The Lego Batman Movie

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The Lego movies never seem to disappoint me. There are made for kids but there are several adult jokes for the parents that get to go. The first Lego movie introduced us to Batman and because the DC new Batman movie is delayed, this movie filled in the gap.

The Lego Batman movie picks up a few years after the last Lego movie. Batman has been protecting Gotham from crime and dealing with all his known nemesis through the comics. His man villain for this movie is the Joker. Joker is set on destroying Gotham because Batman will not admit that they have a relationship with the Joker being his arch-rival.

“Uh, cause last time I checked, I only have one butt.” –Batman

Batman then attends the city’s winter gala as Bruce Wayne to honor the retirement of Commisioner Gordon. He learn that Gordon’s daughter, Barbara is going to be taking over for him at the police station in Gotham. However, Batman learns that Barbara has plans to have the city no longer need Batman to fight crime. The Joker then crashes the party in order to be “captured” but he has other plans. The Joker wants to get to the Phantom Zone, which Superman has left his enemies in. There are several jokes regarding the Batman vs. Superman movie and about the Justice League films before that.

Batman isn’t content to let the Joker just sit in prison and believes he had other plans. He starts to watch the Joker in prison. However, Alfred intervenes and advises Batman to take charge of Dick Grayson, the adopted kid that Bruce didn’t realize he truly adopted from the event. Dick becomes Robin to Batman. They manage to recover the Projector from Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, where Superman is throwing a huge party. They head to the prison to confront the Joker and use it on him. Barbara is there however and both Batman and Robin end up locked up. The Projector ends up in the custody of the prison where Harley Quinn steals it back. She then breaks free the Joker and uses the Projector on him to send him to The Phantom Zone.

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The Joker is able to break free all of the villains and now Robin and Batman have to convince Barbara to let them go in order to stop the Joker. The Joker’s ulitimate villains include Lord Voldemort, King Kong, Sauron, the Wicked Witch of the West, Medusa, Agent Smith and his clones, the Daleks, the Gremlins and the Kraken. I laughed when I saw the Gremlins. Barbara becomes Batgirl for Batman and Robin and Alfred because she wants to stop the Joker. These 4 and the other villains that were locked up with the Joker that he left for the Phantom Zone villains fight back.

“Sir, I have seen you go through similar phases in 2016 and 2012 and 2008 and 2005 and 1997 and 1995 and 1992 and 1989 and that weird one in 1966.” –Alfred

However, Batman fails to stop the bombs from detonating, causing the city to split apart. Batman reluctantly convinces Joker that he is the reason for being the hero he is, and working together alongside Batman’s friends, the villains, and the city’s inhabitants, chain link themselves together, reconnecting the city’s plates. With the city saved, Batman prepares to be taken back into the Phantom Zone to fulfill his bargain, only to be rejected by Phyllis, who chooses to let him remain after seeing how much he had changed in order to save everyone. Batman allows Joker and the rest of his rogues gallery to temporarily escape but will catch them later.

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Overall the movie is definitely for kids but there are several jokes for adults as well. It plays off of the failed DC movies of the past and how they seem to keep making Batman movies over and over again. I give it 8 out of 10 stars. I think it’s a little longer the necessary and some parts could’ve been cut out. However, overall the film is fun and yes, the music is great.

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50 Shades Darker

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When it comes to the 50 Shades series, you’re either for it or you hate it. It’s safe to say that given that when the first movie came out people were trying to have it banned from theaters. First, people needed to chill. If you don’t like the movie or it’s story, don’t see the movie. Second, they made it into a movie because people loved the series and read it, sometimes more then once. Just relax and let people see what movie they want to see.

50 Shades Darker picks up the story of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey pretty close to how the last movie ended, much like the book. However, one thing that 50 Shades Darker doesn’t do is keep the love story between these two going. The story and plot line gets lost in the need to hit points in the book that we can’t really get anywhere with  developing a turn story. It’s very different from the first movie and I’m thinking it’s because we have a different director and writer. And what is sad is that the film starts out taking the thrill of Leila stalking Anastasia that it seems like it’s going to go somewhere but is quickly destroyed by the lack of true emotion given between the actors. It seems like both Dakota and Jamie were bored and who could blame them given how horrible the plot line was.

