CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Film Review: ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Delivers the Usual Laughs
CHICAGO – “The LEGO Batman Movie” is more of a parody than the laugh-out-loud hijinks of the surprising “The LEGO Movie,” but the legend of The Bats is ripe for a good skewering, and the movie has a lot of fun doing it. Will Arnett reprises the voice as the title character, with Zach Galifianakis taking on the antics of The Joker.
Unlike the first LEGO film, the Batman version is a recitation of jokes that are pretty much tipped off, wrapped around a squirrelly “Batman needs a family” plot line. Both tend to drag down the lightness that the LEGO franchise has established, but the jokes are lighting fast, rarely pausing to take a breath. Don’t like this one-liner? Here are ten more in the next two minutes. There were five screenwriters on this one, and I picture them being more like Jay Leno-like jokesters than a cohesive team. Tell a Batman joke, see what sticks, write it down and shoehorn it into the basic plot. And maybe because the previous LEGO movie got us all used to look of the characters, losing that surprise meant that the Batman movie had to tried harder…and it certainly did.
The Batman (voice of Will Arnett) is entrenched in his routine of saving Gotham City. In his latest confrontation with The Joker (Zach Galifianakis), he is surprised to have the super villain tell him that they need each other to co-exist. Batman will have none of it, he is a super loner, preferring the part-time company of his butler and protector, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes).
Things change when Commissioner Gordon (Hector Elizondo) retires, and his job is taken by his daughter Barbara (Rosario Dawson). She wants to make The Batman less of a force in crime fighting, even as a giant wormhole is opened up to the Phantom Zone, and the worst criminals are released. In the meantime, an orphan boy named Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) is about to fly into The Batman’s life as Robin.
The Gang’s All Here in ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.