A spinoff of The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie gives the Caped Crusader an opportunity to loosen up a bit. The movie brings back Will Arnett as the gravelly voiced superhero and surrounds him with a familiar collection of friends and enemies well known to fans of the franchise. Since this is a family film though, the darker aspects of the Batman mythology have been dialed back considerably. Batman partners with Batgirl (Rosario Dawson) and his trusty butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), reluctantly at first, to take on the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and assorted baddies, both known, and unknown.
Director Chris McKay, the animation co-director/supervisor for The Lego Movie, maintains the vibrant look of the animation co-director/supervisor for The Lego Movie, maintains the vibrant look of the of the earlier film. Because the animation is done exclusively with Legos, the colors are vibrant throughout, marking a departure from the more recent Batman incarnations, instead, harkening back to the look and feel of the 1960’s television series.
Credited to five writers, the jokes come in rapid-fire style succession. If you’re a fan of the Scary Movie, or Naked Gun franchises of the past, you know exactly what I mean. Things get a little slow towards the middle, regaining a fun tone as the story moves toward a finale featuring Lego re-enactments of moments from all of the previous Batman incarnations (Snyder, Nolan, Schumacher, Burton) with the exception of the ‘60s TV show (there’s a live-action clip instead).
As a longtime Batman fan, I love that The Lego Batman Movie gives our hero a chance to let his hair down a bit. He’s so intense most of the time! Here, even the soundtrack offers up some welcome nostalgia. The famous TV theme is ubiquitous, and Lorne Balfe’s score contains elements that pay tribute to the work of Danny Elfman on the Tim Burton films. There’s even a nod to John Williams! A few notes of his “Superman Theme” are used as the doorbell to Superman’s (Channing Tatum) Fortress of Solitude.
In the midst of all the fun, The Lego Batman Movie delivers a clear message. When the film begins, Batman is presented as a loner—a vigilante who works outside the system to thwart the plans of bad guys. As the narrative progresses, he learns to trust people, and work with others. A solid story, and a strong voice cast makes The Lego Batman Movie a worthwhile watch for superhero fans.
Presented in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio, The Lego Batman Movie in 4K represents a noticeable step up from its Blu-ray counterpart. Featuring a crisp image from start to finish, the smallest of details on the Legos—scuffs, smudges, etc., —are immediately evident. Movement looks free and fluid. Dark tones and saturated blacks look superb. Characters are spaced apart nicely, and backgrounds have excellent clarity. Colors pop without going overboard or bleeding. There are no artifacts to mar the proceedings.
The English Dolby Atmos track really brings the film to life, and involves the entire soundscape. Sound effects feature tremendous depth. There’s a few brief moments where things sound a bit monotone mixed with the score, but that’s brief. Things pick up again very quickly. Generally, the sounds are clean, clear, and involving. Dialogue is crisp, clear, and always heard over the action and music.
English SDH, French, Italian SDH, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin Am), Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese, Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, and Thai subtitles are included.
The following extras are available:
- Audio Commentary: Director Chris McKay, editor David Burrows, production designer Grant Freckelton, co-producer Amber Naismith, lead layout artist Laurence Andrews, lighting supervisor Craig Welsh, stereoscopic supervisor Fabian Mueller, associate producer Samantha Nisenboim and others. There’s a lot of people sitting together doing this running commentary. While there’s some good information to be had, it’s probably just too many people to be really effective.
- Four Batman Related Animated Shorts
- Dark Homer (HD, 2:08)
- Batman Is Just Not That Into You (HD, 2:10)
- Cooking with Alfred (HD, 2:02)
- Movie Sound Effects: How Do They Do That? (HD, 1:24)
- Deleted Scenes
- Batcave Studio (HD, 1:43)
- Lollipop (HD, 2:24)
- Batman & Mayor Swap (HD, 1:22)
- Clayface (HD, 1:45)
- One Brick at a Time: Making The Lego Batman Movie (HD, 16:19) Here we get an overview of the production, through interviews with various members of the cast and crew.
- Redbrick Contest Winners (HD, 2:47) Hosted by Will Arnett, these are fan made shorts submitted in a promotional contest for the film.
- Inside Wayne Manor (HD, 2:36) Batman gives a short tour of the mansion.
- Promotional Materials:
- Trailer 1 with Will Arnett Introduction (HD, 1:59)
- Trailer 2 (HD, 2:39)
- Trailer 3 (HD, 2:34)
- Lego Life Trailer (HD, :40)
- Follow Me Online (HD, :31)
- Don’t Skip (HD, :21)
- Happy Holidays Jingle (HD, :25)
- Batsby New Year’s (HD, :24)
- Team Cutdown (HD, 1:53)
- Comic-Con Panel (HD, 2:55)
- Blu-ray Copy of the film.
- UV/HD Digital Copy.
Movie title: The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Director(s): Chris McKay
Actor(s): Will Arnett , Michael Cera , Zach Galifianakis Mariah Carey , Ralph Fiennes , Rosario Dawson
Genre: Comic Book, Adventure, Action, Animation, Family