Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

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Lucy is a movie made by an idiot with an 8th grade education experiencing acid for the first time. The writing and directing are so disjointed and jumbled. Nothing makes any logical sense in the world in which we live. I understand this film is a sci-fi fantasy, but it is still supposed to be rooted in the real world.

And yet, I can only imagine the undeserved self-satisfied expression on Luc Besson’s face.

If you managed to avoid this movie, then you escaped an embarrassingly bad, childish writing centered around the bullshit myth that humans only use a fraction of our brain function. The title character Lucy is an unwilling drug mule transporting a substance called CPH4 that’s sewn inside her stomach, which inevitably explodes when she’s kicked repeatedly in the midsection. Of course, this sets off a reaction that leads Lucy to unlocking more of the “mind’s ability” while it’s also rapidly killing her.

This synthetic drug basically makes her Neo before it eventually disintegrates her physical form.

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It’s all just so stupid and silly.

There’s literally B-roll footage randomly intertwined as if Luc Besson seriously thought it helped emphasize his point. The movie did not need cut scenes of baby animals being born. If no one said this was written by an experienced filmmaker, I could not and would not have guessed it. Lucy is so haphazardly slapped together that it genuinely seems like a rough draft from someone fresh out of film school.

Why do people like this movie? Did I miss something?

I don’t mean to oversimplify, but Lucy is plain dumb and boring. I have never fallen asleep in a movie theater (even when watching that piece of shit Syriana), but I had to fight myself to stop from nodding off near the end. At 90 minutes, this is not a long movie—though it sure feels much longer.

Freeman

The writing and directing are both aimless and uninspired, which substantially limits the cast’s ability to elevate the material. While people seem to praise Scarlett Johansson’s performance, she just drifts through every scene with a blank, robotic stare. It’s not her fault, but she fails to do anything aside from serving as eye candy. And poor Morgan Freeman’s sole purpose is to provide clumsy exposition, which comes in the form of a speech that takes up at least 90% of his screen time. Freeman is on the screen to lend his gravitas to the film and provide a handful of awestruck, dumbfounded expressions.

Lucy is without anything memorable or remotely worthwhile.

Waiting to review a movie is a double-edged sword. If it is a good movie, then I get to bask in all its glory and treasure each moment. If it is a bad movie, then it’s a painful process to express my thoughts because my recollection focuses on the worst parts. At this point, that’s all that remains of this movie.

If there’s a silver lining, you may struggle to keep your eyes open during this dull, drab story.

Eyes

You can’t unsee this ungood movie. Do not watch.

1.5 out of 5 stars

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If you haven’t already, there’s probably nothing I could say to persuade you to see Edge of Tomorrow. But that’s not going to stop me from at least trying. Everyone needs to experience this movie.

Even if you’re not a fan of the sci-fi genre, Edge of Tomorrow provides a surprising, unexpected amount of entertainment value for a broad audience. All the elements are here: action, adventure, comedy, drama, mystery, sci-fi, and more. I consider it an accomplishment that this movie isn’t a disjointed mess.

With an impressive pace featuring seamless transitions from emotional tones to story exposition, Edge of Tomorrow is a work that displays all the hallmarks of a director with a deft hand (Doug Liman). The icing on the cake that raises this movie to another level is the star power and terrific performance of Tom Cruise.

While T.C. has become almost exclusively an action star, I would argue that his best work has always been comedic. In the last 10 Tom Cruise movies, my favorite appearance has to be as the sleazy Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. In terms of all-time, his best role is probably as Charlie Babbitt in Rain Man.

I don’t know what it is, but Tom Cruise has a certain undeniable charisma and charm.

And that weird energy really works for comedies. Tom Cruise’s delivery of his lines is fucking spot-on and that alone induces laugh-out loud moments. Several of those such scenes exist in this movie—especially when the story keeps being reset. Edge of Tomorrow is so much more than just the sum of its comedic components, but I’m struggling to recall a movie I’ve seen in 2014 that’s funnier.

