‘Halloween’ Movie review

halloween_12

‘Halloween’ (2018)
Miramax Films & Blumhouse Productions

Directed by: David Gordon Green
Written by: David Gordon Green, Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Nick Castle, Haluk Bilginer, Will Patton, Rhian Rees & Jefferson Hall

With a film series spanning 11 entries (counting this newest one) and a rather confusing sequence (which ones count and which ones don’t???) the newest installment in the ‘Halloween‘ franchise will arrive in theaters this weekend and it arrives in style! This movie acts as a direct sequel to the original film from 1978 with both Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprising their respective roles of Laurie Strode & Michael Myers. Set 40 years after the events of the first ‘Halloween’ movie, Laurie Strode has spent her life since then preparing for the inevitable showdown with her tormentor, Michael Myers. While being transferred to a more secure facility, Michael escapes and cuts a swath of violent death through Haddonfield once again to find and kill Laurie and her entire family. It’s a climatic battle 40 years in the making and, for my money, it does not disappoint!

Trying to follow the ‘Halloween’ movies can be confusing at best. Different storylines with different plots set in a different order than chronological… it’s a lot to process. The one constant throughout is the menacing, silent mountain of pure evil that is Michael Myers. Since the first film in 1978, the stark white visage (which is actually a Captain Kirk mask) and eerie theme music by composer John Carpenter have become synonymous with horror and now, even after 40 years, this new movie doesn’t miss a beat. Jamie Lee Curtis is absolutely outstanding in her role and having her back as Laurie helped make an already impressive sequel even better. Director and co-writer David Gordon Green expertly creates tension and suspense throughout the movie in a way that seems almost effortless. This film may be one of the very best horror sequels of all time and can even stand on its own without any need to have seen the original in order to enjoy this entry. Judy Greer as Laurie’s daughter Karen and Andi Matichak as Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson also give harrowing & wonderful performances. I was pleasantly (if that’s a term one can apply to a horror film such as this) surprised a few times with  this one as the film occasionally zigged where I expected it to zag. A phenomenal job was done of honoring the source material, paying subtle homage to a few other films in the series and also delivering an incredibly visceral movie all while giving us a near-perfect sequel to a legendary classic bit of terrifying cinema. I have little doubt that ‘Halloween’ will manage to scare ‘Venom’ out of the #1 spot at the box office this weekend. Get your tickets now! You’d have to be crazy to not see this one on the big screen!

halloween_17

Advertisements

‘First Man’ Movie Review

firstman_01

‘First Man’ (2018)
Universal Pictures

Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Written by: Josh Singer and James R. Hansen
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Olivia Hamilton, Corey Stoll, Pablo Schreiber, Kyle Chandler & Ciaran Hinds.

First Man‘, the story of Neil Armstrong’s path to being the first man to walk on the moon (based on the book by James R. Hansen), comes to theaters this weekend. Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong and Claire Foy portrays his wife Janet. The film covers key points and pivotal moments for Armstrong and his surrounding friends, family and colleagues including Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin, Lukas Haas as Michael Collins (the other two crew members of the Apollo 11), Kyle Chandler as Deke Slayton, Pablo Schreiber as Jim Lovell (who would go on to command the Apollo 13 mission), Ciarán Hinds as Gene Kranz, Jason Clarke as Edward White, Shea Whigham as Gus Grissom and so many more. Obviously many of these characters also appeared in Ron Howard‘s ‘Apollo 13′ film but rather than dealing with the aspects of the space mission itself, this movie focuses squarely on Neil Armstrong‘s personal life and then culminates with his famous Apollo 11 moon landing.

firstman_05

While there is plenty of drama to be had, there is also plenty of aeronautical action to suit nearly everyone. Director Damien Chazelle does an excellent job of clearly maintaining a great eye for detail throughout the process both from the perspective of being a strong period piece and in capturing all the complexities of the technical side of several NASA missions. The entire cast is excellent with Claire Foy giving a standout performance. The score by Justin Hurwitz is never overpowering but always present adding just the right musical elements when and where needed. What I thought would be a slow film was actually quite dynamic with only a few places where I would have liked to have seen things press on a bit more. While biopics are not always for everyone, I found this to be a great glimpse into the life of an American hero and a time in our history where the world watched with wonder as we raced to the stars. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give ‘First Man’ a space-faring 7. I also would recommend that this would be a film worth seeing in IMAX if you’re able to do so.

