The Lego Movie
Story by Dan Hageman & Kevin Hageman and Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Screenplay by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
The Lego Movie constantly refrains the song “Everything is Awesome!” throughout the film, and though the song is presented as a joke because things aren’t awesome, it best describes The Lego Movie. Because everything is awesome. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller took a toy commercial and traditional hero’s journey narrative and turned it into a celebration of tossing out instructions and a collectivist uniting against conformity and conservatism. Also it’s fun and hilarious.
The unlikely group of heroes unite against President Business, who controls the entire world and wants things to stay just the way they are. He gets incensed when things are built that don’t follow the rules or are weird. His reign has seen the Lego city become a virtual police state where everyone follows a huge list of rules and destroys anything out of the ordinary to be replaced with construction that follows the rules. The people are lulled into accepting their reality with glee, thanks to control of television and music, where every show is Where’s My Pants? and every song is the aforementioned “Everything is Awesome!”
The resistance becomes a celebration of individuality vs marching to the same drum beat. The Lego Movie encourages you to build what you want, and not worry about if your projects conflict with what someone expects you to do. While President Business seeks his stagnant perfection, the real progress and fun comes from the chaos of creation.
Minor spoilers below the fold!
Categories: Good, Movie Reviews Tags: Alison Brie, Anthony Daniels, Batman, Batmania, Billy Dee Williams, Channing Tatum, Charlie Day, Chris Pratt, Christopher Miller, Cobie Smulders, Dan Hageman, Dave Franco, Elizabeth Banks, Jonah Hill, Kevin Hageman, Lego Batman, Lego movie, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Nick Offerman, Phil Lord, Shaquille O'Neal, Tars sells out!, toys to films, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Will Forte
The Wolf of Wall Street
Written by Terence Winter
Based on the book by Jordan Belfort
Directed by Martin Scorsese
The rise and fall of a criminal gangster doomed by his own lifestyle is a tale that Americans have loved for decades. Enter The Wolf of Wall Street, the most recent epic. The criminals aren’t the mobsters so familiar with sweeping biopics, but the criminals of the modern era, banksters in business suits. Despite the fall of Belfort happening in the 90s, much of the arc fits will with the most recent financial collapse and the continual work of bankers and Wall Street money men who make millions of dollars by moving fake money around in financial markets.
I saw some people declare that Martin Scorsese was in rare form, or had returned. Like Scorsese is some guy who was being forced to make terrible movies or something. Trust me, Scorsese was making the films he wanted to make, they just weren’t the films some people wanted to watch. If every film was Goodfellas, what’s the point of having Goodfellas?
Jordan Belfort hits Wall Street and learns the ins and outs of success. Basically get on the phone and swear at rich people to buy stocks, earning money off commissions. Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) takes him under his wing with an amazing lunch on the first day that lays the whole corrupting world of money, excess, and power out before them. Hanna is downing alcohol at an alarming rate, and shows off his magic bullet – cocaine! At this point Belfort is a teetotaler during working hours, but as we saw during the opening, he’ll soon be downing more pharmaceuticals than are stocked at your local Walgreens!
Once again TarsTarkas.NET swims into the ocean of the internet and brings back a bounty of wonderful links, thanks to our illegal fishing methods that are banned by international treaties. So don’t tell anyone! Time to get this party started…
**Ex-ninja tackles The problem with Movie Geeks and Homophobia!
**Movies Silently celebrates the women of silent movies!
**Pre-Code falls for the spectacle of The Miracle Woman!
**TwoDudeReview covers the Box Office Surprises of 2013!
**Direct to Video Connoisseur makes the connection. The Miami Connection!
**Trash Film Guru wishes This Is The End meant the film never started!
Can’t Stop the Movies cries “Ball!” on 42!
**FourDK meets Dus Numbri!
**Turban Decay dishes on The Sheik!
**Knights of Mars Roundtable takes a Long Dream off a short pier!
**shadowsandsatin educates us on Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake!
**Teleport-City gives a hand to Arahan!
**This is a sad article about abortion before Roe vs Wade
**There is going to be a live-action 009-1 film called 009-1: The End Of The Beginning. Mayuko Iwasa will star. Trailer at the link!
**There are giant concrete arrows across America because of an old airplane mail delivery system!
**Have you ever wanted to play a Santa Claus Conquers the Martians tabletop RPG? Well, now you can, with the Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: The Official Series Bible! Yes, you can become a Martian elf and make toys. Seriously!
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: The Official Series Bible is a setting based on a (fictional) television series based on the original film. Players take the role of human, elf, and Martian toymakers, working together to bring peace and understanding while foiling the schemes of naughty people from both planets. It is system-independent, meaning you can use the roleplaying game mechanics of your choice to play it. It’s good for a silly one-shot or a short campaign.
The Official Series Bible™ is a format for roleplaying game campaigns. Each setting is called a Pilot, like the first episode of a television series, providing enough information to get started and offering hooks for future adventures, be leaving things open enough for gamemasters to take things in their own direction. All information is presented without rules system information, so you can adapt it to the system of your choice.
**Captain Planet is being threatened to be made into a movie…again! Will it die in preproduction like the other two times? Probably.
**This cool creature is Helicocystis moroccoensis, and it lived 520 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion, a time when all sorts of new types of life emerged. Helicocystis featured “characteristics that place it as the most primitive echinoderm that has fivefold symmetry”.
**The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort, and details his life of excess at a brokerage firm, including corruption, the mob, goldfish eating, dwarf tossing, partying down, and securities fraud. And it looks fan-freaking-tastic from the trailer!
That’s all for this round of lots of random crap. Tune in next time for 2 crap 2 random!
21 Jump Street
Written by Michael Bacall & Jonah Hill
Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller
21 Jump Street is a hilarious and entertaining action comedy that manages to be a police story, commentary on modern high school culture vs. just a few years ago, buddy comedy, and meta humor behemoth. It far exceeded the meager expectations I had going into it (in yet another advanced free screening for the public – Tars has sold out once again! Dammit, Tars, stop selling out!) Updating the original series seems like it would be easy, as the plot (cops that look young are sent undercover into high schools) is simplistic enough that one fears the script being from the land of Generic. But no one working on 21 Jump Street hitched a ride on the lazy train, instead they shot for the moon, and now the moon’s head is hanging above their fireplace.
When I was younger, I watched episodes of the original series, but for some reason I can’t seem to remember anything at all about the show. Even being reminded by Wikipedia and a few fan sites has refreshed nothing, so I’ll have to watch a few episodes to get memories back. Or maybe my mind has been overwritten with more Martian secret agent memories again…
Meta humor is strong in this one, with characters commenting on their behavior, Ice Cube as the angry black captain telling people to embrace their stereotypes, and various goofs against remakes and police film cliches/tropes. The high school setting becomes a playground for skewering modern teenage culture with the texting and viral videos while the cops become fish out of water on multiple levels, Schmidt suddenly becoming popular while Jenko is stuck with hanging out with the chemistry kids.