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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Chris McKay
Cast:
Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes
Writing Credits:
Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington

Synopsis:
If he wants to save Gotham from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe - just maybe - learn to lighten up.

Box Office:
Budget
$80 million.
Opening Weekend
$53,003,468 on 4088 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$175,730,880.

MPAA:
Rated PG

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Mexican Spanish Dolby 5.1
Colombian Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Latin Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Latin Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 6/13/2017

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Chris McKay, Editor David Burrows, Lighting Supervisor Craig Welsh, Production Designer Grant Freckelton, Lead Layout Artist Laurence Andrews, Stereoscopic Supervisor Fabian Mueller, Co-Producer Amber Naismith, Associate Producer Samantha Nisenboim and Others
• Four Animated Shorts
• “The Master” Animated Short
• Deleted Scenes
• Six Featurettes
• Promotional Material
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Lego Batman Movie [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 11, 2017)

When 2014’s Lego Movie became a smash hit, one of its supporting characters got much of the positive attention: the Caped Crusader. Will Arnett’s narcissistic take on the Dark Knight became a highlight and led to the film’s nominal sequel, 2017’s The Lego Batman Movie.

Batman (voiced by Arnett) faces off against arch-nemesis the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) for the umpteenth time, but this battle goes differently from an emotional point of view. When Batman tells Joker he doesn’t place value on their antagonistic relationship, this pushes the crazed clown to seek his ultimate revenge, one that involves a slew of other baddies.

While that brews, Batman deals with changes on the home front. After Bruce Wayne accidentally adopts perky orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), Batman needs to adjust to a less solitary life, and this leads him to confront his fear of personal attachments.

Going into Lego Movie, I looked forward to it and thought I’d enjoy it. I did – sort of. Lego Movie offered a smattering of laughs and offered decent entertainment but it never became better than “kind of good”.

Like its predecessor, Lego Batman got great reviews and implied a fun sense of comedic irreverence. I hoped that I’d get the rollicking blast that I’d expected from Lego Movie.

Strike two! Perhaps fall 2017’s Lego Ninjago Movie will finally bring me the consistently amusing animated experience I desire, but like the first flick, Lego Batman proves only sporadic entertainment.

Part of the problem stems from the plot, or lack thereof. Sure, Lego Batman boasts a bunch of story elements, but in truth, it feels like a theme in search of a narrative.

From start to finish, Lego Batman stretches and pulls and contorts itself to fit with its “family” concept. I get that the movie needs to expand its horizons, mainly because the Lego Movie Batman doesn’t lend himself to a full feature film. A super-narcissist Batman gets old quickly – he worked in the Lego Movie’s fairly small doses as a foil to others but he’d become tiresome across 104 minutes in the lead.

Unfortunately, the “family” theme doesn’t pick up the slack. Honestly, it feels awfully contrived, as it the filmmakers decided they needed a kid-friendly message and shoehorned the characters into that motif.

It flops. The movie never connects to its ideas in an organic manner, so the character development comes across as artificial and contrived.

In addition, Lego Batman doesn’t succeed as a wild adventure, mainly because it goes too crazy in that domain. Not only does the film pack in scads of Bat-villains, but also it throws in a slew of DC heroes as well as many non-DC baddies.

The use of all these characters feels unfocused and desperate. Sure, Lego Movie went nuts in terms of its broad array of disparate characters, but that made sense because the story supposedly came from the mind of a child.

Lego Batman abandons its predecessor’s conceit, so its reliance on all those various characters doesn’t make much sense. It just seems like an admission that the movie lacks much real inventiveness, so it throws everything it can find at us and hopes some of it sticks.

And it does on occasion, but not with much frequency. Lego Batman boasts a few minor laughs and shows potential, but the end result fails to entertain in a consistent manner.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio A-/ Bonus B

The Lego Batman Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though largely appealing, the image seemed a little iffier than expected.

Sharpness became the most obvious slightly weak link, as wider shots could lack great delineation. I wondered if some of this was intentional to give the awkward-looking Lego elements a more natural feel, but whatever the case, the movie gave us good definition that simply didn’t boast the tightness I anticipate from a CG animated film.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and the movie showed no edge haloes. In addition, print flaws remained absent.

For its palette, Lego Batman went with a fairly standard orange and teal feel. The colors didn’t overwhelm, though, and the flick offered peppy hues overall. Blacks were dense and dark, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. This ended up as a very watchable image that fell short of greatness.

