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

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Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash Review


It’s time to look at one of the newest Lego films around! DC has had a pretty good track record with their Lego adventures and are certainly leading the pack. This is because their specials actually have some pretty solid action scenes to go along with the good one liners. I dare say that DC has taken Legos to the peak of where they can reach and this one continues their roll. It still has some competition ahead of it for being the best DC specials, but I would put this one up there as probably top 3. Flash makes for a great main character and always makes the right moves.

The story starts with the Justice League trying to fend off an attack from the Joker. Unfortunately for them they are getting creamed. Flash should have been there to help, but he was busy enjoying a donut with a milkshake. Truly that is an underrated combo if you ask me. Still, he manages to save the day anyway, but then a mysterious being known as the Reverse Flash shows up. Flash chases him, but finds himself back to the start of the day. This keeps on happening and it seems like Flash is stuck in a time loop. In order to get out he will have to move even faster, but what if doing this ends up wrecking reality itself!? Only one way to find out!

I’m always up for a good time travel story. Nowadays this usually goes hand in hand with the Flash and his story arcs. Flashpoint is probably the most well known Flash event of all time and then the TV show also likes to casually mess around with the past and the future. It makes for good story arcs that open up a lot of moral questions like should you change the past or simply ignore it. Typically they go for the worst possible moral though and that is that the past shouldn’t be altered. Fortunately, it’s safe to say that this special doesn’t really go there at all. The trope can be especially annoying when the villain changed the past first and the hero still isn’t able to go back and correct it. A bit off topic though so lets get back to the adventure.

I do like how Flash handled the situation though. He kept on going after the Reverse Flash because he knew that one day he would surpass his limits. Even though Batman kept telling him to wait Flash would go anyway. The montage showed that he probably tries this at least 50 times. Imagine living through the same day that many times and not going crazy. Flash really kept it together and in the end he made the right move since Batman’s great advice was simply to say “Run faster.” That’s really the best advice that Batman’s got? Flash was able to do it of course, but after Batman’s constant “Wait” moments I was expecting something else. Still, Flash was easily the best character here and that’s not easy to do in a special where Batman and Superman are present.

In the other plot we have Reverse Flash proving to the world that he is a better hero than the normal Flash. Instead of trying to join the League or anything like that he spends his time trying to prove that they aren’t needed anymore. With the speed at which he solves crimes it may even appear to be true. If he were a legitimate hero then he would have a mild point, but of course he would run out of energy at some point so the league would have to step in again. It’s fun how he makes everyone look pretty petty at times like when the League was caught eaves dropping on him. Batman saved the situation from being a tragedy, but it still was not their greatest moment. Ah well, they did their best.

As far as the Justice League goes, they were all in character. Batman and Superman were a great contrast to each other as you would expect. Superman was super cheerful and would try being nice to Flash while Batman would just give him the tough facts. Wonder Woman was more of a mediator and Cyborg was busy messing everything up like usual. Likewise with Plasticman but to a greater extent. The new member of the group who got a lot of screen time was the Atom. If they wanted him to look terrible than they succeeded.

Considering that he is a new recruit the guy seems to have a considerable ego. He complains quite a lot and you have to repeatedly wonder how he actually got on the team. The guy definitely doesn’t seem like he belongs, but I guess that’s just one of those mysteries that you have to think about for a little while. He gets a subplot of his own where he tries to contact the league while he’s tiny and it’s a treacherous journey for him. I’d like to say that it helped him get likable by the end but not really. At this rate the new recruits are all going to keep on losing out.

I will say that the first half of the special does beat the latter though. I enjoyed the Groundhog shenanigans from the beginning as Flash kept trying to stop his evil doppelganger. His route to the trouble involving all of the food and villain arrests were fun as well. The movie accurately shows just how overpowered the Flash should be and since it’s part comedy they are actually able to pull this off instead of totally nerfing him. That’s not to say that the second half is bad, but Dr. Fate singalongs just don’t have the same appeal you know? It was definitely a radically different take on him, but at least it had personality. Dr. Fate usually doesn’t actually do much except get in everyone’s way. I do feel bad for Zatanna though since her training seems like it will take a very long time to actually get anywhere.

There’s not much to say about the animation that hasn’t been said before. It’s Lego animation so it’s pretty much the same every time. I’m not a huge fan of it, but it looks well enough and at this point it’s pretty polished. The action scenes are still solid as I mentioned earlier and they did a good job with the speed animations. As far as I’m concerned, they put in the proper amount of effort there. There isn’t much of a noticeable soundtrack here so it’s a few steps behind some of the others, but the sound effects are good and what music we do get tends to be solid as well.

The writing is on point which is always very important for a film like this one. The humor is actually good as opposed to just being obnoxious or annoying. Well, those two things are kind of the same I guess. Either way, the writing really understands the characters here. Cyborg and Atom are annoying, but it’s not necessarily the humor that makes them annoying, but the characters and I wouldn’t hold that against the writing since I’m pretty sure that it’s intentional. It may not be laugh out loud funny (Almost nothing is) but it works pretty well and the sarcastic wit from the heroes is part of the charm behind the Legos.

Overall, The Flash is a solid movie and one that I would certainly recommend. Whether you are a fan of Lego adventures or comic book films this is one title that you don’t want to miss. It really pulls out all of the stops and each act of the film feels like a complete film. Honestly the first act alone could have worked as the whole movie and I would have been satisfied. It’s a long 70ish minutes, but not in a bad way. They manage to squeeze a lot of content in there so I’d say that it’s actually very fast paced. There really isn’t anything majorly negative to say about the film and that’s how you know that it’s quite solid.

