Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Lego Marvel Spider-Man: Vexed by Venom Review

It’s time for the next Marvel Lego special and this time we get Spider-Man as the lead character. One nice thing about these lego adventures is that they always feel like they could take place in the real show. The Black Panther special was like something out of Avengers Assemble and this one is pretty close with the current Spider-Man title. It may not be exact and it certainly isn’t officially in continuity, but it does help make the whole thing gel together pretty well.
The plot of the special is that Venom and Green Goblin have joined forces to get this mystical key item. Spider-Man is on the scene right away, but isn’t able to take them down in his first encounter. He may need some extra tech to win in this round but he’ll have to move fast because these villains are not going to be waiting for anyone. He also may get some unexpected assistance.

Green Goblin and Venom teaming up is an interesting concept and I don’t believe that it has happened before. It makes sense for them to pair up as they are some of Spider-Man’s most dangerous adversaries, but both of them have a lot of pride and like to work solo so that’s probably why it would be difficult to get them on one page. From the two I’d say that Venom definitely gets the bigger role although you may have guessed that from the title of this special.

Green Goblin doesn’t look bad, but he just doesn’t seem to be much of a threat to Spider-Man. Spidey even mentions that he can dodge the villain’s attacks all day and never feels all that threatened. At least with Venom Spider-Man had to bring in his Spider Bot to try and get the upper hand. I didn’t see any of that tech against the goblin.

This special did a good job of really using the lego format to its advantage here by having so many different upgrades for Spider-Man. I liked all of the vehicles and they looked pretty good in their brief screen time. The fights are also good, considerably better than in the last special. A good reason for this is due to the special taking the action scenes more seriously. It’s a bit ironic but this special had more of a serious tone than the Black Panther one. The fights here are just so much better like with the climax as Mecha Spiderman and Ghost Spider take on Venom. It’s real solid.

We still do get some good humor though and Spider-Man is always able to pull that off pretty well. He gets a lot of good one liners and does his best to annoy and mock the villains as much as possible. Spider-Man also looks pretty experienced here and it’s got to be one of his more impressive portrayals recently. He thinks fast to protect civilians and even has a good moment where he uses his webs to stop Venom’s bearhug drop and turns the tables. Spiderman still does whine a lot, but I like to think it’s to get the villains to drop their guard. He’s not actually all that desperate.

At one point in the special Spider-Man decides to take Goblin’s lair for his own. It’s actually a pretty interesting idea that makes a lot of sense. As Spiderman mentioned, it’s not like Green Goblin will be using it anytime soon right? Why let a good lair go to rest? I’m thinking that the only big risk here would be if the villain bugged it with a lot of weapons and traps or some cameras and the hero ends up giving away key information. You’d definitely need to do a clean sweep of it, but otherwise it’s really not a bad idea.

The rest of the characters here are all solid as well. Ghost Spider definitely ends up helping out quite a lot in the end. Without her Spiderman would have definitely been in trouble. Then you have Spider-Man himself who was very solid as I mentioned earlier. It’s always nice to see him as an experienced veteran. Finally there’s Venom who is a very imposing villain with several forms. The voice for him was also quite fitting as it was very intimidating. Yeah, Venom was handled perfectly!

Overall, Vexed by Venom is a fun special. It’s got a good blend of plot, action, and humor. It’s easily one of Marvel’s better lego specials and as always the pacing is on point. This is the kind of special that probably could have been extended into a full film and been quite solid. Sometimes it’s best not to push it though. The 20 minutes were filled out quite well. If you haven’t checked this special out yet then you should do so. It’s pretty fun.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

The Lego Ninjago Movie Review

It’s time to look at another Lego adventure. The genre has definitely grown pretty big over the years to the point where random titles like Ninjago can make it to the theaters. Seeing this one’s trailer on the big screen was certainly surreal. It comes off as a very obvious parody for the most part but suddenly tries to get a little serious near the end. Honestly it’s very similar to what I usually say about Rom-Coms. The beginning-middle is usually pretty fun with the shenanigans and nobody getting along but when when all of the characters get serious near the end it doesn’t work as well. That’s basically what happened here. It’s a fun movie but the end of the film tries to be un-ironically serious which is quite the tone shift.

