The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Review

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Review

Directed by Mike Mitchell

Based on Lego Construction Toys

Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Maya Rudolph

Music by Mark Mothersbaugh

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDb)
It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.

My Opinion:

Damn. What a massive letdown after The Lego Movie, which I thought was one of the best and most original animated family films of these past several years. I think they need to stop with all the freaking sequels for EVERY animated family movie that’s EVER been made. Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, whatever the hell studio made this (Warner?), etc etc etc. STOP! Just stop it, dammit! Surely they now know they’ve gone too far after the huge negative reaction to the atrocious-looking Will Smith Aladdin Genie?!?! Stop it with the sequels and the reboots and the remakes and especially the pointless live-action versions of animated classics! Latest rumor I saw online was a live-action version of A Nightmare Before Christmas. OMG. Don’t touch that! It’s perfect as is! I’ll boycott! I’ll march! I’ll go on a hunger strike! (Okay, maybe not a hunger strike)


Oh. Yeah. Back to The Lego Movie 2. After all my ranting & raving, I can’t quite put my finger on why this one was so bad compared to the first. It just lacked the heart of the original. It felt stale and unoriginal. It felt soulless. It felt like a cash-grab (as do the majority of these animated sequels). The story felt forced to fit in with the ending of the original & the sort of values that movie was promoting. The jokes weren’t as funny and there weren’t as many fun surprises & cameos. It wasn’t clever in the same way the first one was with things like the Kragle and the “Piece of Resistance”; the script for the first film was smart & truly funny. And Tiffany Haddish has quite a big voice role in the sequel, which is not fun to listen to if you find her as obnoxiously annoying and unfunny as I do (If you love her, you’re in luck!). Also, Emmet’s naive & charming cluelessness got less and less charming as this movie went on, but I’m wondering if that’s just me finding the real life Chris Pratt less and less charming lately as well. Man I’m a bitch! I think I need “unknown” celebs to be in movies since there are far too many that get on my nerves. I have to say that I appreciate Ralph Breaks The Internet a bit more now, which I found very disappointing at first. What I realised is that I still loved the characters in that sequel just as much as in the first film, which made up a bit for the story being weak. I found I didn’t care about the characters in The Lego Movie 2, although it was nice getting to know a little more about Wyldstyle (I still like her).


Okay, this movie wasn’t all bad. It just had a lot to live up to. What did I like? I loved the adorable kiddie voices of the Duplo toys. Those smiley stars and hearts with the sweet little voices were cute as shit. There were still plenty of funny jokes – I guess I’m comparing this to the first movie, which was hilarious, but this sequel was still a lot better than most of stuff made by other studios such as DreamWorks (Sorry – I’m not a DreamWorks fan). My daughter and I still got some giggles out of this one, which I always love to see. There’s also a song that’s almost as good/catchy/annoying as Everything Is Awesome so it’s great that they were almost able to match the joy of that song (it’s called, of course, Catchy Song). In the end, though, this sequel was all just a bit forgettable and disposable, which I’d never say about the first film. Oh well. They can’t all be the Citizen Kane of family-friendly animation.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Not sure if I’ll have time this week but I’ll try to review a film I went to just after this one and did really enjoy – Alita: Battle Angel. It was a pleasant surprise.

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Big Hero 6 (2014) Review

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*I chose an alternate movie poster because I really like it. It’s by artist Kaz Oomori.

Big Hero 6 (2014)

Directed by Don Hall & Chris Williams

Starring:
Ryan Potter
Scott Adsit
Daniel Henney
T. J. Miller
Jamie Chung
Damon Wayans, Jr.
Génesis Rodríguez
James Cromwell
Maya Rudolph

Running time: 102 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

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My Opinion:

I was lucky enough to catch a preview of this the other weekend! It’s still not out fully until the end of January in the UK…

Since Disney has given us some great films in recent years (such as Frozen & Wreck-It Ralph), I had pretty high hopes for Big Hero 6. Luckily, it lived up to my expectations. I still think Frozen is the best one overall as far as the long-term impact it will have (think of all the five-year-old girls who worship Frozen – they’ll still feel the same way about the movie as they grow up). I can’t help but keep comparing Big Hero 6 to Wreck-It Ralph in my mind as they’re the more “boy” ones and I’m still not sure which one I like more. I think Big Hero 6 has the better overall story and you really can’t beat the character of Baymax (how many people now want their own Baymax?! I know I do!). 🙂 However, the entire concept of Wreck-It Ralph probably gives that movie a slight edge over Big Hero 6 for me. I don’t think the story was executed quite as well as in Big Hero 6 but it really was a brilliant idea for a story and created a more interesting “world”.

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The best thing about Big Hero 6, for me, is definitely Baymax the healthcare robot. His “personality” and the sweet relationship that develops between him & main character Hiro Hamada reminded me in a way of The Iron Giant (which is a very good thing). Why are there so many lovable robots in movies?! By the way, I was planning to post a “Top Ten Robots In Movies” list after this movie but I may now wait until I’ve seen Ex Machina, which I’m hoping will be amazing. Will Baymax be on the list? Hmm… Maybe! 😉 But my top two will NEVER change…

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We get some slightly predictable but heartwarming moments with Baymax as well as some very funny ones. I wasn’t expecting a ton of humor but there are a couple of hilarious bits with Baymax that made me look over at the hubby & smile – I love when that happens as I don’t find that many movies funny. I also really liked Hiro’s brother’s group of misfit friends (including the geeky “stoner” type – I always love the “stoner” types!). I think the characters in this were really strong for a kids’ film, even down to the brothers’ aunt who doesn’t have a huge role. The relationships work really well and the story, although somewhat disappointingly predictable, is very strong. It’s certainly one that can (and you totally know WILL) have a sequel or two and I’d happily watch them.