Overall 8/10

Lego Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash Review


It’s time for another Scooby Doo film. LEGO titles are very popular nowadays and it seems like every franchise wants a piece of the pie. It’s still not my favorite format but it tends to work pretty well with Scooby Doo. The characters can really act crazy here and are just as self aware as ever. We don’t get to see Shaggy and Scooby eat since eating is still very hard to do with Legos, but that’s the only real drawback. It’s a very fun Scooby Doo movie that goes by quickly and I would actually consider it to be one of the better movies in the series.

The Mystery Gang has just finished another case and they are excited for another one, but then Daphne and Shaggy drop a bombshell. Fred and Velma just aren’t fun and they act as partypoopers every time the gang tries to have fun. They take this personally so Velma and Fred decide to prove that they are actually a lot of fun. They will do this by being awarded the King and Queen positions at the big Summer Bash going on in the next town over. Unfortunately, a pair of ghosts have been popping up lately and so the bash might be cancelled. Fred and Velma decide not to help since they are too busy dancing so this time Daphne and Shaggy are going to have to try and solve the case. Can they do it or will they have to ask Fred and Velma for some help one last time.

Right off the bat I can definitely confirm that I liked this plot. Velma and Fred always put the mission first so it’s easy to see how they might not seem fun, but it just means that they aren’t slackers. Let’s be honest here, Daphne rarely takes the mission seriously as it is. She often gets distracted or simply doesn’t care. Shaggy is pretty obviously not into the mission in any of the films. As a result, it’s pretty ironic every time they talk about taking things seriously. As Velma points out in the film, Fred and her do the heavy lifting in every single case. Surely the other members can pull their weight for one case right? Unfortunately not so in the end Velma and Fred are called back into action.

In the meantime, they do prove that they know how to have fun. They come up with a cool new dance and even get the old Captains of the Bash to leave since their attitudes aren’t very good. It does seem like they were always like that though so winning the Bash in the first place was a little suspect but with enough money trading hands I suppose it is possible. As per usual I would say that Fred was the best character here. He took everything in stride and even convinced Velma to turn her tumble into a dance. Then he still had enough energy to help save the day.

The only part of the film that wasn’t very satisfying was the ending. Long story short, Fred and Velma decide to relinquish their titles to Shaggy and Daphne out of pity since those two were unable to solve the case and they also weren’t able to become Captains of the Bash legitimately. I feel like Fred and Velma should have kept the crown since they really did put a lot of effort into obtaining it. It just feels very undeserved for the other two members to get the crown after all of that. Still, the other members can’t call Fred a square after this film.

As you can imagine the writing is pretty solid here. The humor is pretty solid and the characters are on point. The character histories are a big reason as to why this film works in the first place is because of the character histories. I’m still not really a fan of the LEGO animation so I wouldn’t list that as a positive or anything but it works well enough I suppose. I’ll give the film credit for using the animation to its advantage by having their heads fly off and make that an actual part of the dance. Now that is how you work with the animation you were given. With hand drawn animation, of course the film would excel even more but no need to look at the hypothetical any more than that.

Now let’s look at the suspects. Naturally we have the previous Captains of the Bash. They seem determined to keep their crowns so cancelling the Bash would be one way of doing that. There are also 2 ghosts so that would make sense. There are also their parents. While they seem to be a nice pair of senior citizens, they do seem to have given up on the Bash rather quickly and are getting ready to sell to corporate. Perhaps they just want the insurance money?

There is also Mr. Corporate himself. Certainly one of the best characters in the film I might add. He has quite a lot of confidence throughout all of his appearances and isn’t afraid to use his money and position against anyone in his path. There are many reasons why he could be guilty if you really think about it. Corporate doesn’t look out for the little guys. Then there is his secretary. She is very timid and shy. She obeys corporate to the letter but always feels bad about it. Perhaps she has some pent up aggression that has led her to a life of crime eh? The secretary does have one scene where she blows up at corporate, but I can’t say I was a fan of that scene. The random blow out never really works and I’d say it just makes the character look bad for putting everyone on the spot. If you’re going to quit, do it in private later on. At least Corporate didn’t take it personally.

Finally we also have the Sheriff and his deputy. They definitely seem to want the Mystery Gang off the island as soon as possible and they are fans of the ghosts. They are hoping that the ghosts scare everyone away so the town will be nice and quiet again. These guys are rather direct which you may think is too obvious but maybe that’s what the film wants you to think.

We definitely have quite a few suspects here so it’s up to you to try and narrow the list down a bit. The newer Scooby Doo films usually have a lot of fun with the unveiling of the crooks and this one is no different. We get a bunch of twists and it’ll remind you to always suspect everyone until proven otherwise. After all, even the tour guide had something to hide. He may not have been the crook but judging from how fast he ran, the guy may have a previous crime on his record.

Overall, This was definitely a fun Scooby Doo film. Even though it’s the LEGO format I would consider this to be one of the better Scooby Doo films. It definitely captures the core of the franchise and it was probably the first time we had the plot revolve around Fred and Velma. We even got a few songs which were handled well. This is probably one of the first Beach films that I could recommend as well. With the proper blend of humor, action, and plot, this is a film I would definitely recommend checking out.

Overall 7/10

Lego Marvel Superheroes: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat Review


There have definitely been a lot of LEGO specials over the years. It makes sense as you can never run out of ideas with those little toys. That’s why they’re so popular in the first place. What you build is limited only by your imagination and your budget. The LEGO specials are usually pretty enjoyable and most of them are fairly short as well so it’s not as if they last too long either. This Guardians special is pretty good as well and goes by very fast so I’d say that it holds its own against the other Marvel ones.

