The Lego Batman Movie (spoiler free)

There are two things that can be enjoyed by kids and adults throughout their lives: Legos and Batman. Naturally this movie was to be expected after the massive success of “The Lego Movie” and with how the popularity Batman’s character received in that movie it was bound to get a spin off. I was very excited to see this one as Batman is easily my favorite super hero and Mrs. Apologist was equally excited since she is a certified Lego fanatic. “The Lego Movie” set up some pretty high standards for Lego Batman in his standalone movie to follow but with a phenomenal cast and Chris McKay back to direct, it seemed poised to match up nicely.

The plot is pretty standard here. The Joker is on his quest to take over Gotham City and Batman is out to stop him. We see Joker’s diabolical plan to destroy Gotham city thwarted by Batman early on and we also see Joker’s feelings get hurt by Batman since Batman is kind of a loner who does not seem to appreciate the symbiotic relationship they have. Next Bruce Wayne attends a gala for Commissioner James Gordon’s retirement while his daughter Barbara prepares to  take his place. This gala gives young orphan Dick Grayson the opportunity to introduce himself to Bruce and try to get himself adopted. Bruce is very distracted as he seems to be instantly smitten with Barbara until she starts talking about her plans to have the police work with Batman since Batman hasn’t caught any of the major villains in Gotham. Joker has now rounded up all the major bad guys in Gotham and attacks the gala with a new evil plan. Its up to Batman to save the day yet again! I do not want to spoil the movie too much so that’s where we will leave the plot summary at this time.

This movie does have several strengths on its side. They assembled a great cast for this movie just like in “The Lego Movie”. We have Will Arnett back as the main star and he does a fantastic job with his delivery and his tone. Michael Cera (Robin/Dick Grayson), Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred Pennyworth) and Zach Galifianakis (Joker) round up the main group of characters and they each deliver their own flair to the roles. Also included in the cast is Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Conan O’Brien, Doug Benson, Billy Dee Williams, Zoe Kravitz, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Ellie Kemper, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill round out the voice stars here. The humor is another standout with plenty of silly jokes for the kids and quite a few jokes slipped in there for the adults as well. It wouldn’t be a Batman movie without some action and the action flows fast and furious throughout, keeping the 104 minute run time lean and exciting. I also really enjoyed the references to all the previous Batman films.

There weren’t too many glaring weaknesses in the movie but it did have a few cheesy or predictable moments, which are to be expected in a family movie. The story was just a bit lackluster with much of the focus was on how Batman is lonely and Joker is insecure. Some of the humor feels a little forced at times which again can be a symptom of movies aimed at children/family. The bar was set pretty high from “The Lego Movie” and Lego Batman just didn’t quite have all the goods to exceed it.

Overall “The Lego Batman Movie” provided enough action and humor to be enjoyable but I’m not sure that there is enough there to warrant multiple views unless you’re under 10 years old. It takes an excellent cast with some quality jokes and action and comes out with a very solid rating of 2 Apologies. You could certainly pick a worse movie for a night out at the theater by yourself or with the family.

-Movie Apologist

Sausage Party (Spoiler Free)

I was pretty excited to see this movie after first noticing the previews. It fits into a genre that doesn’t often have many options for us grown up movie goers, since mostly kid and family friendly films dominate the box office. When viewing the uncensored preview for this movie it was easy to see what we were getting ourselves into: foul language, crude humor, sexual innuendos, and animated food violence.

There are many strengths within Sausage Party. The cast is one of the main selling points with very solid comedy minds coming together: Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Selma Hayek, Edward Norton, Paul Rudd, Bill Hader, Nick Kroll, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, and Kristen Wiig make up the majority of the characters with some playing multiple roles. I really got a kick out of the voice acting and despite being an animated film, it was easy to appreciate the talent on display. In addition to the strong voices, there is some surprising humor packed into this party. I was not expecting to see many, if any, intelligent jokes during the 89 minute run time but I was proven wrong. There are plethora of jokes and jabs thrown into this script that some people may miss but they fit right in and help balance out the vulgarity of the rest of the movie. Obviously there is plenty of juvenile, dirty, sexual, “toilet humor” if you will, but even the majority of that is delivered well and I found myself laughing with the rest of the crowd. Anytime you give Seth Rogen the green light on an R rated movie about talking food, you should know there will be plenty of lowbrow comedy. Another thing I was not sure of heading into the showing was the plot. I really didn’t think they could write enough story to last for an entire movie. Once again, I was suprised by Rogen and company. I don’t want to spoil too much for those who have not seen the movie. The story follows Frank the sausage (Seth Rogen) and Brenda the bun (Kristen Wiig) on their lives within the grocery store where they live and the desire of all the food to reach “the great beyond” with the “gods” (humans). I won’t divulge any more information about the adventure but it was unanticipated with how well the story kept me interested.

While I was impressed with the various strengths, this movie does have several weaknesses and they are glaring. There is an opening musical number which starts out strong and funny but seemed to carry on too long and I began to lose hope in the movie as a whole. Even though majority of the humor is strong, there are plenty of parts that try too hard to be funny through shock value. These scenes push past the boundary of joyful tomfoolery and into vulgar buffoonery. Again I do not want to spoil anything but when you see the movie maybe you will understand. If you happen to disagree, leave a comment with your thoughts and discuss! With all the strengths in the story line, the ending was among the weak points. I thought the movie was going to end with an acceptable movie ending but the writers had other ideas it seems and the movie extended for several minutes that didn’t add any value.

Overall this movie presents a mixed bag. It has laughable moments mixed in with some cringe worthy moments. It has a fairly solid story that sometimes gets a little wayward. If your desire is to have a relatively quick (well under 2 hours) laugh with minimal thinking involved then Sausage Party may be for you. If you are easily offended then you probably aren’t interested anyway and should stay away. Sausage Party had some potential to distinguish itself as a higher quality juvenile humor animated film but didn’t quite deliver on all fronts. I will give it 5 Apologies but the filmmakers offer none of their own.

Leave your thoughts on the movie below!

-Movie Apologist