The beginning of the movie starts off with a kid walking into a store and wondering if he’s in the right movie. The old man assures him that this is a complete filler scene and we are then thrown into the Lego world. It’s basically known to be fake right from the start since this is all a story but hopefully that won’t dampen your enthusiasm. We learn that a man known as Garmadon has been trying to take over all of Ninjago. He is always unsuccessful every day as the Power Rangers stop him. Lets face it, Lloyd and the others are the Power Rangers. It has become such a casual every day occurrence that the media doesn’t really take it seriously although there is always a lot of property damage so nobody is thrilled about that.

The main character is Lloyd and he is Garmadon’s son so that makes things pretty tense at school. Everyone is always picking on him which is unfortunate but at least he has some friends…right? Well, these “friends” are actually all just faking it as they are quick to insult and even abandon Lloyd. After Lloyd slips up once the whole group disowns him and start insulting the guy just like everyone else. They are certainly false friends which definitely isn’t cool and if I was Lloyd I probably wouldn’t be forgetting that any time soon. Lloyd’s use of the super weapon wasn’t even that bad either even if it didn’t work out. At least he was doing something as opposed to the other Rangers who just seemed to be walking aimlessly before that moment. Lloyd was definitely a reasonable character even if he maybe couldn’t take a hint that Garmadon didn’t care much for him.

There’s not much to say about his friends though as they were all pretty iffy. They seem utterly defenseless without Lloyd and yet they are never grateful to him. You’d think that they would be a little nicer since it seems to me that he is doing all of the work. A little gratitude would be nice to be honest. In a way they are big characters and yet you probably won’t remember their names for long. At least Master Wu sees the potential in Lloyd and acts accordingly. I did feel bad for him when the old man was thrown away for most of the movie though. His fight with Garmadon was probably the best action scene in the film. Neither fighter was willing to pull their punches and the whole thing got very personal very quickly.

Meanwhile Garmadon is actually a pretty solid villain. For one thing he does bring up a lot of points like when the heroes are discussing if they should go on the right path or the short cut. Garmadon points out that they should listen to the guy who didn’t fall off a cliff as Master Wu wanted to take the Right Path but then couldn’t finish the journey. He also has a lot of interesting stories and has much more personality than most of the characters. He does set up his minions for failure and the end of his plot is super cheesy but he is still a fun villain to have. The cool design also helps a lot and bringing in a giant robot to fight the other robots just makes a lot of sense.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to bring up pacing in a bad way but unfortunately it needs to be said for this film. The movie actually has pretty good pacing for the most part but I do feel like it started to lose a little steam after the heroes met up with the generals that Garmadon had fired. Prior to that we had nonstop action scenes and some pretty good one liners. This segment just wasn’t quite as good and the climax couldn’t top the fight scenes from the beginning of the movie. That’s also why I say that the first half was a lot stronger. The mech fights were a blast and then we can’t forget to give a lot of credit to the hand to hand fight with Wu and Garmadon. Films don’t always need to have an explosive climax I suppose, but what we got just really couldn’t keep up with the opening.

The soundtrack was pretty fun. The “It’s a hard life” song was certainly unexpected but fairly nostalgic as I know I’ve heard that somewhere. The songs don’t show up too often but when they do it’s always a blast. They complement the fights well. The Lego animation still isn’t really my thing but the fights were still well choreographed and the elemental attacks looked good. You could tell that this was a theater film budget for the Lego fighters as it just looks smoother than a lot of the other Lego features.

