Lego Movie (2014)

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Writers: Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Will Ferrell

Rating: ★★★★½

The Lego Movie is all about reconnecting to the creative, imaginative, fun and happy childlike mind-set you were in as kid when playing with one of the world’s most famous franchises. It’s an absolutely hilarious film the crafting being complete genius, making for a hundred minutes of laughs and reminiscing. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and that is what makes for such a great and entertaining watch, alongside some brilliant film references, famous voices, and a well-thought and written concept and ending making for one of the most surprisingly good films I’ve seen in recent years.

Emmet (Chris Pratt) is just an ordinary construction worker, following the instruction manual just like every other Lego mini-figure living in a whole world made from Lego bricks, blocks and bits. After his work-shift Emmet spots something strange but before he knows, he is kidnapped and taken away by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), under the order of Lord Business (Will Ferrell). Emmet is seconds away from being melted into a tiny block of plastic when he gets rescued by WildStyle (Elizabeth Banks) who enlightens Emmet about him being the prophesied “Special”, the only person who can save the Lego Universe from the evil tyrant Lord Business. As Emmet goes on an adventure to save the universe he must both learn how to use his special gift whilst defeating and avoiding the traps of Lord Business.

The story is fun and entertaining, as Emmet adventures on through his mission he meets all kinds of people from batman, superman, and green lantern, to even a repressive happy pink unicorn. Eventually the film fizzles out to an ending which reminded me of the much famous Star Wars, the ending rounds of the film very nicely whilst showing of some brilliant thoughts and film-writing.  Lego Movie gives off a very nice message, for me it was all about being free to create what you want and to be what you want in life, doing what makes you happy without following the instruction manual.

The characters were all fantastic, all being hilarious, well written and well voiced by some famous names. Emmet was fun and well written; although Pratt voice didn’t jump out too much I felt overall it worked well. Liam Neeson as Good Cop/Bad Cop was by far my favourite; it was outrageously funny and genius. As his faced changed from good to bad or from raised eyebrows to angry, I couldn’t help but laugh whilst Neeson’s voice couldn’t have been more fitting. Writers and directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, comical geniuses in my eyes, deserve a lot credit for what they have made, whilst fellow writers Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman shouldn’t be forgotten.

The way in which Lego Movie has been made is film craft and animation at its finest, not a detail missed and this only increased my admiration. The water scenes were for me most impressive, with each splash being a handful of blue little bricks thrown up into the air. Every block and Lego-made character brought back memory after memory of childhood fun, and it amazes me how all this came across on a big screen.

It’s hard to find things I disliked about Lego Movie, it had everything from humour  to great visuals however I found its theme song, “Everything is Awesome” one of the most annoying aspects and one of, if not the, most annoying film song I have heard for a long while despite it being ridiculously catchy. It brought a very silly aspect to this film with it also reminding me how this is a kid film, despite its appeal to the older viewers, this was also something it seemed to dodge and avoid throughout but couldn’t for a few frustratingly catchy scenes.

Lego Movie I’m sure will be remembered for a long while by both children and adults alike, not only for its song but for a fun-filled film which relights childhood feelings making it too hard not to enjoy. Written and directed greatly, a host of well-known voices and an overall concept which aims to please makes Lego Movie a surprisingly enjoyable film and one of the biggest and surprising releases this year so far. It is a must-see entertaining watch which won’t disappoint!

 

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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

Genre: Comedy

Director: Adam McKay

Writers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay

Starring: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate

Rating:★★★★

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) was kind of a big deal, and is personally one of my favourite comedies, a film labelled as “absolutely hilarious” and loved by many; you could say it’s a film loved more than Ron loves scotch and Brick loves lamp.  When I heard news that there was going to a sequel nearly a decade later, I was at the same time excited but nervous at the thought that it would bring shame to its great original. However full of casual racism, silly humour, big bushy moustaches, even more news reading and of course salon-quality hair, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues doesn’t disappoint. The writing is hilarious with the story being enjoyable and fun despite it feeling slightly lazy, Will Ferrell and Steve Carell produce brilliant performances once again, whilst a handful of cameo all-stars provide great laughter and surprise. Anchorman 2 may not be as successful as its prequel however it is certainly a memorable comedy.

