Movie Roundup – Animated 2018

Welcome to a Movie Roundup! A movie roundup features a few films that I didn’t feel like making full reviews for, but needed to get basic reviews out there for completionist reasons. It also helps me deal with my backlog. It may have a theme, and today’s theme is Animated 2018! Basically, all of the animated movies of 2018 that didn’t get their own review.

Being on a movie round up doesn’t mean a movie is inherently bad, or good, or meh. I can feature any rating on here! So don’t assume the worst! I will also just post the reviews in alphabetical order.

Animated 2018

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

First up is the only third film in a franchise in the group, but there are a few unnecessary sequels as well. And in terms of unnecessary things, this is near the top. This film doesn’t relaly have any redeeming qualities. It is very clear right from the get go what a twist would be, so instead of milking it, they give it away early as well.

The real twist is tricking you to give money for this terrible, terrible movie. The ending features a several minute long dance battle, from various artists, and then an even longer Macarena dance party. Yes, that Macarena. Were they paid to have it featured so prominently, has it been too long outside of our pop culture sphere? It seriously had to milk this scene so hard, as each main character needed to be shown doing the dance, and then group shots, and then tons of tourists, and every person everywhere, with extreme body movements to highlight their awkward appearances. It was one of the worst endings of a movie this year, so well done Hotel Transylvania 3. Please stop now.

0 out of 4.


If only Van Helsing was successful hundreds of years ago, none of this would be here today.

Incredibles 2

Next up is a sequel people have actually been wanting forever, and Brad Bird said only when he had a worthy script, and apparently that meant 14 years later. Real time, not the movie time, as it takes place right after the first movie. And I honestly thought he should have waited longer. This film just feels so uninspired by me. I really didn’t need to see moments after they finished the first film, leaving me at the same exact point except we have a baby with changing every power nonsense. I could have used years later, more developed.

This plot feels too similar to the first. Still people are afraid of supers, but instead of the man going out to fight, its now the lady. The plot twist was once again obvious, so it didn’t do much for me. In 2004, Superhero movies were shit, so The Incredibles stood out as a beacon of hope for things to come. Now Superhero films have been able to elevate their game, bring a whole lot more exciting things, and this film more or less stayed the same. My mind checked out by the end, and it felt like too little too late.

2 out of 4.


Babies are hard to care for. Hialrious!

Ralph Breaks The Internet

This sequel is a lot sooner after the first film, to maximize off of its success. However, this felt like a rushed piece of movie that relied on current style jokes only to work, which is going to doom it in the long run. This movie is by Disney, who wanted to flex their expansive collection and throw in all of the princesses and more in an internet hub world to make people giddy, almost as counter to Ready Player One , another nostalgia heavy film. Except this one combines nostolgia with extremely current, so we get memes, we get current popular websites, and it is going to do what many modern comedies do: fade into obscurity in a few years.

It is still nice to look at, and the ending is totally weird, but honestly, they made Ralph into such a shit in this movie. In the first film, he was tired of being a bad guy, who tried to do the right thing, but from his good intentions some bad still happened. In this film, he becomes selfish and straight up almost gaslighting Penelope into staying, and going out of his way to be a dick, whcih causes the problems. He felt like an extreme nice guy. “I did all of this for you, and now you want to leave!? Love me!” These are not the traits to be highlighting in our animated heroes, even if he learns his lesson. He still needed to not be such a dick.

2 out of 4.


Ha ha ha ha screaming goats ha ha manipulation ha ha ha free will.

Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero

This movie is an awkward one, as it had a small release, not a big studio, and looked like absolute shit. Letting us know it is based on a true dog from World War I doesn’t make this feel any less uncomfortable the whole time. In highlighting what a dog did, with most likely extreme examples that might not have happened, we downplay the hell out of actual soldiers in the war who died. I don’t know if anyone is still alive from that war, but I know they would definitely not like this movie iteration.

It was a terrible war, and not saying we can’t make kid versions about the war. But it didn’t do a good job of really informing the details of the war, so it isn’t really educational. Instead, it is a super pup movie, who has a soldier friend, who saves everybody. It is so soft and basic it just feels like a waste of time. Cool, at least one dog in a war was given the title of sergeant. Please don’t trivialize the war at the same time.

1 out of 4.


Yo dawg, just no.

Sherlock Gnomes

For those of you who did not see Gnomeo and Juliet (which I will assume is everybody), it was lawn gnomes, but the Romeo and Juliet story line. And for whatever reason, they got Elton John on board with it, and a lot of his hits were either background, or the tune of his songs with different lyrics. It was uncomfortable. So yeah, let’s do a sequel. But a different story. Completely unrelated, except also being British in nature.

