October 5, 2014

Shadowcon Mini-Views- The Lego Movie

I haven't laughed so much or smiled so much in a movie like this in a long time. Even Frozen didn't make me this happy or this filled with joy. The Lego Movie is fucking awesome! It's funny, it's engaging, and it has heart that really speaks as much if not more to adults as it does to children. I'm super glad I saw this and kinda disappointed I missed it in the theater. The reason I didn't see this in the theater was because of how terrible the trailers made this look. All the jokes in the trailers seemed waaay too much like they were catering to children under six, and it just didn't look appealing to me.

Also, the amount of hype that this movie got really set me on edge; critics were claiming that this was awesome, and so I was both kind of excited for it and wary because that happened with Frozen, and while that movie was amazing, it was overhyped and I did get tired of it after a while. I haven't been this wrong or surprised about a movie since Frozen actually, and much for the same reasons: the trailers looked bad, the press was all over that film, etc. The Lego Movie was one of the funnest films I've seen all year, and just loved it!

First of all, the plot of this film is very simple: we have an ordinary Lego man who finds an object of great importance and thus gets swept up in a situation involving good vs. evil, prophecy, finding out who you really are, etc. What makes this better this time around is how The Lego Movie uses the formula as a means for injecting all this awesome pop-culture references, Lego references, and having a twist at the end that was both unexpected and so heartwarming/breaking that it just tugged at the heart strings. The movie has an ending that makes you cry; I related to this so much because it totally captured that adults-don't-play-with-toys mentality that I think is so common in our society now. And the way the message of being your own kind of person is conveyed constantly in the movie was cool because it made the point that different generations of people see Legos, and more broadly toys and toy-collecting, differently, and that was super fun to see. We don't often get a film that shows us both perspectives of that.

The animation too was super fun and engaging. We've all played with Legos, we know what we can do with them. So going into this movie I was like "okay, I want to see some awesome shit built with these Legos" and that's exactly what I got! Just the innovation of everyone here, the way things move and interact with their environment all Lego-like and whatnot was thrilling and always put a smile on my face. I loved how even the environment was Lego-lized, like the water and the explosions and fire and clouds were all made out of Legos; it really gave the impression that this was more of a stop-motion type of film than a CGI one, and I really appreciated that.

The pop-culture references are abundant and might get a little grating for some (I didn't really like the Space Man), but most of it is all well and good, and I loved when they were explaining the different worlds and it showed everything like an instructions catalogue with all the worlds laid out page by page. It really had me chuckling at that point. And when everyone was working together to build their ship to escape, that was so funny because it captured what it's like to work in a group building Legos when you're like five or six, and that was just so fun!

The Lego Movie has an exceptional level of sophistication and at its core a heart that really speaks to the child in all of us adults (man it feels weird to write that). I honestly really can't think of a film besides Toy Story that really made me care about this kind of subject matter as much as this one did. Its animation is innovative and engaging, its story is straightforward but works, and its characters are funny and lovable. Definitely check this one out if you haven't already; it's such a surprising movie and I had just a ball with it!

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