Tag Archives: 2014

What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

What-We-Do-in-the-Shadows

How do vampires really work in the real world? Do they truly sparkle in the sunlight? Do older vampires adapt to the fast paced life of the modern life? Documentary film makers, Jemain Clement and Taiki Waititi, bring us a glimpse at the life of four vampires who share a home and struggle to keep up with the fast pace of modern times. Running at a length of 86 minutes, this mockumentary manages to be one of the most memorable vampire movies in the last few years.

From a visual standpoint, What We Do In The Shadows is not the most eye pleasing film. Often times the movie will look like it was done over several weekends instead of being a feature but it actually helps authenticate the feel of watching a documentary. The actors, or subjects, also do a great way of portraying the different quirks and irritations that each of these vampires has with each other whilst sharing the same home. Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) is the roommate who used to be the terror of Europe until “the monster” humiliated him ages ago. He’s lost his touch and a good portion of power since then. Viago (Taiki Waititi) is the roommate who moved to New Zealand in search of his beloved. He does his best to keep harmony and cleanliness throughout the household with various degrees of success. Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) is the irresponsible peasant turned vampire. His transformation was through the hands of Petyr (Ben Fransham) the eldest of the four flatmates.

The comedy in this movie is unlike anything I have seen recently. What We Do In the Shadows revives old vampire lores and uses them to poke fun at the more recent renditions of vampires. The way each characters dresses denotes what time period they are from while at the same time providing humor at how absurdly they are dressed. The addition of other characters throughout the movie are never dull and offer a good amount of laughs. Even the camera men are not safe as they are often targeted by other dark entities throughout the course of their filming. What would it be like for a meeting between vampires and werewolves on the street really be like? The movie explores these things and even more.

The “best” two documentary film makers (try and name two others) of New Zealand bring a brilliant new glimpse at what the life of a vampire is truly like. Solid performances and a plethora of humorous situations make it seem like the footage of this movie is just too short. Any fan of Flight of the Conchords or Monty Python’s Flying Circus will absolutely enjoy What We Do In the Shadows. With any luck, we might even get a documentary about the werewolves.

TL;DR: Classic Formula, fresh result. What We Do In The Shadows takes the classic vampire lore and brings us a hilarious spin on what it’s like to live in the shadows.

Rockit Raccoon Rating: 8.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

IMDB: 8.0/10

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Movie

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Sin-City-A-Dame-to-Kill-For-Banner

With Marvel and DC comics competing with movie renditions of graphic novels, it’s easy to forget that there are more than two publishers. Dark Horse is responsible for bringing Frank Miller’s Sin City series into print and in 2005, the a few of the stories were brought to the big screen. The movie was received well enough to merit a sequel almost 9 years later. A Dame to Kill For brought back several familiar faces such as Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke to reprise their roles but also brought in new actors. The nice thing about Sin City 2 was that Frank Miller was able to write new stories exclusively for the movie so fans of the graphic novel would be able to watch something fresh.

Just like the first Sin City, A Dame to Kill for was split into a few segments with the main story in the middle. The visual black and white style from the first movie was kept for the sequel although there was a lot more use of “highlighted” colors in this one. For the most part, the movie stayed true to its printed origins. Although it was a nice touch for those that had actually read the stories and recognized the panels from the graphic novels, it turned into a problem in some instances.

Because the movie is split into segments that contain distinct and sometimes exclusive characters, the following overview will also be split into segments.

JUST ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT

The opening segment of A Dame to Kill For and presumable a small setup to show moviegoers what they were in for. In this story Marv (Mickey Rourke) wakes from a car crash to find the bodies of several young men around him. Due to a certain condition that he has, he isn’t able to recall what events led to him and he begins to retrace his steps.

Just like in the first Sin City movie Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller don’t skimp out on the violence of this segment. The fights that ensue as Marv tries to recall his memory are done fairly well although a little confusing. It’s a nice taste of what A Dame to Kill For is going to bring but it’s far from being engaging. Mickey Rourke, just like in the first movie, does an excellent job at playing Marv throughout the entirety of the movie. The real problem that arises from this segment is the whole “recalling” portion of the movie. Marv spends a nice chunk of time remembering what happened through the use of voice over narration and despite the nice little effects used to sort of ease the viewer, it was pretty boring to watch.

