Marni Sees...The Lego Movie

I had been looking forward to this movie for a long time, while I don’t still play with Lego, it was definitely a big part of my childhood. I know this movie was meant to really appeal to kids, but I went with a group of people ranging from 19-30 years old and we were laughing the loudest out of anyone in the cinema, so if you’re thinking you might be too old for this movie, think again!

The movie sees Emmet (Chris Pratt), a construction worker, become an accidental hero who must work with Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), the wise leader of the master builders, Vetruvius (Morgan Freeman), and the likes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to stop President Business (Will Ferrell) from acting out his plan to stop any kind of creativity by gluing everything perfectly into place.

We’re talking no building without an instruction manual – gasp! 

The animation is great, it’s made to look like it’s stop-motion but it’s completely CGI, and perfectly mimics the way Lego move in real life (there’s a funny jumping jacks gag in the beginning that shows this really well).

As I mentioned, it’s hilarious and definitely not just for kids. You’ll be hard pressed to find a minute where you aren’t laughing. It's really got the full package - action, comedy, a little romance, and a musical number!

I’m not going to be cynical like a few others and say it’s just a ninety-minute commercial for Lego, it’s genuinely a great animated film that pokes fun at itself and the ending definitely resonated with a few of those bigger ‘kids’ (the dads!) in the audience.

In the words of the film's theme song, everything is awesome and people of all ages will enjoy it, though the younger ones might not quite understand the humour all the time, it’ll keep you entertained and leave you wanting to play with your old Lego sets. The only really disappointing thing about this movie is the fact that it was animated here, but we had to wait for ages before it came out here!


Marni Sees...Ride Along

If you’re looking for a movie that gets you thinking and has a deep meaning behind it, then Ride Along isn’t the movie for you. If, however, you’re after a couple of hours of laughs, no thinking required, you’re set!

Ride Along stars Kevin Hart and Ice Cube as Ben and James. Ben is a high school security guard who loves playing shoot-em-up style video games and hopes to make it into the Police Academy so he can finally feel worthy of his girlfriend, Angela, and in turn ask her to marry him. Angela’s big brother, James, who happens to be a police officer, disapproves of Ben and makes it no secret. James decides to take Ben on a ride along with him to see what he’s made of. Making sure he gets all the annoying cases for the day, James hopes to turn Ben off joining the academy. It works at first, until Ben realises James is working on a much bigger case, tracking down crime kingpin Omar, who happens to have never been sighted by anyone…ever.  It doesn’t take long for Ben to start sniffing around and the boys end up with more than the joyride they bargained for.  

Kevin Hart is his signature fast talking and over the top idiot (not a far cry from his Think Like A Man character), and Ice Cube, well he doesn’t go too far out of his comfort zone either falling back on scary/funny persona (pretty much exactly his Captain Dickson character in 21 Jump Street).

I went to a screening attended by Kevin and he had the cinema in stitches before the movie even started, so it definitely can’t be said that the guy isn’t funny.  He even did a huge group selfie with everyone, similar to that of Ellen’s Oscar’s selfie…OK it was nothing like that, but he tried!  The movie isn’t completely terrible in terms of action/comedies, it’s a predictable film that probably should have quit while it was ahead rather than tacking on more and more “action” scenes. Having said that, Universal have already got a sequel on the way, so they certainly believe in the franchise’s ability to make money. You won’t be disappointed by this movie if we’re going by the reactions of the audience at my screening who laughed hysterically for most of the film. If you liked 21 Jump Street, then this movie should tide you over until 22 Jump Street is released.


 Check out the trailer if you haven't seen it already:

The Avengers Review

This is a quick Avengers review! The Avengers, if you’ve been stuck under a rock for the past few years, is the coming together of the main characters in the films Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk.  The film stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johannson and Jeremy Renner and is directed by Joss Whedon.  In a nutshell, this movie is about Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye coming together to form the Avengers team in order to defeat Loki from destroying the world with the help of his alien friends.

I would definitely recommend watching the earlier movies before watching this one, especially Thor considering Loki is Thor’s evil brother and gives the backstory into why Loki would be doing this, and the movie doesn’t have time to waste on filling you in, so be prepared!

