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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Movie Review - Monsters University

 Monsters University   $$$ 1/2    


104 Minutes
Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, and Helen Mirren.
Director: Dan Scanlon. 

            Follow up films in a franchise are tricky to pull off successfully. You have to capture the same feel as the original movie, but find a way to make it different. And if you decide to make that second movie a prequel you have increased the difficulty of your task. The folks at Pixar have really hit the mark with Monsters University.      
            The story takes us back to the college days of Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sullivan (John Goodman) where the two met. Mike has dreamed of becoming a scarer since he was a child and Sully is a natural that comes from a family of scarers. And the two of them do not get along.
            The rivalry between Mike and Sully eventually results in the two of them being kicked out of the scaring program at the college. Mike concocts a plan to win the campus scare competition in order to force Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) to allow him back into the scare program. He has formed a fraternity with some of the scare program washouts, but is one monster shy of a team. Sully joins at the last moment and it’s off to the races—or rather the fast moving scare scenarios.
            This is a delightful combination of underdog story and buddy-picture rivalry. The writing is on target and presents a touching, while still hilarious, story of a young man with big dreams. As you can expect, the animation is great. The acting is seamless. Put it all together and you have a great movie suitable for family fun.
            I give Monsters University three-and-a-half Movie Bucks, but wonder if it doesn’t deserve a full four MBs. It’s worth paying full price to see the movie, but if you have a lot of children it might be better to catch it as a matinee. I do plan to add this to my DVD collection when it comes out on video. My only hesitation for not giving it top marks is that I didn’t leave the theater thinking it was in the running for the best movie of the year. And that is generally what I am looking for when I give out all four Movie Bucks.
            If you like family films, go out and see this movie.

                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.



  1. Saw this with my kids, niece and nephews. It was cute and we all liked it, but I still think the first one was better :)

    1. I think I'd have to see the first one again. I thought both were excellent. Hmmm . . . but which one is best?