Archive for the 'Rick Swift' Category

The German Doctor

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (2 People gave this 4.50 out of 5)
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“I measure and weigh what interests me.”

The German Doctor

Swift shot:¬†Based on the novel Wakolda, written by the film’s director Lucia Puenzo, The German Doctor¬†slowly beats into a terrifying conclusion. ¬†Set in 1960 Patagonia, in the German Bariloche region, a reclusive doctor makes the acquaintance of a family rewinding their lives. ¬†Loosely based on actual events, as the facts are shrouded by mystery, the story serves as a lesson on trust and lost innocence.

Alex Brendemuhl portrays notorious Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele . . . often referred to as “The Angel of Death.” ¬†He is making his way through some treacherous roads and asks to follow a family with a young girl he becomes intrigued with, Lilith. ¬†She is very small for her age, feeble really, and he has it in his mind to help her blossom through the miracle of genetics. ¬†That would all be wonderful, if he wasn’t a complete monster. ¬†Lilith’s mother, Eva (Natalia Oreiro) and father, Enzo (Diego Peretti) are wary at first, but¬†eventually develop separate trusts with the mysterious doctor.

This was Florencia Bado’s first film, and she plays the innocent, yet naively curious, Lilith exceptionally well. ¬†You can see her flirting with death, literally, and you aren’t ever quite sure if she knows just how dangerous her careless encounters with the doctor truly are. ¬†There is a very disturbing chemistry between the two characters that is hard to describe without seeing. ¬†It’s bone chilling.

As Mengele traipses along a web of locally hidden war criminals, he finds a way to seduce each of the main characters. ¬†Eva becomes pregnant, with twins, and he offers to help her along. ¬†To Lilith, he promises puberty. ¬†To Enzo, he even offers a contract making incredibly life like dolls that provide a creepy juxtaposition to the unnatural horrors in the film. ¬†Ultimately, Mengele is a spider, shedding his skin . . . for a time, while he tinkers around with another experiment, where Lilith’s family is his zoo.

Nora Eldoc (Elena Roger), one of the teachers at the German school, dances with death. ¬†She appears to be on to the doctor and is determined to see him captured by the Israeli intelligence network, Mossad. ¬†If you know Mengele’s fate, there are no twists in the story. ¬†Because this isn’t a Hollywood film, there are subtitles, and you are required to grasp subtlety and endure a deliberate pulse of panic.

The German Doctor is a story that will disturb you on many levels. ¬†While it is not a horror film, the story is horrific, because the events feel all to real. ¬†At least one of the characters, and history backs this, doesn’t escape the web of evil. ¬†Watch this one with the understanding that it won’t leave your soul anytime soon.

Fanboys

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (2 People gave this 3.00 out of 5)
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“You gotta find your Death Star.”

Fanboys

Swift shot:¬† I own this film, and I have watched it many times – it’s kinda like my personal Odyssey. ¬†Star Wars is more than a film – it’s a way of life for me. ¬†When I heard about Fanboys, I was instantly curious . . . and concerned . . . that it would mock something I hold dear to my heart. ¬†I was ready to critically eviscerate the film makers if they dared put-down a huge chunk of my childhood and even my adult life. ¬†Thankfully, Fanboys is more than just a goofy comedy with endless Star Wars references, it has a humbleness to it that I can, sadly, personally relate to.

With an opening crawl that declares – “Episode VII – Return of the Saga” setting the stage for 1998, six months before Episode I: The Phantom Menace is to be released, five friends reunite at a party – but one of them is holding something back.

Nursed on all things¬†Star Wars, Eric (Sam Huntington), Linus (Chris Marquette), Windows (Jay Baruchel), Hutch (Dan Fogler) and to a lesser extent Zoe (Kristen Bell) decide they want to make a child-hood dream come true and break into the Skywalker Ranch in San Francisco to screen the anticipated Episode I. ¬†On their road-trip from Ohio, they encounter all manner of characters from geekdom, and there are many cameos by actual¬†Star Wars cast members that I won’t ruin here. ¬†There is at least one cameo that will stun you!

Ernest Cline and Adam F. Goldberg wrote this film for people like them -people like me. ¬†It’s clear they enjoyed themselves, and it really doesn’t matter what I think anyway, because George Lucas blessed the film. ¬†He let them shoot at the Skywalker Ranch, film inside his office, play with his toys and obviously had no problem with having a little fun poked at himself. ¬†Can you say Jar Jar Binks?

