MOVIE ROUND UP:

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE.  I found myself grinning ear to ear through almost this entire movie.  While not as meaningful or message-heavy as The Lego Movie, as a huge fan of the comics I definitely had a great time.  There were so many deep comic references, not to mention all the other unexpected movie crossovers that were just delightful.  While “Lego Batman” is nothing like the real Batman, I really adore this version of him as a conceited douche bag, and Will Arnett is hilarious in the role.  The movie also accomplishes that rare feat of being a funny story while at the same time telling a good action story.  I loved seeing Robin and Batgirl on the big screen again.

THE GREAT WALL.  This movie really exceeded my expectations!  It was a great fantasy/war movie with big expensive sequences along the lines of Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.  Everything about this movie looked amazing, particularly the brightly colored soldiers’ armor.  There were interesting uses of color everywhere.  The action scenes were all very thrilling and each one was different with interesting ideas.  It wasn’t just a generic siege battle, and it was never repetitive.  There was one particularly thrilling sequence involving heavy fog and ominous silence that worked really well.  It wasn’t a huge story for character development, but I enjoyed the characters and actors involved.  My only minor issue would Matt Damon’s Irish accent! 😉

ARRIVAL.  Arrival was definitely a well told artistic story, though it’s glacial pace isn’t exactly dying for a re-watch.  The mystery of the aliens’ arrival and purpose was very well done; their appearance and language were very non traditional.  I was also pleasantly surprised by the plot twist, which I won’t speak of.

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES.  I was disappointed by this one.  I love the cast, but the movie failed as a comedy and as an action story.  There wasn’t nothing particularly bad about it, but nothing particularly memorable, either.

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL.  Yeah, you can skip this one.

 

NEW TV SHOWS:

24 LEGACY.  I’m a massive 24 fan, in spite of its many repetitive clichés.  I’m delighted to see the series return, even if it doesn’t have Jack Bauer in it.  Is it the best of the franchise?  No.  Is it a thrilling ride that’s true to the series’ roots?  Sure!  I just wish they weren’t doing Middle Eastern terrorists for the hundredth time.  Every time I see that I groan.  For better or worse, this series is mimicking all the tropes of its predecessor.  I choose to enjoy the nostalgia of it all.

LEGION.  Boy, this is a weird one.  It’s incredibly bizarre and complicated and difficult to follow, but in a good way.  If you’re looking for an X-Men TV series, this isn’t it.  But if you’re looking for a twisted ‘what is reality’ drama that happens to involve super powers, check it out!

APB.  The pilot intrigued me as a thinly veiled Tony Stark pastiche, but as I watched more episodes it quickly became just another cop procedural with a few pretty trappings.  Not that that’s a bad thing.

THE MICK.  Starring Kaitlin Olson from Sunny in Philly, this is a very funny show starring horrible people doing horrible things just like Philly.  Only here, they’re children!

POWERLESS.  A goofy sit-com set in the DC universe, this is a silly and cheerful counterpoint to the grim-dark movie franchise.  It definitely does not take place in any established continuity, but the comic book references elevate this cutesy sit-com.

SUPERIOR DONUTS.  Didn’t interest me.