Full Metal Bitch

Tom Cruise does all the heavy lifting here, but Emily Blunt holds her own next to one of the biggest movie stars. The only movie I can remember Emily Blunt from before this is Looper, which now makes it two of the best most recent sci-fi movies under her belt. Blunt plays the role of Rita Vrataski, the Full Metal Bitch, who is actually the resident badass in this film since Cruise is acting against type as a more of a coward.

The story almost goes off the rails during the meandering middle section, but the chemistry between these two characters carries the movie by actually making you care emotionally about their well-being.

If you’ve heard or seen anything about this movie, you know that Edge of Tomorrow is essentially equal parts Groundhog Day and Starship Troopers. That’s not entirely the case as it turns out, but it’s easy to see why those comparisons arise. Somehow, Edge of Tomorrow still manages to seem fresh even though this isn’t entirely unique since it’s a mish-mash of components from other successful movies.

Mimics

However, my biggest issue with Edge of Tomorrow is the design of the aliens (called mimics, for some reason) because they are neither new nor memorable. Basically, most of the aliens look like hurling chunks of metal dreadlocks with chaotic movement that only makes the action more difficult to follow. Since these creatures are main focus for at least two-thirds of the film, the re-watchability is drastically reduced because you can’t immerse yourself in the visuals and lose your sense of time. Even though the audience should enjoy the ride, you are keenly aware of the inevitable direction and how it will inevitably end.

While this is a very good movie, an opportunity to create something great was wasted by its own watered down PG-13 nature. I understand big budget blockbusters need to appeal to a broader audience to turn a profit, but certain stories just play better with a darker tone. Although an R-rating would have allowed a better version of this story to be told, this is still the summer movie that deserves your adoration.

Aside from some odd visual choices—specifically the shoddy green screen special effects of news footage super-imposing actors into real life clips—there’s very little to complain about this movie. Get over whatever reservations you may have against Tom Cruise and bask in his electric awkwardness once again.

And if you don’t like this movie…

Big Step Back Fuck Your Own Face

4.5 out of 5 stars

TC Dance

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Amidst a largely disappointing summer season, X-Men: Days of Future Past delivers on the promise of a summer blockbuster: providing ample mindless entertainment. While this movie isn’t without its own fair share of flaws, the latest X-Men effort is arguably the best in a long series of mostly worthwhile films. Let’s all agree X-Men Origins: Wolverine never happened. The world is just a better place that way.

Considering that The Wolverine was such an awful mess as well, it’s hard not to walk away impressed with this successful blend of two separate casts in a relatively straightforward time-travel plot.

X-Men: Days of Future Past doesn’t waste any time setting up the story and plunging forward. In this dystopian future, Sentinels (robots) track down and destroy mutants, but they’ve also been designed to hunt humans who help mutants. The introduction displays countless bodies dumped in what appears to be a makeshift mutant landfill. Charles Xavier, Wolverine, and our favorite band of merry mutants attempt to act as a counterforce against the Sentinels, but it’s always a battle they can never win.

Kitty Pryde (played by Ellen Page) can send a person’s consciousness into their younger self, but this form of time-travel is limited because going back more than a week or so will irreparably hurt that person.

If only there was an indestructible mutant that can heal himself. Oh yeah, that’s Wolverine.

In a true stroke of either genius or luck, the writers get to use their biggest movie star (Hugh Jackman) as the connection between past and present. More screen time for Hugh Jackman is never a bad thing for box office success. As a result, the story once again works around the dichotomy between the relationship of Professor Xavier and Magneto, which really has been the driving force in all the traditional X-Men movies. In this version, the audience gets to see this relationship play out over time with different actors.

You can have a movie jam-packed with action sequences and amazing visual effects, but this movie works because of the performances of James McAvoy (Xavier) and Michael Fassbender (Magneto). At this point, no one should be surprised that Fassbender put forth an amazing performance since he’s one of the best working actors. However, I was kinda taken back by James McAvoy. Given the ability to act as the emotional center, McAvoy runs the gamut and comes out shining on the other side.