firstman_02

‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’ Movie Review.

thehousewithaclock_01

‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’ (2018)
Amblin Entertainment

Directed by: Eli Roth
Written by: Eric Kripke and John Bellairs
Starring: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan, Renee Elise Goldsberry & Colleen Camp

The House with a Clock in Its Walls‘ opens this weekend. It’s family friendly fright film to cap off the summer movies as we move into fall. The previews did a great job of setting up my expectations for what the film would be and it neither surprised or disappointed based on that. The movie you’ll get is exactly what you think it will be – an orphaned child goes to live with his eccentric uncle in a large house which he inherited from his recently departed friend. That friend died performing dark magic and now it seems the house is counting down towards the end of the world. Only young Lewis Barnavelt (played by Owen Vaccaro), his warlock Uncle Owen Barnavelt (Jack Black) and Owen’s long time friend and neighbor Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) can save the day!

The acting is above the mark for a movie of this sort. Both Jack Black and Cate Blanchett were perfectly suited for their respective roles (seriously…. when was the last time any of us didn’t enjoy one of Cate Blanchett’s performances?!?!) and young Owen Vaccaro is a star on the rise with an already impressive list of movies under his belt (you may remember him from ‘Daddy’s Home‘ and its sequel as we as ‘Mother’s Day‘). Kyle MacLachlan camps it up as the resurrected evil warlock Isaac Izard and that’s my one real take away from this movie – it’s just plain fun. The story is a bit vanilla and rather predictable but the cast pull it off in a way that leaves you wanting more. For me it seemed one part ‘Harry Potter‘, one part ‘Goosebumps‘ with a little bit of ‘The Haunted Mansion‘ sprinkled in for good measure. Some of the special effects are good (the army of creepy puppets) while some looked a little threadbare (the haunted pumpkins) but I still enjoyed the film and, most importantly, the target audience (aka: children) seemed to really love it as evidenced by the cheers and guffaws I heard in my screening. So if you’re a parent looking for a lightly scary movie to take the kids to as we enter the Halloween season, then this movie would be a great fit. Otherwise, it may be one to hold off on until it hits Redbox or Netflix. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say that “The House with a Clock in Its Walls only manages to tick it’s way up to a 6. If you are on the fence, just watch the preview again and decide whether or not you want more based on that. Depending on your tastes, you may find it to be a bit more “trick” than “treat”.

thehousewithaclock_06

 

‘A Simple Favor’ Movie Review

asimplefavor_01

‘A Simple Favor’ (2018)
Lionsgate

Directed by: Paul Feig
Written by: Jessica Sharzer & Darcey Bell
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Jean Smart, Rupert Friend & Bashir Salahuddin

Every six months or so, there comes a film that takes me slightly by surprise. It may be better than I thought it was going to be or not nearly as good as I’d hoped it would be or I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, etc, etc. ‘A Simple Favor‘ is a film that certainly surprised me but only because it wasn’t really the type of film I thought I’d be seeing. If you saw the preview, then I assume you thought. as I did. that we were getting a murder mystery type flick with the audience remaining unsure as to who our protagonist (in this case, Anna Kendrick) could trust until the very end. Instead, we get a semi-mysterious, lightly comedic film with a good deal of intrigue containing a rather fun plot. Let me explain: Anna Kendrick plays single super mom Stephanie Smothers who, while taking her son on an impromptu play date, ends up sipping martinis and befriending her son’s friend’s mother Emily Nelson (played by Blake Lively). After a few weeks of play dates and sharing secrets over martinis at Emily’s immense home, Emily asks Stephanie for “a simple favor” – watch her son while she goes out of town for a business emergency. After several days go by without Emily returning, Stephanie finally contacts Emily’s husband Sean Townsend (Henry Golding) who was in England helping his mother at the time of Emily’s disappearance. When Emily turns up dead, things move forward quickly and Stephanie finds herself embroiled in a mystery of trying to find out just who Emily really was, why she disappeared so suddenly and what actually happened to her. To say much more would spoil certain plot points and you know that I wouldn’t do that to you.