“I want you back. I’m not very good at this, I’ve never wanted to try again.” – Christian Grey

The love between Anastasia and Christian is supposed to grow greatly throughout this book, one of the reasons he asks her to marry him. However, the lack of emotion portrayed between the actors leaves you lacking. You never reach the moments that need the emotion the most. For instance, when Anna is confronted by Leila (which she mispronounces her name several times), Anna shock is laughable and seeing Christian with Leila is not a strong scene but more of him being annoyed. Anna doesn’t even get the chance to deal with the scene because we jump right into her being able to touch Christian, which should’ve been again another emotional and loving moment but was more of a “I really don’t want to touch you” moment. Another disappointment.

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Jack Hyde was exactly the way I wanted him to be. That’s really the one thing that I enjoyed about this movie. I had hopes for Leila but they didn’t fully develop that part of the story so it became a let down. As for Jack, he was the creepy and slimy guy he was from the book and I give him a huge thumbs up for how well the characters was delivered. The tense moment between Anna and Jack is the one scene where I actually believed what was happening between the two of them. This unfortunately didn’t continue for the rest of the movie.

Mrs. Robinson aka Elena Lincoln is boring. She doesn’t look like the woman I pictured at all and instead of being “protective” of Christian like she is in the book, they spend the movie making it clear that she wants Christian for herself. Now, we know this the real reason behind what she does in the book but it’s not given to you a face to face until the last book. She’s boring. And when Grace slaps her at the end of the film, it’s more of a, well I was wondering how long that was going to take versus a pivotal moment between friends like it should’ve been. Mrs. Robinson was another let down of 50 Shades Darker.

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Overall this movie doesn’t give you the story that 50 Shades Darker should. It never reaches the emotions between the characters and the actors. The story is more about hitting points in the book then setting any story up to begin with. And the characters are thrown around and together is chaos in hopes of getting as many people on camera in order to make the movie seem fuller. I give it 5 out of 10 stars. I was very disappointed in this movie, especially after how much the first one told the love story between Christian and Anastasia.

“I don’t see how this can work.” – Anastasia Steele

Also, there is a bonus scene after the credits of the film. Actually, let me rephrase that it’s a teaser trailer for 50 Shades Freed. It doesn’t give you much, I don’t even think it’s 30 seconds long. But it gives you a glimpse that this series is ending and if the last film is just like this one, then it’s going to be a a disappointment too.

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A Dog’s Purpose

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I’m a sucker for animal movies. The only downside for me is that I have to bring a handful of tissues with me to the theater because no matter what they make me cry. A Dog’s Purpose is not an exception to that rule, in fact I told people to bring tissues shortly after I saw it. My Dad was even crying. It goes straight to the heart especially if you have/had a dog.

This was me, and then this was me, then I came back as this little guy. A lot of lives for one dog to live, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning. For me it all began with a boy, his name was Ethan.” – Bailey

A Dog’s Purpose moves through the same dog, living several different lives. The man question he keeps asking through the movie is what is the meaning of life? Why was he here? And throughout his lives and the humans he has come to know and love, he learns all about that. Bailey is who we can call him, even though he has different names throughout each of his lives. Bailey learns the hard lives that some boys lives and how sometimes things at home are not what they seem.

“I had a purpose. I was needed again, and again, and again. With each new life I was learning a new lesson.” – Bailey

Bailey and his boy Ethan, meet when Ethan and his mom save Bailey from a hot car. Bailey quickly becomes Ethan’s closest friend and follows him everywhere. He goes through several tough situations with Ethan, with his abusive father and his first love. Bailey even helps save Ethan and his Mom after a kid at Ethan’s school decides to take his anger out in the worst way, burning down Ethan’s house. Ethan however is getting older and has to continue on his life and when he leaves for college, he is forced to leave Bailey behind. Bailey doesn’t understand and you see Bailey get older and start showing his age while Ethan is away. Eventually the time has come and Bailey has to be put down. And then we start a new life.

