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Can It Actually Be THAT Good?
February 7, 2014 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Maybe the creators are benefitting from really low expectations. "The LEGO Movie" is getting some implausbly positive reviews .

Often that kind of spread (99% positive!) indicates a movie with broad, but not necessarily deep appeal, but among that 99% are reviews are claims that it's not only "the smartest, funniest, and most dazzingly inventive children's movie to come along in years" but also "the first great cinematic experience of 2014". Somewhere among the reviews you'll also find (apparently sincere) assertions that it can compare respectively to Bergman films in terms of thematic depth, that it's deeply subversive, and that it's visually beautiful.

This will undoubtedly generate a huge uptick in the sales of the product, but how will usage be distributed along the usage spectrum by the film? Would you rather follow the instructions, or are you a free builder?
posted by Ipsifendus (213 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
What I really liked about the trailer is that it was an exploration of imagination - a complete "free builder" experience, where Gandalf is Morgan Freeman, and he teams up with Batman and Trinity to help an underdog everyman fight Mugatu because of course they would. If the movie adheres to that formula - stream of consciousness plot with sharp dialogue - it's going to be a movie worth watching.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:34 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


Here's an interesting review that starts by saying "The Lego Movie is a textbook example of a film that's "review proof." Whether critics like it or not - or whether it’s any good or not - it will make money because every little boy in the country will insist on being taken to it, probably multiple times."

A "review proof" movie that's getting universally positive reviews? Is this one of the Signs of the apocalypse?
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:36 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


“The last thing that we wanted to do was be perceived as ‘Oh, this is just Lego trying to make more money, just to sell more toys,’” says Matthew Ashton, vice president of creative design for Lego and a producer on the film. “If you look at Lego as a creative medium, it’s very much like modeling clay is in a ‘Wallace & Gromit’ movie. It’s just a different way of expressing a story.”

That's smart. Most "toy movies" have to be a narrative about the toys. With lego the "toy" is just the medium in which the narrative is expressed.

Also there's not a single fart joke in any of the previews for this that I've seen, which sets the film apart from just about every kids movie I can think of in the past oh I dunno however long it's been since I became a grouchy old man
posted by ook at 7:36 AM on February 7 [66 favorites]


Would you rather follow the instructions, or are you a free builder?

You always could, and still can, do both. You get a new set, build the model, tear it apart and build your own thing.

I was skeptical of this film, thinking it would be a two-hour commercial for Legos* and nothing more but after reading a review yesterday it sounds like it's not really that at all. Sure, there are tie-in toys, but it sounds like they generally did a good job with it. I was also surprised to find it's actual stop motion, and not CGI. Or am I mistaken about that?

*Lego brand bricks. Whatever.
posted by bondcliff at 7:36 AM on February 7


The writing, timing, and sense of fun in the video games has kept me coming back to them time and time again. If any of the same staff are on the movie, this doesn't surprise me one bit.
posted by Mizu at 7:37 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


I saw an extended trailer for this at a movie and hated it at first, but by the end of the trailer, I kinda wanted to see the movie.
posted by NoMich at 7:38 AM on February 7


Reviews are just opinions. I think people forget that. Maybe all the reviewers are in some type of scheme to push dollars to the Lego company, but more likely, the reviewers liked the movie well enough and got a bit hyperbolic about it.
posted by xingcat at 7:38 AM on February 7


I was also surprised to find it's actual stop motion, and not CGI. Or am I mistaken about that?


It appears to be a combination of both. People have said that it's damn near impossible to tell which elements are which, since smooth plastic is one of the easiest things to do in CGI. But apparently the film adheres to representing only the motion you could achieve with stop motion even in the CGI portions.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:40 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


The people in these links talk about "children", but from I know of this movie, they're really talking about "boys".
posted by Brocktoon at 7:40 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


I went into Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (a) on a what-the-fuck-there's-nothing-else-here impulse, and (b) not knowing it was the Clone High guys.

If this was anyone else, I'd probably be skeptical. But these guys... I can believe it.
posted by Shepherd at 7:40 AM on February 7 [19 favorites]


Oh, it's the same guys as Cloudy? Yeah, I can believe it then.
posted by Mizu at 7:42 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


Was always gonna watch it, now happy it'll at least be entertaining.

As a kid I was a free builder. Actually, I'm still a free builder. Last year a coworker brought over all these loose bricks abandoned by her kids and I set about trying to reach the ceiling.

I got nowhere close, but it did get up there. Then another coworker tried to add a piece and the whole thing came crashing down.
posted by linux at 7:42 AM on February 7 [12 favorites]


A "review proof" movie that's getting universally positive reviews? Is this one of the Signs of the apocalypse?

No, that would be a remake of Robocop
posted by IndigoJones at 7:44 AM on February 7 [7 favorites]


The people in these links talk about "children", but from I know of this movie, they're really talking about "boys".

My lego-loving, Batman-loving, and Lego Batman-loving daughter begs to differ.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:45 AM on February 7 [108 favorites]


Is this movie a tie-in to the plastic toys, or is it a tie-in to the Lego video game franchise? Given the animation style I assumed the latter, and the games are great and have a well-trod language of humor and narrative tropes. About time to bring it to the big screen. The movie reviewers I've read all seem entirely ignorant of the video games though, so it's hard to know.

(Also this post is framed weird; "implausbly positive reviews" implies the reviews are fixed somehow. But there's no evidence of that, right? Maybe "surprisingly positive" is more accurate.)
posted by Nelson at 7:45 AM on February 7 [7 favorites]


I am pleased to see the positive reviews because it can only improve the chances of other toy-based movies being made, such as the spec script a friend and I are writing: "Weebles: the Movie."

"In a world where no one falls down, one dreamer dared to think differently."
posted by logicpunk at 7:46 AM on February 7 [76 favorites]


I have been so excited about this movie since the first trailer. There's just something about the sense of humor that seems to dovetail right where I like to laugh. That I have a 5 year old boy who gives me an excuse to see it this weekend is just icing on the cake.
posted by Mchelly at 7:46 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and Clone High are both excellent. I'm glad this one continues the trend.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:48 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure what's difficult to believe that the movie could be fun. The trailer is clearly comedy and it looks like the creators are having a ball mucking about in an imaginary world.

Critics are just people paid to have opinions, there's nothing inherent in the job that makes them smarter or better than anyone else. All too often, they get stuck on film theory and forget how to have fun.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:48 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


I am pleased to see the positive reviews because it can only improve the chances of other toy-based movies being made, such as the spec script a friend and I are writing: "Weebles: the Movie."

"In a world where no one falls down, one dreamer dared to think differently."


IN 2015, THE WORLD WILL WOBBLE.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:50 AM on February 7 [51 favorites]


Don't forget that these guys did the 21 Jump Street reboot, which was also a movie that had no right to be as awesome as it was.
posted by Think_Long at 7:53 AM on February 7 [9 favorites]


I was skeptical when I saw the CG animation in the trailer, but apparently they handled it in a really smart way.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:54 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


Giant robots. Check.

Superheroes. Check.

I'll watch it.
posted by mikelieman at 7:54 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


The people in these links talk about "children", but from I know of this movie, they're really talking about "boys".

What a strange, unnecessary distinction to make.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:57 AM on February 7 [49 favorites]


Somewhere among the reviews you'll also find (apparently sincere) assertions that it can compare respectively to Bergman films in terms of thematic depth, that it's deeply subversive, and that it's visually beautiful.

Which papers are saying these things? It's worth bearing in mind that even the worst films often get one or two outsized raves from different websites. (For Gigli, Chuck The Movie Guy claimed "Julia Roberts and Richard Gere probably WISH they had this type of chemistry.") Frankly, a successful mass-market movie is going to be likely to get a few proportionately larger fanatical raves.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:59 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


My 13 year old daughter and nearly 17 year old son cannot wait to see this movie. Together. One of the common threads of their childhoods was Lego. They played Lego together for hours and then when they were old enough, they played the video games together.

