Kristen Wiig

All posts tagged Kristen Wiig

Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2

Published June 19, 2014 by mrsrag

Starring the voices of: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harrington, Djimon Hounsou.

Rated: PG. Animated.  Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes.


Well, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks…my girlfriends and I went down to Key West for my bachelorette party, I then turned 30 and I’ve been entertaining a serious amount of guests.  I hope you enjoyed reading the wonderfully enlightening (and darn good) writing of our guest reviewer, Ethan.  The boys had a great time at Maleficent and they had a ton of fun writing the review together.  The Keys were awesome – per usual.  We danced up a storm, relished a libation or two and had an all round blast.  Ross and I are getting back into the swing of our routine and we took Ethan to see the sequel to one of our family favorites: How to Train Your Dragon.  We saw the first one all together and absolutely fell in love with the witty humor, heartfelt story and superb animation.  All of us were so looking forward to the second installment, but I don’t think any of us expected what we got.  It was just as good as the first one – maybe even better.

All of our favorites are back for How To Train Your Dragon 2.  Hiccup (Baruchel), his dragon pal Toothless; Stoick (Butler) Hiccup’s hard Viking father, Gobber (Ferguson), Astrid (Ferrera), Snotlout (Hill), Ruffnut (Wiig), and the wide variety of dragons.  As Maria mentioned, we all loved the first installment, and I was wondering how they planned to freshen up the encore.  Hiccup and Toothless learned to fly together, won over the village and saved the day in the original, and they do more of the same in 2, but the cast of newcomers make the sequel anything but stale.  Valka (Blanchett), Eret (Harrington) and Drago  (Hounsou) are wonderful additions to the franchise.  Maria and I were playing our favorite game of, figure out who the voice is, and she made one of the GREAT snipes of all time by guessing bad guy extraordinaire Drago was the always amazing Djimon Hounsou.  Valka was easy, but neither one of us could come up with Kit Harrington as Eret, which was a major disappointment because we love him as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones.  These three are HUGE parts of HTTYD2, and there are several  plot twists that you just don’t see coming.  There are also some seriously badass new dragons!

I hate spoilers…so there’s no way I’m going to give you details about this plot that could possibly ruin it for you.  I’ll just say that HTTYD2 was way more emotional IMO.  I was cleaning up some serious tears during a few parts.  And I think that’s why I enjoyed the movie so much.  It was very clever to age our main character Hiccup and the story aged with him.  It was a heavier plot with some very serious and thought provoking occurrences.  It had us talking on the way home, which is always a good sign.  If we get in the car and no one’s interested in recapping the jokes or storylines, then it’s usually a flop.  This was not the case with our favorite Dragon riders.  The sequel examines the dynamics of familial relationships, the obstacles of friendship and the acceptance of great responsibility.  It always pleases me when they can comingle such important principles with just plain fun.  The dragons are up to their usual tricks and we meet some really cool, new breeds.  But Toothless & Hiccup will always have a special place in our hearts, as the leading duo who started a dragon riding revolution.

Everyone has their own style and ours is, to hopefully, give you a review that informs without ruining the plot.  What’s the reason we read reviews in the first place?  There are certain movies that we, as individuals, will go see no matter what anyone writes.  Maybe you’re a fan of Star Trek, or X-Men or Brad Pitt movies.  You may hope the movie is well received, but it’s not that important.  It’s the movie you’re on the fence about, or the kid’s movie you’re not sure you want to spend the money taking the whole fam to, that you want to hear about.  And hear a solid opinion without learning that Bruce Willis is really a ghost, Charlton Heston never left Earth or that Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze.  What you need to know is, should I go see this movie?  Wait for On Demand or the Redbox?  Or just wait until it gets to HBO.  Here’s your answer for How to Train Your Dragon 2: a resounding “absolutely yes!”  At the very least, it’s as good as the original, and the emotional journey is deeper than most of the animated fare.  One last bit of advice, a common refrain if you read MRSRAG on the regs, save the money on the 3D.  It’s already a giant, Hi-Def screen, everything looks awesome!  Spend the cash on M&M’s or Skittles or Nachos.  Even that fake, yellow plastic, melted cheese product they slather over the chips will give you more value, and you don’t need to wear glasses to eat it. 

Maria’s Rating: 4 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Ross’ Rating: 4.25 Gummies.