The plot is that Thanos wants to create a BLT so he needs to find the Builder Stone which will let him create anything. I would have advised him to just go to Subways but I suppose they may have run out of tomatoes again. The Guardians decide to stop him but first they will have to out fly the Ravagers as well as Ronan. Does the team have what it takes for this mission or are they doomed again?

The LEGO animation is definitely something that you either like or you don’t. I don’t really consider it as good animation as it just seems really easy and nothing particularly stands out visually. As long as the animation isn’t bad it’s not a problem though and I wouldn’t call this bad animation. These specials are more about the dialogue than anything else as the one liners have to try and use the Lego’s advantage of many things being possible to its benefit.

On that note, the writing is pretty solid. I’m not the biggest fan of the Guardians team when it comes to their personalities but the special did a good job of keeping them in check. For example, Drax can overuse his gimmick of taking things literally but I believe they only use that joke once here as opposed to spamming it in every other scene. That was pretty good and seeing him get wrecked by Thanos is a better gag. I think that’s how their fight should always go but I have a nagging feeling that he is going to be able to score the final blow against Thanos in the movie somehow or even defeat him to close his character arc. I’ll give the film extra kudos if they go the LEGO route instead.

The rest of the characters do a good job of being decent as well. Star Lord’s still a fun leader who always has a plan and the voice helps the character out even further. Gamora doesn’t get much of a role in this special but she is certainly in character as she doubts Star Lord the whole time. The team always bets against him and they are probably right to do so since he will come through when it counts but not in any other situation. Ronan and Thanos make for good villains as well. They may be fairly overused in Guardian plots at this point but it’s not as if the team has too many enemies which is why they have to keep showing up. At least it’s not a C rank villain who keeps reappearing or anything like that.

The only bad character as always is Groot. He actively tries to sabotage the team as always and the saying his name not got old years ago. He doesn’t add anything to the dynamic and only serves to take time away from the characters who could use more. At this point I’m unlikely to ever become a fan of his but you never know I suppose. Maybe all he needs is a radical change in character and design although it would basically be a different character at that point.

Overall, this special was pretty fun. It’s the length of a normal episode and has appropriate pacing. There’s never a moment where the film drags on and there aren’t a bunch of subplots to take away from the main adventure. The team fighting Thanos is already enough of a plot to hold its own special after all so it’s not like you need much more than that. Thor has a nice little cameo for his fans as well. If you haven’t checked this film out yet then you should go ahead and do so. It’s only 20 minutes so even if you don’t like it then you won’t be losing much time. The film doesn’t make any big mistakes though so at least for me there wasn’t much chance of not liking it. LEGO specials aren’t always a solid 7 but they are rarely, if ever bad.

Overall 7/10

The Lego Batman Movie Review


It’s time to review the recent Lego Batman film that was in theaters a while back. This movie got a lot of hype as one person even told me that it was the greatest comic book movie of all time. Of course, that person didn’t enjoy Man of Steel or Batman V Superman so some credibility may have been lost there. It’s a fun film and has fun going over the top with the Lego visuals. Despite the epic action scenes, some of the jokes don’t work as well as the normal shorts as they are reused and stretched a bit much. It’s a fun film, but one with the typical flaws of turning what could have been a 30 minute Lego short into a full length film.

The film starts off with a pretty intense action scene as Batman reminds the world why he is the top crime fighter around. Joker has amassed an army of villains who obey his every order and he wants them to shut down Gotham City. Batman manages to defeat all of them rather effortlessly but also hurts Joker’s feelings when he admits that Superman is actually his greatest enemy. Joker decides to retaliate by destroying the city and hires some pretty notable figures like King Kong and Sauron to help him. Batman may need some help from Barbara and Robin if he’s going to survive this, but will he ask for help?

I was glad that Batman pointed out all of the tropes that companies use when starting movies. The ominous music and long logos always do seem to be a staple and starting the film out in all black is probably one of the more annoying ones. It shows that the film is trying to win an Oscar instead of trying to make a movie. Batman points all of this out and then gets to work on wrecking everyone. As always, his voice is perfect for the character. He gets Batman’s serious nature across and delivers his lines without sounding like he’s going to laugh.

Batman has looked great in the Lego films and for the most part this one is no exception. He’s as overconfident as ever and is even more of a loner in the Lego films than he is in the main ones. It’s the Batman that we wanted and the one that we deserve. He conquers overwhelming odds and doesn’t learn the teamwork moral until the final 15 minutes so he lasted quite a while. Yeah, Batman was basically on point. The only trouble here was his rapping gig on the side. That just felt a little out of character and was a new twist that I couldn’t get behind. Seriously…lets not bring the singing in. That just doesn’t feel right if you ask me. The songs are bad on purpose…but it doesn’t work.

Keep in mind that I’m just talking about Batman singing. The film had a lot of retro songs that worked fairly well. Remember Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up Never Gonna Let You Down” song? That one makes a cameo and it was brilliant. Batman chose another song instead though. Ironically I couldn’t actually hear the one he chose though because the sound effects were way louder than the movie. I can only imagine how hard it would be to hear the music in the theater with the sound effects bashing away at the walls. I’m pretty cool with that though as they brought the Adam West visual effects back at long last. That was pretty sweet.

The Lego graphics are also on point. It’s still Lego so it falls short of the average animated movie, but I feel like they brought the style to the height of what it can do. The cool Crisis City vibes I was getting from the climax made it that much more intense. The opening action scene was also really fast paced and visually interesting. At times it felt like the film was on 2x speed with how quickly everything was happening. That’s a good thing though as it made Batman’s skills appear to be even more extreme and hype.

