on June 11, 2013
If you have played the Lego Batman 2 game, the plot of this movie will be very familiar to you. In fact, its almost as if Traveler's Tales figured they could throw a game together on the cheap by re-using the cut scenes from the video game. Although its not a complete clone of the game, some scenes are re-edited and re-cut so they aren't exact, but they are close enough.
If you are over the age of 12, then there isn't a ton of stuff in this movie to interest you. There are some references to past Batman movie and TV incarnations and the recreation of the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie opening from LEGO bricks is a classic. My kids watch the scene and yell out "The bat-symbol!" every time they watch it. There is also a scene where Superman hears the Richard Donner Superman film's theme and says "That music sounds familiar." To which Batman replies "I don't listen to music." I just about fell over when I found out that my kids don't instantly equate that tune with Superman! (a travesty that I will have to straighten out!"
The attention to detail is something else that is impressive in this movie. The recreation of the models out of LEGO bricks would be impressive enough. But you can actually see where the minifigure's joints rub together creating scratches on the body. Also, if the light hits them just right, you can see fingerprints on the minifigs that must be left over from whoever built this LEGO Gotham City and is imagining the story.
Its easy to imagine that this story was thought up by some 10 year old. Its not too deep, full of silly humor, and the majority of the violence is off-screen. This movie really is geared toward the younger audience and there is not anything in it that I would not feel comfortable letting my kids watch. The message of teamwork runs throughout the movie and even Batman learns that its OK to ask for help when he calls in the rest of the Justice League in to help the threat posed by Lex Luthor and the Joker.
The movie is called DC Superheroes unite, but it could have easily been called the Batman/Superman hour. About 90% of the movie focuses on those two heroes while The Flash, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, and Cyborg get a quick guest appearance in the final moments of he movie. So if you are stoked for the TV screen debut of the Flash don't blink because it will be over in a flash!
My kids (a 6 year old son and a 7 year old daughter) have watched this movie at least 5 times in the week that we have owned this movie. They love LEGO and they love Superheroes so this movie is a good fit for them. The fun doesn't stop with the feature though. There are 5 stop motion shorts made out of LEGO that were part of an online contest, 3 episodes of WB superhero cartoons (Teen Titans, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Justice League), and a featurette on building LEGO Batman. My kids have to watch all of the special features each time they watch the movie and have discovered Batman: The Brave and the Bold because of this.
Lastly, the movie comes with an exclusive Clark Kent turning into Superman LEGO minifigure. Its a really neat piece that LEGO probably won't release anywhere else (though I wouldn't put money on that) so if you are a minifig completeist, you need to get the movie. I can tell you that this LEGO Clark Kent has watched this movie a few times along with his pal LEGO Superman. At least on the days my son can figure out where he left them.
on April 6, 2013
My 6 and 7-yr-old were thoroughly entertained, and it was mildly enjoyable for dad to watch too. Whether this was pieced together with video game cut scenes or not, I didn't notice. The computer animation is high quality and voice acting excellent.
on June 12, 2013
4.5 out of 5
It's time for the Man of the Year Awards in Gotham City. The contenders? Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor. The winner? Well, you guessed it: Bruce Wayne. When the Joker crashes the party, Lex sees a potential ally in his fight against not only Superman, but all superheroes. They forge an uneasy alliance and Lex uses Joker's expertise in chemistry to create not only a gas that would make everyone vote for him in the upcoming Presidential election, but also Kryptonite. In exchange, Lex would provide Joker with a special brick dismantling device that is able to take apart shiny black objects, something Joker's all too familiar with thanks to the Dark Knight.
Meanwhile, Batman and Robin have their hands full with an outbreak from Arkham Asylum. Superman shows up to help and eventually the Dynamic Duo and the Man of Steel discover Lex's and Joker's partnership. However, team ups aren't Batman's strong suit but after a little coaxing from Robin, he learns that sometimes you need outside help to come to victory.
Just when Batman and Superman think they've got Joker and Lex right where they want them, the sinister duo unleash a powerful force that will take the entire Justice League of America to stop.
If you've played LEGO Batman 2, then you're familiar with this story. This movie even uses clips from the game, but then fills in the gaps with fresh animation. So while it's kind of a rehash, it's a well-done rehash and, hey, it's LEGO. LEGO animated movies are few and far between and I hope LEGO Batman: The Movie - DC Superheroes Unite is the first in a move to bring more and more brick superheroes to the small screen. Perhaps even to the big one one day.
The animation is crisp, flawless, and well-thought out. The graphics are amazing and convey a plausible world made of LEGO, every detail somehow made from LEGO bricks. No small feat from a design standpoint, creating something to believable yet so . . . LEGO-y.
With a solid story filled with the right amount of action and humor, I'm glad I added LEGO Batman: The Movie to my superhero movie collection. Besides, the exclusive Clark-Kent-changing-into-Superman LEGO figure that comes with it is not too shabby either. Glad to have him as part of my Superman figure collection.
LEGO Batman: The Movie - DC Superheroes Unite is recommended for all ages. I loved watching it with my kids and I know you will, too. And if you don't have kids, then it's still worth checking out. Again, LEGO? Batman? Superman? DC superheroes? Yes, please!
on April 14, 2013
I like this movie. Its funny, witty, full of action, just a little too short.
To start off my review, let me clear up that this film is NOT the cutscenes from Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes. This film is based on that game, but the entire film has been re-animated from the cutscenes and great action scenes replace gameplay.
Now that the cutscene controversy is cleared up, let me tell you about the film itself.
Firstly, the animation is brilliant. LEGO did a great job on animating this film, especially in HD. If you have a Blu-ray player, then buy this on Blu-ray for sure.
Secondly, the voice acting is very good.
Lastly, the story. Based on the video game, the story for LEGO Batman is funny, witty, full of action and flows quickly. Just a little too quickly. At 71 minutes, this movie is barely a feature-length film. Just when I was getting to this film, it was almost over. LEGO should have made this film at least 90 minutes. Then, my review would be five out of five for sure.
My other problem with this film is that it is not theatrically released. This film is too good for a direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray release. This film would have been great in 3D.
In conclusion, LEGO Batman: The Movie DC Superheroes Unite is a film well worth seeing.
I recommend this movie.