A DAME TO KILL FOR

The main story in this movie was dedicated to this one. Personally, when I read this graphic novel I wasn’t to impressed with the story. Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) is a private detective who gets an unexpected plea from help from his ex lover Ava Lord (Eva Green). She coaxes Dwight to help her escape from her crazy husband Damian Lord (Marton Csokas) but before he can help he also has to get through Damian’s monstrous chauffeur Manute (Dennis Haysbert) as well as some police officers that are caught by Ava Lord’s seduction.

dwight-comparison-3

Clive Owen (left) and Josh Brolin (right) next to the novel’s rendition of Dwight

Due to the nature of the timeline of Dwight’s character, Josh Brolin was brought on board to replace Clive Owen.  In the graphic novel it is explained that McCarthy had to go through some reconstructive facial surgeries so it makes sense as to why Brolin was cast instead. His performance as Dwight wasn’t bad at all although it still bothers me that they didn’t bring in Clive Owen to play as McCarthy after the surgeries. Without that little detail it’s tough to even relate the characters from both movies let alone realize that they’re the same exact character. Eva Green also had a wonderful performance although her costume designs also helped sell the sleazy and manipulative Ava Lord. Despite this Eva Green might not have been the best actress for the role. She was certainly eye catching but there are several other actresses that might have fit the character a lot better. Manute is another major character in the Sin City universe and due to the death of Michael Clarke Duncan, Dennis Haysbert was brought on board to replace him. His acting was a little flat but Manute is a character that is better off being seen than heard and Haysbert didn’t do too bad.

manute-comparison

Manute: Michael Clarke Duncan (left), Dennis Haysbert (right)

Overall, A Dame to Kill For followed the graphic novel almost perfectly and that’s part of the why it wasn’t as interesting as it ought to have been. In comic book panels there are certain things that an author can get away with, one of these is when a character talks or thinks to himself. In this portion of the movie there was a lot of voice over narration that considerably slowed down the movie. Sure it was in the comic books but these voice over narrations were long enough to drag the viewer at out of the story. At one point it felt like I was just watching an audio book. The action that eventually took place on screen ended up being pretty campy (good for some people, bad for others). For a story line that was supposed to be the largest chunk of the movie, A Dame to Kill For was surprisingly underwhelming.

THE LONG BAD NIGHT

Fotor0412115212

The Long Bad Night is about a Johnny, a cocky and extremely lucky gambler, (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who walks into the infamous Basin City in order to beat Senator Roark (Powers Booth) at a game of cards. When the Johnny humiliates Roark in front of his colleagues, he doesn’t take to kindly toward the young gambler and teaches him that trying to beat a Roark at his own game is dangerous.

Having seen Gordon-Levitt in movies like (500) Days of Summer or comedies such as That 70’s Show, its tough to picture him in a movie like Sin City but he pulls it off extremely well. Roles like this one make me believe that Gordon-Levitt is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood as of now. Powers Booth who reprises his role as Senator Roark also does a terrific job at portraying one of the most feared and respected men in Basin City. The tense moments that these two have on screen coupled with the peculiar story easily make this the best part of Sin City 2 despite the fact that there’s very limited violence in comparison with the rest of the film. If that wasn’t enough it was also entertaining to see Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, Roger Rabbit) have a small part as well as a surprisingly well executed cameo from Lady Gaga.

NANCY’S LAST DANCE

Yet another original story by Frank Miller that gives some closure to the story of Nancy Callahan. Years after the suicide of John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), Nancy (Jessica Alba) tries her best to get over his death and deal with her depression. She decides that her best bet to get over Hartigan’s death is to kill Senator Roark (Powers Booth).

Nancy’s Last Dance might just be the second strongest story in the whole film. As a fan of the graphic novel, I was excited to finally get an ending to Nancy’s story in Sin City. I haven’t seen all of Jessica Alba’s movies but from what I can gather, this might have been one of her better acting performances. Her desperation and depression come across clearly and the build up to a showdown with Roark is engaging enough to keep the viewer’s attention. There were some strange things in this segment such as the whole ghost thing (Sixth Sense anyone?) but overall it was decent enough of a story that included minimal voice over narration.

Nancy Callahan and Marv

Nancy Callahan and Marv

One of the first rules of screenwriting that are taught is to never use voice over narration. Many successful movies have ignored this rule without much backlash but unfortunately Sin City 2 is not one of those examples. The movie overall is passable. Fans of the graphic novel may appreciate the new stories but the VO narration seems like overkill throughout many parts of the movie and frankly, it makes it a chore to watch. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller did a great job with the first Sin City but the sequel seemed to be missing a lot of the gruesome story and brutal action that made the first one so good. Every actor did a good job at playing their role but it still felt like the casting of the new characters left a lot to be desired.

