Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
Susan Kamyab // Contributing Writer
We all loved the villain-worshiping Minions from the hilarious DESPICABLE ME films, but can the Twinkie-looking creatures succeed in starring in their own animated feature? Parents and children rest easy, because the Minions triumph in their leading roles.
As we see in the beginning of the film, Minions have been around for centuries and were born to serve a “despicable” master. Finding a leader was easy, but keeping one seemed to be a problem, as death would quickly follow them. Eventually the Minions have no one to serve and manage to live a “normal life” amongst themselves. Unfortunately, not being able to oblige their true purpose in life has made them feel weary and restless.
Though we see ALL the hundreds of Minions (voiced by co-director Pierre Coffin), we focus on the three hoping to save the group from a meaningless life. Kevin, Stuart and Bob set out to find a new evil master. It isn’t long before they are recruited by the devious super-villain Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock). But before they can rejoice in the fact that they’ve found a new master and home for their family, they must complete one evil task: steal The Queen of England’s crown so that Scarlet may take over the world! And if they fail to complete this mission, they’ll be destroyed.
Unlike DESPICABLE ME, the plot of MINIONS is thin and there isn’t much depth to the story. However, they do squeeze a lot of lemonade with the one lemon their given. We’re introduced to many new, fun characters, some of whom are voiced by Michael Keaton, Allison Janney and Jon Hamm. And yes, you will see a young Gru and find out just how the Minions met their MOST despicable master.
The simple premise is stretched out for a duration of 91 fully entertaining minutes. Maybe it’s the fast pace story-line. Maybe it’s the laughable, slapstick comedy. Or, maybe it’s that these little yellow guys are just so darn cute that you can’t help but enjoy watching them no matter what. I can’t really pinpoint it.
MINIONS doesn’t offer much besides a good time and some chuckles for the audience. Ultimately, it’s interesting to see the origins of Gru’s ever so loyal Minions and find out how they came to meet. For the parents who want to take their kids to the theater this weekend, MINIONS is not only a safe choice, but it’s a delightful, fun-loving animated film.
MINIONS opens today.