Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Lego Movie (2014) review


This blast of wild and wacky fun entertains with many creative jokes, a smart few plot twists in relation to the reality of Lego, and a very fun cast to work from. However, the plot seems way too familiar overall.

PLOT:In the world of Lego, everyone is the same. They all follow the instructions set before them and like all the same things with little creative thought in mind. One Lego person in particular, Emmett (Chris Pratt), becomes special one day when he discovers an unknown red object under his job site. Within discovery of this apparently special piece, Emmett is arrested and taken in for question by the Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) about a secret resistance Emmett's never heard of. After being busted out by rebellious Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Emmett is taken to the secret alliance of the master builders, the most creative Legos in the world, including the blindly wise Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), the always-cheerful Unikitty (Alison Brie), Batman (Will Arnett), the reassembled Metalbeard (Nick Offerman) and Spaceman Benny (Charlie Day) among many others. The team of greatly experienced allies along with everyday Lego. Emmet, must unite to battle the controlling force of mastermind President Business (Will Ferrell) and stop him from destroying the Lego worlds with the mysterious Kragle. It's a good plot executed greatly.

VOICES:The voice acting in this movie is excellently done by a very impressive list of top actors. Chris Pratt did a very great and humorous job as inexperienced hero, Emmett, setting the scene just well for everyone else, including Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle, who was just as great. The best performances besides these two lead performances would have to be from Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius, Liam Neeson as Good Cop/Bad Cop, Will Arnett as Batman, Will Ferrell as President Business, Charlie Day as Benny, and Alison Brie as Unikitty. These performances all sounded great and just added the tones of humor and emotion to the movie's plot, entertaining all the way. Among all of these great performances, many other cameos and quick roles occurred excellently that were definitely worth noting, including Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Billy Dee Williams as Lando, Shaquille O'Neal as himself, Channing Tatum as Superman, Todd Hansen as Gandalf, Will Forte as Abraham Lincoln, and Jonah Hill as Green Lantern. All of these extra performances were brilliantly and humorously done with nods to every fan in the book.

SCORE:The score in this movie is very well done by the great Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo and Rugrats fame. Mothersbaugh did an excellent job at composing a fun score of modern and classic sound for true cartoon effect. Also on the soundtrack is an original song by Tegan and Sara with The Lonely Island, which is fun and gives the movie a very memorable song for the kids and fans.

ANIMATION:The animation in this movie is fantastic with very great detail to the Lego world and its several perks. The CG animation of each piece, building, and motion just goes together very well with excellent detail and impressive vision, from the movement of the people to the fast building of the master builders and from the abstract thought of Emmett's mind to the sea and widespread effects of the Lego world. The animation in here is just excellent eye candy.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie is a great treat for kids, teenagers, and even certain adults that can catch all the references. This movie is just impressive entertainment for all ages with many cool plot twists and a subtle realism to the Lego culture and its people. However, this movie is by far completely original in plot. Aside from the borrowed characters and character references, the plot is derived greatly from Orwell's 1984, using the basis of complete thought control and rebellion of few people to give freedom of choice back. Aside from the constant derivations for the plot and its twists, the movie was a fun ride that could entertain nearly anyone.

OVERALL,an awesome movie with a good plot, impressive cast, excellent cartoon score, fantastic detailed animation, lots of references, plenty of entertainment, and many Lego perks, but there are far too many derivations for the plot development for it to be original humor.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shock Treatment (1981) review


This movie may be an overall fail as compared to its brilliant predecessor, but it succeeds in putting out great music, some meaningful dialogue, and an overall fun, weird, and spectacular time.

PLOT:Brad Majors (Cliff De Young) and his wife, Janet (Jessica Harper), return to their home town of Denton for help with their failing marriage. However, they find out that their whole hometown has been turned into a giant TV station, ran by a fast food founder, Farley Flavors (Cliff De Young). After having Brad committed to a phony mental hospital for his "condition", Janet meets up with her parents and the doctors for help. In a little while, Janet notices she's being pushed to be Flavors' new star on this station's prime time programs and the new show Fantasy Factory. However, the whole existence of the TV station seems to be out of a lust for power and love for a certain person, with dark pasts leading up to the result. It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The performances in this movie are pretty well done overall. I enjoyed most of them for their balances of humor and seriousness. Jessica Harper and Cliff De Young both did a great job as the leads Brad and Janet Majors, also Farley Flavors. Some parts seemed over-acted, but it all went with the movie. The best performances aside from Harper would have to actually be from Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, and Barry Humphries as Dr. Cosmo McKinley, Dr. Nation McKinley, Judge Oliver Wright, and Bert Schnick. These few really captured the movie's essence and performed their parts extremely well overall.

SCORE:The musical score in this movie is rockin' and high-energy at most parts, with the ballads being beautifully done. The score in this movie as compared to its predecessor is a bit different a toned down with some pitchy voices and cheesier songs, but overall, the score is well-written and well-performed, from "Bitchin' in the Kitchen" to the title track and even to "Anyhow, Anyhow."

OTHER CONTENT:This movie is a completely different change from its predecessor, Rocky Horror, but the wild-and-wacky tone of insanity stays just as it originally was. The movie itself is a deep, rockin' ride into the insanity of stereotypes of television and the world itself, with metaphor after wacky metaphor. However, the plot twists near the end seem preposterous and unnecessary, with the movie making less and less sense in the end. It may be a cult classic, but lightning never strikes in the same place twice. This movie doesn't reach the same satirical heights as Rocky Horror, but it does attempt to put on an entertaining show, and entertain it does.

OVERALL,a great musical cult classic with a great plot, well done acting, rockin' score, deep study of stereotypes, and wacky fun, however, the plot twists just seem preposterous near the end, and the heights of its predecessor aren't possibly scaled.