TL;DR: There are very few reasons to watch this on the big screen (i.e. Jessica Alba, The Long Bad Night). With the side stories being a lot more entertaining than the main one, its hard to imagine that we’ll be getting another Sin City movie any time soon.

Rock-It Raccoon Rating: 5.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 45%

IMDB: 7.2/10

MetaCritic: 45/100

Leave a comment

Filed under Movie

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

guardian-of-the-galaxy-poster1

Guardians of the Galaxy may just be the most obscure comic book title that Marvel has brought to the big screen. This particular movie is based on a 2008 rendition of the comics, as opposed to its original 1969 cast. The plot introduces the main members of the Guardians of the Galaxy as they learn to work together in order to stop Ronan (Lee Pace) from destroying the planet Xandar. Although it may sound like any old comic book story, Guardians of the Galaxy introduces some very important things into the Marvel Universe (more on this later).

A big part of what made Guardians of the Galaxy such an entertaining movie was how perfectly each cast member was able to fit into their role. Chris Pratt (Parks and Rec, The Lego Movie) had the job of carrying a good portion of the film as he played Jason Quill, the immature outlaw. Quill is a character who can only be compared to a young Han Solo with a more impulsive personality. The death of his mother that is shown at the very start of the film seemed like a cheap way to give his character depth but Pratt’s performance as Quill really make you root for him immediately. Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star Trek), also fit the role of deadly assassin perfectly although she had a more discreet performance in comparison to other cast members. Vin Diesel who played Groot also deserves credit for bringing the tree creature to life although it seems like he really hit the jackpot since all he had to do was repeat one line. Dave Bautista, Drax in the movie, is probably the actor whose performance surprised me the most. Known more for his years wrestling in the WWE, Bautista seemed like the perfect fit for Drax the destroyer but it wasn’t just the muscle that made him a stand out performer. The wrestler was able to show moments of emotion beneath the muscle-bound exterior of Drax as well as delivering various jokes in the film. No movie would be complete without its villains and the two main antagonists Ronan and Yondu did an excellent job. Lee Pace (The Hobbit, Lincoln) did an excellent job at playing Ronan the Accuser, his lack of emotion and emphasis on brutality made him seem like a villain who you would want to avoid. Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead, Jumper) also did an excellent job even though it seemed he was essentially reprising his role as a space version of Merle from the Walking Dead.

rocket raccoon

Rocket in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. To his right is Nova, another character that may make his debut in future Marvel movies

Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, Hangover) as the Rocket Raccoon was probably the most controversial casting of all. Although Cooper brought certain star power to the role, there are several other actors that had played him before in both video games and television shows. When Guardians of the Galaxy was first announced, rumors of who would voice Rocket included talented voice actors such as Seth Green (Mass Effect, Robot Chicken), John DiMaggio (Futurama, Adventure Time), Nolan North (Deadpool, Uncharted) who had voiced the character before. These names paled in comparison to the fan favorite, Greg Ellis(Pirates of the Caribbean, The Hobbit), who had given the mastermind raccoon some popularity through his portrayal in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. When it was finally decided that Bradley Cooper would fill the role, there was a lot of skepticism of what would happen to the character’s trademark cockney accent. The voice was ultimately changed to a more “street” version as opposed to cockney but the actor was able to surpass everyone’s expectations. Cooper was able to voice the character’s anger issues and intelligence while also being able to show the character’s soft side when it was necessary. In a lot of ways, Rocket Raccoon is the heart of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Bradley Cooper was able to play the role perfectly.

One of the things that stood out during the initial trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy was Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” track. Such and old song like that immediately stands out in a science fiction movie like GotG but it was done so well that it actually added to the identity of the movie. The soundtrack is actually one of the key belongings of Peter “Star Lord” Quill that was given to him by his dying mother. “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” is a set of nostalgic songs from the 80’s that reminds us that although Quill is in space fighting aliens and having adventures, he’s still human. Every song is out of place in the futuristic world of Guardians and at times it is even addressed directly in humorous ways. Love it or hate it, the list of tracks is a very significant factor that sets the tone of the scenes they are played in.

