It’s about as magical and wondrous a movie as I’ve seen with more laughs per minute than any movie in recent memory. The LEGO Movie is an absolute delight.
-Josh Hylton, Dark Horizons
A film every bit as imaginative, colourful and cleverly constructed as their plastic inspiration
-Tyler Hanley, Radio Times
The Lego Movie is hilarious, exceptionally animated, completely original, and delivers a great message regarding creativity vs conformity. It is jam-packed with so many funny moments and lines, it’s impossible to catch everything with just one viewing. This film expertly walks the fine comedic line that provides equal entertainment for both children and adults. If you are looking for negatives, you won’t find them in this film.
This film is an absolute blast to watch from beginning to end, but it isn’t just full of hollow laughs and throwaway gags. That a movie ostensibly made for children has any plot to speak of is impressive in and of itself, but the storyline that is constructed throughout The Lego Movie actually leads to a very well executed emotional payoff. It ends in a very heartfelt and genuine place while keeping you laughing from start to finish.
The Lego Movie incorporates the best mix of stop motion and cgi visuals you will see. So much is going on at any given time it almost becomes sensory overload, but in a good way. There are hidden easter eggs, site gags and jokes in the background of just about every scene. The rewatchability factor is bound to be sky high. Even better, the filmmakers take no shortcuts here as the entire world is made of up lego bricks of some kind (including water, fire and smoke).
A tribute to Lego made by enthusiasts, not an ad for Lego made by hacks.
Any movie exculsively about a toy line should probably end in disaster. The fact that this film didn’t become a 90 minute glorified Lego commercial is a real tribute to directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who have become known for successfully adapting curious properties to film (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street). The Lego Movie is no exception. No one was exactly demanding a film based on a system of interlocking bricks, but they did it and they did it their way. To great success.
Go see The Lego Movie 100 times in the theater. It’s fantastic fun and you won’t regret it. “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME” about this film!
There’s plenty to like in Snyder’s hectic, rowdy film. But by the time we reach the bludgeoning excesses of the last half-hour it’s hard to shake the sense that this was an opportunity at least partially missed.
-Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
DC still has much to learn from rival Marvel in the filmmaking realm, but Man of Steel at least offers hope. Hope, and a slight headache
-Tyler Hanley, Palo Alto Weekly
Unfortunately, this film is a bit of a mess. Most of the individual scenes are fine by themselves, but there is an extremely jarring pacing between them. The film opens with an overlong sequence on Krypton explaining how baby Superman found his way to Earth. Not only is it a very confusing and abrupt way to begin, the events of what happened don’t entirely get explained until much later on.
The film cuts to various flashback sequences that break up the main storyline in somewhat awkward ways. All these flashbacks are excellent and really help flesh out Superman’s character, but when it comes to the the main plotlines that are driving the movie forward, they are real momentum killers.
General Zod is getting angry.
Speaking of the fight sequences, they are almost insane to the point of being incomprehensible. The complete utter destruction and mayhem these characters cause is fun to watch, but quickly becomes mind numbing after the third or fourth time a ripple effect from a sonic boom destroys a skyscraper.
Nope, no religious imagery here
This thought-provoking tale of survival on the high seas works on a variety of levels, but best of all it is a visual feast — brimming with wondrous, memorable images.
-Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
A thought-provoking religious parable. Profound, haunting and beautifully made.
-Fr. Chris Carpenter, Movie Dearest
Life of Pi, the latest from Taiwanese director Ang Lee, is an absolutely stunning piece of film-making that should be seen by everyone. Lee masterfully adapts the 2001 novel of the same name about a young Indian boy (Pi, short for Piscine Molitor, the name of a swimming pool complex in Paris he was named after) whose zookeeper Father takes the family on a voyage across the Pacific after deciding to relocate to Canada. What transpires isn’t exactly a surprise to anyone familiar with the source material, as the ship encounters high seas, floods and capsizes, leaving Pi as the lone
survivor surviving human…
Stranded on a lifeboat…full of escaped wild animals.
As Pi explains later in life, “This is the story that will make you believe in God”.
A MUST-SEE in 3D.
