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Not your normal family ‘Despicable Me 2’ an energetic, well-animated sequel

I Courtesy of Universal Pictures

‘Despicable Me 2’s’ minions are a major draw for the movie, consistently running around and creating chaos in their wake.

t’s rare in a world of sequels, remakes and ripoffs to be impressed when a “Part 2” comes out. So, it was a great surprise to watch “Despicable Me 2” and leave the theater with a healthy dose of respect Dominic Baez for the adorably witty sequel. The Daily News Following the 2010 animated hit, “DM2” manages to avoid most pitfalls that befall second installments.

While it doesn’t have the same pizazz “Despicable Me” had (which is almost normal these days), it does fulfill its primary duty as family-friendly summer fun. It’s funny and sleek, beautifully animated (a fantastic use of 3-D if you choose to see it in that format) and clever enough to entertain those older than the natural target audience. Diverging from the original storyline where our main character, Gru (voiced by a returning and still perfectly cast Steve Carell, who nailed inflection and tone with

Baez / C4

The World at Their Fingertips Kalama trio among nine in U.S. to compete in world computing contest

Courtesy of Certiport

Kalama High School students Brady Harmon, Morgan VanRiper and James Willman hold their first-place plaques after qualifying for international competition in Microsoft skills, July 31-Aug. 3 in Washington, D.C. They are among nine U.S. students who qualified to compete against youths from 89 other countries.

By Cathy Zimmerman


ere’s the math: This spring, more than 140,000 U.S. students completed a series of tests aimed at scoring a place in the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship, July 31-Aug. 3 in Washington, D.C. Nine of those 140,000 made it, along with students from 89 other countries around the world. Three of the nine “This is a big — a third of the U.S. thing — I’m contingent — are from Kalama High School. excited to be Last week, the ofable to do it.” fice of State Superintendant of Public — Morgan VanRiper, Instruction Randy one of three Kalama Dorn released a statement praising the local High School students finalists. who will compete in “Three Washington the Microsoft Office state students, all from Specialist World Kalama High School, Championships will compete in an international competition,” the July 3 release says. “Juniors Morgan VanRiper and James Willman, and sophomore Brady Harmon each took first place at a national competition for students in the Microsoft IT Academy. ....” “I congratulate the winners,” Dorn wrote. When his office and Microsoft “began the IT Academy back in 2011, I knew it would benefit a lot of students. But it’s also showing all of us just how talented some students are, and how much potential they have.” Before they head off for church camp and wrestling camp and family vacations (and hours of practice before D.C.), the Kalama trio talked to The Daily News about the latest in a string of digital accomplishments. “This is a big thing — I’m excited to be able to do it,” said VanRiper, who was singled out in a May statement from Dorn’s office. She placed in the top five of all eligible students across the United States in May, achieving a perfect score in seven minutes on the Microsoft Office 2010 Word core exam. The feat sent VanRiper to nationals in Park City, Utah, where she came in second. The 10 areas of testing that certify tech students are created by Certiport, the company that

Contest / C2

Coding camps rise in popularity Efforts expanding to introduce children to basics of computer programming By Christina A. Cassidy the Associated Press

ATLANTA — The video game Jacob Asofsky is creating is simple: “Someone who is trying to take over the world and you try to stop them.” The 12-year-old from Florida is spending two weeks at a summer camp in a program that teaches programming skills to young people. “It’s about having fun, but it also gives them the tools to be able to do this at home because they don’t have this in school,” said Taylor Jones, director of the iD Tech Camp at Atlanta’s Emory University. So-called coding camps for children are becoming more popular amid a growing effort to expand access to computer programming and

STEM Academy offered for students W.F. West High School and Centralia College are providing a summer academy that will allow area students to explore topics such as science, robotics, engineering, mathematical modeling and molecular genetics. Students entering high school grades will have the opportunity to experience cutting-edge science and technology in lab facilities at the academy, which runs Aug. 5-9.

Jaime Henry-White / The Associatd Press

Instructor Melissa Andrews, left, cheers on camper Roger McKee, 9, for finishing a video game in June while at an iD Tech Camp at the Emory University campus in Atlanta. inspire more youths to seek economy: people like Facecomputer science degrees book CEO Mark Zuckerberg and careers in technology. and Tumblr founder David Their rise underscores a Coding / C2 seeming mismatch in the U.S.

“It is expected that the demand for STEM jobs will grow at twice the rate of non-STEM jobs in the future,” W.F. West Principal Bob Walters wrote in a press release. “We are very excited to offer this unique opportunity to all students in Southwest Washington.” The Chehalis School District received a $60,000 grant from the Chehalis Foundation to sponsor the program, which reduces the cost to participants from $850 per student to just $85. The program also offers scholarships based on

financial need. Several Chehalis School District programs promote STEM learning. Earlier this year, the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction named W.F. West a Lighthouse School and awarded a $19,000 grant to serve as a STEM mentor to other schools in the state. Students may register for the academy online at stemchehalis. org or view a video of the STEM program at STEMChehalisFoundation.

