Friday, April 18, 2014


Let you in on two things.

First up, as a child, my very favourite toy was Lego. We had a box of it that sat behind the dining room door and Lego made up a lot of my free time into my early teens. I made houses and all sorts of things regularly over many years - but this was in the days when Lego came in six colours in bricks with two, four, six, eight and twelve dots on it. There was none of the technical stuff, no special sets - if you were really lucky, you got wheels to make a car. As I was leaving the realms of Lego into the joys of adolescensce, bras, boys and books, new Lego sets were coming out that had all sorts of strange other bricks.

Give me a chance now and I'll sit down with Lego and get absorbed by making something - anything - anytime. I love Lego.

Second tidbit of information. My least favourite word in the English language is "awesome". Hate it. One too many sessions with the guys from the Landmark Forum, I'm afraid.

This morning I went along to see "The LEGO Movie" with Blarney and her nearly four-year-old boys Chance and Lance. The ten a.m. crying session at the Sun Cinema at Yarraville is a delight. Lots of young families with kids. If the boys chose to misbehave, we were in good company.

Thankfully, this wasn't the case. Chance and Lance were on their best behaviour as the film rolled on.

This is not a kid's film. This is a very clever and very entertaining adult's film that kids can watch happily while the adults sit there giggling and snorting into their lattes.

The best way to describe it is it's "Alice in Wonderland" mixed with "The Matrix" with a good deal of modern conspiracy theory and a bit of a moral edge to it.

Blarney and I loved every minute of it. Chance sat there awestruck through the whole film (Chance will end up being an evil scientist one day). Lance wasn't so convinced (Lance has a bit of the rugby 5/8th about him).

Will Ferrell voices one of the main characters - Lord Business - or  President Business in his less evil guise. He's a bit like a mix of Tony Abbott, Tim Wilson and George Brandis all rolled into one - this person who wants the world to be just as he sees it and he will do everything to keep it that way.

Along comes Emmet, a  lowly, lonely construction worker who cannot do anything unless there are instructions. Emmet is the unwitting hero of this whole adventure who somehow becomes the champion of the film.

I won't go into details of the rather thin plot, needless to say, if you mix "The Incredibles" with "Alice in Wonderland" with "The Matrix" you'll get the gist of it.

As a Lego fiend the imagination that was used to come up with this film is incredible. Technically, this flm doesn't put a foot wrong - but it's more than the cinematography. I spent a good part of the film pondering how I could make some of the items on the screen.

The characters are great too, from the gormless Emmet to Wyldstyle, or Lucy as she's known to some, the plucky heroine. Morgan Freeman puts a voice to Vetruvius the wizard, complete with lollypop wand (I'm sure there was one of those in our Lego box. Batman and 1970's generic spaceman were cool too. Oh, and Unikitty - watch out for Unikitty.

What Blarney and I loved about this film was that beneath the pretty colours and the child friendly plot was a moral tale about corporate greed and conformity. As a community we're not encouraged to think outside the square, particularly in big corporate companies. Lego, as a toy, teaches you to use your imagination.

The Lego Movie is a scathing indictment on modern corporate greed and our conformist society.

But with pretty colours, great action and fun and of course, with Unikitty.

The only down side to the film is it's anthem.

"Everything is Awesome".

It's all over the place throughout the film - one of the worst and most insidious ear worms** I've had the misfortune to hear. And it knows it.

"Everthing is Awesome" sticks in your head worse than these songs all rolled into one.




I've put these clips in here just to get rid of the wretched tune from my head.

Highly, highly recommend The Lego Movie. Find the prerequisite child to take along or do what I do and profess to the person at the ticket booth that you're really just a tall twelve-year-old. This is going to be a classic, if it's not banned by our current LNP government for being subversive or for the fact that it's embedded ear worm will drive you nuts.

** Ear worm - from the German ohrwurm "An earworm is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing.[1] Phrases used to describe an earworm include musical imagery repetitioninvoluntary musical imagery, and stuck song syndrome."


magical_m said...

I'm planning to see it this week now school hols are over... I have no problem with going sans child (I do it all the time for kid flicks!). As a huge Parks & Rec fan, I'm particularly looking forward to 'hearing' Chris Pratt (Emmett) and Nick Offerman (the pirate dude? Don't know his character's name).

I too was a Lego kid. I was visiting my aunt a few weeks ago and her grandkids had their parents' old Lego out - we spent the afternoon making all kinds of fun things.

The only thing that annoys me about Lego nowadays is that they've 'gendered' it. I was in DJs yesterday and they had one side of the aisle blue/boy Lego and the other pink/girl Lego. The boy Lego was all adventure/action oriented and the girl Lego was all playing house and cooking. Grrrr. Get back to primary colours and emphasis on imagination and an 'any kid can do anything' philosophy please Lego.

Jackie K said...

We saw the Lego movie on the weekend and I liked it a lot. I was never into Lego or Mechano as a kid, never got the appeal. Good movie though, clever and funny. I did pick the twist at the end though...
Thanks for reminding me of all those annoying songs, they're all hideously sticky. AAAGH.