Friday, July 26, 2013

James Cromwell's Time Shine in "Still Mine"

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“Still Mine” Funny, Inspirational and Proud

By Skip Sheffield

It has taken James Cromwell a lifetime to work his way up to the lead role of Craig Morrison, the care-giving hero of “Still Mine.” The Samuel Goldwyn Film, which debuted at Miami International Film Festival, opens locally July 26 at Living Room Theaters in Boca Raton and the Movies of Delray. Cromwell was nominated for an Academy award for best supporting actor in “Babe.” This film could put him up for the big prize.
Both Cromwell and writer-director Michael McGowan visited Miami earlier this year to promote “Still Mine.” The screenplay is based of a real-life case in Canada that McGowan read about in the Toronto Globe and Mail.
The long and short of it was at age 88, Craig Morrison decided to build a new, improved house for him and his wife, who was becoming increasingly incapacitated by dementia.
Irene Morrison is played by French-Canadian movie star Genevieve Bujold, still lovely in older age.
Both Cromwell, who is now 73, and Bujold, 71, play older than their real ages. Like the real Craig Morrison, James Cromwell is a tall, strapping, rugged man befitting an individual who was always self-reliant and self-sufficient, farming, lumbering and raising seven children on a piece of paradise in New Brunswick.
If you have ever had a problem with building inspectors or code enforcement, you will relate to the character of Craig Morrison. He built the house from lumber he had sawed himself from trees on his property. Morrison wanted to finish the project as quickly and efficiently as possible, but there was a fatal flaw in his plan. He did not apply for the proper building permits required by the National Building Code of Canada.
Morrison was advised by his lawyer (Campbell Scott) that he had better ante up the $400 building fee.
Morrison paid up, but he had rankled the by-the-book government building inspector (Jonathan Potts)
The war of nerves continued as Morrison wracked up violations (26 in all) and Irene’s condition deteriorated. Morrison’s daughter Ruth (Julie Stewart) and friendly neighbor Chester (George R. Robertson) urged Morrison to throw in the towel, but Craig was a strong and stubborn man. By this time the government had issued an order to demolish the house. Through it all Morrison remained dedicated to his failing wife.
“It’s a love story at its core,” said McGowan in Miami. “I met Irene in the latter stages of dementia, but she seemed beautiful and happy. She finally had a room with a view.”
Funny and inspirational, “Still Mine” is a moving tribute to real love.

P.S. Craig Morrison died two weeks prior to the Miami opening. He was 93.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Rhymin' Simon at Studio Theater Mizner Parkl

Hello Darkness My Old Friend.

Those are the opening words of Paul Simon’s greatest hit, “The Sounds of Silence.” It pretty much sums up the musical revue playing the Studio Theater at Mizner Park Cultural Center through Aug. 4. You could call it a mixed blessing.
Paul Simon is best-known as the introspective song-writing half of the popular singing duo “Simon and Garfunkel.”
I had the privilege of seeing S&G at their 1981 historic reunion at Central Park, which drew the largest audience in the history of New York City. The excitement was absolutely electric. For a magical few hours everyone in New York was on the same page.
I’ve also seen Paul Simon as a solo artist both in New York and Florida, and in another reunion concert with Garfunkel, paired with the immortal Everly Brothers.
“The Sounds of Simon” was conceived and co-produced by Gary Waldman and Jamison Troutman. Waldman also stars as one of the urban characters who perform Simon’s best-loved songs.
Paul Simon was raised in Forest Hills, Queens, and he has never lost his love for New York City. The young singing and dancing performers represent typical city characters. Waldman humbly presents himself as a homeless guy pushing a cart. There is a cool Latin dude (Joel Alfonso), a cool black dude in a wheel chair (Andre Russell), a dancing girl (Lauren Bell), lovely black girls (Renee Turner, Brettnie Blake, Kerine Jean-Pierre), an upper-class white woman (Kimberley Xavier Martins), a small guy (Jon Yepez), a skinny, lithe, dreadlocked dancer (Elijah Word) and an all-purpose player (Alissa Kane).
Choreographer Ben Solmor also performs, but he was not in the cast the night we saw it.
If you like the music of Paul Simon, you are bound to like “Words and Music By Paul Simon.” I have always found him a bit pretentious. I came away from the experience with a newfound appreciation for Art Garfunkel. Without his angelic upper harmonies I don’t think Paul Simon would ever have been as successful as he is now.
Tickets are $35 with group discounts available. Call 561-600-0495.



