Tag Archives: Will Arnett

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Review

EVERYTHING IS (STILL) AWESOME


 

Back in 2014, Warner. Bros. Pictures (under the name of Warner Bros. Animation Group) produced a surprising smash with The LEGO Movie. Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo behind 21 Jump Street (and its 22 Jump Street sequel), The LEGO Movie dropped viewers into an imaginary cinematic constructed world of LEGOs, telling a creative tale that was full of humor, talented voice-actors, dazzling animation, and some heartwarming drama. Surprisingly, The LEGO Movie was met with overwhelming positive reviews from fans and critics, garnishing nearly $470 million at the box office against its $60 million production budget. The success of The LEGO Movie fueled Warner Bros. with the idea that a cinematic universe could be formed around the property idea of the popular toy brand. However, in a somewhat unorthodox way, the studio, instead of developing a sequel to The LEGO Movie, decided to create two spin-off feature LEGO films in 2017, with The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie. While The LEGO Batman Movie, which was directed by Chris McKay and continued the cinematic LEGO representation as well as introducing new elements such as rifting / playing on the lore of Gotham’s “cape crusader”, was met with critical / positive success from its viewers (and critics), The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which was directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan, was met with mixed reviews; citing that the movie (though fun playing with their Ninjago property as well as the voice talents) was just sub-par and, mediocre, and that the franchise movie formula had lost its edge. Now, two years after the two spin-off LEGO Movies of 2017, Warner Bros. Studios (under Warner Bros. Animation Group) and director Mike Mitchell finally return for the much-anticipated sequel to the original 2014 film with the movie The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. Does this long-awaited sequel succeed or does it fail to “reconnect” with its moviegoing audience? Read more

Teen Titans GO! To the Movies (2018) Review

A HILARIOUS SUPERHERO MOVIE

(THAT WE ALL NEED RIGHT NOW)


 

Back in 2003, the animated cartoon show Teen Titans premiered on Cartoon Network, showcasing the younger generation of DC Superheroes. The TV show which was primarily based off of the 1980s New Teen Titans comic book series, followed the adventures of the Titans team, consisting of superhero characters like Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven and how the battle numerous villains and encounter several ally companions along the way. Teen Titans was met with overwhelming success, becoming one of Cartoon Network’s most beloved and critically acclaimed shows; being praised for its character development of its main cast and the overall serious tone of the series. Teen Titans, which was also nominated for three Annie Awards and one Motion Picture Sound Editor Award, ran for five seasons (a total of 65 episodes) before the show ended in 2006, with the TV movie Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo acting as the series finale. However, while fans cried out for the show to revived for a sixth season, the Teen Titans brand did return (several years later), but in a slightly different form. In 2013, a Teen Titan spin-off show emerged dubbed Teen Titans GO! on Cartoon Network. Much like before, the show followed the familiar roster of Titan team members (i.e. Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven), but was a more comical-based series (more of loose misadventure series rather than its serious episodic narrative of the previous series). In a nutshell, the show explores what the Titans do when there hanging around the tower, more or less. The overall tonal change was a change of pace, especially for Teen Titans fans, but it was a welcomed one, with Teen Titans GO! still currently running (as of this review) in its fifth season (a total so far of 213 episodes). Now, expanding on the popular success Teen Titans GO!, Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Animation) and directors Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath present their first movie titled Teen Titans GO! To the Movies. Does this big-screen feature film endeavor do the Teen Titans GO! franchise justices or is it just a bloated madcap adventure or its fanbase (and nothing more)? Read more

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (2017) Review

AN UNNECESSARY SEQUEL


 

Back in 2014, the animated film The Nut Job was a somewhat of a surprise hit during the first month of the new year. Created by Open Road Films and ToonBox Entertainment and directed by Peter Lepeniotis, the film, which had the voices talents of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Liam Nesson, Gabriel Iglesias, and several others, followed the misadventures of Surly, a self-serving exiled squirrel, as he finds himself helping his former park animal brethren raid a nut store to survive, that (unbeknownst to them) is also the front for a human gang’s bank robbery.  As stated, the movie, which was released in January of 2014 as well as being released alongside other films like Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Ride Along, and Devil’s Due, did surprisingly well. While most critics panned the film (ranging from mixed to negative), The Nut Job did gross over $120 million worldwide against its production budget of $42 million dollar. Thus, the film didn’t break any records or becoming the highest grossing movie that year, but it did make its money back and then some, which eventually gave the studio to greenlit a sequel feature. Now, three years after the first film was released, Open Road Films (as well as ToonBox Entertainment) and director Cal Brunker present the sequel to The Nut Job, with the movie The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature. Is this follow-up animated worthy seeing or is it just another boring and unnecessary second installment? Read more

The LEGO Batman Movie Review

THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

(IN LEGO BRICK FORM)


 

The Caped Crusader. The Dark Knight. The Bat of Gotham. Yes, I’m talking about Batman. First created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939 and from there the masked vigilante flourish, spanning decades in his comic book adventure of defending the fictional city of Gotham from villains such as The Joker, Bane, Killer Croc, and Two Faces as well as joining up with other DC superheroes in Justice League comics (i.e. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc.). Over the years, Batman has an iconic superhero figure in the DC Comics, moving beyond his graphic novel platform to be branded with clothing apparel, home décor, video games, and plush toys. In terms multimedia, the Dark Knight even had his own live action TV show (running from 1966 – 1968) and various animated series. Eventually, Batman made his way to theatrical feature films, with each iteration bring their own style and played by a variety of actors, including Michael Keaton (Batman and Batman Returns), to Val Kilmer (Batman Forever), George Clooney (Batman & Robin), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight trilogy), and most recently Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). However, I did forget to mention his hilarious appearance in the 2014 animated feature The LEGO Movie (voice by Will Arnett), which brings me to this review as Warner Bros. Pictures (or rather Warner Bros Animation Group) and director Chris McKay present the spin off sequel to The LEGO Movie with the film The LEGO Batman Movie. Does this LEGO animated tale of the Caped Crusader finds its balance of humor, action, and heart or is it just a generic cartoon feature of Hollywood? Read more

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Review

OUT OF THE SHADOWS

AND INTO THE FRYING PAN


 

In 2014, the four iconic ninja turtles (Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello) made their newest big screen iteration with the Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Reimagined as another origin story of sorts, the movie followed April O’Neil, a young amateur journalist, as she encounters four mutated anthropomorphic turtles, who have been training in the ways of the ninja, and battle against the evil Foot Clan, led by their leader…Shedder. While cult following behind the Turtles has been palpable with its fans over the years, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was faced with mixed reviews. Some embraced it, while other (including me) felt that the movie was, more or less, a noisy hodgepodge mess. Despite that, the movie went on to gross almost 500 million at the global box office, which seemed to be enough for a sequel film to be greenlit. Two years later, the Turtles are back heading back to the big screen for their sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Is this second installment worth seeing or is it “cowabunga” flop? Read more

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