That it actually looks funny and entertaining is just a bonus for me.
posted by cooker girl at 7:59 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


My five-year-old boy/girl twins both cannot wait to see it. They both love Legos of all kinds. And we've already seen "Frozen" five times (and "The Nut Job" was meh) so we are super ready for this one.
posted by candyland at 8:00 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


The people in these links talk about "children", but from I know of this movie, they're really talking about "boys".

Yeah, my two-year-old is obsessed with ballerinas and tutus, but she spends at least an hour playing on her own with her Duplos (or "guys," as she calls them) every day. We are going to take her to the movie for her birthday.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:00 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


You always could, and still can, do both. You get a new set, build the model, tear it apart and build your own thing.

I thought this was the standard approach? Lego isn't a zero sum game. You can build the thing pictured on the box and you can free form go nuts. The former gives you valuable underpinning insights to make the latter better.
posted by planetesimal at 8:01 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


I haven't seen it yet, but I concur with those who note that the personnel involved make it much, much less surprising. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is a terrific movie, Clone High is wildly popular among my particular friends, and Chris Pratt is tremendously, big-heartedly appealing and is absolutely somebody who can take a good line and make it a great line.

Now and then, a big machine that has a lot of other interests besides making things that are good makes something very, very, very good. That's not inherently suspicious, it's the law of averages and truffle-finding by pigs.

I think it's unfortunate that the word "implausibly" has been inserted here, along with "apparently sincere," as if the critics are maybe on the take or untrustworthy just because their opinions surprise you. That's kinda unfair if there's nothing behind it except the nature of their opinions.

Any critic who never gives any opinion other than the one you expect based on the nature of the piece isn't offering you anything.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 8:01 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


I can also recommend Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2, which I love just for the scene near the end where Berry (the anthropomorphic strawberry) translates a rousing speech from Flint Lockwood to the rest of the foodimals. It is possibly more charming than the first one, which is a tall order.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:03 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


The people in these links talk about "children", but from I know of this movie, they're really talking about "boys". My seven-year-old daughter will not stop talking about going to see this movie.
posted by combinatorial explosion at 8:04 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


My favorite comment from the AV Club review:

"I hope the Asylum starts work on The Mega Blocks movie soon, so that all the kids whose parents don't love them will have something to watch."
posted by Think_Long at 8:04 AM on February 7 [92 favorites]


The movies released in 2014 so far are kind of not spectacular enough to be even slightly shocked when something moderately good gets billed as the first good thing in 2014.
posted by Sequence at 8:05 AM on February 7


We should also note that Will Ferrel plays a villain named "President Business". That makes me at least 20% sold at the start.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:05 AM on February 7 [36 favorites]


I'll consult my Rotten Tomatoes shortlist of top critics and see if there's consensus.

Update: I'm officially stoked!
posted by mazola at 8:06 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


I'm a grouchy 34-year-old man, and as soon as I saw the trailer with the '80s astronaut with his helmet broken in the exact same goddamn place those helmets always broke, I knew this would be a movie for me.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:06 AM on February 7 [103 favorites]


The review at Cartoon Brew that louche moustachio links to upthread is worth a read. If anyone would call it out for stupidity/lack of imagination it would be that group, but they point out that it's actually a clever stop-motion-like approach and a decent story/good jokes.

My kid loves the Lego video games (currently playing the Harry Potter ones) and I had assumed the animation style was based on the cut scenes from those (which are often hilarious, by the way). It was a given that we'd go see it, so I was very relieved to see so many good reviews.
posted by emjaybee at 8:06 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


It can be easy to forget that the reason most merch movies suck is not that there's anything intrinsic to the form that requires them to be terrible; instead, it's that there's no pressing reason to actually make a good merch movie, since the quality of the film is incidental to the filmmaker's mission.

I saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs when it was on Netflix and I thought it was fantastic. If the same people are making a movie about LEGO, sure, I'd happily watch that. It sounds like they made a movie which is both a merch movie and also well-made. So hooray. Legos are awesome and I'm glad they have a movie that's apparently good.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:07 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Will Arnett is voicing Batman?? Ok I think I understand this now
posted by duvatney at 8:07 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


My main reason for seeing this is that it will almost certainly be a better Batman/Superman film than Man of Steel 2.
posted by permafrost at 8:07 AM on February 7 [21 favorites]


I think I need to stop reading this thread because it's making me want to see this in the theater and there is no fucking way on God's green land-plate that I can talk Mrs. Fraught into THAT.
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 8:09 AM on February 7 [7 favorites]


I didn't even know this movie was a thing until just now and now I will be seeing it immediately after work.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:13 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


We should also note that Will Ferrel plays a villain named "President Business". That makes me at least 20% sold at the start.

In the trailer, whenever Morgan Freeman says "Lord Business plans to..." I think he's saying "Lord Business Plans" which is a villain I would totally go see a movie purely on the basis of.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:14 AM on February 7 [14 favorites]


> We should also note that Will Ferrel plays a villain named "President Business".

That was the main selling point in the email a friend sent me earlier this week.

> I think I need to stop reading this thread because it's making me want to see this in the theater and there is no fucking way on God's green land-plate that I can talk Mrs. Fraught into THAT.

Me too, but the last time I got "warmed up" and went to see what was ostensibly a kids' movie it was Spice World and I still have nightmares about that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:17 AM on February 7


I'm not surprised a Lego movie can be great. But when considering what stupid bullshit their TV and direct-to-video stuff has been, I'm a little surprised that it is great.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:18 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Obviously, I assume Lord Business Plans's powers would mostly revolve around producing slick presentations, and the plot would be about keeping him from procuring a loan.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:18 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


I'm not really surprised a movie involving the Lego company turned out to be good. They've continually proven themselves to be a smart company. Early on they embraced the folks hacking their product while other companies were actively trying to squash the hackers. The result was, among other things, Lego Mindstorms. In the early days of the Internet, they were smart about letting fans use their Logo and other likenesses. They also engaged the adults who were using their product, offering them bulk purchases, knowing that those giant models the Lego user groups display at shows would only help sell more Lego bricks.

Basically they've done the opposite of what so many other companies have done.

Also, the quality of their product has remained consistent over the decades. If anything it's improved. That shit ain't cheap, it's true, but as anyone familiar with the product will tell you, lower-priced competing bricks don't even come close to the tight tolerances Lego is known for.

I'm generally a cynic, though in later years I've attempted to be less cynical, and I admit to not having high hopes for this film. But now that I've read reviews I'm asking myself why I thought that. What else should I expect from the Lego company?
posted by bondcliff at 8:18 AM on February 7 [11 favorites]


Sorry for the misleading use of "implausible" in my post text, everyone. I wasn't attempting to imply some sort of improper collusion amongst the film critics of the world. I was more trying to get at the tone within some of those reviews...one critic claims that his hands are resisting the effort to type the review, and Devin Faraci on Twitter said "I honestly don't want to say this, but THE LEGO MOVIE is a masterpiece." So at least of few of the critics appear to be finding their own positive reactions surprising. That's actually what I thought made this interesting enough to post about.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:24 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


This has been a day-one movie for our family since we saw the preview on Christmas day. It looks fantastic.

One thing I've not seen people talk much about is the fact that since Lego, via its video game business, has the license to all these great characters, it is now possible for the first time for Batman and Gandalf and Harry Potter and Indiana Jones to all exist in the same (official) fictional world. Hell, Lego ties the DC and Marvel worlds together. Which is ... awesome.
posted by jbickers at 8:25 AM on February 7 [21 favorites]


This is pretty similar to how I felt about the Lego Star Wars (and other) video games that came out almost ten years ago. How can this possibly be good, it's two licences crammed together?

