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The LEGO Movie(2014)
An ordinary Lego mini-figure, thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil Lego tyrant from gluing the universe together.
For more about The LEGO Movie and the The LEGO Movie Blu-ray release, see the The LEGO Movie Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on June 9, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Alison Brie
Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
» See full cast & crew
The LEGO Movie Blu-ray Review
"It's like everything I see in my head when I play with LEGOs!!!"
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, June 9, 2014
Reviews don't get much better than that. No critical flourish required. Not that it's my review. Those were my son's words, whispered in hushed awe and wide-eyed wonder as the credits rolled on our first viewing of The LEGO Movie. He could hardly contain his excitement. Me? I... *ahem* was having troubles of my own. Trapped in a state of complete and total reversion, I was suddenly nine all over again. Had you spotted me in the theater, sitting there with a dopey grin framing every pure, unabashed laugh let loose between breaths, you would have wondered, "what's wrong with that guy?" But all my mind could do was embrace the sentiment my son would articulate by film's end. It's like everything I used to see in my head when I played with LEGOs!!! More than the best animated film of 2014 (thus far), The LEGO Movie is more clever and complex than it might first appear, channeling both the essence of boundless creativity and the reaches of a child's mind for 102 delightfully surprising, wildly inventive minutes. Beautifully animated and brilliantly conceived, it isn't the feature-length toy commercial or product of calculated marketing some feared it might be. Not even remotely. It does what few other films before it have managed to do: tap into the most fundamental mechanics of childhood -- the joy, enthusiasm, fears, insecurities and dreams -- and construct a fully realized, intricately layered landscape of the imagination.
Meet Emmet Brickowski (voiced by Chris Pratt), a cheerful but dim-witted city worker so painfully average he isn't even the everyman of his own life. His closest friends barely remember him when he walks away, and he doesn't have any notable action features, hobbies, props or, really, anything that might set him apart from the masses. That all changes, though, when a chance encounter with a young Master Builder named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) lands him in a deep cavern where he becomes bonded to the fabled Piece of Resistance, a mysterious red block an ancient prophecy says will be found by a savior called "The Special." Arrested by corrupt policeman Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), Emmet quickly learns he's no longer the law-abiding nobody he once was; he's inadvertently become a dangerous rebel who holds the key to saving the world. Soon the fledgling messiah is swept up in an adventure that pits the finest imaginations of the LEGO kingdoms -- Wyldstyle, wizened sage Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), Batman (Will Arnett), cyborg-pirate Metal Beard (Nick Offerman), 1980s space guy Benny (Charlie Day) and colorful hybrid Unikitty (Alison Brie) -- against the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell), a wealthy megalomaniac who plans to use a super-weapon dubbed The Kragle to super-glue every citizen and structure in the place and form he deems appropriate.
Co-filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street) have infused their LEGO world -- or worlds as it were -- with a snappy free-for-all energy and crackling spontaneity that might strike stuffy-collared adults as seat-of-the-pants. Scatter-brained. Erratic even. But one trip down the LEGO aisle of your local Toys 'R Us reveals just how perfectly nonsensical the adjoining kingdoms and Master Builder ranks are. It's a film no other toyline could inhabit; one intimately connected to everything that's kept LEGO atop the toy heap for decades. A place where Superman (Channing Tatum), Gandalf the Grey (Todd Hansen), Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte) and Shaquille O'Neal could feasibly meet for a cup of coffee. Where Green Lantern (Jonah Hill) could cite Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) for hosting an illegal game of sabacc while policing a galaxy far, far away. Where almost anything could happen between anyone in any number of franchise universes. Where the craziest ship you can imagine could be built from street corners, ship hulls, conference rooms or Old West saloons. Simply watching The LEGO Movie play in its sandbox is endlessly entertaining. Seeing how intelligently it plays in several sandboxes at once even more so.
The animators and voice actors are more than up to the task, taking inspiration from Lord and Miller's flights of fast-paced fancy. Pratt and company are hilariously cast and deliver the goods, without exception. Any one of the side characters and cameos could have been promoted from bit player to full-fledged leading brick and The LEGO Movie wouldn't flinch. Quips, one-liners and, yes, even puns are laugh-out-loud funny, and that's ignoring the never-ending sight gags, easter eggs and little, LEGO-fanatic touches that can only be unearthed on multiple viewings. The animation is glorious, a blazing blend of the new and nostalgic, brimming with meticulous stop-motion care, artistry and personality as brought to life with deceptively humble CG. The environments are comprised of LEGO bricks from dirt to river to sky. Flame jets spin and flicker, water flows by in a flood of single blue pegs, explosions and smoke plumes... all made of LEGOs. It's a LEGO movie by LEGO lovers, for LEGO lovers. It has fun with long-standing debates (free-lock vs. glue), takes a few jabs at itself (instruction booklets spring to mind) and has a wicked sense of humor when it comes to the toyline's limitations (unarticulated joints and a lack of opposable thumbs). Yet never at the expense of the deep affection of fans, young or old. There isn't an inch, shot or beat that undermines the totality of Lord and Miller's design methodology or LEFO life.