Things have changed since Anchorman (2004), Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is now living the higher life away from his beloved San Diego, in New York City alongside his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), and the pair now even has a son, Walter Burgundy.  However, when their boss decides to promote Corningstone to become the first ever full-time lead female anchor and fire Ron, times a’change once more. Now working part-time at sea-world Ron, away from his wife and son seems to be washed-up once more, however his shot at redemption comes in the form of Freddie Schapp (Dylan Baker), the executive behind Global News Network, the world’s first ever twenty-four hour, around the clock news channel. Ron is hired, and he proceeds to hunt down and reunite his old gang and news team of Champ, Brick and Brian (David Koechner, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd). Ron and his news team are back behind the news desk once again however given the graveyard shift and a challenge to get ratings, Ron creates a radical plan to transform news and put him back as the number one news reader once again. But will Ron and Veronica ever get back together, with Ron becoming a dad again, and will Brick finally grow up and find his true love, are some of the battles the Global News Network team have to accomplish.

Anchorman 2 follows the same narrative as its previous instalment with the feud between Ron and Veronica leaving Ron jobless and in a tough position, meaning he has to fight once more to become the legend he previously was.  I see this as lazy writing, with even simple plots being copied once more with the introduction of another news team war and a pet shark; however it creates the same feel and consequently the same great humour so my criticism is also slightly positive.

The laughs in Anchorman 2 are as expected, always present. Ron once more is foolish, arrogant but mightily hilarious, whilst Brick keeps his place as one of the funniest characters ever created. With the news team reunited and on the way to New York, there’s a scene which is hilarious as their van crashes and the team fly about mid-air in the van along with the beloved Baxter. Brick likewise to his character in Anchorman has a handful of gut-busting quotes, my favourite – “A black man used to follow me around”, “Brick that’s your shadow”.  Even the other characters seem to produce big-laughs; Paul Rudd’s Brain Fantana goes through his cupboard of magical condoms, whilst Chuck talks about the “chicken of the cave” in his new food-chain restaurant.  Anchorman 2 is a great comedy however it isn’t quite a classic like its prequel, with something seeming missing.

The acting was great; of course the two stand-outs for me were Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. Ferrell brought Burgundy back to life with real style, with his arrogant humour and salon quality hair. However Carell was better than before, I was pleased to see him even getting his own story as he kindles up a love with a fellow awkward and dim colleague, which sees them go on a date to get a drink from a soda-vending machine. When we first see Brick again it was hilarious and really made me laugh. Just like Anchorman, The Legend Continues produces an iconic news team war which sees half a dozen all-star cameos, without giving all the names away we see a very animated Kanye West and an even hairier Harrison Ford.

I did find myself laughing throughout this film, but as I have said I didn’t find it as successful as its original. The story seemed too similar and that took away some laughs and enjoyment, whilst I found it slightly un-progressive at times with the story seeming to go round and round in circles. Anchorman 2 also seemed to push a lot of boundaries with its humour which seemed too forced and obvious at times, whilst before I viewed it as refreshing and inventive.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues isn’t as legendary as its previous original however for me it was a hilarious, funny and great comedy which doesn’t shame its name whatsoever.  Brilliant characters and brilliant acting create laugh after laugh, whilst there are a few very iconic scenes with some very iconic faces, with even a equally fun and lovable 70’s style soundtrack. It is easy to watch and even easier to enjoy with some familiar but decent writing from director and star Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. Anchorman 2 is a must-watch comedy, and should be regarded as the stand-out comedy of 2013. “Oh for the love of fresh nipple cream, this is great”

 

 

 

 

My Top 5 Comedy Actors

#5 Ben Stiller: There’s no surprise Ben Stiller is on my list, if there is such a thing as a “funny gene” then he’s definetly inherited it with his parents (Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara) being legendary comedians. He started his acting career in the late 1980’s and is now directing and producing his own films. If you asked someone to name some of their favourite comedies I’m sure a Ben Stiller film will creep up. Most famously known for his hilarious Zoolander (2001) and later on the likes of Meet The Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers(2010). He’s also featured in one of my favourite comedies There’s Something About Mary (1998). He most certainly deserves his place on this list, after all he did create “The Derek Zoolander Center For Children Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too”.