Turns out it was awesome.
posted by maus at 8:26 AM on February 7 [7 favorites]


My main reason for seeing this is that it will almost certainly be a better Batman/Superman film than Man of Steel 2.

I was going to say that I thought it was benefitting from the backlash against DC's grimdark attitude in both its animated and live-action films. That's part of what interests me about it.
posted by immlass at 8:27 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


One thing I've not seen people talk much about is the fact that since Lego, via its video game business, has the license to all these great characters, it is now possible for the first time for Batman and Gandalf and Harry Potter and Indiana Jones to all exist in the same (official) fictional world. Hell, Lego ties the DC and Marvel worlds together. Which is ... awesome.

Somewhere, somebody in charge of the Heroclix franchise is sweating profusely.
posted by Shepherd at 8:31 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


And I'm not gonna lie, fact that they use Take On Me in both trailers (which I'm not ashamed to admit is still my ringtone) (and yes, I know that's the new sampled version by someone else, I don't care it's still A-Ha to me) is the cherry on top of the icing on the cake. If my movie seat doesn't have a 2-dot mini license plate with my name on it I will be secretly disappointed.
posted by Mchelly at 8:32 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


it is now possible for the first time for Batman and Gandalf and Harry Potter and Indiana Jones to all exist in the same (official) fictional world.

Can we link it to Tommy Westphall?
posted by bondcliff at 8:33 AM on February 7 [12 favorites]


This does look good from the clips I've seen. I really love the Submarine clip and the Cloud Cuckoo Land clip
posted by memebake at 8:34 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


but they point out that it's actually a clever stop-motion-like approach and a decent story/good jokes.


Jumping jacks.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:36 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the awesome track from the newly synthpoppy Tegan and Sara.
posted by Talez at 8:40 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


Lego ties the DC and Marvel worlds together. Which is ... awesome.

The Lego of Extraordinary Gentlemen
posted by permafrost at 8:41 AM on February 7 [32 favorites]


I am going tomorrow afternoon with a group of my friends and their kids and my kid and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US IS SQUEEING OUT.

And if you have not heard "Everything is AWESOME!!!" you must. Tegan And Sara *and* The Lonely Island wrapped up into and earworm that you don't WANT to get out of your head.
posted by Lucinda at 8:51 AM on February 7


Ashton says filmmakers were given wide creative leeway and no featured toys were dictated by Lego

"Warner Brothers, on the other hand, had a list that went from here to Cleveland and back again! That's, uh, off the record, obviously."
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:51 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


My young nephew is going to be getting a Princess Unikitty set for his birthday I think.
posted by memebake at 8:55 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


On a side note, here is a good explanation of how close LEGO was to bankruptcy in the early 2000s, and how licensing helped save the company (Along with some excellent management from Jorgen Vig).

As a life long LEGO maniac, I'm itching to go see the movie, but with a 2 year old, that means scheduling a sitter and so on. ARGH!
posted by Fleebnork at 9:00 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


Would you rather follow the instructions, or are you a free builder?

Follow the instructions once. Then lose them, disassemble it, and build ridiculous spaceships.

Obviously.
posted by Foosnark at 9:02 AM on February 7 [16 favorites]


I am BEYOND excited for this movie! I only got into Lego in my late 30s and spend far too much of my disposable income on the sets. I'm gonna hit a 3D screening tonight, solo, and then I'm taking my niece and nephew tomorrow morning. Happy Lego Weekend!
posted by BrianJ at 9:04 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


I really dragged my feet getting into legos. My son loves them so I wanted to be cool but felt very meh about spacecrafts and robots. Then I discovered they had a pizza shop and a tree house and castles! We're building our own Lego city. Unfortunately they make all the fun food shops in that silly girl brand which is frustrating because I like food shops but I feel unfairly stereotyped as girly just for liking food shops and houses. My mom found this pink Lego house I had as a kid but thought was lame at the time. I think it's awesome when the angry knight takes a nap in his pink flower bed. I like ninjago as a series all right actually. We'll definitely watch this when it comes to dollar theater probably. I'm excited to hear the movie is supposed to be good! I still don't really understan car/plane/truck/etc play very well. Or why the zombiepocolypse has to plague the Lego city so often (can't the zombies get cured so we can have a dance party? *no! They can't be cured uuuuargh!) I hope to hear people's reports once they see it. I like getting all festive before movies. Now if I can convince Lego to make their products in America with environmentally friendly methods.... (using the force...eeeeerm)
posted by xarnop at 9:17 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Carson at Scriptshadow reviewed an early draft of the script and he gave it a "Worth the Read". Which is saying alot... His reviews of the storyline and plot boil down to...predicatable but entertaining... and not mind-blowingly creative.

Major plot spoilers abound so be warned. ... but he did review an early draft so things might be different in the actual film.
posted by Benway at 9:19 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


or a free builder

Follow the instructions once, then add pirate cannons, jet engines and spear racks.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:19 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


Would you rather follow the instructions, or are you a free builder?

Freebuilder-on-the-land*. I have not consented to the statute law set down by LEGO in their instruction booklets.

*Green base plate really. Or vintage moon crater base plate when I'm in the mood.
posted by Kabanos at 9:24 AM on February 7 [16 favorites]


My sister and I had giant buckets of lego which we played with in abundance, so I'm rather annoyed by the idea that it's only for little boys. And I have a two and a half year old honorary niece who is already a mad fan of Duplo (she loves to make trains), so the tradition continues.
posted by tavella at 9:31 AM on February 7


Can we link it to Tommy Westphall?

Only if batman removes his mask.
posted by cmfletcher at 9:36 AM on February 7


OK, the clip in the Cartoon Brew piece made me more excited than ever for this.

Do I have two young sons? Yes I do. Are they psyched beyond all possible belief for this? Yes they are. Will I take them with me?

I guess so. The first time.
posted by The Bellman at 9:41 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Wife, 8 year old son, 10 year old daughter and ME! (and my mom) are all going tonight as soon as I get off work. Ive been so excited since the very 1st trailer…and I knew the boy was just as excited as I am this morning when he came down the stairs singing "Everything Is Awesome" as I was coming up from the basement singing the same thing.
And the girl is SQWEE excited about Unikitty too.

Everything *IS* Awesome indeed!
posted by ShawnString at 9:41 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I'm incredibly annoyed that my 7-year-old and 10-year-old nephews are seeing this at a birthday party tomorrow and not with me! Traitors for having their own friends and lives instead of being my enablers.
posted by gladly at 9:51 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


Cartoon Brew review? What? Amid LIKED something? Amid liked something LICENSED that wasn't a license that hit him in that sweet spot of being 8-15 years old?

That is, indeed, some funny damn motion and maybe I'll go get high and see it with my boyfriend when I get back home. And laugh at all kinds of inappropriate places because LOOK AT THE FUNNY LEGO MOVEMENTS.
posted by egypturnash at 9:53 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


I know a lot of people who've seen this, and they all love it. Like, love it enough to talk about it at work the next day. Adult people. Who saw it on purpose.

That is pretty meaningful, in my book.

Would definitely watch this on a plane or with my 7 year old niece.
posted by Sara C. at 10:07 AM on February 7


thinking it would be a two-hour commercial for Legos* and nothing more

Well, I mean, it is. And keep in mind that all the various characters are from Warner Brothers properties, and it's a WB movie. It very much is a two hour commercial for pre-existing products.

But, you know, if it's a good commercial for pre-existing products, why the hell not?
posted by Sara C. at 10:11 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


What does Ebert think of it?

