In 2016 we saw Batman twice in theaters and for most of us, we left those two encounters less than enthusiastic. With Warner Bros. flailing wildly in need of a hit, in steps some tiny plastic toys to save the day. Even with as good as The LEGO Batman Movie is, it also amplifies how inept Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were at the most fundamental level–being entertaining. In a way, the latest in the Batman universe acts as a sincere apology for the aforementioned disappointments.
To be fair The LEGO Batman Movie has the benefit of irreverent humor that leans heavily in meta territory. The film exists in a world where Gotham City and its citizens are kind of tired of Batman’s shenanigans. Years of fighting bad guys and yet crime rates are as high as ever. Even Batman’s greatest enemy, Joker, has decided that he must concoct a new scheme to get the Caped Crusader in touch with his emotions. With the help of a recently adopted orphan, Dick Grayson, and the city’s new commissioner, Barbara Gordon, Batman embarks on a mission to save his tarnished reputation and the city. (more…)
Childhood memories are precious and leading up to the release of the newest iteration of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES that’s all anyone could talk about. Would the Jonathan Liebesman/Michael Bay combo throw those memories in a blender and hit frappe or would they shock everyone and create new memories. Let’s face it though people, this is Michael Bay we are talking about here- he doesn’t seem to do anything unless it’s mind numbingly dumb. Plus, Jonathan Liebesman only directs movies that dangerously hug the line of frighteningly mediocre or barely passable. As an aging fan of the TMNT franchise let me tell you that I (with extreme hesitation) believe this film falls more on the barely passable side- maybe even mostly passable side since I’m in a pretty good mood.
By passable I don’t mean you should pass on seeing it. What I mean is that in terms of quality, it’s not the disaster I think everyone was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not what I would call all that good either. I don’t think anyone really needs a refresher on the origins of these characters so I’ll bypass a lengthy plot description. I will however just try to highlight some of the non-origin aspects of Liebesman’s film. The turtles are all present and accounted for as well as Splinter, April and the villainous Shredder. Shredder is out to re-create the mutant enzyme that created the turtles in order to take control of the world with his gang known as the Foot Clan. That’s pretty much it- oh, and Shredder isn’t just some dude with a helmet and claws, he’s a dude with mad ninja skills and a giant impractical mech suit with like a dozen knives/claws. (more…)
The dilemma for an aging movie lover is sometimes feeling like a creep seeing a kids movie in a theater and not having kids of your own, but also being enthralled by the very same movie intended for children. Personally, I don’t yet have that hangup because I love being transported into my own youth by these nostalgia projects and THE LEGO MOVE did nothing if not make me feel like a kid again. It’s early in the year, but if I see another film that had me grinning ear to ear from beginning to end, I’ll be shocked.
THE LEGO MOVIE brings the popular childhood figures to life with Emmett (Chris Pratt) as a plain faced conformist who wants nothing more in life but to fit in with everyone else. He meets Wild Syle (Elizabeth Banks) during a fall that lands him with a mysterious piece stuck to his back. As it turns out the piece is the key to foiling Lord Business’ plan to make every world in the LEGO universe stay the same forever- promptly putting an end to any and all building and imagination. (more…)