The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is colorful, funny and full of heart. It might not be as fresh as its predecessor, but that’s okay. Wildly ambitious and chock-full of nonstop musical numbers. Trust me, they’re so catchy you won’t be able to get them out of your head.
Five years after 2014’s The LEGO Movie became a worldwide grand smash, The Second Part has finally arrived. And the sequel is just as hard to resist as the first one was. This time around, everything is not awesome for Emmet (voiced by a wonderful Chris Pratt) and the gang. LEGO DUPLO, invaders from outer space, are wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. To restore harmony back to Bricksburg and to the LEGO universe, Emmet (Pratt), Lucy (voiced by a fantastic Elizabeth Banks), Batman (voiced by a funny Will Arnett), and the rest of their friends have to travel far away. Here, they explore new worlds, including a strange galaxy where everything is a musical (cue "Catchy Song" by Dillon Francis feat. T-Pain and That Girl Lay Lay).
This mission will test their courage, their creativity and, in the end, reveal just how special they really are. The Second Part isn’t directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street) this time around, instead, they offer their screenplay pizzazz. The sequel is filled with just as much zany fun, nonstop gags, and pop culture references as its predecessor. The film is also directed by Mike Mitchell (2016’s Trolls). Mitchell keeps the spirit going and focuses on family, acceptance, and the ability to help others in a time of need. It’s a sweet message that every family will enjoy. Actors Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Will Ferrell, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill all reprised their respected voice rolls. While actors Tiffany Haddish and Stephanie Beatriz voiced new characters: Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi and General Mayhem.
Sadly, The Second Part opened below expectations for its opening weekend. The film went on to debut to $34.1 million, marking a 50% decline from the first. I believe this was due to a sense of franchise fatigue from the release of two spin-offs prior (The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie) to The Lego Movie 2. Warner Bros. bares that blame for their over exhausting the uniqueness of the first film. Nevertheless, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a joy to watch and will slap a smile on your face. With all this craziness happening in our country right now, The LEGO Movie 2 was a film I desperately needed to see. It got my spirits back up through humor, lovable characters, and dazzling animation. Just wait until you hear the film’s credits song “Super Cool” by Beck, Robyn, and The Lonely Island. It will have you dancing all the way home.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is rated PG (Parental Guidance). For mild action and rude humor.
Vice is a deeply polarizing political biopic that will get under your skin. Tremendously acted and wildly told, Vice is a story you don’t want to miss.
Vice hits all of the right jolts in the duration of 132 minutes. Sadly, the film manages to miss a few targets. Writer-director Adam McKay (The Big Short) finally unveiled his ambitious story, interweaving former Vice-President Dick Cheney's (a top-notch Christian Bale) private and political life onto the big screen. Cheney was known for becoming one of the most powerful men in Washington and McKay tried to make light on how he changed the political game for our country and the world. McKay's stark craft will have you laughing in one scene and in disbelief by the next. The narrative, unfortunately, is a bit scattershot on telling Cheney's life in front and behind the curtain. For me, this kind of structure worked well for The Big Short, but for Vice, it comes off a bit topsy-turvy. Nevertheless, what kept Vice afloat was a bravura of actor performances (Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, and Tyler Perry) that filled the screen.
Bale virtually transforms into Cheney, he gained a whopping 45 pounds for the role. Bale also shaved his head, bleached his eyebrows, and even did exercises to thicken his neck to appear more like Cheney. Adams is dynamite with her performance as Lynne Cheney. Fiercely constructed, you wouldn't want to cross Adams in this leading role. Then, there's Rockwell who's an absolute spitfire as former President George W. Bush. Incredibly funny and wildly entertaining, Rockwell is a blast to watch on the screen as 43. Bale, Adams, and Rockwell all received Oscar nominations. Sadly, none of them were recognized for their tour de force performances. Bale did receive a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. During the ceremony, Bale even thanked Satan for inspiration. Ouch. My recommendation is to watch this movie for the grand performances alone. Overall, Vice is a political mind game that will both enrage Liberals and Conservatives for very different reasons. It leaves room for people to further debate after the credits roll off the screen. In the end, Cheney has the final laugh.
Vice is rated R (Restricted). For language and some violent images.
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