Now, if you are like me, you assumed okay, new story, new hero and will just be gnomes. But no, they think we really like the pair from the previous movie and it is still really about them, with also a mystery and extra characters. And despite the first being a big movie about their romance and getting together, this one is also about how Gnomeo is a shitbag who won’t let his woman do her own things, so he has to be insecure and they should not be a couple. More bad things for kids, really. Also, what the fuck is this Shelock plot line. I haven’t seen Homes & Watson yet, but this has got to be the worst year for that poor detective in hundreds of years. Straight up I will let you know, at some point, Watson is found to be part of the bad guy plot as well, because they want something new. Get out of here.

Oh yeah, and still, Elton John music.

0 out of 4.


Here are four characters no one ever has, or will, care about.


This is one of those movies I had completely dismissed before watching it. It looked like an Illumination movie, and they are generally godawful always. But it isn’t that! It is Warner Bros, who is known for Lego Movies and Storks (and that’s it right now). Knowing Storks, I wasn’t excited either. But strangely enough, Smallfoot had a lot going on for it. It had pretty good lead acting and some fun characters. It dealt with a serious topic about dealing with religious doctrination, from many angles. It didn’t say blindly follow, or screw all of it and get rid of it. There were layers to the plot.

I didn’t know it had songs in it either, so when they started I was a bit turned off, but for the most part they are really great. Even when one had to take the riff from Under Pressure, it completely ran with the premise and made it into something wonderful. Shit, the music was dope. I laughed. Now the ending did have a lot of problems, it got clunky and a bit off. But for the most part, Smallfoot is a solid film and better than most of the animated films this year. I’m looking at you, Disney and Pixar.

3 out of 4.


Who really has the small feet in this situation, WB, Disney, or Pixar?

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

And finally, we have a movie that came in a summer and I actually heard a lot of good things about. I heard it was hilarious. I heard I didn’t need to watch the show to like. I watched the first Teen Titans a few times, and it seemed quality. The Go version looked like, and maybe even smelled like trash. And it turns out, their movie seems to go with my preconceptions of the show.

Let’s make this clear. I didn’t laugh once. It had a few fart and potty jokes in it. It had a group of five people but it could not at all let them all be the stars, despite it being a team film. Clearly, a movie about Robin wanting a movie about himself will be more about him. Fine. But the other four are barely used. Cyborg is used a lot more, then Beast Boy, and our girls are rarely mentioned or get a line it seems. It is also a surprise musical, with some tunes being nice.

But what makes this movie insufferable is its over reliance on meta humor and current meme standards. We get it. Its a movie about making a super hero movies. We got superheroes in it, and they are hilarious. It just went all these terrible directions and never felt like something I would ever want to watch. It is like an idea someone made on an internet message board, and for whatever reason, a studio executive was drunk and actually listened to it. Yeah, a movie about making movies. But fart humor. And not showcasing all of the members of the team. And repeated jokes. Yes. God awful.

0 out of 4.


God awful.

Overall, I am not surprised that three of these films got the lowest rating. I am surprised at how much I disliked Teen Titans though, could never imagine that poor of a film. I figured Sgt. Stubb would have been worse. I am surprised at the mediocrity from our big studios and how good Smallfoot ended up being.

Some of these films will make the worst of the year list, none will make the best. If you wanted quality animated films from this year, from America, check out Isle of Dogs and Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature

Alright, this is an easy introduction. The Nut Job sucked. It came out January, 2014, made an okay money and a sequel was announced for January 15, 2016. Months before that date I noticed it and waited, because I was ready for an equally shitty movie that is easy to trash.

And then January happened, it was nowhere to be seen anywhere, and no one knew when it was coming out. It wasn’t until months later, April 2016, when it was announced it was pushed back to May 19, 2017. Yes, it wasn’t officially delayed until THREE MONTHS AFTER IT WAS SUPPOSED TO COME OUT. No announcements about being pushed back indefinitely, just quietly hidden under a rug. But I was there, I was asking the hard questions. I also don’t know when they finally gave it a name that was different, but they called it The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature, to appeal to…some demographic.

Three months later in July, they announced that Jackie Chan had joined the cast. He joined the cast six months after it was supposed to already be out. There is some real big behind the scene delays going on. It wasn’t until December of 2016 when it was pushed back into August 2017, where it moved around again once I think, but was kept basically the same.

