Tag Archives: elizabeth banks

Movie Review: Power Rangers

Image result for power rangers movie poster free useI don’t want to write about this. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen it and I still don’t want to write about it.

Power Rangers was one of the most prevalent shows of the 90’s. It was hip in the same way a stereotypical surfer dude is. It paraded histrionics and embraced comedy. It was the Schwarzenegger of kid’s television. Cornier than corn-on-the-cob and as lighthearted as an action show can be, Power Rangers, if it knew anything, knew its tone. It understood, without any reservations, its identity.

Power Rangers starts off with a sex joke. Nothing like a brazen, out-of-left-field sex joke to welcome an audience of 8-year-olds.

It is a sledgehammer to the mirror of reality for fans. I actually turned to my friend and was like, “Wow. Really? This is where we’re going with this?”

It’s a slow and long way down from that point forward and that point wasn’t too far from the start.

It wipes the floor with the concept of the Power Rangers before it even began. It was never meant to be a character exploration nor did it ever dissolve into a puddle of cheap filth, but our screenwriters and director here, in their infinite wisdom, decided sex jokes were the proper introduction of a Power Rangers movie.

It is simply disrespectful to the material. 90’s television was innocent and genuine. The dialogue was the food equivalent of cotton candy. There was never much substance there but the humor always kept it sweet and worth watching. You certainly could never say the Power Rangers was jaded. If anything, it was unnaturally enthusiastic, to the point that it was near impossible to take the show seriously. Rather than try to change that perception, the original crew carried it along, feeding into an adventure that caused no serious consequences. The world was at the brink of destruction, but I as a viewer was never concerned. The Power Rangers would get it done.

Dean Israelite decides to add a fresh spin on the saga. Rather than collude with the previous makers and look to manifest an allusion of the past, of this time when things weren’t so serious, Israelite decides he wants a dire story and then, along with RJ Cyler’s “strategic” weirdness, try to package it together into this antique with a fresh polish job and, somehow, a new feel to it.

If anything, Power Rangers is a movie that clearly wants to be taken serious but also wants to stay loyal to its predecessors, and to do both takes a surgeon’s hand and scientist’s attention to detail, neither of which a director who just made his film debut in 2015 possesses.

I’m perplexed by producers handing blockbusters to inexperienced directors and have been for quite a few years now. If I ever figure out the rationale, I’ll let you know. Until then, I’ll keep mentioning it, like I did a few weeks ago when I wrote Kong: Skull Island.

Not only is this Power Rangers a different animal from its parent, it’s a whole different species altogether, and worse, clearly out of its league.

There never was enough character concrete in the originals to allow for adult discussions on anything. Yes, we would have the adolescent lessons of loyalty and staying true to your values, but these teachings do not require an anthology to understand, nor a lot of inner turmoil for the viewer. Israelite wants to say something more meaningful, but he never gets around to saying what that thing is. If he does, it skipped past me because the movie doesn’t do much to keep you looking if only to see when this train wreck is going to end. The acting is withdrawn and without characters to feel for, audience engagement is difficult. I at no point feel a part of this experience. I hesitate to even use the word. Seems like an injustice to utilize it in this context.

It’s a reboot that’s formulaic rather than artistic and scientific rather than illustrative. Compromised by the expositional hose, Power Rangers doesn’t feel like a movie so much as it is a traversing of the lifeless and dormant. I’ve been on this ride more than a few times and it lost its entertainment value long ago.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Ip Man 2Ip ManKong: Skull IslandThe InvitationHush)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Doctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide SquadBatman Forever)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Great WallRobin HoodUnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: Apocalypse)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Most Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the Apes)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Power Rangers: 47.

This movie has Bryan Cranston in it, by the way, if you were looking for another reason to cry yourself to sleep. Israelite misses on the power of nostalgia with this one. Like, completely, and without that thread from the past and that alchemy those crews performed in the 90s, Power Rangers fails to be itself.

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Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 might be the most trivial piece in theaters this year. I was so livid that at one point I shouted, “That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” in the theater (everyone got a good laugh out of that).