Oh, yeah...
posted by TedW at 10:20 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


My husband and I saw a preview screening of this last weekend at the Mall of America. It was much smarter and funnier than I was expecting. The animation style felt true to the Lego parts (didn't make them all weird and flexible like some of the video games have). The cast was great too. Seeing it in a theater packed full of adult fans and their excited kids was really delightful.
posted by beandip at 10:25 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


It's hilarious to me that we're soooo far through the snark/irony zone that people genuinely refuse to believe a movie can be good.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:31 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


The interludes for the Lego: Indiana Jones edition were hilarious enough that I voluntarily rewatched them even though my ability to navigate the game was limited to bonking my companion repeatedly with a shovel. (By mistake. Usually.) I kind of want to see this movie now.
posted by jetlagaddict at 10:32 AM on February 7


I really dragged my feet getting into legos.



I thought for a second you dragged your feet in Legos.



NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by louche mustachio at 10:37 AM on February 7 [10 favorites]



Cartoon Brew review? What? Amid LIKED something? Amid liked something LICENSED that wasn't a license that hit him in that sweet spot of being 8-15 years old?



I KNOW.

That's why I felt it merited special notice. I did a quadruple take at the byline.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:40 AM on February 7


I was pretty meh, but then I got excited I saw the trailer (wait, they're actually moving like lego figures? 1980's Space Guy! Wait, rewind, wow, the helmet's even cracked just right!), then I got worried when I saw it was scheduled for February (where crappy movies go to suck) and a few of the later ads weren't nearly as clever as the first trailer. But now with the reviews and the Behind the Bricks piece, I'm excited again. Now I just need to trick some people into going with me so I'm not just that one creepy dude going to kids movies alone.
posted by ckape at 10:54 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Chris Pratt is tremendously, big-heartedly appealing and is absolutely somebody who can take a good line and make it a great line.

He's one of the main reasons I'm so psyched to see both the Lego movie and Guardians of the Galaxy.
posted by brand-gnu at 10:58 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I'm incredibly annoyed that my 7-year-old and 10-year-old nephews are seeing this at a birthday party tomorrow and not with me!

Obviously the correct solution is to move heaven & earth to ensure you see it first, then rush out the doors and babble every spoiler you can while they are still waiting in line for the next showing.
posted by aramaic at 11:02 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Well, it'll all come down to the jokes.
posted by Trochanter at 11:04 AM on February 7


My wife does not want to see this movie. She wouldn't hate it, just not that excited about it. So it's great that I have a day off on President's Day (always falls near my birthday!). And the day care is closed that day too. Which means, she works, and I take the kid to the Lego Movie. He is stoked. So am I.

Kabanos: "vintage moon crater base plate"

We had a giant bag of Lego as kids and my dad sold it all at a yard sale for $20 and didn't ask any of us first. We had two or three vintage crater plates. Those bastards sell for $20 each now, used.

All I have left is one little space guy, helmet uncracked and logo intact. I happened to mention this to a woman I was buying Lego bits through at BrickLink, and the next package she sent included a 2nd 1980's space guy (so mine would not be alone) and a vintage policeman on motorcycle for my son. I was really, really touched by that. I really want to post her profile link here to encourage others to buy from her but it seems pseudo-advertising so not sure I ought to. That's right guys, I am playing the long con, I joined MeFi 10 years ago so that I could advertise a Lego resale outlet and you'd TRUST ME
posted by caution live frogs at 11:06 AM on February 7 [19 favorites]


Is this one of the Signs of the apocalypse?

Can't speak for this film but things that are bafflingly popular that might be other signs of the Apocalypse include:

Nickelback
Doctor Who
Sherlock
Star Wars
iTunes
The Tea Party
etc.
posted by juiceCake at 11:06 AM on February 7


I don't get the love for "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs". It was kind of pedestrian and boring. I "walked out" on it (read: did chores around the house) halfway through.

But I'm a sucker for animation, so I guess I'll be seeing the Lego movie on Netflix later this year. :-)
posted by smidgen at 11:11 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


IN 2015, THE WORLD WILL WOBBLE.

BUT IT WILL NOT

(bwaaaaaaarm)

FALL

(bwaaaarm)

DOWN

(rising high pitched noise reaches maximum intensity, a 1000 foot high wall composed of giant weebles starts toppling in a cresting wave, weebles are shown crashing into the ground next to panicing pedestrians, one metallic silver weeble is shown gradually wobbling to a halt as the trailer smash-cuts to silence)
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:12 AM on February 7 [28 favorites]


I was at the premiere; the positive vibe was practically palpable.
posted by starscream at 11:16 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


This is probably my 2nd or 3rd most anticipated movie this year (behind How to Train Your Dragon 2 and maybe Guardians of the Galaxy) and I totally forgot it was actually opening this weekend. Damnit.
posted by kmz at 11:18 AM on February 7


But apparently the film adheres to representing only the motion you could achieve with stop motion even in the CGI portions.

Is this movie a tie-in to the plastic toys, or is it a tie-in to the Lego video game franchise?


If the stop-motion claim is true, then it's definitely more of a tie-in with the toys, because in the video games, the characters are made of some kind of T-1000 plastic that can bend however the animators want it to.

(Playing LEGO Marvel Heroes -- which is AWESOME! -- every time I'd google for info about one of the characters, I'd get results about the toys and kept being surprised by the realization that, as popular as the video games are, the LEGO toy versions of these characters are still a much bigger deal.)
posted by straight at 11:23 AM on February 7


My oldest son is going to this movie with his friend and he's been talking about it for months. Partly because he can't wait for the movie, partly because she can't wait for the movie, but I think mostly because it looks all kinds of awesome. I can't wait until they get to go and I hope they enjoy it like I would have wanted to when I was 10. From what I've seen they will both have silly smiles when they get out and I can't wait.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:39 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


rising high pitched noise reaches maximum intensity, a 1000 foot high wall composed of giant weebles starts toppling in a cresting wave, weebles are shown crashing into the ground next to panicing pedestrians, one metallic silver weeble is shown gradually wobbling to a halt as the trailer smash-cuts to silence

One of the more forceful movements from Carmina Burana crescendoes in the backround.
posted by Sara C. at 11:43 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


The insane thing is that Battleship literally is that exact movie in real actual life that millions of dollars were spent on, both to make, and to watch. Crazy.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:55 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


The people in these links talk about "children", but from I know of this movie, they're really talking about "boys".

Another data point saying my 7 year old niece who is a fan of fashion, Katy Perry and American Girl dolls also loves her legos and will be seeing this movie this weekend.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:58 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


My young nephew is going to be getting a Princess Unikitty set for his birthday I think.

That clip is worth it just for the second of Dinosaur Man and Clown playing "Does this bug you? I'm not touching you!" with Batman, growling out a sullen "I HATE THIS PLACE."
posted by JHarris at 12:04 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


I knew IT! This movie is going to be a hit!
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 12:29 PM on February 7


It's hilarious to me that we're soooo far through the snark/irony zone that people genuinely refuse to believe a movie can be good.

At first I was sad about it, but yeah sure I can loosen up and laugh at it too.
posted by dogwalker at 12:29 PM on February 7


This is pretty similar to how I felt about the Lego Star Wars (and other) video games that came out almost ten years ago. How can this possibly be good, it's two licences crammed together?

This seems like it might be the right thread for This.

My main reason for seeing this is that it will almost certainly be a better Batman/Superman film than Man of Steel 2.

And hey, maybe also This.