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Each life that Bailey lives he is helping his owner. He is a cop dog who saves his owner’s life. He is a little dog who helps his owner find love while also finding it himself. And in each time, he’s hoping to find that one person who can help him get back to Ethan. He is starting to slowly remember when he is abandoned after an owner got tired of him (which is way more common then you think). He is also to do that by finding a scent that is familiar to him, it’s the scent of Ethan’s former girlfriend Hannah. Bailey is also to make it back to Ethan but he is a different dog of course. Ethan takes him in, calling him “Buddy”. They quickly fall into the same routine but Bailey wants Ethan to know its him, that he’s not “Buddy” but Bailey.

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A Dog’s Purpose is a family movie that I high recommend you see if you have/had a dog. It shows you the loyalty that dogs give us even when we don’t deserve it. It shows how cruel people can be to their animals. It shows that a dog is a huge responsibility and should never be taken lightly. It’s a story about friendship, love and support from the best friend a man or woman can have. I give it 10 out of 10 stars.

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Don’t Think It, Don’t See it

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I didn’t plan on seeing this movie. Mostly because scary movies are usually a disappointment for me. I’ve rarely ever scared and by the time the movie ends, I’m usually rooting for the killer to win. That’s the kind of person I am when it comes to scary movies. However, I won tickets for this movie from the local theater so I took my brother-in-law with me to see it.

Bye Bye Man starts off interesting. It begins with a man going on a killing spree in his neighborhood. Apparently he told people something he shouldn’t and the only way to stop it was to kill them. It takes place in the 1960s. Jump forward to what we can assume is present day to three young adults who have no connection to our murderous man in the beginning. They’re going to rent a house for the rest of their college year and have their own place. Three friends who think they have it all.

They have a house warming party where Elliot’s niece is present (not sure this is a great place for a little kid to be running around). She goes upstairs to Elliot’s bedroom and finds a gold coin, which after she opens a little storage door in the room, a beast on the other side of the room pokes its head out. The little girl of course sees none of this and puts the coin back in the drawer in the nightstand and heads down. Elliot’s girlfriend Sasha thinks something weird is happening in the house and has her “medium” friend Kim come over to take a look at the place and burn sage in the house too.

“Don’t think it. Don’t Say it.” – Elliot

This is where things just start to go downhill. Kim doesn’t like the house. Elliot finds the nightstand drawer is filled with “Don’t think it, don’t say it” and then the name Bye Bye Man carved into the drawer. This means that these four people are now cursed to die at the hands of this man and his what I can only determine is a hell hound. More weird things start to happen and basically hallucinations and things not being what they seem are the main signs. Elliot goes to the college campus library to find more information and finds the man who went on a killing spree at the beginning of the movie. Elliot believes that Larry’s wife man have the key to stopping all of this from happening.

She doesn’t because she never heard the name and she never wanted too. She believes that Larry only did what he did to stop Bye Bye Man from coming and saving them from a worse death. Larry kills himself in the end by drinking draino to poison himself to death. Now this where you’d think we’d start to get a turn to the story. Nope. Elliot figures out that Bye Bye Man only gets his power by you believing that the hallucinations are real. Perfect, stop believing and he’ll never be able to get to you. Well the librarian has killed her family and is on her want to kill Elliot and his friends. Elliot rushes home to save his friends, hit the librarian with his car and then keeps heading home. Elliot of course is starting to have hallucinations again and can’t seem to realize he having them. Sasha is fighting with John and they struggle with a pair of scissors. Elliot thinks John is attacking/stabbing Sasha but it’s actually Sasha attacking John. Elliot shoots Sasha to stop her and Bye Bye Man has arrived with his hell hound. John is left bloody in the bedroom as Elliot runs downstairs.

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In the end Elliot stops his brother from seeing what is going on and knowing about the Bye Bye Man. Elliot can’t seem to stop him so he shoots himself in the head. There, all the people who know about him are dead. Or so you think. In true scary movie fashion John is not actually dead, which leads to a possible sequel. John ends up telling the cop about the man and they lead you to believe that Elliot’s niece may have read about Bye Bye Man but she just took the gold coins.

