried. So yes, I would like the inevitable sequel to come out right about now. But we won’t be getting it until next summer. So, until then, sate your desire for villainous hijinks, peppy minions who speak their own wacky little language, and perhaps more music than you’re expected with the most teaser-iffic of teaser trailers for Despicable Me 2. It’s an all-minion affair, so be warned.

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The Producers Guild of America is known for aligning its picks with the Oscar nominations with the startling regularity that can only come when two groups share the same voting pool. That’s why groups like, say, the Hollywood Foreign Press (who I think actually nominated a nip-slip video this year) doesn’t match up at all. The PGA, which announced its award nominees today, went 9 for 10 last year, and by the looks of this list, they might just do it again in 2011.

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This Week in Blu-ray

Trash-pickers who take down major weapons dealers, animated villains looking to steal the moon, an angry one-eyed John Wayne and a team of tough guys who specialize in the ridiculous. This Week in Blu-ray is going to be a busy one. Then again, isn’t it always sort of busy for this column? With more and more classics being brought to the most modern format and a slew of pre-holiday releases hitting shelves, the war being waged against your pocketbook has never been more intense. Lucky for you that I’m here to help. I may not be a man with grit that’s true (and thus have never had a song sung about me by Glen Campbell), but I do have some knowledge about all things Blu-ray. I also have DVD reviewer extraordinaire Rob Hunter swooping in to help out. Now onward with this week’s release slate.

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“Candy, Chicks and Rock ‘n Roll.” That’s the tag-line for Hop, the upcoming animated feature starring the voice of British comedian turned American movie star Russell Brand. It comes from the creators of Despicable Me, telling the comic tale of Fred (James Marsden), a lovable slacker bunny who accidentally injures the Easter Bunny (Brand) and must take over for him. It finally fills that gap in holiday movies, in which the Easter Bunny is unfortunately mis-represented. This one takes the premise of The Santa Clause and every other mystical holiday movie ever and applies it to Easter. It will surely overtake The Passion of the Christ as the must-watch Easter movie for families. Check the poster after the jump…

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This week, on a very special Reject Radio, Landon Palmer grabs half a handle of expensive whiskey and gets nostalgic about Cinematic One Night Stands (those movies that you love but never want to see again). We also dig deep into the question of how a CGI character can be fired, debate who should direct Wicked, and discover Youtube. Plus, we manage to squeeze in a few minutes to review Despicable Me, I Am Love, and Predators. Check it out after the jump!

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The Reject Report

It’s time to put the skepticism to bed like the nice orphan of past failures that it is.  Just about every film this weekend performed either right around or above expectations, and some second, third, and even fourth weekend films had drops that were impressively minuscule.  As expected, Despicable Me was the big winner of the weekend, but even its take was head and shoulders above most analyst’s best guesses. Predators wasn’t a slam-dunk champion, but it performed on par given its rating and mid-range budget.  Even limited releases that didn’t break into the top 10 had notable debuts.  All in all it was a lucrative weekend to own a movie studio.

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Jason Segel in Despicable Me

A short time ago I was given the opportunity to sit down and talk to Jason Segel of the Universal Pictures animated offering, Despicable Me. In the film, Segel plays the nerdy Vector  – the nemesis of the main character Gru (Steve Carrell). He is way too geeky to be as cocky as he is. Holed up in his sleek house/fortress, Vector can usually be found in his orange warm-up suit, playing video games while plotting his nextmove. His favorite weapon is a gun that fires live pira-nhas. Unfortunately for him, Vector has a hard timekeeping the carnivores inside the gun’s barrel… Click on through the jump to see what Segel had to say about the film, his role as Vector, and whatever else came to mind during a quick but informative Q&A. Below are some of the highlights of that event.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr found himself awake on a distant planet being hunted by macho Rastafarian aliens. Then he realized he was still dreaming. Sucked back into reality, he dove into the 3D experience of Despicable Me and reached for a dunce cap for Predators.

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The Reject Report

As is the case of the rest of the Twilight franchise, Eclipse‘s stay at the top is sure to be short-lived. Two new films hit this weekend, neither of which have the potential to set box-office standards but both that are sure to deliver more than dismal numbers. An animated film in Despicable Me and a return to an R-rated legacy in Predators. The top spot is sure to be a toss-up between the two. Thank God it’s not a hand-to-hand battle, because I feel the spear-wielding, shoulder cannon-blasting alien hunters from another world might serve as a challenge to Steve Carell’s plot to steal the moon. The minions might help though, and that could level the playing field if just for a bit. Full box office analysis and predictions after the jump…

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Despicable Me

I’ve been looking forward to Despicable Me for a while; having seen trailers, the 3D animated film out of Universal looked like it had the potential to be a lot of fun. While I was far from unhappy with the final product, what seems increasingly to be a universal truth surfaced once again — all computer animated film fare is measured against the visual and storytelling juggernaut that is Pixar… and they remain the unwavering king of the mountain. Despicable Me is the story of Gru (Steve Carrell), a past-his-prime villain heavy on unsavory aspirations but lacking in execution. One day Gru learns that every baddie, himself included, have been left eating dust when a mystery evil genius steals one of the Great Pyramids. Not content to be outdone, Gru devises a plan to infiltrate a secret base, swipe their experimental shrink ray, and steal the moon.

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Over the weekend, FSR reader Josh L. dropped me a link to what he called “a very cool animated mashup” that paired the upcoming action barrage The Expendables with some of the most beloved animated characters of the modern era.

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Twilight: Eclipse

According to today’s final line-up press release, LAFF will welcome the world premiere of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third film in the popular glittery vampire romance franchise. But fans might be disappointed about how it’s scheduled to go down.

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The folks over at Times Online (via /Film) have posted the latest international trailer for Universal’s upcoming animated crime comedy Despicable Me. And without sounding too oblivious, I must admit that I’m very confused.

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despicable-me-header

Ever since Universal Pictures released the first teaser trailer for their upcoming animated comedy Despicable Me back in July, I’ve been curious about it. After trailer two, I’m interested.

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Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for their upcoming animated comedy Despicable Me, which stars an all-star cast led by Steve Carell.

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