Despicable Me 2 (2013) — If only all terrific movies got a sequel this solid. It’s probably not as good as the first one (I can’t recall any single line as memorable as “It’s so fuzzy I’m gonna die!”), and there was a definite predictability to the concept of the sequel beeing Gru getting a love interest to make their family structurally complete — I’m pretty confident speculating that Despicable Me 3 will be about Gru and Lucy having a baby, and the adopted girls getting nervous about being displaced in the family — but it was still clever and delightful. And, of course, minions are always awesome.
Planet of Dinosaurs (1977) — At Westercon 67, I’ll be doing an live MST3K-style commentary track along with Dave Butler and Carter Reid, and I’m in charge of choosing the particular B-movie to be targeted. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be “auditioning” likely features, both seen before and unseen, so see what would likely render enough opportunity for frequent funny comments. Planet of Dinosaurs is definitely a cheap and clunky movie leavened only by notably good stop-motion animation, but I don’t think it’s as easily ridiculed as we want. (For comparison, Larry Correia and I did this routine last year at CONduit with Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn as our subject, and it was all we could have wanted.) If I ever get Cold Fusion Video Reviews back up and visible, you’ll be able to see my full thoughts on this one.
Ender’s Game (2013) — I read the novel about twenty-five years ago and only remember a few scenes and themes, so I can’t comment on its faithfulness. One thing I did note is that it seemed… the word I keep coming back to is “sketched,” moving from scene to scene and plotpoint to plotpoint with almost hasty dispatch. Or maybe I’m growing too accustomed to LotR-style Hollywood epics, which expand even simple stories into movie trilogies full of staring into space at slow-motion tableaus while Enya sings…
A semi-related observation: Why does Hollywood still pay individual composers for individual movie scores? Halfway through, I noted that this score seemed identical to that used in two of the previews on the DVD, plus the score to Man of Steel and everything else with a thudding, pounding minor-key Hans-Zimmeresque soundtrack. (Ender’s Game’s score comes to us courtesy of Steve Jablonsky, who has provided the music for anything Transformers-related in the last decade.) How about the studios save money and go back to using library scores, since they all sound that way anyway?