I am so looking forward to this movie.
posted by instead of three wishes at 12:36 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


My eight year old daughter loves American Girl, fashion, Legos (both kinds), Hot Wheels and Go-karting. Children contain multitudes, they're just smaller than adult-sized multitudes.
posted by davejay at 12:51 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


[Cloudy] was kind of pedestrian and boring

Well, it's a kids movie of course. But it really had some sequences that were a bit more sublime than the typical Dreamworks gack. Like the Jell-O Castle scene.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:04 PM on February 7


OMG, Anthony Daniels voicing C-3PO and Billy Dee Williams voicing Lando, but Harrison Ford opted out? What a d*ck!
posted by scolbath at 1:14 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


We are pumped and primed. I have a 5 year old son (this guy). I am having as much fun with Lego as he is, probably more, and it is equally difficult for my wife to pry me away as it is him from Lego City which is in a perpetual state of construction on the floor of his bedroom. In fact, between the police station, fire station, water front, ocean, airport, junkyard with bad guy hideout, city park, and gas station, it is no longer possible to use his bedroom for anything other than Lego construction. We started with seeds of my old Lego from when I was a kid and have added from there.

He's never seen a movie in the theater before, but he is a freak for popcorn and Junior Mints, which his mother never lets him eat. I bought our Saturday matinee tickets for tomorrow weeks ago. I think what puts this over the top for me was that Emmet in one of the trailers refers to one of the characters as "1980-something worn out astronaut dude" and realizing that our home Lego collection contains several 1980-something worn out astronaut dudes. That and the fact that all the smoke and fire from the explosions are also made from Lego. Also, the fact that all the Lego movie tie-in kits for sale at the Lego store look like a mish mash of random Lego from different sets put together, exactly the way a kid would put it together.

This film gives all the indications that the people who made it have really read the audience exactly correct. The fact that the reviews are uniformly positive is icing on the cake and probably irrelevant.
posted by Random Person at 1:18 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


Kyle Smith (New York Post) is my anti-critic. I tend to hate everything he loves (Watchmen 100 "Director Zack Snyder's cerebral, scintillating follow-up to "300" seems, to even a weary filmgoer's eye, as fresh and magnificent in sound and vision as "2001" must have seemed in 1968") and love everything he hates (Fast Food Nation "If I wanted to spend $10.75 making myself sick, I'd buy a bottle of cheap tequila.")
According to Metacritic, he gave this movie the lowest score among the 37 critics. Which means it must be a masterpiece.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:05 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


I just got back from seeing it and can say that it was fun. For a given value of "I have been around long enough to remember the classic spaceship, and understand most of the cultural references." Brilliantly executed, well voiced, quick-paced and smart. The only slog comes around the moments accompanied by the forced melancholy of piano and violin music aimed squarely at parental guilt. Don't worry, you'll know it when you see it.

Morgan Freeman was, of course, awesome.

Vitruvius as a character name? Didn't even get it until I was driving home, and then laughed my head off with the realization, conveniently timed to coincide with a bridge crossing.

Well done, Lego.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:06 PM on February 7


I watched the trailer and thought it looked terrible. I couldn't be more surprised that it actually looks good.
posted by zardoz at 2:09 PM on February 7


This does look good from the clips I've seen. I really love the Submarine clip and the Cloud Cuckoo Land clip

Anything that references Aristophanes' Birds is ok in my book.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 2:16 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Does anybody else find it weird that there's an entire discussion around a movie that nobody apparently has seen? It's almost like a satire of the site..
posted by touchstone033 at 2:23 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Well, it came out today.
posted by EmGeeJay at 2:37 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


I am a 55 y.o. female who was hooked on the things and played with them till high school. My older brother liked them, but wasn't as addicted. This was way before there were kits. IT WAS SO ENTERTAINING!

Years later along came nephews who played with the kits that had magically developed along the way. They added these pieces to the trunk full of ones left from our childhood. They multiplied into two trunksworth.

The nephew who wanted them has now handed them over to his oldest child.

If these blocks could talk, just image the lovely things they could share.
posted by mightshould at 2:44 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


Where the heck are you guys seeing these seemingly exciting trailers? I only ever see previews for this movie that make me audibly groan, like, "not another movie that totally underestimates kids with a plethora of scenes in which a character with gravitas is confronted with some silly situation to which they reply '*sigh* I hate it here' or 'or we could to it *that* way' or another of those infinitely-repeated 'whoaa haha this got silly' lines." But then again, I did see these trailers on the only television stations I watch when I have access to a television, which are...hem...Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. So. That could be a factor in how those were edited.
posted by Mooseli at 2:56 PM on February 7


...one metallic silver weeble is shown gradually wobbling to a halt as the trailer smash-cuts to silence)

Jump cut to the love interest. Action girlfriend enters.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:10 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


the last time I got "warmed up" and went to see what was ostensibly a kids' movie it was Spice World and I still have nightmares about that.

Wait what? It's not a GREAT movie, but it's basically a remake of A Hard Day's Night, and it's pretty clever all around. Great cameo fest and overall entertaining. If that is nightmare fuel for you, I bet you eschew basically all media.
posted by hippybear at 3:14 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


Anyway, back on topic, I read about 10 reviews of this movie from widely varying sources earlier today and was astounded to hear how subversive it was and how much people enjoyed it overall. Nearly made me want to pay to see it instead of wait for it to hit the premium channels I pay for monthly. NEARLY.
posted by hippybear at 3:19 PM on February 7


We should also note that Will Ferrel plays a villain named "President Business". That makes me at least 20% sold at the start.

In the trailer, whenever Morgan Freeman says "Lord Business plans to..." I think he's saying "Lord Business Plans" which is a villain I would totally go see a movie purely on the basis of.


I mentioned this to my younger brother, who says that apparently, around 20 years ago (around which time I was outgrowing LEGO and moving on to Warhammer), LEGO sets came with cheap little comic books, and in the story in these comic books, the villain was named Lord Business. So apparently the roots of President/Lord Business go waaaay back.
posted by mstokes650 at 5:12 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


We were in the Lego store in west London last weekend, and I can confirm that there is a range of toys tying in with the movie. That's not the incredible thing. The incredible thing is that they were giving a free Lego Movie Lego kit to every customer.

"That's really cool!" I said. "We're going to be there, day one!" and they gave me a second one.

It's a little thing but not that little--would probably retail for £5-6. It's the protagonist of the movie and a sort-of crystalline thing called the Piece of Resistance. It look interesting and does a flicky thing. It was the first thing my 6yo daughter demanded to make when we got home, and we'd spent a bundle on Chima stuff. She digs Chima.

Free Lego.

The same store helped me make Christmas amazing for my daughter: on discovering that the only way to get a minifig of Asoka, the female character from Clone Wars, was to buy a £35 kit of an ugly starship, they opened up a display case and sold me the display figure. "Is £2 okay?" they asked in a slightly apologetic tone. Dude, I'd have paid you £10.

They're working very hard to be a loved brand, not just a loved toy.
posted by Hogshead at 5:27 PM on February 7 [9 favorites]


Today a weird thing happened: I laughed at a poster in the window of a McDonalds, which had a big picture of Lego Batman and the words: "I LIKE MY MILK DARK. LIKE THE NIGHT."
posted by JHarris at 5:28 PM on February 7 [8 favorites]


I watched the trailer and it kind of looked like the Michael Bay of kid's movies. Everything supersized, sarcastic, jet-powered, exploding, and 2Kool4U.

I dunno. I guess the lofi premise of a Lego movie kind of primed me for some of the stop-motion whimsy of A Town Called Panic, rather than for the loud stupidity of Robot Chicken.
posted by dgaicun at 5:42 PM on February 7


Spice World is a really difficult film for me, because one the one hand, I love it -- and I mean love it with a childlike glee not seen since the time my aunt gave me a whole ream of paper for Christmas -- but the year after I saw it, I went away to film school. So I know I'm supposed to hate it. So many of the movies I liked as a teenager were cut down to size by film school and replaced by hundreds of new favorites.

But Spice World? Fuck the haters. Spice World is great.
posted by Sara C. at 5:58 PM on February 7 [8 favorites]


Holy. Crap.

This was the Caddyshack of kids' movies. I am dead serious. Kidnap a child if you need an excuse to see this movie.
posted by Etrigan at 5:59 PM on February 7 [17 favorites]


Does anybody else find it weird that there's an entire discussion around a movie that nobody apparently has seen? It's almost like a satire of the site..

