Tag Archives: Will Arnett

Review: The Lego Movie

The_Lego_Movie_PosterIt’s a good thing “The Lego Movie” hadn’t come out in the late 80s or early 90s, otherwise my parents would be broke.

The story focuses on a minifigure named Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt). He’s just your average guy, living life according to the instructions. He does his exercises, drinks his overpriced coffee, indulges in the latest craze, a song called “Everything is Awesome,” and heads off to work. However, little does he know that Lord Business (Will Ferrell) is about to demolish his awesome existence using a super weapon called The Kragel. The Master Builders have been hard at work trying to track down the only item that can shut down The Kragel, The Piece of Resistance, but it’s Emmet who happens to stumble upon it and, according to Vitruvius’ (Morgan Freeman) prophecy, that makes Emmet “The Special,” the only one capable of putting a stop to Lord Business’ plan to end the world.

As someone who grew up with and still has an affinity for Legos, “The Lego Movie” is quite literally a dream come true. Sure it was fun sorting through instructions, putting cars, pirate ships and spaceships together piece by piece and then embarking on an epic adventure using your imagination, but what if there were no big, fat human hands to tarnish that visual? Almost every single movement and action sequence in “The Lego Movie” is just what anyone might create manipulating the toys with their hands, but as though the minifigures are doing it all on their own and it’s downright magical.

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Review: Despicable Me

Pixar may be at the top of the animated film business with DreamWorks Animation following right behind, but they better watch their backs because a new company, Illumination Entertainment, is about to get in on the game with its feature debutDespicable Me. The film can’t quite compare to the two seasoned studios most recent hits, Toy Story 3 and How To Train Your Dragon, but Despicable Me still is packed with top-notch animation, amusing characters and even a little heart, making the film and Illumination Entertainment warmly welcomed additions to the industry.

Gru’s (Steve Carell) just your average guy living in a quaint suburban town. Well, except that he walks around with a freeze ray in his pocket, has an army of minions and is determined to be the most notorious super villain the world. After an unknown evildoer manages to snag an Egyptian pyramid, Gru comes up with a plan to one up that feat, stealing the moon. But his evil operation won’t come cheap so Gru’s got to go to the Bank of Evil to apply for a loan. The institution he once viewed as a goldmine turns its back on him in favor of a younger villain, Vector (Jason Segel). The only way the bank will finance his venture is if Gru nabs a shrink ray first. It’s too bad that in the midst of doing so, Vector arrives, foiling Gru’s plan, taking the weapon for himself and storing it in his seemingly impenetrable fortress.

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Review: When In Rome

When a movie’s tagline is “Did you ever wish for the impossible?” you know you’re in trouble. Screenwriters David Diamond and David Weissman should have cut back on the wishing and directed their time and energy towards putting together a funnier script. The duo takes a hopeful premise and drags it down with a colossal amount of cliché gags and uncomfortably awkward moments.

Beth is 100% committed to her job as an art curator leaving zero time to have a guy in her life, which is evident in the film’s opening scene. While hosting a party at an art exhibit, it’s erroneously announced that Beth is engaged. Making the situation even more humiliating, the person who’s actually engaged is Beth’s ex. But don’t worry Beth, this event has absolutely no bearing upon the rest of the film and is ultimately insignificant.

The real story kicks in when her little sister informs her she’s getting married in Rome. A mix of jealously, work-related pressure and champagne leads to a wedding packed with mishaps. Luckily Beth meets the just as unfortunate Nick (Josh Duhamel), a guy who makes Beth second-guess her all-work-no-boyfriend policy. More champagne eventually lands Beth in the fountain of love committing a serious no-no, taking other people’s coins. Not only is it illegal to be prancing in the fountain, but by taking the coins, she puts their owners under a magical spell making them madly in love with her.

Once Beth returns to New York City, the problems begin, both for Beth and the audience. We’re introduced to four coin tossers, all of which are amusing at first, but quickly become annoyingly intolerable. Will Arnett is Antonio, an Italian painter and the least humorous of the bunch. There are a few cute moments between Danny Devito’s sausage king and Beth, and Dax Shepard earns a few giggles as a super vain model. A number of Lance (Jon Heder) the gothic magician moments are funny, but that character is so discomforting to watch it’s almost impossible to laugh. Heder’s saving grace is his reunion with Napoleon Dynamite co-star Efren Ramirez. Come to think of it, Ramirez may be the funniest of the supporting characters.

This is a romantic comedy, so of course our lead must have exponentially more unappealing best friends. Lead sidekick duties fall to Bobby Moynihan and Kate Micucci neither of which has one remotely funny moment. They’re completely thrown under the bus at Bell’s and Duhamel’s expense. At least their sacrifice is worth it; When in Rome’s sole positive sources are the stars. Both Bell and Duhamel have an uncanny ability to be appealing on screen no matter what ridiculous absurdity they’re engaged in.

On the whole, When in Rome is a subpar attempt at a romantic comedy. Every cheap gag is hackneyed and blush-worthy rather than deserving of a laugh. On the other hand, it does hold your attention from beginning to end. Between the magnetism of Bell and Duhamel and the mesmerizing scenic shot of Rome and New York, When in Rome is a pleasantly tolerable hour and a half. That being said, even a minute more would have been a serious problem.

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