What a production shit show. And to think there is a The Nut Job 3 IMDB page saying a 2019 release date, despite no official announcements at all. Who is in charge damn it?

Ah, the fucking squirrels are probably calling the shots.

This sequel takes place a few years later with the nut store now out of business. And by that, I mean, it was being used as a mob den or whatever, so they probably just never got a new owner and it was condemned. And for some reason this condemned building was never removed of its items, so its basement was still full of nuts of all sorts. I assume it is a few years later, because literally none of the other squirrel and rodent leaders are present in this film, just our main character and crew and some young things, so at some point everyone else must have died out.

Now Surly (Will Arnett) and Andie (Katherine Heigl) are the de facto leaders of this group, I guess. And by that, I mean Andie is trying to teach some baby chipmunks how to hunt for nuts in the park, and Surly and his gang of randoms (Maya Rodolph, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Rob Tinker, Kari Wahlgren, Tom Kenny, Sebastian Maniscalco) are living in the nut shop basement that has turned to a variable den of sin. Andie thinks they are losing their ability to succeed in nature. Probably true.

Also in this city is a corrupt mayor (Bobby Moynihan). He seems like he has been there for awhile though, based on the way he lives and talks. He keeps getting elected despite being openly and obviously corrupt, and a danger to the citizens. He drives along sidewalks and hurts people while displaying he is above the law, yet everyone is fine with i? Anyways, this mayor likes his city making money and says that every square inch of his city makes money except for one. This is when most people would say “Oh yeah, the abandoned nut shop”. No, he says the park. Meaning he doesn’t know about the nut shop either.

So yeah, he wants to put an amusement park on the park instead, to make money. He begins to demolish stuff, which would be fine because of the nut shop, but the nut shop also blows up.

Now the animals have to go to war with the machines and the amusement park and the mayor. Oh how nutty!

Also featuring Isabela Moner as the mayors bratty as shit daughter (no mom in site, mayor probably killed her to be honest), Peter Stormare as an exterminator, Bobby Cannavale as another dog, and Jackie Chan as a kung fu mouse leading an army of city mice.

That is a sweet ass sign, I would probably go there if I lived in the general vacinity.

“It was a mess of a movie.” – Gorgon Reviews, describing The Nut Job, in 2014. And it easily fits this review as well.

At this point in the review I am already over 700 words, and I haven’t even started to deconstruct its ass down yet.

I already alluded to it, but the mayor character cannot even exist in the world they created. Unless right when the movie starts he just got elected (despite implying longevity), and he was going on a two week crazy spree of fucking up parks and killing pedestrians. But we know it is a lie. For whatever reason this mayor character wanted to make the shittiest park, quickly, to make small amounts of money. But he is clearly a guy with high standards, so he wouldn’t make a park out of used parts, but something nice and shiny that people would want to go to for a long period of time. Another bad plot point.

The park premiers at a big fancy event for the mayor and all of his campaign donors, where everyone is dressed up, fancy as fuck, and rich. Except literally none of those individuals would ever set foot in a park like that. It is extremely ugly and they don’t try to hide it at all. It looks like a park that could give you AIDS just for walking into it.

The animals start terrorizing the park, the rich people hide, but don’t worry, exterminators come and get rid of them all. And the mayor makes these rich people stay. Of course animals quickly break out, come back to the park, and start to rip things up and destroy things with explosions. That point is weird though because 1) The rich people didn’t leave, 2) When things were exploding they carefully only showed the exterminators (who had already finished and should have been gone). Yes, very odd. Although they didn’t show them there, they specifically showed them staying, so a whole bunch of people probably died in this plan and they are just covering it because of badly written PG films.

Speaking of badly written, I am pretty sure that the movie was made, was worse, then they had to change a lot of it. Since Chan was brought in so late, they probably added his plot lines. He wasn’t in the film until halfway or so, and only one scene. Then he was brought back during the crazy end mess. I have to imagine that they just added this shit in, and that is why it was delayed a year and a half. A big waste of Jackie Chan.

The voice work is bad. The movie has absolutely no real feelings behind it. They just patched some shit together, hoping no one would examine to find out that there are holes everywhere.

And goddamn it, where is that little girls mom? Why was the Nut shop ignored by a money hungry government? Why the fuck does Andie the squirrel put up with Surly, who abuses her emotionally and puts her down in front of others constantly? And did the eat the other goddamn squirrels from the first movie?

0 out of 4.

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.

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.

