Screening Room: “The Lego Movie,” “The Monuments Men”

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1) THE LEGO MOVIE (PG)
Warner Brothers

RUSS
In a week featuring the release of the tony George Clooney production “The Monuments Men” and the silly animated comedy “The Lego Movie,” it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the better of the two is….”The Lego Movie?” It’s true.

Well produced and oddly endearing, “The Lego Movie” is a clever satire that could prove to be…wait for it…a blockbuster.

Brash, cheeky and fast moving with strong voice work, “The Lego Movie” offers us a comic adventure in an alternate Lego universe that’s an inventive send-up of pop culture.

Chris Pratt provides the voice of Emmet, a nerdy construction worker, who is mistaken for a ‘special,’ the subject of a prophecy who is to save his Lego world from an evil entity bent at cementing the Lego world in place. Other major members of the voice cast include Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett.

While it loses steam along the way, “The Lego Movie” is an entertaining fantasy that should appeal to anyone who has ever played with the Danish building blocks…and that’s just about everyone.

Shawn calls it, “The most original and creative animated feature since 'Toy Story.' It’s clever, witty and visually interesting."

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

2) THE MONUMENTS MEN (PG-13)
Sony

RUSS
George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” is a perfectly respectable, well-produced and reverent salute to the men who joined the Army in order to help save priceless stolen art from the Nazis. Dramatically, however, it sputters like an old WWII Jeep.

Clooney stars this historic epic, also serving as director and co-writer. Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett provide support.

While well intentioned, “The Monuments Men” is a bit dull, never quite generating the excitement and intensity the subject matter deserves. It's interesting, but "The Monuments Men" will never be mistaken for a great work of art.

Shawn calls it, “A completely disappointing and lackluster effort. It’s flat, lifeless and not compelling."

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week:

-"Vampire Academy" (PG-13) is an adaptation of the popular "young adult paranormal romance" novels by Richelle Mead.

-"A Field in England" (Unrated) is a horror film about soldiers in a medieval war who encounter something worse than war when they become deserters.

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