on 29 July 2014
An amazingly good film that's every bit as appealing and imaginative as the toy itself. Following the reluctant Emmet (Chris Pratt) and his friends, The Lego Movie sees the most unlikely bunch of heroes trying to save the Lego universe from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell), who intends to destroy it by GLUING it all together (GENIUS!).
Packed with great humour, adventure, charm and heart, The Lego Movie boasts endless possibilities and the hope for future sequels. There's some really nice extras on this DVD also, like Fan-Made Lego films and a Sing-Along to Tegan & Sara's 'Everything is Awesome'! Highly recommended to kids and grown-ups alike!
Okay, okay, I confess. When I first heard of The Lego Movie, I dismissed it as a movie I wasn't going to be interested in. (And yes, this is from someone who loves the Lego video games.) However, when I started laughing at the previews, I became intrigued. And when I heard from various people just how good it was, I knew I had to see it. So, I didn't see it until it hit Blu-Ray, but I enjoyed it.
Our story follows Emmet Brickowoski (voiced by Chris Platt). He's an ordinary construction worker in the Lego city where he lives, but he's very happy that way. After all, he follows his instruction manual completely, ensuring that his life is awesome.
One day, however, he is delayed at the construction site where he works and sees Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). That leads him to discover a floating red brick. It turns out that brick is the key to defeating President Business (Will Ferrell). Suddenly thrust into a leadership role, will Emmet handle the pressure or will he fall apart?
I was just a few minutes into the film when I started thinking that movie was creative in the same vein as the best of Pixar films. There are so many nods to Legos and their world that I was laughing and loving it. Granted, I never played with Legos too much as a kid, but I still got the jokes. We're talking everything from water to how the characters move.
The story is predictable but fun. As you know, the fact that something is predictable never ruins it for me as long as I am enjoying the ride, and that was absolutely the case here. The story is filled with so many jokes, it's hard not to laugh and have a great time along the way. And since this is a Lego movie, they have a wide range of characters to choose from like pirates and Superheroes. Even some other franchise characters make brief and funny appearances.
The voice cast is amazing. I was actually surprised how many of the names I recognized since I didn't recognize their voices at all. That, to me, is perfectly voice over work.
The computer animation isn't going to blow you away with realism or any jaw dropping scenes. But it doesn't have to. This is a movie where all the characters and sets are made out of plastic bricks. Anything realistic would be out of place. The movie knows this and is stronger as a result.
The only complaint I had heard about the film was about the climax. I'm not going to spoil things, but I do see what the person was complaining about. I get what they were trying to do theme wise, and a part of me likes it, however, I also feel the movie would have been just as strong if not better without that particular plot point.
Even so, I enjoyed The Lego Movie. It's filled with laughs that kids of all ages will enjoy over and over again.
on 28 January 2015
Well, what can you say about "The Lego Movie"? It is what it is; it's fast, fun and visually amazing.
As with "Parks and Recreation", Chris Pratt really is awesome in this and kudos should also go to Will Arnett and Will Ferrell, who were great as well. I was also surprised to see that Nick Offerman was in it - another perk!
The film definitely doesn't take itself too seriously (how can you with a movie about Lego?) and it works perfectly as a family film; it is colourful and fun enough for younger people and the adults will appreciate the pop culture references. In addition to this, it is a funny film and it definitely coaxes many laughs along the way.
Obvious credit should also go to the designers of this movie; it is clearly a labour of love and is extremely well-crafted and awe-inspiring.
Oh, and Michelangelo, Michelangelo and Millhouse? Yes.
There are few negative points, but I will say that it doesn't have much re-watch value; I will admit that a second viewing would allow previously missed jokes to be seen/heard, but it's not a film that I would be absolutely desperate to see again soon.
Also, I know that "Everything is Awesome" is up for "Best Original Song" at the Academy Awards, but honestly, it's not as good as certain people make it out to be (I know that a few people will be pretty angry at that comment!).
So all in all, this is a fun, wacky film and you can simply relax and watch it with anyone. It's not the best film in the world, but you'd have to have a heart of stone not to crack a few smiles along the way. (And that's coming from someone who actually has a heart of stone!)
One of my very favorite films of 2014.
What I worried would be a feature length commercial is instead a very funny, and somewhat subversive film, overflowing with ideas, puns, perfect music, and wacky 'cameos' by everyone from Shaquile O'Neil, to a wonderfully warped and dark Batman (given terrific voice by Will Arnet).
'Lego' doesn't look quite like any film I've seen before. It has a rough, almost bizarrely low- tech look to it's Lego people -- stop motion that looks like stop motion --oddly (but very effectively) combined with mind-blowingly huge and complicated shots of the Lego universe in action. Somehow in the unlikely mix of slickness and lo-fi something wonderful is created; animation that is wildly impressive, but also clearly human, creative and DIY at the same time.