I’ll go ahead and say right now that I’m not the biggest fan of CGI in movies but I didn’t mind it so much in this movie. James Gunn, the director, uses a lot of CGI graphics to make characters like Groot and Rocket as well as the exotic locations within the film. To my relief all of the graphics were done extremely well and every scene was paced really well for the most part. There was no shortage of laughter or action throughout the whole movie which made it easier and more enjoyable to watch. Apart from a few shots that seemed to be catering to a 3D audience, the world of GotG was created beautifully.

SPOILERS OF VARYING WEIGHTS AHEAD~

280px-Infinity_Gauntlet

The Infinity Gauntlet

With the introduction to this colorful cast of characters, it is easy to forget that this is still a story that is happening within the Marvel Universe. There are several ways that Marvel could use GotG to link itself to other super hero universes but there are two main things that stood out to my basic knowledge of comic books. The first is that there are several “Guardians” that were not mentioned in the movie. One of these characters is Cosmo the telepathic dog, who actually appears within the film in the after credits scene. The other t has been a Guardian in the past should be familiar since it is none other than Iron Man. This is the part when you start to realize how close Marvel is at making a cross over movie between Guardians and Avengers.

The second and most sure fire way that Guardians is connected to the rest of the Marvel Universe is through the reveal of the Infinity Gems and the villain Thanos. Infinity Gems are extremely powerful stones that are able to give its wielder an enormous amount of power. These gems can all be wielded together through the use of the Infinity Gauntlet which also happens to be the major plot point of a mini series by the name of Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet in which Thanos (who is played by Josh Brolin in the film) tries to collect all of stones. If this isn’t enough proof of a Guardians/Avengers crossover then it’s also worth mentioning that the Tesseract from the first Avengers movie also happens to be an Infinity Stone. Adding to all of this is the fact that the Infinity Gem ends up being taken by the Nova Corps at the end of the movie which may potentially open up the way for Richard Rider, AKA Nova, in the future.

END SPOILERS~

All in all, I am excited for what Marvel has in store for its upcoming movies. Guardians of the Galaxy is an extremely solid film that showcases James Gunn’s skill in directing as well as a superb performance from all of the cast members involved. The soundtrack is an amazing throwback that adds some personality to the film. It’s also worth mentioning that there never seemed to be a dull moment in the film. Guardians of the Galaxy is a must-watch movie for any fan of the Marvel Universe.

TL;DR: Solid Summer movie and a must watch for any fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Rockit Raccoon Rating: 9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

IMDB: 8.8

MetaCritic: 76/100

Leave a comment

Filed under Movie

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

edge-of-tomorrow-poster

In the future, an alien race has made a devastating invasion on Earth. To combat the extraterrestrials, the military forces have developed exoskeletons in order to make their soldiers even more devastating. Despite all of this, the invaders decisively win almost every battle. William Cage (Tom Cruise), an army Major that has never been in combat, is assigned to be on the first wave of Allies that land in the next battle. Cage does his best to get out combat but ultimately dies in the front lines after a few minutes. After his death he wakes up to find himself out of combat back in boot camp. After a while, he realizes that he is stuck in a time loop that forces him to relieve his life from a certain point. After numerous attempts, Cage becomes increasingly more skilled at defeating the “mimics” and teams up with Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) in order to find a way to defeat the invading alien race.

Director Doug Liman (Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) does a really good job for the most part. One of the scenes that caught my attention the most is when Cage is being dropped off into battle for the first time. Liman makes sure to make the audience feel the anxiety and stress that Cruise’s character feels during his first time being in the heat of action. As Cage repeats the same scenarios over and over the action begins to flow smoother as the character becomes more experienced with battle. Overall, Liman made the Groundhog Day-esque premise work really well with Edge of Tomorrow. The action was fast and enthralling and the comedy sprinkled throughout made the film feel fresh despite it being a repeat of a scene that had been seen before.

Funny, cowardly, determined are all words that can describe several scenes that Tom Cruise’s character is in. Edge of Tomorrow is proof that Mr. Cruise still has what it takes to be a lead actor in a Summer blockbuster film. After playing the damsel in distress in several movies, Emily Blunt shows that she has what it takes to play the bad-ass hero. Both actors played their roles brilliantly and although there were a few scenes that seemed a bit forced, they were quickly forgotten as the movie continued to increase the suspense.

