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Minions: The Rise Of Gru Blu-ray Review

‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru’ has something for everybody. 

Illumination’s ‘Despicable Me’ franchise continues on with a prequel to the hit spin-off ‘Minions’ dubbed ‘Minions: The Rise Of Gru.’ To be honest, this is less a ‘Minions’ movie and more of a ‘Despicable Me’ prequel about a kid Gru who wants to be a member of the notorious supervillain gang the Vicious 6 (made up of Belle Bottom, Stronghold, Nun-Chuck, Svengeance, Jean-Clawed, and Wild Knuckles). After the gang double crosses their leader Wild Knuckles, they set out to find a replacement. Gru attempts to join, but fails. On the way out Gru steals the powerful Zodiac Stone (which can turn people into beasts). Gru finds himself being chased by both the Vicious 6 AND Wild Knuckles who both covet the Stone. Knuckles eventually kidnaps Gru, but the Stone is no longer in Gru’s possession due to the Minion Otto’s incompetence. Minions Bob, Stuart and Kevin attempt to rescue Gru while Otto tries to track down the Zodiac Stone. Along the way the Minions learn kung-fu from Master Chow and Gru forms a bond with his villain idol Wild Knuckles.

Love them or hate them, but the screaming, fast talking, jibberish speaking, blundering, yellow whatever they are continue to be pop culture icons. And there doesn’t seem to be any signs of their popularity slowing down either. Going into this movie, it seemed a foregone conclusion that it would be filled with frantic Minion buffoonery, but to my surprise, ths Matthew Fogels scripted and Kyle Balda directed prequel was thankfully more focused on Gru and new villains. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of groan worthy Minion moments ala Otto on a tricycle, the Minions flying to San Francisco with ease, the Minions turning into animals, and so forth, but what really spoke to me here was that much of the movie feels like a tribute to James Bond and James Bond villains (note the amusing opening credit spoof). In particular, the 70’s era Bond as that is when this prequel movie is set. Truth be told, the 70’s period recreation is among the highlights of this movie whether it be the kung-fu elements, the killer soundtrack featuring tracks by Ramones and The Rolling Stones, covers by St. Vincent among others, and tributes to blaxploitation as well. It elevates what is a rather bare bones story of characters running around trying to find a Stone. 

There’s been a lot of chatter about how movie star stunt casting hurts the voice acting world. It’s a valid criticism to be sure as there are numerous pro voice actors who deserve the spotlight. With that said though, there’s no denying the level of talent involved in this movie. Obviously, Steve Carell has made Gru his own, but it’s fun to see so many action movie stars play villains here like Jean-Claude Van Damme (Jean-Clawed), Danny Trejo (Stronghold), Lucy Lawless (Nun-Chuck), Tajari P. Henson (Belle Bottom), and Dolph Lundgren (Svengeance). Expect to hear a few other legends in key roles such as RZA (The Biker), Michelle Yeoh (Master Chow), Alan Arkin (Wild Knuckles) and Julie Andrews (Marlena Gru) as well.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? The CGI animation is stunning in 1080p. Whether the characters are in San Francisco or in an action set piece, the animation work is nothing short of impressive.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? A loud movie gets an equally loud and layered track. Fans will be pleased.

Extras:
* DVD copy
* Digital copy
* 2 new mini-movies ‘Post Modern Minions’ and ‘Minions And Monsters.’ ‘Monsters’ has an amusing D&D inspired tale.
* An extended scenes
* 3 minutes of audio outtakes.
* Character profiles for Gru, Wild Knuckles, Belle Bottom, Master Chow, The Vicious 6 and Biker.
* ‘Gru-vy Animation’- A featurette about the animation process.
* ‘The ‘70s- Fashion, Food and Funk’- A featurette about the 70’s (the decade and the setting for this movie).
* ‘Minion Martial Arts’- This extra covers the martial arts elements (and inspirations) of this movie.
* ‘How To Draw (And Animate) With Brad Ableson’- A 3 part extra with Brad showing how to create Gru, Young Gru and Kung Fu Stuart
* ‘Lair Flair: Make Your Own Minion Hideout’- How to make your own lair, disco bubbles and jet pack.
* ‘Super Style Shop’- 2 how to design Minion plush/toy outfits segments.

September 3, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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