Sunday, June 18, 2017

Video review: "The LEGO Batman Movie"

You've got to love a spin-off where they just added one word to the title: “The LEGO Batman Movie” plucks the breakout character from the first movie and gives him his own flick, with gleeful fun for kiddies resulting.

There is a goodly helping of inside jokes for grownups, but these movies are aimed squarely at the 10-and-under set. They’re colorful, fast-paced, full of action and mildly crude humor.

Will Arnett returns as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne, who’s a self-centered jerk trying to mask his yearning for a family to stave off his crushing loneliness. One is soon presented to him in the form of a boy ward of the state who will become Robin (Michael Cera), Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) and his own loyal butler, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes).

Zach Galifianakis voices the Joker, who launches a scheme to free all the villains trapped in the Phantom Zone. He’s stuck somewhere between trying to kill Batman and wanting a relationship with him. Perhaps one will lead to the other.

We get to see virtually every bad guy Batman has fought over the years in LEGO form, along with a bunch of new ones like Condiment Man. (His power his exactly what you think.) The blocky, deceivingly crude animation is slick and appealing.

“The LEGO Batman” movie is entirely a retread of the first movie, but with the pieces changed all around into different forms.

Bonus features are quite extensive, and -- in a move that’s increasingly rare -- you get the same goodies with the standard DVD version as the Blu-ray upgrade.

There’s a feature-length commentary track by director Chris McKay and his crew, deleted scenes, four new Batman animated shorts (favorite title: “Batman is Just Not That Into You”) and another short for the upcoming “LEGO Ninjago” movie. Plus, social media promos, trailers and six making-of featurettes.



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