Overall, it’s a bad version of a scary movie. It’s not even scary. The hell hound is a cool CGI affect but after first seeing him, I started rooting for more just to have something different from the horrible story line. Bye Bye Man is a take off of the Greek Ferry Man, Kharon. Kharon transported them across the waters to Haides in his skiff. His fee was a single obolos coin (gold coin) which was placed in the mouth of a corpse upon burial. Those who had not received proper burial were unable to pay the fee and were left to wander, haunting the world as ghosts. That’s who I think Bye Bye Man is supposed to be based off of but I could be wrong. As for the hell hound, well that could play off of a number of things. I give this movie 2 out of 10 stars. Don’t think it, Don’t see it.

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Hidden Figures

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The race to space is one that will live on in our American History. Our knowledge of space is constantly changing and the need to know more is always wanted. However, we need to remember the people who helped develop the Space program into what it is today.

Hidden Figures is about the women who helped get the first man into space. But it wasn’t just women, it was African-American women. These intelligent women were able to help solve the major problems NASA was facing trying to beat the Russians on getting a man on the Moon. They faced incredible odds in order to not only be included but to get the respect they deserve.

“I will have you know I was the first negro female student at West Virginia University graduate school. On any given day, I analyze the nominal levels or air displacement friction and velocity, and compute over ten thousand calculations by hand. So, yes, they let women do some things at NASA, Mr. Johnson, and it’s not because we wear skirts. It’s because we wear glasses.” – Katherine Johnson

Katherine Goble Johnson helped work out the math to not only get John Glenn into to orbit but to help safely return him home and where he would land. Dorothy Vaughan help set up and run the IBM computer system at NASA and was named Supervisor. Mary Jackson fought her way through the system in order to be become an Engineer for NASA. These three women helped get John into space. Mary worked with the engineers on the ship that would carry John. Katherine’s mathematical skills were the final testing results and answers in order to get John up into space. Dorothy saved the jobs of the computing women at NASA and helped NASA be able to solve more calculations.

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These women did more than probably this movie can even begin to describe. They worked hard each day with little acknowledgement for their work. Yet they kept working. Katherine knew that she couldn’t get her work and calculations correct if she didn’t have all the information. She found a way around what was retracted from the information in order to help solve some major problems NASA was facing with their space program.

This movie is worthy of all the award show buzz. There are some movies that get picked as top favorites for the award shows and I wonder how it’s possible. Hidden Figures is a movie worthy of the awards and more. It tells the incredible story of women who went against all odds to do something great and to help make a pivotal mark in American history. I give it 9 out of 10 stars. There are a couple of points in the movie where their personal lives start to overshadow their work at NASA but that’s a minor thing.

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Top row are the talented actresses and bottom row are the real life women.

 

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Patriots Day

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When it comes to an attack on on US soil, we as Americans are united by more then just our citizenship. It’s not just the people in the area that were attacked, it’s an attack on all of us. That’s one of the main components of Patriots Day. Yes, it tells the story of what happened at the Boston Marathon bombing but it also shows that those in Boston weren’t just Boston Strong, we are all Boston Strong.

Patriots Day starts off a few hours before the marathon starts. It takes you through characters and components of what is about to happen. You see the two terrorists at home, going through the last preparations for their terror attack. You see the Boston Police getting ready for the busy streets of Boston for the marathon.You see those who were injured in the bombings. It’s the innocence in the beginning that makes watching the explosions and seeing those injured that makes the movement of the story and the mood of the movie a pivotal point.

“Let’s get evidence started right over there. The clock is ticking, the world is watching.” – Richard DesLauriers

We start at the race. We see the explosions. We see those injured. Most importantly you see the reactions of the police and other personnel for the race move into to quick action to help those who were hurt. You see the paramedics move and take multiple people to the hospital. You see all of this. Nothing is coated, nothing is taken lightly. It’s powerful and it’s tough to watch but that’s the whole point.