After Mockingjay Part 1, I was irritated and I feel I had all the right to be. Mockingjay‘s first half was a rundown mall closing one shop at a time, the demolition of the building a certainty. The characters were set to the side, the plot was more trivial than its better half and what was once an action series with questions of theology, morality and survival became a long-winded theater presentation on how to create a political campaign. Everdeen was disgusted the whole film and she had all the right to be. She wasn’t doing anything aside from modeling in front of a camera and pandering to the masses as to the good of the rebellion, which is all fine and dandy, as long as you don’t turn what takes ten or so minutes to illustrate into a two-hour lecture. The famous Lord of the Rings quote goes “butter over too much bread”. Mockingjay Part 1 felt like butter over too little bread, just stacks and stacks of butter on mere shrivels of bread that no matter how you look at it, just isn’t appetizing.

In comes Mockingjay: Part 2 to remove the stamp of disapproval from its latest installment from my memory. The film had an uphill climb ahead of it. After its first two installments were 80’s material and relevant in pop culture and in literature adaptations, for me, Mockingjay Part 1 demonstrated all that’s wrong with it. I have little doubt Collins’ novel was descriptive, thought-provoking and moderately alluring whereas Francis Lawrence’s work last year developed no cares with me.

Mockingjay: Part 2 surpasses its older sibling and with lavish strides, but that isn’t saying too much, especially when its oldest siblings, Hunger Games and Catching Fire, remain so far ahead of it.

I’m sure fans of the novels enjoy a chance to reminisce but Collins’ novel must be leagues beyond this scrap heap. The first two were capable but I haven’t seen a cash grab this desperate since The Hobbit, which was far worse I might add.

Lawrence is worthy of far better than this and the over-politicization is like watching a five-year-old try to do hurdles and continue to trip and fall on his face. It reeks of desperation and feels like a Hollywood spin on a Greek tragedy, killing characters with no development and hoping the few that remain can live happily ever after.

What Mockingjay: Part 2 does, and does so desperately, is try to return to the scenery it previously set up and what once defined this series: the Hunger Games themselves. The film playfully drops a “Welcome to the 76th Hunger Games” line in there, like, “Get excited” but does little to attract my fancy. The barbaric animalistic tendencies of the Hunger Games competitors as well as the oppression of the government produced a trampoline to elevate its story into the upper echelons of discussions of sociology, political upheaval and in what cases rebellion is acceptable. Instead, Lawrence elected to jump on a rock next to the trampoline and hold a level one course of how to make a political campaign, completly avoiding the filthy work that truly gets things done: violence, oppression, upheaval and fight, as if the topics of the first two films were of poor taste or that going further into the muck and true realities of humanity were too nasty a topic to discuss to the next generations. Instead, we see Katniss and the rebels try to defeat Panem with aggressive advertisements. Oh no!

In my opinion, Mockingjay: Part 1 went in the polar opposite direction it should have. I have yet to read Collins’ original works and frankly, after these last two films, I don’t think I have the desire to, but if these were the avenues Collins decided to deduce in front of her readers, she chose unwisely.

What I believe critics applauded about these films was their ability to narrate key issues of morality and themes of natural selection aside from the plot and script line. These last two films, they’re mashed together like a glob of Play-Doh.

Few things sadden me more than an artist halfway through a fine work and then losing the initiative to continually meet and surpass the standards it has laid before it. These last two installments put the films in jeopardy of remaining in the public eye and I wouldn’t be surprised if they faded like Narnia. The first two had far more potential than Divergent, but they either let it sit out and spoil or threw it into the oven till it was ash.

The relationship between Katniss and Peeta never reaches the depth I feel it could have nor is a dominant love triangle developed. In all of his appearances, Gale comes across as a self-righteous, judgmental and insensitive bigot. Again, I’m sure this is more accurately painted in the novel but we’re not talking about the novels right now. Right now, we’re talking about what’s wrong with novel adaptations and this is a reasonable example.

The truth is, I love novel adaptations in film. A lot of huge strides have been made in film thanks to literature. It’s allowed me to find a new passion for reading as well, which is why I’m starting my BVF series (Book vs. Film). It’s easier to write a great character in a novel than it is an original film. While I hope producers, directors and screenwriters continue to develop their own ideas and not lean on literature to keep the industry standing, there are some stories that people wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for the adaptations.

In my opinion, Mockingjay Part 2 is a story I could have lived my life having never known about.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Scouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass,Enemy at the Gates)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack SheepTwistedParker)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (EverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitz)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (The Lost BoysZombeaversCrankErasedI, Frankenstein)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next DoorThe ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2: 66.

