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Movies for the Week of January 31, 2014

The Lego Movie
The Monuments Men
Vampire Academy

The Lego Movie

the-lego-movie-poster-artJosh Hadley: That was… that was… the worst thing I have ever seen, there were no jokes, there was no plot given, there were no characters, just references to other things which are meant to elicit feelings of familiarity and therefore act as a substitution for the things which would traditionally make up a movie, of which there are zero to be found herein. Seriously, there is nothing here but reference after reference after reference… it’s like a Selterberg film using the actual characters instead of pathetic cyphers. Hollywood has officially run out of not just ideas, but hope, there is no hope left. You did it Warner Brothers, you have killed the very idea of a movie all to mass market more crap into the idiotic customers that you hope will flock to the rampant stupidity you think is an “intellectual property”.

Alex Jowski: Well if you just listen to the trailer instead of looking at it and kind of forget that “I’m here to see your butt” line then it’s not bad.  I like the soundtrack, even that terrible “Everything is awesome” song at the beginning. That cast though, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson.  Okay, I can see Will Ferrell voicing a CGI kids movie – he’s Mike Myers league now, but the others?

I’ve never watched or played a video game taking place with this modern Lego stuff.  I’ve always assumed that they were a visualization of what one imagines when playing with Legos.  Hey, Construction Worker, Batman and God are flying in a ship to save the day – makes sense in a kid’s imagination, right?  While I never would have conceived a story like this with my Legos someone else might have.  Do we need a movie of that though?  Do we really need a movie studio to come along and say; “We’ve taken the chore of imagination out of Legos for you so just watch this movie.”

Martha Page: I’ve been avoiding this trailer because I don’t want my kids to see it.  There’s nothing wrong with the movie for kids I just don’t want to watch it with them over and over again.  It’ll happen someday, I can’t hide the movie from them forever, because they are going to find out about it someday and they will want to watch it, and I will have to watch it with them, but I don’t want that day to happen yet.

This isn’t a “Lego” movie because those aren’t Legos.  Those are CGI versions of Legos.  This is just an animated movie like any other.  And WHY ISN’T MORGAN FREEMAN A BLACK LEGO? And people think I’m racist?  You get Morgan Freeman’s amazing voice for your CGI-things-that-look-like-Legos Movie and you cast him as a whitish/Middle-Eastern brown Lego?  Shame on you, movie.  Shame on you!

mister X: i don’t care if this makes me lose my cynical street-cred but i laffed during this trailer and i’m REALLY looking forward to this movie


Charley McMullen I really want to see this and I can’t tell you why exactly.  There is nothing really groundbreaking happening here, in terms of animation, nor is it pushing any envelopes in the way of plot; it is among the oldest stories in the world (“Believe in yourself, blah blah blah”), but this looks incredible.  I was just inexplicably impressed with this.  This is the first kids’ movie to come along in years that doesn’t look insultingly dumbed-down and it looks actually funny.  If the more cynical assholes among you manage to pull the stick out for a couple hours, this could be very enjoyable.

Mike White: When I was a kid, I legos were blocks. Now they’re video games and animated movies. Legos have an interesting look but I’m not sure about the story of this movie. It seems like it’s like an animated Friedkin and Seltzer movie with all of the crappy references.  Maybe kids will like it, but I don’t imagine I’ll be seeing it.


scornedJosh Hadley: Two things… first off, did the trailer literally just show us THE ENTIRE FILM?  I mean it seems such, we see the hobbling of the main character, the death of the secondary lead, and even the death of the villain… SO WHY THE FUCK DO WE NEED TO SEE THE DAMN MOVIE? Second, so torture porn for women is a thing huh?

Alex Jowski: “From the director of Leprechaun.”  Say no more.  I mean this movie already had me when this crazy chick microwaved a dog but “From the director of Leprechaun” was just the icing on the cake.

Martha Page: YES!  This movie looks awesome!  Last week we got to see the girl from Titanic get old and now we get to see the bad guy from Titanic get middle-aged and fat.  And then there is a scene where this girl microwaves a dog – so WTFOMG that it’s awesome.  She hobbles him too, just like in Misery and they even mention that it’s “just like in that movie.”  Because if you’re going to rip off from really good psychotic thrillers, might as well be a good one.  I can’t wait for this to be at Red Box!

mister X: billy zane IS kevin spacey in SWIMMING WITH SKANKS

also, if u pause the credits u’ll see the director chose ‘a film by’ credit…

Charley McMullen:  Okay, that looked pretty awesome.  It really looked like an R rated horror film from the days of Fatal Attraction –the kind of shit they don’t seem to make anymore.  There appeared to be some very extreme moments here.  Just like The Lego Movie, this looks like a well-worn story, but done in a really good way.  This one really had an “early-days-of-Miramax” kind of feel to it, which is not a bad thing for me.  I’d like to see this.  It won’t rock my world, but it looks damn entertaining.

Mike White: Ah, a Red Band trailer. Nice. Nothing better to watch at work. More than a movie, this seems like a redneck love story gone wrong and that it should be on Maury rather than the big screen. Billy Zane has stepped out on his girlfriend with her best friend. The girlfriend goes nuts.  When Billy Zane is the only face you recognize in the trailer, you can be pretty sure that this is going straight to video.

I kind of got the skeeves watching this trailer when I realized that Zane is about 20 years older than AnnyLynne McCord. She could do better with herself and should probably stick to someone closer her own age.