Lets talk about some of the aspects where the film didn’t fare as well. It all starts with the Joker. His whole plot about wanting to be Batman’s greatest enemy starts off as annoying and very quickly turns cringe worthy. It ends up overriding his entire character as every single scene with him on screen is about that. The film goes way too far with its obvious parallels here and Batman is ultimately forced to admit that Joker has earned the title. Even if it could have possibly been funny for some, the joke drags on for way too long. It just keeps coming back over and over again well past the point where you just want it to go away. It really hurt the film in my opinion and was the biggest detriment to it in the end. The film should have just kept on focusing on the absurd parts of the film like the opening with the bombs over the city. That’s the film’s forte and it needed to remember that.

I can’t say that Robin was very likable either. He goes from being a big Batman fan who is fairly timid to just rummaging through Batman’s stuff without permission and messing with the guy. Where was the respect? He just ends up getting in the way a lot of the time and while I was glad that it gave us an excuse to hear Batman’s useful life lessons, Robin could have been a better character. Most of the humor with his character didn’t work well either. You know what the problem is? Batman’s the only character here who understands humor. I’d wager that over 90% of the jokes that worked in this film are the ones that Batman used. That’s just a guess off the top of my head, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the cast.

At least Batgirl was pretty good. Once she takes over as Commissioner she begins to take names. She did a good job ob taking down all of Batman’s most dangerous enemies without breaking a sweat. She may have taken all of Batman’s insults and attempts to get her out of the action a little too personally, but at least she could fight. From all of the supporting characters, she was easily the best. Alfred wasn’t bad either, but he spent more time trying to shut Batman down and get in his way than actually helping. Also, am I the only one who thinks that the group was way too ungrateful to Batman after he saved their lived from the Hollywood villains? He could have just not done that and they’d all be broken like the cops that he smashed at the prison.

The Justice League makes a nice little cameo. It’s fun to see them all around and while it may have been a little mean of Superman not to invite Batman to the party…Batman did say that they were worst enemies. I suppose Superman is just trying to live up to the title. I was kind of expecting him to show up at the end, but I suppose he wasn’t needed this time. The climax was already really explosive and intense anyway.

When it all boils down to it, I think the film had a stronger opening than ending. As I mentioned earlier, the first part was really on point with Batman taking names and then Bruce Wayne pointing out how awesome Batman was. Grabbing a glass of water just to dramatically spit it out is a classic Batman thing to do. The second half just got a little confused with all of the extra characters and the whole Joker plot when in reality it should have focused on Batman. I think the problem may have been the length. A lot of the DC Lego films are roughly 70 minutes at this point, but this one was closer to 90 I believe. Maybe they just couldn’t fit in all of the extra time. The plot is fairly basic after all so it could have been done a lot quicker.

That being said, the pacing was pretty good. Something is always happening so it’s not really a lack of ideas. It’s just a lack of focus. Maybe they thought people would get bored if Batman got too much screen time and wanted to include everyone. That didn’t work so well as you might expect. I admire the effort though and I am glad that this got to be in the theater. It’s pretty surreal to see Lego Batman actually get mainstream as people saw it in the theater. Not bad…not bad at all.

Overall, This wasn’t a bad film. It had its good moments and while it struggled a bit, the goods outweighed the bad. The Joker plot may have shed the film a star or 2, but Batman’s strong performance keeps the film on the positive side of the spectrum. If we get a sequel I’d like to see Superman get more of a role and the two characters can duke it out. This is a rare time where I’d like the character development to revert as well so Batman is a solo act again. That being said, since his personality didn’t change, they could also just come up with an excuse to have the other characters just be on vacation or something. I’d recommend checking this film out if you haven’t already. Otherwise, you should check out some of the earlier specials as the action is just as good, but you’ll also see a higher level of witty banter between the characters. The wit is what makes or breaks the Lego films after all and DC seems to have a knack for it.

Overall 6/10

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League Gotham City Breakout Review


It’s time for another lego film. In this one, we get 2 main plots instead of 3 or 4 like usual. This allows each individual plot to be fleshed out more but of course it means that you have to like both or you’re out of luck. Fortunately, both plots are pretty solid. The Batman plot ends up winning for me, but both of them are on the up and up.

The film starts with Batman’s friends deciding that he needs to take a vacation. As such, Nightwing and Batgirl take him to the place where he first learned how to become Batman. Batman’s master is known as Madame Mantis and she is the one person that he actually fears. It can be a little novel to see Batman actually scared of someone (for 2 seconds anyway) but the next twist made the whole thing even more interesting. Basically, Mantis had actually been kidnapped and Deathstroke had taken her place. Here’s why this is interesting.

For starters..Mantis had actually been beating Batman. That means Deathstroke is even more lethal than he used to be. He also saw a side of Batman that few ever have..his nervous side. Now, Batman claims that he knew this from the start which was a nice save but you have to decide whether you believe it or not. At the very least, Batman did end up winning in the end. It was a great way to start off the plot, but maybe that was also a bad thing. The rest of the story (Batman’s side) isn’t quite as exciting as this initial confrontation. The fight was epic, fast paced, and well choreographed. It was just hard to top it.

Batman and friends discover an underground bunch of beings who work under Madame Mantis and together the gang teams up to take down Deathstroke and foil his evil ambitions. I can’t say that I liked the Trogowogs much and I had to look their name up online because there is no way I was gonna remember it. The revamped origin story of Deathstroke and Batman was pretty cool though. I wouldn’t mind if it became canon since it adds an extra layer of intensity to their rivalry.