Fanboys has tons of laughs for, well fanboys, to enjoy. ¬†But, that isn’t what I love about the story. ¬†I love that there is a real sense of mission, because one of the friends may not make it to the 1999 release. ¬†The film transforms almost immediately into something powerful. ¬†If you have ever lost a friend at a young age, and that friend was as much a Star Wars fan as you . . . this film may be difficult to watch. ¬†It was for me.

Watching this film again, in 2014, after This is the End has been released, is kinda like watching a prequel, with Seth Rogen (who has many funny roles), Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and probably more that I didn’t catch. ¬†Fanboys is a ride that you have to take, and to remember what it was like for you in 1999 when all things Star Wars were fresh, where were you, who were you with when you watched The Phantom Menace? ¬†Maybe your story isn’t as exciting, or important, as these four fanboys, plus one fangirl, but you’ll enjoy taking the trip with them. ¬†Enjoy this film, you will!

~@rickswift

 

 

The Brick House

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

[Swift disclaimer: Doug Anderson is a former critic of ours, a great friend, and a dreamer who created a kickstarter project that not only got made, but is one this critic highly recommends!]

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (5 People gave this 4.80 out of 5)
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“You’re a true fool.” Leonard Wolf

The Brick House

Swift shot: The Three Little Pigs is one of the most recognizable fairy tales of all time. In The Brick House, Director Gustavo Cervantes and Co-Writer Doug Layne Anderson present a relatable modern story that masterfully weaves almost all of the classic elements that we all grew up reading. As three estranged brother pigs are reunited when their beloved uncle meets an untimely end and wills them his property . . . a nearly burned down brick house. Things get problematic when they don’t agree on what to do with the property. Some things are not for sale, and families are complicated.

Using the classic, straw, sticks, and bricks devices with a modern slant, the story unfolds as a pack of wolves serve as greedy land developers, in a believable thriller that deserves to be watched. And, fret not, these aren’t animated pigs, they are very real, and they feel very real in how they are presented. They are vulnerable and soft characters that face genuine peril. The makeup folks at North Fur deserve praise for giving these creatures an animus that immediately conveys what Cervantes and Anderson were hoping for in every scene.

Brother pigs Jack (Josh New), Bill (Gallagher Goodland) and Curly (Thomas Johnson) are distinct characters with evolving qualities as the film progresses, and each one grows from their experience at the brick house. Byron Wolf (Brendan Hopkins), James Wolf (Andy Woodard) and the leader of the pack of land grabbers that puts even Harry Reid to shame, Leonard Wolf (Bill Terpenning/Dave Lovell) are greedy developers who won’t take no for an answer.

I can tell you that Leonard Wolf was the most menacing wolf I have personally witnessed on screen since my favorite cult-classic, Dog Soldiers. When Leonard speaks, everyone in the room pays attention. He proves to be much more shrewd and ruthless than his words shroud. When he finally reveals his true nature, it’s downright chilling.

Jack is too trusting of the characters he meets, especially the wolves. Bill is essentially the coward who goes along with anyone who can influence him. Curly is the “what is in this for me” type who harbors resentment towards Jack for leaving. ¬†The brothers must find a common ground, as the wolves are steadily demanding they sell.

The Brick House is a true indie film. The funds were gathered up on kickstarter, and even I chipped in a few bucks to help bring this classic story to screen. Now you have giants in the media asking for crowdfunding – it’s disgusting! This is the kind of film, and studio, that needs kickstarter/indiegogo to survive.

Because this is a true indie film, there are raw edges in places. They are smoothed out by some artistic cinematography, creative camera work and superb original music by Anderson. The story is compelling and even gripping as you reach the climax of the film desperately hoping these little pigs manage to defeat the wolves. And, maybe this fairy tale doesn’t have a happy ending?

This is a thriller that could easily find a place next to your copy of the original Straw Dogs, it uses a slow crescendo of suspense to build-up to a dramatic conclusion with sympathetic characters you are sure to be rooting for. That is, unless you favor land developers who will stop at nothing to gain land, I mean, if you are the type who rooted for the Bureau of Land Management using SWAT teams and tasing folks at the Bundy Ranch – maybe this film isn’t for you.