ASF_D17_PI_04344.ARWasimplefavor_06

Some movies can’t seem to make up their mind as to what type of movie they want to be. ‘A Simple Favor’ was dark and had great elements of humor in it (mostly due to Anna Kendrick’s character being such a perfect fit for this role) but it wasn’t what I would classify as a “dark comedy” in the vein of ‘War Of The Roses‘ or ‘Very Bad Things‘. It’s also technically not a “who done it?” type of film in that we get a reveal fairly fast as to what exactly happened. So where this might be a detriment for some films, ‘A Simple Favor’ uses this to its advantage and is able to straddle the dark aspect of the story without ever totally going ‘Diabolique‘ and also retains some fantastic humor without ever getting campy. For this, I have to not only credit the cast but also director Paul Feig and writers Jessica Sharzer and Darcey Bell. The plot itself, upon viewing, may not be terribly original, but the execution of the tale is where this movie rises above the pack. Add a strong cast that play to their strengths and you’ve got a fun mystery that is quite the palate cleanser from the normal crop of movies that come out towards the end of the summer season. I’d recommend this movie for anyone who is a fan of the actors or for anyone interested in a change of pace from the normal September box office type fare. On a scale of 1 – 10, I’d award this film a 8.5! Grab your tickets, get yourself a cocktail and spend some time with Anna & Blake this weekend. All the cool kids are doing it!

asimplefavor_08

 

‘The Predator’ Movie Review

predator_02

Everything old is new again. Hollywood keeps giving us remakes and reboots of various movies from the 80s and 90s so it should come as no surprise that ‘The Predator‘ is being revamped for today’s cinema. However, this is one of those rare instances where Hollywood may have found a proper way to go about it. Writers Fred Dekker and Shane Black keep the original film (‘Predator‘) and it’s sequel (‘Predator 2‘) in-play but, thankfully, ignore the later two entries into the franchise. What we get is much more than a remake with a fresh cast and updated effects – this is a follow-up entry that gives us something new while also acknowledging and paying proper homage to its roots along the way.

A quick summation of the slightly complicated plot: A predator crash lands on Earth after fleeing another predator in outer space. A ragtag group of soldiers and a scientist fight to stay alive after they discover that these creatures have not only been to Earth before, but that they are also causing themselves to evolve. There are a lot of moving pieces going on with a multitude of different characters so you definitely have to be paying attention to this film in order to keep up (aka: no bathroom breaks!). That being said, the entire cast does a phenomenal job with their assigned roles in what is truly and ensemble piece. Special credit to Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevonte Rhodes, Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane and Jacob Tremblay not only on playing their parts well, but on appearing to be having a great deal of fun doing so! The action scenes are great if, from time-to-time, a bit too unbelievable. The story was good, but I can’t quite put my finger on whether the plot was just a bit overly complex or if it was a case of having too many characters muddying things up. As I said, you will definitely need to pay close attention to avoid missing a detail here or who a character was there, etc. Overall, this film definitely paved a smooth path going forward for a sequel and made for a very enjoyable 1 hour and 47 minutes of movie-going fun! I saw it in standard format but I suspect that an IMAX showing may help increase the “Wow!” factor. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say ‘The Predator’ manages to hunt its way to robust 8. Get out and see it this weekend at a theater near you!!

predator_04

‘MacGyver’ Season 2 DVD Review

macgyver_02

I will admit that I’m still one of those people who runs out and buys the actual DVDs & Blu-rays of movies and TV shows. I like to physically have possession of them, I like to change the discs in my video player, I like looking at the lithograph and arranging my collection alphabetically. Filing the season 2 of the new ‘MacGyver‘ series into the “M” section of my collection was almost as satisfying as watching the series itself. For those who are somehow unfamiliar, the new ‘MacGyver’ on CBS is a reboot of an 80’s show of the same name. It follows the adventures of the titular character Angus MacGyver (Lucas Till) who is an operative for a covert U.S. Government agency called The Phoenix Foundation. He manages to rig together (or “MacGyver”) some clever inventions with his ingenuity and whatever items happen to be on-hand to help save the day. He is supported by a team consisting of ex-special forces member Jack Dalton (George Eads), savvy hacker Riley Davis (Tristin Mays) and his best friend Wilt Bozer (Justin Hires). This season is a marked improvement over last season in terms of action, effects and story. But this review isn’t about the season itself. It’s all about the Special Features that the DVD set offers. Let’s get to it!

macgyver_03

The first two items are “Mac Hacks” from both Season 1 and Season 2 of the show. They walk you through how to, on a much smaller scale than in the show, make things like an electromagnet, a Leyden jar, a pulley system, a floor jack, a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher, a chemical detector and many more cool items. A stern warning is given – “DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RECREATE” but I am relatively certain that some people will try to recreate a few of these as they are rather cool.

