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Lego Batman Movie

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, a Lego Batman spinoff is being fast-tracked and should come out before the Lego Movie sequel.

 

 

Chris McKay, the animation supervisor on Lego Movie, was initially set to direct that project's sequel. However, the movie is being pushed back and McKay is now helming the Lego Batman movie, which is being written by author-screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith.

 

Warners is eyeing a 2017 release for the spinoff, possibly even on the original date for Lego Movie 2. The next Lego movie to be released is Ninjago, due to open Sept. 23, 2016. The Lego Movie sequel will now presumably be released after 2017.

 

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Links to our threads on The Lego Movie (2014) and The Lego Movie 2 (in development).

Links to our threads on the Batman 2.0 films Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), as well as the Batman 3.0 films Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and its presumed solo follow-up (in development).

Links to our threads on the only quasi-related Catwoman (2004) and Superman Vs Batman, the latter of which was announced in 2002 but never made.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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I was entertained but not thrilled.

The Lego Batman Movie is about par for what I was expecting from The Lego Movie. It's frenetic, it's pretty funny, lots of jokes, very silly. 

What it doesn't have, pretty much at all, is The Lego Movie's subversive, daring humor. 

Quote

When The Lego Movie gave us a protagonist whose favorite restaurant was any chain restaurant and who happily drank overpriced coffee because he just wanted to fit in and be accepted, it was slyly making fun of the consumerist culture that produces movies like The Lego Movie. If any phenomenon in contemporary popular culture deserves to be made fun of, it’s superhero movie culture — but The Lego Batman Movie just want to fit in and be accepted. 

To wit: 

Quote

The Phantom Zone is introduced by the revelation that Lego Superman recently dispatched Lego General Zod there, I guess because someone involved in this movie realized that snapping a bad guy’s neck is something no Superman worth his salt would do — but of course there can’t be a joke about how Superman would never do such a thing. There can be 10,000 jokes about past franchises, from the Christopher Reeve Superman films to the old 1940s Batman serials, but the new DC movie universe is still being built, so there can’t be a jab at that. That would be biting the hand that feeds.

 

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or as my friend calls it (in compliment) the Lego Bojack Movie.

Really I think the subversive humor was about something else other than superhero or consumerist culture this time around.

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Loved it. Here's my review.

I'm trying to figure out why there's a B- / A- gap between SDG's review and mine. I suspect it's because he has much more invested in the Batman legacy than I do, so he's grading this one with considerable concern for the quality of this Batman narrative. I'm thinking of it first and foremost as a sendup of comic book superhero movies, and only secondly as a Batman story. And, as I've never been able to take Batman seriously as a character, I'm more inclined to like a movie that laughs at him than I am to like one that doesn't.

Edited by Overstreet

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What's so great is Lego has been at this narrative with Batman you mention in your review since the first Lego Batman video game in 2008. And each sequel has just gotten bigger and better. It becomes more of a Justice League story by Lego Batman 3, but the same stories are there, about family, and community, etc

And while the games are even more beholden to the comic books than this movie I think that the two worlds fit together quite well.

And I'm looking forward to the video game version of this movie.

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On 2/12/2017 at 10:22 PM, Overstreet said:

Loved it. Here's my review.

I'm trying to figure out why there's a B- / A- gap between SDG's review and mine. I suspect it's because he has much more invested in the Batman legacy than I do, so he's grading this one with considerable concern for the quality of this Batman narrative. I'm thinking of it first and foremost as a sendup of comic book superhero movies, and only secondly as a Batman story. And, as I've never been able to take Batman seriously as a character, I'm more inclined to like a movie that laughs at him than I am to like one that doesn't.

Per Steven's comment above, I think he's more concerned with trashing Man of Steel than reviewing Lego Batman Movie. Nothing wrong with that, but I certainly sense that he might have entered the theater with some pre-existing animus towards DC that you don't have.

 

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2 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

Per Steven's comment above, I think he's more concerned with trashing Man of Steel than reviewing Lego Batman Movie.

Eek. If I'm reading this correctly, that strikes me as a harsh thing to say. I hope I'm misreading. 

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Nothing wrong with that, but I certainly sense that he might have entered the theater with some pre-existing animus towards DC that you don't have.

Toward the DC Extended Universe movies to date, I certainly have animus, yes. And while that's not entirely irrelevant to this review, I don't think it's relevant in the direct way this seems to suggest.  

I have no animus regarding DC characters per se. If anything, my animus toward the DC Extended Universe movies to date inclines me favorably to a project like The Lego Batman Movie. The tack taken by a number of reviewers that Lego Batman Movie is "one of the best Batman movies ever" or "the best Batman movie since The Dark Knight" appeals to me, in part precisely because of my DC EU animus. I would love to write something like that; going in, I was hoping to. 