The Brick House pulls you in every second. We all know the story, but no one is sure how it is going to end! That is what I especially loved about the film.

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

*****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)
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“The price of freedom is high . . . and it’s a price I’m willing to pay!” – Captain America

Winter Soldier

Swift shot:¬†Cleveland born veritas pioneers, the Russo brothers, direct a stunningly grounded super hero film that is really an homage to the 70’s thriller. Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been referred to as Avengers 1.5, and it’s a fair assessment. Teaming up with Falcon and Black Widow, Captain America has to cope with an evolving threat from within SHIELD Headquarters, the Triskelion. For a man who is rooted in honor, Cap has a hard time dealing with the betrayal, while his partner Black Widow, has no grasp on her truth anymore. An enemy from Cap’s past appears and presents a chilling reminder that suppressing freedom because of fear is really just a new form of enslavement. Take away free will, and what do you have? ¬†A machine.

Chris Evans returns as Captain America, two years after “New York,” Cap has become a full-fledged agent of SHIELD. ¬†It’s appropriate, because he is known for carrying an iconic shield. I was happy to see he employed it throughout the movie, as an offensive weapon, as a defensive barrier, and he isn’t afraid to let that baby fly when it is needed. In one scene, he takes down a Quinjet in a fashion right out of the “Ultimate Alliance 2” video game, bouncing the thing off the tail-fins to cause it to crash.

Scarlett Johansson is more than just a sexy spider woman this time.  She has a bit more depth.  It is explained that she and Cap have been teaming up for awhile now on SHIELD strike missions, and their banter before, and during, missions gives us a little insight into the dynamic between them. She is constantly trying to get him laid, and he is evading all attempts . . . being unable to connect with modern women.  There is a bit of an age gap, with him being 95 and all!

Cap crosses running paths with Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), a former Air Force para-rescuer who now runs a PTSD support group for returning combat veterans. I was glad they showed this, and I was glad they didn’t hem and haw on it forever trying to make Cap seem like someone who couldn’t deal with his past. It is evident Cap is having a hard time fitting in, but in true Steve Rogers fashion, he has a plan to deal with those gaps. In one scene he produces a little notebook that lists all the things people keep bringing up that he has yet to see or experience . . . Star Wars being one!

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) heads SHIELD and reports directly to the World Security Council, which is helmed by Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford). Interesting fact, Redford played the protagonist in Three Days of the Condor (which Winter Soldier is loosely based upon). Getting Redford involved in this film was what really makes it less a super hero flick and more a genuine thriller. What was more interesting, to me, was the fact that he agreed to be in a movie that promotes freedom over security; I thought he was a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, and their mantra stems from big government . . . not less intrusive measures. Still, for whatever reason he joined this non-indie film, it made all the difference! Every scene he is in, the actors pick up their game, you can feel the atmosphere in the theater change when he’s on screen. It’s palpable; he is an incredible actor.

HYDRA agents within SHIELD have infiltrated the organization, for decades, and have hatched a master plan to identify and eliminate all people throughout the world that fit into an “undesirable” algorithm. Nick Fury gets close to exposing the truth, but perhaps too close, as it becomes apparent that Captain America and Black Widow are on their own. They manage to enlist (I use that word for specific allusion) Falcon in putting a stop to the extermination plan. If they only had to fight SHIELD, that would be one thing, but HYDRA has their own “asset” – The Winter Soldier. He is like a phantom, an urban legend that only few operators have actually lived to see. While Cap was put on ice for decades, this killing machine was awake, doing HYDRA’s bidding. When Captain America faces him, everything changes.

This film had all the components I love in a great movie. The fight sequences were intense, close-quarters, rough, painful, and difficult to watch . . . for all the right reasons. The opening action sequence on the Lemurian Star is going to be imitated by little kids for months as they imagine running from stern to bow dispatching bad guys without hesitation, like Cap does.

The Markus/McFeely screenplay was decent, and the aspect of the “who can you trust” thriller was handled well and not overbearing. The characters were developed enough for me to care about them, and since this wasn’t an origin film, we really didn’t need tons of exposition.