Describing the impact of it all, particularly in breakneck motion and in delirious swing, is near impossible. The sights, the sounds, the jokes, the heartstrings, the struggles, the victories, that third-act twist... wow. Just... wow. Marveling at how effortlessly it comes together, though? That's a cinch. The LEGO Movie is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Unless mind-blowing exceeds jaw-dropping, in which case The LEGO Movie is mind-blowing. Mind-blowingly awesome. It had to be said.
The LEGO Movie Blu-ray, Video Quality
As if The LEGO Movie weren't dazzling enough, along comes Warner's 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation. Rather than slather the screen with eye-gouging swaths of color, the film's ever-shifting palette incorporates convincing lighting to lifelike ends. Hues are bright and bold when Emmet strolls through a bustling city; dusty and sunburnt when he and Wyldstyle travel to the Old West; cast in cold blues and positively sinister greens in Lord Business' lair; sickeningly sweet when the Masters arrive in Cloud Cuckoo Land in Middle Zealand; and bold and triumphant as Emmet and Wyldstyle bring the fight back to the streets. Primaries are vivid, black levels are deep and satisfying, and contrast is consistently filmic and strong. And oh the detail. The chips along the edges of the plastic characters. The fingerprints you'll catch sight of when the light hits Benny or Lord Business just right. The wear and tear of a fading decal. The imperfections of a brick. It's all there to be discovered and pored over in high definition. Edges are clean and natural, free from ringing or aliasing, and textures are refined and close-ups striking. If you didn't already think the world of the animation, you will now. Better still, there isn't a hint of significant macroblocking, banding or any other encoding issue of note. This is about as pristine and impeccable as they come. Fans will be overjoyed.
The LEGO Movie Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Matching The LEGO Movie's video presentation high-point for high-point is Warner's wonderfully enveloping DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. In fact, the only nitpick I can even muster is that it isn't a 7.1 mix. And when that's your chief complaint, you know you're listening to something special. Low-end output is big and boisterous, throwing weight and power behind every blast, explosion, crash and collision, as well as lending presence to anything and everything that calls on the LFE channel for assistance. Rear speaker activity is both aggressive and playful too, latching onto every scattered block, incoming attack craft, lumbering machine, approaching robot or off-target Batarang launched across the screen. Directionality is precise and involving, pans are smooth, and dynamics never falter. Dialogue isn't shortchanged either, arriving with ever-intelligible, impressively grounded voices that are never disconnected from the soundscape or compromised in any way. And the music? Masterfully prioritized, without issue or incident. This is about as good as The LEGO Movie -- or any animated movie for that matter -- could sound.
The LEGO Movie Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The LEGO Movie Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
"Everything Is Awesome" isn't just a song you'll still be humming affectionately years from now, it's an anthem of everything The LEGO Movie is and will continue to be, no matter how often it's revisited. The story, script, voice cast, animation, energy, music, gags, easter eggs... the entire production. Awesome. The vision, the artistry, the humor, the discovery, the all-ages fun. Awesome. The one word your children will one day use to describe The LEGO Movie to their children... I think you get the point. It's an insta-classic worth owning, something made that much easier thanks to Warner's terrific Blu-ray release. Though a bit light on substantive extras, the video presentation and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track combine to create a disc that deserves its place on your shelf. It's also a shoo-in for our "Best of 2014" list. Look for it to earn a spot in multiple categories by multiple reviewers.
The LEGO Movie: Other Editions
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The LEGO Movie Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The LEGO Movie Blu-ray: Exclusive Giveaway - June 16, 2014
Blu-ray.com and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are offering three members the opportunity to win a copy of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's The LEGO Movie, which features the voice talents of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, ...
• The LEGO Movie Blu-ray & Everything is Awesome Edition 3D Blu-ray - April 18, 2014
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has officially announced the Blu-ray release of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's The LEGO Movie, which features the voice talents of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, ...
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