The film is basically a spoof of every Hollywood vision-quest movie you've ever seen. You know the films. A young character (almost always male) is called on to save the world/neighborhood/kingdom. He's over-matched, and under prepared, but with a kindly older mentor of great power to guide him, you know he will find a way to prevail.
Except here the "special" character at the center really ISN'T very special. He's a young working guy like a million others, who's not very bright or especially brave, and who just wants to live his happy, blank, endlessly repetitive safe life. And the mentor? None other than the voice of Morgan Freeman, expertly spoofing his own image as the ultimate voice of wisdom. He plays a wizard who is far less consistently brilliant and all knowing than he claims or wants to be. He's very, very funny, which is not the first thing one thinks of with Morgan Freeman. The same could be said of Liam Neeson, who also does a great voice job as the good cop/bad cop, who's personality changes depending on what side of his head is facing front. Will Ferrell is also excellent as the villain of the piece, being just silly enough to be funny, but just real enough to give the story some real tension.
Not everything works, and there were a few spots near the end where the energy flagged. But overall this is an exciting and creative (and wonderfully fun) piece of film-making, that manages to attack the near fascist mentality of a society obsessed with consuming, and determined not to question it's own lives (it's not for nothing that the villain's name is 'President Business')-- while still being very funny, and almost never feeling like its preaching.
And without giving anything away, in the last 20 minutes it changes the rules again, and asks a few profound questions about the nature of existence, without seeming like it had suddenly jumped the track as a film for kids as well as adults.
In the end, I walked around with the hysterical, awful (in a great way), and when you think about it kinda dark anthem "Everything is Awesome" banging around in my head for days.
on 16 September 2014
For me, the bar for animated movies is set by Pixar, and quite high it is set too. Every so often something comes along to get close to that bar but not much has got up there. In the last couple of years I would only have said Wreck it Ralph and Frozen troubled it at all; that is until now.
Much like the Pixar offerings, there is a good appreciation of the differing ages of the audience, I love it, my kids love it, but we probably get different bits of it at times.
As a visual piece of art this is a feast for the eyes. It is just what it says on the box, a movie done in Lego, but it works so brilliantly. The scale of it is incredible but there is such detail in it that you will still be spotting new things after many a viewing. And that is another great thing; my kids watch films over and over again, normally until I can't bring myself to look at the TV anymore. Well I don't mind admitting I must be on my eighth or ninth viewing now and wouldn't bat an eyelid if they slapped it on again right now. God knows where the kids are, probably into the thirties by now.
The voice acting is excellent, I can't hear Morgan Freeman in anything else now without having a little smile to myself and just seeing Vitruvius in my head. The soundtrack is great too, there is one 'big number' in here and it does get used a fair bit so you might imagine it gets annoying but I still find it funny after so many times.
The story is great too and I won't drop in any spoilers but there is an emotional element, maybe not on the level that some of the Pixar films like to crank up to, but it is in here and does add a nice addition to the package.
I am a fan of the animated movie and I find very few are truly great. This is a truly great animated movie.
on 10 August 2014
Version I saw: UK cinema release (2D)
Photography/visual style: 8/10
While it didn't quite live up to the astonishing word-of-mouth support it got, The Lego Movie is a rip-roaring success. This is especially remarkable when you consider what it is. Whoever heard of a movie based on a toy (that has no actual story associated with it) being good?
Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have previous on this, though. Their first movie was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which is as goofy a title as I can remember, and no more than a one-gag set-up to boot... and yet they imbued it with a surreal humour that attracted audiences. Then they revived 80s TV series 21 Jump Street, and the record for that kind of adaptation is very patchy at best, but they pulled that round too. Lord and Miller seem to have their finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist.
Supported by a genius idea for an underlying theme, The Lego Movie looks stunning too. The graphics are impressively composed entirely from Lego blocks genuinely available to the public, composed into whole scenes and settings. The animators took the opportunity to throw in a million blink-and-miss-it sight gags, in a remarkable show of attention detail.
I have to say that, in contradiction to other views I have heard, I found the song 'Everything is Awesome' by Tegan and Sara, which is a prominent part of the film, to be annoying but catchy rather than actually good, although that is still a credit to T&S because that is the role of the song in the film. It is improved by the comedic rapping of The Lonely Island in the full extended version, heard over the end credits.
A host of star names, both playing their most famous characters and playing other characters of note, enliven the proceedings. This is appropriate, given that the Lego franchise's recent revival has been built on adapting iconic series such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Batman into games using the Lego block style.
A sequel seems inevitable, and I hope it is still this good, now that they have the weight of expectation on them.