Joss Whedon, who also wrote the script, has done such a great job in making sure no one character overshadowed another, and they all got pretty much equal screen time which I thought would be a tough task. 

I just wanted to break down certain parts of the film because it is such a huge movie…
·      Best actor/character: As much as I love Robert Downey Jr, I’m going to go with Mark Ruffalo on this one, he replaced Edward Norton as the Hulk and I’ve got to say he did really well at being the gentle scientist and then the crazy Hulk.  When he was the Hulk, he was hilarious, it wasn’t stuff that he said obviously because most of it is just “ARRRGGHHH” but just little things he did and how he did them.  It’s also very cool that he was able to play the Hulk as in the actual green man, because Lou Ferrigno, who has been playing the Hulk for years and years, usually does that.

·      Most boring character: I’ve got to put it out there, I really do not like Thor, he is just so boring (and I actually fell asleep during Thor) and it sucks that if you really want the whole picture you have to watch Thor. He may as well talk like this “I Thor, I strong. Save world now.”
·      Best line: Probably Captain America, when he’s giving all these orders to the Avengers and then he just goes, “and Hulk…smash!” which the audience loved.
·      Worst line: I don’t know if it was the delivery or something, but I didn’t like the part after Iron Man says, “I’m bringing the party to you!” And Black Widow says, “I don’t see how that’s a party…”
·      Most heroic: While they’re all obviously super heroic, I think Iron Man really saves the day and you see him completely risk his life to save everyone else, which is very different from Tony Stark’s selfish character.  

It was probably a little bit too long, but fans of the other movies will definitely enjoy this one, and although I hated seeing New York get destroyed in the final scenes, I’m going to give the movie 4.5/5

21 Jump Street Review

The highly anticipated film adaptation of the TV show 21 Jump Street definitely lived up to my expectations, and is probably one of my favourite movies of the year.  I haven't watched any of the TV show, so I can't give a good comparison but I can safely say it's going to be one of the best comedies of the year. 

The film stars Jonah Hill (also the writer of the film) and Channing Tatum as the main characters Schmidt and Jenko.  It begins by showing us Schmidt and Jenko in high school, Schmidt is the nerdy white guy known as Not So Slim Shady and Jenko is the school jock.  The two meet again when they both join the police academy, joining forces so that Jenko can help Schmidt with the fitness side of things and Schmidt can help Jenko with the academic side.  After graduating they expect a life of excitement and being badasses, but it's mostly riding police bikes through the park.  After bungling an arrest of a well known drug lord they are sent to 21 Jump Street to join an undercover assignment which sees them heading back to highschool to find the source of a new drug taking over the schoolyard.

I honestly don't think that there was a period longer than a minute that I wasn't laughing, there are some hilarious one liners that literally left me with a sore side from laughing so hard.  The film, like a few recent films made fun of its genre and the fact that it was a remake, similar to the way that Friends with Benefits makes fun of the romantic comedy genre, and I think that is what helps it be as funny and good as it is.  There were plenty of hilarious car chases, and explosions that left you on the edge of your seat wanting more.  It's definitely not a movie for kids though, with every second word being a swear word, and a lot of crude humour, two things which I usually hate in a movie, but it just seemed to work with this one!

Channing Tatum is proving himself as a great comedic actor, we saw little bits of it in She's the Man and The Vow etc., but this is definitely the best show of his comedic chops.  Jonah Hill is hilarious as always, and this is the film he famously lost almost 20 kilos for.  The duo work so well together and you can tell there's a bit of a bromance there.  Dave Franco stars as the popular kid at the school who sells the drugs, and plays a character kind of similar to his Scrubs character, Cole.  Ice Cube is also really hilarious as Captain Dickson, the man in charge of Jenko and Schmidt, "You are here because you some Justin Beaver, Miley Cyrus lookin' muthas."

I would gladly watch this movie again, and although other people might not agree with this, I'm going to have to give it a 5/5! If you haven't already, watch the trailer, and run to the cinema!

Crazy, Stupid, Love. Review

Crazy Stupid Love stars Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone.  Steve’s character, Cal is married to his high school sweetheart played by Julianne Moore and thinks he’s living the dream with her and their kids. But he is soon taken by surprise one night when she asks him for a divorce after having cheated on him with someone from work (Kevin Bacon). 

