The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) Review

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

Directed by Chris McKay

Starring: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.

My Opinion:

The LEGO Batman Movie is easily my favorite 2017 UK release so far! Well, okay – it’s only February and I’ve only seen three other movies (La La Land, T2 Trainspotting & Split). But I’m sure it’ll be in my top ten at the end of the year. It really cheered me up after a crappy day at work – it’s lots of fun and the humor is genuinely funny. And I mean an “all ages” funny – this is one of those movies I’m sure plenty of adults without kids are wanting to see as well. Go to it! You’ll like it no matter what your age, especially if you’re a superhero fan. Although you don’t really have to be a superhero fan, either – I’m a very mild one. In fact, I’m so superheroed-out that I went to, I think, only one of the superhero movies released last year. I didn’t go to that Batman/Superman thingy! I’m pretty sure The LEGO Batman Movie is superior to that anyway from what I’ve read.

I absolutely loved the first The Lego Movie, which I re-watched with the kid again this week. I thought that was one of the best family movies in recent times and it somehow actually manages to still go up slightly in my estimation anytime I see it. This LEGO Batman “sequel” follows a similar sort of hero’s journey narrative and delivers another great message in a thoroughly entertaining, funny, and non-preachy way. I still adore the message from the first film and, while this second film is much more obvious with its straightforward message and the story isn’t quite as “deep” or as uniquely told as in the first film, it’s still a wonderfully written film and so much better than the majority of mindless kids’ films that get made with only cheap laughs and cheap toys in mind. Crap like Trolls! What’s the message in that? Be happy no matter what! Tra la la, stupid happy songs, don’t think for yourself, don’t have emotions…

I also want to emphasize the “non-preachy” message thing, as I get so thoroughly annoyed by preachy kids’ films (I seem to have a very unpopular opinion on Zootopia but I sincerely felt that it rammed its message down our throats. Plus, the film was just boring so that didn’t help). These LEGO movies, like the Pixar films and most (not all) Disney films, get the perfect balance. It feels like the focus is first & foremost on telling a good and entertaining story, which ultimately does a better job in getting its point across anyway since any message it may have doesn’t feel forced.

I suppose I should end this review by actually talking about the movie in some way?? I don’t do that a lot anyway since I like to avoid spoilers and prefer to just discuss my feelings about a movie. What can I say? I thought the jokes in this were genuinely funny (almost as funny as in the first film). “Clever” funny. I’m very picky on comedy and like very few adult films in the comedy genre. Why is the best, most well-written comedy in films nowadays in these so-called kids’ movies? The LEGO movies (and everything made by my beloved Pixar) put all the immature, silly, live-action “adult” comedy to shame. Are adults idiots or something? Considering that our cinema screen was nearly empty when we went to see this while queues were going out the door for that new Fifty Shades movie, I’m thinking that must be the case.

I can’t help but compare this to the first LEGO movie, of course, but to say it’s not quite as good as that one isn’t really an insult as that’s a hard one to live up to. Batman himself is great but the rest of the characters are a bit weak in comparison. The focus is on Batman’s relationship with each of these people, though, and this is done really well. You gets loads of fun pop culture cameos (Gremlins & a Twilight Zone reference put a big goofy grin on my face) and I know there are plenty of superhero in-jokes that I’ll have missed but that hardcore fans will love. I saw so many “dads” alone with their kids at this one and I’m sure they loved it as much if not more than their kids. I like to pretend that those dads’ wives weren’t next door at Fifty Shades… This is why I don’t get along with many other women! Do any girl bloggers out there who prefer LEGO Batman to Fifty Shades want to be my friend??. 😉

The story itself is, well, a pretty standard superhero storyline. But better. I wish more live-action superhero movies were half as good as The LEGO Batman Movie. This film is more lighthearted and “fun” than the first one but it still has a fantastic message and put as big of a smile on my face as on my husband’s and, most importantly, our daughter’s. Well, maybe slightly bigger smiles on ours. But her generation of kids are gonna be great adults thanks to growing up on good movies like these and like those made by Pixar. This generation of kids are gonna save the world! They’re gonna be better adults than all the current idiot grown-ups! If we all live that long. Hmm. This review took a dark turn. Kind of like the death metal songs written by LEGO Batman.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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Sausage Party (2016) Review

Sausage Party (2016)

Directed by Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan

Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film, a parody of Disney and Pixar animated films, follows a sausage who tries to discover the truth about his existence and goes on a journey with his friends to escape their fate.

My Opinion:

Yep – Seth Rogen & Co have been smoking way too much weed now. They should probably get help. However, they’re making lots of money so why would they stop? Needless to say, don’t watch this movie if you’re easily offended. I’m offended by people who watch movies they know are going to be offensive & then get all offended. Think of all the most un-PC humor you’ve ever seen in South Park & multiply it by 1,000. I just watched Ted 2 the other day & was shocked at the jokes they got away with but Sausage Party makes Ted 2 look like Snow White. Or… A Disney movie with a bear! The Jungle Book?

My point is: I’m not easily offended and like a lot of humor that’s not PC but Sausage Party probably crosses the line a bit too much at times & almost made me uncomfortable (for the record, I admit that I quite like the Ted movies & prefer them to this). There were jokes that worked & jokes that didn’t but, overall, the movie just didn’t work as a whole. The story was weak but I suppose you can’t expect much from a movie made purely to use as many food-related sex jokes as possible. However, I did like the message. Yes, there’s a message just like in any Disney film. This movie reminded me of Zootropolis– it felt like they came up with the film’s message first & then wrote a story around it that didn’t quite fit.