Well, some folks here have seen it, but this is not weird and absolutely the norm for movie threads here.
posted by dogwalker at 6:15 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I just got back from the theater, after convincing my wife to come see it with me. You guys, it's amazing. The Lego Movie is goofy and ridiculous, and it's not just aware of the fact, it downright revels in it. It wallows in pop culture and Lego history without ever cheaply pandering, and the story's message is downright subversive for a Hollywood kids' movie. Seriously, don't miss this.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:42 PM on February 7 [8 favorites]


"Is that last name Butt, first name Faint?"
posted by Etrigan at 6:51 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


Faint of Butt, my 10-y.o. and 6-y.o. were in agreement: too many jokes for grownups. They got the broad point, and caught most of the Lego universe jokes, but missed a lot too -- I feel like I have to show my 10 y.-o. "The Matrix" to help him understand the premise. Heck, even I could do with an annotated list of pop cultural references. But the look of the thing blew us all away. I felt like it was worth seeing on the big screen because so many of the shots are so richly detailed. And it now occurs to me that because it is so saturated in its own universe, the human actors ended up getting into uncanny valley territory while Emmet and co. looked at home. That damn music! I wanted it to be parody too, and felt a little beaten over the head -- the scenes at the end made perfect sense internally, but I founds them jarring, cloying and tacked on, not at all organic to the rest of the movie's look, pace, and tone.

Also, I should ask whether pirate faces were involved in making you Faint.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:54 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


You people are nuts. That Scene was perfect and in tune with the rest of the movie.
posted by Etrigan at 6:57 PM on February 7


As it happens, I have a ten year old daughter with whom I've been building stuff out of Lego since she was five. Today is actually, no kidding, her birthday, but she is attending a slumber party hosted by a friend who shares the same birthday. And then tomorrow night, hosting a different bunch of friends at an overnight party of her own. So, it's gonna be Sunday before she's available to go see this thing with me.

Which, you know...goddamnit!
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:03 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Will happily concede sanity. Still disagree: Those Scenes put firmly back into place what the rest of the movie pokes fun at.

Now waiting on the second movie, "Revenge of the Duplo."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:03 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Just saw it. I can't recall the last time I laughed this much at a movie. There were moments when audience members literally cried out in astonishment. And it may have provided the most Charlie Day moment that Charlie Day has ever produced.

Also, I think this is my favorite Batman.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:07 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


My wife does not want to see this movie. She wouldn't hate it, just not that excited about it.

I don't like kid movies and haven't ever been terribly interested in Lego, but my 11 year old son just needed some cheering up, so I reluctantly dragged myself to the theatre tonight and I have to say, I LOVED THIS MOVIE. I was engaged by the storyline, laughed at the jokes and was thoroughly entertained. I think we might see it again with my adult sons (who are seriously geeked out about it).
posted by hollygoheavy at 8:21 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Also, this is the first movie I've been to in years where the audience clapped and cheered at the end.
posted by hollygoheavy at 8:21 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


the time my aunt gave me a whole ream of paper for Christmas

... what?
posted by kiltedtaco at 8:39 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


And it may have provided the most Charlie Day moment that Charlie Day has ever produced.

The theater staff was already rolling their eyes at all the people coming out yelling "SPACESHIP!"

Also, I think this is my favorite Batman.

If you've ever wondered what would have happened if George and Lucille Bluth had been killed by a mugger when GOB was a kid... well, now we know.
posted by Etrigan at 8:41 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


kiltedtaco, that was my all time favorite Christmas present as a child. A ream of paper and a gorgeous set of colored pencils.

I mean, the sheer idea that there could be 500 blank sheets of paper in the world at the same time was pretty amazing. But to find out that they all belonged to me? Life changing.

Not too different from LEGO, I guess.
posted by Sara C. at 8:48 PM on February 7 [9 favorites]


Just to update my previous post, the Piece of Resistance toy that the Lego stores were giving away last week bears no resemblance to the Piece of Resistance that appears in the movie. Weird.
posted by Hogshead at 10:09 AM on February 8


I was already hyped to see this, even before I read the thread.

How hyped?

I bought a Wyldstyle mini-fig off of ebay. And not the one from the bags of individual mini-figs, but one from one of the actual sets.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:56 AM on February 8


People who have seen it, is it age-appropriate for a 6 year old and 4 year old?
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:20 PM on February 8


Yes, if they can handle cartoon violence. It never seemed too loud, and the romance subplot was resolved by hand-holding.
posted by Etrigan at 12:34 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Oh, but one thing -- don't bother with the 3D. It's never really added-value.
posted by Etrigan at 12:37 PM on February 8


Oh, but one thing -- don't bother with the 3D. It's never really added-value.

Do you mean, this film specifically? Because I have a short list of films where 3D was a HUGE added value. (Most of them, I agree, it's not worth it.)
posted by hippybear at 12:39 PM on February 8


No, just this one.
posted by Etrigan at 12:40 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


Lobstermitten: (possible tiny spoiler ahead) Yes. It's all LEGO on LEGO fighting, no bleeding. They try to make the toy figures act like a child is playing with them, so there are scenes where a LEGO appendage is knocked off (and in most instances it happens to a LEGO robot).
posted by FJT at 12:42 PM on February 8


Thank you guys!
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:06 PM on February 8


Just saw it with a 8, 6 and 4 year old. This movie is going to be a hit. It has an ear worm song, "Awesome", and a plot rich enough to keep children and adults amused. It was fun and the voices were great. My children adored the film.
posted by jadepearl at 1:52 PM on February 8


It was magnificent.

For my five year old, there was a bit much to look at on the screen and a bit more fast moving than he's used to, but in terms of violence, language, body humor, etc there was nothing that needed explaining to him. There is one death of a main character but it was handled in a fairly non-disturbing way.

There were definitely things only I enjoyed, and there were definitely things that only he enjoyed, but all in all it was an extremely smart, self aware, subversive film that was unlike anything else I've seen. I think this is destined to be a classic, in a ground-breaking way, not unlike Wizard of Oz, Snow White, or Toy Story. I mean that.
posted by Random Person at 2:58 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, skip the 3D if you have small kids. It was extremely visually stimulating and potentially very distracting with the whole Lego-based world thing and I think the 3D would be just too much for little minds already in the process of being blown.

The first thing my kid said out of the theater was "That was a really different kind of movie." (The second thing was "Spaceship!")

totally agree this is the best Batman. this one has a Batmobile with subwoofers.
posted by Random Person at 3:04 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


We took the family to see the movie today. It was the three year old's first family movie trip and we were ready for the worst and were fully ready to get up and leave 15 minutes into the movie but he remained pretty engaged throughout.

Best part of the movie, though, was during the Builder Council scene where both my 3 year old son and I leaned towards my wife who was sitting between us at the same time and said, "Look! A ghost!"

*sniff* That's my boy. You can play with my legos any time.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:54 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


AND OH SNAP I KNOW ITS AGAINST THE THEME OF THE MOVIE BUT THERE IS A METALBEARD SET AND GODDAMN I NEEDS ME A METALBEARD ON MY DESK
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:45 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


Just got back. It was pretty awesome. Just a fun story, good characters, no "in your face" pushing of Lego products and a lot of great jokes.

Me and The Boy went to see it in 3D. There wasn't really much that was "OH LOOK THIS THING IS COMING AT YOU ISN'T IT COOL IN 3D!" so I don't know if it's really worth the extra money for 3D.

SPACESHIP!