The special effects, as you would expect, were state-of-the-art, and the gun play . . . oh man, the gun play was OFS! In one shoot-out with a talking car (with a voice that I dare say you might recognize) the whole sequence is reminiscent of the epic¬†Heat bank robbery shootout. There are several “yummy” moments as Amadarwin and I refer to them, with Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) and Black Widow giving us, let’s say, titillating camera angles. Hey, I am a red-blooded American male, so sue me – we can’t all be saints like Cap!

As the film concluded, I was running through an imaginary checklist in my head of all the things I love in a movie, and I couldn’t think of one that missed the mark. To quote Scarlett Johansson, ‚ÄúMovies are about being able to escape your life or connect pieces of your life and enjoy the experience. I love the movie-going experience from the popcorn to the previews to the film itself. I like having it stay with me afterwards and thinking about it days later.” That is exactly what Captain America: The Winter Soldier did for me. ¬†It provided an escape; I was able to connect with it, and I can’t stop pestering my friends about how they must see it! I will even make this bold statement, if you don’t like this film, we can’t be friends.

~@rickswift

 

 

 

Bad Words

Friday, March 21st, 2014

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)
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Talion – the origin is Latin, tallio: (noun) the system or legal principle of making the punishment correspond to the crime; retaliation
T A L I O N, talion

Bad Words

Swift shot: Jason Bateman has directed his first feature film, and it is about a 40 year old man competing in a child’s spelling bee.¬† In a warped way, Bateman, also the lead character, is the most despicable human to ever string words together to form a sentence.¬† But, he has a pointed agenda and assumes the role of malevolent mendacious monster as only Bateman can!¬† What is incredibly odd, is that by the end, you may be rooting for him!

Co-starring the charming diminutive Indian lad, Rohan Chand, as highly-favored competitor, Chaitanya Chopra, Bad Words is a lesson in morality, sportsmanship, and is the most vulgar film I have seen this year!¬† The vocabulary is juxtaposed in a fashion to help set the significance of each scene.¬† Guy Trilby (Bateman) is a genius, an execrable prodigy really, and these kids don’t stand a chance as he uses the most heinous methods at his disposal to knock out his tiny adversaries.

With Kathryn Hahn, as maladroit online journalist, Jenny Widgeon, who is given breadcrumbs by Trilby leading to why he would ever enter a contest clearly meant for children.  Each round Trilby wins, as per their agreement, he will answer a new question for her story.  With a strong supporting cast of Philip Baker Hall and Allison Janney, nested in the story, Bateman capitalizes on their talents in each shot.

When you think of someone like Jason Bateman, who has become a master at comedic timing, on the other side of the camera, you might worry that his impeccable dry, hilarious, pacing won’t translate as a director.¬† You’d be wrong.¬† If Bateman wants to direct again, I will gladly watch whatever genre he decides to tackle next.

While there are many kids in this film, this is NOT a kid’s movie!¬† Do NOT bring your child to this film; I can’t stress that enough.¬† Most of the comedy is adult-oriented, and Bateman (as Trilby) gets down right disgusting with his dishabille dialog.¬† But, I found the story interesting, the acting superb, the humor kept me engaged, and the hell if I wasn’t laughing at this feculent film!

 

Muppets: Most Wanted

Friday, March 21st, 2014

***

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 5.00 out of 5)
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Only a paid critic would say this was as good as The Muppets!

MUPPETS MOST WANTED

Swift shot: Where’s the star?¬† The Muppets exploded a few years ago with avid Muppetphile Jason Segel and Amy Adams attacking the film with as much intensity as Rizzo the Rat going after cheese, but there was no comparable star power in Muppets: Most Wanted.¬† In fact, the title is ironic, as it left me wanting more.

Starring . . . no one, but with plenty of cameos strewn throughout the 112 minute run time, Muppets: Most Wanted is essentially a stale re-hash of the The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan,  which were much better and had real stars (of the time) behind them.  In those films, Miss Piggy is framed for stealing jewels, and The Muppets travel throughout Europe getting into funny situations and there is a Muppet wedding.

In Muppets: Most Wanted, Ricky Gervais plays pompous Dominic Badguy, #2 to super-spy, mastermind criminal #1 Constantine (a frog identical to Kermit save one large mole).  There is a less than inspiring song about how Badguy is always going to be #2.  It lacks anything comparable to the Academy Award winning Man or Muppet also written by Bret McKenzie.

