Tag: Hector Elizondo

The LEGO Batman Movie

If you are new here, I have rallied against animated films so far this year. We just had a summer with Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3, both incredibly bad to super bad films. And these are our tent pole films for the year more or less!

There is very little hope of animated films saving it by the end of the year, but I openly acknowledge that I had not yet seen The LEGO Batman Movie. I know a lot of people enjoyed it, our first LEGO movie since The LEGO Movie.

But I am one of the people who only gave The LEGO Movie a 3 out of 4, it was no where close to being my favorite animated movie of the year, but it was quality and hilarious, I give you that. Despite that, I was never looking forward to this movie. I was disappointed to hear it as a sequel.

I want some new original LEGO content, not relying specifically (mostly?) on pop culture content from a single established franchise. I also acknowledge that the previous LEGO film was FULL of pop culture content, but it wasn’t entirely. This just feels…well, unoriginal.

Robin
Now that brightly colored chap, he seems like a great way to take any brooding franchise.

Ah yes, Gotham, city of villains and crime and 1 super rich dude and some vigilantism. Batman (Will Arnett) is the best and everyone loves him! But he lives a life alone, mostly hanging out in his house, sometimes interacting with Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). But you know, just being a lone with all his money, cool gadgets, and lobsters.

He is still really good at fighting crime though, and even when the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) gets a shit ton of villains to work together to blow up the city, Batman still stops them. Even worse, Batman refuses to acknowledge the Joker as his greatest villain, his foil, his reason for Batmanning. So now the Joker feels bad. Batman just shuts the door on everyone!

However, with a new commissioner in Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), they are going to focus less on Batman and more on actually catching these bad guys who still terrorize the streets. And you know, maybe focus on getting them fixed instead of just imprisoned. And shit, it starts to work, so Batman has even less to do and no one to hang out with in his increased downtime. Except for Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), whom he accidentally adopted.

Of course eventually some stuff happens and things get really bad, but Batman has to learn to work with others if he is going to defeat this new threat!

Featuring an incredible slew of famous people doing extremely minor voices, because YOLO. Seriously, most of these people have like, 1-2 lines, or grunts, or one scene.Again most, there are like two people thrown in here who have slightly more lines. Totally pointless for the most part still, so, whatever. We got Adam DeVine, Billy Dee Williams, Channing Tatum, Conan O’Brien, Doug Benson, Eddie Izzard, Ellie Kemper, Hector Elizondo, Jason Mantzoukas, Jemaine Clement, Jenny Slate, Jonah Hill, Kate Micucci, Mariah Carey, Riki Lindhome, Seth Green, and Zoe Kravitz.

Joker
And just think, that wall of text is just the famous people you know who did voices.

Right away in the film, we get introduced to the Joker and his plans to take over Gotham once and for all, with a giant team of villains on his side, which are all presumably real Batman villains. Action, fighting extreme. I was shocked it happened so early, but since this film mostly deals with Batman’s loneliness, we needed to just get him doing Batman stuff, so we could see him existing waiting to do more Batman stuff.

And that part was just…okay. It didn’t connect with me on an emotional level or anything, because this is a film focused on comedy, so it went for quick jokes instead. And to contrast the opening, the ending is long and even more action packed. Even more villains, many more than you’d expect in a Batman movie, and explosions, and action and…

Being overwhelmed. That is what this movie felt like. It went to the extremes early on, then it went to the extremes in the end. In the middle, it is mostly lowkey, plot stuff. My body didn’t enjoy the “rollercoaster”. It failed to find a middle ground, and frankly, basically all of the action felt so excessive that it was not enjoyable from my point of view.

The best parts of the film were just Batman interacting with Robin and Barbara, regular dialogue for regular jokes. But the majority of the plot was off, along with my earlier complaint. It was an okay film when it comes to entertainment, but not one I am rushing off to buy and talk about over and over, like The LEGO Movie.

And now, also this year, we have The LEGO Ninjago Movie? This is based on their own IP, so hopefully they stick to their own stories to give a good film and don’t rely so heavily on other franchises pop culture references.

2 out of 4.

The Book Of Life

When I first saw a trailer for The Book Of Life, I was taken aback with the animation styling. And the story line. And everything about it. Well, everything but one thing.

Guillermo del Toro‘s name was attached to the picture. Really? I like del Toro, so I found that surprising because it didn’t seem like something that he heavily influenced. Outside of the Mexican influence, it just didn’t seem like his work. But I decided to give it a benefit of the doubt. There is reasoning behind the animation style, there is some cultural significance to the whole picture, and damn it. It might be excellent.

If you didn’t know, this movie has something to do with the Day of the Dead, which takes place from Halloween to Nov 2. In particular, they call Nov 2 the Day of the Dead, as that is the day that they celebrate the gravestones of their family members and party in their remembrance, the central theme to the story.

The non central theme hopefully is searching for this mythical Book of Life that gives everyone super powers. I hope.

Books
Oh shit, those kids found it! Run! Chaos everywhere! Ahh!

Mexico in this case is the center of the universe, not only that, but the center of Mexico is a place that looks like a guitar surrounded by water, in San Angel. That is where a lot of shenanigans take place, given its central location. I guess I should explain the afterlife. Get ready for some facts. Everyone knows that once people die, their spirits go to a really sexy place where they party all day and all night and live with their families and friends! La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) rules the Land of the Remembered and it is totally fetch. But there is another afterlife place. The Land of the Forgotten, ruled by Xibalba (Ron Perlman). That is not a fun place. You see, if people in the Land of the Forgotten ever forget about someone that has died, the spirit gets moved to the Land of the Forgotten for the rest of eternity. Not a fun time at all. 🙁 🙁 🙁

Xibalba of course doesn’t like his job and wants to rule the cool place, so they make bets and wages all the time over the lives of humans to determine who rules what.