Judy Garland Lives at Arts Garage

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Jody Briskey Photo by Amy Pasquantonio

Judy Garland: A Life in Music

By Skip Sheffield

Judy Garland was already an old pro- a seasoned trouper- when at age 15 she performed her career-launching role of Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” for MGM Studios.
You will learn this and much more at the entertaining and informative “Beyond the Rainbow: Garland at Carnegie Hall,” playing through Aug. 11 at the Arts Garage, 180 N.W. First St., Delray Beach.
The proud papa of “Garland at Carnegie Hall,” playwright William Randall Beard, was in the audience opening night. Randy, as he is informally known, is justifiably proud of his labor of love, which has been a work-n-progress since its opening at Florida Stage in 2006.
The artistic director then and now is Louis Tyrrell, who has worked closely with Beard and the History Theatre of Minnesota, which is the original producer of the show.
The current production under the direction of Ron Peluso is much expanded and improved over the show that played Manalapan. Featured is an onstage band led by pianist Jimmy Martin with Dave Wilkinson on stand-up bass, Tom Jaworski on reeds and Julie Jacobs on drums.
The character of Judy Garland is so big it takes two women to play her. As the title indicates, the show is set at Garland’s famous comeback show at Carnegie Hall in 1961, but through flashbacks it chronicles Judy’s life from being “born in a trunk’ to vaudeville parents in Minnesota in 1922.
The younger Judy of “Wizard of Oz’ fame is played by Norah Long. The older, much-married, alcoholic, drug-addled, none-too-wiser Judy is played by Jody Briskey.
Both Long and Briskey have been perfecting their roles over the course of years. Long nicely captures the na├»ve, eager-to-please, easily-dominated Judy. Briskey is uncanny in her representation of the sorrowful, battered Judy of her later life. Even more uncanny is Briskey’s singing voice, which is an eerie echo of the tragic singer who died of a drug overdose at age 47 in 1969.
The most important characters in Garland’s life are portrayed by three actors. Peggy O’Connell is her domineering mother, Ethel Gumm, and most entertainingly, the catty gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper.
Clark A. Cruikshank plays autocratic MGM Studio head Louis B. Mayer, who became a father figure after the demise of her birth father. Mayer became a controlling force in Garland's career; signing her to a long-term movie contract when she was only 13. Cruikshank plays another, more sympathetic character, Sid Luft, who was father to two of Garland’s children and a force in re-kindling her career.
Peter Moore plays Garland’s beloved, ill-fated father Frank Gumm and movie director Vincent Minnelli, father of her famous daughter Liza and second of her five husbands.
All the biographical material is played out between a parade of Garland’s greatest hits as performed at the Carnegie Hall concert. The songs are presented to complement the story line, from happy (“When You’re Smiling”) to biographical (“Born in a Trunk”) to wistful “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to despairing (“Stormy Weather,” “The Man That Got Away”).
I am not a Judy Garland cultist, but I must say “Beyond the Rainbow” is an extraordinary show about a once-in-a-lifetime talent.
Tickets are $30-$40 and may be reserved by calling 561-450-6357 or by going to www.artsgarage.org.





Thursday, July 18, 2013

Saving the World Again in Red 2

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“Red 2” Good for a Few Laughs