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.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows

Two years, Michael Bay released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a nickelodeon presents film, after 4 or 5 years of delay. And now, just two years later, we have a sequel!

Damn it, in my last one, I mentioned how forgettable the movie was. That means I also wanted to forget about it. But how can I forget about a movie if they go and make a sequel?

This time it is called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. Or, TMNT: OOTS for short. Hmmm. Oots. That kind of, if you stretch it a little bit, sounds like OOZE. And ni the previous set of Turtle films, the sequel was called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. Is that a coincidence?

Based on that screen grab, then HELL NO IT ISN’T!

Set a year after the first film, our turtles are now heroes! Just kidding. Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) are still hiding in the shadows with Splinter (Peter Donald Badalamenti II, Tony Shalhoub, yes two people), training and existing.

They let Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett) take all the glory, and people love him for it. But now…now The Shredder (Brian Tee) is about to break out of prison! In fact, his break out involves teleporting, portals, and a whole lot of foot soldiers. And of course, Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), smart scientist who wants to do evil to be famous.

And now they have Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly). And the turtles get Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). Basically a nice fair trade. OH AND KRANG (Brad Garrett) is here to tip the balance for the bad guys!

Eh, yeah, I guess Megan Fox returns as April O’Neal, Brittany Ishibashi is female Shredder assistant ninja, and Laura Linney is a police chief or something. It kind of fluctuates.


While writing the plot outline, I couldn’t help but feel that this movie was just more of the same, with like, four more characters. And if it is more of the same, then it is still not too good, and making it crowded could add to the problems.

Like, for instance, Shredder not having any cool fight scenes whatsoever in this movie. And Splinter is in the film, but has maybe six lines and maybe a minute of screen time. Krang is only brought in for two scenes, his introduction early on (that goes too hectic and fast, like it was made for people with short attention spans), and then near the end. The ending scene was actually a bit more entertaining and longer, which is a plus.

But that brings us to all of the fight scenes. Basically every fight scene feels blurry and it requires you to fill in the blanks with what is going on. None of the fights are clear, every single one uses this lazy tactic. The first scenes of the movie involve the turtles running around buildings in NYC at night, and it set the bar for low quality action scenes. Hell, the final fight is actually in daylight, but it is still basically ruined with the CGI.

Yes, I both think Krang was cool in this film, while also disappointed in his big fight. The fight looked fun and creative, but again, they just blurred the whole thing together.

Bebop and Rocksteady were okay. They had more personality than the Secret of the Ooze versions and arguably took up all the screen time from Shredder/Splinter. Fox’s character wasn’t interesting, Casey Jones was only in the hockey mask once (early on, not even for the finale), Arnett was still annoying. Linney’s character was really badly done, but probably didn’t have a lot to work on with the scrip.

And honestly, this is the type of film where you might find yourself scratching your head, confused as to why the characters do certain actions. It seems like the dumb or extra complicated route is always chosen. Leonardo was acted far too strongly in the Asshole category, but the other turtles personalities felt right. Oh, and Perry as Baxter is one of the brighter spots as well. Go figure.

I can’t wait to be disappointed by another of these films in 2-3 years.

1 out of 4.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I have been waiting years to review this movie. Years! Because as you probably already know, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been in production hell for years.

It all goes to the time before time, 2010, when Nickelodeon had the rights for TMNT and announced that a Michael Bay company would be in charge, with Bay as a producer. This scared a lot of people.

But nothing was to prepare the fans for March 2012. That is when it was presented that the movie would actually be called just Ninja Turtles and was setting out to change at least half of their origin story. One major point was of course making them Aliens from some Turtle planet. Shredder was also a government agent / alien that could grow blades from his body and a lot of the turtle personality traits were switched around and changed, seemingly unnecessarily.

Fans raged, internet was set on fire, former voice actors wrote nasty letters to Bay and needless to say, production was slowed and delayed. The release of this movie was kept getting pushed back, and that’s why it took almost six years after securing the rights for this movie to be released for the public.

A movie, for all intents and purposes, that should have been pretty easy to churn out.

Just like it should have been pretty easy to act out fainting, one would think.

Thankfully, the story takes place in modern NYC. There is a small gang war happening, where The Foot Clan is running amuck in the town, stealing shit, taking prisoners, being assholes. Basically a giant terrorist organization in NYC and for whatever reason just the local police force is doing something about it.

