The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

 BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 5/7/19;
Warner;
Animated;
Box Office $105.73 million;
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG’ for some rude humor.
Voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman.

Picking up directly where 2014’s The Lego Movie left off, the sequel finds the Lego characters under siege by the Duplo invaders for five years, eventually forming a post-apocalyptic settlement a la “Mad Max.”

When Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and a handful of other characters are whisked away in the latest invasion to a far-off planet in the “Systar System,” it’s up to Emmet (Chris Pratt) to try to rescue them, with the help of an adventurer named Rex he meets along the way.

Lego Movie 2 follows the same conceit as the first film that the adventures of the Lego characters are the manifestations of the imaginations of the children playing with them, with more puns about how real-world situations can threaten their existence (this time they fear ending up in the “Bin of Storage”). The film once again hints at the toys being alive, and idea it can only take so far before it starts to delve into “Toy Story” territory.

The war with the invaders stems from a sibling rivalry, as the little sister of the kid from the first film wants to play with her brother, only to be rebuffed. So, there’s a nice little message about sibling cooperation at the heart of the story for good measure.

The animation is as stylish and colorful as the first film, the story works in a few more catchy songs (many by YouTube star Jon Lajoie, who played Taco on “The League”), and the franchise continues to make smart and funny observations about its nature as essentially a Lego toy commercial. But after following up the first movie with “Batman” and “Ninjago” Lego spinoffs, the concept is a bit played out.

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The Blu-ray features the movie in an “Everything Is Awesome” sing-along mode that showcases facts about the movie, on-screen lyrics, trivia games and more.

There’s also a full-length commentary from director Mike Mitchell, writers/producers Phil Lord and Chritopher Miller, and animation director Trisha Gum.

Additional behind-the-scenes material includes the 9-minute “They Came in Pieces: Assembling The Lego Movie 2,” featuring interviews with the cast and filmmakers.

The Blu-ray also offers 12 minutes of outtakes and deleted scenes, including some interesting footage showing parts of the story from the point of view of the kids playing it out.

Just as a reminder that these are toys you can buy at your local store, there’s a two-minute “Lego Sets in Action” video of animations of the new products featured in the movie, and a three-and-a-half-minute featurette that interviews Lego toy designers about the toys created for use in the movie.

The disc also includes four additional minutes of promotional material, including the actors talking about their characters’ minifigs.

On the musical side, there’s a music video for the “Super Cool” song by Beck, featuring Robyn and comedy team The Lonely Island.

Finally, there’s a three-minute Christmas-themed short film called “Emmet’s Holiday Party.”

‘The Kid’ Shoots to Disc and Digital June 4 From Lionsgate

The Western The Kid rides to Blu-ray (plus digital), DVD, digital and on demand June 4 from Lionsgate.

The new take on the infamous American Old West story of Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett stars Ethan Hawke (Training DayBoyhoodThe Magnificent Seven), Dane DeHaan (LincolnThe Place Beyond the PinesLawless), Jake Schur, Leila George and Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, “The Avengers” franchise, Jurassic WorldThe Magnificent Seven). Directed by Vincent D’Onofrio (TV’s “Daredevil,” The Magnificent SevenJurassic World) The Kid reunites D’Onofrio and Hawke for the first time since their performance in The Magnificent Seven.

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In the Western, a young boy, Rio (Schur), is forced to go on the run across the American Southwest in a desperate attempt to save his sister (George) from his villainous uncle (Pratt). Along the way, he encounters Sheriff Pat Garrett (Hawke), on the hunt for the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid (DeHaan). Rio finds himself increasingly entwined in the lives of these two legendary figures as the cat-and-mouse game of Billy the Kid’s final year of life plays out.

Bonus features include a making-of featurette.

DEW Speakers: Authenticity, Accessibility Key to Marketing Content

Authenticity and accessibility were two of the top themes for speakers on the “View From the Top: The Future of Content Marketing” panel at the Digital Entertainment World conference in Marina del Rey, Calif., Feb. 5.

“We’re in a very admirable position in that our content, movies, movie trailers, people view it as a form of entertainment,” said Sandro Corsaro, SVP and chief creative officer, Fandango. “Not many people here would watch three or four car commercials for entertainment, but people love trailers.”

He noted how entertainment has a natural viral nature.

“Our influencers, if you will, if you look at Chris Pratt on Instagram yesterday or the day before, he posted about The Lego Movie 2, he posted about the Rotten Tomato score (Rotten Tomatoes is a sister company to Fandango) and that pushed to Fandango,” he said. “We don’t pay him to do that. We don’t tell him to do that. He has a vested interest obviously in the success of the content, so we’re fortunate in that sense.”

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Fandango also uses branded marketing.

“We had a program over the summer called Fanticipation with Microsoft Surface where we had a bunch of influencers get together and talk about movies using the Surface Pro to kind of diagram and design and talk about superhero movies,” he said.

Both instances involve authenticity and accessibility that make the campaigns more relevant for digital audiences.

“The expression of authenticity and the expression of accessibility through content marketing — those are the core tenets that we think of all the time when we talk about movies,” Corsaro said.

Kym Nelson, SVP of Twitch, noted that the gameplay live streaming service is one that tends to “resonate with Gen Z and the millennial audience, and [advertisers] recognize that that is their current and future consumer.”

Twitch has gathered those streamers into a force that brands can utilize.

“We’ve created a tool that automates the ability for all of our streamers to participate in a bounty if you will and we’re able to collect data on the backend and for any data we can match the information from the brand and the information from the streamers,” she said.

