The Lego Movie

The_Lego_Movie_posterHighly creative and solidly funny, The Lego Movie satisfies with its extraordinary story and awesome visual effects.

The movie is about Emmet Brickowski, a seemingly ordinary construction worker, who happens to find a Piece of the Resistance, which is said to be the only thing capable of stopping the use of Kragle, the super weapon that can destroy the Lego universe. He is assisted by Wyldstyle, Batman, Metal Beard and rest of the Master Builders to go against Lord Business, the tyrant owner of the Kragle. Will they be able to save everyone from harm? Watch this movie to find out.

Technically speaking, The Lego Movie was everything I was hoping for in a movie about Lego. Could you imagine the toy many of us played and loved (and still love) being made into a full motion picture? It must have been very taxing to make this movie years ago! But thanks to advanced CGI technology, the Lego blocks were created in this movie in a way that suited every kid’s Lego movie dream, complete with towering structures, fancy vehicles, amazingly detailed Lego characters and grand settings. It was visually perfect!

The voice cast was delightfully good. Every spunky or funny dialogue in the movie was brought alive and on point by Chris Pratt who voiced out Emmet, Will Ferrell as Lord Business, Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle, Will Arnett as Batman and Nick Offerman as Metal Beard.

The witty script, which brings out many pop culture references, was really funny, making it relevant not just for kids, but also for adults. The twist in the end might not be that unexpected, but it was totally appropriate. The satire shown in it proved the major points of the story: stop the rigidity, explore creativity (which could just actually be Lego’s motto if you think about it).

However, I was actually expecting more. It was undoubtedly original, yes, but it somehow lacked that awesome fun some other animated movies bring. The over-all concept of the movie might be a genius, but it fell short in a few of its individual parts. I liked some of the featured songs, though I lingered on the thought of something better. The musical score is lively, but it could have been a lot livelier. Nevertheless, this movie was a great start for the animated movie genre this 2014. I hope more movies like this would be featured this year.

The Lego Movie’s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4 out of 5


Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin movie posterRurouni Kenshin is the most-awaited live-action movie adaptation of Nobuhiro Watsuki’s manga and anime series (locally known here as Samurai X) that thousands of Filipinos have watched during the late 1990s.

The movie is about Himura Kenshin (Takeru Sato), a bloodthirsty swordsman who was called Battousai during the Bakumatsu War turned good-hearted and peace-loving wanderer. He met a young swordsmanship school owner named Kamiya Kaoru (Emi Takei), who’s into a fight with a ruthless murderer claiming to be the Battousai, damaging the reputation of her dojo. It’s up to Kenshin, Kaoru and the rest of their allies to stop the fake Battousai from commiting more murders and resolve a looming opium problem in their village.

I am glad to say that the movie did not disappoint. In fact, it’s a great adaptation of the manga/ anime series. The actors chosen to bring to life the main figures much loved by many are all in character. Standouts among the supporting cast include Munetaka Aoki as Sanosuke, an ally of Kenshin who wields the big sword called Zanbato; Taketo Tanaka as Yahiko, the remaining student in Kaoru’s dojo; Yuu Aoi as Megumi, the flirty but great physician who’s involved in an opium syndicate; Teruyuki Kagawa as Takeda Kanryu, a fierce opium dealerand Yosuke Eguchi as Saito, a former samurai who now works as a special agent for the Meiji government.

The whole production team made sure the movie brought back the cultural and political Japan during the 19th century with its great cinematography and production design. The atmosphere I have always felt while watching the anime series before has returned while watching the movie. It also helped that the costumes the actors wore were very faithful to the series!

What I like best in the movie is its pacing. It did not hurry up as it commanded its own pace, producing great results. I believe that even though you are not familiar with the manga or the anime, you will appreciate the movie by itself. The action scenes were good, but the fight scenes during the climax were definitely epic. Kenshin’s battles with the main villains were a sight to behold, while Sanosuke’s fights were worthy of a good look. One Sanosuke scene has even commanded applause from the audience because of very good comic timing.

Rurouni Kenshin was a great film not only because it was a great adaptation of what I have watched as a young teenager but because it has successfully combined the elements that make an anime series a hit. The movie has beauty, intensity and heart.

Rurouni Kenshin movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 4.5 out of 5