2 VERY different movies this past weekend, but both great in their own way.
The Lego Movie -
I'm sure I'm not the only one that groaned when I first saw the trailer for The Lego Movie. I had very little hope that this could be any good. It would be a big ad for legos and that's about it. I was shocked, and very happy, when the great reviews started pouring in. I just had to see what the fuss was all about. I'm glad my initial impression was all wrong. Well, it's still sort of an ad for Legos, but it's so much more than that. This is intensely creative stuff here. It's funny, smart, satirical, and unexpectedly poignant. Almost a perfect film. The story is a bit cheesy, and has been done before in so ,many ways, but the movie makers are completely aware of this. A lot of the humor comes from making fun of these stereotypical characters and situations. I was surprised by the end how invested I had become in the movie, and the message it was presenting. They got me hook, line, and sinker with this one, and I'm perfectly ok with that. Great movie.
Just saw it too, but one I found it interesting: I don't think the word "Lego" was uttered even once, even during the live action scene where you think it would. I meant, the rest of the movie definitely functions as a long advertisement for the product, but I do love that it exposes just how versatile the toy can be (Western world, space world, Star Wars, Marvel, that weird cat-unicorn, etc. Any universe can work!).
= The story was kinda cheesy, but I found it worked surprisingly well within the grander themes of being creative and tying the ideas of "Lego-the-Toy" to "Lego-the-Movie".
= Also, this movie did a great job of being JUST as much for the kids as the adults. In fact, most of the stuff that wasn't the slap-stick humor I think was easily lost on younger audiences (like how when one of the characters was doing "Quotation Fingers" with...Lego hands).
= Chris Pratt was also perfect. In Parks and Recreation he plays a big, dumb, lovable dog but in human form. Here he played up the "kid at heart" who was sweet, well-meaning, and goofy.
= LOVED Charlie Day as the 1980's-something-Spaceman. What a jolly fella. And the scratches on his starship logo and the crack in his helmet was *amazing* (we had that same spaceman AND that SAME crack in the helmet). The developers were very keen to how Lego acts and looks (I did love how everything was "in the instructions"). I might yell SPACESHIP every so often
= Cats, pigs, "space sounds". I loved that they were man-made.
= Morgan Freeman's character was ridiculous... I mean, all the characters were...but wow.
= I actually found some of the, um, Lego cameos distracting. They were played up very well
for laughs, but made an already hectic film even more loony. On that note:
= Holy crap this movie is busy
! It does bug me that it can be really chaotic and almost schizoid about how it takes literally all and any liberties it can. Nevertheless, the movie stills pulls of those extravagant and crazy heights in a way that felt "real to Lego" because anything goes
. ...I also loved that it looked animated and that the frames were kind of choppy; it makes Emmet jumping around look even better.