The Lego Movie

It Is What It Is, with The Jackass! Episode 74:The Lego Superbowl

On this week’s IiWiIJA, The Jackass is riding solo, much like he does in life! But he is talking the thoughts on The Superbowl, as well as the trailers and commercials. And most importantly, a SPOILER FREE review of The Lego Batman Movie.

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Everything Batman is still Awesome

Everything was awesome back when The Lego Movie hit theaters in 2014. When the announcement was first made that a movie was being made based on the Lego Brand, most were pretty skeptical. It wasn’t until the first reviews started coming out that people began to by in. Almost immediately it became a hit. It is a film that I truly believe was snubbed by the Academy Awards, not getting a nomination. Not only did The Lego Movie deserve a nomination, I contend that it deserved to win.

Off all the greatness that was The Lego Movie, one of the breakout characters was definitely Will Arnett’s Batman. He was incredible! Arguably one of the best on screen Batmen we have ever gotten! From Will Arnett’s voice work, down to the characters persona, he was a great. It didn’t take long for WB to announce The Lego Batman spinoff. This worried me. Was this character the way they wrote it able to carry his own film? Aside from the recent Nolan Films, and the original 1989 take on Batman, WB has had a bit of trouble getting The Batman to work. Well, The Lego Batman works. Works so well that it might be one of the best Batman films we have ever gotten.

The Lego Batman Movie is directed by Chris McKay, and written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. It stars Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Rosario Dawson, and Ralph Fiennes. With Mariah Carey, Jenny Slate, Billy Dee Williams, Hector Elizondo, Conan O’Brian, Jason Mantzoukas, Doug Benson, Zoe Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam DeVine, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, and Chris Hardwick.  Seriously, that is the cast list. Most of them have small one liners or so, but still one hell of a cast.

The film follows Arnett’s Batman as he is the loner hero in Gotham city. After he takes down and saves Gotham for the millionth time The Joker (Zalifianakis) realizes that Batman doesn’t appreciate their rivalry and decided he has to show Batman that he needs him. Thus sending Batman on a journey to come to peace with the fact that he is lonely, and he needs people in his life, and that he can’t do everything alone.

First off, the film does what The Lego Movie did so well by mixing a tremendous amount of heart with a fun ride.  They are almost on Pixar level with their emotions, not to the point that The Lego Movies are going to make you cry, but they definitely hit you with the feels. You can relate to the characters despite the outlandish and over the top attitudes and characterizations. The Story itself is a basic story, but they play it out so well that feels special and different.

On top of all the feels and emotions, this film is funny. I literally walked out, and my face was hurting from laughing and smiling so much. There are not a lot of downtimes in the film. They pretty much hit you hard with the jokes as the film begins, even before the studio logo’s even hit. Then they don’t really slow down. There may be a small stretch in the middle where the film kind of loses its footing drags for a moment, but it quickly catches itself back up and keeps hitting. It never ceases to be funny.

The animation is once again beautiful. I love this near stop motion look that Lego films are giving us. They use a lot of dark colors, seeing as Batman only deals in black and sometimes very very very dark grey. So with the colors they use for Batman, the Bat Cave, and Gotham city, they mix perfectly with the few bright colors that really pop as well. This animation is absolutely incredible!

Like I said this cast is absolutely incredible. Even as a few are just cameos and maybe one liners or so. But everyone fits their voice perfectly, and does a great job to bring these characters to life. Will Arnett has a great grasp on this characters voice. I hesitate to call him one of the best Batmen of time, but he does rival some of the greats. Galifianakis’ Joker is a very good Joker. Not up to the level of Mark Hamill, but still a good rendition of the clown prince of crime. Hearing Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return for minor cameos as Superman and Green Lantern had me rolling, just having those two voice these guys is great.

As for negatives, like I said the film does have a little bit of a down time in the second act, it wasn’t too slow to really take you out, and they continued to hit you with jokes so it still flowed. While we are on the concept of the jokes, they are all hilarious, and for the most part completely hit. The Problem with the jokes are that they come so quick, so fast, that you are still laughing at 2 jokes before trying to catch up with the one you are on.

All in all The Lego Batman Movie is great! From the cast to the animation everything in this film is on point. They do a great job at poking fun of the history and lore of Batman. From BvS, to the Nolan Verse, to Schumacher and Adam West. There is even a brief joke about the 1940s Black and White serial. They even hit on the suicide squad and Marvel! The music is once again fun and catchy, not as catchy as Everything Is Awesome, but still great!

