Thursday, July 15, 2010

‘Predators’– Action packed fun! And ‘Despicable Me’ Simply Hilarious 3D fun!

Who would have thought that Adrien Brody could be a six packed action hero? Let alone a convincing action hero? Yet in ‘Predators’, Nimrod Antals (Armored) total popcorn B movie treatment to Robert Rodriguez’s (Sin City) original send up that he had back in the early 90’s, he is able to pull it off very well.

Rodriguez, as a producer, writer and director has been establishing himself as a B movie icon; with ‘Predators’, his mantle is firmly in place with (complete with a cheesy trailer for the upcoming film ‘Machete’ which I will see opening night!) a solid B movie action flick that is helmed by a solid action director in Antals with a solid (surprisingly) cast that includes Topher Grace, Alice Braga and Danny Trejo (who will finally get a lead role in ‘Machete’). What makes this film fun is they clearly forgot the crud that was the previous sequels and went back to what worked – Predators hunting humans in a hot steamy jungle.

Now suddenly weary of hunting humans on Earth – the alien Predators have taken to kidnapping humans and bringing them to their very own gaming preserve. Plucking what they feel are the most cunning and notorious killers from Earth – the Predators freefall their Earthly prey onto the planet. Of course these unknowing victims have no clue where they are at (in the beginning) and quickly realize they are in the struggle of their lives. Adrien Brody is a black-ops mercenary who becomes the defacto leader of a band of killers who have been dropped on the planet and formed a very uneasy alliance in an effort to stay alive. The plot is basic and easily guessed – nothing is left to chance and nothing really jumps out at you. But you know what? That is ok with me, as the trip to the end is a fun ride. The dialogue is your basic B movie one liners; there are even a few homage’s to the original ‘Predator’ which I enjoyed quite a bit – especially the ending – who knew that Brody would have a six pack?

Everything is telegraphed in this plot and there are some mighty leaps of faith in the logic, but it is a SciFi film after all, so what else can you expect. But Brody is obviously having a blast as is the rest of the cast and their enjoyment does come through in the film. With very little CGI and a lot of amped up action – this 3 star bit of jungle adventure is worth the trip on a hot humid night!

While ‘Predators’ may not be the family film of the summer, ‘Despicable Me’ is certainly worth the extra price of admission for the 3D glasses! With stunning animation and a story that would entertain adults and kids alike, ‘Despicable Me’ is a welcome breath of fresh air to the family comedy.

Steve Carrell (The Office) is the evil scientist Gru who is quickly finding himself becoming obsolete at the hands of a younger super villain (hilariously played by Jason Segal). He devises a plan to steal the moon aided by a shrink ray (the testing of which will leave you in tears) and thus become the greatest villain ever.
Gru is surrounded by little yellow, tube like creatures called Minons; quite possibly some of the funniest creatures ever created in animation. Be sure to stick around for the end credits – especially if you view this in 3D. In an effort to steal the shrink ray, Gru adopts three little girls (another inspired piece of writing and characterization) to help him gain access to his nemesis’ home. Needless to say – the little girls teach Gru how to be a better person.

The laughs are plentiful and inspired. The sighs are just as inspired and will tug at your heart just as well! The animation is flawless and the 3D is simply stunning – giving the much vaunted Pixar a run for their money here! This is a film worth seeing in 3D and worth a viewing or two! This is a 4 star effort in any dimension!

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