I felt happy with the solid Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Lego Batman. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the mix offered plenty of opportunities for lively auditory information, and it gave us an exciting presentation.

With a lot of action on display, the soundscape boasted many opportunities to shine, and it took advantage of them. The slew of Bat-battles contributed to most of these, but other sequences bolstered the involvement factor as well. Add to that nice stereo music and some directional dialogue to end up with an engrossing soundfield.

Audio quality also pleased. Music was peppy and full, while speech seemed natural and concise. Effects appeared dynamic and accurate, with solid low-end response. The soundtrack kicked into high gear often enough to earn an “A-“.

When we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Chris McKay, editor David Burrows, production designer Grant Freckelton, co-producer Amber Naismith, lead layout artist Laurence Andrews, lighting supervisor Craig Welsh, stereoscopic supervisor Fabian Mueller, associate producer Samantha Nisenboim and others. I say “others” because the participants don’t always fully identify themselves, and even after a thorough scan of the movie’s IMDB listing, I couldn’t narrow down who some of them were.

This large group sits together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cultural, comic book and movie references, cast and performances, visual design and animation, music, and connected domains. The track shows reasonable focus but it doesn’t give us great depth.

The commentary probably includes too many participants, so it tends to spread a little too thin. Overall, we get a decent overview of the production – with an emphasis on technical elements – but it’s a fairly average listen.

Four Batman-related animated shorts appear: “Dark Hoser” (2:08), “Batman Is Just Not That Into You” (2:10), “Cooking with Alfred” (2:02) and “Movie Sound Effects: How Do They Do That?” (1:24). These use the movie’s voice actors and provide brief, entertaining segments.

An animated short entitled The Master comes from the universe of “Lego Ninjago”. It lasts five minutes, 23 seconds and provides a spoof of martial arts movies. While not great, it comes with some amusement.

Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes. We find “Batcave Studio” (1:43), “Lollipop” (2:24), “Batman & Mayor Swap” (1:22) and “Clayface” (1:45).

“Studio” and “Swap” offer additional exposition for existing segments, while “Lollipop” shows how Batman responds to a lack of crime in Gotham. “Clayface” features that villain in action, and it offers the scene that comes in the most finished form. The prior three provide story reels, but “Clayface” brings nearly finished animation.

“Lollipop” and “Swap” become the most entertaining of the four. The movie doesn’t need them – and “Swap” ruins a surprise – but they’re still pretty good. “Studio” feels redundant and “Clayface” doesn’t add much.

Six featurettes follow. We locate “One Brick at a Time: Making The Lego Batman Movie (16:10), “Rebrick Contest Winners” (2:47), “Inside Wayne Manor” (2:36), “Brick by Brick: Making of The Lego Batman Movie” (3:50), “Behind the Brick” (4:13) and “Me and My Minifig” (0:56). Across these, we hear from McKay, Burrows, Freckelton, producer Dan Lin, producers Chris Miller and Phil Lord, head of story Trisha Gum, effects supervisor Miles Green, modeling supervisor Bradley Sick, CG supervisor Damien Gray, design manager Michael Fuller, VP of Design Matthew Ashton, animation supervisors Magali Rigaudias and Rob Coleman, surfacing artist Nerys Lincoln, animators Anne-Marie Denham and Sarah De Gaudemar, rigging supervisor Joshua Murtack, layout supervisor Behzad Mansoori—Dara, lead matte painter Dudley Birch, composer Lorne Balfe, head of IT Alex Timbs, and actors Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Gallifianakis, Rosario Dawson, and Ralph Fiennes.

The programs discuss McKay’s take on the material, story/character areas and the use of animatics, cast and performances, challenges working in the world of Lego, animation and various design choices, lighting and photography, audio and music. We also see some fan movies and get some in-character bits.

Of the six clips, “One Brick” offers by far the most useful, as it gives us a pretty solid overview of production areas. The others tend to seem more promotional – they can be fun but they lack substance.

The disc opens with a clip for The Lego Ninjago Movie. Promotional Material includes a slew of ads for Lego Batman. It throws out three trailers, pieces for online elements or apps, and other quirky promo reels. These tend to be clever and creative marketing tools.

At times, The Lego Batman Movie offers a decent spoof of superhero tales. Unfortunately, it crams in too many characters and a contrived theme, all of which make it less than effective. The Blu-ray delivers excellent audio as well as generally good picture and supplements. Lego Batman becomes a mediocre disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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