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Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie

the-lego-batman-movieSpinning out of The LEGO Movie is The LEGO Batman Movie putting the full focus on the Brick Crusader in his quest to keep Gotham safe. In The LEGO Batman Movie, Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted. Directed by Chris McKay, the film is a visual assault filling the screen with hyperkinetic scenes that challenge you to not be overwhelmed by the sheer craziness on the screen. There’s a lot to take in and you won’t catch it all inviting fans to enjoy multiple viewings to catch every joke.

And there’s a lot of them.

With The LEGO Batman Movie, nothing is sacred in the history of Batman and everything is on the table to mock going back to his debut in 1939 in Detective Comics. And that’s the big thing about the film, if you’re a Batman fan, you’ll love it as it’s an homage and spoof of everything that has come before. If you have enough knowledge about Batman’s history and previous experiences on the big and small screen, the movie lands with a barrage of jokes that keep on coming. If you don’t appreciate a “Kapow” your enjoyment may vary.

The film itself is interesting in that it throws it in your face, Batman is really a dick, at least this version is voiced by Will Arnett. A disconnected self-centered manchild who’s all work, Batman/Bruce is focused on making Gotham free from all crime and everything else comes second. Batman is the center of the joke, the film spends an ample amount of time making fun of him and the “character” be exagerating the staples we’ve seen in so many itterations of the 75+ years since his creation. But, it’s not just Batman that’s mocked, there’s ongoing jokes involing Bane and his voice from The Dark Knight Rises, D-list villains, Michael Jackson, and the very concept of it all. I found myself laughing more during the film’s 1 hour and 44 minutes than I have in many comedies and where I wasn’t laughing, I had a smile on my face.

The lessons you’d expect in a film aimed at kids are all there, learning to work as a team, not being mean, trusting others, believing in one’s self, it’s pretty much the same basic formula as The LEGO Movie and that’s not a bad thing. It generally works being there for the kids while the adults can focus on nostalgia.

Where that underlying theme of the film fails is the pacing. As I said, the film can only be described as kinetic and a visual assault at times (not negative things) which makes the quieter moments drag on a bit too much. When the film attempts to “get serious” it drags and that adds up to a movie that’s about 20 minutes too long (the kids were getting a little restless by the end in my screening). The end solution presented to save the day is a bit cheesy as well, as if the writers weren’t sure what to do to resolve the problem.

The thing I love about the film is clearly the injokes about Batman and his history, but there’s so many more nods and winks throughout the movie, it was hard to keep track of everything. Ferris Air, Lex Corp, the background is as packed with jokes and nods to comics fans as what’s right in front of you. At times it’s hard to know where exactly I should be paying attention and focusing, there’s so much thrown out there at once. And it’s that willing to have fun and throw things in that really makes the film work. While it has “Batman” in the title, everything Warner Bros. is on the table, and the less said the better about that. The twist leading to the final showdown is part of the fun so avoid spoilers!

The voice work is pretty solid with a who’s who of talent including Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Siri, Zach Galifanakis, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Conan O’Brien, Doug Benson, Billy Dee Williams, Zoë Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jermaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam Devine, Hector Elizonda, Maruah Carey, Ralp Garman, Chris Hardwick, and so many more. The film is packed with talent and you don’t even realize it until the credits role at the end. The voices don’t stand out in a negative way, they all blend and work for their characters seemlesly.

The LEGO Batman Movie had a high hurdle to get over after the success of The LEGO Movie and the film clearly knows this. It doesn’t attempt to recreate the magic of that first film instead focusing on its own thing and formula. And with that, The LEGO Batman Movie beats its greatest villain, high expectations. I saw it once already and can’t wait to go again to see what I missed and laugh all over again.

Overall Rating: 8.65

Warner Bros. provided Graphic Policy with a FREE screening of the film

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The LEGO Batman Movie – Gotham Cribs

The LEGO Batman Movie is out February 10th and while you wait for it, here’s a look at Bruce Wayne’s crib.

Riverdale Gets Stranger in this New Trailer

Riverdale premieres Thursday, January 26 at 9/8c on The CW!

The live-action series offers a bold, compelling take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring small-town life and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade. The show will focus on the eternal love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper, and rich socialite Veronica Lodge, and will include the entire cast of characters from the comic books—including Archie’s rival, Reggie Mantle, and his best friend, Jughead Jones.

Riverdale stars KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy, Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Ross Butler as Reggie Mantle, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller, Mädchen Amick as Alice Cooper, and Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge.

Riverdale is written by Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and produced by Warner Brothers Studios and Berlanti Productions and has been described as a subversive take on the classic Archie mythos. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter, Jon Goldwater, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa serve as executive producers.

Justice League Gets a New Teaser Image featuring Flash, Batman, and Wonder Woman

Warner Bros. Has released a new image from the upcoming Justice League film. The image features Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat.  But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

The film comes to theaters November 11, 2017.