Nitpick: Classic Space minifigs were just white and red. Then came Yellow. Blue didn't come for a couple more years, though in the movie they did refer to him as "1980-something." so I guess it's all good..
posted by bondcliff at 5:01 PM on February 8


Yeah, so, I didn't think I would start crying during the Lego movie, but there I was, sobbing like a baby, just totally... in awe. I think the thing is that it took me by surprise. My shields, they were not up.
posted by kbanas at 5:32 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


KCRW has an interview with producer Dan Lin on The Business about how the movie got made. It's mostly a valedictory, we-worked-hard-and-were-sincere-and-ignored-the-haters thing, but fun.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:31 AM on February 9


I wish my dad was as cool as Will Ferrell.

(added to sentences I never thought I'd utter.)
posted by DigDoug at 10:35 AM on February 9


MetaFilter: sentences I never thought I'd utter
posted by hippybear at 2:25 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Via Bleedin' Cool
One of the prime time ad breaks on ITV tonight was filled with re-made commercials, all recreated in Lego animation. This has required Lego Lenny Henry, Lego Daniel Rigby and Lego Vinnie Jones.
It’s a creative bit of marketing for The Lego Movie as well as three straight-up promos for other, existing advertisers. It’s multiple layers of marketing, sure, but it’s really not a bad idea.


So Very Meta.
posted by Mezentian at 5:14 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


For those of us in 'Straylia we have to wait until APRIL.
APRIL.
posted by Mezentian at 5:16 PM on February 9


April is the cruelest month
posted by hippybear at 5:41 PM on February 9


For those of us in 'Straylia we have to wait until APRIL.

TV networks have learned to "fast track" things to Australia. I know distribution and release of films is way different, but this sort of shit leads to piracy.
posted by crossoverman at 6:38 PM on February 9


I figure they're holding it off for the Easter school holidays.
Because... of course, kids are patient.
posted by Mezentian at 6:44 PM on February 9


People who have seen it, is it age-appropriate for a 6 year old and 4 year old?

I took a 4 and 6 today, in fact, and they loved it. The only time my son got freaked out was when the hero had to give a speech for which he had not prepared.

That's my boy.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:41 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


My reaction, FWIW: I spent the first half of the movie with that old "soft bigotry of low expectations" quote in my head. Amusing, not wonderful. Then it got deep in the second act and I thought okay, this is getting pretty good. Then I started crying at Will Frigging Ferrell and fine, here's my money.

TL;DR: SPACESHIP.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:45 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Which seal of the Apocalypse are we on now?

Because I went to check Metafiler's favourite movie critic, Armond White, and he enjoyed it.

He did put what I think is a bit of a spoilers in his review though, I think (it seems like one), so he's still trying to suck happiness from the world.
posted by Mezentian at 10:16 PM on February 9


So I've looked at some of the sets for the movie, and Benny's Spaceship costs $125. But it contains ASTRO-KITTY, which is like nearly a must-own.

C'mon Lego, I'm not made of money here!
posted by JHarris at 10:55 PM on February 9


Saw it with my boy this weekend, and we both LOVED it. I concur with those folks who are putting it alongside Toy Story. It works on so many levels. We both cried at the "twist," for our own separate reasons.

Possibly my favorite part was Batman's original song ("It's about me being an orphan ... DARKNESS! NO PARENTS!"), a spot-on put-down of the Dark Knight trilogy, which is just ridiculous in its over-the-top bleakness.
posted by jbickers at 5:39 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Watching the movie was awesome! Saw the trailer for it during the Doctor Who 50th anniversary movie theater event, and my friend turned to me and said, "We have to see this". On a lark, I remembered that, and asked if we were going to see it, and we were there on Friday ... seemingly the only grown ups in a crowd of families.

One of us noted that this was the first appearance of Wonder Woman on the big screen, which I think is technically true. Am I wrong?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:47 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Took our 5 and 7 year old to see it this weekend. It is just that good. Everything IS awesome.
posted by jferg at 8:31 AM on February 10


I may have actually squeed yesterday when my boyfriend agreed we could go see this on a date tomorrow.

Of course then I woke up this morning with what feels like the flu so shit.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:53 AM on February 10


Think Progress: "An Amazing Critique of American Mass Culture"
posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:22 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Fox News slams The Lego Movie for being Anti-Business:
Payne asks, "Why is the head of a corporation, where they hire people, people go to work, they pay their rent, their mortgage, they put their kids through college, they feed their families, they give to charities, they give to churches... why would the CEO be an easy target?"


Why? WHY would the bootstrappy mega-rich overlords be an easy target? WHY?
posted by Mezentian at 2:46 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Apparently in Australia this is going to be called Lego: The Piece Of Resistance and isn't out until April. Reading this thread I was actually thinking "Man, I'd love to go and see this with my girlfriend on the big screen this weekend", but for whatever reason somebody somewhere has decided that it's going to be better for me to download it from Kickasstorrents. Weird.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:48 PM on February 10


Lego: The Piece Of Resistance
It is? I haven't seen advertising of that, and IMDB doesn't list that as anything other than a working title.

somebody somewhere has decided that it's going to be better for me to download it from Kickasstorrents. Weird.

School holidays, I figure. Because kids clearly don't go to the pictures outside of holidays. (Oh, if that were but true). NZ gets it two weeks later still. But it was shot in Sydney. How does that make sense.

But enjoy your fuzzy cam copy with Russian sub-titles!
posted by Mezentian at 3:06 PM on February 10


...but for whatever reason somebody somewhere has decided that it's going to be better for me to download it from Kickasstorrents. Weird.

That person would be you? I mean, I kid slightly, but...
posted by Going To Maine at 3:12 PM on February 10


Saw this last night with three five year olds - two girls and one boy - and another dad. I was giggling. Sitting on the edge of my seat giggling next to my daughter, who was doing the same thing. The adult themes and references just seemed to collide almost all the way through the movie in new hilarious ways, and never got old. And then the end just hit me like a ton of bricks. Blue, pink, purple, yellow, and of course black bricks. Everything is awesome!

The kids liked it too.
posted by Big_B at 3:36 PM on February 10


Official Music Video for The Lego Movie's "Everything Is Awesome" Is Here, and It's, Well, Y'know.

Is this ear-wormy enough to replace 'Let It Go'? It just might be.
posted by Mezentian at 3:41 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Token link to the video for Fell In Love With A Girl
posted by Going To Maine at 3:56 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


The Little Girl from the 1981 Lego ad has grown up and she has something to say - about Lego and advertising, not necessarily about the movie
posted by crossoverman at 11:53 AM on February 11 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I think the author of that article has a lot to say, but Rachel Giordano really only says that Legos in 1981 were "simple and gender-neutral" which is patently not true. There were sets marketed to girls back then too.

Don't get me wrong the pink is for girls thing can be icky, but as much as we have tried as parents to get our girls to not be stuck in gender roles, the older one certainly gravitates to the pink/princess ones in everything. Even when options are presented. The 2 year old loves her hand-me-down zebra pajamas that were from an older boy we know, so maybe we did better with her so far...
posted by Big_B at 1:14 PM on February 11


So my 10-year-old says that The Lego Movie passes the Bechdel test -- but only if, as he remembers it, Wyldstyle and Uni-kitty talk to each other about the mission.

I'm so proud. I started to explain it when he cut me off, named the female characters and told me they talk to each other about something other than men. Yes!
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:50 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]


My earlier post got munched. Here are some more links of Lego Movie action and inspiration:

Behind the Bricks -- Interviews with the characters

Lego Movie B-Roll -- Voice actors shown doing their lines

ITV Adverts done in Lego Style

Unscripted Interview with Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pratt and Will Arnett
posted by jadepearl at 9:13 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Listen to the entirety of The Lego Movie's awe-inspiring Batman song.

Mark Mothersbaugh did this? No wonder it's awesome.
posted by Mezentian at 5:07 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


The Lego Movie - Official "Bloopers" Clip (I haven't seen the movie yet, and I didn't think this was spoilery.)
posted by gladly at 3:59 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Just got back from seeing it - I had a blast. Two of the three Lego-ified adverts got shown on the big screen before the movie here, which I wasn't expecting.