I did like our main characters of Rogen’s sausage & Wiig’s buns and their desire to come together. I enjoyed all the dirty stuff & really liked the film’s, um, climax. Not sure what that says about me. Michael Cera’s deformed little sausage was pretty funny. Edward Norton’s bagel & Salma Hayek’s taco were also highlights of the film. I realize how dirty this all sounds but that’s the point of the film. Wiig’s blatant vagina bun was hard to watch at times, especially when she talked. Watching a talking cartoon vagina for an hour & a half is bizarre. The douche was seriously irritating, though, and the many many (many) douche jokes were far from fresh. Between the talking vagina, the douche & the racial (food) stereotypes, I felt a little uncomfortable.

I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t get some laughs out of this movie – I just laughed far less than I was expecting. Plus half the time I was probably too scared to laugh at the more “iffy” humor. If anything, Sausage Party makes me appreciate old episodes of South Park a bit more as they feel more cleverly written than this film which relies too heavily on cheap jokes. Anthropomorphic food having sexual relations is pretty damn hilarious, though! Yep – that shit did crack me up. But I’ve always had a thing for anthropomorphic food & used to do a series on this blog called “Anthropomorphic Cuteness” (check out this post with a funny clip from The Amazing World Of Gumball – it’s better than all of Sausage Party). I’d only recommend this movie to lovers of things like South Park & Family Guy. There aren’t enough laughs to really make it worth a trip to the cinema, though – you can probably wait to watch it at home.

My Rating: 6/10

Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus (2013) Review For Shitfest At The IPC

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I wrote about the godawful indie-nightmare Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus for the now-famous Shitfest over at Isaacs Picture Conclusions.

You can read my review HERE. Warning: Things get a little hairy…

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This Is The End (2013) Review

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This Is The End

Directed by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg

Starring:
James Franco
Jonah Hill
Seth Rogen
Jay Baruchel
Danny McBride
Craig Robinson
Michael Cera
Emma Watson

Running time 106 minutes

Plot Synopsis:

Well, I think everyone knows by now that the actors listed above play themselves (or fictional versions of themselves, at least). While at a party at James Franco’s house, the final apocalypse begins…

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My Opinion:

This looked quite funny (and I LOVE apocalyptic movies – see my Top Ten here), so I figured I’d check it out even though I’ve never been overly bothered about this little group of actors. So… Do you need to love these actors to enjoy the film? Well, I think it would certainly help but I did still enjoy it anyway. And I have a tiny bit of a crush on Jay Baruchel, who I liked most in a movie I don’t THINK had anything to do with this group (She’s Out Of My League). The two main movies that most everyone in This Is The End seems to have been in are Pineapple Express (think I finished that in about three sittings) and Superbad (don’t remember a THING about that other than the “McLovin” thing). Anyway, in my opinion this movie is at least funnier and more memorable than those two were. Or anything else from this group. So… You’re gonna get a fairly balanced review, I think, as I don’t absolutely worship these guys. 😉

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I don’t think I’m giving anything away that isn’t in the trailers by saying that some of the appeal of this movie is watching celebrities getting killed in humorous ways. I think, like me, most of us love celebrities as much as we hate them. Or is that just me?! So I found that entertaining and would have liked to see more of it. There are some fairly impressive cameos – It would have been even cooler to have a few more celebrity deaths that were as inventive as the first one.

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As to be expected, there’s lots of crude humor and lots of drug-taking and lots of humor involving all this drug-taking. Basically, it’s like all their other movies but I found the actual concept and story a lot more fun than something like Pineapple Express.

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I saw this three days ago and, to be honest, I’m struggling to remember specific things so I’m not sure what else to say. There’s a scene involving a porn mag that’s quite funny and probably the highlight of the movie. Oh – the music was (mostly) good! Never going to complain at a bit of Black Sabbath! Also don’t mind some Cypress Hill & KRS-One. So other than an annoying boy band & Whitney Houston, fairly decent soundtrack. Oh yeah – and at one point a character calls someone a “duplicitous taint” and I was like “I need to remember that because I think I know a certain someone who would probably appreciate that. (The IPC…). Lol! But I didn’t quite remember because I’m getting old and senile and I’m now not sure if that’s exactly what was said but I know the second word is right. Anyone feel free to correct me if I got that wrong. Okay, I’m rambling now – time to finish this review. 😉

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Summary:

This Is The End is rude, crude, and fun. If you love this group of actors, you’ll probably worship this movie. Great job on the pretty original idea of having them play “themselves” in the middle of one messed-up apocalypse. But, overall, I found the whole thing quite forgettable. As much as I enjoyed it while watching it, I can’t see it being one I’d watch again anytime soon. As far as comedies go, I’m very picky but the few I love I could watch over & over again. This Is The End isn’t one of those for me but neither are any of the other movies from this group of actors. For me, at least – I know I seem to be in the minority on that.

My Rating: 7/10

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Scene After The Credits?: No, there’s nothing after the credits. It’s the kind of movie where I expected something.

Cameos?: I know some people will want a list of all the cameos in This Is The End. As I didn’t know several of the actors anyway, here’s a good link with the list: BuzzSugar

My Top Ten Apocalyptic Movies – Does this make the list?

Movies Seen In 2013 – Where does this rank?