Film Review: The Lego Movie

2014 animated comedy/action: Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller; starring: Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, and Alison Brie (among many, many others).

[rated PG] Stars given: 5/ 5 because EVERYTHING IS AWESOME.

People used to ask how far computer generated images (or CGI) could go in the film industry; now, people wonder if it has gone too far. People, props, and even entire places can be completely filled in by a computer, superimposed over a flat, marked surface— the proverbial “green screen” effect.

What if I told you that filmmakers can now make a CGI film look like a stop motion film look like a CGI film?

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Wow… even he looks baffled.

Yes, “The Lego Movie” has achieved one of the greatest film paradoxes seen in a long time: making CGI look like stop motion, while making stop motion seem like CGI. From studying the wear a real LEGO would take on over the years—Benny the 80s-something space guy, we’re looking at you! —to using pieces such as the “lightsaber rods” for SFX, everything about this film is a tribute to both the company’s long-running history and the fans’ use of LEGOs for their own stop motion—or, as LEGO has coined the phrase “brick motion” —short films.

It is reasonable to say that the graphics alone are worth shelling out the money to see this “master-piece” on the big screen, but, perhaps you are not willing to sit through something that, with its wide range of A-listed actors, all cast to voice figures based off a long-standing and popular toy brand, completely done up in bright colors that attract both children and hummingbirds alike, looks like it has all the makings to be another annoyingly blockbuster of a children’s summer movie.

Never fear! “The Lego Movie” manages to overcome all of those indications! Rather than lean heavily on its cast, the film thrives on its clever dialogue and smart humor. Even though it seems aimed for the “six to twelve” group of seat-fillers, adults will not suffer through this one. Perfect pacing, well timed jokes, and a touching surprise twist in the third act all come together to make sure that there isn’t a single person out there that will regret paying movie theater prices to see this one.

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It is hard to find fault with a film that you could go frame-by-frame through and still never see every single thing it has to offer, making “The Lego Movie” an incredible 5 out of 5 in my book.  Everything about this movie is just so… well…

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