FILM: DESPICABLE ME 2
In ‘Despicable Me’, the 2010 box office smash-hit that grossed more than $540 million, becoming the 10th-biggest animated motion picture in U.S. film history, audiences were introduced to Gru (voice of Steve Carell), the super-villain protagonist who was given a monumental challenge when he encountered three orphan girls who unexpectedly changed his life.
The arc of the relationship between Gru and Margo (Miranda Cosgrove of television’s ‘iCarly’), Edith (Dana Gaier of ‘Bullied’) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher of television’s ‘Masha and the Bear’) was the heartbeat of this animated adventure, and remains an essential element in what has grown into a franchise.
Now that the ever-entrepreneurial Gru has left behind a life of super crime to raise the three girls, the onetime super villain, along with Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand of ‘Get Him to the Greek’, ‘Hop’) and the Minions have some free time on their hands.
But as he starts to adjust to his role as a suburban family man, an ultra-secret organization dedicated to fighting evil around the globe comes knocking. Now, it’s up to Gru and his new partner, Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig of ‘Bridesmaids’, TV’s ‘Saturday Night Live’), to discover who is responsible for a spectacular crime and bring him to justice. After all, it takes the world’s greatest ex-villain to catch the one vying to take his place…
Fans of the first film that may be concerned that their favourite anti-hero has been watered down, or lost his edge due to his new domestic obligations need not worried. It was crucial to the creative team behind the film that they kept many elements of the freeze-ray-trigger-happy, iron-maiden-housing misanthrope that animation fans across the globe have grown to love. “If Gru’s not a super-villain, how does that feel? In the first film, we established his love of villainy. He wanted to steal the moon. He had these great big plans and wanted to prove himself to be the best villain, even if he wasn’t. He was a gruff guy who loved that life. If he makes the decision to leave that behind because it’s best for his family, how does he feel about that and what should he do next?” asks director Chris Renaud.
The director is the first to admit that he didn’t want to return to this world unless there was a logical story to tell about it. “You’re hoping, particularly if people respond well to the first film, that you’ve told the story that those characters were meant to tell.
So we all felt strongly about rising up to this challenge and finding a new aspect of this family’s story. How does the character of Gru evolve? How do the Minions evolve? What’s a different way we can play with them? ‘Despicable Me 2’ is about the extension of – or potential completion of – that family,” adds Renaud.
VOICE CAST: Benjamin Bratt,Dana Gaier,Elsie Fisher, Ken Jeong,Kristen Wiig,Miranda Cosgrove,Russell Brand,Steve Carell,Steve Coogan
DIRECTORS: Chris Renaud and
FILM: KILLER JOE
22 year-old Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) is a drug dealer down on his luck, but things are about to go from bad to worse when he hires the unexpectedly charming hit man, Killer Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), to murder his own mother for her $50000 life insurance policy. With barely a dollar to his name Chris agrees to offer up his younger sister, Dottie (Juno Temple), as sexual collateral in exchange for Joe’s services until he receives the insurance money. That is, if it ever does come in.
“There’s a thin line between good and evil and there is the possibility of evil in all of us,” says director Willian Friedkin. With ‘Killer Joe’, Friedkin delights in exploring the more sinister aspects that lurk among our fellow mankind. From the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tracy Letts, the film portrays those who are forced to face the truth about themselves in close quarters, and what happens when they’d rather not. However, it’s not an entirely heartless reflection. Surprisingly, Friedkin reveals, “I myself have felt all of the emotions in my films at one time or another. I was drawn to this project as it’s about innocence, victimhood, vengeance, and tenderness.”
CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon
DIRECTOR: William Friedkin