The Monuments Men

monuments_men_xlrgJosh Hadley: Sigh… another “based on a true story” which from my reading looks to be less than accurate to what really happened outside of the broad strokes… so goody, we have another fake “true” story to clog up the already feeble minds of the fleshbags who already inhabit the country… then we have a goofy comedy that wishes to make WWII look fun… fuck this, fuck it all…

Alex JowskiIt doesn’t look like a bad movie at all but there is something offputting that I just can’t shake.  It has a wonderfully talented cast with George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murray, et al. George Clooney has also proven himself to be a quality director.  I’ll admit that the story, about saving historic art from destruction during WWII is certainly a noble and intriguing cause.  However, there is the fact that this trailer presents the film from such a comedic angle that it kind of spoils the things I was liking about it.  It kind of ruins the nobility of their cause if they’re laughing about it.  It feels like a serious topic that could have been adressed a bit more seriously.

Martha Page: Ummm… Bad Batman?  Ugh.  And Bad Batman directed this too?  However there is John Goodman, the greatest actor that ever lived – so I’ll have to see this movie and deal with Bad Batman’s ugly face. Though I will need someone to pre-screen this movie for me to make sure that John Goodman doesn’t die.  It would be hard enough to watch a movie with Bad Batman in it – even harder to watch a movie where John Goodman dies.

mister X:  clooney, damon, goodman, blanchett, balaban and bill-fukkin’-murray in a movie from the director of one of my personal fav films: GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK

i’m SO seeing this
(and clooney is ALLOWED to use the ‘a film by’ credit…he done earned it)

Charley McMullen Damn, so far that’s 3 for 3.  I’d be very much open to seeing this one too.  This one had what the Ocean’s Eleven movies were trying for, in terms of comedic chemistry, but it’s (or at least appears to be) a way more intelligent story.  An art major’s Inglorious Basterds, if you will.  Plus, for cock’s sake, John Goodman AND Bill Murray!  There is no mathematical way this movie could be bad if it had ONE of those actors, and this has both of them.  I know it sounds arrogant to make that kind of assessment, but I truly believe it as fact that this movie will be good because it has both of those guys in it.

Mike White: It’s Oceans 14: The Prequel! Well, there are only 8 and it’s not really a prequel but, at least, there’s no Julia Roberts in this.  Instead, there’s Cate Blanchett doing a German accent.  I’m scared because it reminded me of her Russian accent from Indy Jones 4. A very bad sign is that the end date on the trailer is December 2013. That it’s almost February and the movie’s just coming out… Yeah, I’ll stick to Kelly’s Heroes instead.

Vampire Academy

Josh Hadley: Here is a problem I have always had with Vampires on film… they bite the neck, I realize back in Nosferatu times and Lugosi’s Dracula it was a way of sexualizing the story, but by the time the blood gets to the neck region, it has accumulated all of the bodies pollutants and is frankly growing (relatively) stale… whereas if you extracted the blood from the wrist or the thigh it will have just begun it’s journey, be highly oxygenated and clean… this has always bothered me, that said, this looks like something I am both confident I will never see and happy for that fact.

Alex Jowski: I thought we were done with these teenage vampire things.   Didn’t the Twilight already finish playing out?  Didn’t the box office failure of every other “paranormal teen romance” series from a novel kind of clue Hollywood in to the fact that this trend is dead?  This is Harry Potter meets Twilight which may have worked as a successful pitch five years ago… but not anymore.  I’m assuming that this movie was made and completed some time ago and it’s being released in the post awards-season doldrums when there’s little choice but to see it instead of expecting people to WANT this during a blockbuster season.

Martha Page: No.  I mean this just… no.  Not doing it.

mister X: i know nothing of the books but based on the title alone i expected to hate this trailer

shyt, i’m as surprised as u are

doesn’t mean i’ll ever see it but have to admit, found the cinematic tone implied in the preview kinda cool n’ snarky for a tween (lower-case)’genre’ flick

also, daniel waters wrote HEATHERS & BATMAN RETURNS…and HUDSON HAWK & THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE so this has to the potential to something unique

notice i didn’t say GOOD-just…unique

Charley McMullen Well, I’m clearly not the intended demographic for this, and unloading on it as much as I would like to because -come on- it just looks awful would feel unfair.  I honestly can’t tell if this is a “good” or “bad” example of paranormal / young adult because I don’t know anything about this obnoxious little genre and I never will.  I abstain because I don’t think I’m qualified to gauge the quality of the movie.  Enjoy it.  Or don’t.

Mike White:  When I first saw the standee for this at my local theater I was perplexed. “Isn’t this a TV show on the CW?”  No, that’s “Vampire Diaries” not “Vampire Academy.” I don’t know how I could have gotten the two confused. Especially when there are bunch of hot young girls in both.

I would have absolutely no interest in seeing Vampire Academy, did I not know that Daniel Waters adapted it. Waters is a great guy and a very talented writer so I’ll be checking this out and supporting him.

Next Week
About Last Night
Winter’s Tale
Endless Love

About The Author
Matthew Coats
Matthew Coats
Formerly known under the pseudonym of Alex Jowski. Site owner, movie aficionado, and film school grad. Matthew Coats presents reviews, some written, some as vlogs, and some as weekly shows, for a variety of different movies and television shows. After years of struggling to get his own projects off the ground amidst the normal routine of living, Matthew Coats decided to create a site in order to share and promote movie reviews, video games and much much more from talented and original people all across the internet.

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