Movies & TV

Movie Review: Monsters University (And Our Interview With Billy Crystal)

School never looked this scary.

Monsters University

The hilarious prequel to the wildly successful Monsters Inc, Monsters University is the movie that explains the tight friendship between the scaring team Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and James P.”Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman).

Because in college, they were natural enemies.

Mike always dreamed of being a “scarer” when he grew up. But as a short monster, he looks more funny than scary with his single eye and goofy smile. So, he has to work twice as hard to study the art and get into his prized university.

When he does, it’s a whole new world. But then he discovers that not everyone had his solid work ethic. Sulley comes from a long line of talented scarers and doesn’t even bring a pencil to class.

Their quarrels beg the question: Are monsters born with the ability to scare? Or is it achieved through careful study and training? Through a classic nature vs. nurture debate, the two college monsters side on opposite ends, which result in a fight that gets them kicked out of school.

The only way back in is to join a fraternity, in order to participate in The Scare Games, and prove they are worthy of the Scarer Program. But the only frat willing to take them is OK (Oozma Kappa), a group more scared than scary.

They need to find a way to make it work on their team…and with each other. Or, they may face permanent expulsion.

Monsters University

Here’s the run down:

Comedy: Just like Monsters Inc, this new film will have you laughing the whole way through. It may have taken them 12 years to follow up with this one, but the hilarious lines and new, funny characters are totally worth it.

Rivalry: Whether you are rooting for Mike or Sulley, the intense rivalry between the two make for great laughs and learning moments.

Friendship: How did you and your BFF become so bonded? Sometimes hard times are just the thing to bring us closer together.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY: Check out the official trailer:

Faze Interview with the amazing Billy Crystal, voice of Mike Wazowski

Do you identify with the character of Mike Wazowski?

Billy Crystal: I love this guy. I actually think this is my most favourite character I’ve played in anything. I love his personality. I love that he stands up for himself. I love that he’s forever positive. I love when something gets in his way, he either goes over it, around it, or through it, and somehow comes out the other side. Every picture he takes, it’s just the top of his head. He doesn’t even see that he’s not in it.

Mike’s character arc is similar to a lot of creative people, where someone tells them that they’re not going to make it, no matter how smart you are. Did this trigger any flashbacks from your earlier days?

Billy Crystal: I don’t have to flash that far back. They’re always telling you you’re done. Especially now with social media. It used to be that you had four or five critics that you would look to. Now, there’s millions of people who can press send. Everyone’s got a mouth and they don’t care what they say. It makes it a little tougher. The message of this movie [is] you’re going to have to be ready for disappointment, because not everything works out perfectly for everybody. But you always have perfect dreams.

When that happens, and it doesn’t work out, that’s the test of a man, or a monster, or a woman. That’s why I think there’s a great message in the movie.

What scares you?

Billy Crystal: Boy, this could get dark [laughs]. The dark still scares me. It’s not just the dark of a room, it’s the dark of the dark. It’s the unknown. It’s time. Having enough time to do all the things in my life that I want to do, I want to accomplish. We never know how long we’re going to get. Fear is a really great motivator, though.

This movie is about believing in yourself, but also about the importance of having someone else believe in you as well. Did you have someone like that, when you were just starting out?

Billy Crystal: A number of people. But most important is my wife, Janice. We’ve been together since 1966. So, anytime, anything good or bad, she’s there. Any moments of self-doubt, she lets me have them and then talks me out of them.

And then, along the way, managers and agents. I’m blessed that I’ve been with the same people since 1974, who are my second family. Not only are we a good team that way, but we’re really dear friends.

You need to be told the truth, good or bad, and it has to be done in the right way. You also have to have somebody who you know is always going to be there for you. That way, you can make mistakes, but they don’t seem as bad.

Monsters University

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