Although a solid film, there were some things that I wish could have been explored more in depth such as the actual aliens. Despite spending most of the movie fighting the creatures, nobody seems to know much about them other than the broad facts. Then there’s the matter of how exactly the time loop is supposed to work or how far back he’s supposed to go after dying. These questions were all little things that bothered me but after taking everything into account, it doesn’t really change the fact that Edge of Tomorrow was simply a fun, action packed movie to watch.

TL;DR: Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt put on some solid performances in a very fun and clever  Summer movie.

Rockit Raccoon Rating: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

IMDB: 8.1/10

MetaCritic: 7.1/10

Leave a comment

Filed under Movie

Burial At Sea: Part 2 (2014)

burial_at_sea

March of 2014 saw the second part of Bioshock Infinite’s downloadable content finally released. Burial At Sea part 2 marks Irrational’s final project and quite possibly, Ken Levine’s farewell to the Bioshock series. Prior to its release, Levine had announced that this installment would feature a more stealth oriented game style instead of the more run and gun gameplay of the main game. Fans eagerly awaited the continuation of the story and hoped that the new style of play would be able to live up to the hype after the disappointingly short campaign of BaS part 1.

The reason the gameplay in this episode of BaS was designed to be different is because the main character you’re playing is Elizabeth. In accordance with this, the team at Irrational made sure that it would be harder for this female lead to blast her way through the level as opposed to Booker. Instead of focusing on running into a room and shooting everyone, the focus of the game shifted to sneaking past enemies. To emphasize this, the sound of footsteps suddenly became an important part of the game. Stepping on things like puddles of water or pieces of glass would alert enemies to your presence while carpets and rugs would muffle the sound. Furthermore, Elizabeth is not able to damage enemies with melee attacks so if she gets spotted by an enemy she is forced to hide instead of trying to go head to head. A mini game for picking locks was also added which made opening doors or deactivating turrets a lot more entertaining.

A great part of what has made the Bioshock so successful is the story. True to its legacy, Burial at Sea part 2 delivers an amazing narrative that gives a satisfying ending to the series as a whole. Despite the massive cliffhanger that the previous chapter left off on, part 2 has the audacity to begin in Paris. The unrealistically happy environment gives the player a sense of dread knowing that things are only going to get worse from here on out. The voice acting talents of Courtnee Draper (Elizabeth) and Troy Baker (Booker) were joined by a lot of the voice actors from the original Bioshock game.

The game was not without its flaws however. There were a few more weapons as well as vigors/plasmids that made the game a lot easier to play. The main offender for this was the Peeping Tom plasmid that allowed the player to go invisible and also gave vision of where enemies were located. If this plasmid is upgraded, it can be used infinitely as long as the character doesn’t move. It seems fair enough but can easily be exploited by alerting enemies to your presence (while cloaked) and knocking them out as soon as they get close. Another little thing that bothered me was that there did not seem to be many sound hazards like broken glass and when these things appeared, they could easily be avoided by going a separate route or jumping onto a ledge.

Burial at Sea part 2 offers a new way to play a Bioshock game but its gameplay is far from amazing. The new mechanics are not too spectacular and the plasmids offer easy ways to be exploited. Despite all of this, the shining brilliance of this DLC comes not only from the narrative but also in exploring some new areas of Rapture as well as getting a glimpse of its history. The Burial at Sea series isn’t a piece of downloadable content that fans of the series would want to have, it’s something they have to have. Not only is this the last piece of content that Irrational will create, it is the conclusive chapter of the Bioshock saga.

TL;DR: Gameplay isn’t too radical but it is a must have for fans of the series.

Rockit Raccoon Rating: 8/10

Game Rankings: 84%

Megacritic: 84/100

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Games

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

TGBH-launch-quad-1024x768

With a mega cast that includes Oscar nominated actors like Adrien Brody and Tilda Swinton, The Grand Budapest Hotel certainly promised an entertaining time. The movie is small chronicle of Gustave M. (Ralph Fiennes), a concierge at one of the most renown hotels in the world. Although it follows Gustave, the story is told by Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham) who worked as a lobby boy (Tony Revolori) in his youth and became the concierge’s apprentice. When Madame D. (Tilda Swinton), a hotel regular, is murdered, a series of events unfolds that has Gustave and his lobby boy on the run.