Movie Review: Despicable Me 2

Published July 11, 2013 by mrsrag

Starring the voices of: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong.

Rated: PG.  Animated/Comedy.  Running Time: 1 hour 38 minutes.

We’re back from our epic road trip, Florida to Maine and back.  We had a great time with stops including Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York.  We saw family and friends, went to a wedding, ate lobsters and drove – a lot.  Through it all Ethan was magnificent!  I’m positive you couldn’t find a 9 year old anywhere who could’ve taken all the driving better.  Anyway, while we were gone, we took a day and went to see Despicable Me 2.  One of our best decisions for sure.  It was at least as good as the original, maybe even better!  Bad guy turned good guy dad, Gru (Carell) is being courted by the AVL, Anti-Villain League, to help capture a powerful new criminal who is threatening the World.  Gru jumps at the chance to get “back in the game.”  Along the way he gets a partner/love interest in Lucy (Wiig) and their chemistry is at the heart of the movie.  The three girls are adorable as usual, and the oldest Margo (Cosgrove) has an interest in a boy that gets Gru’s attention in a way that any father of a girl will surely understand.  The search for the super villain takes some interesting twists and turns, and the whacky Minions are always there to provide their wonderful brand of slapstick humor.  The movie never stops delivering from start to finish, and I for one, can’t wait to see it again!

As some of our regular readers may know, I am a child of the ’90’s Disney classics.  Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King…these are the movies I was raised on and they seriously set the bar for any of the more recent instant classics, such as the Toy Story films, Cars, Wall-E, UP, etc. etc. etc.  So, when Ross told me to give Despicable Me a shot, I had some high expectations.  He said it was one of his recent favorites and incredibly cute.  We were far apart at the time and I was home sick from work that day.  I immediately loved it.  Carell’s over the top villain voice, Brand’s undetected Dr. Nefario and those three little girls.  I could just eat little Agnes right up, she’s so freaking adorable!  “It’s so FLUFFY!!!”  I laughed out loud, I cried like a little bitch and it honestly made me feel better.  I guess it’s unsurprising that I just as easily took to the sequel.  Despicable Me 2 has the same unforced charm, clever cookiness and heart warming storyline that made me fall in love with the first one.  I don’t know if it was better, but it was very good.  The plot focused on thwarting an evil mastermind’s plan, but mainly it was about setting Gru up with a suitable mother for his lovely daughters.  This one is perfect for the kids and I can tell you that the two young viewers that accompanied us thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Hannah and Ethan are both 9 and they were thrilled with the finished product.  Except perhaps that one scene when the evil guy is testing his serum on bunnies…the girl loves bunnies.

Hannah is a hoot, it’s too bad we only get to see them a couple of times a year because Ethan and her get along so well.  And the girl really does love bunnies.  Despicable Me 2 is crushing at the box office.  It has singlehandedly pulverized the life out of Johnny Depp’s Lone Ranger, as I’ve heard they’ve already cancelled plans for a sequel.  It’s no surprise really, DM2 is that good, and its appeal is just as strong for adults as it is for the kids.  I wouldn’t be shocked to see it win best animated feature at the Oscars next year.  I know it’s early for a prediction like that, I’m sure there will be many more worthy efforts between now and March.  But, they better be damned good because Gru, the girls and the Minions have thrown it down baby!  I only have one complaint and it has nothing to do with the content.  It’s the frigging 3D.  I know we bring it up often, but I’m sorry, it’s a tremendous waste of money.  I’m positive I would’ve enjoyed the movie just as much in a conventional theater.  The best/only 3D effects were after the movie was over and the Minions had their now familiar vignettes during the credits.  Hey Hollywood, enough already! 

I hear ya there.  I’m tired of paying extra for two or three thrills.  If you’re going to make the movie 3-D, make it worth my while.  The Minions are entertaining at the very end, but I think we could splurge and put a few 3-D thrills into the meat of the movie.  Moving on, DM2 was a pleasure.  It was well worth the price and a day of our vacation.  The kids had a blast, Ross & I enjoyed ourselves and we may even go see it once more before it leaves theatres.  There’s something extremely unique about these movies.  And we all love watching a bad guy turn good, especially Ross.  It’s literally his favorite thing about a film.  An evil villain turned dad, AVL spy & loving husband.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  Catch this one while you can and bring along the kids.

Ross’ Rating: 4.75 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Maria’s Rating: 4 Gummies.