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A Brand New Look at Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in Wonder Woman

Warner Bros. has released some new images at next year’s Wonder Woman which stars Gal Gadot in the starring role and is directed by Patty Jenkins. The images not only show Gadot as the iconic character but also Chris Pine who plays Steve Trevor.

Wonder Woman is out in theaters June 2017.

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The LEGO Batman Movie – Extended TV Spot

Check out this extended television spot for The LEGO Batman Movie with more Joker! In theaters February 10, 2017!

Wonder Woman Gets Three New Posters

Wonder. Power. Courage. Wonder Woman comes to theaters June 2, 2017.

Wonder Woman Gets a New Trailer

It begins with her. Wonder Woman is in theaters June 2, 2017.

Fathom to Show Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders October 10

brcc016772Travel back to the 1960s as Batman and Robin spring into action when Gotham City is threatened by a quartet of Batman’s most fiendish foes. Audiences will have the opportunity to join all the animated excitement as it unfolds on the big screen for one special day. Fathom Events is once again partnering with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to bring Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders to movie theaters for three exclusive showings on Monday, October 10 at 2:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time, before it comes to Digital HD on October 11 and Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD on November 1.

Bringing these iconic characters to animated life are Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman). In the new film, Penguin, The Joker, Riddler and Catwoman have combined their wicked talents to hatch a plot so nefarious that the Dynamic Duo will need to go to outer space (and back) to foil their arch enemies and restore order in Gotham City.

brcc015540In addition to the film, audiences will view an exclusive pre-screening introduction, and a post-screening preview of Those Dastardly Desperados, a featurette that explores how the villains became more than just antagonists in a Batman story – they became icons of American pop culture.

Tickets for Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders can be purchased beginning Friday, September 9, online or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 700 select movie theaters. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website.

Movie Review: Suicide Squad

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As one of my most anticipated films of 2016, it’s safe to say Suicide Squad had a lot to live up to! It seemed like it would be the stepping stone for DCEU, after the abomination of a movie that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was. The teaser trailer was spectacular. The first trailer was very good as well. Then, for some reason, Warner Bros. went in a completely different direction with the second trailer. Even though I found it alright, it wasn’t as captivating as the other two; as it seemed like the generic blockbuster. Suicide Squad was supposed to be unusual, distinctive and crazy. Unfortunately, it was none of these.

The movie follows Amanda Waller as she assembles a team of extremely dangerous prisoners because she feels the world needs to have a contingency plan if the bad version of Superman comes down to Earth. Followed by a million intros for the characters, coupled with a most obvious choice of music for each of them.Subsequently, they are sent to fight the belly-dancing Enchantress trying to destroy humanity by building ‘a machine’. That is the entire plot: a bunch of crazy, self-absorbed individuals without superpowers (most of them anyways) have to fight this extremely powerful witch and her plain-obvious CGI brother. There’s no second act or plot development.

Harley Quinn, Diablo and Deadshot are the only characters with some barely perceptible character development. Everyone else was either pointless (Boomerang, Slipknot, Katana), or contradicting in their beliefs (Waller). With Harley Quinn we get some flashbacks about how she became the way she is; but even those are equivocal and scarce, as they are too short to figure out exactly what’s happening.

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The main problem with this film is that we are supposed to believe these characters are the most dangerous people on the planet! However, throughout the film we never really get a sense of this – save for, possibly, Harley. On a number of occasions, we are told they are ominous – although we are never actually shown how.

It’s not all gloom and doom though! There are moments when the humour works, and these scenes are wonderful – if not far too negligible . The actors do their best with the lines they have. Most of the so-called villains throw one-liners, and just a few of them land. The music score (not the soundtrack) also has some curious cues, which work when put into practice. The soundtrack, on the other hand, is awful in its usage! Whenever on, it is overbearing, distracting and even unpleasant. It serves only to prevent one from becoming entirely acquainted with the characters and tells you how to feel too insistently.

The action is as memorable as the editing is abhorrent! Half the time you are lost, due to the bad geography and constant cuts. In addition, the film doesn’t flow – the chronology is all over the place and there is no consistency.

The Joker was heavily featured in the ad campaign, however, we only see fleeting glimpses of him during the film itself. Turns out it wasn’t so that we are amazed by the end result, but because there isn’t much of him in the film. He pops up every once in a while for 30 seconds in either a flashback or as a deux ex machina. On that front alone, I was truly disappointed!

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Suicide Squad is non-refutably a box-office success, for now at least. Nevertheless, due to rushed decisions, it feels like two films have collided into one; just like Fantastic Four. It is not as bad but has more flaws than strengths.

In conclusion, it’s entertaining enough that you won’t fall asleep, but do not come with high expectations, otherwise you will be let down. I am sure Warner Brother will try to fix the film for the Blu-Ray release, by including a lot of the missing scenes shown in the trailer; however, as this is the second time this year they have done so, isn’t it becoming a pattern?

Overall Rating: 4

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