Meanwhile, Superman is left in charge of protecting Gotham while Batman is away. Arrogant and over confident as usual, Superman believes that the city’s villains are a joke. This leads to him being tricked by the Joker and losing to Poison Ivy. The whole film is a lesson in humility for Superman. While I could start talking about plot hax and how Batman’s villains really would be a joke to Superman…it’s so self explanatory that I won’t even bother. I don’t mind seeing Superman get put in his place either. His over confidence is why I like the character, but I definitely don’t mind poking a little fun at him. Superman is eventually forced to call in Cyborg and Wonder Woman although they also have a hard time with the situation. It’s a little odd since they certainly aren’t overconfident, but it proves what Batman has been saying for years. He’s the best member, the other Leaguers are just here to back him up!

A big part of the plot is that Robin wants to help out, but Superman constantly patronizes him and reminds the poor boy that kids can’t fight super villains. Superman’s technically correct if this was a normal universe, but in comic book land we all know that kids can be pretty tough. Robin works on his homework for a while, but eventually realizes that without him the team is doomed. He gets set to win and ultimately proves to be the League’s secret weapon. Who’d have thunk it?

As per usual I have to give a shoutout to Batman’s voice actor. The specials really wouldn’t be the same without him since the dialogue is part of why the specials are so fun. Batman just steals the show with ever appearance that he has. The rest of the characters are solid as well and fulfill the parts as best they can, but Batman’s just feels totally legitimate. He sounds like the guy from “How it should have ended” and maybe it’s just easier to voice Batman. Who knows, but either way it works well.

The soundtrack is also pretty good as per usual. The Lego films have been getting progressively better with the fight scenes or at least consistent. The format has shown that it can actually deliver serious fights when it wants to do so. The fight with Batman’s teacher at the beginning was definitely the best one in the film. I’m still not crazy about Lego animation and at this point I don’t think I’ll be changing my mind on that anytime soon, but it won’t take you out of the film. If anything, I’m fairly used to it by now and it still beats Stop Motion. That one’s definitely aged the worst.

The film’s pretty short as always since it’s just over an hour. 70 minutes seems to be everyone’s favorite go to for short films. The old films from the 40’s-60’s were always around 70 minutes like the Universal Monster films and same with anime. Maybe there’s some kind of research which shows that 70 minutes is just right. I do admit that it helps the pacing to stay consistently fast so I suppose it has worked out quite well. With the Lego style, I suppose going to 2 hours could be hit or miss, but if done well it could definitely work.

Overall, This is a pretty fun DC special. It’s not the best Lego adventure, but it can hold its own with ease. I am glad that Batman’s plot got a lot of screen time since a DC special without him just would not work well. This one also didn’t have Supergirl rhyming the whole time like a certain other special so I was down with that. Aside from her, there haven’t really been any poorly written heroes in the Lego specials. We’ve had some bad villains like Vandal Savage, but that’s all. I’d recommend checking this one out if you enjoyed the other DC specials. It’s fairly similar to them and follows a rather safe formula. It hits enough of the right notes to certainly be counted as a good film.

Overall 7/10

Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood

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It’s time for another Scooby Doo adventure. This one is back to the Lego style. What I like about Scooby Doo venturing into all of these different styles is it means that the films can come out more frequently. Think of the Lego films as a hold over while waiting for the traditional ones. As long as the writing is on point, it will still make for a fun story. Fred steals the show once again, but the rest of the gang do their best to keep up with his lead.

Shaggy and Scooby Doo have finally had enough of Fred and the gang. They refuse to be tricked by Scooby Snacks any longer and have decided to stop eating them for good. The gang takes them on a field trip to Hollywood to celebrate, but it turns out that the place is haunted. Shaggy and Scooby might have to go back to Scooby Snacks if they want to survive this experience. Luckily, with all of the real film producers running away from the monsters, this is Fred’s chance to take the limelight and make the best film possible!

This film plays out like your average Scooby Doo adventure. The animation isn’t my favorite as it is lego style, but it’s not all that bad either. If anything, the one thing about Lego style that irks me the most is how Legos can’t eat. As a result, there’s always an excuse for Shaggy and Scooby to not eat their food or a quick cutaway. We need to find a way to get past that limitation. As for the soundtrack, I can’t remember any of the tunes, but I’m sure that they were decent enough.

The subplot of Scooby and Shaggy deciding not to eat Scooby Snacks anymore was decent, even if you knew from the start that the franchise would never dare change the status quo quite so much. It’s still good to see the heroes have some restraint and go for actual food instead. The other subplot with Daphne wanting to be a film lead was annoying. She could have at least been halfway decent at being a supporting character instead of actively trying to wreck Fred’s film. I’d say that the plot was definitely too over dramatized. Velma didn’t really have a plot this time. As a result, she wasn’t as bad as she usually is although she’s definitely still not much of a likable character to be honest.

Luckily, Fred’s got this. Once he gets the film producer role, he does a good job of putting everyone in their place and completing the job to the best of his ability. He didn’t have much to work with, but Fred pulled through with the project anyway. He stopped most of the monsters on his own and came up with the plans needed to save the day. I can’t imagine where the gang would be without him. I don’t imagine that they would last long, that’s for sure.

Naturally, we’ve also got a few characters who were made up for the film. There weren’t a whole lot of them this time. One character was an actress who decided to help out in Fred’s film. She handled the role fairly well and definitely had an air of professionalism. The only problem is that she never felt like a suspect. I don’t suppose that she was ever supposed to be considered as one, but then you really only have 2-3 actual suspects with one of them being the culprit. The film does its best to weave around that, but it’s quite difficult.