By Skip Sheffield

“Red” was an amusing novelty the first time around in 2010. Red stands for “Retired Extremely Dangerous” and that described retired CIA black operatives Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) along with spy wannabe Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), Frank’s case worker.
The gang is back for “Red 2.” Frank and Sarah are now an item and enjoying domestic life.
You can’t keep an old spook down. When Frank is approached by Interpol regarding a portable nuclear device that was planted in Russia during the Cold War, Frank can’t resist ringing up his old buddies and saving the world once again.
“Red 2” is played for broad comedy. Director Dean Parisot (“Fun With Dick and Jane”) seems to have encouraged his cast to mug and overact. The master of scenery-chewing is distinguished actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, 75, who plays a variation on a mad scientist named Dr. Bailey. Bailey isn’t as grisly as Hopkins’ most famous villain, Hannibal Lecter, but his potential for destruction is much greater. Hopkins plays the character, who has been in a London loony bin for 32 years, with maniacal glee. That is what makes this retread so much fun.
Another distinguished Brit who seems to be enjoying herself is Helen Mirren as ace assassin Victoria. It is no longer surprising to see the dainty, elegant Mirren wielding a giant machine gun, but it is still fun to watch her deadpan expression as she calmly blows bad guys away.
John Malkovich has a great comic sense as well, playing a kind of goofball sidekick role to the stoic stoniness of Bruce Willis.
Mary-Louise Parker has a greatly expanded role this time. She looks like a modern-day Betty Boop with her wide round brown eyes and enhanced eyelashes. As baby of the group at age 48, she too seems to be happy to be in on the joke.
Less effective is Catherine Zeta-Jones as Katja, a faux Russian spy with an eye for Willis.
Jazzing up the martial arts action is Korean actor Byung-hun Lee as Han, a rival operative who grudgingly joins forces with Frank and the gang.
There are worse ways to spend a couple hours. How much can you expect from a series based on a comic book? Apparently “Red” has a lot of fans. A Red 3 is in the planning stages.


A Way Back State of Mind

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An Inspiring “Way Way Back”

By Skip Sheffield

If you grew in a family that owned a station wagon, you know the term “The Way Way Back.” It’s that third and final seat, often facing backwards, in the Siberia region at the rear.
“The Way Way Back” is also a state of mind for Duncan, the unhappy 14-year-old hero of the new movie comedy by the same name.
Duncan is played by Liam James, a newcomer with great natural talent. The film is written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who wrote the Academy Award-winning screenplay for “The Descendants.”
Faxon and Rash have given themselves funny cameo roles as workers at a run-down water sports park called Water Wizz. There really is a Water Wizz Park on the coast in Marshfield, Massachusetts. It’s a kind of low-tech anti-Disney World, but it is a special place for Duncan, who is taken under the wing by Owen (Sam Rockwell), the jokey, self-confident manager of the park.
Duncan is on summer vacation in Massachusetts against his will. He would rather be with his dad, who is divorced from his mother Pam (Toni Collette). Pam has a new boyfriend named Trent, and he is a real jerk.
Trent is played by Steve Carell, who customarily plays nice guys. Trent is not a nice guy. He is cruel, untruthful, insincere and boastful. We first meet Trent in the gargantuan vintage Buick station wagon of the title.
“On a scale of one to ten,” how would you rate yourself?” he demands of Duncan.
“I don’t know,” Duncan stammers. “Maybe a six.”
“I think you’re a three,” answers Trent. With great economy, this tells you all you need to know about obnoxious Trent.
Trent owns an oceanfront cottage named Riptide. It is part of a summer colony of middle-aged funseekers. Next door neighbor Betty (Allison Janney) is a boozy, cheerful divorcee with a gorgeous daughter named Susanna (AnnaSophia Robb). Not only is Susanna beautiful; she is a couple years old than Duncan. In teen years that is an eternity, and Duncan has his pain-in-the-neck sister (Zoe Levin) to remind him how inadequate he is.
No wonder Duncan is bummed out. One day over Pac-Man Duncan meets Owen (Rockwell), who is the very embodiment of cool. Owen is witty, funny, good-looking and all the girls love him- especially his co-worker Caitlin (Maya Rudolph).
Owen sees Duncan as a kindred spirit and he takes him on as a personal cause. As Duncan gains in confidence the scales are lifted from his eyes so to speak, and he sees the uncomfortable truth about his mother’s needy relationship.
“The Way Way Back” is funny when it needs to be and quite moving where it counts. The early teen years are tough for even the most well-adjusted person. Throw in a few handicaps and a good kid can descend into Hell. If he can beat the odds, it can be inspirational in the best sense of the word.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Welcome Return to La Mancha