Next up is a feature called “MacGyver In Cuba” in which members of the crew (I.E. Executive Producer Craig O’Neill and Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe) talk about filming the opening of the season’s first episode. It’s a great behind-the-scenes look at filming the actions sequences on location in Cuba and then getting some of the pick-up shots back in their home base of Atlanta, GA (where the vast majority of the series is filmed).

Then we get into “Saving The Day, Season 2”. This special feature basically serves as a quick synopsis of the season and takes highlights of several of the episodes and provides commentary by members of the cast and crew. It’s always enjoyable to hear the people involved comment on what they loved about a particular scene or the difficulty in doing a certain stunt. This was definitely one of my favorites of the Special Features offered.

Our 5th item on the Special Features list is self-explanatory: “MacGyver: Special and Visual Effects”. Other than the Gag Reel, this was probably the shortest entry on the list and we really only got to see 2 or 3 of the mentioned effects. With such a stunt-heavy show, I feel like this could have been given more content and I confess to being quite underwhelmed by this feature.

A highlight, for me, of any movie or TV series is getting to see the actors as real people. That’s right – it’s the “Gag Reel”. As expected, more of the gag clips come from George Eads and Justin Hires, but there are plenty of clips of the entire cast to go around.

Finally, we get to the “Deleted Scenes” which are always interesting. Usually one can understand why a scene was cut, but it’s still a treat to see that missing piece of the episode that, sadly, had to be relegated to the cutting room floor. We get nearly a dozen scenes here spanning the entire season which is perfect for those of us who can’t get enough ‘MacGyver’ in our lives.

Overall, this was a great season with a lot of bonus features. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say there are enough special features included here to cobble together a solid 7. If you’re a fan of this show, then the DVD set has a lot to offer you and will be available for purchase beginning on September 18 at a suggested retail price of $29.98.

macgyver_04

‘The Nun’ Movie review

thenun_02

‘The Nun’ (2018)
New Line Cinema

Directed by: Corin Hardy
Written by: Gary Dauberman & James Wan
Starring: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet & Bonnie Aarons.

 

Fall is nearly here and, with it, the oncoming slew of horror films that inevitably hit theaters for the season. ‘The Nun‘ is due out this weekend and looks to have all of the makings of another solid entry into “The Conjuring Universe” series. This movie is slated to be a sort of prequel for the film group and reveals the origins of the demonic nun who was introduced in 2016’s ‘The Conjuring 2.’

thenun_05

The story begins in an isolated abbey in the remote regions of Romania in 1952. Two nuns seek to gain access to a religious relic that will put an end to the unholy occurrences that plague them. After one of the pair is attacked and killed by an unseen entity, the remaining nun leaps from an upstairs window to hang herself as a means of preventing the spirit from using her body as a vessel to escape into the outside world. Her body is discovered the following morning by a villager named Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) whose job it is to deliver food and supplies to the abbey. The Vatican receives word of the nun’s suicide and dispatches a priest named Father Burke (Demian Bichir) and a young novitiate named Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) to investigate and to make sure the abbey is “still Holy.” It quickly becomes evident that a powerful evil has taken hold of the abbey and their only hope is to discover the location of the religious artifact that will allow them to banish the malevolent presence once and for all.

The movie that started this series (‘The Conjuring’) remains, in my opinion, one of the scariest movies to come out in over a decade. Some movies in this connected universe have been less solid than others, but all have been worth the price of admission. ‘The Nun’ is certainly more “hit” than “miss” as it delivers many bone-chilling scares and ghastly imagery. I could have done without a few bits of dialogue that were obviously meant as mild attempts at levity but, since I don’t recall such moments in any of the other movies in this series, they seemed completely out of place here and, instead, only served to bring me slightly out of the moment. The acting is phenomenal and both Demian Bichir and Taissa Farmiga seem to completely embody their roles as they do a wonderful job of building the tension in their scenes with just a subtle look or a change in their body language. Jonas Bloquet does quite well for his part but, from time-to-time, just lacks the gravitas of the other two stars. Director Corin Hardy does a fine job of setting the table upon which the action takes place and the scenes ooze a terrifying atmosphere as the film breezes through it’s brisk 1 hour and 36 minute run. While ‘The Nun’ lacked that real pulse-pounding punch that ‘The Conjuring‘ and ‘Annabelle Creation‘ managed to deliver to me, I still found it a very worthwhile film and among the better of “The Conjuring Universe” offerings. One a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say ‘The Nun’ scares up a very solid 7. Make sure to get out and see it at your local theater this weekend and pray that your soul can survive the experience!!

