Will Arnett

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.

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Go Ninja Go Ninja Go!

After numerous animated series’, and a very successful film series from the 90’s the Turtles are back on the big screen! I have been looking forward to this film for a while. Unlike most people, I am a Michael Bay fan. However I also realized, unlike most people, this was a Bay film in Production only! He was not the director. TMNT is directed by Jonathan Lieberman, and stars the likes of Megan Fox, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub, Will Arnett, and William Fichtner allegedly as Shredder. This movie had a lot to overcome. The stink of Bay’s most recent Transformers installment, the rumors of the changes to the back story, and the fact that Fichtner was playing Shredder. Serially. A white guy as Shredder, the ancient Japanese Samurai. What the hell. However. I wanted to give it a shot. And hope for the best. So lets dissect it a little bit.

First off, minor spoiler, so skip the next few sentences if you haven’t read the actually casting list. Fichtner, is not the Shredder. So rest assured. Shredder, is played by Tohosu Masamune. And he is decent enough. The problem isn’t the actors. The problem lies in the script. There are some pretty bad problems with the script. From dialog set up choppy, to just flat-out dumb direction. There’s a scene where Megan Fox’s April O’Neil is sneaking around hiding behind pillars glaring out like a 1st grader playing hide and seek. It’s just cheesy. As well Shredder is given no substance. Fichtner was given no substance. They are basically mustache twirling bad guys, who are nada because, movies need bad guys. Arnett who I am a fan off, and I am going to steal this from Kristian Harloff over at SchmoesKnow.com, did nothing more than a bad Michael Keaton impersonation the entire film. The role wasn’t horrible, and he made for some fun times to watch. But again, a real lack of substance

Another problem I had been a few of the voices. Splinter was voiced by Tony Shalhoub. And there are times that you a definitely aware that you are listening to Monk be an Asian Master Rat. It is a little off. As well I was deafeningly aware that the Jackass himself Johnny Knoxville playing leader of the gang. And it can honestly take you out of the film sometimes. I am not one of those people who only see the big star when the star shows up. But these voices just didn’t fit for me.

As well the finale scene, is kind of a TASM2 rip off. Plus, damn, how many movies are going to make New York look dumb as hell. When a building is falling, bystanders shouldn’t be standing around watching. GET OUT! But then from the tower falling to the New Yorker’s, its bluntly a Spider-Man Rip off.

But it is not all bad. There are great things to it. Starting with Megan Fox. I know, everyone always wants to hate on Fox. But other then some stupid direction, and dumb plot points, she isn’t horrible in it. She’s actually fun to watch. And in the one major Bayism in the film, where it focuses on the humans not the Turtles, Fox’s April O’Neil is a good character to focus on. She’s fun, she’s functional, and she’s not the damsel n distress. As well Mike, Donnie, and Ralph are great. You don’t get enough interaction between them, but when you do, man o man is it fun. They did a good job in mixing the feel and fun of Turtles that we know, with the original dark intent that the writers had for the Turtles.

A plus, that I almost gave the film a bonus for was the character of Splinter. While the voice was off for me, there is apart of me, and probably all of us, I have wanted to see Splinter go off and kick some serious foot. And we get that, this Splinter is a focused and talented ninja. And it is awesome. When I came around to scoring it , while I had fun, I couldn’t quite in all good faith get it to a Good Time, so I’m going 3.7, Check out the Matinee.

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!