Words of encouragement can make such a difference in a person’s life. In a similar way, a lack of encouraging words can also have a dramatic effect on an individual. When there is a new member in my yoga classes, I make a point to tell the person they did a good job at the end of class. Especially when they have paid attention to what their body was physically able to do; instead of trying to copy my every move. When I first started attending group exercise classes, I felt intimidated. It seemed as if everyone knew the moves. There I was trying to copy the steps; not only feeling uncomfortable, but aware that the extra 85 pounds I was carrying made me stand out even more. A kind word or two would have been nice. I never went back to that particular class. In this animated film, I was surprised to find what motivated the main character Gru, voiced by Steve Carell (Hope Springs, Date Night). When the world discovered the Great Pyramid of Giza was stolen, Gru was determined to do something even more spectacular. He wanted to be the most evil villain of all time. Not only would he not be outshone but he would make his mother proud. His mother was voiced by Julie Andrews (Tooth Fairy, Victor Victoria). His plan to beat master thief Vector, voiced by Jason Segel (The Muppets, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), hit a speed bump when three orphaned girls entered his life. The movie started out slow for me, but I soon realized the humor had a certain amusing sophistication to it, not a typical slapstick schtick. While Steve did a perfect job with his character, I had no idea Julie and Jason were the voices of their characters. The humor was appropriate for all ages and I liked the added twists to the story. It is amazing what some people will do just to get approval. I for one approved of this movie.
3 stars — DVD
When I am not teaching my classes, some days I can be found in aisle 9, candies and cookies, of my local grocery store. The rush I get while I peruse the assortment of delicious treats was the same feeling I felt at the opening scene of this combo animated and live action movie. My television screen was filled with delectable sweet delicacies from the Easter Bunny candy factory. I enjoyed the beginning of this fanciful film. The story was about the Easter Bunny’s son E.B., voiced by Russell Brand (Arthur, Get Him to the Greek), who did not want to take over for his Dad and become the Easter Bunny. Instead, E.B. wanted to become a famous drummer, running away to Hollywood to fulfill his dream. It was at this point of the movie where things began to fall apart for me. Enter James Marsden (Enchanted, Hairspray) as Fred O’Hare, an unemployed slacker who accidentally injured E.B. with his car. From the wonderful opening the rest of the movie was lackluster with primitive humor. What could have been an interesting story just never clicked with me and I found myself being bored. Out of the choices available to see an animated, fantasy movie; I felt like I just pulled out the green Life Saver from my assortment pack–my least favorite flavor.
2 stars — DVD