Movie Review: The Lego Movie

IMDB, The Lego MovieAdventure, 100 Minutes, 2014: “The Lego Movie” on IMDB

This is a completely formula, by-the-numbers family film. Bright, colorful animated characters voiced by famous people. Lots of jokes with popular references. Fast action! A simple plot! A super-sappy emotional message!

Folks, sometimes formula works. Sometimes formula works really, damn well.

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Happy Star Wars Day!

Vadar Thumbs UpIt’s Star Wars Day, May the Fourth Be With You!

The official Star Wars page has a huge list of sales and deals just in case there’s a nook or niche in your home that’s screaming out for a Jar Jar Binks combo foot massager and potato peeler.

It’s a good time for Star Wars fans. The cast of the new trilogy was recently announced and isn’t horrifying. So far, at least, Damon Lindelof has been kept away from the project. A new animated show, Star Wars Rebels, is in the works.

Yes, it’s a good time for fans, so enjoy Star Wars Day!

Movie Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

IMDB, The Secret Life of Walter MittyAdventure/Comedy, 114 Minutes, 2013: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” on IMDB

This isn’t an adaptation of James Thurber’s classic 1939 short story. The story, as wonderful as it is, would make for a terrible movie. Its charm, and genius, is that the main character does literally nothing exciting. It’s an amazing literary work but would be wholly unsatisfying as a film. Nor is it a remake of the 1947 Danny Kaye [IMDB] classic. That film, wonderful and timeless as it is, is a product of its time and simply wouldn’t translate well into a modern film.

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Movie Review: Frozen

IMDB, FrozenAdventure, 102 Minutes, 2013: “Frozen” on IMDB

Hey kids, it’s time to dig up Hans Christian Anderson and carve another chunk from his desiccated flesh! Sure, we’ve left him alone  for awhile, but it’s time. We’ve been gouging at the Grimm boys for a while. We even did some Japanese imports! The crew over at Pixar’s been good to us but, dammit, we need a new princess to feed the machine! And this is a two-fer!

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Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

IMDB, The Hobbit, The Desolation of SmaugFantasy/Adventure, 161 Minutes, 2013: “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” on IMDB

This is the continuation of Thorin Oakenshield’s quest to reclaim the throne of his forefathers from the powerful dragon Smaug. Bilbo the Hobbit has proven his worth and courage and is a true member of the company. The movie picks up as the last ended, with the company being hunted by Azog’s orc pack.

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Movie Review: Planes

IMDB, PlanesFamily, 91 Minutes, 2013: “Planes” on IMDB

It used to be that companies like “Pixar” had to suffer poor imitators. Other companies would come along and produce, at best, paint-by-numbers knock-offs that hit all the same notes but couldn’t hope to match the music. For every “A Bug’s Life” [IMDB] there was an “Antz” [IMDB] and for every “Finding Nemo” [IMDB] there was “A Shark’s Tale” [IMDB]. These big-budget semi-clones where never terrible but they were always missing something.

Luckily, due to the big-business merger of Pixar and Disney they can now get the same exact treatment from themselves! The best thing about this is that they get to keep all the money!

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Movie Review: Monsters University

IMDB, Monsters UniversityComedy, 104 Minutes, 2013: Monsters University on IMDB

I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it until they prove me wrong: Pixar doesn’t make bad movies.  They just don’t.  Some of their movies are worse than others, but none of them are bad.  This one is, in fact, worse than others.  It’s a super cliched story.  Mike and Sully, bestest friends for life, are introduced when, get this, they didn’t like each other!  They join the worst fraternity on campus and have to compete against the best fraternity… who are also total jerks!

Still, it’s a good movie.  Predictable as a one-horse race, but fun and warm and clever.  There are all the wonderful little Pixar callbacks and in-jokes that fans expect and some really great casting.  It’s not among the best Pixar movies, but it’s comfortable and you’ll laugh.

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