Its plot is predictable, its characters don’t get chances for a lot of substantial non-plot-oriented dialogue and the action pieces, for the most part, are once again disappointing. I will remember the first two installments with fondness but these last two, I wish they were never made and I believe all those who are true fans of the series should be able to look at these and discern the difference in their quality level.

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Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Image result for hunger games mockingjay part 1 poster free useTo say the trailers for the new Hunger Games installment were some of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen might be a bit harsh. Okay, a lot harsh.

To say they were ineffective at gaining anyone’s interest seems fair. The teasers and trailers served one primary purpose: to allow us to mark the date on our calendars. There was nothing there that got me excited for it. I’m invested in the product already so I feel obligated to finish it but what if I wasn’t? This film didn’t hold much allure for me.

I also feel like as the films have progressed they’ve begun to fall apart. The introductory piece was directed by Gary Ross and was a solid starter film. Ross decided not to direct the sequel and the reins were given to Francis Lawrence, a relatively inexperienced director. His most successful film prior to Suzanne Collins’ adaptation was probably Will Smith’s I Am Legend, which held some highlights but critics agreed failed in its conclusion. That was in 2007. Fast forward to 2013 and suddenly he’s directing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

It was a slightly better film yet I felt there was still so much missed potential that was ignored. The acting from Jennifer Lawrence was just not there and I know she possesses the talents because she was fantastic in Silver Linings Playbook, which redirects my frustrations towards the writers who handed her the lines.

Who is Katniss Everdeen? Who is she really? Does anyone know? Does anyone who did not get to partake in the readings of the original material understand her? I don’t and I don’t consider myself a slow individual.

Here’s what I can say: she’s very sheltered and introverted and values her personal space, which you can see in the first movie when she’s giving Peeta such a hard time with everything. She doesn’t trust easily. She prefers to keep her inner thoughts to herself rather than unleash them for criticism. She’s a talented archer. She struggles to make decisions and stick to them. She’s traumatized from the Hunger Games experience. She loves her family and will do what she has to to protect them.

That synopsis is just about all I can say about our protagonist. It seems like an awfully short list for a main character that shouldered three novels and now her third movie. To say she’s down-to-earth is one thing, but to demonstrate character writing in an almost puberty-like stage is quite another.

Something I mentioned in my Catching Fire review was that one of my fellow critics, Dan the Man, said that Peeta and Katniss were like this generation’s Jack and Rose and in that review, I politely stated we would have to agree to disagree because in no way are persons from a novel aimed at 13-year-old girls as refined, drafted and perfected as Jack and Rose from the legend that is James Cameron.

It’s not even comparing apples and oranges. It’s like comparing Joe Montana with a young high school quarterback named Joe Smith. Sure, maybe Joe Smith will attend a division one school like Michigan, win a national championship and travel to the NFL en route to the greatest NFL career of all time, but there is no way of determining that, even with the extensive analytics we have today. Everyone has the potential to be great, but only time, precise, detailed precision and the never-ending stride for perfection can turn that potential into extraordinary performance. 

Due to Suzanne Collins’ target audience, her writings were probably not the best she could muster and even if they were, that is not a jab at her. They were clearly successful books that have led to financial success, critical acclaim and a promising career in the future and I wish her all the best.

With that said, an adaptation of any film should hold elements for all audiences, not just your targeted group. That is what makes movies like The Lion King and Frozen so obnoxiously profitable. Yes, parents are dragged along for the ride, but I doubt many parents would be allowed to be dragged a second or third time by their youngsters unless they got something from the experience. The Lion King and Frozen do that for older audiences as well they should. Everyone should be allowed to partake in the experience and feel like it was worth it coming out. It’s good marketing and public relations. It shows companies care about their customers and it’s not about the nine-digit figures that come out at the end of the weekend. At least not entirely.

When older people come into a film like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, there should be something there that provides enjoyment for them. It’s harder to do if they’re in their seventies, but it shouldn’t be hard if they are in their twenties, such as myself. I’m not that far outside the target audience. It shouldn’t be difficult.

Yet this film struggled to gain my attention and eyeballs. This film’s opening was comparable to The Hobbit.

