LEGO has been in full reboot mode for the last few years, with several video-game titles, a handful of straight-to-DVD movies (check out our LEGO Batman movie review) and a full variety of high-profile brand name sets under their belts. It’s been on the cusp of over-whelming. So when we heard that Warner Bros. would be making a full-length film to be released in theaters, we were pretty skeptical. Nevertheless, we were excited to see Batman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Shaquille O’Neal in the same movie. The main character, though, we weren’t too sure about. How could one LEGO figure make a difference when surrounded by all these other astonishing pieces?
As it turns out, one piece can make all the difference. In The LEGO Movie, we follow our main character, Emmet, as he enjoys a extraordinary life. This is not to be confused with the extraordinary adventure he finds himself wrapped in. Emmet is a construction worker who breezes through life thinking “everything is awesome.” He watches TV, follows all the directions at work and tries to make friends everywhere he goes. Little does he know that he, and many of the other LEGO people in the world are controlled by President Business and his super-weapon, the KrazyGlue. But, according to an ancient prophecy by Vitruvius, there is a “special” who is supposed to be so beyond creative, they are all saved from President Business and his Kragl. Emmet meets Wyldstyle, a woman who thinks she is supposed to be the “special” who is looking for the “piece of resistance” against the Kragl. They meet one late night on the construction site and Emmet inadvertently finds the “piece of resistance.” The rest of the film is the adventure Emmet has with his new found friends Wyldstyle, Vitruvius, Uni-Kitty, Metal Beard and Benny. They fight the good fight against President Business, his henchman Bad Cop/Good Cop and the Kragl.
And the journey along the way was some of the best animation, dialogue and story line that hasn’t come from Pixar in a really long time. The LEGO Movie was clever throughout, making an experience that was enjoyable for kids, but maybe even more so for adults because we actually “got” all the jokes. The props that came along with each scene added to the depth of storyline and animation. They also in most cases added humor to the movie. The different LEGO worlds were multi-layered and animated so well, sometimes it was difficult to discern if it was stop-motion or CGI, which for this film was a good thing.
And even greater than the stellar animation and the wittiness were all the morals in the story. Should we not always do what media tells us to do? Check. Should we defy the expectations others make for us? Check. Should we make room for others to change and forgive them? Check. It’s amazing how many large concepts were stuffed into a two-hour time period. And that they weren’t shallow morals either, but things that all children growing up should understand. And rather than our hero being any of the number of really famous heroes who are featured, we really do root for Emmet, the LEGO piece who is just a construction worker. By the end of the film, we know he is much more than his job title. Even if they aren’t Batman, normal LEGO’s can do just as much (and maybe even more) good for the world.
The LEGO Moviereally connected all the bricks; simply put, EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME! Oh, and don’t forget to check out the The LEGO Movie exclusive figures and sets. And a word of advice, you don’t always have to follow the manual.
Hello, February! This month in the theaters brings us a few action flicks, a few romance flicks and then there is The Lego Movie Enjoy our previews and quit reeling over the Broncos.:
February 7 – The Monuments Men
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman
Most of you have probably seen the ad for this movie A LOT. You may even be sick of seeing the ads. Nevertheless, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a George Clooney movie. Written, directed, produced and starring Hollywood’s most generous bachelor, The Monuments Men is based off the true story at book by Robert M. Edsel. The story follows the Allied group of men in the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program. The previews don’t make it look much different than any other WWII picture that has come out lately. However, I always love WWII movies, but for others the actors alone are probably worth a go. Bill F’n Murray is one of the stars, and he always gets my vote. – A
February 7 – The LEGO Movie
Starring:Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Alison Brie
Sporting an All-Star cast (both flesh-based and brick-based), The LEGO Movie is the first LEGO movie to hit the big-screen. Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation, Guardians of the Galaxy) plays the main character, Emmett, who is chosen as the Special, the lego capable of saving Lego World from the evil Lord Business, played by Will Ferrell. Lord Business’ aim is to stifle creativity by gluing the Lego world together. And somehow, Taco Tuesday fits in there. This movie looks hilarious, especially Will Arnett’s Batman. It will also mark the first time Batman is in a movie with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (hopefully not the last… still holding out for that crossover!). It’s my most anticipated movie of the month, bricks down. – S
February 7 – Vampire Academy
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Gabriel Bryne, Sarah Hyland
OK, I’ll be honest; I’ve never read the books Vampire Academy is based off of. Following the Twilight craze among teen and tween girls (and let’s face it, 50 year old divorceés) anything that was Young Adult fiction and vampires was doomed for me. The Vampire Academy books (there are 6) have sold millions of copies and made the New York Times. That being said, the story follows to besties who go to St. Vladimir’s Academy. There is love, lust, teen angst and probably a lot of cheesiness. But with the media circuit on the morning shows this week, the movie doesn’t seem that bad. There are scenes I laughed at. Out loud. It may not be worth the trip to the theater unless you are 13, it’s your first date without a chaperone, and the guy you are dragging there with you thinks he might get to 1st base. Otherwise, this might be perfect for 20 somethings to watch on Netflix, alone, and with tons of guilty pleasure.