Also, while I did mention my disappointment that LBM missed an opportunity to make a joke about the discrepancy between Zod's fate in the two movies, this was a mere parenthesis compared to my larger, systemic disappointment that the film passes on making fun of "superhero movie culture" and the audience thereof — which most emphatically includes, indeed is predominantly defined by, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (of which I am somewhat passive-aggressively a fan, and of whose characters I am more straightforwardly a fan). 

IOW, what I most wanted to see "trashed" here, if that's the right word, was not superhero-universe specific. I wanted to see the nervy wit of TLM making fun of itself and its own corporate culture and its own audience turned on superhero-movie culture generally. I wanted LBM to make fun of its own superfluity, of the inevitability of sequels, of the dominance of superheroes in contemporary culture.

Instead, we got a little bit of making fun of the whole concept of lawless vigilantes and some pointed questions about Batman's effectiveness as well as his emotional maturity, which is great as far as it goes, but I wish it went further. 

By the same token, I think Jeffrey is barking up the wrong tree when he suggests that perhaps my more negative reaction is due to my being more "invested in the Batman legacy" than he. On the contrary, the things I most appreciate about LBM — as I think is pretty clear from my review — is precisely that it makes fun of the character who more than other embodies superhero cool, whose aura of invincibility far surpasses Superman's in spite of the almost archetypal power gap between them, whose very name is practically an explanation for invincibility ("Because He's Batman").

I'm a Batman fan, but again, in the passive-aggressive sense that I think Batman is too cool, too iconic, his invincibility played up too much out of fan service to the Batman cult. I want to see Batman taken down a few pegs, and that LBM does this is, again, what I like about it. 

Another factor that favorably disposed me to LBM is that it's a superhero movie that is family-friendly. The default hard-edged PG-13 milieu of all superhero movies has long been a bugaboo of mine; I've ranted about it on Twitter repeatedly.

Plus, it's a sequel to TLM, which I pretty much loved, and who doesn't want to love the sequel to a movie they loved? 

P.S. Reminder that my Man of Steel rating is C+. I have issues with the film, but I don't advocate "trashing" it. 

Edited by SDG

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I'm with SDG. It's fun and entertaining, but the subversive brilliance which made The LEGO Movie so great is substantially weaker here. The send-up jokes of the Batman-franchise work the best, and I loved the opening scene which manages to spoof both The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises in the same sequence. I appreciated Batman's trajectory and the critique of arrogant superheroes, but a lot of it felt like it was rushing through the standard beats (contrast The Incredibles for a superhero suffering weightier consequences for his arrogance.) And honestly, the pull-out-all-the-toys finale came across to me more as giving into franchise and corporate interests rather than critiquing them. I'm aware pulling all of one's toys out of the box into a mega-universe mix is very much a way that kids play, and one of my favorite aspects of The LEGO Movie was that the narrative had the logic of a kid playing with LEGOs, and I really liked that element of the over-the-topness of the opening sequence, but trying to upstage it in the finale didn't entirely work for me. But still, it was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I saw it.

P.S. For the record, my Man of Steel rating is D+, so I thoroughly support trashing it.

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SDG wrote:
: Plus, it's a sequel to TLM, which I pretty much loved, and who doesn't want to love the sequel to a movie they loved? 

*Is* it a sequel to The Lego Movie (and not, perhaps, as Justin suggested, a sequel or follow-up to all the straight-to-video Lego Batman movies out there)? Is there any shared continuity? The only thing I can remember that even *hinted* at a shared continuity was what seemed like one character's reference to the idea that they were all part of a Lego set on a table top above a carpeted floor, or something like that.

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On 2/16/2017 at 0:42 PM, Peter T Chattaway said:

*Is* it a sequel to The Lego Movie (and not, perhaps, as Justin suggested, a sequel or follow-up to all the straight-to-video Lego Batman movies out there)? Is there any shared continuity? The only thing I can remember that even *hinted* at a shared continuity was what seemed like one character's reference to the idea that they were all part of a Lego set on a table top above a carpeted floor, or something like that.

I admit I don't know anything about Lego Batman outside these two movies, but is Lego Batman a rocker / recording artist anywhere else? My impression was that this was introduced in The Lego Movie and taken up here. If that's true, that's a pretty notable connection. 

Also, all the cross-franchise villains — Sauron, Daleks, King Kong, etc. — certainly resonated with the first film putting Star Wars characters and DC superheroes in the same story, etc. 

 

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It's more a sequel to The Lego Movie. But there are certain aspects of characterization similar to the Lego Batman games.

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