That and four mutated turtles in their teenage phase who have been trained as ninjas, that is. Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), the leader and Katana user, Donatello (Jeremy Howard), the smart one and Bo Staff wielder, Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), the joker/lover with the Dual Nunchaku, and of course Raphael (Alan Ritchson), the lone wolf and bad-ass with the Sai.

They are attempting to stop the Foot Clan in secret, after being trained by their Sensei Splinter (Danny Woodburn), an Adult Mutant Ninja Rat. And they would have been kept in secret too if it wasn’t for that troubling news reporter April O’Neal (Megan Fox) and her desire to get out of fluff news reporting. She discovers them and gets caught up much deeper into the war than she had wanted, especially since she knows no one will believe her. Not her boss (Whoopi Goldberg) or her camera man (Will Arnett, definitely not playing Casey Jones).

Also featuring non-science science, with a lab company lead by Eric Sachs (William Fichtner) who has a hand in the turtle creation without realizing it. Also featuring Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub as the voices of Leonardo and Splinter. What? Yes. For whatever reason, those two characters had different voice actors than the people playing them for real. Kind of odd.

Speaking of odd, The Shredder. I have no fucking clue who played him or who voiced him, if they are two different people. The internet seems to be void of that information despite being the big bad villain and all, and in the movie quite a fucking bit.

This face was made by Donatello when he couldn’t find out who was playing Shredder. Not knowing things hurts.

Again, thank goodness the internet rose up and demanded a better film. The turtles themselves are pretty loyal to the source material. Each turtle has his established personality traits and they all shine through nicely. As a team, they also seem to work really well together. Their chemistry was good and one of the better parts in the movie.

In fact, there are quite a few amusing/funny scenes scattered throughout. One “rap” scene in particular was well done (and no, not the Ninja Rap redone or whatever, that is just some bullshit credits thing). I also enjoyed a lot a mini-monologue by Raphael near the end. In terms of fight scenes, the most fleshed out fight scene is the going down the snow mountain one, which has a lot going on. All the fights before that are too dark and shadowy or feature too many quick changes. The final fight scene, with one cool moment, kind of just felt like how I play Soul Calibur. Since no one will get that joke, I ring out people like crazy.

Shredder was mostly in his ridiculous armor and never really showed off his actual skills, so that was annoying. I am mixed on whether or not I liked Splinter. Definitely unique.

A lot of fans are going to find the changes to the origin annoying, I predict. I am fine with the change, even though I like the original because then they can reference Dare Devil more. But it is fine.

Oh yeah. Fox? Not terrible, not great. Disappointed in Arnett’s role. He has a look for a guy that could be Casey Jones if he had longer hair, he just…is annoying in this one. I more or less hate how they look. Going for realism kind of make them just look gross. See the Donatello picture above.

Passable, okay, and maybe eventually forgettable.

2 out of 4.

The Lego Movie

When I first heard of The Lego Movie, sometime mid 2013, I will admit I thought it was stupid. I know Lego has been revamping itself pretty intensely for the last decade, being more than just a child’s toy. With so many themes, and now video games based on movies, it is no surprise they are making a movie based on a game.

When I first saw the trailer? I was immediately hooked. This became one of my most looking forward to movies in the first half of 2014. Shit, it was even done by the guys who did Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and Clone High. Those guys know comedy and they also know their pop culture references. Combined with an idea that has stuck its fingers in most pop culture references over the last few decades, and you have the potential for a storm of success.

Go Team
See! One of these guys is excited about the storm of success!

In this story, our hero is one Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt), who lives in the city and does the same thing each and every day. He follows the instructions on the box, lives his happy life, and builds things. There is absolutely nothing unique or special about him. That is, until he meets Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), who is about to turn his reality upside down and change his life forever!

She introduces him to the Master Builders, other Lego people who can see from the world around them and build creations quickly and without instructions. Like Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). He also learns that President/Lord Business (Will Ferrell) is going to unleash some power called “The KRAGLE” on the population in a few days, destroying everyone’s way of life forever!

From a series of accidental circumstances, Emmet is being labeled the “Special” and all of their hopes to saving the day are coming down to him. He will also have the help of other Master Builders like…Batman! (Will Arnett), Benny the 1980s space guy (Charlie Day), Metal Beard a strange huge pirate (Nick Offerman), and Unikitty (Alison Brie). Also, a Good Cop / Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) is working for Lord Business to capture the builders on the war front.

Shit, there is a ton of cameos too, which I won’t tag on the bottom, but might as well mention here. They also have Channing Tatum as Superman and Jonah Hill as Green Lantern (because, 21 Jump Street), Cobie Smulders as Wonder Woman, Shaq as Shaq, Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels reprising their roles as Lando Calrissian and C3P0, and Will Forte as Abraham Lincoln again. His first time as Abe was of course, Clone High.

