THE LEGO MOVIE: THE EVERYTHING IS AWESOME EDITION
MOVIE: ****1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
Chris Pratt as EMMET
Will Ferrell as LORD BUSINESS
Elizabeth Banks as WYLDSTYLE
Will Arnett as BATMAN
Morgan Freeman as VITRUVIUS
Liam Neeson as BAD COP
Studio: Warner Bros.
Directed by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
BY KEVIN CARR
When you think about it “The LEGO Movie” was a bit of a gamble before it was actually released. After all, while the Lego franchise has a lot of good will in media-crossover television specials and video games, it was untested as a mass-market, mainstream movie.
It was a gamble that paid off, and “The LEGO Movie” ended up being one of the first huge hits of 2014, and it remained the leader of the domestic box office until well into the summer. I took all three of my kids – ages 5, 10 and 12 at the time – to the film in February, and we all loved it. In fact, it became one of my favorite films of the year, and it will likely keep a top spot as we wear through the rest of 2014.
Revisiting the movie again on Blu-ray reminded me why I loved it so much when it came out. The film tells the story of an unlikely hero named Emmet (Chris Pratt), a lowly construction worker in Brickland. When he discovers the elusive Piece of Resistance, he becomes the focus of a prophecy that will lead him to stop the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from destroying the world with a weapon known as the Kragle.
Simply put, “The LEGO Movie” strikes a perfect balance between serious filmmaking and silliness. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, but the artistry involved certainly does. From the quality writing and self-referential humor to the impressively photorealistic animation, the film realizes the look of what might be going on inside a child’s mind while he or she plays with these toys. Thinking back to what it was like to use my imagination at play, I realize that what goes on in our heads is far superior in look and scope than what you might see with some colored bricks scattered on the floor. “The LEGO Movie” uses the magic of movies to make this appear to be a reality.
The film also takes full advantage of the entire toy line, bringing together an ensemble cast of characters you literally won’t see anywhere else. From memorable characters created specifically for this film – including construction worker Emmet, rogue wannabe Special Wyldstyle and aging hippie Virtruvius – to media tie in characters from the DC universe and other surprises, the movie feels like you’re in a toy story with an unlimited budget and no studio fences.
It has become cliche in the past four months to refer to “The LEGO Movie” as awesome, but there is really no other way to describe how much fun it is.
If you were a fan of the movie in the theaters, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of the “Everything Is Awesome Edition. This includes some nice extras in the box set. Starting with the discs, you get the DVD and Blu-ray of the film, as well as the 3D Blu-ray version of the film.
The special features on the standard Blu-ray and DVD includes a commentary with both directors and the actors Allison Brie, Chris Pratt, Will Arnett and Charlie Day, with Elizabeth Banks phoning in her contributions for about half of the film. It’s a pretty fun commentary with Phil Lord and Chris Miller offering some behind-the-scenes information while the actors tend to joke around and make you feel like you’re part of the crowd.
Additional bonus material exclusive to the Blu-ray includes the featurettes “Behind the Scenes: Bringing LEGO to Life,” “Behind the Scenes: See It, Built It!,” “Behind the Scenes: Stories from the Story Team” and “Dream Job: Meet the LEGO Builders.” There’s also outtakes, deleted scenes, the test animation of the alleyway scene, additional TV spots and promotional content, an “Everything Is Awesome” sing-along, a spotlight and exhibition of fan-made LEGO films, and whimsical short films taking off on the characters of Batman, Michelangelo, Lincoln and Ninjago.
Finally, one of the coolest part of this Blu-ray is the packaging, which includes a larger display case with a bust of Emmet inside. There’s also a mini Lego figure of Virtruvius, though he doesn’t have the painted-on crocs and tie-dye shirt seen in the film. Still, it’s a neat package that most of us adults will probably keep to play with ourselves instead of just letting our kids have them as toys.