The FBI comes in and takes over. It’s a terrorist attacked based off of quick evidence check near the point of the explosion. They gather everything, take it to a warehouse and reassemble all of it in the exact place it would have been on the street. And then they start digging. Thousands of videos are collected, along with photos and statements regarding what happened and what people saw. There is a small force brought in to go through all of this and to put the scene back together.

The FBI put together who they think did it. Video footage shows the two bombers and they are quietly sitting at home, watching the news to see if they’re going to get caught or not. The FBI now has a firm idea of a suspect but somehow something got leaked to the media about who they think did it and they are forced, before there timeline, to release the men they believe responsible for the attack. From there it’s a story of about a lot of what you saw on the news. The boys try to flee, taking the car of a young man and holding him hostage until he is able to escape. You see how the one bombers friends knew that it was him on the news immediately and found evidence in his dorm room and didn’t call the police.

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You move quickly through the entire city of Boston being shut down to find these two guys. You see the scene where one of the bomber is killed and allows the younger one to get away but only for a short time. You see the capture of the young bomber who is being held on Death Row. The re-life images verses how the film played through telling their story. Another pivotal point in the story of the Boston Marathon and the bombers.

Overall, this movie does a fantastic job of telling the story of what happened that day in April 2013. It moves through all components that led to the capture of Jahar and the death of his brother. It shows the strength of Boston and those who were injured in the attack. It shows the hard work and dedication of the researchers, analyst and police officers and victims in the capture of the terrorists. Is there some Hollywood editting? Of course, Mark Wahlberg’s character (Tommy Saunders) is a fictional character throughout the entire movie. This is clear when he’s in almost every scene. However, this is another one of the movies that tells the best history and story of what happened that day. It needs to be seen. I give it 10 out of 10 stars.

“What I saw today, good versus evil, love versus hate. There’s only one weapon you have to fight back with, it’s love. You wrap your arms around each other, I don’t think there’s a way they could ever win.” – Sgt. Tommy Saunders

I should mention too that I was one of those people when I first heard about the movie and saw the trailer that thought it was too soon for the movie. However, I can see that I’ve changed my opinion on that. Did I cry? Yes. Did I feel moved by it? Yes. Was I disappointed? Absolutely not.

I believe that everyone should have all the facts. If you would like to have more information regarding the Boston Marathon attack, please go to here.

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The Trouble With Atheism – Documentary Review

Religion can be a dangerous subject to get into too. Humans have their own beliefs and views on everything. It’s who we are. You could say it’s in our DNA. No matter how you approach it, religion can have two outcomes, someone is right and someone is wrong. It doesn’t matter how many people you include in that, that’s how it is.

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I found a website, thanks to Pinterest called Documentary Heaven. This is a website that allows you to watch an insane amount of documentaries for free and honestly worth taking a look at folks. They have documentaries on everything. I mean the categories are amazing and there’s a list of the top 100 if you want to start somewhere before you search from something. These are all submitted from somewhere else and linked together into one. It’s my new favorite website.

The Trouble With Atheism is a look at how different religions, especially those who are atheist, look at the world and religion. It’s not a hate documentary on atheist or any other religion. It’s an in depth look into how those became Atheist and and those who are and why they are. It answers those questions and a lot more. The one thing I love is that it’s not tip-toeing around the issue but more of a given face to how the world is looking at religion now, and those who don’t have it at all.

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Rob Liddle is the host and the one taking you through meeting several different people and why they are Atheist. A lot of them use science to back up their belief which is quite funny when you think about it because Atheist are suppose to not believe in any type of God. Just a little bit of something to smirk at personally (I’m not hating on anyone’s beliefs, just to be clear). Rob has his own beliefs and you will see it a few times come through even when he is trying to learn through these people. The common ground is the Darwinism is the reason that people use to explain Atheism.

The Trouble With Atheism is an hour long Documentary. It takes you into the science of religion and Atheism. It takes several different approaches into figuring out the truth and what Atheism is and those who believe in it. It’s not off putting or an angry look into a type of belief that people have. It’s a well put together and thought putting Documentary. I give it 10 out of 10 stars.

You can watch The Trouble With Atheism here.