#4 Steve Carell: Personally Steve Carell is one of my favourite actors as he’s just brilliant and hilarious, breaking through into the acting world in the 1990’s he’s been a prestigious face for the last decade. I don’t think you’ll find a un-funny film that’s he’s done. Winner of a Golden Globe and voted funniest man on Life Magazine there’s no surprise he’s on this list. His most well known films being Crazy Stupid Love(2011) , The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)and Anchorman (2004) topping a huge list of amazing comedies. His performance in Crazy Stupid Love is amazing and his role as Brick in Anchorman is hilarious and makes the film. When it comes to jokes and acting silly Steve Carell is certainly the guy to come to and well he’s a lover of lamp and desk and ummm carpet.

#3 Paul Rudd: He’s usually the guy hidden behind bigger stars and he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, but for me he’s brilliant and one of the funniest guys in the business who has a smart head on him, writing and producing some amazing films. Playing background roles in films such as Anchorman (2004), The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) and Knocked Up (2007) he eventually made his name to get lead roles. Writing and staring in the amazingly successful comedy Role Models (2008) and Dinner For Schmucks (2010). His performance in films such as Role Models and even in I Love You, Man (2009) were very impressive and had my eyes watering from laughter. I’m glad he didn’t stick to his previous occupation of a DJ as he’s one of the funniest guys around, making him deserve his place on my list.

#2 Seth Rogen: A former stand up comedian as a teenager he is now staring, writing and producing some of the best comedies around. With his recognisable laugh and hair he is definitely a popular guy. Breaking into the industry with films such as Knocked Up and Pineapple Express (2008) he has really made a name for himself, for me Pineapple Express is an amazing film and Seth Rogen is hilarious in it, also showing of his talents by writing the screenplay. He’s been nominated for a Primetime Emmy and is definitely now a well known star, also releasing this years hit comedy “This Is The End”. For the countless times he’s made me cry with laughter and for the films he’s made funny, and made in general he deserves his spot on the list at number two.

#1 Will Ferrell: At number one of my list and probably on many peoples lists is Will Ferrell, his curly hair has been on screen for a while now and he’s featured in an amazing amount of comedies. His most remembered being Anchorman where he plays the lead character of Ron Burgandy and Step Brothers(2008). Just like other top actors he is behind the writing and producing of his own films showing off his many talents. He is also the man behind my favourite Christman film “Elf” (2003) where he is unbelievably funny playing Buddy, and also one of my other favourite comedies such The Other Guys(2010). If Will Ferrell is in a film then it will certainly be funny and one to watch, nominated for two Golden Globes he is certainly a favourite with the public as well. Its safe to say I love Will Ferrell just as much as he loves scotch, scothcy scotch scotch.

Top 5: Films To Look Out For In The Rest Of 2013

So we’ve had The Great Gatsby and our Pacific Rim but let’s have a look at what 2013 has left in its film closet.

 

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Action

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer: Nicolas Winding Refn

Release Date: 02/08/13

Staring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas

#5 Only God Forgives: For those who have seen the brilliant film that is Drive (2011) this is a sequel following the story of Julian (Ryan Gosling) 10 years later after fleeing to Thailand. Owning a boxing club, being the main man on a drugs front and an all round respected criminal he gets ordered to kill those who murdered his brother. Feeling the same emptiness and rage that he did in Drive I’m sure the action in this film will be amazing. Staring Ryan Gosling whose performance in Drive was thrilling and from the same director Nicolas Winding Refn you can expect the same quality meaning this film will definitely be a must watch.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Director: Francis Lawrence

Writers: Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt (Screenplay), Suzanne Collins (Novel)

Release Date: 22/11/13

Staring: Jenifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth

#4 The Hunger Games- Catching Fire: A sequel to the 2012 film The Hunger Games it follows  Katniss and Peeta after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the districts.  An inviting story and a great cast makes this film very much-anticipated, especially following its prequel it the Hunger Games Trilogy.