It’s a film that can hit all ages! Kids and adults alike. I gave it a score of 3.7, definitely one you are going to want to go out and see as soon as you can. I’d also give it a .5 bonus if I could for the jokes on the nostalgia as well as the awesome cameos! Great cast, great animation, all an all-around heartfelt joy to watch, that you’ll want to see over and over again, even if just to catch the jokes you missed! Are you excited for The Lego Batman Movie? Who is your favorite Batman? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

Big Hero 6

Disney/Marvel has released their first animated property in Big Hero 6. Now just to be honest, I have not seen Wreck it Ralph, or Frozen, making Big Hero 6 the first of Disney animated films I have watched in a long time. And to add just a little more, besides The Lego Movie it’s really the only new animated film I have seen is a very long time. Didn’t see the 2 How to Train your Dragons, or the Despicable Me films. So I don’t have much to judge on. That said, putting Big Hero 6 up against The Lego Movie and all other films this year, it ranks pretty high.

Big Hero 6 stars an ensemble voice cast of Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, T.J. Miller, Daniel Henney, and Maya Rudolph. It is directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams and is loosely based on the Marvel Comics of the same name. I say loosely because the writers took some liberties and changed a lot from the comics, which is not a bad a thing. I think it helps bring the characters to a broader audience.

Set in the fictional town of San Fransokyo, Big Hero 6 follows the story of a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada (Potter) who after a tragic accident at a science convention loses his brother. Hero befriends his brothers robotic nurse invention named Baymax (Adsit), and the two are thrust in a mystery where he along with his brother’s robotic school class mates to stop a villain hell-bent on revenge.

The story seems nearly generic, but the film does a great job flipping it on its side with a very simple but out of nowhere twist. Which makes for a very intriguing script. The cast is pretty basic, but that’s expected. I’m not one who needs a big name cast in animated films. Let the trained voice actors do their jobs. However this cast is very functional. I would call T.J. Miller the break out voice, his character Fred is a very fun. As far as the characters go they are pretty cliché aside from Hiro and Baymax. But that is also to be expected. The most lovable and memorable character will definitely be Baymax. This lovable robot makes you just want to hug him. I left the theater wanting this robot for my own nurse! Although the characters can kind of seem generic, you do still connect to them. And the film draws you in. I even teared up a good amount in it.

There a few problems with the pacing of the film. The beginning of the film is very into character development with its main character and his brother, and in the 2nd act it can seem to be a little slow. Even its training montage is not as fun as you would like it to be. But as the twist begins to take us into its 3rd act, the film randomly jumps into its action pact finale. Also, even though it is an animated film, the villain is pretty one dimensional. I’m not saying we needed Koki, but a little more character development wouldn’t of hurt.

The visuals of the film are stunning though. The city of San Fransokyo transports you to a place that seems not only foreign, but familiar as well. You can see that Disney Animation and Pixar are truly merging into one incredible company. An example of this merger is ever so clear in the pre film short entitled Feast that follows a puppy and his enormous appetite and love for his master. True story, you’re going tear up before Big Hero 6 even starts, and if you don’t, you probably don’t have a soul. I didn’t watch this in 3D because I rend to not like 3D, however I could imagine this might be a good one to see in 3D if you are someone who likes it, or can tolerate on a case by case bases.

All in all I really enjoyed Big Hero 6 all though not as much as The Lego Movie. I’m giving it a Jeebus score of 5.0, with a .2 bonus for its surprise cameo that you really have to pay attention to see. That brings us to a 5.2, Multiple Viewings Required. And one final bit of advice, when you do go to see it, make sure you sit through those credits, because hey, this is a Marvel film after all……..

Everything is Awesome!

A few days late to the party, I have been witness to the awesomeness that is, The Lego Movie. The film stars Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman. Written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, The Lego movie tells the tale of the extremely average Emmett(Pratt) who gets thrown into the middle of President Business'(Ferrell) plot to destroy the world. Chaos ensues, and we a treated to a jam-packed story filled with childhood memories!

I am a believer that when it comes to animated films, big names are not needed to voice your characters. However, Chris Pratt, who is becoming quite the Hollywood commodity, and Will Ferrell bring these characters to life and drive this film forward. As well it is fun to see another side of Liam Neeson as he voices Good Cop/Bad Cop. The cameos of Lego characters are many, and none more pleasant than Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Superman and Green Lantern respectively. The banter and relationship between the two is hilarious. And to top it all off, Morgan Freeman could be reading you the classifieds and it would be one of the most entertaining things you’ve ever seen or heard.

The story has its moments that you feel like there is too much bundled together, however not to the point that it takes you out of the film. The jokes and punch lines come so fast that you almost want to see the movie over and over just to make sure you catch-all the little quips. The plot seems to bear resemblance to The Matrix, and the films prologue shows you that right off the bat. But its a fun story filled with entertainment for the whole family, and by the end, you can feel a heartfelt message that leaves you feeling like you just watched a Toy Story film. Bold words, I know.

All in all, The Lego Movie is a fantastic film that everyone will enjoy, and will have you laughing for hours and singing “Everything is Awesome” for years to come. I gave it an original Jeebus score of 4.5 with a .1 bonus for Superman and Green Lantern, and a .2 bonus for “Everything is awesome” bringing the Jeebus score to a 4.8, Multiple Viewings Required!