Constantine frames The Muppets for jewel heists around Europe, as Ty Burrell as some French inspector that is always taking Socialism approved breaks works with Sam Eagle [Swift aside: my favorite muppet] a barely capable CIA agent to find The Lemur (an international jewel thief).¬† They bumble and stumble and provide probably the only real laughs of the film, as many of the other jokes just didn’t cut it for me, a Muppet connoisseur. My six year old kid was less than thrilled by many of the kid-targeted pratfalls and physical comedy . . . and, he likes just about everything at this age.¬† And the parent-targeted humor received merely a passing grade.

That was the film’s major flaw, aside from the lack of star power, it wasn’t strong on any level.¬† The juvenile jokes were sub-par, and the parental targeted jokes were less funny.¬† I will admit that my favorite scene had to do with Tina Fey as a Siberian prison guard revealing a softer side to her character, but there was no real emotion in any of the film.¬† Heck, I remember actually feeling for Amy Adams in the last film, and Walter and Gary – but with Muppets: Most Wanted, it was like one big joke that I wasn’t a part of.

Now, let me say one thing I really, really enjoyed about Muppets: Most Wanted, it was a direct attack on the 2012 Presidential selection, err, election.¬† See, Constantine is an impostor, and while the Muppets (on the surface) can’t grasp that, deep in their hearts they know there is something just off with Kermit (who is rotting in that previously mentioned Siberian Gulag).

They even spoon-feed the metaphor at the end, when The Muppets realize that the false-Kermit was going along with everything they wanted to do, no questions asked, the reviews were great, they were getting free stuff and it didn’t matter that they kinda had a hunch Kermit was, well, not Kermit.¬† See the comparison there?¬† I sure did!¬† The way that Constantine was manipulating the reviews and padding the audience was lost on The Muppets, because they were happy living in the fantasy that they were ever that good.

Sadly, and I do mean that because I wanted it to be different, but this Muppets film was just not that great, folks.¬† There was no star of the show, I have already seen a Piggy/Kermit wedding, and the lack of Amy Adams and Jason Segel just couldn’t be surpassed.¬† I won’t call this a major disappointment, but it will leave only a minor mark.

Basically, if you are going to bore me OR my kid, I can understand you targeted one of us more than the other, but if you bore us both, what’s the point?¬† I expected better.

 

 

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

***½

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)
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Old friends, new tricks!

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Swift shot: A fantastic trip through time with some old friends . . . with some new contemporary twists!¬† I grew up watching The Bullwinkle Show, and while I enjoyed all the different parts and characters, the “Peabody’s Improbable History” segments were my favorite.¬† It’s probably why I became a history major, well, that and my math skills weren’t the best.¬† So, I was expecting to not like this film, for fear it would (to use modern movie-critic parlance) “ruin my childhood,” like a movie could possibly do that! I was pleasantly surprised, and it should be noted Jay Ward’s daughter, Tiffany was instrumental in keeping everything in line with her father’s legacy.¬† I think he’d be proud.

Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) is the smartest dog in the world, he wields his genius like a weapon.¬† His son, (yes I said son) Sherman (Max Charles) loves his father, but he can’t ever seem to do the right thing, especially once school starts and he meets his first bully, Penny (Ariel Winter).¬† Things go from bad to worse as an incident very similar to Carnage leads Mr.Peabody to invite Penny’s folks over to dinner to smooth things over.¬† Of course Sherman and Penny steal the WABAC machine and get lost in time.

With a wonderfully painted tapestry of enthusiasm, the historical worlds are unique and bring together characters both famous and infamous from history.  There are too many to list in this brief review, but the history nerd in me was delighted to see Robespierre, Agamemnon, Leonardo da Vinci, and even a cameo by Einstein (see if you recognize the voice)!

The more mature nature of the conflict may be lost on younger audiences, and when the real threat of death is upon our heroes, I am not sure how very young children will react.  Still, there are plenty of classic laughs for audiences of all ages to enjoy.  This is a film about love, challenging yourself and growing, and about a dog and his boy.

 

 

 

Son of God

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (2 People gave this 4.00 out of 5)
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“He’ll be forgotten in a week.” – Pontius Pilate.