The Hunger Games crew decided to make their third book into two films. That’s stupid and primarily a money-making decision. Whoever started that trend, I hate them. Even Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, a 759-page finale, overstretched itself into two films. At times, it was a little slow, but it was probably the only book in recent memory that required two films to tell its tale.

Turning The Hobbit into three feature films was pitifully desperate and thankfully The Hunger Games didn’t become that pathetic. With that said, Mockingjay did not need to be two films. Period.

Take a guess how long Mockingjay is? 700 seems like a fair first guess, right? Two 350-page novels into two films? No, not even close.

Try 390. 390 pages, depending on the material, might struggle to make one film, but two films is simply madness. It leads to pandering and pondering and “What if” this and “What if” that and character indecisiveness and plot cliches to fill in space and actors and actresses with little to work with and do you see how this sentence won’t end and it’s really really long and drawn out and is starting to lose any attachment you may have had to this writing because it’s all just wasted space that’s being used when it could be used to discuss or do something people actually care about but it’s not because all we care about is money?

It’s detrimental to your audience, to getting anyone new to join your experience and to future earnings. The only thing that won’t change, at least most likely, is box office totals, because if you hooked them for the first and second, they’ll probably be there for the third even if your advertising campaign was garbage. Like I said, all of this was for the money and it’s hard to respect someone whose only motivation is money.

To help me with this review in another bonus brother edition is Chris, who blogs on theofficialgrump.wordpress.com. Make sure to check him out!

Chris: Jennifer Lawrence was put in one of the worst acting positions in recent memory. They could have summed this movie up in thirty seconds: Katniss Everdeen is the Mockingjay and Peeta has gone psycho. Oh wait, that takes about ten seconds to explain.

Tim: Sadly true on both points. This film’s premise is like that really long sentence I rambled out above: pointless and unengaging.

This visual compilation is a tutorial on how to make political advertisements. Katniss and the leaders of the rebellion make a clip showing Katniss is alive and fighting for the freedom of the districts. Then Peeta, now President Snow’s spokesperson, asks for a peaceful resolution. It goes back and forth during the whole film. That’s it. Seriously. I’m not kidding.

Chris: Liam Hemsworth. Who is this guy? All I know is that women find him attractive.

Tim: Some of my friends at school have discussed the love triangle of Katniss, Peeta and Gale. It was not touched on at all in the first two films. Gale is hanging around but you don’t have a clue who he is. He’s good-looking. So? That doesn’t make him part of a love triangle, not unless you’re trying to convince me that Katniss is finding it difficult to choose between someone who has fought for her life and confessed his love for her and some childhood friend who’s attractive. You can’t bring that into the story without painting Katniss as an immature teen, something she clearly isn’t, having survived through two Hunger Game escapades. If you’re going to make a love triangle and dismember your main character in the process, fine, but you have to characterize both sides, not just show us Peeta being the heroic one and Gale being the hunk. That’s not a love triangle. That’s two people next to a cardboard cutout of a model. It’s not a difficult choice.

Chris: Tim is right. This movie is about making movies and then communicating to each other through them. The course of events in this movie are as follows: Rebellion advertisement. President advertisement. Rebellion advertisement. Choir solo? President response. Rebellion response, etc.

Tim: No plot should be that easy to summarize.

Chris: There is zero character development in this film. Every action scene in the movie you saw in the trailer. This movie was as dull as a Flo Progressive commercial.

Tim: There’s no push to this film. Little is accomplished during Mockingjay‘s running time. Looking where we were and where we are now, there doesn’t seem to be much change. It’s a character-driven segment but there’s no character drive. No exploration occurs and no character reveals are unfurled.

In terms of action, there truly is none to behold. Aside from a few mass shootings of charging, unarmed rebels and one arrow from Katniss, no shots are fired. It’s basically a ceasefire.

Chris: The little amounts of action and the big amounts of talking and talking and talking left me frustrated. The trailers gave a very different view of the movie compared to what we actually saw.

Tim: What trailers? All kidding aside, I felt the trailers indirectly hinted to some serious material and societal clashes going down.

Chris: The trailers were the movie. “Katniss is the rebellion!!!” Thank you Captain Obvious. Every fight scene was shown in the trailer. Overall, just a very poorly directed movies and one that brought the franchise down for me.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Gone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of Extinction)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(SnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012))

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (House at the End of the StreetThe RavenDead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (ZoolanderThe Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage Point)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmen)

My score for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1: 42.