There’s also the horror fan who doesn’t like the fact that Hollywood has decided to go with Rom Coms instead of more horror. Fred and the gang don’t sympathize all that much. This kid has to perform just about every job at the place himself since everyone else ran off. He’s brave and has a motive, that’s reason enough to add him onto the suspect box. There’s also his boss. He likely stands to gain a lot if Hollywood is shut down since he is probably insured. He half heartedly tells Fred and the others to film a movie themselves, but it could just be his way of getting them out of the picture. You’ll want to keep your eye on this guy. Finally, we’ve got the inspector who is looking to buy Hollywood. As more and more people run away from the place, the going rate will continue to drop so that’s likely a good proposition for the man. He stands to gain a lot from this monster.

As for the actual monster(s) in question, the designs aren’t bad. They’re all based off of the original monsters like Dracula and the Werewolf so they aren’t new designs, but they are tried and true. They make some effort to get to Fred and the gang, but the Mystery Inc had a larger advantage than usual this time. The monsters were actually on the defensive for most of the film. They simply lacked the ferociousness that most of the other villains had.

The film’s pretty short as you’d expect and since there were a short mission at the start of the film, the main one didn’t get too much screen time. Relatively speaking of course since it probably only took an extra 5-10 minutes. That may have been why the cast was so small this time around. The pacing is still solid though and maybe it was for the best as the original characters here are all likable. The best character was probably the investor to be honest, but the horror fan did a decent job of keeping everyone in check. The boss would probably be the blandest character, but he serves his purpose.

This review ended up being a little on the short side so let me use this paragraph to make a suggestion on where Scooby Doo can go from here. I like the current formula as much as the next guy, but there is one addition that could really help the series. The franchise needs a rival team. Granted, the team could be obnoxious if handled wrong, but stay with me here. Imagine a Mystery Inc that only cares about profits and uses any means necessary to catch the crooks. Even if they don’t become main supporting characters, one film like this could be genius. I believe that the films have dabbled around with having other sleuths once in a while, but I’m talking a full team here. Just think about it, a rival team could really be awesome. Fred’s competitive nature would ensure a fun dynamic as well.

Overall, If you’ve seen the older Scooby Doo films, then you should like this one. It stays pretty true to the overall formula and sits comfortably away from the lower tier films. Everyone is in character, which actually is not a given since in recent films some characters have been a bit dicey. Daphne didn’t bring her A game this time and was easily the weakest member, but even she could have been a little more exaggerated. Fred’s been looking really good these last few films so I’m hoping that the franchise can keep it up. Next up, the Wrestling sequel is arriving and that should definitely be a fun film. The first title was one of the better Scooby Doo films so I’m certainly hoping for more of the same from its sequel.

Overall 7/10

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom Review

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That title’s a mouthful eh? I thought about shortening it, but this is how I formatted the previous films so I may as well keep it in. Also, I’ve published other posts with long names in the past so it’s not all that new. This may be surprising to hear, but Attack of the Legion of Doom is easily the best Lego film out there. It beats The Lego film and even all of the other DC titles. I don’t see this one being surpassed to be honest since it really hits all of the right notes. This is Lego as it was always meant to be.

The Justice League have effectively ended all crime. The villains have not been able to get anything going since they are always outgunned. Lex Luthor decides to fix this problem by making his own group…the Legion of Doom! He holds tryouts to see who will join his legendary group. In the end, the roster includes Gorilla Grodd, Sinestro, Lex Luthor, Black Manta, Cheetah, and a few others. The League will have to fight extra hard if they want to beat this well knit team, but they have some problems of their own. Batman was voted as the leader of the Justice League, dethroning Superman and raising tensions among the rest of the team. Cyborg is also dealing with some drama so this is the perfect time for the Legion of Doom to strike!

There is one major reason above all others as to why this is the best Lego special. Lego specials don’t really do much in terms of fight scenes because they are comedies above all else. There may be the occasional fight, but typically they are short and not really played seriously. That’s not the case in this special as we actually get some extended fight scenes and they are played completely (90% anyway) seriously. These are fight scenes that you could picture actually looking really good with another animation style. DC wasn’t pulling its punches this time. One scene in particular that looked good was when Batman used his secret punch on Black Manta. These kinds of action scenes you would not usually see in Lego.

Another feather in this film’s hat is the soundtrack. The music themes are a little hard to describe. I’d say that they have a bit of a party theme to them. It’s easy to jam to the beat as you watch the heroes and villains duke it out. The themes are very fast paced and definitely a lot of fun to listen too. It is easily the best soundtrack in all of Lego and that’s considering the fact that The Lego Movie had a fairly decent soundtrack as well. When you consider how good the music was and the fact that the action scenes were so solid, it is easy to see why this is the best Lego film.

Meanwhile, the Lego graphics are about what you’d expect from now. I still consider this to be one of the weakest animation styles out there, but it is what it is. It looks like your average Lego film so at least there is a lot of consistency there. It’s not better than usual or worse than usual. It simply fills the bill and moves on.

One of the main plots is that nobody really thinks Cyborg is League material. He begins to doubt it as well when he constantly puts the team in danger so that’s a cause for some tension. It’s a great plot because that’s what we all thought when the New 52 tried to force Cyborg on us as a Justice League member. I’m sorry folks, but he’ll always be a Teen Titan to me. Dick Grayson, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy are in the same boat. You can throw them on other teams like the Outlaws or the Doom Patrol, but they’ll always be Teen Titans when it counts. Cyborg really tries, but he simply can’t keep up with the rest of the team.

As per usual, Batman steals the show here although Superman is a decently close second. Batman taking charge of the League was great and he even reminds us that he is the brains of the operation on many occasions. He is the only one who saw through just about all of the plot twists in the film and he held his own when it came time to fight. He was also smart enough to realize that leaving the planet while there were still a lot of villains there was not a wise move, even if Superman overruled him there. Batman’s the ultimate solo act and without him the League would be finished. The films have done a good job of taking a comical spin on his personality traits, but not taking the bad ones and making them worse. (Teen Titans Go) Rather, they’ve taken his better qualities and made them even better.

