Monday, February 20, 2017

It takes a village. Not a Batman.

In our current political climate, there's not a lot of arguments I willingly want to be a part of. Especially really stupid ones.

Lately, however, it seems I've been unable to avoid one particular point of contention. One nagging, unanswerable question. It's bad enough it pops at work (at a middle school, ugh), but now it's happening at home, too (my son is seven, and if there was such a thing as a nerd mustache, his is awkwardly coming in as we speak). But let's be honest, there's only one answer that makes any sense.

Well, unless you're Zack Snyder...'cause that dude's not helping anyone. At least...

...not on purpose, anyway.

Obviously, Superman wins in an actual fight, but with The LEGO Batman Movie the Dark Knight wins...uh, everything else. Again. Aided by the constant missteps of the DCEU, yet again some of the best stories and biggest laughs around are built with tiny, plastic bricks. It may not reach the heights of The LEGO Movie [review], but man, this movie is awesome.

Like he's done countless times, Batman, shocking no one, saves Gotham from utter catastrophe. But when he heads home, the enviable mirage of his playboy lifestyle is totally nuked by the spinning lights of his microwaved dinner. For one. Luckily his city needs him.

Until it doesn't.

Commissioner Gordon is retiring and his daughter Barbara is set to take over. Her vision of Gotham doesn't exactly require the Caped Crusader, and Batman is relegated to something resembling McGruff the Crime Dog. Worse, all the city's villains turn themselves in at the same time, leaving Batman even more alone. Good thing he has Robin, around right?

Wrong. It's a great thing.

I can't believe I own this movie. 
Without spoiling the unexpected joys of the rest of the movie, let me take a brief minute to say that Michael Cera's Robin might be one of the funniest characters in an animated film ever. A desperate orphan longing for a father, young Dick Grayson is easily the heart of this film. Not only are there tons of laughs at how inadvertently mean and awkward Batman is to this kid, but his innocence and doe-eyed sense of wonder is still making me smile a week later. Cera has been perfecting this character for years, and it pays of tremendously.

Not paying off even remotely, are the Yays and Boos. And we're gonna need that money, as the fact is we're looking at about fifty bucks to go see a matinee with the kids at this point. Fifty bucks! Do you know how many LEGO sets we could buy with that amount of scratch? Oh, right. Maybe one.

Did Reggae Man have those goggles, too?

  • No kidding, this may be the best opening narration in the history of time. The house that Batman built, indeed.
  • Even though I have yet to see them listed on Kayak, I'm totally flying on MacGuffin Airlines this summer. Seems like so much fun, right?
  • I did something! - Killer Croc, finally contributing to anything, ever.
  • Batman really is a nice guy. Like when he stops by the orphanage with his merch gun. Totally selfless.
  • Though any hacker-nerd/nerd-hacker will likely check for it immediately, I need to change all my passwords to Iron Man Sucks asap. 
  • Robin is hands down the most industrious orphan ever.And so charming, too. Hello, secret cameraaa!
  • Barbara Gordon's highlight video is pretty legit. 
  • Even if my daughter has delightfully run the gag into the ground, I totally loved how everybody had to make their own pew pew pew sounds for every shot fired. Nice touch.
  • Yet another solid soundtrack to a Batman movie...even if Prince had nothing to do with it.
  • I'm still laughing at the whole there's no more crime! riot.
  • The jokes. Not all of them hit, sure, but even if only a third of them do, that's probably over a hundred right there.
  • Those new bat-signals are sooo rad.
  • And finally, you've probably heard about most them by now, but the biggest Yay in this flick, outside of the aforementioned Michael Cera and the goes-without-mentioning awesomeness of Wil Arnett, is the licensing frenzy that goes on here. I'm sure I missed a few (and didn't understand some others), but what I did wrap my mind around was astounding. 
He just finished watching Suicide Squad.
  • Wow, thanks Batman. I can't even get a two-pack, and you're rocking nine chiseled abs? Dammit.
  • Whoa, guys...whoa. There is nothing funny about Dorothy Boyd and Jerry MaGuire finally realizing how much they love each other in the living room. You heartless bastards...
  • Speaking of, I don't know what to make of Batman's blu-ray collection. It's...uh...surprising?
  • The 57th annual? Ouch.
  • An unlimited cookie policy? Are you sure about that Bruce?
  • Honestly, I think we could've used a bit more Alfred, don't you think?
  • Even though I thought the whole relationship was borderline genius, it seemed like Zach Galifianakis played the Joker kind of...restrained. I mean, he knows you can tattoo stuff on your face and FedEx used condoms to everyone, right? Oh, he didn't get that mission statement memo? Oops/
  • And finally, how bad does it feel to know that this is likely the best/only Batman film were going to get for the next decade? How is that even remotely possible? Hopefully Underwater Dave Navarro can save us all. Hopefully.
While I have always loved Batman, like as long as I can remember loving anything, he is kind of a lame superhero, you know? He's basically just an insanely rich guy who does whatever the Hell he wants, whenever the Hell he wants. And he doesn't have to be really accountable for following any rules or whatever. Sure, he has access to the most powerful weapons, but he's basically propped up by someone much smarter, much more sensible than he is.

Kind of like our current Presi ---

Nope. Forget it. I don't need to be a part of any other stupid arguments. I don't care anymore. But I will say, yet again...

...only one of the answers makes any sense.


  1. I'm glad you liked this too! I lol'd so hard at that line from Killer Croc. There was a lot of subtle Suicide Squad digs in this. Galifinakis was a better Joker than Leto, *cough*

    I agree about Robin. I loved that kid. "Children can be cruel" was my favorite line about his name.

    I hope your son is being more mature than mine and not trying to make "Iron Man Sucks" the password to everything (despite Iron Man being his favorite)

    1. Uh...totally with you on all this Suicide Squad stuff. Tons of little jabs, and I loved them all.

      HAHAHAHA....yeah, that was a pretty brilliant line. My wife and I exchanged glances on that one!

      I wish he was that cool. He just occasionally whispers 'hello secret camera' and we both laugh like idiots.