February 12 – RoboCop
Starring:Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, Michael K Williams (Omar from The Wire), Aimee Garcia (Jamie Batista from Dexter)
Reboots have always been a mixed bag for people; we have a rose-tinted glasses about how we remember things. In the case of RoboCop, I have fond childhood memories of watching him fight crime with a gun that comes out of his hip. The general story appears to be the same; however, the times have changed and so have the messages this iteration brings about. Being PG-13 doesn’t mean the same thing it did when the first one came out either. Alex Murphy’s death already seems forgettable compared to the original but it won’t stop me from going to see it and enjoying every second. RoboCop could also be the hero Detroit wants and so desperately needs.- R
February 14 – About Last Night
Starring: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Paula Patton, Christopher McDonald
Kevin Hart is really saturating the market right now as one of the few stand-up comedians that are regularly crossing over into movie comedy. Following up January’s Ride Along, Hart stars in a romantic comedy about two couples who try to play the game of love and not give in to another person. It’s based off a 1970’s movie, Sexual Perversion in Chicago. Anything with Kevin Hart and Regina Hall is bound to be hilarious, but I wouldn’t really go see it I can’t think of anything more creative to do on Valentine’s Day. Men who are forced to go see this will thank the stars that RoboCop comes out two days earlier. – S
February 14 – Winter’s Tale
Starring: Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Will Smith (the Will Smith)
Winter’s Tale is hard to predict. It will either be a movie every couple who goes to the theaters on Valentine’s Day will see, or maybe no one will go see it. Based off a novel by Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale is a complicated story of a man, Peter Lake, played by Colin Farrell, who loves a woman, but gets trapped 100 years in the future trying to find her. He also has a really cool pet horse. Oh, and Will Smith is in it, although he isn’t in the previews. Yeah, the Will Smith. More than likely to be similar to The Time Traveler’s Wife, Winter’s Tale may be another one to watch on Netflix, alone, at home, in your flannel jammies, a box of tissues, and not wearing your bra. – A
Pompeii could be a decent movie. Don’t expect it to be timeless, but the poster is a little misleading. The poster shows a lover’s embrace in front of the exploding volcano, maybe suggesting eternal love, no matter how creepy that really is. But really, the preview makes it look like Dante’s Peak meets Spartacus. Starring Kit Harrington, who also plays Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, Pompeii tells us the story of a Roman slave and gladiator who falls in love with a wealthy merchant’s daughter. He must save her before the lava gets them; we probably know how that ends. Well, maybe. It’s genre is listed as “action/adventure”. I have also read that the movie took so long to make not only because it is 3D, but also to make it historically accurate. I was really interested in the culture of Pompeii when I was younger, so that factual aspect really attracts me, but if it really is historically accurate, are the characters even worth getting attached to? I’ll have to see it to find out. – A
February 21 – 3 Days to Kill
Starring: Kevin Costner, Amberd Heard, Hailee Steinfeld
Do you ever wish you had three whole days to do whatever you want? For me – watch all the Star Wars films… three times… While it’s not exactly the theme of 3 Days to Kill, it comes pretty close. Ex-secret service agent, Ethan Runner (Kevin Costner), is pulled back into duty and given a special assignment. To kill!! His agreement to this killer task (PUN DROP) is given on the stipulation that his employers can cure a strange sickness plaguing Runner; a sickness that has left him with only three days to live! Hence the “3 Days” to perform his task. Growing a budding bond between estranged father and daughter, conducting a killing spree and trying not to die of an unknown and crazy illness all within 3 days?!?! Sounds like a movie to me! Kevin Costner is making a comeback of sorts to the silver screen this year. Following up from Shadow Recruit last month, Costner will play the lead in 3 Days to Kill and then star in Draft Day (stay tuned for April movie previews!), all following last year’s Man of Steel. An acting veteran with this much energy in him is bound to deliver a good time on the big screen. – T
February 28- Non-Stop
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore
Need a reason to see a thrilling movie this month? Two words for you – Liam Neesan. One of Hollywood’s ultimate bad ass, action heroes will star in Non-Stop late this month. As the plot goes, Bill Mark (Neeson), US air marshal, thinks it’s just another day in the life as he soars through the air on a transatlantic flight when he receives a perturbing text message from an unknown fellow passenger. The message – “I’m going to kill someone on this plane every 20 minutes.” That is, unless Bill can wire $150 million into an offshore bank account before the flight lands. Let the action roll. As for us, the viewers, we’ll just kick back, eat some popcorn and watch Liam take us on yet another entertaining thrill ride. This film brings a new and unexplored theme to the heist and thriller genre. The Hush team is excited and in high anticipation for Non-Stop. At the very least, it’ll be great to some sweet justice delivered by Qui-Gon Jinn. It’s going to be the best airplane based movie since Snakes on a Plane! (Only slightly joking…) – T