But you don’t care about them. You all just care about Batman. Don’t you?

Wow. Just wow.

Easily, the first thing that should be talked about is the animation style. They went full out wild with this, wanting to insure that everything always A) looked like Legos, and B) looked like how Legos moved. [Editor’s note: Some contention as to whether or not LEGO is supposed to be pluralized by an S, given it’s company name. They might prefer ‘LEGO Bricks’ if you do multiple ones. Well, I say fuck that, we call them Legos in America]. So yes, the movie could be considered a bit choppy to get all the movements right, but that gave it charm and personality and made me giddy the entire time. Watching waves or an explosion, but noticing they are all still lego pieces is incredibly exciting.

It was also pretty hilarious. I love pop culture as much as the next guy, but I do think their humor relied far too heavily on the fact that they were using major properties, such as Batman. Batman was in this movie way longer than I would have imagined (longer than any other already existing property). Although he was funny too, they were all specifically Batman jokes, and rarely just joke jokes. Most of the main team had their quirks, but none were as trademarked as Batman.

I also feel like parts of the ending were a bit…forced. Shit went real different at the end, kind of ruining the pace for me. All of the sudden, bam, we got a lesson to learn from this movie. I think it went far too long and took away from the film a bit.

I still really like this movie though, just the slowed down ending and over reliance on specific characters is what disappointed me. It was hilarious, creative, and shit, the animation itself is almost worthy of 4 out of 4. Honestly, I have a hard time believing there might be an overall better animated film the rest of the year. But it still had some faults for me. Even if Everything Was Awesome.

3 out of 4.

The Nut Job

The Nut Job has the honor of being the first animated movie of 2014, which also means it is both the worst and best animated movie of 2014 so far.

Bask in that position while you can, The Nut Job, because your time on top will fall. It will cascade downward into oblivion, becoming worse and worse as the year goes on, until May. At that point, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return comes out, so it will take the last spot so that you will have some shoulders to climb on. There you will be the second worst until July, in which we see Planes: Fire & Rescue. Whether or not you end up better than the “third worst animated film of the year” is left up to debate. But as of right now, thinks are not looking good.

Seriously, those things on the right look like beavers without the tails?

Surly (Will Arnett) is a purple squirrel, and thank everything he isn’t fucking named Squirrel. I mean, it’s still close to it, but its not Squirrel. Hate lazy family films like that. He lives in the cities park, but he is on his own, with his mouse friend Buddy. He doesn’t believe in collecting food for winter with the rest of the animals. No he wants nuts for himself.

Well, after a freak accident, involving a flying nut cart, the park’s food supply gets burned up in a fire. They blame it on him, despite it not really being his fault either. So the leader of the park, Raccoon (Liam Neeson) wants to avoid a trial and holds a vote for banishment of Surly from the park forever. Also, what in the fuck. Damn it, damn it, damn it. Raccoon named Raccoon? Fuck that.

So Surly has a bad time in the city, but he runs into the holy grail of buildings. A nut shop, with nuts! He could live there forever! But he can’t do it alone. Thankfully, due to the food storage, Raccoon has sent out Andie (Katherine Heigl) and Grayson (Brendan Fraser), the Park Hero, to find more food, and they will help! Also there they bring in a mole, named mother fucking Mole (voiced by mother fucking Jeff Dunham, ugh), and some beaver or something. Definitely bigger rodents.

So yeah, breaking into a nut shop, like a classic bank heist movie. But while this is happening, the “owners” of the nut shop are actually working on robbing the bank across the street by digging under the streets. Mob boss, typical story, everything going nuts. Also, Maya Rudolph voices a dog named Precious.


There is so much wrong with this movie, I don’t know where to begin.

Alright, first, the animation. It isn’t the best quality of CGI in any sense. It has its moments, but mostly it feels like a very strange…video game feel to it? Like they had no heart in the animation and it was something that they had just lying around. I don’t even know how to describe it. It never felt great to me though.

The puns. I like puns. But there are only two groupings of puns here. Referring to things as “nuts!” over and over again. And the Mob Boss talking about how much he hates “rats.” They can be clever, but they both get overused to the point where it doesn’t matter anymore.

The idea of the plot is a good one, but it barely followed any part of the traditional heist movie format. All of the plot is through miscommunication and people being dicks to each other. I am a bit happy to hear Fraser say “Shut the FRONT DOOR” in a PG movie though. That was a bit surprising.

