Monday, May 5, 2014

Way too Late at the Movies: The LEGO Movie

Since I typically don’t get to see the hot or not movies until they’ve had their fifteen minutes of Internet fame and have made it to the local cheap theater, I’m going to start a new intermittent series on this blog, the “Way Too late at the Movies” reviews. I’ll take advantage of my tardiness to take apart any breathless internetism that arises after the movie first comes out.

Here is my take on The LEGO Movie: Everything is awesome.

Yes, I have to include this earworm of a song. Because 48 hours after seeing the film, it’s still bouncing off the interior of my cranium.

I liked the film. Five out of five stars. Or bow ties, since I am a fat movie critic.

Why? The voice talent was okay. I know a few of the stars, but don’t know most of them (I’m also way too late at watching TV). Liam Neeson did a fine job at Good Cop/Bad Cop, and whoever voices Unikitty (I’m not bothered to look that up) was also entertaining and manic. So it’s Elizabeth Banks. Don’t know her. See the thing about being late at movies/TV.

The story is what hooked me. Nice little comic bits which were funny when I heard them at the theater but which elude me now (I’ll have to watch again) thought I do recall Metal Beard’s “The First Law of the Sea: Never put your butt on a pirate’s face.) A good lesson for anyone trying to raise kids, compacted in the one bit of film the kids might not watch so mom and dad can pay attention to it.

And the animation of course. LEGOs brought to life and all. Well done.

Breathless Internetism. After this film came out, there was some noise about the film being anti-business – because, of course, Lord/President Business is set on “destroying the world as we know it” by dousing everything in Krazy Glue so no one can do anything outside the set instructions.

And yeah, that’s the plotline. But anti-business? Hardly. Folks are focusing too much on the metaphor and not connecting the metaphor to the real-world connection the metaphor portrays.

When the reality scene kicks in, the metaphor is explained, and has nothing to do with being pro- or anti-business: The metaphor is far simpler: Dad it too standoffish with his interest in LEGOs and keeping his impressive LEGO collection pristine, while not recognizing that the LEGO obsession would be a prime way for him to connect with his son (and also his daughter, through the drug of DUPLO).

Dad, see, is all business when it comes to the LEGOs in the basement. Hands off. Off limits. SO bent is he on preserving his domain he wants to glue all the bits together so they can’t be dismantled. And they’re not toys, they’re a sophisticated building system. The only LEGOs he’s okayed for his son to play with are the DUPLOs. And no self-respecting kid is going to play with DUPLOs when there are LEGOs around. Dad needs to be less rigid with the LEGO basement – and who wouldn’t want such a cool LEGO basement – and let his kids play with him and build their own LEGO creations.

Did I say LEGO enough?

Doesn’t sound anti-business to me. Sound pretty pro-family.

Then there’s the bit about buying LEGOs, now with theme tie-in with the movies. Sounds like a pretty capitalist idea to me.

Missed opportunity at Breathless Internetism: The lyrics of “Everything is Awesome” include the following:

Dogs and fleas, allergies, a book of Greek antiquities
Brand new pants, a very old vest
Awesome items are the best
Trees, frogs, clogs
They’re awesome
Rocks, clocks, and socks
They’re awesome . . .

Listening to the song now I thought they were singing “trees, drugs, and clogs, they’re awesome.” So I had to look up the lyrics because if that were true, the Umbrage O-Meter would have exploded. Not so.

Either someone at Fox did their homework on the lyrics or they missed the chance at sparking another bit of outrage.

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