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.

Holidays

Horror anthologies are all of the rage. I probably said that in my last review of a horror anthology, V/H/S: Viral, in October of 2014. Since then there hasn’t really been any horror anthologies. They died really quick.

There was another film called Southbound, but I missed it, so I will just have to wait for the DVD release or around Halloween. Whenever I remember it exists. Other than Southbound, the latest film to match this category is of course Holidays.

Holidays!? Yes, Holidays. A horror anthology with a common theme of several different holidays. Eight to be exact, with a bunch of random directors. That is a low enough number for me to talk about each one quickly!

Bunny!?
So many holidays, you probably can’t even guess what this one is about!

For Valentine’s day, we have a little girl (Madeleine Coghlan), who gets teased by a different girl (Savannah Kennick) because she is a bitch. Our first girl also has a crush on her swimming coach (Rick Peters), who just wants her to be happy and not get picked on.

In St. Patrick’s Day, our Irish teacher (Ruth Bradley), wants to make a new girl (Isolt McCaffrey) smile, so that girl puts a curse on her to give birth to a snake.

For Easter, a little girl (Ava Acres) confuses the Bunny with Jesus, but is also told that no one has ever seen the Easter Bunny before for a pretty scary reason.

In Mother’s Day, we learn about a woman (Sophie Traub) who always gets pregnant after sex, regardless of birth control or condom usage. She is 100% fertile and it is ruining her life, so she goes to a middle of nowhere to people who claim that they can help her, when in reality, they want to just force her to stay.

On the other side for Father’s Day, we have a girl (Jocelin Donahue) who thought her dad (Michael Gross) was dead and gone since she was 11, but when she finds a voice recorder with a message on it, she has to go and investigate.

For Halloween (directed by Kevin Smith), we see a dude (Harley Morenstein) operating a small time cam girl operation, where the girls (Ashley Greene, Olivia Roush, Harley Quinn Smith) decide to get even and put him through the same abuse. You know, just worse.

On Christmas, a guy (Seth Green) goes to great lengths to get the latest VR tech for his son, but when the virtual reality starts to show his inner secrets, he and his wife (Clare Grant) have to cope with them.

Finally, on New Year’s Eve, a man (Andrew Bowen) has been killing a woman on each holiday that he has met while online dating, and now he will complete his collection (Lorenza Izzo). He hopes.

Love
What is love? Baby don’t hurt me.

I spent most of my alloted time just going over 1-2 sentence synopsis’ of each short. I figured I could do that with only eight segments, but I may have been wrong.

Like almost every single horror anthology before it, Holidays is definitely hit or miss. The entire thing is less than two hours so overall it is probably worth a late night viewing.

In particular, I liked the Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day and Halloween shorts the most. New Year’s Eve told a decent story as well.

Christmas felt too short, St. Patrick’s Day was mostly weird, and Easter was also incredibly weird (but mostly just short).

Mother’s Day might have been the longest short story, I didn’t really keep track. It had an interesting premise, but I thought it dulled too much in the middle, despite the also pretty good ending.

Now I am ready for the Horror Anthologies to die. I think they are running out of ideas on how to package them together.

2 out of 4.

The Identical

The Identical actually came to theaters first week of September, and, from what I can remember, it was the only thing to come out that whole week. Yet I didn’t see it til its DVD Release.

Why? Well. It didn’t have any pre-screenings at all, around the country. Popular movies have pre-screenings. Movies that end up sucking have pre-screenings. But the only thing coming out that week didn’t even think it warranted them? That is a big warning sign if anything. Not letting anyone see the movie before it releases. That means they are afraid of the critics voice or popular opinion fucking up their sales.

That’s really all I knew going into The Identical, outside of its story involving a musician.

Elvis
And clones. Clearly this involves clones, right?