Likewise, it is good to see Superman’s ultra heroism at work here. He is so fair and just that he naturally assumed that he could not vote for himself in the election. He knows that the system works after all and he always manages to get in some one liners as he fights crime. Naturally, there is no fear of the other villains within him since Superman is all but invincible so he grins for just about the whole film. There is some kryptonite towards the end, but Superman definitely doesn’t go down without a fight.

Flash and Green Lantern spend the whole film fighting over Wonder Woman so I can’t say that they handled things all that well. This is an example of a quality that I was hoping would not be dramatized. Wonder Woman’s role is fairly minimal as she tries to ignore Flash and and GL whenever possible although it’s not always easy. As for the villains, they’re all fairly accurate here. It’s easy to sympathize with the Trickster a little since the heroes intentionally mess with him quite a bit. Sinestro is easily shown to be one of the smarter villains from the get go which was good. He certainly deserves the title more than the others. Lex Luthor called the shots as expected and he insulted Gorilla Grodd quite a bit, which could be a subtle reference. Deathstroke also gets a quick cameo, which was handled very well. His fans are sure to be pleased.

Make sure you stick around for the end of the film by the way since it hints at big things to come. I’m certainly ready to see this plot actually happen since it has been set up for quite a while now. Seeing the big villain at the end arrive to fight the Justice League will be a blast. If the writers are able to handle it well like they did here, we’ll be in for quite the show. I still doubt it will be able to beat this film, but I’m ready to see what they do with it here.

Overall, Even if Lego films are not your thing, this is a film that I would recommend. The writing is very good as is the soundtrack. The Justice League members look solid for the most part and the fact that we actually get some fight scenes here is just an added bonus. The film is also fairly short as well so it is not like you would lose a lot of your time by giving this one a shot. You can say that you’ve seen Lego at its peak and if this doesn’t help you become a Superman fan, nothing will! (It’s a great answer to Batman V Superman as well folks since they both get to trade witty banter and try to out think each other with their very different views on how to handle a situation)

Overall 8/10

Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled Review

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I always try to grab a poster or a picture that has the title in some form, but that wasn’t really possible this time. (*Possible = Quick Google Search) The image that I did grab was still pretty neat though. The Lego craze continues and it’s a fad that I much prefer to the stop motion from back in the day so I’m cool with it. Lego films don’t have the highest amount of replay value out there and they tend to reuse jokes after a while, but they’re always fun the first time around and this one was handled well. Lego’s leave little room for hype moments, but that’s not the point of Legos anyway. This ended up being a solid Lego adventure and one of Marvel’s better ones. (Wait a sec, how many Marvel Lego adventures are there anyway?….)

The Avengers were getting ready for a nice party when Iron Man’s suit is hacked by Ultron! Locked into his suit, Tony can only watch as Ultron tries to humiliate the Avengers by messing up their party. The Avengers will have to think quickly if they want to win this round. Ultron’s army of droids are not going to be easy to defeat and the Avengers are forced to call in a little help to deal with the menace. The Avengers roster has been strengthened with the addition of Vision, but the twins are nowhere to be found. Perhaps for the next special although Scarlet Witch may be the only one to join due to Quicksilver’s ending.

I have to say that Captain America definitely stole the show here. He made a lot of good puns about Ant Man throughout the film. The other characters would always grimace and wince, but that just made it all the better when Captain America would continue. He was unfazed by the reactions of his partners and rightfully so. When others doubt your puns, that doesn’t mean that they are bad. I thought that they were quite clever and he was easily the best character in the entire film. He did a good job during the fights as well.

This short is a comedy first and foremost of course even though there are some quick action scenes. The fights are enjoyable and there are a lot of homages to the actual film. This was to be expected of course and it’s always interesting to see how closely the Legos can emulate the style of the original film. Hawkeye’s costume is barely trying to emulate the film style though as it really stands out with all of the red coloring. It’s hard to totally see what the film was going for, but I actually did like the style though.

We even get some guest stars to show that this is in the same continuity as the Ultimate Spider Man show. Spiderman and Iron Spider arrive to turn the tides and let the heroes know what is going on. They’re left behind so the role is definitely a very small one, but it’s always nice to have a cameo from our favorite wall crawling superhero! There’s not a whole lot more to say about the characters. They’re all in character and slightly more comedycized (New word now folks!) like in Teen Titans Go, but not over the top to the point where the characters would not be likable.

I’m definitely ready for a DC vs Marvel Lego adventure at this point. The possibilities would be endless and I could finally have Batman and Superman defeat their Marvel counterparts. I could almost see Iron Man being the one to fight Batman since the MCU has made him really popular, but either way, DC should take the fight. They’ve always been portrayed as the stronger verse in my eyes and seeing them get some credit would be fun. Even if it’s just a comedy adventure, I could see both sides getting some decent Lego fights in there and the format would also mean that Superman wouldn’t need to hold back! If he broke his opponent, it would just be accompanied by a pun after all.

If I have a complaint for this adventure, it’s just the same complaint that I have with basically all Lego films. A lot of the jokes you’ll see a few miles away and they tend to not actually be that funny. I typically won’t laugh at any of the jokes, but I tend to not laugh at most jokes so it’s not saying much. It’s fairly enjoyable, but I’m still not a fan of Lego animation either and it does prevent the specials from having any real fight scenes. Again, it’s more a complaint for the format than anything and watching this is still a nice way to spend 20 minutes.

