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We enjoy the special effect version with Gru & the minions sitting in the audience with us, cracking jokes, teetering on a toilet plunger, replaying scenes, interspersed with Steve Carell and director interview snatches intercut into the movie during play. It is engaging. I don't see this special feature mentioned in the Blu ray description but is an optional version on the disc. I have never seen this type of twist offered on a disc before. This version with Gru and minions sitting with us is like a parody of the movie, within the movie. This is the preferred version for our grandchildren who watch it over and over again. The arguments between Gru and Vector over the handset control, fast forwarding the movie, then reversing it to their favorite scenes is like sword play. At one point the minions make color copies of their bare bottoms for sharing. This Gru and minions audience participation feature can only be enjoyed once you are thoroughly acquainted with the original version so tweaks and interruptions can be appreciated as pure humor.
Gru and the minions in the audience is similar to the conceit of Lost in Austen where 21st century Amanda Price has memorized Pride and Prejudice (Puffin Classics) by Jane Austen and accidentally falls into the Georgian book switching places with Elizabeth Bennet, right at the beginning of the story. Amanda knows how the plot is supposed to unfold and tries to help it along, but the more she helps, the more unbundled the plot becomes as a result of her interference. A bit too risque for the younger set, but a treat for adults.
Despicable Me is truly a generation spanning entertainment, unlike Disney's Frozen which is more appealing to the young. Although the counterpoint singing in Frozen is similar to Les Miserables, there are only two singers harmonizing in Frozen, whereas in Les Miserables there are four, and that is strictly an adult movie.
If you appreciate satire and parody, this audience participation version of Despicable Me is worth a try.
Other parodies and originals
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Renaissance Man with Danny DaVito and Hamlet by Shakespeare
The Lake House (Widescreen Edition) and Persuasion, by Persuasion by Jane Austen
Play It Again, Sam and Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart
Galaxy Quest (Deluxe Edition) and Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]
Any Muppets movie and any Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers movie
Despicable Me 5 stars for generation sharing laughter and repeated viewings
Journalist tries to find the fees charged to his retirement savings, and is unable to tally the amounts due to hidden monthly charges: administrative, transaction (posting interest, dividends earned from savings), RMD required minimum distribution fees, charges for each stock bond fund each time a withdrawal is posted as it is spread across the entire account.
He discovers many others' retirement accounts are gutted by fees because they did not LOOK at their statements carefully. And the did not ask the important questions "are you my fiduciary?" meaning "is the advice you give me for MY financial benefit, are there legal repercussions if the advice benefits YOU financially and NOT me?" hidden charges, fees, bonuses paid to the broker for pushing funds being sold by the brokerage. Many individuals interviewed for this documentary discovered that their savings was decimated by fees and they did not have what they thought they did for retirement.
Your Money Or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship With Money And Achieving Financial Independence is Joe Dominguez' account of twice gaining and losing fortunes in the stock market, then inheriting $30,000 in the 1960s and deciding never to work again. He became financially independent by tracking every penny he spent, marking it on a graph each month. And tracking how much INCOME he received from his savings (interest, dividends, found penny on sidewalk). Over 5 years the two curves crossed, his expenditures equaled his income from savings.
Others wanted to know how he accomplished this feat. Dominguez was not wealthy but he didn't need to work unless he wanted to. He gave lectures, always paying his own travel expenses, and donating his fees to a foundation which donated all profits each year to charitable organizations which he supported. Since he didn't want to work, and speaking is work, he wrote Your Money or Your Life and donated the profits to the foundation as well. PBS followed up with two specials Affluenza and Escape From Affluenza about the infectious quality of spending on unneeded, unwanted gazingus pins (stuff which doesn't contribute to quality of life, and subtracts from savings for retirement).
One of my professors has a son and wife who are documented in Dominguez' book. Sadly Dominguez died of cancer. His book has been updated by someone else and I do not know that the profits of the new version of the book continue to flow to the charitable foundation Dominguez established as was true of the original hardback.
My question: are 401(k) fees justified? Does the advice improve my decision making? Improve the investment income on retirement savings? or just deplete the savings from my work?
There is a saying that the health of the Japanese economy depends on the frugality of the Japanese housewife. In America 80% of spending decisions are made by the wife. What about the savings decisions?
Other thoughtful resources
National Geographic: Stress - Portrait of a Killer heart attack, stroke and how to avoid disability
The Caregiver Helpbook, Powerful Tools for Caregivers half of caregivers die before the one they care for due to stress, how to manage the mental, physical, emotional, social, spiritual and financial demands of caring for children and others
Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter remove the minus sign gazingus pins, increase the plus sign meaningful things
A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul, Written and Selected from the World's Sacred Texts Leo Tolstoy's sole reading for the last 5 years of his life
Dhamma Brothers how to self soothe, decrease anger resentment vindictiveness revenge
Departures our final responsibility to one another
How to Die in Oregon individuals allow us to follow their journey of suffering, their decision making, their final moments as they try to create a life of meaning
The Retirement Gamble is a shocking expose of the brokerage industry's decimating of retirement savings through hidden fees. 5 stars