Minions , Fifty Shades Of Grey and Blue Valentine = YOUR WEEKEND

Banana baddies, Ryan Gosling smitten and Jamie Dornan naked. What to see in cinemas, on DVD and on TV this weekend (June 26-28)


by Charles Gant |
Published on

At the cinema: Minions

In animated movies, often it’s the sidekick characters that steal our hearts. Scrat is the best thing about the Ice Age movies. The penguins – and also the lemurs – stole the show in the Madagascar flicks. And the Minions have always been the secret weapon of the Despicable Me films. Penguins Of Madagascar turned out to be a pretty disappointing spinoff, but can the Despicable Me makers get it right with a prequel that tells the origin story of the Minions and then sets them on a 1968-set mission to steal Queen Elizabeth II’s crown for an evil villain called Scarlet Overkill (voice of Sandra Bullock)? The first half works a treat, especially the early segment showing how Minions have always sought to serve the biggest and baddest boss, albeit ineptly. The second half gets rather bogged down in a convoluted story, but luckily it’s always a delight to spend time with the pill-shaped, banana-hued, Esperanto-babbling critters.

On DVD: Fifty Shades Of Grey

As the weeks and months go by, more and more juicy gossip spills from the makers of the Fifty Shades movie. It’s fair to say that author/producer EL James imagines that the film would have benefited if she’d had even more control, while director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel reckon the opposite. They made the best film they could in spite of Erika’s unhelpful interference, in other words. It’s hard to know who is right, but Marcel’s adaptation does seem quite smart in terms of what it leaves in and leaves out, and adds wit that was rather lacking on the page. Whoever made the casting choices (Sam? Erika? Universal?) did a pretty good job of it, and Jamie Dornan is certainly an actor we’d pay to see naked. The DVD has come out as “The Unseen Edition”, which seems to be mostly hype, but more viewing will be needed to see what’s really different from the version shown in cinemas.

On TV: Blue Valentine (Sunday night, Channel 4, 12.50am)

Ryan Gosling may take himself pretty seriously as an actor, but thankfully he’s not above being presented as a romantic or physical ideal, from the defiantly soppy The Notebook to the enjoyably flirty Crazy Stupid Love. Blue Valentine presents two sides: goofily romantic in the part where he’s head over heels in love with Michelle Williams’ student character; and six years later, where the married couple, now parents, are dealing with their unravelling love, his lack of direction, his daytime drinking, his jealousy, her growing exasperation. Four years after Blue Valentine came out in cinemas, it’s the earlier timeline that exerts feelings of warm nostalgia for the film, as Michelle Williams dances in the street to Ryan singing You Always Hurt The One You Love. It’s on pretty late on Sunday night, but shove it on your recording device, and make yourself a date with this bitter-sweet drama one day soon.

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