Traditionally, January and February are movie graveyards. It is the place where you can find the ditches dug by movie studios for where they dump their films that they expect to be dead bodies. The reason why is that half the country is snowed in, most of us are depressed with winter and typically no one goes out to the movies. No film released in February has ever broken the coveted $100 million mark in its release and when you look over the list of the most lucrative movies to come out this month, the list of movies that are actually good is staggeringly slim. Because The Lego Movie is released in 3D and is being highly recommended to see it in 3D coupled with the fact that it's one of the greatest children's movies ever made, I think we may have our first $100 million release.
You read that right, by the way. I think The Lego Movie is one of the greatest children's movies ever made and I know how bold of a statement that is. I stand by every word. I have never enjoyed any of the efforts Lego has made to break into TV and video games. I know they have their fan base and I know that some are very good. I just never saw the appeal. So when I saw the trailer for this film it was met with a massive eye roll. I even sat down at a screening of it with a relative chip on my shoulder because I was thinking of something better I'd rather do, but after only 5 minutes of watching it, I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do than go on that Lego journey.
The film has an all-star comedy cast that consists of Chris Pratt (NBC's Parks and Recreation, Her), Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect, The Hunger Games series), Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Blades of Glory), Nick Offerman (NBC's Parks and Recreation, Men Who Stare at Goats), Charlie Day (Pacific Rim, Horrible Bosses) oh yeah and Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell and Liam Neeson. It's a huge cast and even has lots of cameo voices like Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Shaquille O'Neal. All these people give great performances but that's not why you see it.
The Lego Movie is one of the most imaginative scripts to come out in years. From the opening scene you pick up on the message that only adults will get. There is a very apparent and bold statement about pop culture and the mainstream. It's almost an anarchist theme that doing what everyone else is doing and fitting in is bad. This is part of a much larger message that isn't revealed until the end in a series of scenes that is so powerful it made me cry. What?! Yeah. Didn't expect that from a movie based on a toy.
Importance aside, it's one of the funniest screenplays to come out in a while. It moves at the frenzied pace of a South Park episode and doesn't give you a chance to catch your breath from laughing out loud. And those laughs come from both adults and kids and writer/director team Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street) made a noble and challenging effort to hit that bullseye. Both their other films have been excellent so there was no need to think that The Lego Movie wouldn't be on par but it was so much better than anything else they've done.
What impressed me the most was the nature of how the film was made. This was a stop-motion animated film made with the most elaborate Lego sets you've ever seen. The 3D enhances this more than you can imagine and the way it's executed is nothing short of creative brilliance. I would even go as far as to say that Miller and Lord need to be remembered for an Oscar next year for Best Animated Film. The enjoyment level and level for which all your emotions can be extracted reminds of other children's films like The Princess Bride or Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It's a movie that deserves to ranked among the finest made for children but specactular for all.
Gavin's Giveaway this week is THE LEGO MOVIE Run of Engagement Passes! CLICK HERE to enter to win!