When I wasn't laughing out loud at the jokes or appreciating the many many references, I couldn't stop admiring the animation. The texture of the plastic was perfect (not just smooth and shiny, like they could have gotten away with) and they really nailed the feel of stop-motion. The sort of choppiness? It wasn't there all the time, but I found it really charming when I did notice it.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:01 PM on February 14


you guys this movie is

wait for it

TOTALLY AWESOME

legitimately if you don't tear up a bit you might not have a soul though maybe you'll have a spaceship! or a double-decker couch! I cannot understand why you would pay money to watch a movie right now that isn't this one unless you're suffering from Stepping On a Lego Traumatic Syndrome, which, okay, understandable

but seriously, please watch this movie
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:55 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


Made my husband take me for Valentine's Day. Fun movie. SPACESHIP!!!!
posted by misha at 6:22 PM on February 15


I just saw it and loved it and immediately bought a Unikitty Lego Set!
posted by SarahElizaP at 9:41 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Loved it. I haven't loved a movie this much since... maybe ever, honestly.

Everything about it is awesome.
posted by Foosnark at 6:46 AM on February 17


So, so, so good. I saw it yesterday and thinking about the ghost fx and the very end made me grin like an idiot all day long today. Also Batman's song.

Also, it's crazy how quickly and thoroughly I did a 180 on Chris Pratt. I didn't care for him all that much up through Parks and Rec season 1, but ever since season 2 he's just gotten better and better all the time in everything I've seen him in. Can't wait for Guardians of the Galaxy.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:32 PM on February 17


I am finally getting to see this tonight, we had to reschedule last week.

I AM SO EXCITED I HAVE ALL THESE FEELS
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:31 AM on February 18


I haven't seen it yet either, no money to spare, but soon!
posted by JHarris at 12:36 PM on February 18


Can't wait for Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy 15 Second Trailer Teaser
posted by homunculus at 5:08 PM on February 18


OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN THAT WAS SO GOOD

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:54 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Guardians of the Galaxy 15 Second Trailer Teaser

And the full trailer! So psyched.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:32 PM on February 18


Saw it tonight! Yes, it was terrific. The list of Master Builders was a highlight, containing "Michelangelo" twice, once for the painter and once for the Ninja Turtle, and pronounced slightly differently for each. But it also included Milhouse! Glad to see some love for Milhouse.
posted by JHarris at 9:54 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Morgan Freeman seemed to be having a lot of fun in his role - he doesn't do a lot of comedy, but he was right on top of it here, more than holding his own with some serious comedic talent. It was also fun hearing Liam Neeson chew scenery with his action-hero voice in his native accent, too - and immediately switch it up with "dad playing legos with a kid" voice for Good Cop.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:46 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


And the full trailer! So psyched.

I don't think I've ever read an issue of Guardians in my life and yet I am really excited to see this movie. I hope it's either fun or terrible, because I couldn't take it if something like this was just meh.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:43 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


So my tax refund came in today and I was feeling a little splurgey, so I got a couple of the Lego Movie random minifig bags, where you pay about $3.50 or so and you get a bag with a random figure from a set, in this case from out of 16 possibilities.

I got two Abraham Lincolns. I choose to interpret that as major win.
posted by JHarris at 4:55 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Welcome to Finn's Basement, an Actual Set Used in the Filming of the LEGO MOVIE!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:59 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Welcome to Finn's Basement, an Actual Set Used in the Filming of the LEGO MOVIE!

Well, I was going to help my kid organize his Lego pieces, but, um...never mind. He says to say "That's awesome!"
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:27 AM on February 21


Welcome to Finn's Basement, an Actual Set Used in the Filming of the LEGO MOVIE!

I want to go to there!

Also I love that the "think tank" had a Basement counterpart - really nice touch that I missed in the film.
posted by Mchelly at 11:43 AM on February 21


Wow. At the going price for Lego, even one of those buildings must cost hundreds of dollars, if not thousands. Judging from that, not to mention the sheer size of that basement, Finn's family must be really well-off.

The Lego Movie 2 will probably take place among a working class family's Lego collection. It'll consist of a minifig running and jumping alone around a 16-stud square baseplate universe, slowly going insane.
posted by JHarris at 11:51 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


I think it's from the Lego Movie Experience at Legoland. You can see the word "experience" in the background of one of the pictures.
posted by Big_B at 11:53 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Look, I dream of the family legos being organized. All I stare at is bins of disorganized legos that were bought in giant lots. I maybe in possession of that one lego piece that is a grail piece to a very elaborate world, but who knows. I envied the master builders, in the film, being able to look at pieces and immediately know the part number.
posted by jadepearl at 1:18 PM on February 21


My kids came home from the LEGO movie distraught. Because some of their friends didn't think it was utterly brilliant and actually made fun of it. And now they're having to re-evaluate those friendships.
posted by straight at 10:21 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


So what you're saying is you've raised your kids right.

I approve.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:21 AM on February 22


We finally got to see this tonight. Benny the 80s Space Guy realizing he could finally build his dream was the most personal "Hey, Fifteen Schnitzegruben, we GET YOU," moment I've had in a film in a long time.

Also really glad we stayed through to the end to hear the full majesty of Batman.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:17 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Judging from that, not to mention the sheer size of that basement, Finn's family must be really well-off.

In the '80s, we would have called this "suburban middle-class" - back then, even blue collar workers could afford a house and a hobby that required regular injections of disposable income.

It's utterly enraging to me that this is now considered the province of the "well off." It's an insidious sort of right-wing propaganda that's insinuated itself into common consciousness: class envy aimed at those left in the middle. We have more manufacturers of luxury and exotic cars doing business in the US than manufacturers of family sedans, and it's the office worker with a mortgage and a lego habit who's considered "well off."

(Not a dig at JHarris - it's not his fault, it's just a sign of the times that makes me grumpy and kinda worried about the future.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:46 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


The tie-in Chrome experiment
posted by Going To Maine at 9:36 AM on February 23


Art of the Title talks to Alma Mater's Creative Director Brian Mah, VFX Supervisor James Anderson and Exec Producer Kathy Kelehan about the stop-motion, actual-Lego-using credits of the CGI Lego movie.

TL;DR - Guys! There's a free digital Lego visualization program!
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:36 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


My son and I LOVED the movie. His name is Finn by the way, and he is the proud owner of every remaining Lego I owned - I gave him the few sets I had when he turned 4. The only exception was my single 1980-something yellow space guy. He was distraught after the show, because somehow he got it into his head that if he built a spaceship I would give him my space man. So, quick trip to BrickLink scored him not one but TWO blue 1980-something space guys, with the redesigned helmet so it won't crack and will work with the extra visors he has. He was thrilled.

Bonus: at Target this weekend, saw a box of minifigs. I checked one package and realized it had a small 2x2 flat piece. I could feel it inside. Checked the box, saw that only two guys had that price - Bad Cop's phone, and Emmet's plans. Guessed it was Emmet, and I was right. The kid is happy.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:42 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


PS: after the movie he has taken to running into the kitchen sans trousers and yelling "MOMMY, WHERE ARE MY PAAAAAANTS?" It kills me every time.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:45 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think if someone decided to actually make Where's My Pants, my kid would be parked in front of the set waiting to watch it. He's already asked for that to be his Purim costume.
posted by Mchelly at 9:32 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Checked the box, saw that only two guys had that price - Bad Cop's phone, and Emmet's plans. Guessed it was Emmet, and I was right. The kid is happy.

Abraham Lincoln has it too, it's the Gettysburg Address.

(ABRAM LINCON RULEZ)
posted by JHarris at 12:46 PM on February 27


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