Done the right way and filmed with actual 3D cameras instead of a poor post-conversion to boost ticket prices (see: Clash of the Titans, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.), Life of Pi has some of the most mesmerizing 3D imagery you will see in a theater. Other than possibly 2011’s Hugo, this is the very best use of 3D in a film to date.
SPECTACULAR VISUAL EFFECTS.
The special effects in Life of Pi are so life-like it’s incredible. There are a wide range of things happening in this film that couldn’t possibly be shot in real life with real cameras and it is impossible to tell. Wild animals attack, massive lightning storms surge, magical islands are discovered..and it all looks as genuine as practical effects.
IT IS SPIRITUALLY AND EMOTIONALLY PROFOUND.
If all this sounds great so far, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Life of Pi isn’t just a substance-less visual spectacle, it is a spiritual and emotional journey that manages to entertain while exploring the truths of religion. So much more than just bells and whistles, this film digs deep into heavy themes and ends with a very satisfying and profound thesis that blends perfectly with the spectacular action taking place.
There are tons of animals in this movie. Animals are fun and awesome to watch. However…if you have a weakness for this sort of thing, bring the tissues. These animals are wild and like to kill and eat each other. That’s what they do, and it can get kind of gruesome.
GOOD OLD-FASHIONED ADVENTURE.
On top of everything else, it’s just a great high seas adventure tale. If you don’t want to find any deeper meaning in it, you don’t have to. It entertains on all levels. On the surface, it plays as a classic castaway-esque narrative of trying to survive at sea. And it is very good at it. Come for the adventure, or come for the spirituality. Your choice.
Animals have souls… I have seen it in their eyes.
If every unfolding we experience takes us further along in life, then, we are truly experiencing what life is offering…
It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse.
All of life is an act of letting go but what hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.
It was a time filled with wonder that I’ll always remember.
Above all… it is important not to lose hope.
So, those are a lot of reasons to see Life of Pi. Here are a few more: If you want to see an astonishingly realistic bengal tiger snatch beautifully colored flying fish out of air from a lifeboat, or a breathtaking phosphorescent blue whale leaping over a sea of illuminated jellyfish in three dimensions, this movie is for you. It’s practically for everyone besides maybe small children and people who hate animals.
See it and see it in 3D. The glasses are annoying but that’s okay, it’s worth it. It’s rare that I would classify a film as an “event movie” that’s worthy of seeing opening night with the crowds in 3D, perhaps even multiple times, but Life of Pi is one of them. An emotionally rewarding film that is also a staggering feat of technical genius. Don’t miss this.
The movie’s subversive sensibility and old-school/new-school feel are a total kick.
-Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
It’s impossible not to feel a strong sense of nostalgic amusement, if not sheer delight, at the comings and goings of all these characters.
-Dave McGinn, Globe and Mail
Wreck-It Ralph tells the story of how one video game villain became fed up with being the bad guy and quit his job. Fix-It Felix Jr. (presumably a take on the retro Donkey Kong Jr. arcade game) is the game that Ralph calls home, where his job is to “wreck” a skyscraper whenever a quarter is played in the machine. When Ralph realizes the characters of the game don’t like or appreciate him, he decides to quit and embarks on an unfamiliar journey.
Having the potential to be a truly different kind of animated film, after this initial setup, there isn’t a whole lot of new ground broken. A very unique beginning to the story kind of turns into a series of sugar coated (literally) takes on bullying, greed, acceptance, jealousy and other tropes that we have become somewhat accustomed to in animation from everyone not named Pixar.
Ralph: It’s hard to love your job, when no one else seems to like you for doing it…
Although gorgeously animated with top-notch voice acting (John C. Reilly was born to play the voice of Ralph), Wreck-It Ralph fails to break out and live up to it’s potential, instead relying on playing it safe after the first act and sticking to a very traditional story line.
There isn’t a whole lot more I have to say about Wreck-It Ralph, it’s an above average animated movie but really doesn’t hold a candle to the recent offerings of Pixar. It’s worth checking out if only for the beautiful job on the animation as well as the gallery of really cool retro video game characters (see above) that make appearances throughout.