In X-Men: Days of Future Past, both Xavier and Magneto are basically fighting over the soul or at least the moral core of Mystique as the story is fixated on going back into the past to prevent Mystique from assassinating Dr. Bolivar Trask (played by Peter Dinklage)—who invented the Sentinels in 1973. The primary reason the Sentinels prove to be unstoppable murderers of mutants is Mystique being captured after the assassination and the incorporation of her unique DNA into the Sentinels.

Jennifer Lawrence does a solid job in human and mutant form as Mystique. And blah, blah, blah.

Mystique

I enjoy watching a half-naked Jennifer Lawrence as much as any pre-pubescent male, and her jiggle was impressive and on full display during this movie. But please endure a short rant…

What the fuck were they thinking with Mystique’s makeup? I understand Jennifer Lawrence has become a genuine movie star after the commercial success of The Hunger Games, but there’s a better way to cut down on the makeup time while still putting forth a more quality product. From shoulders to feet, the sequins on her body suit stand out like it’s part of a crappy arts and crafts project. And I can point to scenes where the awkward orange wig does not sit proper. Yes, this is very nitpicky, but it’s an observation of a distracting component of a majorly successful, multi-million dollar summer blockbuster.

Maybe it’s just my hyper-vigilance. I hope so.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is more of the same in the current surge of comic book movies with a certain gritty realism—inspired by The Dark Knight (directed by Christopher Nolan). However, it also puts a slight twist with the time-travel plot, which gives the audience the illusion of something new.

That’s a credit to Bryan Singer.

I haven’t read much into the Bryan Singer scandal to know if it is bullshit or not. Appearing on an episode of Face Off—a reality competition show based on special effects movie makeups—for Jack the Giant Slayer, I came away with the impression that Singer was a little odd on a personal level. But that’s not an indication of anything other than being goofy. In terms of directing, Singer’s slightly off demeanor may even help him present his movies in a more interesting light with a unique perspective.

Magneto

In particular, one of the most impressive portions of X-Men: Days of Future Past is the character introduction of Quicksilver. I was admittedly among those horrified of the initial preview of this character. The images released beforehand showed Evan Peters as an Asian hipster with light purple hair.

It all looked so fucking awful.

Even though the outfit still left a lot to be desire, it didn’t seem so out of place in the context of the movie as well as the specific set designs of his mom’s basement and the Pentagon, which are the only two scenes featuring Quicksilver. In fact, the action sequence of Quicksilver breaking out Magneto from the Pentagon will remain the most memorable scene from this movie years down the road. I can’t envision another actor successfully pulling off the portrayal of this particular vision of Quicksilver. Evan Peters exuded charisma and actually transformed an unlikable character into someone who’s at least tolerated.

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The other new mutants (Bishop, Blink, Warpath, and even Sunspot) did not get that same treatment or any true effort to flesh out more backstory. But with a remarkable blend of solid story and a few action scenes, this movie is a perfect recipe for a summer blockbuster. Don’t expect an Academy Award winner, but this new X-Men movie has easily been the best, most enjoyable I’ve seen in theaters this summer.

Now that the stage is set for X-Men: Apocalypse, it’ll be interesting to see the big screen treatment of such an infamous villain. Growing up as an avid fan of X-Men (reading comics and watching the 90s cartoon), I would love to see Sinister added to the mix as well. There are so many more mutants could be introduced, and I think most fans would love to see the next movie feature a more diverse array than the same old characters. With the focus on the younger cast, that could be a real possibility in X-Men: Apocalypse.

But if the announcement of Channing Tatum as Gambit, I do not have much hope of the next movie achieving this same level of entertainment. Like everyone, my favorite character has always been Wolverine, but Gambit is a close second. Channing Tatum is a very odd choice and I don’t see this turning out too well. For now, just enjoy the X-Men universe where Channing Tatum doesn’t exist.