For my full review, see my independent film blog on Blogspot, Cinema Inferno: http://cinemainferno-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-lego-movie-2014.html
A glorious slice of family fun. We've watched the Lego Movie together three times now and the whole family, from three-year-old, through teenagers and up to us 40-somethings love it. The basic premise is simple: the world is made of Lego, not a cartoon of Lego but rather a world that conforms to the strict dot and click Lego principles. In that world lives everyman Emmett, who may or may not turn out to be 'the Chosen One' who will save the world from the strict rule of Lord Business.
The journey we go on charts Emmett's own ride from nondescript building site to the weird and fantastical outer limits of Lego building imagination. Along the way there are lots of laughs for everyone in the audience: prat falls and toy comedy for the toddlers, knowing current satire for the kids and big 'I used to have that set!' laughs for the adults.
The film has the feel of stop-motion but I understand is mostly CG, I view that as a plus in the Lego Movie because it affords the action a degree more fluidity than might otherwise be the case. The world built, however achieved, is gigantic in scale and ambition and works consistently throughout. You'll grin a wide childish smile at the ways in which the limitations and conventions of your days playing with Lego are liberally scattered throughout that world and even brought into the story, including a gloriously nostalgic thread around 1980s Space Lego that had my partner nearly cheering with childish glee.
Chris Pratt's performance as Emmett is wonderful: delivered with bags of charm, as is the movie itself, and a real commitment to believe in and be part of a convincing world. Around Pratt its a fun game of spot the cameo with a particular highlight being that of Arrested Development's Will Arnett as a less than knightly Batman.
We loved The Lego Movie and can see it becoming a traditional family favorite for years to come.
Both my daughters loved this film and so did I, because EVERYTHING IS AWESOME in it! Below, more of my impressions. This review contains very limited SPOILERS.
Emmet Brickowski lives a very ordinary and quite happy life in the perfectly organised Bricksburg, even if he lives alone and holds a rather little glamorous job of construction worker. Then one day, after working hours, he surprises a mysterious person wearing a dark cape. This person seems to look for something in the ruins of a half-demolished building... And then the film really begins.
As probably everybody knows, in this film EVERYTHING is made with LEGO blocks (including water, lava, clouds, etc.) and also all characters are LEGO figures. It also contains countless tributes to other movies, movie franchises, TV series, computer games or comic books, such like "Star Wars", "Batman", "Superman", "Harry Potter", "Lord of the Rings", "The good, the bad and the ugly" (my ABSOLUTE favourite!), "Green Lantern", "Super Woman", "Ninja Turtles", "My little pony", "Hello Kitty", "Transformers", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Matrix", etc. etc.
This is a highly succesful kidult film, containing lots of delights for children and also numerous clever jokes for adults. The pace of action is very fast, dialogs are excellent, there is MEGATONS of humour and last but not the least there is the main song "Everything is awesome", which is a rather simple thing but impossibly catchy!
The ending is maybe a little bit weaker than the rest of the film, as even if the main message (which is also the title of this review) is beautiful, the way it is delivered seems a little bit... artificial. The ending also reminded me how painful it was when, once fully grown up and married with children I had to pass my beloved STAR WARS action figures to the next generation, so they can be again played with, but also abused, painted, modified, rearmed and redecorated in all kind of cruel and unusual ways... (sob)
I spend a wonderful moment watching this film with my daughters and they loved it so much, that we are going to see it again next weekend. And of course we are absolutely going to buy it as soon as it is available on DVD.
This is a cracker - as cliched as it sounds I reckon it really is great fun for all the family. Humour, heart, action etc. It's all here.
The plot, for what it's worth, sees a lowly (Lego) construction worker voiced by Chris Pratt, suddenly find himself as the Lego worlds last great hope in the fight against the evil President Business (Will Ferrell). He is helped/hampered in this endeavour by a feisty new creation, Wyldstyle voiced by Elizabeth Banks as well as pirates, spacemen and a brilliantly obnoxious Batman.
There's a shedload of other cameos from well known characters in Lego form, I wont spoil them all, they're more fun if you're not expecting them. The best of these is a few hilarious exchanges between Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Superman and Green Lantern.
It all flies along at a great pace, plenty of gags, plenty of action and never ending imaginative use of all manner of Lego bricks. The voice cast are universally great and much credit also has to go to co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller who you may know from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and the recent Jump Street movies.
There's a plot twist of sorts later on which may be decisive, some people like it, some really don't which is fair enough. It just about worked for me and I guess the only way to find out is to give it a spin yourself. I'm hopeful the rest of the film will it make it worth your while either way.
on 6 December 2014
Well, first off, let me say this is a perfectly good film. But that's the only thing about it. When you walk away from seeing this, you don't think "WOW!!", it's more of a "meh". On the good side, the fact it is all real lego is amazing, and so was Batman (isn't he always?), but the
story had a sense of "every 5 minutes, add an explosion", the other
main characters sucked and the humans frankly ruined it. Oh, it's a perfectly good film. But it doesn't feel like they spent years on it. Overall, 5\10