Saturday, January 29, 2011

Despicable Me, Nicholas Sparks, & Memento

The Last Song
I've seen a run of movies lately, some of which don't deserve their own post. Thus far, the only Nicholas Sparks book-turned-into-movie I have liked is A Walk to Remember. I recently watched The Last Song and Dear John. Both were tear-jerkers, and while that would usually endear me to a movie, I really didn't like either movie. I would have liked The Last Song better without Miley Cyrus. Her character didn't feel genuine to me. I haven't even watched Miley Cyrus act or perform before, and I couldn't stand her. I like her deep voice, and that's about all. I don't know why, exactly. She just comes off as fake to me.

Dear John
As for Dear John, what a horrible movie! In that case, I like the actors but couldn't stand the movie. It was all about two people who fall in love over two weeks, and then he goes off to war and they begin to drift apart. Duh. Finally, she leaves him for a man who has cancer and his autistic son. Was this supposed to endear me to her? Actually, she came off as selfish and weak to me. I totally understood and liked the soldier. Neither of them die, oddly enough for Nicholas Sparks, but all they do is hug at the end. Lame. The book is probably better.

Memento was crazy. It's a Christopher Nolan film (Inception was awesome!), and it's told backwards. The story is about a guy who can't form any short term memories although all his memories up to a certain point are intact. The last thing he remembers is his wife...dying. He's trying to discover her killer and solve her case on his own, since he doesn't know whom to trust. In order to be able to keep working on a case without short-term memory, he tattoos his body with important information and keeps photographs in his pocket. He does whatever his own writing tells him to do. He has to trust every piece of information he writes down in his own hand. It's fascinating, especially as we begin to put the picture together from the backward fragments of the character's life. The ending totally disappoints, but the movie is worth watching for cinematic value. It's rated R for language, and sections are really bad.

Despicable Me

Despicable Me was a surprise. I wasn't all that interested in seeing it, but a friend recommended it, mainly because she knew the production designer, Yarrow Cheney. You've never heard of him, but if you watch Despicable Me, he gets his very own credit screen at the end of the movie.

The movie is really funny and quirky. Villainous Gru is being upstaged by a young pyramid-snatching villain, so he gets a plan in motion to shrink and steal the moon. Meanwhile, three orphan sisters come into his life, and while trying to use them to further his evil plans, he begins to get attached. Steve Carell voices Gru and does an amazing job with an accent that reminded me slightly of my German grandfather. Gru is all dead-pan serious, but some of the things he says come off hilarious. He struck me as different than other characters Steve Carell has played. The three girls are down-to-earth smart and adorable too. I don't know where the music came from, if it was created just for this movie or not, but the title song is perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed Despicable Me. And it's a family movie. Of the four here, that's the one to see. Leave Memento for the movie connoisseurs.


  1. I want to see "Despicable Me" so much! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    I love "Memento"! It's such a great idea and such a unique film. It is fascinating, like you said. I liked the ending, though. Were you disappointed because you had different expectations? What were they?

  2. I didn't like the ending because I don't like my protagonists to be bad or morally ambiguous, or at least, I don't like to be led to believe they are one way when they are another. It was certainly a clever ending, but I just didn't like it. I like positive endings or redemptive endings. That's not to say I don't like some movies out there that don't qualify, but by general rule, that's what I like.

  3. Ah. That makes sense. In general, I also like that, too. "Memento," however, I don't think lends itself to that sort of an ending.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.