Similar to District 12’s now desolate landscape, The Hunger Games was a once fertile farming ground for film production, but has seemingly not only dropped the ball, but possibly shut the door on what looked like a promising career for the teen franchise. Unless part 2 blows expectations out of the water and makes its previous portions look like Fisher Price play sets, The Hunger Games has left a sour taste in the mouth of its audience and a black mark on its legacy.

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Movie Review: The Lego Movie

[ LEGO MOVIE POSTER ]Finally something with some true creativity! Readers and fellow bloggers, I present to you: The Lego Movie.

Most people have played with Legos before and can associate themselves with the toy and while this is quite the interesting premise, I was a little worried that I might not fit the film’s target audience. It’s primarily a film for kids and sometimes films for kids are too simple in their plot, humor, characters and really everything that you could be simple about. As a filmmaker appealing to a young audience, you want to make sure your story isn’t too confusing or complex so that everyone can be involved, understand what is going on and have a good time. While this is great for younger lifeforms, seasoned movie-goers like myself prefer some complexity, originality and depth that goes beyond the simple.

Worries aside, a talented assembly of actors got put together for this film including Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson. I have to admit I was surprised they didn’t also have Samuel L. Jackson or Russell Crowe because they have such iconic voices, voices that if given comedic lines, especially talking about Jackson here, they would have the talent to deliver. When I think of voice acting and who I want in each role, I think of two things: 1) Who can fit the character I’m trying to write and 2) Who has a voice that is distinguishable and iconic enough to make a difference? I would also like to admit I didn’t pick out Will Ferrell’s voice until later in the film. Guess that means I don’t watch enough Will Ferrell movies. Moving on though, I did like the casting in this film. The right voices were chosen for these characters, although I have to mention again that if Samuel L. Jackson’s voice was heard coming out of a Lego man, I would have been extremely happy, so a slight bit of disappointment in that regard.

The plot and dialogue are fun, laughable and enjoyable for all audiences. It’s basic and complex at the same time, putting the story of a regular guy who wants to be special on a pedestal for all to see and ponder like a statue in a museum, except this is one that people actually care about. That’s the character Emmet is, the guy who’s just looking for his own little niche in a big, big world where everyone’s got something going for them, something that makes them memorable and more than just a name. Emmet’s still looking for what his something is and he thinks he’s found it when he falls upon a rare artifact that according to a prophecy makes him the chosen one, the man who will save the world from Lord Business. As the plot progresses and more is revealed to the audience, the story makes you think more about yourself, especially when the big reveal is uncovered at the end of the film. That’s what the spoiler’s edition is for, but for those who haven’t seen the film yet, this is what I’m willing to say: the ending reminds you of your childhood and what it meant to be a kid.

Finally the visuals, which I’m sure is what most people came to the theater to see, are excellent. The modeling and animation are superb and far beyond basic in their execution. I was very impressed and could only imagine how long it must have taken to put all those pieces together.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingMission ImpossibleMission Impossible IIMission Impossible III)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Lone SurvivorThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingThe Next Three DaysBasic, The Other Guys)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Escape PlanCaptain America: The First AvengerDawn of the DeadFlyboys300)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss GoodnightDisaster Movie)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (AliensAlien ResurrectionFull Metal JacketThorYou’re Next)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Pitch BlackAlienSerendipityCowboys and Aliens, 300: Rise of an Empire)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and PrejudiceRedemption)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All FearsThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3Open Grave)

My score for The Lego Movie: 87.

Despite worries about the material, The Lego Movie proves to be worthy of the time of all age groups, both young and old. Life lessons that can be applied to everyone as well as humor and dialogue that can be easily entertained, The Lego Movie is definitely a must-see as well as a movie that I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel for.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

There are references made to the “guy upstairs” in the film and the great reveal shows that all that is happening is on a large-scale map in a basement through the hands of a young kid. His father, played by Will Ferrell, comes down to find his son “messing up” his perfect world. Through a little discussion, Ferrell comes to the realization that the whole fun of Legos is that you can make stuff and play with it and then break it up and create something new again, that it’s not about making one thing and keeping it the same forever. It’s heartfelt and true stuff.

 

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