Movie Reviews: “Despicable Me 2” and “White House Down”

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MV5BOTg4NTk2OTg5N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDk1MzI2OQ@@._V1._CR243,215.64999389648438,1087,1598.0000305175781_SY317_CR14,0,214,317_“Despicable Me 2”

If you loved “Despicable Me,” you’ll love this lovable sequel. 

 Gru, an infamous reformed villain with a moon-stealing reputation, is now a father settling down with three adorable adopted daughters.  The minions help him with his legitimate business making jams and jellies. 

 When a major crime takes place, Gru is called to join the Anti-Villain League and becomes close friends with a taser-happy agent, Lucy.  They track down an enemy who steals a serum that can convert tame animals into hungry monsters.  Lucy becomes such an integral part Gru’s family by the end of the movie that it seems like another misadventures-filled sequel is in order. 

The stars of the movie are definitely the minions!  And they’re making plenty of appearances and getting plenty of action.  With loads of slapstick humor and giddy antics, these precious minions are crazy hilarious.  Dressed up in all kinds of garbs and gears, they’re mimicking humans. 

 I was in Los Angeles last week and saw buses with promo ads that read: “Honk if you *heart* minions.”  I couldn’t agree more. 


“White House Down”

MV5BMTAyNzQyNTcwNjVeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDAwOTQ4Nzk@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_If you enjoy Roland Emmerich movies (“Independence Day,” “Day After Tomorrow, “2012“), you’ll enjoy “White House Down.”

Yes, we’ve seen this movie before.  “Die Hard” meets “Independence Day,” most recently in the form of “Olympus Has Fallen.”  Having seen both, “White House Down” wins hands down.

Olympus Has Fallen” is a one-man show with one super-macho agent, taking down an army of men, with tons of violent action in the dark.  In “White House Down” it’s refreshing to see some uncertainties; the hero (Channing Tatum) really can’t save the President (Jamie Foxx), the country or the world without a network of insiders, including an active role by the hero’s young daughter.  And even then, the outcome is still less certain.  The story may seem straightforward, but it covers more ground, and the bad guys are not all what they seem and each has his own motivations, which makes the movie more interesting.

Emmerich’s movies are not Oscar material and they don’t pretend to be.  Packed with explosive action and entertaining buddy rapport, “White House Down” is a popcorn actioner with a dash of patriotism.

Copyright (c) 2013. Nathalia Aryani.

Nathalia Aryani is a business manager, foreign language translator, film columnist and travel/lifestyle writer.  She can be reached at Nathalia owns a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter:

Nathalia Aryani is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic ( She has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at [email protected].

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