Gambit

4.5 out of 5 stars

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Warning: The scale of Godzilla in the movie does not actually match the size in this poster.

Almost a year ago, I started this Soliloqueue side project with a review of Pacific Rim so it seems fitting that this nearly one-year anniversary should be celebrated with a review of Godzilla. In many regards, these movies share several similarities as creature features leaning heavily on human drama.

However, the motivation for that original review of Pacific Rim was to share my thoughts as to why it was a better, more entertaining movie than public perception. I wish I could say the same for Godzilla.

Oh, how I wish.

My love for monster movies was fostered from a young age and it has increasingly intensified over the years. As the hype machine powered up to full speed leading to the premiere of Godzilla, I vacillated between certain pessimism and guarded optimism. I couldn’t have been surprised with either outcome.

But how can you go wrong with Bryan Cranston and Godzilla?

Well, it turns out it’s rather easy when you don’t give the audience much of Bryan Cranston or Godzilla. My worst fears about this movie were realized. At least there’s no way this movie could be worse than the comically bungled 1998 version starring Matthew Broderick. While this disaster movie isn’t a total disaster, this mammoth vision of Godzilla was a monumental disappointment. Since I feel I need to go more in-depth to defend this stance, consider this your final warning if you have not yet watched Godzilla.

Spoilers galore.

My biggest issue with this movie is the disingenuous handling of the Godzilla marketing campaign. As a dedicated fan of Bryan Cranston, his passionate speech about losing his wife in a possible cover-up was the primary selling point to get my ass in the seat. The promise of some key scenes highlighting Cranston’s impeccable acting ability in a big summer blockbuster acted as a hook firmly affixed under my skin.

Within the first 10 minutes, Godzilla seemed perfectly on track to meet and possibly even exceed expectations. Cranston admirably performed as advertised as Joe Brody—the driving force of the human drama with a fervent love for his family that engaged the interest of those who might have been watching just to catch a glimpse of Godzilla. About 25 or so minutes later, Cranston’s character is dead in unceremonious fashion during the introduction of the MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism), which was originally responsible for causing the death of his wife more than a decade ago.

The old bait-and-switch. Hey Gareth Edwards, go fuck yourself.

Cranston

Cranston didn’t die in a heroic manner or even in a remotely interesting way. As the MUTO broke free from a futile containment attempt inside a nuclear plant, the monster smashes a bridge where Cranston is standing but he’s a few feet away from this direct hit. Cranston didn’t appear to suffer any significant damage, which causes even more confusion when he passes away in a helicopter.

Don’t expect any real explanation either.

Unfortunately, Godzilla takes a gargantuan nose dive in quality from that very moment. While Cranston exudes charisma regardless of his role, the actor serving as his son was absolutely charisma-free. In fact, I didn’t even realize that Ford Brody was played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson—who is more widely recognized in a retarded green leotard as Kick-Ass. Say what you will about Charlie Hunnam’s cheesy, sub-par acting in Pacific Rim, but you cannot deny that Hunnam has a charismatic presence.

Without his curly mop or geeky glasses, Aaron Taylor-Johnson closely resembles the male default face in the character creation mode of any video game. It is painfully obvious that Aaron Taylor-Johnson cannot carry a movie even when the real main character is the most famous CGI monster. Once Cranston makes his screen exit, there are no worthwhile human characters remaining in this movie.

After the death of his father, Ford Brody is trying to get back home to protect his wife and young son who are stuck in the path of destruction. But no one gives a shit about that storyline. And none of these actors put forth a compelling performance that would make you care. As the wife (Elle Brody), Elizabeth Olsen’s concerned face is on full display for the entirety of this movie—battling Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza) and his worried face while he is helping tail the monsters with a giant boner for Godzilla.

Since Cranston was relegated to a supporting role (albeit an important one within the first 35 minutes), you would think the movie would try to make up for that poor decision-making by featuring Godzilla. Director Gareth Edwards didn’t follow that logic. Instead, this movie opted for the slow-play option of providing minor glimpses like the strategy employed in iconic films like Jaws and Alien.