Back in the 1930s there was something going on called The Dust Bowl. Big storms, droughts, fucked up a lot of farms. Was after the Great Depression too, so that wasn’t a good thing for our economy. As for two unlucky folks (Amanda Crew, Brian Geraghty), they found themselves poor and struggling to get by. And with twins!

So after a long discussion, they decided to instead give away one of the kids to a traveling preacher (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) as they were unable to have kids on their own.

Flash foward some years, Ryan Wade (Blake Rayne) wants to sing and play music, while his dad wants him to be a Preacher, obviously. He then basically invents rock ‘n roll somehow, with a friend of his on drums (Seth Green). But he doesn’t get famous from it. His dad sends him to the army, and then preacher school before he finally sets off on his own to do what he wants to do: automobile mechanics. Nope. He can’t be a star, too hard for him.

But not too hard for Drexel Hemsley, his twin, who became super famous and invented rock ‘n roll, or something. Everyone says they look alike. But that can’t be. Oh well, Ryan looks up to him and hopes he can meet him some day. Also with Joe Pantoliano as a mechanic shop owner and Erin Cottrell as the girlfriend/narrator.

Liotta
This is the first time in his life Liotta did not play a gangster.

I am so happy that I did not shell out money for a movie ticket for this garbage. It had so many ugh moments, on almost every level, that made this movie bad.

Starting with my already made joke, Ray Liotta as a preacher? What? Every scene set in the 1930s was done in black and white. That way you knew it was the past, versus the “present” of the 1940s and 1950s. Tacky and terrible.

It is such an awkward story (/book), because it is clearly just trying to make a strange fan fiction Elvis movie. The main actor isn’t an actor at all, but someone who won an Elvis lookalike contest in the 1990s and has made a career out of it. So yeah, that guy is the guy they have to play these two people who are notElvisbutElvis.

Not only is the plot itself terrible, but every one of the characters is two-dimensional and lame for no good reason. SPOILERS, but he doesn’t find out he is a twin until his “dad” is about to die. Great. His real mom and twin are already dead now too, so all he has left is a father who got rid of him. Yay?

It was so slowly moving, it became infuriating at times at how dense and pointless the whole film felt.

0 out of 4.

Sexy Evil Genius

I think it goes without saying that I picked up this movie to watch based on the title alone. Well, you’d be wrong, internet reader.

No, although tantalizing, the title of Sexy Evil Genius was not the reason I picked it up. I actually picked it up because it had five actors on the cover and I recognized ALL of them. Pretty shocking. So I figured, why not give this straight to DVD film a shot?

Two People
Here are two of those people now! Remember them? They were both on Buffy! The 90s, guys!

Nikki Franklyn (Katee Sackoff) is an interesting woman, the topic of our film, and the last person we get to meet.

Zachary Newman (Seth Green) dated Nikki in high school, and even eventually lost his virginity to her. But they drifted apart, she lied to him, and then dumped him, and he hasn’t seen her for over ten years.

Marvin Coolidge (Harold Perrineau) dated Nikki a few years later, they loved Jazz, played instruments together, drum circles, free spirit, beach bumming, the whole nine yards. Then she lied to him, dumped him, and he hasn’t seen her for years.

Miranda Prague (Michelle Trachtenberg) dated Nikki soon after Marvin, but now she was on Heroin, lying about stalkers, drugs, wild sex parties, you named it. Her relationship started on lies, and continues the whole way through, until Miranda broke up with her after too much.

But she has invited her exes to this bar on this night to make a few announcements. Sure, she killed the man she dated after Miranda, who she also claimed was a stalker. But she is better now. She has fixed her mind. She has found a new lover, Bert Mayfaire (William Baldwin), a lawyer. Well, her lawyer who got her out of a jam. And they are getting married.

Oh, and she is going to kill someone again tonight. One of the five people at the table, including maybe herself.

Three people
Here are the other three people. Their TV shows were from the 2000s. Except for William. Fuck him.

I was told this movie was basically a much softer version of the movie Sushi Girl. Never heard of it! But eh, guess I have to watch it now.

