Frozen (PG)

Remember what I've said before about a lot of animated movies (and Disney ones in particular) playing out like 30-minute cartoon episodes that get tripled in length with song and dance numbers? I swear every ten minutes of this movie, they stop the plot for a choreography session.

I do have to give the movie credit that the snowman was nowhere as obnoxious as I thought he was going to be. I still think it would have been easy to cut him entirely, but at least Disney learned from Jar-Jar Binks.


The LEGO Movie (PG)

I may have gotten more out of this if I was more into LEGOs, but it's leaps and bounds beyond any LEGO video game. For one thing, the movie's message is that anybody has the ability to create which may not be the most original (or realistic) message, but it's a vast improvement over the video games actively condescending the player.

Well, that or it's a middle finger at corporations being dicks with copyright law, which prompted me to bump the score up half a Skitty.

I think I liked the movie more before Emmet fell into the real world and gave us the Mogworld-esque reveal, though... maybe. On one hand, I loved how the movie took the real-world concepts of LEGO building like Krazy Glue and Nail Polish Remover and made a mythos out of it, and was a bit miffed when that got uprooted. On the other, so much of it felt like the work of a child's imagination in the first place, and there is still some ambiguity as to how "real" the LEGO world is.


The Croods (PG)

It's really just 90 minutes of an art department showing off monster designs and pretty landscapes. Well okay, the central theme is that curiosity, intelligence, and ideas are good things to have. Also, bears shit in the woods.

The story itself didn't make a whole lot of sense. The Croods spend their lives hunting and hiding in a cave, and then this stranger comes out of nowhere to tell them the world is going to be destroyed, but we don't ever learn why Guy knows this. Now, if Guy was a refugee from a community that got wiped out by this cataclysm, that would have been good enough. But no, he's a random orphan whose parents got caught in tar, and he just somehow knows the world is collapsing.

It's basically inoffensive, though, and the narrative gave me the occasional chuckle. Although I have no idea what happened in that scene after Grug and Guy get the tiger to pull them out of the tar, where the tiger chases them around the tar pits for a bit only to suddenly gets shot off into the distance.


Man of Steel (PG-13)

It starts out as your typical Superman origin story, with a few extra plot points nicked from Futurama and Towards Terra (or Brave New World, if that's too obscure a reference for you). Then it jumps back and forth between Clark's adulthood and flashbacks to his awkward childhood, and the Jesus metaphor could not have been more in-your-face if Jonathan Kent was a carpenter instead of a farmer and Jor-El sent his son to Earth through Martha's womb.

Then General Zod shows up and it turns into collateral damage porn.

There are some moments I could respect the ideas behind, but the execution just makes them laughable. The one that sticks out in my mind the most is when Zod and his troops show up at the Kent's farm looking for the Codex, and when they can't find it they start smacking Martha around. Then suddenly Superman flies in, tackles Zod, and starts dragging him through a corn field while punching him in the face and yelling about about the nerve Zod has attacking his mother. Other scenes play out like bad fanfiction, like how the last thing Clark told Jonathan just before he dies in a tornado while saving a dog is "You're not my real dad!" Not helping is that everyone seems to have learned their angry faces from Ren & Stimpy.

Incidentally, a common complaint I've seen with this movie is that it doesn't seem like Superman really cares about the humans. I didn't see that... at least not until the end of the movie when Superman snaps Zod's neck and then breaks down into a sobbing mess in Lois' arms, as if he was guiltier about that than the thousands of people he had to have killed during their slapfight.

And here's another question: why did the Kryptonians want to terraform Earth? Not only was Earth's atmosphere perfectly habitable to Kryptonians, it made them gods.