But the reason that worked for those movies is because those were original monsters so the major reveal was actually important. What is the anticipation for Godzilla? Who doesn’t know what Godzilla looks like? Why draw out the suspense and make the audience wait any longer than necessary?

It’s not like there was anything else going on to make the wait worthwhile.

For fuck sakes, I saw more of Godzilla in Fiat commercials than I did in the goddamn movie.

Adding insult to injury, the design of Godzilla and the MUTO were massively underwhelming. Godzilla was a faithful adaptation, and I didn’t mind the bulky, man-in-a-costume feel. However, Godzilla and the MUTO (both the small, winged version and large, multi-legged behemoth) share the same color palette.

MUTO

In what world is that acceptable? Almost every significant action sequence occurs at night, which makes these monsters blend into the dark background due to their mostly midnight black shade. Adding more green highlights to Godzilla would have helped create a more striking figure. But an even more criminally poor decision was to make the MUTO so very similar. Personally, I would have preferred to focus on just one MUTO because there was nothing unique or interesting to these two monsters.

What would have been a better route? Imagine a more sinister version of a monster from Starship Troopers. Every monster shown in Starship Troopers was infinitely more interesting than the MUTO. At least a more vibrant color scheme could’ve breathed life into these lifeless, limp creatures.

For the final hour and a half, this movie felt like it was going through the motions. Ford Brody (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) miraculously survives several encounters with these creatures while his family is equally indestructible despite being in the kill zone once Godzilla actually arises from the Pacific Ocean. Fight scenes between Godzilla and the MUTO are teased a few times before the final money shot at the end.

Spoiler: Godzilla wins.

Godzilla

Unfortunately, I was already seriously hoping everyone would just die for more than an hour before culmination of the third act. As with most 2-hour movies, Godzilla lingered for far too long without any compelling aspects capable of continuing to hold my interest. If the writing or acting was above-average, I could more easily forgive the obvious shortcomings because of additional entertainment value.

Perhaps the most important factor in deciding the quality of a movie is the degree of re-watchability. This factor gains more importance with creature features. For example, I watched the premiere of Pacific Rim in theaters last year and then watched it in 3D the next day. Even though I’ve seen it several times since then, I would gladly sit down and watch it again this very moment followed by Cloverfield.

But I have no interest in watching Godzilla ever again. In fact, I would probably fall asleep if I tried.

Why is this the case? I think it is because Godzilla took itself gravely seriously while failing to provide any comic relief or semblance of additional entertainment value aside from creature eye candy. In comparison, Pacific Rim was cheesy, funny, and whimsical all at the same time.

Without a safety net to support the movie once Cranston’s character dies, the quality of Godzilla plummets to the floor of the Pacific Ocean. In a matter of a week, the shine of this movie has already worn off. Minutes after the end, I declared Godzilla a 4-star movie after leaving the theater. With more time to reflect on the all-around quality, I cannot consider Godzilla anything more than a 3-star movie.

In terms of box office earnings, Godzilla is a monumental success that matches the size of the creature itself. A sequel is certainly to follow, but I fear any future movie will fail to avoid the same pitfalls. Hopefully a sequel to Pacific Rim will arrive in theaters before the return of Godzilla because that will make me run to a theater substantially faster and with much more excitement.

I blame myself for paying to watch Godzilla in 3D for no good reason. That’s my fault. But I blame those behind the creation of this movie for making such a lackluster, bland story that relies entirely too much on the big reveal of the most famous, familiar monster in movie history.

Better luck next time.

Scream

3 out of 5 stars

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On good days, I am agnostic. On bad days, I am atheist.

As you can see, Noah is not a movie that would typically appeal to my sensibilities.

However, art trumps all. Darren Aronofsky is a talented artist among many others that happen to work in the medium of film. With incredibly interesting movies like Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Wrestler in his portfolio, I’m willing to watch any movie made by Darren Aronofsky.