Genre: Comedy

Director: Adam McKay

Writers: Will Ferrell & Adam McKay

Release Date: 20/12/13

Staring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell. Paul Rudd

#3 Anchorman- The Legend Continues: After the much famous success with Anchorman (2004) here comes a sequel, with an amazing all-star cast it provided us with many laughs and is possibly one of the most popular comedies. With Will Ferrell once again staring and writing it looks to have the same success and effect making it a film to look out for.

Genre: Horror

Director: Kimberly Peirce

Writers: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Screenplay), Stephen King (Novel)

Release Date: 29/10/13

Staring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer

#2 Carrie: A remake of the prestigious and greatly known 1976 horror, Carrie a lonely awkward teen is bullied at school and is beaten at home by her religious mother. However Carrie is blessed with an evil power and after a prank at her high school prom she teaches people a value lesson, If you play with fire, you’ll get burnt. With this film being tipped to be the best horror this year, better than Evil Dead (2013) this will definitely be a film people will flood to see.

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Director: Peter Jackson

Writers: Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Philippa Boyens

Release Date: 13/12/13

Staring: Martin Freeman, Elijah Woods

#1: The Hobbit-The Desolation of Smaug: The Hobbit the prequels to the most popular trilogy of all time, Lord Of The Rings are very  anticipated films. After the Unexpected Journey (2012) became a huge success and left us with a cliff-hanger you can expect the film to flood the box office with unbelievable sales. Following the story this time Bilbo (Martin Freeman) meets our golden dragon as he goes on his adventure.

That concludes my list of what I think the most top 5 most anticipated films will be for the rest of 2013 but I would like to hear what you think, comment below and let me know.

Anchorman (2004)

Genre: Comedy

Director: Adam McKay
Writers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Staring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate
Rating: ★★★★
Anchorman is possibly the godfather of the current “teenage” generation, sad but true. It’s hugely hilarious with an amazing well known cast also featuring many cameo performances from comedy stars I will not mention. Set in a news station it stereotypes and mocks what happens on the news, from those cheesy smile credits to the friendly chats after the sign off. It takes an opportunity to show the viewers what they might not see on the news, behind the cameras, but of course this is a comedy and you can’t believe everything you see on TV.
The story focuses on San Diego’s popular news Anchor Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell),
He’s a master of the jazz flute, winner of 5 Emmy’s and has a woman as a co anchor, wait did someone say Women! Trouble arises as manager Ed Harken (Fred Willard) decides he wants some diversity and hires Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), who aspires to be a network anchor. Scared cause “their menstruation attracts bears” the act of sabotage begins from the San Diego news men but the woman fight back.
The male news team consist of very well known comedy actors, Steve Carell plays  Brick Tamland, the weather man with a grenade in his pocket. There’s also Brian Fantana and Champ Kind (Paul Rudd, David Koechner) and the four together occasionally go suit shopping and sing afternoon delight. It would be boring eventually and unfair to get all the laughs in this film from mocking the stupidity of the news team. So Anchorman focuses on Ron Burgundy and Veronica. They get close and into a relationship, taking trips to pleasure town but when work gets in the way they turn bitter and their actions have costly consequences and Ron loses his job, will Ron and Veronica get back together and things go back to usual? Stay tuned San Diego.
The laughs in this film are big and there are plenty off them. Some films go too far and try too hard for laughs being somewhat stupid and silly, however despite Anchorman doing this, they do it well and you can’t stop yourself from laughing. As mentioned before there are a number of cameo performances from other well known comedy actors, they all meet in a Network standoff free-for all and well things escalate quickly. I love this film like I love lamp and scotch, you’ll find yourself laughing and eventually quoting it every time you put it on and I personally think its the best comedy in the last decade for sure. If you haven’t already seen Anchorman you’re missing out, it’s definitely a must watch comedy.