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William Michals, with hair

A Welcome Return to La Mancha

By Skip Sheffield

La Mancha is a land I can visit again and again and never grow tired of it.
My latest visit was opening night of “Man of La Mancha,” which runs through July 21 at Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach.
This is a stripped-down, readers’ theater concert-style production of the venerable musical that debuted on Broadway in 1965 and has been revived there four times. Just because there are no elaborate set pieces and not all performers are off-book does not make this production any less moving.
Guest director Clive Cholerton, former artistic director of Caldwell Theatre, has chosen his cast well. It is anchored by Broadway veteran William Michals, who obvious knows the show like the back of his hand. Michals has a stirring baritone voice and a sensitive approach to his character of Miguel De Cervantes/Don Quixote, an aging man who is considered mad by most, or at least delusional, and dangerous by the dark forces of the Spanish Inquisition.
As Dale Wasserman’s book presents the story as a play-within-a-play, it is fascinating to see Michals change before our eyes. A 16th century failed author, soldier, actor and tax collector transforms into Alonso Quijana, aka the fabled knight-errant, Don Quixote, with just a little makeup, wig and facial hair.
South Florida favorite Oscar Cheda provides heartwarming support as Cervante’s loyal-to-a-fault companion, Sancho Panza.
The role of scullery maid and woman of easy virtue Aldonza, whom Quixote imagines to be the spotless maiden Dulcinea, is a showcase and a challenge to any woman. Alix Paige, who is from this area but has played the role on Broadway, is equally convincing as the sardonic Aldonza and the baffled but flattered Dulcinea.
All of the actors have dual roles: Ken Clement as the Governor and the innkeeper; Barry Tarello as the Duke and a padre; Nick Duckart as Pedro and a house keeper; Rodrigo De la Rose as Dr. Carrasco and a Knight; Cassandra Zepetia as Antonia and a gypsy; Joshua Grosso as Anselmo and a Captain, and doing triple duty, Leah Sessa as Maria, an itinerant barber and a gypsy. Part of the fun is watching actors change roles with a minimum of fuss.
Oh and by the way, the voices are beautiful and befitting Mitch Leigh’s music we have all come to know and love. Who cannot be stirred by “The Impossible Dream” or moved by the delicate, passionate “Dulcinea?” Care is paid to the lesser-known songs too: the ironic “I’m Only Thinking of Him,” the mournful “Little Bird,” the lusty “Golden Helmet of Mambrino.” Kudos to musical director Caryl Ginsberg Fantel.
Finding beauty within stark prison walls by the sheer power of imagination is the magic of “Man of La Mancha.” You have but a brief time, through July 21, to be transported by this magic.
Tickets are $35 ($10 students). Call 561-514-4042 or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.




The Mother of all Monster Movies

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Pacific Rim” a New Benchmark in Monster Movies

By Skip Sheffield

Pacific Rim” is the newest mother of all monster films. Sure the story is absurd and the premise is beyond belief, but ever since “King Kong” in 1933, plausibility has never been a strong suit of monster movies. What is important is the wow factor, and “Pacific Rim” has it in spades.
The story begins in the near future, in the year 2020. Slumbering dinosaur-like giants have arisen from the Pacific Ocean, and like Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra of old, they are wreaking havoc on the human population. To combat the “Kaiju,” as they are called, the countries of the world have put their heads together and have invented massive, lumbering robots known as “Jeagers” to do hand-to-hand combat with the alien creatures. The robots are controlled by two human “Rangers” working controls in tandem from a perch at the top of the robot. Not only are the Rangers working physically in tandem, their brains are united so each knows the other’s thoughts. The process is called “drifting.”
This is what separates Travis Beacham’s fantastic screenplay from monster stories of old. The underlying theme of the story is cooperation for the common good- sort of like what the United Nations is supposed to do, but rarely does.
Guillermo del Toro is a uniquely imaginative and visionary Mexican writer-director. If you have ever seen “Pan’s Labyrinth” you know what I mean. “Pacific Rim” combines the ultra-fantastic with a very human story.
The two principal characters are Raleigh Becket, a battle-scarred veteran Ranger played by Charlie Hunnan, and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), a novice, unproven Ranger. What she lacks in experience Mako makes up in will. She lost her family to a Kaiju attack, and like a World War II kamikaze pilot, she is out to avenge her loss and fight for her family’s honor.
Mako was taken in as an orphaned child by Stacker Pentecost (note the name), the commanding Ranger officer, played with stentorian dignity by Idris Elba. Stacker feels a paternal concern for Mako, and though he knows she has what it takes, he is reluctant to allow her to risk her life.
There are many secondary characters good and bad to flesh out the story. My favorite is Ron Perlman, who has been in several of del Toro’s films. Perlman’s character is Hannibal Chau (again note the name), a Hong Kong black marketer who deals organs from Kaiju carcasses for profit. Perlman’s ridiculous-looking completely over-the-top costumed character provides great comic relief. So does Charlie Day’s nerdy scientist, Dr. Newton Geizler. In fact “Pacific Rim” is funnier than it ever is scary. While the CG special effects and mechanically marvelous set pieces are amazing; the best ever in a monster movie, you see one Kaiju vs. Jeager battle, you’ve seen them all. The endless combat is reminiscent of the recent “Man of Steel” but the clashes-of-titans are ameliorated with the human story. You just know that handsome, fearless Raleigh is going to fall for the exquisite, doll-like beauty Mako and she with him.
No, there is nothing new in “Pacific Rim.” It is just done better than it ever has been before.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Susan Seidelman has "Hot Flashes"