— The Centralia Chronicle

C4 MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

The Daily News, Longview, Wash.

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Family at Play: Turning teens from bored to board By Armin Brott, Paul Banas and Samantha Feuss

wins. The others will no doubt whine and complain about conspiracies and evil plots. 3-6 players (odd numbers are best since you need a majority), ages 14 and up. $29.95. http://www. html

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

When it comes to games, little kids are pretty easy to please — they’re willing to try just about anything, and it doesn’t take a lot of arm twisting or bribery to get them to cooperate with family game night. Tweens and teens, though, are a different story. They spend most of their free time texting, updating their Facebook pages, and sometimes even hanging out with real, live friends. And then, of course, there’s the “it’snot-cool-to-spendtime-with-your-parents” factor. Getting them to participate in game night can be a real challenge. This week, we review three board games that are specifically aimed at kids 10 and up and that hit that mark quite nicely.

Snake Oil (Out of the Box games) The goal of this Snake Oil is the same one that snakeoil salesmen of the old West had: get some unsuspecting sucker to buy something he or she doesn’t need. The game is elegantly simple. One player randomly picks a one-word Customer Card — anything from gangsters and fratboys to witches and amputees. Each of the other players gets six Word

Furt (Wiggity Bang!) Of the three games, Furt, which bills itself as “a befuzzling eruption

of laughter in a box,” is the most complicated. It might also be the most fun, in part because there really aren’t any rules — you have to figure it out as you play. The only thing that’s clear is that players are racing to be the first into the mouth of a fiery volcano. And the only way that happens is by completing tasks from one of six categories. Along the way, you’ll have

to reveal secrets (or tell bald-faced lies), act out random words, and keep a straight face while other players scream funny words at you, and generally make a fool of yourself in front of other people. 3-8 players (the more the better), ages 13 and up. Takes about 60 rolling-on-the-floor hilarious minutes. $29.95. http://www.wiggitybang. com/furt/.

McClatchy News Service photo

Furt bills itself as ‘a befuzzling eruption of laughter in a box.’ Cards and picks two to create a “product” to sell to the Customer. The bizarre word combinations (you could end up with a “noise nose,” an “ear button,” a “spit book” or any of a few thousand others) and the ridiculous sales pitches are what make Snake Oil so entertaining. Players have 30 seconds to make their pitch. The Customer awards the Customer Card to the winner. Most Customer Cards wins. 3-10 players, ages 10+. Takes five minutes to learn and 20-30 to play. $19.95, http://www.

Anger Management (Endless Games) Have you ever muttered something to a driver in another car or to a character on TV — even though you know they can’t hear

you? Or have you ever wanted to choke the lady in front of you at the grocery checkout line for making her purchase in pennies? If so, you’ll like Anger Management. The goal is pretty simple: Move up your Rage-O-Meter from “perfectly calm” to “absolutely steamed.” The player who’s most likely to throw a tantrum if he or she doesn’t go first starts by spinning the Out of Control spinner. That player then draws a card from the category the spinner landed on and reads it to the group. The players whose answers match the majority move up a notch on their Rage-O-Meter. For example, if the category is “Least Favorite chocolate covered food,” and most people say “donuts,” those players win the round. First one to Absolutely Steamed

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Man jailed in theft of Woodland coins some of rare collection was spent at face value, including a quarter worth thousands work around her house and that One of the coins was a quarter and many other coins, some of By Tony Lystra which date to the early 1800s, po- the pair had been the only ones worth thousands of dollars that lice said in a report filed this week besides family members to get the suspect used at face value, in Cowlitz County Superior Court. near the coins. Garren, however, A Vancouver man has been ar- according to investigators. denied the allegations at the Dakoda Garren, 19, had been A Woodland woman, whose rested on suspicion of stealing an time and told police they “didn’t a suspect in the theft all along, antique coin collection, estimat- mother had collected the coins, have any evidence against him,” ed to be worth $100,000, after he reported the collection missing in police said. The victim told poaccording to the report. spent some of the rare coins at a May. She said the collection, kept in lice in May that she hired Garmovie theater and pizza restau- boxes in her garage, included Lib- ren and his live-in girlfriend, erty Head quarters, Morgan dollars Elizabeth Massman, to do some rant, Woodland police said. Coins / A4


Best doing better Family, MM athlete discuss his collapse and prognosis

Record seafood catch in 2011 Commercial fishermen report their biggest haul in 17 years By Erika Bolstad McClAtChy NewsPAPers

WASHINGTON — U.S. commercial fishermen landed record amounts of fish last year, including in the Gulf of Mexico, where fisheries appear to have partially rebounded from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a government assessment issued this week. The annual report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that U.S. seafood landings in 2011 were at a 17-year high, with a value of $5.3 billion. They were up 1.9 billion pounds and more than $748 million from 2010, the report found. Among the positive trends: red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico,

Catch / A4

Coloradan wins $7 million for ‘popcorn lung’ Ailment allegedly caused by inhaling fake butter fumes the AssoCiAted Press

Vote for your favorite photos: July 29 through August 4

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Lucy, voiced by Kristen Wiig, right, and Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, share some hilarious moments in ‘Despicable Me 2.’