Son of God

Swift shot: Last year, The History Channel released a ten episode miniseries titled The Bible.¬† It was the most popular miniseries of the year and led to countless copies of the series sold on Blu-ray and DVD.¬† The final five episodes depict the birth, death and¬†resurrection of Jesus Christ.¬† With Son of God, Twentieth Century Fox has given audiences a rare treat to witness the most dramatic story in theaters.¬† If you didn’t see the series, now is your chance to see it, and if you did see the series at home, now is your chance to EXPERIENCE it as never before!

Whether or not you believe in Christ as The Messiah is irrelevant, Son of God doesn’t rely on that to tell a great politically-charged story.¬† It relies on the strength of character, and on wonderful actors, to embody the savior, the villain, the disciples, the faithful and the tragically forlorn.

All of Jesus’ miracles, and most of his famous teachings, are depicted in Son of God, but somehow it didn’t come across as preachy.¬† Credit to Portuguese actor, Diogo Morgado who truly was the lion and lamb and was brilliantly cast.

There are no spoilers, there are no twists, this is the tragic story of a man, or a God, or the one true God . . . all depending on your beliefs . . . that inspired a religion that did not fade away into obscurity.¬† And, to me, the message of Christianity is of¬†forgiveness and compassion for your fellow man.¬† All of Jesus’ words served to remind me that we could all use a little more of that in our lives today.

While many have corrupted his message, there are few who still hold onto it and share it.  Clearly, Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett felt compelled to make something special.  With the help of tremendous performances, a Hans Zimmer score worthy of his name, and a very emotional crucifixion sequence where whether you believe in him or not, watching a mother lose her son with such vitriol will leave you wounded.

Now, perhaps someone will give me a lesson in theology.¬† Why did Jesus utter, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?”¬† It’s something that has always bothered me . . .

 

 

The Lego Movie

Friday, February 7th, 2014

*****

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (2 People gave this 5.00 out of 5)
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“Everything is awesome!”

The Lego Movie

Swift shot: For the record, I love Lego – watching my son put a Lego set together makes me the proudest dad.¬† And now at six, he doesn’t even need my help anymore. But the Lego brand isn’t for everyone, and watching little plastic toys dance around for almost two hours would be considered torture to some.¬† Thankfully, the writers knew this and actually created a solid story with real drama and compelling characters.¬† Wait, Rick, we are talking about toys here . . . right?

In Bricksburg, everything is easy, because your entire life is planned out for you.  Everybody fits in.  But not one very unremarkable character, Emmet (Chris Pratt) who follows all the rules, does everything the right way, and still manages to find himself an outcast in a Utopian society designed to accommodate everyone.

Naturally, the whole universe is led by a ruthless dictator, President (or Lord) Business voiced by the insanely popular Will Ferrell.¬† On the surface, Bricksburg is perfect, but the truth is everything is held in place by brutal secret police that spy on the citizens and keep them lulled into complacency by always maintaining their need to be happy.¬† The citizens repeatedly enjoy “Where Are My Pants?” – a sit-com that entertains the masses so they don’t ask questions.¬† Those that do ask questions get to meet Bad Cop (Liam Neeson).

Of course, whenever there is a dictator, there is a resistance, and Elizabeth Banks voices the rebel leader, Wyldstyle Рa pupil of one Master Builder Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman).  There is an ancient prophecy that binds the characters together (getting sick of these puns yet?) and shatters the illusions of the people of Bricksburg.

Enlisting the help of Batman, who Will Arnett plays as a straight-up dick, they team up with just about every pop-culture Lego minifigure ever created to do battle with Lord Business and his secret army.  Emmet is mistakenly labelled the chosen leader. But, he has a special skill that none of the other Master Builders possess.  And it is his uniqueness that ultimately makes him special.  Perhaps he is the chosen one.

The Lego Movie used “virtual bricks” but I thought they were actual Lego pieces, because it was flawless! Lighting effects were used to add a theatric element.¬† But even the “bullets” were Lego bricks, the soap bubbles, just about everything in the film was made up of real Lego bricks of one variety or another.

While the conflict (and conclusion) is predictable, there are some plot twists that I dare not reveal, but it will mention that parents will get more out of this film than they bargained for.¬† Ultimately, The Lego Movie, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller is a film with lots of action, a sharp sense of humor, and a warm fuzzy hug towards the end – you’ll love it!