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Kyle Balda
Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Taraji P. Henson
Writing Credits:
Matthew Fogel

12-year-old Gru tries to join a supervillain league as he attempts to pursue his dream.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English DVS
Spanish Dolby 7.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 9/6/2022

• Two Mini-Movies
• Extended Scene
• Outtakes
• “Character Profiles” Featurettes
• “Gru-vy Animation” Featurette
• “Fashion, Food & Funk” Featurette
• “Minion Martial Arts” Featurette
• “How to Draw” Featurettes
• “Lair Flair” Featuretttes
• “Super Style Shop” Featurettes
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Minions: The Rise of Gru [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 4, 2022)

When Despicable Me became a hit in 2010, lead character Gru’s loyal helpers turned into breakout fan favorites. This led to their own movie in 2015 and finally a sequel to that effort via 2022’s Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Set in 1976, an adolescent Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) pursues his goal to become a super-villain. He gets a potential boast when the evil Vicious 6 clan invites him to interview to fill a spot vacated when the group ejects founding member Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin).

Though the interview goes poorly, Gru continues on his way, and this involves the theft of the Zodiac Stone. This goes awry when his trusty Minions botch the job, so the two sides embark on their journeys to prove their worth in different ways.

If one must pick a major problem with Rise, one will find it implied in that synopsis. Not until the end do I refer to the Minions, and even then I don’t say much.

Given that Rise exists as a Minions movie, this feels like an issue. Why not just call this Despicable Me 4?

Actually, I get that Universal keeps this as a Minions film because the 2015 flick existed mainly as a Despicable Me prequel. It would feel weird to plop Rise under the Despicable Me banner since it looks backward in terms of its chronology.

That said, it also seems odd to make a Minions movie that spends so much time with Gru. The 2015 flick only teased Gru at the very end, which allowed it to exist as its own entity separate from Despicable Me.

As noted, that doesn’t happen with Rise because it emphasizes Gru. While the Minions play a larger role than my synopsis implies, this still feels more like a Gru-based prequel than a continuation of the Minions’ own journey.

Does any of this nitpicking impact the movie’s entertainment value? Not really, for although the semi-misbranding annoyed me a bit, Rise actually turns into a pretty enjoyable comedic adventure.

Which I admit surprises me because the franchise never really engaged me. Across the board, I thought Minions and the three Despicable Me movies came with moderate entertainment value but they failed to turn into anything better than mediocre.

Although I can’t claim Rise gives us a killer animated flick, I do believe it surpasses its four predecessors. My biggest issue – other than the aforementioned misbranding – comes from the film’s plot.

Or plots, as Rise melds a bunch of mini-stories into one. These come together in the end, but they feel barely connected too much of the time, and they don’t gel as much as they should.

That said, Rise throws enough at the wall that a lot of it sticks. Sure, we’ve seen plenty of movies that use the 1970s as comic fodder, but Rise digs into this with such glee and abandon that even clichés still amuse.

Again, one shouldn’t expect much of this to make sense. Nonetheless, the viewer seems unlikely to care, as the whole package delivers such silly punch that it overcomes its basic flaws.

On the surface, it feels like a mistake to introduce as many new characters as we get with Rise. However, given the looseness of the structure anyway, this becomes less of a distraction than I might anticipate.

A solid cast helps, with good turns from newcomers Arkin, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh and other notables. All deliver nice work and elevate the material.

Rise of Gru comes with too many flaws to turn into a really strong movie. Nonetheless, it becomes a fun and goofy comedic adventure.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Minions: The Rise of Gru appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image looked solid.

Sharpness worked well, as the movie boasted consistently detailed elements. No softness emerged in this tight, accurate presentation.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. The flick also lacked any print flaws.

Given its 1970s setting, Rise came with a broader than usual palette. The movie showed these colors in a vivid manner.

Blacks seemed dark and deep, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. Everything about the transfer pleased.

In addition, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack worked pretty well. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film included enough action scenes to add pep to the soundscape and make it an involving affair.

Music boasted nice five-channel presence, and the mix came with a lot of well-placed localized speech as well. The soundfield didn’t bring constant action, but it meshed together nicely and became a pleasing presence.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music was perky and full, while effects appeared accurate and packed a nice punch. I felt this qualified as a “B+” mix.

A mix of extras appear here, and we find two Mini-Movies: “Post Modern Minions” (3:49) and “Minions and Monsters” (4:20).

In “Post Modern”, minion Claude stumbles into life as a praised artist, while with “Monsters”, the minions play Dungeons and Dragons - or similar non-branded game. Both seem enjoyable, with a nod toward “Post Modern” despite some predictable digs at pretentious critics.

One Extended Scene goes for one minute, 25 seconds. This adds to the sequence in which Gru waits for his interview with the Vicious 6. It provides minor amusement.

A collection of Outtakes spans three minutes, two seconds. This reels allows us to watch the actors in the recording studio. It proves fun.

Under Character Profiles, we get short segments for six roles. With a total running time of 15 minutes 47 seconds, these cover Gru, Wild Knuckles, Belle Bottom, Master Chow, The Vicious 6 and Biker.

Across these, we hear from director Kyle Balda, co-director Brad Ableson, and actor Steve Carell.

As expected, the “Profiles” deliver basic overviews of the characters as well as their respective actors. A few insights emerge but don’t expect much from the clips, as they tend toward fluff.

Gru-vy Animation runs six minutes, 27 seconds and brings notes from Balda, Ableson, Carell and co-director Jonathan Del Val. They provide notes about the animation stages in this short but reasonably tight reel.

With Fashion, Food & Funk, we find a four-minute, 48-second reel that involves Carell, Balda, Ableson and Del Val. They give us their memories of the 1970s in this not-especially-informative but still likable piece.

Minion Martial Arts lasts four minutes, 12 seconds and delivers info from Balda, Ableson, and Del Val.

We learn about the influence of 1970s kung fu movies on Rise. This turns into another engaging featurette that lacks a ton of insights.

Located in How to Draw (& Animate), we get three segments. These offer tutorials related to Minion, Young Gru and Kung Fu Stuart.

These occupy a total of 11 minutes, 11 seconds and offer instructions from co-director Brad Ableson. Expect a cool look at these processes.

Lair Flair includes three clips that teach “how to make your own Minion hideout”. Combined these occupy a total of 10 minutes, 22 seconds and show kids how to give their homes a Minions vibe. I have no idea how much fun these activities would be, but they seem creative.

Finally, Super Style Shop brings two more segments that take up a total of six minutes, 50 seconds. They give kids a look at how they can dress Minions dolls in a 70s vibe. Like “Flair”, this seems cute but I have no idea how much entertainment comes from the work involved.

The disc opens with ads for Gabby’s Dollhouse and The Bad Guys. No trailer for Rise appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Rise. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Because the first four movies left me unenthused, I went into Minions: The Rise of Gru without high expectations. Happily, it provides pretty decent entertainment, even if the story feels like a mess. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and audio as well as a mix of bonus materials. Rise delivers the best of the franchise.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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