I get the impression that a lot of people weren’t too pleased with the last episode which is astonishing because it had some really great moments in it including a fun part for Amy Sedaris, AND it was basically like every other episode we’ve gotten so far so I don’t see what’s worth crying foul about with that one. In any case, we’ve got a new episode look at so let’s see if they can pick things up a bit for those who are starting to lose interest. Does the show maintain the high bar of fun and excitement it’s set for itself within the Star Wars universe, or will the genre hopping antics will finally start to feel stale for me as well? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with… how about Al and Bud, arriving on some sort of space station which already sets this apart from other episodes in the series, and Al is out there to get another job so he and Bud can stay on the run for another day. He meets up with an old contact named Ranzar (Mark Boone Junior) who immediately becomes my favorite person in this entire series, and he lets Al know that it’s a five person job with him as backup and his ship serving as the SPACE GETAWAY CAR; more or less making him responsible for bringing this sorry sack of scumbags to their job and back again in one piece. Said scumbags include a devil looking dude named Burg played by CLANCY MOTHER FREAKING BROWN, an android with a bug head named Zero voiced by Richard Ayoade, a Twi’lek knife expert and former flame of Al’s named Xi’an played by Natalia Tena (think of the dynamic between Brock Samson and Molotov to get an idea of what’s going on there), and of course the leader of the bunch called Mayfeld played by comedian Bill Burr; trying his darnedest here to land a role in a Scorsese flick. See, this is why I have to respectfully disagree with anyone who’s getting bored with this show as it may be doing the genre recreation thing for every single episode, it’s still doing it in interesting and uniquely Star Wars flavored ways. Heck, I’m sure Clancy Brown has been in a dozen of these, let alone everyone else in the scene’s filmographies, and yet we haven’t seen a heist story like this in the Star Wars universe! Yes, Rouge One was about stealing plans, but that was still within the context of the noble rebellion fighting against fascism! This is just a bunch of definite Bad Guys committing crimes because it’s their job, and Al trying to justify taking this job to himself as necessary to keep his little boy Bud safe and sound. It’s immediately familiar and yet still compelling because the show continues to do such a good job of keeping Al interesting as a character as well as introducing new and exciting elements within the Star Wars universe!
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures
Directed by Mike Mitchell
Everyone loved The LEGO movie, right!? And then most people loved LEGO Batman, right!? And then LEGO Ninjago was… okay, right? Well now it’s time for the return of the one that started it all and it’ll be JUST as good as the original… right? Sigh… okay, so the trailers for this film haven’t filled me with a whole lot of confidence that it’ll be on the same level as the original film. It looks FINE if nothing else, but this is THE LEGO MOVIE! We don’t just want fine, we want PHENOMENAL! Then again, maybe that’s putting too much pressure on this film which doesn’t have the benefit of being such an out of the blue surprise, and while the trailers aren’t inspiring me with a lot of hope, maybe they’ll find a new angle to take it in that’ll make up for not being able to put the genie back in the bottle! Can this sequel be Justas good if not better than the first film, or has the LEGO phenomenon finally run its course? Let’s find out!!
Immediately following the events of the first movie, the Duplo aliens of the Systar System have waged an all-out war with the people of LEGO city for five whole years and have left it a Mad Max style barren wasteland with no more bright and shiny blocks. ONLY DARKNESS AND NO PARENTS!! Well except for Emmet (Chris Pratt) whose upbeat attitude cannot be damped even in the face of utter annihilation! That turns out to be a problem though as the nice house he built has attracted the Duplos once again and now they’ve taken all his friends from the first movie which includes Lucy AKA Wyldstyle, Batman, Benny, Princess Unikitty, and MetalBeard (Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, and Nick Offerman) back to their home planet for their own nefarious purposes that we soon learn to be a shotgun wedding between Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi of the Systar System (Tiffany Haddish) and a very reluctant Batman. Clearly something has to be done to save them, but the only one of the LEGO people willing to take the chance is Emmet who haphazardly travels through… space I guess, to find them. Along the way he is saved from an asteroid field by the dashing rouge Rex Dangervest (also Chris Pratt) and his army of super smart velociraptors who agree to help Emmet on his journey to defeat the girly Systar invaders because being a TOUGH GUY means punching things that are pink and frilly! Can Emmet save his friends from Systar invaders who want to brainwash all of his friends and put Batman through a forced marriage!? Can Lucy escape from the Queen Watevra’s cunning grasp, and does she know something about this place that she isn’t telling the others? Is it just me, or did things get REALLY complicated for a movie about plastic toys?
Early Man and all the images you see in this review are owned by Aardman Animations and StudioCanal
Directed by Nick Park
I remember watching those Wallace and Gromit shorts many times when I was a kid on VHS tapes (none of which I still have), and while I haven’t been keeping up with Aardman TOO much in the last decade, I have always respected them as a studio and have had nothing but good things to say about their work; including that Pirates movie which seems to have had a much more mixed reception than a lot of their other work. Now we’ve got their most auditions work to date; not because it’s a particularly out there or unexpected from the studio, but because they had the gall to open it against Black Panther! I mean I guess it goes with the David and Goliath underdog story this movie is trying to tell, but something tells me that the forward thinking and groundbreaking black centered super hero movie is gonna do a SMIDGE more business than this silly cartoon. Does Aardman’s latest adventure hold up to the high pedigree that they’ve set for themselves over their long and prestigious filmography, or have the masters of clay lost their touch in this latest outing? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with Dug (Eddie Redmayne) who is the youngest and the most wide-eyed member of a tribe of cavemen that spends their days hunting rabbits and playing primitive instruments. Dug dreams of something more though, like possibly hunting BIGGER animals (maybe even a Mammoth), yet the leader Chief Bobnar (Timothy Spall) doesn’t feel like rocking the boat is the best thing for the tribe; especially when everyone else is so incompetent that they can manage to catch rabbits. Still, the march of time is a cruel one and one day the tribe is uprooted from their idyllic homes by the war machines and mining equipment of Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston); leader of a nearby town that has advanced to the Bronze Age. Through a series of convoluted missteps and slapstick humor, Dug ends up tripping falling into the Bronze Age city and even gets stuck right in the middle of their sacred arena where the mightiest warriors gather for the crowd’s amusement. What exactly do they DO in the arena? Fight to the death? Feed Christians to lions? NO! They play SOCCER of course! You know, that one game that everyone else calls football that we in the US only seem to care about once every four years! Dug, seeing how much the people of this town crave the sport and treat as sacrosanct, challenges Lord Nooth and his best players to a match against him and his tribe! If Lord Nooth wins, he can keep their homeland, but if Dug wins they get it back! Can Dug and his tribe manage to learn how play just in time to beat the very best players the Bronze Age has to offer? Will Dug’s new friend Goona (Maisie Williams) be the ringer they need to secure victory and will she finally get to live out her dreams of glory on the football pitch? More importantly, can FIFA find a way to somehow turn this into an excuse to plunder a country of its riches and bully local governments!?