Saturday, 4 February 2017



The Block Knight.

104 Minutes. Starring: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson & Ralph Fiennes. Director: Chris McKay.

Riddle me this. Riddle me that. Whose afraid of the big, block Bat? Why so serious? Now if you liked Emmet before he was cool then you'll know that the master builders of Danish toy company LEGO have been putting everything together, brick by brick, long before Hollywood made 'The LEGO Movie fit' two years back. In fact there's so much LEGO out there that your foot hasn't stood on for the worlds greatest pain yet that there's actually more LEGO people than there are actual human beings in the worlds unfathomable population. Now we know if man is ever taken over on planet earth it won't be by aliens, or machines but and even more micro set of little yellow men. Still for all the LEGO people around there has probably been more incarnations of Batman over the last couple of years. Especially with recent rumors that 'Justice League' Dark Knight, Ben Affleck might follow his directorial departure of 2018's(?) 'The Batman' with an eventual hanging up of the matter how well it fits. Last year he was the standout in the 'Batman v Superman-Dawn Of Justice' mash-up that went to critical battle in the dawn of 'Civil War'. But that wasn't the only time we visited Wayne Manor, from the 'Suicide Squad' role call to countless episodes of 'Gotham' in a dark 2016. We finally got a full length animated movie of the graphic classic 'The Killing Joke' comic book. And even Adam West and Burt Ward reunited to sock us with the light, bright knight for the 'Return Of The Caped Crusaders'. Albeit also in cartoon form as there's only so much C.G.I can do...just ask those rogue 'Star Wars' generals for one. And now before 'Justice League Dark'...not to mention the Bats, Supes, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg and Green Lantern(?) live action ensemble of 2017 it's only right we really go C.G. for D.C. and the greatest hero of them all.

'The LEGO Batman Movie'. Starring the blocked crusader who stole the show in 'The LEGO Movie' like no other LEGO or real world figure from Abraham Lincoln to Duplo could. Because you know what they say, 'always be yourself, unless you can be...' And this Batman starts the superhero ball rolling in a completely differently assembled way. As with 'Logan', 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2.' the 'Homecoming' of 'Spider-Man' and 'Thor's' 'Ragnarok' there's a lot of cape to go round. Not to mention the small screen battle of 'Legion', the 'Defenders' ensemble...oh and 'The Punisher'. And that's just D.C.'s rival schedule before they hit infinity. But marvel at 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' star and 'Arrested Development' cult favourite Will Arnett and his mock superhero schtick gruff voice after his growling show snatch on the complete LEGO film set. He has you from the opening credits...and his love of romantic comedies. Will has his way with the suit and gadgets, proving Arnett is just as worthy as the cowl as Affleck, Christian Bale, George Clooney(?), Val Kilmer, Michael Keaton and even the original, 60's legend Adam West...not to mention Kevin Conroy. Because he's Batman too. As he brings just as much fun as the man who knew the 'Bat Touche'. What more do you want from a man that raps his own songs too? No one has rocked, back in black this much since the late, great, purple one Prince was given a whole 'Batman' album to soundtrack like his name was Hans Zimmer. In a film that could even make Matthew McConaughey's almost unrecognisable Koala clear his throat this really can sing. The sarcastic knight may be the most entertaining Bats yet for revolutionary 'Robot Chicken' classic director Chris McKay who knows the caped crusader as well as Kevin Smith. Sup!

But in this assembling animation that joins both Batman and LEGO in-references, combined with Easter Egg jokes from Bane's voice to head shots that are cracking with nerd yoke, this film is suitable for all Batmans and Robins alike. And has everyone in it too. From Mariah Carey to Eddie Izzard. Kids waiting for 'Despicable Me 17' or whatever Minion pushing number their on will love the eye sugar popping visuals that transform across your eyes quicker than a Michael Bay sunset to explosion. Whilst parents in every seat will love all the nods to their Batmans, todays detective equivalent to who was your James Bond growing up. But every 007 needs his Goldfinger...or clown. And the jokes not even on Mark Hamill this time. As the Jedi Skywalker who has voiced the Clown Prince of Crime in practically every Batman animation and 'Arkham' video game with his unrecognisable but unmistakable vocal for once doesn't have the last laugh despite his great Trump cackle. 'The Hangover's' Lone Wolf, Zach Galifianakis makes it his round now as he wakes up a force of a Joker. A character that despite being friend zoned hilariously and ironically by Batman has just as many iconic names and classic parts behind it from Cesar Romero to Jared Leto to Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. And if every hero needs his villain than he definitly needs his sidekick. Yes...even you Batman. And from Burt Ward to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's beat cop beginnings could you think of a more 'Superbad' Robin than Michael Cera stealing the show here without pants like Alan in 'The Hangover'? Showing that even in animated form he's still so sweetly geeky. Bi-focally so. But in a classic cast that features 'Jump Street' pros Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill returning as the Justice League's Superman and Green Lantern. And even the Night Nurse that is the four degrees of seperation that joins every Marvel member of Hells Kitchen together before 'The Defenders', Rosario Dawson on real crossover, rebellious form like 'Daredevil' Affleck. We even have an Alfred as Pennywise as Michael Caine or Jeremy Irons. Not to mention 'Gotham's' Sean Pertwee. As the silver service of James Bond's new M, Ralph Fiennes is gold as this Great Brit makes an even better Butler. But in a cast that features everyone from Zoe Kravitz to Conan O'Brien (as Catwoman and the Riddler...guess whose who) you know who this movie is really all about. And in a Denmark landmark franchise that has even more spin-off and character potential than Disney and all the umbrella franchises under it from 'Star Wars' (Billy Dee Williams who played his Lando in 'The LEGO Movie' in cameo, reprises his Two-Face side of the coin here) to NBA All-Stars like Shaq ('Kazam 2' anyone...hey if they can do another 'Space Jam'?!), we may see another Batman movie in blocks before a tentpole LEGO sequel. At least definitly before another live action movie for the Dark Knight that's for sure. Why? Because he's... TIM DAVID HARVEY.

See This If You Liked: 'The LEGO Movie', 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice', 'Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders'.

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