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July 10th, 2015

Movie Review - Minions


Starring: Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, Geoffrey Rush, Steve Carell, Katy Mixon, Michael Beattie, Hiroyuki Sanada, and many more.

Directed by: Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin Written by: Brian Lynch Music by: Heitor Pereira

Premise: Having evolved from one cell organism to humanoids, the one thing that has ever given the Minions purpose and long term happiness is following and serving a Big Boss. After the disaster with Napoleon, and the aftermath, the Minions find a place to make their own. But without a Big Boss, the centuries start wearing them down and they fall to depression and despair. Realizing something must be done, Kevin comes up with a plan for a few of them to go back out into the world to find a Big Boss for them to follow again. (Rated PG)


1)  Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: A ton of heavy hitters have lent their acting voices to this film. Most of the fun though comes from the multiple voice talents of Pierre Coffin.

Despite the Minions speaking an amalgamation of several languages, it is Pierre Coffin's delivery as much, if not more, than the animation of the characters that make Kevin, Bob, and Stuart easily understood anyway. Sandra Bullock was passionate as the successful yet still unfulfilled Scarlet Overkill. Jon Hamm proved a surprising foil as her genius husband, Herb Overkill. Michael Katon and Allison Janney were unexpectedly amusing as the Nelson's. Though it was probably Jennifer Saunders who had the most fun on the job - as she got to play the voice of The Queen. (You'll see what I mean when you watch it.)

Oh and having the Minions sound out the Universal theme instead of using the Universal recorded music? Priceless! (A little girl sitting by me sounded it out along with the Minions too! (*And so did I, but softly...Heh heh*)

2) Art Work/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: Illumination Entertainment did a great job with the animation as always. Set in 1968 both in New York and later in London, Illumination made this a true nostalgic time capsule for older viewers. A ton of pieces of history and iconic symbols, people, music, and more will flash by on the screen - something most kids will totally miss, but which will captivate and fascinate older parents and grandparents. The whole film is an explosion of late 60's pop culture and social issues.

There were many instances I wished I'd had a pause button just to get a better look at, and possibly a chance, to make the connections with all that was being thrown at us from the past. The mob of villains running in the London streets alone was chucked full of 60's comic book, book, TV, and film references. (Nixon, Conan, The Saint, The Beatles, The Monkees, The Dating Game, James Bond, the list goes on and on.)

Amazing attention to detail as always. And a ton of visual gags by the Minions for the kids.

Make sure to sit ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE CREDITS! Some musical goodness as well as a ton of 3D fun at the very end. :)

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: Rather than just do a straightforward tale, the film is done in the manner of a documentary - the narrator filling in information for the audience here and there. This works rather well, and even helps get in translations of what's going on at the beginning in case the Minions voices and the animation don't get certain points across to the younger viewers. (Truly, though, they do such a great job, it seemed a little superfluous. But better safe than sorry.)

The only real issue with the story, which can be easily overlooked, is Scarlet's need to have hired help steal the British Crown for her. With her husband's amazing inventions and her own outstanding physical prowess and skills, I doubt it would have even presented her much of a challenge to steal them herself. But the character does prove to be a slave to her desires, and molded certain dreams that could never happen as she envisioned or fill the wanting void in her soul (one much like the Minion's own need to serve, yet her is too specific and devouring to ever be satisfied for long...).

The most applaudable part of the plot was the theme of breaking molds and expectations. The 60's were a time where the youths of the world fought against convention, against being forced to be things or be boxed in by expectations - Scarlet, Bob, the Queen, the American family the Minions hitch a ride with, all of these and others break out of the assumptions and roles we assume to be theirs as viewers. So even the characters are used to embody the revolution of the times.

The incorporated music of the 60's from both sides of the Pond will definitely delight. In many ways this film is more for the adults than the kids.

Make sure to pay close attention when the Minions first get to Villain-Con. If you blink, you'll miss it, but a vendor there is not only a piece of their future but a tie in the unexpected, yet totally pleasurable ending of the film.

Conclusion: Minions has lots of delightful subtext and a ton of pop culture references from the 60's. Great music is brought in from the past, and some is even presented in unexpected ways. Older adults might end up enjoying Minions more than the kids! (And watch ALL the way to the end of the credits!)

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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