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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REVIEW: Teen Titans GO! To the Movies [2018]

Crack an egg on it. Kah-KAW! Picture this: a popular 1980s comic by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez called The New Teen Titans puts a bunch of sidekicks together to fight one of their rank’s evil father. After a sixteen-year run come new titles to continue the legacy in print with differing line-ups before Cartoon Network developed the property into a television series from Glen Murakami entitled “Teen Titans”. This thing becomes a huge winner for CN with rabid fans and critical acclaim before moving past a planned four-season arc…

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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: 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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REVIEW: The Arrested Development Documentary Project [2013]

“I like that guy, Mitch” Something had to suffer once the critically acclaimed and criminally under-watched television comedy “Arrested Development” was announced to be in production with new episodes courtesy of Netflix. That victim is Jeff Smith’s The Arrested Development Documentary Project. Completed in 2012 from interview footage filmed before the show’s phoenix-like rebirth (a trailer was released on the movie’s website back in 2009), what was to be a posthumous love letter is now merely a glorified DVD extra of actors and writers talking about their connection to and…

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REVIEW: Despicable Me [2010]

“Oh yes, I have pins and needles I’m sitting on” Yet another hat is thrown into the ring. Illumination Entertainment joins the stiff competition of Hollywood animators, bringing along with it a stellar voice cast and the ever-present 3D format. Christopher Meledandri—the man behind Fox’s steady rise into becoming one of the top three studios of the medium alongside Pixar and DreamWorks—left his executive job to head up this new company, pilfering artist Chris Renaud to co-direct the firm’s debut Despicable Me with Pierre Coffin. Let’s just say that it’s…

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REVIEW: When in Rome [2010]

“This marriage has a shelf life of a banana” Here is my call to arms people … go visit the Guggenheim Museum and donate money. After The International last year shooting up Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural wonder, New York City decided to get some more cash influx by allowing it to be showcased in this year’s rom-com crazy flick When in Rome. This film is by no means good—at all. However, that said, I laughed a whole lot. Once you leave the plot behind and start to just let the…

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REVIEW: Semi-Pro [2008]

“Softest hands in the world” Will Ferrell has done it again. He got my butt in the seat based off a funny trailer and funnier spoof premise despite the fact I knew I would end up hating the film. Yes, I did not like it much at all. Probably more entertaining than its predecessors, I found myself laughing big at more scenes, rather than just laughs in one or two sequences. I credit this fact to it not trying to be a movie, but instead relying on its strung together…

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REVIEW: Wristcutters: A Love Story [2007]

“The dog has spoken” Goran Dukic’s Wristcutters: A Love Story is indie cinema to the core. With a plot concerning life in purgatory—an adequate punishment being that it is life as usual, but a little worse—and a band of suicides (or off’d people) trying to find love, answers, and a way out, this film laughs at the mainstream and succeeds as a result. Everyone involved is a kooky, crazy character with little screentime yet large meaning. Zia just could not take it anymore and decides to end it all by…

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REVIEW: Blades of Glory [2007]

“Sex on ice” It’s a real shame that Hollywood churns out some utter crap passed off as entertainment. The new low-brow comedy Blades of Glory has a great premise: two old skating rivals team together, after being banned for life in competition, as the first all male pair to fight for gold at the World Championships. This was ripe for some social commentary, a little out of their element shtick, and a touch of big laugh action sequences. What we get instead are two lead actors doing what they do…

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REVIEW: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown [2006]

Ice Age came out in 2002 giving me no real inspiration to go check it out. Of course I finally did and found it to be well voiced and scripted. So, when Ice Age 2: The Meltdown debuted, I had a bit more interest in seeing it, even though the idea of sequels usually doesn’t hold much clout in my eyes. To my surprise the film kept most of what worked from the original. The performances from Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary are all humorous and heartfelt. The…

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