thenun_08

 

‘The Happytime Murders’ Movie Review

happytime_01

‘The Happytime Murders’ (2018)
The Jim Henson Company

Directed by: Brian Henson
Written by: Todd Berger & Dee Austin Robertson
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Leslie David Edwards & Bill Barretta.

The Happytime Murders‘ hit theaters this weekend. On paper, this film has a lot going for it – a raunchy comedy where live actors and puppets share the screen, a solid cast including Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale & Leslie David Baker, directed by Brian Henson, produced by Henson Alternative, etc. Unfortunately, the movie just doesn’t deliver on it’s potential. The story follows former puppet cop turned P.I. Phil Phillips (voiced by actor Bill Barretta) who is brought in to consult on a case where cast members of a former TV show called ‘Happytime’ are being killed off one-by-one. He’s paired again with his former partner Detective Connie Edwards (McCarthy) who no longer gets along with Phillips after she was wounded back when they were partners and blames Phillips for the whole debacle. The film has trouble deciding whether or not it wants to be a noir crime piece or a buddy-cop movie and, perhaps as a result, fails to achieve either. There are laughs to be had but only because of the over-the-top puppet exploitation (if that’s even a thing?), some fairly ludicrous scenarios involving puppet vs human violence as well as what can only be described as puppet porn.

happytime_02

The real-life actors try their best, but they all seem to be either under obligation to knock out this film or just plain weary of being there. Elizabeth Banks truly commits to her part and Maya Rudolph shines the brightest out of the cast but the plot is so threadbare that it hardly seems to matter. In fact, in a world where puppets can be cops and McCarthy has the liver of a puppet, I found myself bothered by details like “How can McHale’s FBI agent status allow him to relieve an LAPD Detective of her badge?!?!”. Yeah… the plot is that bad! ‘The Happytime Murders’ fails to achieve the same level of ludicrous fun that ‘Team America: World Police‘ gave us nearly 15 years ago and isn’t nearly as clever as ‘Avenue Q‘ in terms of funny puppet raunch. If you are desperate for a new film to see this weekend and don’t plan to bring the kids, then maybe this one will be for you. Otherwise, I’d recommend waiting until this movie hits Redbox or possibly skipping it altogether. On a scale of 1 – 10, there just isn’t enough stuffing to give this film anything more than a 3.5.

happytime_05

‘Christopher Robin’ Movie Review

christopherrobin_02

‘Christopher Robin’ (2018)
Walt Disney Pictures

Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by: Alex Ross Perry & Allison Schroeder
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Bronte Carmichael, Peter Capaldi, Toby Jones * Sophie Okonedo

Winnie-The-Pooh has been around for just over 90 years. In that time, we’ve gotten theatrical versions, radio broadcasts, animated specials and more. However, for all of the media and formats I’ve seen, none of them has been filled with as much heart and beauty as the new live action film ‘Christopher Robin‘ which hits theaters this coming weekend. The film opens with young Christopher Robin spending time with Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger & Company in the 100 Acre Woods for the last time before he heads off to boarding school. Through a series of scenes, we see Christopher grow up, lose his father, meet a girl, fall in love, go off to war and come home to settle into the grind of a daily job and raising a family. Through it all, Pooh wonders when he might see Christopher Robin again and, upon being unable to find his friends in the woods, he sets off on his own to look for Christopher Robin in London to enlist his help.