Susan Seidelman Interview

By Skip Sheffield

When we last saw Susan Seidelman in 2012 she was directing an inspirational romantic movie called “Musical Chairs.” It is a tale about a woman who becomes disabled and in a wheelchair but goes on to compete in a dance championship anyway.
“I like underdogs and stories with social context,’ admits Seidelman, 60. “The Hot Flashes is all about underdogs. Everyone has a challenge to overcome: body issues, racism, sexuality, divorce and disease. That does not mean we can’t laugh.”
Sometimes the challenge is just the natural process of aging. In her 2006 film “Boynton Beach Club” a group of senior citizens deal with aging, dating, sex and loneliness. The story was based on an idea by Susan’s mother, Florence Seidelman, who actually lives in Boynton Beach. All three of Seidelman’s most recent films played at the Miami International Film Festival.
“I love South Florida,” says Seidelman. “I visit often to see my mother. There is a lot to be learned from older people. When I started out everyone was older than me. This time I was older than the cast.”
“The Hot Flashes” was a six-year project with novice screenwriter Brad Henning. The film is dedicated to the memory of Brad’s mother Muriel, who died of breast cancer.
“Brad grew up in Texas and played basketball,” Seidelman explains. “As a middle-aged woman myself I can relate to the characters. Brad and I did a lot of noodling back and forth on the story.”
While the story is set in fictional Burning Bush, Texas, it was actually shot in a suburb of New Orleans.
Louisiana has many strong incentives to have movies shot there,” says Seidelman. “We got additional breaks because we shot in an area that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.”
Seidelman reveled in the fact she could cast a group of women who are fine actresses, yet do not get that much work in film. She stresses that the women trained very hard, eight hours a day for three weeks prior to shooting to believably play champion level women basketball players. She hopes the film will be an example to other directors to make better use of older women.
“Aging does not affect men’s movie careers as much as it does women,” she states. “That sad fact of Hollywood is that after a certain age women become invisible- unless that woman is Meryl Streep.”
Seidelman has a long career of guiding women in acting careers. Her first film, “Smithereens,” was the first American independent film to compete at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival in France. Seidelman hit a home run with “Desperately Seeking Susan” in 1985, which featured singer Madonna in her first film role. The film also gave a jump-start to the careers of Rosanna Arquette, Aiden Quinn, John Turturro and comedian Steven Wright.
“The Hot Flashes” is being marketed by a “platform release,” which means it has trial runs in selected areas. South Florida is one of only 12 markets.
“We truly home people will come out and see the film in its first weekend,” she says. “That is all-important for its future marketing. The Movies of Delray, Delray Medical Center and anti-cancer groups have been very helpful to us. We even plan to have a mobile mammogram unit parked at the theater.”



A Chick-Buddy Movie for a Good Cause

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“Hot Flashes” a Chick-Buddy Flick with a Purpose