Or at least both films have in common that they take place entirely in a restaurant/bar with people conversing. This movie had flashbacks to help tell the story, can’t speak for Sushi Girl. It almost reminds me of My Dinner With Andre, but that one is a lot more real, and I never saw that movie, so I would be lying.

This film? It was kind of interesting. A bit. It had its moments, mostly near the beginning and the end. The middle? I thought it dragged on far too long once the entire party arrived, and I was just waiting for it to end. It was really hard to keep my interest, so I might have missed an important plot point, but really don’t think that is true by the end.

Honestly, this movie would have made much more sense if it was only 70 minutes long. A nice premise, but far too much filler and waiting for it to end.

2 out of 4.

Sex Drive

Yeahhhhhhhhh Sexytime!

Sexy Time!
Pink Robe? Check. Redneck? Check. Mexican Donut? Double Check!

Sex Drive was a teen road trip comedy coming of age story movie, that when it came out, I think I saw about one advertisement for. Like every movie, I was about to watch the unrated version of the movie, but it began quite differently.

The unrated version begins with a poorly edited (on purpose) message to viewers, that the unrated is significantly different. It has more boobs and dicks, more jokes, and is way too long. Since it said it was only for already fans, I switched to regular, and holy crap, the unrated has about 20 more minutes of time added to it. That is serious.

The movie is kind of like The Sure Thing. Kind of. Josh Zuckerman is chatting up a girl on the internet, and lying, because that is expected. For some reason, her lies make her want to do him, so he decided to drive from Chicago to Knoxville to hit that. So he steals his brother’s car (James Marsden), and along with his best friend who thinks he should be a dick to chicks (Clark Duke), and accidentally with his best friend whom he likes (Amanda Crew), he drives off!

CRAZY ADVENTURES COMMENCE!

But does it end with Zuckerman and Crew falling in love? Of course. Fuck you if you thought differently.

Also in this movie are Katrina Bowden, from 30 Rock, as internet girl, and Seth Green, playing the role of “master of Sarcasm Amish dude”. His role was fantastic. Also, James Marsden as “entirely way too offensive older brother” had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

So if you want a comedy full of sex jokes, and obvious plot paths, Sex Drive is your movie. Not sure if I will ever watch the unrated version, but I am sure it is way different.

Seth Green
Such shifty eyes, Seth.

2 out of 4.

Mars Needs Moms

This is the worst movie I have watched so far with these reviews. This just has to be a bad movie. Not a good kids movie and a bad movie, but a bad kids movie too. Besides its horrible title (Mars Needs Moms? What does that even mean?), the reason it failed box office wise has to be because it would only appeal to boys aged 9-12. No adults, and definitely no women would come out after watching this and feel more inspired, better, or different at all. Well, maybe they will be angry at that drivel. Unless they are cool with their roles being reduced solely to being housewives later on, whose value is determined by ability to get others to do chores.

Freddie Mercury House Wive
By that logic, Freddy Mercury would make a good housewife.

What also bugged me was how creepy the humans looked. The voices seemed to not match at all the mouths how they were coming out, making them seem even more creepy. Especially with their dead eyes staring at me. Way too much uncanny valley.

Dead Eyes Seth Green
Yes. THOSE dead eyes.

It is billed as starring Seth Green, and as I watched it I thought there is NO WAY that Seth Green is doing that voice. Thanks to quick research, it is determined that the creators didn’t like his voice either, so they changed it to an actual eleven year old kid. The movements/face are still based off of Seth Green, but not the important part, the voice. Guess what didn’t get changed? The credits. That just feels like false advertising. Thats some crap.

The sidekick character was annoying, and the plot horrible. Don’t watch this. Seriously. There is a reason it is one of the worst box office disasters ever. Don’t let them make any money back through DVD/Blu-Ray sales in order to not call it a compete flop.

0 out of 4.