Overall, Lego Ninjago was pretty fun. Considering that this is a more random Lego film than the others I’ve seen which were all based on popular franchises, I thought that it did pretty good. The film’s humor mostly hit all of the right notes and the fight scenes were solid. The film built up a decent amount of lore that it could use for the next film and the Cat got the props that he deserved. I do think that adding the human characters was completely unnecessary though and felt a little forced. Skipping that brief instance entirely would have been a very good idea if you ask me. If you’re on the fence with this film because it looks like a second rate comedy I can assure you that it has a reasonable amount of depth and stands proud as a good film. That being said, I would sooner recommend you check out The Lego Movie first as that one is very similar but a step above this one.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs Bizarro League Review

All right, it’s time to look at another one of the Lego DC films! This is a feature length film unlike the last one that I reviewed although it’s still under an hour so it’s not very long. The Justice League get a big role here this time so Batman won’t have to steal all of the best lines. That being said, he’s still the best character here along with Superman’s fun depiction. It’s a vs film technically although the Justice League doesn’t really get to fight the Bizarro League…I wouldn’t call it a total fight anyway. Still, the real villain is ready!

The film starts out with Bizarro messing up Metropolis as per usual. Superman takes him to an uninhabited planet and convinces Bizarro to think of the rocks as people and just live there for a while. It works and this gives the Justice League time to deal with the many threats that attack Earth on a daily basis. Unfortunately, Bizarro’s world is being attacked by Darkseid so he makes clones of the other League members. Batman and Superman must now do something about this while also taking care of Darkseid. It will be tough, but they are the world’s greatest superheroes so nothing should be able to stop them!

Let’s launch into the positives here. First of all, I still love this depiction of Lego Batman. He only joined the League in order to keep tabs on Superman and he constantly reminds us of this. He carries around a big chunk of Kryptonite and even steals Lex’s plans on how to take Superman down for the count. His dialogue is definitely the best in the film and he even has a “I’m Batman!” moment that was great. The banter between him and Superman is the main reason why the film is so enjoyable. It’s always great to see these two heroes together.

Superman is also likable of course and most of the other League members are neat as well. The Flash is definitely always fun to watch given how fast he is. I’m not crazy about Wonder Woman and Cyborg’s portrayals, but some characters weren’t meant to be parodied I suppose. (The Flash is played pretty straight as his speed is what the writers have fun with, but I actually like the fact that he looks so fast) Guy Gardner is the film’s punching bag and it’s always fun to see him wrecked by the opposition.

This film also had more action than the rest of the Lego adventures. The fight between Superman and Darkseid was fun to watch. It’s a lego fight of course, but it’s still a fight and that was neat. There were also some fun scenes of the heroes beating up on an army invasion. There was really almost nonstop action when you really think about it and that’s another reason why the lego adventure was so enjoyable. It’s good to go all out. The soundtrack also gave the film an extra boost. There were many fast paced themes that played throughout the action scenes. It’s hard to remember them specifically, but they certainly worked well during the fights.

There’s really not much to dislike about the film. It’s very short so things have to move quickly, but for this style I suppose that it works. I don’t want to sound too repetitive and I’ve already mentioned this in my other Lego reviews, but the style is one that can be a little much if it drags on for too long. So, short and direct is a good strategy for it. Lego animation is still relatively low tier for me, but it is a pretty big sub genre at this point. For lego’s, it’s a good effort and most of the humor is based around that fact so the film would be very different if it used another style.

The Bizarro League plays a very small role despite the fact that they’re in the title. They really don’t have any big moments and are just in the background. They certainly could have been better as they came off as a little too deluded and weak if you ask me. Bizarro is the only character who got an actual personality that wasn’t too over the top here. I still find his backwards talk to be rather inconsistent as he starts off a sentence saying the opposite of what he means, but starts to talk normally after that. Maybe the backwards thing only applies to the first sentence of a paragraph or something like that. It’s something to think about I suppose.

Overall, This was another fun Lego installment. I’d say that the short that came with this one is my favorite and this would be second. The edge that they have over Lego Batman is the larger role of the league and the fact that I really like Batman’s portrayal here. I liked his in Lego Batman as well, but he’s even more paranoid over here. The banter between the two main heroes is the selling point of this film, but the fights are also a lot of fun. There was definitely more action than I had been anticipating and the soundtrack was solid as well. I recommend this film if you enjoy the Lego style. It makes for a fun film that is also very short so you will be through it in no time. It will be fun to see what other Lego adventures come out soon. This is also one of the newest films that I’ve seen since it came out so recently. Hopefully, Batman sticks around as the main character for the next DVD film. His theatrical one coming out soon should be fun too.

Overall 7/10