Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Lego Movie has quick wit, gags and fun for all ages

Movie Title:  The Lego Movie

Grade:  A-

In a Nutshell:  Quick-witted fun for all ages, as well as obvious Lego lovers.  While raising 4 boys, I’ve sucked up my share of miscellaneous Lego pieces on the carpet with my vacuum cleaner over the years, as well as stepped on the sharp plastic corners in the middle of the night one too many times, but I still love Legos.  Actually, the plural of Lego is Lego, so I should change that last sentence, but I won’t because I’m as sassy as the movie.

I lived only a few blocks away from LegoLand in Carlsbad, California for 6 years and even had an annual membership.  That theme park is simply adorable and a truly fun amusement park for the whole family.  One of the things I love about LegoLand is its keen sense of humor and that it doesn’t take itself so seriously.  This movie is exactly that. 

The jokes fly fast and furiously and the story line is surprisingly thought-out with a couple of sweet twists in the end.  It feels like free-flowing play itself with the satisfaction you get after building something well.

The fun flick is filled with tremendous voice talent, including Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, and Chris Pratt.  Shaquille O’Neal plays himself, and Billy Dee Williams revisits his role as Lando in Star Wars.

Uplifting theme:  Like most movies with Morgan Freeman in them, his character says the bulk of the inspiring lines in the film.
  • “The only thing you need to be special is to believe that you are.”  - Vitruvius
  • “We all have something that makes us something.” – Emmet’s co-worker
  • Emmet worries “What do I do?  I don’t have my instructions!” illustrates the importance of imagination and creativity.
  • “Believe.  Then you will see everything.”  - Vitruvius
  • “You have to embrace what is special about you.”  - Vitruvius

Things I liked:
  • I can’t get that “Everything is awesome!” song out of my head
  • I love quick wit.  This movie’s jam is quick wit.
  • The water in the shower, hot tub bubbles, and ocean white caps were fantastic
  • I loved how Emmet did Jumping Jacks
  • Frequent use of plastic Lego flames.  It’s amazing how often they were able to use them.
  • I thought it was cute how they tied in the use of instructions into the theme of the movie.  Emmet begins showing each step he takes in the morning, as if he’s writing instructions for you to follow.  Later, the good guys create a step-by-step plan to defeat the bad guys, identifying the correct order for you to follow.
  • Twist ending

Things I didn’t like:
  • No need to pay extra money for 3D.  There is almost too much stimulation and the whole film is a bit manic, similar to Christmas morning when wonderful presents and wrapping paper are strewn everywhere.
  • My little kids were too smart to recognize that when everyone gets a trophy for just paying to be on a Little League baseball team, then the trophy isn’t worth anything.  They hated being told “Everyone is special” because that meant to them that nobody was special.  This movie has a bit of that philosophy in it, although it tries to point out that everyone is special for different reasons.
  • Cloud Cocoaland?  I thought they could have come up with something more clever than that.

Funny lines: The adults were laughing more than the kids.  Parents won’t have to suffer through this children’s animated movie.  A lot of the humor will go over kids’ heads, and the wit happens so fast that you’re sure to miss some of it too.
  • “Come with me if you want to not die.” – Wyldstyle/Lucy
  • “Place the thing on the other thing and save the universe.”  - Vitruvius
  • “We’ll wing it.  It’s a bat pun.”  -  Batman
  • “You don’t know me, but I’m on TV, so you can trust me.” – Wyldstyle/Lucy
  • “Let’s take extra care to follow the instructions or you’ll be put to sleep.  And don’t forget Taco Tuesday’s coming next week.”  - President Business
  • “I only work in black.  And sometimes very, very dark grey.”  - Batman
  • “Okay, I think it got it.  But just in case, say it all over again.  I wasn’t listening.”  - Emmet
  • “Do you see the quotations I’m making with my claw hands?”  - Bad cop/good cop
  • “Here are your pants.  End of series.”  - Wyldstyle/Lucy as she walks onto the set of the popular TV show “Where are my pants?”
  • “Ow!  That is going to start hurting pretty soon.” – Emmet
  • “I WILL text you.”  - Batman
  • “This has been the greatest almost 15 minutes of my life.”  - Emmet
  • “I’m dark and brooding.  Look!  A rainbow!”  - Emmet

Things to look for:  You need to pay attention, because clever gags appear and disappear quickly, along with the rapid-fire wit.  I’ll bet this film will do well with DVD sales, because everyone will want to have the power to hit the pause button on this one. There are too many details to mention.  The Legoland amusement park has a “Minland” in the center of the park that is unbelievably detailed with hidden gems everywhere.  This movie is like that.

  • I’ve never seen a surfer Lego dude with flowing, blonde hair!
  • Bubbles in the hot tub in The Old West
  • Cool Lego dust behind moving cars in the dirt
  • Lego smoke blocks from a moving train

Tips for parents:  Relax and rest easy on this one.  All of the profanity includes such lines as “Darn, darn, darny, darn” (Bad cop/good cop) and “Dangit!” (Batman & Wonder Woman).  Pretty nice, right?  Someone calls someone else a “butt”, but there is a surprisingy lack of toilet humor for a kids movie.  Nice, right?  There is a budding romance, but no Lego kissing. Merchandising for this movie is going to be huge.
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