There’s a human tendency to resent anyone who disagrees with our pleasures. The less mature interpret that as a personal attack on themselves. They’re looking for support and vindication. In the area of movies, no phenomenon has dramatized this more than the rise of Rotten Tomatoes. When a movie is running at 100% on the Tomatometer, an inevitable death watch occurs, as readers await the first negative vote. Recently the perfect ratings for “Toy Story 3” and “Inception” were “spoiled” by Armond White. There was outrage. The Twitterverse was in flames. A. O. Scott and 22 others also disliked the film, but it was White who got the attention, because he has been cast as the spoiler. As many actors will tell you, it’s more fun to be the villain than the hero. Actually, the Meter on “Inception” is holding at around 84%, but that’s small consolation for some of its fans. They require perfection.
For some fans, what was necessary was to find validation for their opinions. The Tomatometer, Metacritic, MRQE, Movie Review Intelligence, and the IMDb User Score are easy places to do that. What it comes down to is, you “liked” it and so you require everyone else to “like” it too. When I attacked “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” I got 874 comments. About 600 of them were outraged, and most of those were offended that I disagreed with them.
So what? I thought “Dark City” was the best film of its year and “Synecdoche, NY” the best film of its decade. I was in the minority both times. Long years ago, I was also in the minority in my love for “Bonnie and Clyde” and “2001.” Lots of people, right at the first, disagreed. That’s the way it goes. I was outraged, but not about some goofy meter reading.” —Roger Ebert, “Whole lotta cantin’ going on” (Roger Ebert’s Journal) (via thediscography) (via jacobsknabb)
So I went to see a 3D movie. Despite the annoying glasses-over-glasses phenomenon. And I gotta say: Illumination Entertainment’s first film, “Despicable Me,” is damn good. The story is of a villain who tries to reclaim some glory by stealing the moon, but then (naturally) has to adopt a trio of girls.
Sure, it plays on the ol’ heartstring cliches pretty hard (orphan girls in ballet tutus; tiny, adorable minions; stuffed unicorns) but it’s fun throughout and the 3D is damn fine.
And Steve Carrell’s character, Gru, is kind of amazing. His voice acting is sort of perfect for a gruff-but-loveable supervillain. And I love his take on children’s literature:
Gru: “Three little kittens started to yawn…”
Agnes: You’re making them drink the milk!
Gru: Wow, this is garbage. You actually like this?
I think that’s what I liked best. The jokes were sharper and more biting than I thought they’d be. And because of that, it was able to be cute without being saccharine.
I give it my highest grade: A-
Client: “We love the movie you’ve created for us, but it’s just not working for us”
Me: “Ok, what would make it work?”
Client: “We want it to go viral! It needs dancing babies or unicorns”