Film Review: DESPICABLE ME 3 (USA 2017) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:

DESPICABLE ME 3Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.

Directors: Eric Guillon, Kyle Balda
Writers: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Stars: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker

Review by Gilbert Seah
There are two attractive ingredients in the DESPICABLE ME animated features. One is the super-villain Gru (Steve Carell) or now ex-super villain Gru now working for the AVL (Anti-Villain League). The other are the adorable mumbling Minions. If one is not entertaining one enough, the other strive to be.

The film opens not with the Minions or Gru but with the story of a new super villain named Balthazar Bratt (voiced by South Park’s co-creator Trey Parker). Bratt was a former child actor who portrayed a young super villain in a popular television series before the show was cancelled as a result of his puberty and his waning popularity. This led to him adopting his former persona to become an actual super villain (complete with 80’s eraser head haircut and fashion). Bratt is out to steal the world’s most expensive diamond, in order to fuel his robot invention to destroy Hollywood as revenge, but along arrive Gru and wife (Kristen Wiig) to stop him.

It is obvious that DESPICABLE ME pays homage to the PINK PANTHER films. For one, Inspector Clouseau was French as is director Coffin and the diamond is unashamedly coloured pink. When the diamond is in show, the music comes on, though not with the famous Henry Mancini tune, but with Michael Jackson’s BAD in this case. As Bratt steals the diamond, he moonwalks Michael Jackson style to the diamond.

The main story of DESPICABLE ME 3 involves Gru and Lucy fired from the AVL owing to their failure in capturing Bratt. The others are subplots – quite a number of them – ties in with this event. One of these are the minions who want Gry to go back being a villain. The Minions also have the talent of showing up anywhere and everywhere during the movie. Kids love this, as observed during the film’s promo screening. The kids would scream out every time (adults beware!) the little darlings appear. The subplots involve Lucy bonding with her three adoptive children. The main one involves Gru meeting up with his newly found brother (also voiced by Carell), a more flamboyant character, thanks to his mother (voiced by no less than Julie Andrews).

But with all the subplots including the main story, the film strugglers to create very funny moments or high points that would make this sequel memorable over the others (including THE MINIONS) or even over the other Illumination Entertainment animation like THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS.

The film appropriate premiered at the Annecy International International Film Festival, director Pierre Coffin being French as such. The film opens this weekend alongside two other comedies THE HOUSE and BABY DRIVER and though will face stiff competition should do well at the box-office this weekend coming off at number 1. It also helps that there are countless Minion fans, both adult and kids around the world that will forgive an average DESPICABLE ME sequel, which is very much what this one is. DESPICABLE 3 is good, predictable, harmless family fun.


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HOUSE OF CARDS Season 4. Here’s what people are saying about it:

HOUSE OF CARDS premiered on Netflix today. People are already doing the bing-watching.

Here what people are saying about it:

From the Critics:

Boston Globe Review:

The Verge:

Entertainment Weekly:


From the People via Twitter:

John Magnum ‏@johnmagnumxxx
#HouseOfCards S4 Fantastic! Better than S3. You’ll love the ending!

Salomé ‏@sallywub
I wonder how many people unexpectedly came down with a “bug” and called off from work today.

ObertoVerified account ‏@ObertoBeefJerky
Umm, yeah we just clocked out sick for the day. Thank you @netflix #houseofcards

Becca ‏@bexamillions
When you have to stay home sick.. But you’re not sad, because #HouseOfCards is out today! 🇺🇸🙏🏼

Marc Vandal ‏@MarcTheShark5
I’m speechless… wow. This season is insane. #HouseOfCards

Adam Crookes ‏@adamtcrookes
BIG SHOCK half way through Episode 4 of #HouseOfCards
You won’t see this one coming.

Bina007 ‏@BinaDouble07
#HouseofCards S4E9 Ch48 Thoughts & review: “You’re right, we CAN do better.” The series is back on track.

mariworks ‏@madeIynhayes
#houseofcards powerful women characters w their mothers

Paige ‏@harveyspecters
What the fuuuuuuck is doug up to #HouseofCards

CiikA ‏@Siikuli
I thought I would enjoy pretty nasty politic stuff but I didn’t prepare to have EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER #HouseOfCards

“You’re stronger than he is, but you’ve got to put him in his place.” #HouseOfCards is back!

Before you binge watch—here’s a little #HouseOfCards catch up:

7 Questions with Founder Zachary Jones

Today we are in conversation with Zachary Jones, the Founder of, the new alternative submission center for Film Festivals and Filmmakers/Screenwriters. A startup from Canada that launched in February 2014 that is already becoming stiff competition to the dominance of withoutabox for over 15 years.

Matthew Toffolo – First off, congrats on announcing 1250 Film Festivals in your database as of this interview. That’s amazing in such a short time. What has been the key to your success so far?

Zachary – Thank you so much! The secret is really quite simple. We set out to re-invent festival submissions with modern technology and a fair business model. FilmFreeway offers a simple, user-friendly service that is always 100% free to filmmakers and writers. We back that up with friendly, reliable customer service from real people who care and are happy to assist our customers anytime.

MT – What motivated you to begin this start up?

Zachary – Festival submissions have been dominated for far too long by a company with grossly outdated technology, a miserable user experience, excessive fees and an overall predatory business model. It was about time somebody changed that.

MT – There have been many other startups attempting to compete with the competition, but almost all have failed. Why do you think your company has succeeded so far over the rest?

Zachary – We created FilmFreeway to be incredible simple and easy to use for both filmmakers and festivals. We added to that by offering the service 100% free to filmmakers. Our mandate when building FilmFreeway was to make it fair and simple. That seems to be the magic formula that has resonated with over 85,000 filmmakers and counting so far!

MT – Bottom-line, why is your site better than the competition?

Zachary – FilmFreeway is lightyears ahead of Withoutabox when it comes to the user experience we offer. Our online screeners play in beautiful, crystal-clear HD. We also integrate with Vimeo and YouTube. The days of paying $3 each time to submit a pixelated, standard definition online screener are over. With FilmFreeway, filmmakers can have their project added and ready to submit in under 5 minutes. Also, our search engine for discovering amazing festivals is powerful and fast. It’s a night and day experience when compared to Withoutabox. Here what filmmakers are saying on Twitter:

MT – The main issue with film festivals is that you were forced to use the main submission source in order to succeed because that’s where all the filmmakers were submitting their films. But, because the company took so much commission from the festivals, it was impossible for most of them to not to lose money and therefore many festivals have been forced to shut down. Or, they were forced to raise their submission fees to stay in the black, which takes more money from the filmmakers themselves, which in the end forces them to submit to less festivals than they want and therefore gives them less opportunity to get their film out there. It has been a vicious cycle. How are you going to be different while still being profitable for your own company and site?

Zachary – You’re exactly right! We’ve already heard from many festivals that have told us that thanks to FilmFreeway they can once again afford to operate their festivals and stay in business. We are actually helping the industry thrive, rather than suck the blood out of it like Withoutabox. We offer optional paid marketing services for festivals which helps to pay our overhead and make sure that FilmFreeway will always remain 100% free for filmmakers and writers.

MT – What was the first film festival to sign up to your website?

Zachary – The wonderful Food & Farm Film Festival was the very first to sign up:

MT – What is FilmFreeway’s ultimate goal?

Zachary – To simply provide the best film festival submissions experience in the world for filmmakers and festivals alike. You can expect to see continued improvement and added features as we grow and develop as well. We’re always listening to the feedback of the community to make FilmFreeway even better. Thank you again for all of your support!