REVIEW: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part [2019]

Listen to the music. A film like The LEGO Movie is a once-in-a-decade type achievement (so to see its filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also write/produce another once-in-a-decade feat with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse only shows how inventive and original the two are). It daring to use its subject matter’s tactility and utility rather than pretend its nothing more than aesthetic was an ingenious choice, the surprise lifting of the curtain to reveal a human element behind the characters’ machinations the stuff of legend. So the inevitable demand for…

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The 91st Oscars recap through tweets …

What a wild ride this Oscars season has been. After so much recent talk about inclusivity and a changing of the guard, it was bound to happen that we’d receive an awkward period of flux. There’s the young crowd cheering a Marvel Cinematic Universe chapter to the franchise’s first Best Picture nominee and the older sect feeling warm and gooey about a story pretending to talk about racism despite really just glossing over the struggle to say most racists are simply misunderstood until sharing a bucket of KFC with the…

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REVIEW: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [2018]

It’s just puberty. You have to hand it to Sony for thinking outside the box. Not long ago they had the number one cinematic superhero property with Tobey Maguire donning the Spidey-suit to take on the Osborns. They tried to strike gold twice with a new “Amazing” iteration starring Andrew Garfield, but the results simply couldn’t compete with the creative and financial gains Marvel proper had with their Disney-backed universe. So they buckled. They made the compromise they said they never would and allowed the Spider-Man character to become an…

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REVIEW: Solo: A Star Wars Story [2018]

You said never improvise. Nine movies into the cinematic world of George Lucas‘ Star Wars—three of which extend past his control over the franchise—and we remain tethered to the Skywalkers. It makes sense. In order for Disney to commoditize the property, they must first reconnect with old fans and familiarize the new. So they stuck with Luke, Leia, and Anakin’s continuing legacy (even if they threw out extended universe material once considered canon). They began with a rousing remake, continued with a spin-off expanding upon a moment we knew occurred…

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REVIEW: The Lego Batman Movie [2017]

“‘Puter, overcompensate” It was always going to be an uphill battle. The success of The LEGO Movie was so surprising and legitimate that a sequel was going to have to work five times harder to match it. So maybe pushing the follow-up off to focus on a spin-off was the way to go. Expectations would be lowered, Will Arnett‘s Batman was a fan favorite to carry the weight, and you wouldn’t necessarily be beholden to the previous installment’s plot or ingenious use of human omniscience. Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith could focus…

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REVIEW: 22 Jump Street [2014]

“Something cool!” I really wished 22 Jump Street‘s one-note joke would sustain. I really did. I even forgave the first thirty minutes lulling me to sleep with cute references to its increased production budget courtesy of its prequel’s surprise financial success like carbon copy beats built bigger and Korean Jesus getting replaced by his Vietnamese brethren. Sadly, however, I knew it never could. The joke’s funny because it’s self-deprecating and true, but at a certain point you must expand beyond “meta”. Dare I say The Hangover Part II was better…

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REVIEW: The LEGO Movie [2014]

“All this is true because it rhymes” I am a child of the 80s. Ask me about Lego Star Wars or Lego Harry Potter and my response will be a quizzical look devoid of comprehension. I was a builder with a giant card table set up in my basement full of city locales and blank street platforms to create a world not unlike the one Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have in The LEGO Movie—albeit at one one-thousandth the scale. Space world? Western world? They weren’t in my vocabulary. If…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2014: ‘RoboCop’, ‘The LEGO Movie’, ‘Non-Stop’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. February is here, January dump month is over, and 2014 is officially ready to take control with only a few more festival holdovers from last Fall. A couple summer-caliber flicks…

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REVIEW: 21 Jump Street [2012]

“What’s the girl in the back doing?” Screenwriters Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill made the right move when they decided their 21 Jump Street would be a continuation of the original television series and not a remake. They may go a bit heavy on the pseudo-meta scripting of characters mocking the fact their police department can’t come up with any good new ideas so they have to rehash what worked and hope no one notices, but it succeeds in letting me forgive the unoriginal genesis and enjoy its newly created…

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REVIEW: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs [2009]

“A film by a lot of people” I knew right after the above review title quote flashed across the screen that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was going to be a fun time. Sony Pictures Animation did not let me down, keeping me enthralled and smiling for the entire duration. Based on a children’s book from 1978, the film follows the exploits of a young scientist and his dreams of changing the world with his inventions. Up to adulthood, however, he has achieved little more that a ‘menace to…

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