Movie is full of random other bullshit that I noticed. For instance, the bank is across the street from the park. We learn that early on, because that is why the nut cart is there, for surveillance. But also, the nut shop is across the street from the front of the bank too. Some how. What? Fuck you. Makes even less sense when they show the people going on a long journey to stumble upon it, when it should be visible from the park.

More inaccuracies. A dam gets blown up that leads to the city. Explosions, cracked walls, big danger. Doesn’t affect the city at all. The water goes in two directions, one down a lazy river to the park, the other goes down a HUGEEE waterfall where we assume people/animals died. Surly goes down the dangerous waterfall, yet somehow that brings him…back to the park also. Geographically inconsistant.

They have major plot points that are either obvious, or used in terrible unclever ways (re: everything related to the dog whistle).

It was a mess of a movie.

As a side note, people who forgive a movie for being lame might say “Hey, it’s a kids movie, you are being too hard on it!” Kids movie should not be an excuse for poor quality. Pixar proved that a long time ago. Unfortunately, the theater was packed when I saw this. Many families. So many kids. Rarely did any of them laugh. Yeah, a shitty kids movies that kids don’t even enjoy.

0 out of 4.

Despicable Me

I am proud to say that I actually saw Despicable Me in theaters. Yes, now I see everything in theaters, but in 2010, it was rare as shit. But I was like hey, those yellow things look cute. Let’s watch the movie!

I figured I should probably write a review on it now, with the sequel coming out later this summer. Did you know know about Despicable Me 2? I find that impossible. Their ads have been everywhere since January at least. Open your eyes people.

Fun? What is this?
Yeah, your eyes like you were on a roller coaster.

Gru (Steve Carell) is an evil genius mastermind! Trust me, he is wicked evil. The best at being a villain of all time. How do you know? Because he says so, and he has minions! Little tiny yellow minions, that are awesome. They speak inaudibly and they are the main selling point of this movie, really.

Either way, he isn’t so cool anymore. Some young upshot villain named Vector (Jason Segel) (because he has magnitude AND direction) has stolen the great pyramids. Yeah, what a dick. Now Gru feels inadequate and has to one up them by stealing the moon. Jeez. But he can’t get a loan from the Bank Of Evil / Mr. Perkins (Will Arnett) without a shrink ray in development, so he steals one! Success! Vector steals it from him though. Damn.

So Gru gets the idea to adopt three little girls, make them go to Vector’s house to sell cookies, so he can sneak in and grab the gun back. Then he can dump the kids off later. But they are rambunctious individuals. Ballet. School. Amusement parks. They are hard to take care of, especially when he isn’t cut out to be a parent. But then he learns…to love. Russell Brand plays Dr. Nefario, the scientist that works for Gru.

Aw shit yeah, I forgot I can have gifs on here. Look at how cute those fuckfaces are.

Did I mention I love the yellow minions? Yeah. Most people do. But that is about all I liked from the movie. The plot was a bit forced for me, and not at all exciting. Obviously it was all about him and the little girls, and obviously the girls were there to mostly be a thorn in his side, but actually learning to care for them in like, a day? How the heck did that work?

I just. I just can’t explain it. I re-watched it and was bored the entire time. Maybe the kids were all too young and that bugged me? Why can’t one of them have been more teenager-y? The oldest is close. But not too close. This was the first feature of Illumination Entertainment, who later gave us the bad Hop and the disappointing Lorax. I in general prefer these awesome sexy CGI animated movies to give us more realistic people, instead of the overextended ones (like Dreamworks tends to do).

Yeah. I know. I think people like this movie just for the minions and I am an old curmudgeon.

1 out of 4.

The Secret World of Arrietty

Sometimes the Japanese don’t produce their own original content. Seriously, did you know that? I learned that last night. I never even considered that fact! But damn, it can happen.

So we have The Secret World Of Arrietty (or just Arietty if you have the fancy non American version), which is based on The Borrowers! And maybe I also just learned that they were a series of books before that movie in the 90s. Holy crap, there are like three Borrowers movies.

Fuck it, today is a day of learning and facts. It has been declared!

Don’t spray your house for bugs ever. Might end up killing a tiny human, you monster.

Shawn (David Henrie, some 23 year old who was a Wizard in a Disney show and the SON in How I Met Your Mother), is a 12 year old boy with a bad heart. So he goes off to live with his aunt for a week before his surgery, in the nice peaceful countryside.