Cal starts hanging out at his local bar and realises he knows nothing about navigating through life as a single guy.  This is where we meet Ryan Gosling’s character, Jacob, who is basically a professional bachelor.  Jacob can’t watch Cal make a fool of himself any longer and offers him help to: “regain his manhood”, as he puts it.  After his makeover Cal is almost a new man, but not quite ready for the bar scene.  Jacob teaches him how to pick up women and within a few nights (or so it seems in the world of movie editing), he becomes the master. 

While all this is happening we also have Cal’s 13 year old son, Robbie who is trying to make his babysitter, Jessica (who is 4 years older than him), realise that they are perfect for each other, all while she is actually crushing on Cal!  It’s quite funny that most of the film’s love advice actually comes from Robbie.  And while this is happening we also have Emma Stone’s character, Hannah, whose life is “PG-13” as her friend puts it, and isn’t quite happy with her current boyfriend.  Although she doesn’t fall for Jacob’s lines, she still wants to give him a go, but ends up falling for him – and strangely for Jacob, so does he.  Now I can’t give away much more, because the film really comes together for quite a hilarious climax after this. 

Now, it’s not quite Love, Actually but the intertwining stories work quite well together I thought.  I love Steve Carell, I think this was one of his best, probably because the movie is more of a comedy/drama than straight comedy.  Ryan Gosling was great in his first comedic role – which he actually chose to do because after filming Blue Valentine he had to get a physical from his doctor and he gave Ryan a prescription which said: do a comedy.  He was perfect as Jacob, and both he and Carell are really charming actors and people I think, and they worked really well together.  Emma Stone is always great, I’ve never been disappointed with her, and I think it’s great that she’s having so much success, because she’s not your average leading lady.  The casting in this movie is what really brought it together I think, if they had had a different cast, it just wouldn’t have worked as well and probably would have fallen flat.  They all had really great chemistry together.

I loved the way they made fun of the genre a little bit, not so much to the extent that Friends with Benefits did; they did it in a smarter way I think.  I really enjoyed this movie because it did have its serious elements but the tension was always broken with something really funny.  I give it a 4/5!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Review

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a prequel to the four previous Planet of the Apes series and stars James Franco who we know from 127 Hours, as well as Frieda Pinto from Slumdog Millionaire, and Tom Felton who we all know from Harry Potter

Franco plays Will, a scientist who is researching a drug that could cure Alzheimer’s, the same disease that cripples his father.  The company that he works for is testing different strands on apes, and when it actually works on the ape, Bright Eyes, the company couldn’t be happier.  That is until the ape goes berserk in front of the bigwigs of the corporation, thinking that the drug has had a bad side effect.  Will’s boss orders the apes to be put down.  It is after this that Will and another scientist find that Bright Eyes was only trying to protect the baby that neither of them knew existed.  With no one else to take the baby ape, Will must take him home.  He soon discovers that the drug has been passed on to the baby, who learns tasks quicker than a human would. 

As the ape, soon named Caesar, grows he learns sign language and basically becomes Will’s son.  Will decides to secretly use the drug on his father, believing that it will work and it does.  However, the drug soon loses its effects and he regresses.  Will convinces his boss to allow him to further his research into the drug and this is where things go wrong.  Caesar is sent to a sanctuary after an incident involving a neighbour, but the sanctuary is more like a prison.  Caesar must learn the different ways of the sanctuary and soon tries to lead the apes in a revolt. 

Many people expect this move to be focused more on James Franco; however, it is Caesar, played by Andy Serkis (who played King Kong in the 2005 adaptation) that is given the most screen time.  Serkis is amazing as Caesar, there are almost no words to describe how perfectly he plays the ape, obviously, he has had practise in doing so after playing King Kong, but his ability to play the different phases of Caesar’s life was amazing.  We can see a transformation from child to teenager through to adult, as well as the emotions that come with what he must deal with along the way.  If they had chosen to just use CGI without Serkis, the movie would have suffered to say the least.  James Franco was great as Will, and it was interesting to see him in a ‘father’ role.  Frieda Pinto was not as great as she was in Slumdog Millionaire but she was still believable in her role. 

The movie is actually very warm and draws you in, you will be surprised by the way this film makes you feel.  I’m going to give the film 4/5.