Overall, The special is pretty fun. It makes for a fun little watch and that’s why there’s not much to say about it. To an extent, it’s like reviewing an episode, which is why I don’t do that. It would be hard to elaborate an awful lot about it and even then, the average episode has more content to be discussed than a Lego film since the Lego adventure is just a quick battle without the extra layers of characters and plot. It works well for what it is and I still say that this is a fairly solid Lego adventure. It inflates the Marvel animation count and that’s what counts in the end. I recommend checking this out and you can watch it while cooking lunch instead of having a conventional timer.

Overall 7/10

Lego Jurassic World Review

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This game is fairly new and it covers the plots of the first four films! I recently finished watching all 4 titles so it’s fun to relive the adventures in the Lego format. Each film gets 5 levels to itself, which makes for a solid amount of stages to get through. This is the first Lego game that I’ve played aside from Lego Marvel if I recall correctly and it’s definitely fun to check them out. I do like the little nods and fourth wall breaking that they give the dinosaurs.

The first world deals with the first Jurassic Park being unveiled and a few key players have been invited to see if it’s ready to be opened. Their seals of approval are all that the park need, but the T Rex may scare them from doing this! The second world has one of the guys reluctantly come back to the island…the second island anyway to save his friend, but he ends up getting stranded! The third world has the main character of the first film come back to an island filled with dinosaurs for money and has to use his wits to survive. The final world features Jurassic Park. It has finally become an attraction, but a new dinosaur escapes so a master Raptor trainer will have to deal with her! If you’ve seen the films, you’ll understand the plot anyway so I just provided a brief summary in case you didn’t get the chance to view them.

Lego Jurassic World is roughly 7 hours for the main game and getting all of the additional collectibles would likely stretch that to around 20-30. It’s a good length for the game and the average level was around 20-30 minutes although some of the puzzles would make me take a step back and think for a little while. Still, you shouldn’t expect to blast through every puzzle without a few delays so the completion time should still be pretty similar.

If you’ve played a Lego game before, then you should be fairly used to the gameplay and format. The gameplay has a bit of an overhead view, but it’s still 3D for the most part and plays out like Ultimate Alliance. You can punch and each character has 2-3 special abilities like crawling through tunnels or climbing a wall. Once in a while, there will be some minions to defeat and you can just smash them to bits with your punches. Quick time events appear for boss battles like the T Rex vs the Spinosaurus. You can never really lose in this game as you will infinitely respawn, but it’s not meant to be difficult anyway. Playing the Lego games is more about the experience and just enjoying the adventures.

I found it ironic that this game actually fixes some of my complaints from the film. Namely, the animal violence. The pigs will often escape the Dinosaurs in this version and even offer a little chuckle/snortle when they escape. Instead of eating each other, the Dinosaurs will usually just chase one another and even most of the humans end up surviving. Lego Jurassic World is a comedy adventure so it makes sure to never let things get too serious. I rather enjoy this as I don’t want to see the animals get eaten even if they are made of Legos. Like this, you can really sit back and enjoy the game. You’ll even see some Dinosaurs jumping on motorcycles and wearing cool sunglasses. It’s very surreal and epic.

The graphics are decently good. It’s a Lego game so it’s hard to say that the graphics are actually very good or if they are simply decent. Naturally, I will always prefer more of a traditional art style like Mario Sunshine or Super Smash Bros 64, but the actual Lego figures look fairly bright and colorful so the graphics definitely aren’t bad. They did a good job of recreating the areas and considering that everything is made out of Lego pieces, it’s pretty impressive.

The soundtrack is fun as the game tries to remix the main Jurassic Park theme with as many variations as possible. Whenever a Juke Box, Phone, Stereo, TV, or Bicycle bell makes a sound, you’ll typically hear the theme. There must be dozens of variations to find in the game and it was a nice touch. Most of the other themes are likely public domain or from the films, but the classic jingle will is definitely something to keep an eye out for whenever it shows up.

The trophies are all doable and fairly simple to achieve. It will take some time as you must go through all of the levels once again and collecting all of the Lego Pieces will be tricky unless you buy some upgrades. It’s a bit of a grind, but it’s actually very satisfying to break all of the objects around you and gather the pieces. It actually doesn’t get tedious at any point so that’s a good thing. Still, it’s a fair Platinum as they should be time consuming and you’ll have fun exploring the islands as you get yours. That’s a good amount of replay value and getting the Platinum will have meant that you’ll have done all of the extra tasks anyway so I don’t need to go into those. Needless to say, there are many characters to unlock and races to complete.

I’ll admit that I had been slightly hoping that the T Rex would defeat the Spinosaurus here as an in joke for the fans, but the Spino still pulled ahead. Granted, we got to help the T Rex here as it wouldn’t have even been a close fight otherwise. Maybe the game is actually trying to tell us something here….hmmmmmm. Either way, the T Rex will always be awesome and we can’t forget the Raptors. There’s even a twist ending in this game that I assume leads into Lego Dimensions. That will definitely be a fun title as a bunch of different franchises will be meeting up. My Lego video game collection will likely be growing as I get more of these titles, but at least now I can say that I’ve played the latest Lego game. They’re always guaranteed to be fun as the formula is quite sound. They aren’t too short or too long so they’re just right as a break from the other games that I’m playing like Flip’s Twisted World.

Overall, Lego Jurassic World is a fun game. If you like the Lego games, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. If you haven’t played any before, then this is a nice jumping on point. There are a lot of things to do and you should enjoy it so long as you enjoy Platformers. You’ll be able to really start learning about the Jurassic Park franchise and the humor is well done. Of course, the price is rather high at the moment, but never let that stop you from getting a fun game.

Overall 7/10