The Grand Budapest Hotel has a little sprinkle of everything placed throughout its story. Moments of humor, suspense, and romance are all carefully laid out and spread out enough to keep the movie fresh. Unlike other directors, Wes Anderson stayed focused on the story of the Grand Budapest and did not spend too much time giving screen time to the large amount of A-List actors that are in the film. Not only did this make the story run smoother, it kept the movie from feeling like it was dragging on too long. One of the more interesting choices that I noticed was giving Willem Dafoe’s character, Jopling, very little lines in the movie. As a villain, this limited dialogue helped emphasize the danger that the character represented to everyone else and worked wonderfully. The cast for this movie did not disappoint and no matter how small the role, it seemed as if every actor fit in perfectly into their roles.

Wes Anderson is a director known for his unique style of portraying characters and locations and Grand Budapest is not an exception. Just about every scene in the film looks as unique and interesting as the last. Everything from the hotel to the train that the characters are in have their own unique feel. This feel is not only because of the way the movie is shot but also because of the great score that Alexandre Desplat composed for the film. Every character, location, and event in the film has a certain charm that is not present in a lot of other movies.

It’s hard to watch a film by a director like Wes Anderson and not compare the Grand Budapest to the rest of his films but this might be his best movie. Of course, choosing his best movie comes down to preference but it is hard to deny that the Grand Budapest Hotel is some of his best work. With a moving story and his trademark look, Wes Anderson has created a story that is memorable and enjoyable to watch. Nothing feels out of place and for its running time of 100 minutes, it packs quite an array of thrills, laughs, and even a little heartbreak.

TL;DR: Some of Wes Anderson’s best work. Worth the price of admission.

Rockit Raccoon Rating: 9.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

IMDB: 8.4/10

MetaScore: 87/100

 

3 Comments

Filed under 2015 Oscar Nominees, Movie

The Lego Movie (2014)

Lego-The-Movie1

The Lego Movie starts off in a regular looking (Lego) city. Emmet (Chris Pratt) wakes up and goes through his routine of greeting his neighbors to working at a construction site. Before he’s able to head home, he falls into a pit where he discovers a mystical block that marks him as the one who will save the world and disrupt President Business’ (Will Ferrell) plans. After a short interrogation from Bad/Good cop (Liam Neeson), Emmet is drafted into a resistance group by WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). Along with his new friends, an unprepared Emmet joins the battle to put a stop to President Business’ evil plans.

Almost everything in the Lego Movie is generated by computers. What makes things even more entertaining is that everything within the movie is made up of Lego bricks including non solid objects like smoke and water. This overload of Legos takes some getting used to but won’t really distract from the actions on screen. To make things even better is the fact that the Lego world  cleverly includes human objects and uses them as relics.

S7WziQu

Will Arnett makes an excellent Batman

The cast of the Lego Movie includes several recognizable voices like that of Morgan Freeman and even Charlie Day. Do to the amount of licenses that Lego and Warner Bros. had it was even more entertaining to see certain DC superheroes such as Batman who is played by Will Arnett. Other A-list actors (Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill to name a couple) make very short but sweet appearances. All of these actors have good performances and compliment the story arc which is a relief. With all of this talent carefully placed in the story, one could probably enjoy trying to figure out which actors are playing what character.

The plot of the Lego Movie was something that was worrying me when I first walked into the theater. How would someone be able to make a straightforward story about blocks? The last time a studio tried to produce a film based on a game without a story, they sank at the box office. All my fears were set aside when the world of Lego was introduced. Writers Dan and Kevin Hagemon along with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were able to not only create a good story but also an interesting array of characters to go along with it.  Benny the Spaceman, Uni-Kitty, and Bad/Good cop aren’t characters that the audience is likely to forget. To this moment I am still amazed at how well crafted the story was and even the fact that the writers were able to add a few nice surprises.

The Lego Movie was a film that was written and intended to be for children but as I sat in the theater I noticed that everyone from kids to adults was engrossed in the story. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (who were also responsible for 21 Jumpstreet) were able to craft a movie that anyone would be able to enjoy. Sure there’s bits of child humor but it also contains to several other films that only adults and teens would be able to get. One good example is of the various Terminator 2 references as well as some nods to Monty Python. There’s other references and acknowledgements to movies but I’d rather keep it a surprise for those of you who haven’t seen it. The Lego Movie may be a marketing scheme but I found myself enjoying every single minute of it.

TL;DR: There’s hardly anything negative to point out. A must see for all ages (would be surprised if it wasn’t nominated for best animated movie of ’15).

Rockit Raccoon: 9.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

IMDB: 8.6/10

Metascore: 8.2/10

2 Comments

Filed under Movie