At the same time, we have Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler who was…also a Wizard in a disney show?), who has just turned 14 but you know, is only a few inches tall, a borrower who lives in the house with her father and mother (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler, who formed an incestuous relationship in Blades Of Glory).

Well on her first borrowing mission, she ends up dropping a sugar cube and accidentally waking up the delirious Shawn, who wants her to stay, quite creepily. But she runs away, and her parents are freaking out. Especially when he leaves the sugar cube near their home with a note “You Forgot Something”. Shit, this might turn into a horror movie soon, or the weirdest relationship ever.

Either way, she becomes more and more curious about the human, despite the parent warnings. Humans kill Borrowers, or other evil things. Especially that shady housekeeper, Hara (Carol Burnett, who I have nothing clever to add here for your knowledge), who thinks they exist but has no proof (yet). But if their shenanigans continue, they might have to move anyways. Especially if Hara gets involved. Hopefully they meet some savage Borrower who can help them find a new home, like that Spiller guy (Moises Arias, who was someone on a Miley Cyrus show and…maybe a wizard. What the fuck?).

To me this whole movie, her crazy mean face reminded me a bit of Stich’s face.

Now I am going to base this off the dubbed version of course, but I think unintentionally they made a lot of this really creepy. Like, having a 23 year old male voice a 12 year old kid. His voice was strangely deep, and spoke super slow. I felt scared that he’d turn out to be a serial killer or, you know, worse.

That with the ending are really my only complaints. It kind of left it super open ended, and didn’t really do much for my plot questions.

But outside of that, loved pretty much everything else. Especially the animation. I watched it on DVD and was still floored away with it. Obviously it wasn’t CGI, but it was just really really well done and processed I guess. If I had seen it on Blu-Ray I wouldn’t have believed it possible.

But the characters were nice, the music was nice, and the story was simple and only slightly felt stolen. Hey, its all good.

3 out of 4.

The Rocker

The Rocker is definitely a movie I heard about when it was coming out, and then practically never again. Honestly. The only reason I really can remember this movie at all is because a song from it is a free download on Rock Band. Gotta love that advertising. It is just one of those that once you see the cover or something you go, “Oh. Oh yeah. Okay. I think I recollect that title at one point.” Just no one really saw it.

But now that I have, I can tell you I will make zero geology puns. Not actually about geology, but about music. Whoops.

And the band brings a new face to a short attent – Hey look Emma Stone!

BACK IN THE 1980S, a little band called Vesuvius was getting pretty popular with a song. Although just the drummer, Fish (Rainn Wilson) Was the heart and soul of the band. Even came up with the name, brought the energy. The other members had rock names too, like Trash (Bradley Cooper), Kerr (Fred Armisen), and front man Lex (Will Arnett). They are your typical glam rock band of the 80s, and when they get word that they can sign a deal and tour with Whitesnake they go ballistic. Just have to drop Fish and bring in a new drummer, son of a record exec.

Well the money is right.

20-30 years later, Fish is at a dead job and has no worries. Except for all the rage. Vesuvius is STILL a big deal, new albums, everyone loves them. Fuck.

He ends up leaving his wife, and losing his house, so he goes to move in with his sister (Jane Lynch) and her family, including his nephew Matt (Josh Gad). I know, a non rocker name. Lame. But turns out he is in a band too, called A.D.D. and they just lost their drummer, and a school dance concert is coming up. Too bad Fish is their only chance, which he begrudgingly accepts. Singer/guitarist is Curtis (Teddy Geiger) and bassist Amelia (Emma Stone).

Needless to say, some shit happens. Eventually they get famous from a youtube video where Fish is practicing naked, and even get signed (by Jason Sudeikis) and go on a tour! I’m sure Vesuvius wont pop up and ruin anything. Or like, Curtis’ mom (Christina Applegate).

As a geology/history major in college, the band Vesuvius really does mean a lot to me.

Straight talk time. I thought this movie had a pretty good beginning but got a bit boring as the story went on. It happens all the time, and I just felt this was another example of it. Once I pretty much figured out where all the storylines would go, just didn’t care. Dicks are dicks, good guys are good, etc.

To be fair to Rainn Wilson, he was on as that character the whole movie and it seemed like he put work into the persona. It was if Dwight was a little less full of himself, and merged with Jack Black. Kind of.

Everything else? Well, ehh, most people could have probably pulled it off. So I mean, the movie isn’t necessarily horrible, but easily a one and done affair.

2 out of 4.

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