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Movie Review: ‘Despicable Me 3’ Is Cumbersomely Cute

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or most audiences, there is only one question they want to know about the latest movie of adorable minions: Is it cute? And, yes, Despicable Me 3 is cute. Also, the sky is blue. But that is all these Despicable Me and Minions movies have been since the start. They have always embodied a silliness for the crude and slapstick, sprinkled with the childish doe eyes of pint-sized characters making sweet gestures and jabs.

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Gru is back…this time, with a twin!

There isn’t much else to be invested in with these stories that play more like a pastiche of funny gags rather than a movie that earns its sentimental heart for family. And this latest film gives me little reason to believe that Illumination Entertainment will ever improve anything in this runaway franchise of babbles and bananas, both of which can only be funny for so long.

There are so many plots at play here of lost opportunities that it becomes maddening how frantic this movie is to escape anything meaningful. Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are now a married couple working together with the Anti-Villain League to take down international criminals. This could be a fun avenue to explore for newlyweds trying to function together on the job and balance their home life with their three girls, but the movie seems more preoccupied with their latest mission.

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The new guy looks like trouble.

The villain they must stop this time is more memorable, but not in a good way. Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) is a child actor turned criminal; clinging to the 1980s so hard it has become his villain theme. His 80s themed gadgets of exploding Rubik’s cubes and an energy-generating keyboard guitar are funny for the opening segment where he snatches a large diamond. The second time, not so much. The third time, the joke is more dated than the era it is mocking. I was over his gimmick quickly, which is saying something from a critic who can’t get enough of Michael Jackson and a-Ha.

Related: Movie Review: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Is a Youthful Jolt of Superhero Joy

After both Gru and Lucy fail to catch Bratt and are kicked out of the AVL by a new boss (another potential arc that goes nowhere), Gru happens to discover that he has a long lost twin brother Dru (also Carrell). Wouldn’t Gru be extremely peeved at his mother for concealing this information for years? Nope, he’s too giddy to meet his brother than to be bothered with further questioning this revelation. So giddy in fact that he hits it off far too well with the overly chipper Dru and his full head of hair. Their clashes are more physical than personal as Dru is a constant klutz and inept at the skill of villainy he wants to master so badly.

While Gru embraces the latest discovery of a sibling, the rest of the family go off on other adventures that don’t clash with the Gru and Dru diamond heist operation. Lucy wants to be a better mother and starts embracing a more stricter tone with discipline and protection of her children. Youngest daughter Agnes, having sold off her plush fluffy unicorn, decides to seek out a real fluffy unicorn. Oldest daughter Margo finds herself trying to ward off a pudgy little boy that takes a romantic interest in her. Middle daughter Edith, the troublemaker of the pack, once more has nothing to do in this story. Middle kids always seem to get the shaft.

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Don’t forget these jailbirds.

The yellow pill-shaped minions are once more pushed into the background, a better fit for their antics as opposed to their leading role in 2015’s Minions. After having put up with enough of Gru’s anti-villain lifestyle, they quit and decide to go off on their own to be bad boys. Of course, they’re far too adorable to be taken seriously as criminals, but they seem to regain their evilness when they all end up in prison, intimidating the more muscle-bound prisoners for some reason. Their bits are so simple and short with the most expected and mundane of prison humor, proving that the appeal of the minions is on its last leg if it wasn’t already hopping to the next picture.

Read more for the rest of the Despicable Me 3 movie review:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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