So they see these three kids running around. Manolo (Diego Luga) with his guitar and sensitivity, Joaquin (Channing Tatum) who likes to sword fight and wants to be a soldier, and of course, sweet sweet Maria (Zoe Saldana) the object of their affection and daughter of the general.

Bets! They place them. Xibalba picks Joaquin to eventually marry Maria, and La Muerte picks Manolo. If Xibalba wins, he gets to rule the Land of the Remembered, but if La Muete wins, Xibalba has to stop interfering with the lives of humans. Oh golly.

The fate of so much on such a little arrangement. And who is to say the girl will marry either boy? Pfft. Gods.

Also featuring the voice acting talent of Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Carlos Alazraqui, Danny Trejo, and Hector Elizondo.

Hair
Not to be weird, but that is the sexiest hair I have seen on a CGI wooden puppet ever.

Turns out, del Toro didn’t have a lot to do with this movie. Sure, he was involved on some level as a producer, but he wasn’t even the executive producer. He probably provided some nice funding and helped design the Land of the Remembered, because it was vibrant and unique, but not sure what else he might have done.

A lot of music in this movie, and about half of it (or more) were actual songs but with a lot more mariachi feel to them. We got Creep and I Will Wait and much more. I think there is also unique music, but I just might not be hip enough on the music scene to get the references.

I think this is a hard movies for kids to follow. A lot is going on, a lot of characters are good and just misunderstood. After all, Xibalba isn’t a bad guy, just looks bad. Joaquin isn’t a bad guy either. The only bad guy is a bandito who doesn’t show up til the end, and I will say, he had very entertaining fight scenes.

The movie has a lot of spirit and energy, but I just found it hard to really relate to anyone. Or the story itself. It just ended up on the “okay” spectrum, which was disappointing, as I figured this one would be one of the best films of the year. Maybe I made a mistake in picking The Book Of Life over The Boxtrolls. I hope not!

2 out of 4.

New Year’s Eve

Haha! Ha ha ha! See what I did there? [Future readers will note the posting date].

Because of the really fucking large cast of New Year’s Eve, I decided that all of my tags will not list the actor name in parenthesis like normal, just tag the character. You can see the name if you hover your mouse though. That will make it at least a small mystery, if you don’t care. Maybe fuck with you a bit. After all, something needs to make it more interesting.

Ryan
Except for Ryan Seacrest. He only plays himself, always and forever. Just like Bloomberg.

YEAH ITS NEW YEAR’S EVE IN NEW YORK CITY. Time to party! Well, maybe. People gotta work, shit is still going down.

Like hospitals! Turns out people still are giving birth. But did you know at this specific NYC hospital, they have decided to give away a $10,000 prize to the couple who birthed the first baby of the new year. One Man/woman couple has been planning this out for months. The other man/woman just found out about it today. Who can push out a baby first? Also, doctors. They are a thing.

The opposite of babies is happening, people are getting old and dying. Like that one old guy. His doctor doesn’t know if he will make it to the new year. He might though, hopefully the daughter will make it in time. But until then, a nurse shall keep him company, despite her own “Date” that night to worry about.

One woman is fed up with the holiday mess. She has a boss who sucks, and wont give her time off despite already promising it. So she quits, and really wants to complete all the resolutions she made last year before the new year. Well, its impossible. But she gets a courier to help her anyways.

The courier’s sister is having problems with her daughter, who really wants to go out to times square for new years. The courier’s friend is jaded about new years, after a bad break up the previous year. He gets stuck on an elevator with an uppity girl, who really needs to get to times square for her job. What job? Back up singer to Jensen, huge celebrity who is performing on the main stage!

Turns out he only agreed to do this job, to get closer to an ex girlfriend of his. She runs a catering business, and demanded that she cater the very fancy party. Pretty sneaky sis. Too bad he also has to deal with very busty fan girls.

One man just watched his last single friend get married. He is the last one! But no worries, he has to go to NYC tonight anyways to do a speech for his work. Good year or something. But last year he met the woman of his dreams, just didn’t get her name. Will she be at the location that she promised to be at a year later? Just who is she?

But lastly, when you think of NYC NYE, you think of the ball drop. Someone has to run that thing, damn it. The woman in charge is on her first year, and is good friends with the head of police too. But there is an issue. The only way to fix it is to call back a fabled old mechanic, who they fired earlier in the year. Whoops. Awkward.

Kutcher
Nothing says a new year, like Ashton Kutcher, right?

I can honestly say that I found basically none of these plot lines that interesting. That seems like a big problem. Unlike Valentine’s Day, which had some storylines that I enjoyed (and still need to review!), this one had nothing for me. Shit, I also have to review New York, I Love You, another similar movie (Except rated R).

The best part of the movie for me is that I got paid $18 to have it. My first copy didn’t work, got it exchanged at Wal-Mart, they messed up the return (Which I pointed out), but laziness occurred, an I profited. Hey, that’d be reason enough to give a 4 out of 4 in my book. More people should give me money to own a movie.

1 out of 4.