Where did all the good films go?

I’ve started to look towards my end of year lists and have come to a realization.

This year has been awful for films.

I mean it! Looking over my reviews for the year, i’m struck by just how many films I’ve rated as “Poor” or “If Nothing Else,” I mean I wasn’t expecting every film to be awesome but I was hoping for more than this. Almost all of the big films have been huge CGI set pieces that I’ve forgotten not long after uploading the video and even the smaller films have been disappointing, staying within their comfort zones and not trying anything new or exciting.

Partly this is my own fault, there are on average 20 films released in the UK every week of which I normally see 2, giving me a viewing rate of about 10%, so I know that I’ve missed at least some good films. But that doesn’t solve my issue.

This isn’t to say I haven’t enjoyed this years films. Because I have, it’s just that now i’m starting to look at my year end lists, I’m starting to realize that my top ten list is pretty threadbare compared with the ample pickings for my bottom ten. (Does Fantastic Four even count as a film?)

Are my standards just too high? I expect a film to tell a story, have interesting characters, effect me in an emotional way, and so many films this year just haven’t done that. Looking ahead, there are very few films that i’m excited about (The Martian, In The Heart Of The Sea) but for the rest i’m either indifferent or just confused by their existence (Peter Pan doesn’t need a!”@!!@”! origin story!)

And that not forgetting the cash grabs, who’s reason to exist is purely to wring some more blood from a pretty dry stone. (looking at you Hunger Games and Transporter)

But actual films? Good, well made, thought out films? Where are they? How do I get them to come back? And, would you lot mind if I just a did a bottom 20 and skipped the top ten this year?

So that’s why there are no female Minions

I seem to have been the only critic to have enjoyed the Minions movie, giving it my equivalent of a 4* rating compared to other critics who have given it 2 to 3 star reviews.

But i’m not here today to defend my scoring system (that’s what the review is for.) I’m here to talk about some comments that the film has made regarding the Minions gender.

Because every single one is male.




The director of Minions has stated that “Seeing how dumb and stupid they often are, I just couldn’t imagine Minions being girls.” Because I’ve certainly never seen any girl act in anything other than a calm, collected and intelligent manner. Ever.

To me, this smacks of well meaning sexism. It’s a very rare day that I don’t see some form of Minion merchandise clutched in the hands of some small child. And it’s pretty evenly spaced about between the genders.

And to me, there was no reason for him to say this. There was no reason to give the Minions genders at all. But by making this statement he’s put a bad taste ion my mouth regarding the whole thing. I liked Minions, I liked the Despicable Me films.  And this just spoils those films for me.

What do you guys think?

Minions Review

Minions (2015) Poster


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sandra Bullock Sandra Bullock
Jon Hamm Jon Hamm
Herb Overkill (voice)
Michael Keaton Michael Keaton
Walter Nelson (voice)
Allison Janney Allison Janney
Madge Nelson (voice)
Steve Coogan Steve Coogan
Professor Flux / Tower Guard (voice)
Jennifer Saunders Jennifer Saunders
The Queen (voice)
Pierre Coffin Pierre Coffin
The Minions (voice)

Plot Since the dawn of time, the Minions have served the biggest bads that they can find, and now, in the 1960’s have they finally found the most evil villain of all time to follow?


Well, this’ll teach me.

I went into this film expecting a cheap money grab, a basic Hollywood knock-off sequel featuring those inexplicably popular pill looking Minions from the mediocre Despicable me franchise.

Except, I barely stopped chuckling once. If it wasn’t for Shaun the Sheep Movie I would probably give it my (highly) prestigious Best Film For Little Ankle Biters Award.


Because it’s funny. It’s inventive, a lot of care has gone into creating this film and even characters that are used in crowd scenes for just a second or two get their own unique look. Hell, I wanted some of the characters to get their own little tv episodes explaining what their deal and evil plan was.

Even though this film has fallen into the ‘Dreamworks Voiceover Trap’ of hiring Hollywood stars I don’t think anyone could have done a better job as Scarlett Overkill, the best Bond Villain that never was. Jon Hamm plays her stoner inventor husband Husband with style and Michael Keaton even turns up for  some unknown reason. And even though all of the 899 minions are voiced by the same person (Pierre Coffin) they all have unique looks and characteristics. Every time I thought this film had run out of ideas something new and surprising came up.

The soundtrack is awesome as well, the Minions actually get a few songs that are cute, the soundtrack is awesome 60’s pop and i’d say its the best in a film of this type since Guardians of the Galaxy (best soundtrack is still Interstellar though)

So, its funny, inventive, good cast chemistry, music, inventive and i’m looking forward to seeing it again So I just give it a SEE IT NOW rating and write anther entry on how Dredd is an underrated masterpiece and anyone who hasn’t seen it can’t complain about the lack of 15’s and 18’s in the cinema, right?

No, Two quibbles and some nitpicks. One, in the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta can we PLEASE accept that Great Britain isn’t am absolute monarchy any more!?!!?

Also, in one scene the main characters are tortured. True it’s played for laughs and it doesn’t last long but it still felt out of place given the nature of the rest of the film.

Also, the plot doesn’t really seem to work, going in fits and starts with very few characters having a clear objective. (Apart from Scarlett who has a very generic objective)

Also, owing to the language of the Minions, at times this an feel like spending an hour and a half with the Swedish Chef from the Muppets and I was beginning to get a headache by the end of the film.

I feel this would have worked better as a TV show, with the minions drifting from master to master trying in vain to find someone to serve would have worked better than the slightly stretched narrative the we got.

But it was still a hell of a lot better than I was expected.

Rating- See It