Minions! Assemble!

DAMMIT, I seem to be fresh out of minions. This did not stop us from seeing “Despicable Me” in 3D or D3 or whatever. #fb
Steve Carell: Strange Accents And Subtle Departures : NPR

We’re halfway through the summer, and Toy Story 3 and Shrek Forever After have already come and gone. This weekend marks the release of the latest animated kid flick, Despicable Me. It’s about a fellow named Gru — who’s trying very hard to be the world’s biggest bad guy.

TV and movie star Steve Carell (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, NBC’s The Office) provided the voiceover for the film’s protagonist, a top-heavy supervillain with a very unusual accent indeed. Carell says that Gru’s bizarre diction — a “kind of pseudo-Eastern European” thing — came from minutes of inspiration, rather than months of fine-tuning.

“It was always in that realm,” Carell tells NPR’s Liane Hansen. “We just figured that that sounded sort of evil, yet comical at the same time.” And he’s proud of its elusive, nonspecific quality: “I don’t think anyone can really determine what accent I’m doing in the movie, which was my choice, of course.”

One of the accent’s biggest fans is Carell’s 6-year-old son, John, who particularly fell in love with the way Carell’s Gru pronounces “light bulb,” the actor says. (It’s a recurring gag in the film.)

“We’ll be watching TV or doing something and he’ll lean over and say, “Daddy, say ‘light bulb,'” Carell laughs.

It was on account of this interview that we ended up seeing the movie this evening at the nearby Barrington 30 (yes! 30 screens of the same crap, at different times!). I’d been napping half the day and having really weird dreams when I finally woke up and was remembering this interview, and then remembered we’d also seen the trailer for the movie a couple of times and that it had looked funny. So David checked out tickets online for a 3D showing, and off we went.

Half an hour or maybe 40 minutes after the official start time, the commmercials, previews, and “Appropriate for All Audiences” trailers were finally over and the movie began. We’d had to dig our fancy 3D glasses out of the “recycle your glasses here” bin because the theater couldn’t be bothered to provide a couple of staffers to hand out “sanitized” glasses and give the illusion of “never used” to the special, uber-nerdy glasses. I will say that the 3D effect (they call it realD) is crisp and not distracting, with no fuzzy red/blue borders around everything as was the case with the Monsters vs. Aliens movie we ended up seeing a few months back with our niece Melissa. When something is in perspective, it’s got depth, but it’s not stupid looking. The roller-coaster scene at the “happiest place in the universe” is a wild ride, for example, but the most pivotal scene in the development of Gru from bad guy to dad guy takes place after the ride. It’s so FLUFFY!!

You can see all the trailers at the official Despicable.me website…

It’s a fun movie; there are some funny sight gags that only adults will get (read all signs, for one thing). Also, I’m not sure but I think there’s kind of a “nyah-nyah” visual pun on Pixar’s famous logo in one scene – and at least one of the character animators used to work there according to IMDB.

Afterwards we went to the “Lucky Monk” restaurant, which is in the old “Brass” location and is apparently run by the same owners. They’ve remodeled the space to add more, smaller tables – they took out the big central booths and also took out the former buffet area that was only used for weekend brunches. It looks like they’ve either enclosed the brewery works, or taken them out completely, although they still claim to make some of their own brews. No matter, we were both very happy with our big, tall burgers (mine with Tillamook cheese, yum!) but also the fries were excellent and the iced tea brewed strong. Nice meal, glad that the restaurant is there as it’s very handy for the movie-going crowd.

Our server told us that it’s under the same ownership as the former Brass, so I wouldn’t characterize it as “the restaurant that went under” as so many did on Yelp, more of a “re-set and re-do” since the location is can’t-miss. They’ve stripped down their “fancy cuts of meat with fancy sauces” American-style menu to a “burger, pizza and brew” type menu that is probably easier to make a profit with (and no more expensive ingredients aside from a few signature items).

Our waiter brought us a free pretzel with Dijon honey mustard butter as a first-timers gift, and it was perfect: crunchy, buttery smooth crust, piping hot and tender insides. There were big salt crystals, but the dipping sauce melded perfectly. MMM….. but it was on the check for $2.99 and then credited with a “100% goodwill” notation. Interesting, I would have been totally incensed to pay $2.99 for ONE pretzel, so it seemed like the regular pretzel serving was probably more than one. But it was delicious and I’d be curious to know if they bring out more than one single pretzel if it’s not offered as one of those “compliments of the chef” inducements.

All in all, a nice evening. Now, where are my damn minions? They need to clean up around here…

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