christopherrobin_04

The plot is predictable to the point of cliche BUT…. not only is that my only real complaint, it is an issue that is easily brushed aside given the ridiculously talented cast and the gorgeous cinematography. Watching this film makes you feel as if you are being read the very best story ever by a loving, trusted parent. The voice acting of Jim Cummings as Winnie-The-Pooh is emotionally rich with every slight vocal inflection. Brad Garrett perfectly captures Eeyore’s patented ennui, Nick Mohammed does a great job of fretting as Piglet and Peter Capaldi‘s high-strung Rabbit is also spot-on. The live-action cast is not to be outdone by their voice acting counterparts. Ewan McGregor has never been anything less than phenomenal in anything he’s ever done and Hayley Atwell always lights up the screen be it big or small (although I would have liked to have seen more of her as her character didn’t have a great amount to do in this film). Their on-screen daughter, Madeline (played by Bronte Carmichael), is certainly a star on-the-rise and turns out an excellent performance here.

christopherrobin_03

The cinematography is divine and beautiful and intimately draws you into the narrative. Director Marc Foster has outdone himself with this delightfully charming film that will no doubt bring joy to children of all ages. I give ‘Christopher Robin’ a very solid 8 out of 10. Whether you’re a long time Winnie-The-Pooh fan or even if you’re new to Pooh, I would highly recommend adding this film to your “must-see” list at a theater near you!! Just remember that it’s BYOH. (Bring Your Own Honey)

honey_01

‘Teen Titans GO! To The Movies’ Movie Review

teentitansgo_04

‘Teen Titans GO! To The Movies’ (2018)
Warner Bros

Directed by: Aaron Horvath & Peter Rida Michail
Written by: Aaron Horvath & Michael Jelenic
Starring: Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Greg Cipes, Nicolas Cage, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell, Stan Lee, Jimmy Kimmel

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am a huge fan of DC Comics. I religiously watch their shows on The CW and I love their animated features and series. Their movies, however, are very, very hit or miss (with most of them falling in the “miss” category). Luckily, a new DC Comics film will be released this coming Friday (7/27) that falls into their animated category and it is just plain, outright fun! ‘Teen Titans GO! To The Movies‘ is the first theatrical release of a DC Animated Film since 1993’s ‘Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm‘. I was a little hesitant going in because the cartoon series on which this film is based (‘Teen Titans GO!‘) isn’t high on my list. I’m more of a ‘Young Justice‘ guy, but I certainly understand the appeal of ‘GO!’ for younger audiences and I can appreciate it for what it is. This film features the same core voice cast as the Cartoon Network show with Scott Menville as Robin, Hynden Walch as Starfire, Khary Payton as Cyborg, Tara Strong as Raven and Greg Cipes as Beast Boy. On top of that, we get treated to the adult heroes such as Superman (Nicolas Cage), Wonder Woman (Halsey), Batman (Jimmy Kimmel) and Green Lantern (Lil Yachty) among nearly every other DC Hero of which you can think right down to The Challengers of the Unknown and Detective Chimp.

teentitansgo_01

The plot centers around the adult heroes viewing the Teen Titans as a joke and not worthy of getting their own movie (a feat every other super hero has accomplished recently, including Batman’s butler, Alfred). Robin attempts to prove that his team is not a joke by confronting Slade Wilson (played gleefully by Will Arnett) as he attempts to steal a special jewel the absorbs energy. The group is victorious and movie mogul Jade Wilson agrees to make a movie about the Teen Titans. Both danger and hilarity ensue as the team realizes that they are the only ones who can stop a farther reaching and sinister scheme that even the Justice League can’t handle. There are musical numbers, there are inside jokes, there are brightly splashed animated effects, there’s even a fantastic cameo by Stan Lee (and, yes, that really IS him lending his voice to his animated avatar). Overall, this is a great movie for the whole family. Adults will enjoy it for the comic references and self-deprecating humor, kids will enjoy it for the zany animation, and movie goers in general should enjoy it as a different type of film from the current slate of movies currently in theaters.

teentitansgo_03

The film works because it never takes itself seriously – at all! It’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek as it recognizes it’s own absurdity and points a finger at DC’s own place in the currently superhero-heavy film landscape. Fans of the series will be satisfied and people who have never seen the series will enjoy the style of this film and it’s humor. For me, it doesn’t stack up to the aforementioned ‘Mask Of The Phantasm’ nor even to current releases like ‘Incredibles 2’, but it’s not trying to do so either and that’s part of the film’s charm. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give ‘Teen Titans GO! To The Movies’ a solid 7. Bring YOUR team out to see it next weekend at a theater near you AND make sure to stay for a post credits scene!!!

teentitansgo_09