Movie Review: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)

TitleCaptain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Release Date: 2017 June 2
Director: David Soren
Production Company: Dreamworks Animation

The extremely silly and slyly satirical Captain Underpants books are brought to the big screen in the epononymously-declared first of what will be many movies.  I’ve enjoyed the books as much as someone who was already an adult when they were first published, but I find the adaptation questionable.  Mostly, for a movie with a theme of the importance of laughter, the laughs are few and far between (albeit there are some undeniably hilarious moments).  The sense of superhero satire is lost in the final act when it is subsumed to the type of big action adventure climax they’re supposed to making fun of.  I give it a “nice try” but know that from the source material there is a better movie to be made.

Rating: **1/2

Movie Review: Minions (2015)

Release Date: June 10, 2015
Director: Pierre Coffin & Kyle Balda
Production Company: Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment

The Minions – the lovable, mischievous, and yellow sidekicks from the the Despicable Me franchise – get the full origin story in this film.  The movie begins with the Minions evolving as a species that longs to serve biggest, meanest creature around.  After a montage of numerous instances where the Minions enthusiasm inadvertently leads them to kill their masters, they end up in exile in an Arctic cave. After decades of a the community suffering collective depression over having no evil master to serve, three Minions -Kevin, Stuart, and Bob – set off on a journey to find a new leader.  Their travels take them to 1960s New York City, then to pre-themepark Orlando for a supervillains convention, and finally to swinging London where they try out for the supervillain Scarlet Overkill.  Hijinks ensue, and the Minions can be disarmingly funny, especially Bob. I feel like the movie is often trying too hard to be clever and lacks the heart of Despicable Me.  Are the Minions really able to carry a movie on their own? I say no, but my kids disagree, and I suspect it succeeds as some enjoyable fluff for the younger ones.
Rating: **

Related PostMovie Review: Despicable Me (2010)

Movie Round-Up

Mr. Bjarnfreðarson (2009) ***

An Icelandic comedy that combines dark humor, fish-out-of-water stories, and self-discovery all in one entertainingly bizarre package.  The titular character has been raised by his extremist socialist/feminist mother (the heavy-handiness of the stereotypes of the mother are my least favorite part of the movie) to an extent that he can’t fit in to every day society.

Heima (2007) ****

This concert follows the Icelandic band Sigur Ros on their heroic return to their homeland where they thank their country-folk with a series of free concerts.  The setting for the concerts emphasize Iceland’s natural beauty and include local musicians all captured with amazing cinematography.  So beautiful.

The Wind in the Willows (2005) **

An adaptation of the classic novel that starts off well but once Mole and Rat are left behind and it becomes all Mr. Toad it gets a bit silly and dull.

Finding Nemo (2003) *****

I introduced Peter to Pixar films with this classic and he received it well.  Apparently, the sharks are funny.

Monsters, Inc. (2001) *****

Peter didn’t like this one as much as the monsters were scary and we had to turn it off when Sully is sledding down the Himalayas.  I love it though.

The Fox & the Hound (1981) ****

I saw this movie in the theaters back when I was 7-years old and loved it. The story is much as I remembered it but the animation is pretty chintzy and I was surprised by how many of the voice actors were the same as “Winnie the Pooh.”  Peter enjoyed it too, although from his perspective this was “The Bear Movie.”  The bear is on screen for maybe five minutes, but it makes a big impression to a toddler.