Unfortunately, it is painfully obvious that Aronofsky was not given complete and total creative control over the final product. If you followed any of the press surrounding the production of Noah, then you’re aware of the studio’s overwhelming desire to appease the religious population. That’s not exactly surprising considering the religious demographic is key to making Noah a monumental commercial success.

But you can’t please everyone.

Russell Crowe as Noah

Yet again, this brings up the issue of whether art should be made for the audience or if art should be made for the artist regardless of the audience. As always, I want the artist to create their art without influence from the audience. Too much can go wrong with too many voices and too many hands.

You never want a focus group controlling your movie.

For the purpose of this film review, I don’t give a fuck about the biblical accuracy of Noah. In fact, I personally just find it hilarious that people complain about this movie’s representation of a fabricated story. The only thing I care about is how this movie shakes out as a piece of story-telling and film-making.

Although there’s a healthy amount to enjoy about this movie, Noah is certainly not one of Aronofsky’s better efforts. It’s hard to place all of the blame on Aronofsky since this seems like it could have been an entirely different movie if he was given autonomy to do whatever he pleased. I’ve waited more than a month to write my thoughts because it’s important sometimes to see what sticks.

Time-Lapse

In my mind, the only lingering aspects I can recall are the depictions of the rock monsters and passage of time. Without these creative hallmarks of Aronofsky’s film-making, not even Russell Crowe’s impeccable bushy beard could have saved Noah. This movie was often bordering on monotonous due to uneven pacing and a largely boring tone. I didn’t care at all about the storylines revolving around Noah’s two horny sons, and Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly could only do so much in their respective roles.

Despite serving as yet another example of why no movie should be more than 2 hours, the fact that Aronofsky could re-tell such a familiar story in an interesting fashion is an impressive achievement. Most (if not all) other renditions of this story would have put me to sleep faster than a 70-year old watching Syriana in a dark theater past 7 p.m.—which really happened years ago when I saw that smelly turd.

Noah isn’t a terrible movie. But it is definitely nowhere near great either.

Rock Monsters

I’m not sure who this movie was made for or why it was even made. This seems like the project started as Aronofsky’s labor of love, but mutated into some ungodly mess fixated on becoming a commercially successful monster. Noah might not meet such lofty expectations, but it isn’t the disaster that I feared.

My rating is probably inflated by a half-star out of respect for the heights Aronofsky can reach without meddling from a studio. With that said, I will never watch this movie ever again.

3 out of 5 stars

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Nebraska is an endearing slice-of-life look at an aging old drunkard losing his mental faculties and how his family is dealing with it—done in the most genuine manner imaginable. This definitely feels like a labor of love from director Alexander Payne and it’s not a film for everyone. Personally, I like it that way.

Should art be made with the audience in mind?

Or should the artist create what they want and just let an audience form around it?

Nebraska certainly falls under the latter classification. I wouldn’t think most people would enjoy this movie, but Nebraska’s earned a fairly successful run—probably some thanks in part to hipsters. If you’ve seen any preview, Nebraska presents itself as a bleak black and white movie with a methodical, plodding pace. For vast stretches of this film, there is nothing interesting going on, but the beautiful cinematography provides a nice frame for the story. Managing to get past the boredom is half the battle of enjoying this movie.

Bruce Dern is phenomenal as Woody Grant, the aforementioned aging old drunkard who’s convinced that he’s won a million-dollar mega sweepstakes magazine prize. Woody drank his life away and was absent as a father although he was physically present. Now, all he wants to do is claim that fucking prize.

Grant Family

The only problem is that he lives in Billings, Montana, and needs to go to Nebraska because he doesn’t trust the post office to deliver his million dollars. Although Woody is borderline crazy and losing his mind, he’s a lovable old coot that keeps trying to walk down the highway to Nebraska because no one in his family will drive him there. But his son, David (played by Will Forte), begrudgingly decides to take him.

Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk are spot-on casting choices as Woody’s sons, David and Ross, while June Squibb is a delight and the funniest character in the movie as Kate, Woody’s wife. June Squibb steals several scenes as the comic relief, and the cemetery visit made me legitimately laugh out loud.

Still, Nebraska is humorous more than funny.

Enter: Stacy Keach.

KeachDespite the entertainment value provided by the family interactions, this movie needed a villain (of sorts) to focus negative attention on and make Woody more likable in the process. Without Stacy Keach’s sleazy creepitude as Ed Pegram, Nebraska would have made itself too boring to overcome. I fucking love Stacy Keach, and I would have watched his movie much sooner if I knew of his involvement. If anything, Nebraska would have benefitted from even more focus on the character of Ed Pegram.

The longer this film ruminates, I find myself liking it even more.

Nebraska reads like a 2-hour feature length film version of a Stephen Wright joke. After watching this movie, I’ve now seen every entry in the Best Picture category except Philomena—and that will remain the case. While Nebraska won’t win Best Picture at tonight’s Oscars, it’s definitely more worthy as a nominee than Captain Phillips or Gravity. Bask in the boredom of Middle America and revel in that you’re only visiting for a while. And if you don’t like this movie…

Go Fuck Yourselves

3.5 out of 5 stars

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Everyone needs to calm the fuck down about The Lego Movie.

Legos might be toys for all ages, but don’t let the Warner Bros. marketing campaign fool you into thinking this movie is for adults and children alike. Occupying an odd middle ground (or no man’s land), The Lego Movie is capable of capturing an adult’s imagination and it’s brightly colored enough to entertain a child, but there’s no compelling component to satisfy either mind. You’ll lose interest eventually.

Basically, The Lego Movie is to be enjoyed by a manchild or hipster and tolerated by everyone else.

But the commercial brilliance of The Lego Movie is that it appears to appeal to everyone. Parents can take their children and sit them in front of the gigantic screen for a bland experience meant not to offend anyone. I don’t hate The Lego Movie, but I hate everything it represents in the film industry. However, this movie could have easily turned out so much worse in the wrong (or just different) hands.

Children won’t remember anything from this movie other than to ask their parents for Legos.

Adults will only remember how much better The Lego Movie is than every other typical animated movie.

It is important to note my relative bias because I’ve never liked many children’s movies—even when I was a child. Nostalgia is commonplace and most people seem to love re-living childhood memories of books, movies, toys, and other objects of pop culture. I can barely remember anything before junior high school so I am certainly not the target audience that’s harboring any special memories of playing with Legos.

My main issue is that there’s simply nothing remarkable or noteworthy about The Lego Movie.

Batman

It’s only been about a week or so since I’ve watched The Lego Movie, but no single joke or any specific scene sticks in my memory. Without Will Arnett’s comic relief as Batman (Christian Bale’s raspy voice impersonation and all), I don’t think there would have even been a handful of laughs. Chris Pratt is suitable as Emmet, but Charlie Day as Spaceman Benny is definitely the second best thing about this movie.

The Lego Movie largely coasts on its cuteness. But thanks to a clever ending, people will fondly remember this movie because it wraps a nice bow around the story. Considering its immense success at the box office, a sequel is undoubtedly already in the making. My life will still be complete without subjecting myself to the inevitable sequel or any other subsequent attempt to cash in on this established good will.

Perhaps I’m partly reacting in response to the overwhelming love for The Lego Movie, but I genuinely believe only about half of this movie hits the mark. The social commentary and satire feel hollow since the source is a billion dollar business that’s directly benefitting from everyone laughing at their catchy “Everything is Awesome” tune. And Warner Bros. is now laughing all the way to the bank.

Due to increased expectations, The Lego Movie just fails to live up to the hype. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie, but it is undeserving of such commercial success. Move along people, nothing to see here.

The best lesson: when you make a movie for everyone, you make a movie for no one.

Lego Movie

2.5 out of 5 stars