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Summary:

Big Hero 6 is another great film from Disney that’s just as enjoyable for adults and teenagers as well young kids. It’s also just a really good superhero film full stop (or “period” to my American buddies). Being dragged to movies for kids all the time, I really do appreciate ones such as these where I’M just as excited about seeing them. This has GREAT characters and it’s funny and it has some kick-ass action as well as all the heartwarming (and heartbreaking) moments you expect from a Disney film. The story is a little predictable but people need to remember that it’s a movie for kids and kids won’t have seen loads of superhero movies so the story won’t be predictable to them. I’d have to say that, although I think The Incredibles is a better film as far as kids’ superhero films go, I kind of enjoyed Big Hero 6 even more. The Incredibles has no Baymax. *fistbump!*

My Rating: 7.5/10

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Scene After The Credits?: Oh yes! I often forget to add this to my reviews even though I always stay to see if there’s a bit at the end. YES! There’s a scene after the credits that I think is very worth staying for, especially if you’re a comic book/superhero geek. Also…

Feast:

Almost forgot to mention this great short before the film. It’s adorable! I loved it. And it almost brought a tear to my eye when I realized what the “solution” was going to be at the end. Definitely arrive on time so that you can see this short beforehand as well.

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The Way Way Back (2013) Review

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The Way Way Back (2013)

Directed by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

Starring:
Steve Carell
Toni Collette
Allison Janney
AnnaSophia Robb
Sam Rockwell
Maya Rudolph
Rob Corddry
Amanda Peet
Liam James

Running time: 103 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) goes on summer vacation to his mom Pam’s (Toni Collette) new boyfriend Trent’s (Steve Carell) beach house in Cape Cod. Duncan looks set to have a dreadful vacation as Trent treats him horribly but things start looking up when he meets pretty neighbor Susanna (AnnaSophia Robb) and local water park employee Owen (Sam Rockwell).

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My Opinion:

You know how some indie movies (Is this indie? Maybe not. The lines are so blurred these days) are annoyingly pretentious and no fun to watch? Well, even though it looked like it had the potential to be, The Way Way Back luckily isn’t one of those. It was great fun and is definitely close to the top of my list of 2013 movies I’ve seen.

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The Way Way Back reminded me a bit of Adventureland (Wait! Don’t run away if you hated that one!). I enjoyed that film despite not being a fan of any of the stars as I loved the setting of a theme park in the 1980s. I think most people hate at least one star in Adventureland, which hurt the movie. The Way Way Back doesn’t have that problem (for me) and is a better film with a much better script.

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It was originally going to be set in the 80s as well but, due to not having the budget, they had to set it in the present. But the film still has a great 1980’s feel to it, which is a big plus to me as I love that cheesy decade. They even left in things like Duncan singing REO Speedwagon (Can you get more “80’s cheese” than that?! Maybe with some Journey…) and Owen quoting Bonnie Tyler & using Pac-Man to explain his whole philosophy on life. Oh I loved all that! And I loved the water park setting as there were a lot of these in my neck of the woods and I miss those lovely, sunny 80’s summers (especially the sunny part now that I live in England!).

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Yes, it’s a “coming of age” story but I love a good coming of age story when done well. Liam James is great as Duncan, a very likeable shy and awkward boy who is almost non-existent to his father and his new wife while his mother’s new boyfriend constantly belittles him and bosses him around. Now, Steve Carell isn’t for everyone (me included) but he’s truly excellent in this role, which is FAR different from his comedic roles. He’s a total prick to Duncan and you’ll seriously want to punch him in the face, especially during the “three” talk. But his character doesn’t go overboard – he feels very much like a real person as, unfortunately, there are many people just like him. And Toni Collette is very good as Duncan’s mom, who is just trying to keep things together after her divorce and doesn’t like seeing Duncan so unhappy.

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But! Things aren’t all sad & depressing in the film. Duncan finds a girl’s bike in the garage one day and cycles to a water park called Water Wizz where he befriends Sam Rockwell’s Owen, who offers Duncan a job at the park. The water park scenes are by far the highlight of the film. Owen is an easygoing, laidback (probably too laidback) guy who, predictably but hilariously, helps turn Duncan’s life around and makes him finally feel like he belongs somewhere. I’ve never been quite sure how I feel about Sam Rockwell but I LOVED him in this. He’s hilarious but also so sweet as the seemingly bad role model for Duncan who in reality turns out to be the most positive male influence in Duncan’s life.

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There are other good characters in the film, such as Maya Rudolph as the Water Wizz employee always trying to get Owen to behave more responsibly, AnnaSophia Robb’s Susanna as the cute girl-next-door who befriends Duncan, and Allison Janney as Susanna’s irresponsible mother (Typical annoying, mouthy, and nosy neighbor but she’s SO damn funny in this!). However, the best thing about the movie is definitely the friendship between Duncan & Owen.

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Summary:

The Way Way Back is a great coming of age film that gets just the right balance between comedy and drama without being overly sentimental. The characters feel real as do their relationships. I really can’t think of one negative thing to say about The Way Way Back – it’s a thoroughly enjoyable film and one of my favorites of the year.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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