Wiig? Delightful. There’s a natural synergy between the cast as a whole, FROM C1 and the voice acting for “DM2” is a true gem. Rusevery line) was the Dr. Evil- sell Brand and all his crazistyle bad guy, “DM2” shows ness as Dr. Nefario, Gru’s off our favorite villain as a No. 2, is a great fit, and the doting father to three ador- connections between the able girls. It’s hard to be evil gents and Lucy will leave when those girls slay you you smiling. with their puppy eyes. The plot, though silly, Directed by Pierre Coffin shows an honest attempt and Chris Renaud and writ- to not copy the success of ten by Ken Daurio and Cin- “DM1.” Here, Lucy has enco Paul, “DM2” contains listed Gru’s help to stop a just as many zany characdastardly mastermind who ters as its predecessor, most holds an injectable serum notably the love interest, capable of transforming Lucy (voiced by Kristen the infected into terrifyWiig, “Bridesmaids”). A ing powerful monsters. peppy agent from the Anti- The League has managed Villain League, she uses to triangulate the possible her feminine wiles to help location of the suspects to coax Gru to join forces with one mall. Gru and Lucy are the League. The following assigned to find the culprits, dialogue between Carell and with Gru’s yellow minions

in tow. (As usual, these guys are hilarious.) There are a few references to popular spy movies, but “DM2” stands well just on its own. Particular scenes, including dates and dance sequences, are instantly memorable and plenty of fun for the entire audience. And while “DM2” may have its slow moments (what movie doesn’t?) and is more smile-worthy than gut-busting with its humor, overall it’s just a blast of crazy fun. Just what the doctor (or villain-turnedanti-hero) ordered. Three zany stars out of five. Dominic Baez is a copy editor for The Daily News. His email is dominic.baez@tdn. com.

By Jake Coyle The Associated Press

NEW YORK — The minions of “Despicable Me 2” ran away with the July 4th box office, leaving the Johnny Depp Western “The Lone Ranger” in the dust. According to studio estimates Sunday, the Universal animated sequel took in $82.5 million over the weekend and $142.1 million across the five-day holiday window. Gore Verbinski’s reimagining of the iconic lawman bombed for the Walt Disney Co., opening with just $29.4 million over the weekend, and a disappointing $48.9 million since Wednesday. The trouncing for Disney was especially painful because of the high cost of “The Lone Ranger,” which reportedly cost at least $225 million to make. Made by the same team that created the lucrative Disney franchise “Pirates of the Caribbean” (the four film series that grossed

$3.7 billion worldwide) the Western drew bad reviews and failed to capture the attention of younger moviegoers. The poor performance of “The Lone Ranger” called to mind a previous bomb for Disney: last year’s similarly-budgeted sci-fi adventure “John Carter,” which opened with $30.1 million. On the other hand, Universal made “Despicable Me 2” for the comparatively small amount of $76 million (a figure that doesn’t count a huge marketing budget). The better-than-expected haul (along with another $88.8 million overseas) establishes “Despicable Me,” which stars Steve Carell as a diabolical villain turned stay-at-home dad, as a new franchise for Universal and Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment, the Universal-backed animation company. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters,

according to Hollywood. com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released today. 1. “Despicable Me 2,” $82.5 million. ($88.8 million international). 2. “The Lone Ranger,” $29.4 million ($24.3 million international). 3. “The Heat,” $25 million ($4.7 million international). 4. “Monsters University,” $19.6 million ($29.5 million international). 5. “World War Z,” $18.2 million ($45.2 million international). 6. “White House Down,” $13.5 million ($6.8 million international). 7. “Man of Steel,” $11.4 million ($21.3 million international). 8. “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain,” $10.1 million. 9. “This Is the End,” $5.8 million ($900,000 international). 10. “Now You See Me,” $2.8 million ($8.5 million international).


Box office: ‘Despicable Me 2’ routs ‘Ranger’

07.08.13 C1, C4  

TDN - 'Despicable Me 2' review and jump

07.08.13 C1, C4  

TDN - 'Despicable Me 2' review and jump