Movie Reviews

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

the-mitchells-vs-machines-movie-reviewDirector: Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Animation

Runtime: 113 Minutes

Main Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Michael Rianda, Eric André, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend

Plot: Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) can’t wait to start college. Movies are her life but her parents, especially her Dad, just don’t understand her passion. In a last-ditch attempt to re-connect with his daughter, Rick Mitchell (Danny McBride) decides to cancel Katie’s flight and instead embark an a family road-trip – right in the middle of a robot apocalypse.

My Thoughts: How long has it been since the trailer for this was first released? It must be what, 2 years ago now? Back then it was called Connected, and I’ll try my hardest not to rant too much about the name change. When Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are in charge of production, you know you’re in for a fantastic animated movie, and The Mitchells vs. the Machines certainly isn’t breaking that trend. It’s a wonderful comedy all about family relationships in this modern, technology-filled world. The greatest family movies have something for all ages to enjoy, and this fits the bill perfectly.

Family road-trip comedies aren’t rare. Neither are movies about technology becoming too smart and taking over. On paper, this movie shouldn’t be so good. But then, neither should Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and that’s now arguably the world’s favourite Spider-Man movie! The Mitchells vs. the Machines doesn’t try to reinvent anything, it just takes a simple plot and injects just the right amount of heart, laughs and action. I can’t even explain it, I’ve been trying to write this review on and off all day!

It probably helps that the main character, Katie, is a huge film buff so as movie fans it’s so easy for us to relate to her. We’ve all been through that phase where we thought our parents didn’t understand us too, right? I can sympathise with that. But now that I’m a parent? I can see things from a whole new perspective! It was quite endearing to watch the horror on my husband’s face as he realised there might be a day where our little girl doesn’t idolise him anymore.

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Best Bit: I can’t pick between two moments. The first being the most obvious, it was the joke in the original trailer that’s repeated several times in the movie itself. That dog! Dog, pig, dog, pig, dog, pig, LOAF OF BREAD! It makes me laugh just thinking about it. The second was the Furby scene. Oh, to have been in the cinema for that gigantic Furby and the subtitle, “LET THE DARK HARVEST BEGIN”. It was the funniest, most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen!

Worst Bit: Okay, I’m sorry but I’m going to rant. Apparently, the original title was always The Mitchell’s vs. the Machines. But Sony chose Connected – and that’s the perfect title! It makes me think of technology, and how we’re glued to it. But it also makes me think of family connecting. It’s short and snappy and so easy to remember. I can’t for the life of me remember the final title! Half the time I can’t remember the family name and even if I do, my brain instantly goes ‘The Mitchells Against the Machines’ and I just get irrationally annoyed by these things, okay?

Fun Trivia: Katie has a “Mt. Rushmore of Director Heroes” including Greta Gerwig, Céline Sciamma, Lynne Ramsay and Hal Ashby.

My Rating: A full 5 out of 5 creepy Furbys (Furbies? What’s plural for Furby?!) that I hope don’t make a come back, because my daughter will want one and I don’t know how to say no to her.

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Movie Reviews

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

lego-movie-2-second-part-2019-movie-reviewDirector: Mike Mitchell

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Family

Runtime: 107 Minutes

Main Cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Alison Brie, Maya Rudolph, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Will Ferrell, Richard Ayoade

Plot: The Lego Movie 2 picks up right where the last one left off – with the Duplo bricks taking over. It’s now 5 years later and things are getting worse. Emmett and his friends are now facing invaders from outer space, destroying anything that looks cute.

My Thoughts: It’s weird to think that this is the only sequel to the original Lego Movie thanks to the spin-offs we’ve had. I almost think its taken a bit of the excitement away but nonetheless, I was really looking forward to checking in with these beloved characters. I love animation, I love comedies and I love Lego, so I knew I would enjoy this.

There are some things I knew I could expect from the sequel. Witty one-liners, and the kind of jokes I’ve come to love from both Lego movies and games. Inventive names like the Sis-Star System, and Queen Whatevra Wa-Nabi. Will Arnett continues to be my favourite Batman yet (sorry Christian Bale) and inside jokes you’ll only understand if you watched the original. “Honey, where are my pants?”. So it’s safe to say the writers know what works and stick to their guns!

What I wasn’t expecting was to fall for was *MILD SPOILER* the Frozen-style plot twist halfway through. Why am I so gullible?! It felt like this installment was more geared towards children than the original, with its morals and family-orientated story, but that’s hardly a negative comment. To be honest, I’ve never really grown up, so you’ll find me in my car on the way to work playing Catchy Song and Gotham City Guys on repeat. The extra songs were a welcome addition!

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All in all, though it might have lost the original magic that the very first movie had, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is still a solid movie!

Best Bit: Rex Dangervest, Galaxy defending archaeologist, cowboy, and raptor trainer. You may as well have just called him Chris Pratt, he’s covered all of those roles now! Thinking about it…that was probably the joke…wake up, Allie.
Plus Queen Whatevra Wa-Nabi’s song was funny enough to begin with, and even funnier once you’ve seen the whole movie.

Worst Bit: So many cool characters from the first movie ended up being pointless in the sequel, and it felt like they’d just been stuck in for the sake of it. I’m looking at you, MetalBeard, Benny, Surfer Dave…I’m sure I spotted Good Cop/Bad Cop at one point, too.

Fun Trivia: Actress Stephanie Beatriz (Sweet Mayhem) has a signature small scar on her right eyebrow which was caused by, ironically enough, tripping on a piece of LEGO when she was 10 years old.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Lego Duplo sets. I’m holding on to every day that goes by that my living room floor isn’t covered in these bricks. Thankfully, the Mega Bloks we have at the moment are far too big to be dangerous to my feet.

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