For instance, with Dollar Shave Club, Twitch utilized appropriate streamers to review and talk about the product. “We had them play with it and we knew it was a roll of the dice,” Nelson said.

Suffice it to say, there were unexpected streamed responses.

“They are laugh out loud funny,” offered Russell Arons, SVP and GM of Machinima.

Fandango, too, has been able to leverage comedy.

“Kevin Hart has been obviously on this meteoric rise,” noted Corsaro. “I think he’s what 135 pounds so we made him a belt that said, ‘Pound for Pound, Biggest Movie Star in the World.’ We gave him that belt in front of the Rock and we kind of watched it matriculate on the Internet.”

Authenticity, often proffered by comedy, is not the only thing marketing in the digital age requires; accessibility is also important.

“Experiential is the thing right now,” said Arons, referencing events such as Comic-con and the interaction with fans there.

“This desire to find their communities in person that they’ve been interacting with online is incredibly powerful,” she said.

Twitch’s Nelson added that “integrating [experiential] with a live stream platform so that that experiential experience can be broadcast to a wider audience so people in Mississippi, who may not be at Comic-con or South by Southwest, have that live experience [is also important].”

Tim Sovay, COO of CreatorIQ, noted the Feb. 1 event featuring DJ Marshmello and the Fortnite game platform.

“There was no brand involved in this, but it was just the power of the platform with the right artist and the right audience,” he said. “10 million confirmed viewers on a 10-minute concert took place live on the platform.”

Universal Unleashes AR Experience With Facebook to Promote ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’

To mark the global 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has partnered with Facebook and Messenger to unleash sharable in-store and in-home augmented reality experiences showcasing the film’s dinosaurs.

The AR experiences featuring different dinosaurs from the film will debut Sept. 18 timed to the film’s North American home entertainment launch before rolling out around the world.

It is the first integrated AR experience across the Facebook family of apps — specifically Facebook and Messenger — according to a Universal press release.

“Just as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom expertly transports viewers into an immersive world of discovery and wonder, the new AR offerings in-store and in-home serve to effectively extend that excitement and innovation to our global home entertainment release,” said Hilary Hoffman, EVP, marketing, UPHE. “We are thrilled to have a world-class partner in Facebook to help power these engaging AR experiences and are sure they will captivate and delight Jurassic fans of all ages.”

On the day of the release, participating retailers across 18 countries will showcase, for a limited time, the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in-store displays that will include instructions on how to trigger an AR experience. Shoppers scan a special QR code to launch the sharable AR effect that places the Indoraptor directly in their path. In the U.S. alone, the experience spans more than 17,000 stores across multiple national retail and grocery chains, according to the release.

The in-home experience is activated off of an insert in the product packaging using the Messenger camera. The experience unveils an interactive, baby version of the film’s Velociraptor hero, Blue. The animated Baby Blue can be placed in any environment, and images and video of her can be captured and shared with friends.

Both the in-store and in-home experiences are compatible with iOS and Android devices. Users should utilize the latest version of the Facebook and Messenger apps, according to the release.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the second installment in the dinosaur series reboot, has generated nearly $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office to date. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow, the film stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Coming to Home Video in September

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the latest installment in the celebrated “Jurassic Park” franchise, will be released for home audiences as a digital purchase (and through the digital movie app Movies Anywhere) Sept. 4 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Two weeks later, on Sept. 18, the film — with a domestic gross of just under $385 million, the fourth-biggest theatrical hit of the year — will be issued on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and on demand.

All home versions of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom come with more than an hour of bonus content, including Chris Pratt’s behind-the-scenes “Jurassic Journals; an inside look at the genetically designed Indoraptor; and a behind-the-scenes featurette with Jeff Goldblum, an original cast member from the first Jurassic Park movie, which was released theatrically in 1993. He also appeared in the 1997 sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and this year reprised his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

The “Jurassic Park” franchise is now one of the top grossing franchises of all-time, with a worldwide box office gross of more than $4.7 billion.

Aside from Pratt and Goldblum, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom also stars Bryce Dallas Howard and BD Wong (also a Jurassic Park original).

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage) and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow. The film follows Owen Grady (Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Howard) returning to Isla Nublar three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park to rescue any remaining dinosaurs on the island from a catastrophic volcano that threatens to leave dinosaurs extinct once again.

Grady is driven to save his lead raptor, Blue, while Dearing makes it her mission to preserve the creatures she has grown to respect. When the lava begins to rain down, they soon discover terrifying new breeds of ferocious dinosaurs along with a conspiracy that could threaten the entire world.

All five “Jurassic” films also will be available in a five-movie collection on Sept. 18 on DVD, Blu-Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and digital purchase come with several exclusive bonus featurettes, including “The Kingdom Evolves,” in which filmmakers discuss how the second chapter in the “Jurassic World” trilogy pushes the franchise in a new direction; “Return to Hawaii,” in which cast and crew discuss shooting the film in Hawaii; “Island Action,” a behind-the-scenes look at the bunker scene and runaway gyrosphere sequence; “Aboard the Arcadia,” in which cast and crew talk about working with the animatronic dinosaurs; and “Start the Bidding,” a behind-the-scenes look at the auction scene.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes an 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, a Blu-ray Disc and a digital copy.

View an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from the new bonus feature “On Set with Chris and Bryce” here:

‘Jurassic World’ Unboxed

Actors Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard from Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World and its upcoming sequel unboxed a surprise at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles June 2. The largest “delivery” in Amazon’s history was made to The Grove May 30, escorted by a Jeep Wrangler motorcade. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom arrives in theaters June 22.