By Skip Sheffield

Opening Friday, July 12 at the Movies of Delray, “The Hot Flashes” is a movie comedy that answers the question, “What ever happened to…?”
Trend-setting director Susan Seidelman (“Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Boynton Beach Club”) has embraced her own age by making a film comedy about five menopausal women who fight back by re-forming a champion women’s basketball team to take on the existing Texas State high school champions in the small town of Burning Bush, Texas.
The motivation is a campaign to raise $25,000 to save a mobile mammogram unit which has run out of funds.
The original idea by first-time screenwriter Brad Henning motivated Seidelman to cast some of her favorite underused actresses of a “certain age.”
The lead player is onetime “Pretty Baby” Brooke Shields as Beth Humphrey, a housewife just shy of 50 who is struggling with the challenges of early menopause while raising a teenage daughter and dealing with a husband who seems to be losing interest in her.
Her daughter Joclyn (Charlotte Graham) is on the championship Lady Armadillos basketball team. Husband Lawrence (Eric Roberts) is a post office worker who has been spending far too many late nights at the job.
When Beth learns the Tess Muldoon Mobile Breast Cancer Unit has exhausted its funds, she gets the bright idea of ringing up her four former teammates on a championship Lady Armadillos basketball team of 30 years ago to re-form and challenge the reigning high school champs to a series of three games to raise funds to fight cancer.
Naturally there is resistance to such a bold idea.
Florine Clarkson (Wanda Sykes) is busy campaigning to be the first black female Mayor of Burning Bush.
Clementine Winks (Virginia Madsen) is the estranged former wife of the current basketball coach, and in no mood to deal with his dirty tricks.
Ginger Peabody (Daryl Hannah) is proprietor of a successful car dealership with a rather personal secret.
Roxie Rosales (Camryn Manheim) is an overweight, out-of-shape biker chick who has no inclination to shape up.
A dwarf discredited veterinarian (Mark Rovinelli) is recruited to coach the team. One of Roxie’s pot-smoking biker buddies is drafted as referee.
So “The Hot Flashes” is the very definition of a “situation comedy.” What makes it fun is the players, some of whom we have not seen in a long time.
Brooke Shields is still a natural beauty whose nearly 6-foot height makes her believable as a b-ball champ.
Daryl Hannah is another tall, good-looking woman who has pretty much been missing in action since “Kill Bill” in 2003. She has been quite active politically, and it is good to see her back on the big screen.
Virginia Madsen is not as statuesque as the others, but what she lacks in height she makes up in beauty and feistiness.
Camryn Manheim is a plus-sized natural comedian who adds physical comedy.
Sure, “Hot Flashes” is formulaic and quite far-fetched, but it is all for a good cause and some good laughs.


A Kid-Friendly Sequel

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“Despicable Me 2” Best-Suited for Children

By Skip Sheffield

“Despicable Me 2” is a sequel strictly for the kiddies. The original “Despicable Me” was funny and clever, turning the tables on the traditional movie bad-guy role. The sequel is much tamer.
That former bad guy is Gru, voiced by Steve Carrell. How bad was Gru? He tried to steal the moon in the first movie, but in a manner of speaking he saw the light and became a good guy, adopting three orphaned girls.
All three of the original girls have returned to voice their parts of Margo (Miranda Cosgrave), the eldest; tomboy Edith (Dana Gaier) the middle child and Agnes (Elsie Fisher), the youngest. As the story opens we see Gru is drag in a futile attempt to play a fairy princess when the real one was a no-show.
Being a single dad is not nearly as interesting as being a villain, so although the same French directors (Pierre Coffin and Chris Reanaud) and writers (Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul) returned to work on the sequel, the idea is no longer as fresh or unusual.
According to my sources Al Pacino was originally cast to voice a new villain, Eduardo. Pacino dropped out over creative differences and Benjamin Bratt stepped into the dual role of Eduardo, owner of a Mexican restaurant and his alter ego El Macho, a Latino super-villain.
There are various subplots involving lovelorn Gru and his lady friend Lucy (Kristen Wiig) an obnoxious date with Shannon (Kristen Schaal) and Margo and her boyfriend Antonio (Moises Arias) who just so happens to be Eduardo’s son.
Also returning is Russell Brand as Gru best villain buddy, Dr. Nefario, but even he seems disillusioned with his new good-guy role making terrible-tasting jelly.
“I miss being evil,” he says wistfully.
Carrying the bulk of the comedy are Gru’s legions of cute yellow “minions,” who are there to serve Gru’s every command. There is a funny twist in which an evil plot is hatched to turn the giggling minions into snarling purple monsters, but it is not followed through.
Indeed the minions have become so important they will have their own movie in the next sequel, scheduled for release in December, 2014. Make sure you stick around for the final credits and you will see some amusing “auditions” for the next movie. These computer-animated movies take a lot of time to make.