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Blu-ray Review: 'The Lego Movie'

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The Film:

Lego is one of those toys that everyone grows up playing with. For 65 years, kids and adults alike have used the multitude of colored blocks and characters to build anything that their imaginations could come up with. In the last few years, their popularity has grown even more to include several video games for a number of franchises including “Batman” and “Harry Potter.” Because of this, it’s not surprising that a movie would eventually be made, utilizing the potential to make anything that the imaginations of the filmmakers could dream up.

From directors/co-writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “21 Jump Street”) comes “The Lego Movie,” which tells the story of Emmet (Voice of Chris Pratt), an ordinary construction worker who likes to do everything exactly by the instructions. His extremely ordinary ways have led to him being a bit of an outcast, however when he stumbles upon the “piece of resistance,” something that has been said can stop the ultimate weapon of Lord Business (Voce of Will Farrell), his life changes dramatically. After being set free from Business’ clutches by Wildstyle (Voice of Elizabeth Banks), who believes him to be the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, the two of them go on a quest to meet up with the “master builders,” a group dedicated to defeating Business and his quest to destroy the world. With Business’ henchman, Bad Cop (Voice of Liam Neeson), on their heels, they must come up with a plan, despite the fact that Emmet isn’t exactly the kind of person who fits the description of the prophecy.

“The Lego Movie” is a fun and exciting ride through a world that was literally built piece by piece, a world that is as much a star of the film as any of the voice actors involved. The story here is a little simplistic, but it’s a kids’ movie, so I’m not going to berate it on that point. Besides, it still provides a lot of entertainment and laughs along the way despite it being your basic formula-driven children’s flick. The main reason to see it is for the beautiful animation of this constructed world, almost all of which was built with a computer. The level of detail here is astounding, from the many pieces that go into the vehicles to each and every little piece used for water. Of course, the voice-acting is rather astonishing as well, bringing together great talent that includes Chris Pratt, Will Farrell, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Will Forte, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, and many more. One of these actors even gets to make an actual appearance when the film’s story veers into the real world, a neat move for a film that plays very straightforward for most of its runtime. Despite “The Lego Movie” basically being a 90-minute commercial for the titular building blocks, it still manages to deliver an action-packed story that will delight audiences of all ages.

Video/Audio:

“The Lego Movie” comes to Blu-ray in a 2.4:1, 1080p High Definition transfer of remarkable quality. Every frame shows off the radiant colors and gorgeous animation of the Lego world, allowing you to take in every detail with tremendous ease. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio has been given equally grand treatment, presenting all elements at perfect levels that allow you to hear dialogue, score, and effects in crystal clear clarity. Overall, I don’t see how either area could possibly be improved upon.

Special Features:

  • Commentary with Filmmakers and Cast
  • Behind the Scenes: Bringing Lego to Life
  • Behind the Scenes: See It, Build It
  • Behind the Scenes: Stories from the Story Team
  • Dream Job: Meet the Lego Builders
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Batman’s A True Artist
  • Michelangelo and Lincoln: History Cops
  • Enter the Ninjage
  • Everything is Awesome Sing-Along
  • Fan-Made Films: Top-Secret Submissions
  • Additional Promotional Content
  • Alleyway Test

This may seem like a lot of special features, but unfortunately very few of them are actually worth watching. The commentary track, which features the directors/co-writers and a few of the cast members, has a few interesting pieces of info, but it’s not very in-depth. Many of these are directed towards the younger audience, including how to build certain things from the film, so they’re easily skippable. The ones that are worth taking a look at are “Bringing Lego to Life” and “Meet the Lego Builders,” which delve into how the movie came together by showing us the filmmakers researching Lego at the HQ in Denmark and the builders behind the scenes. It could have used more informative featurettes like this, but at least we get a couple of good ones.

Conclusion:

While “The Lego Movie” may have a pretty basic story, its beautifully animated world and talented vocal cast give it enough depth to provide lots of fun and excitement. The special features could have used a little more work, but there are a few behind the scenes featurettes included that give you a glimpse as to how this stunning world was put together. On top of that, the film is presented in excellent quality, which all adds up to a release that’s worth adding to your Blu-ray shelf.

Score: 3.5/5

Available on Blu-ray and DVD starting tomorrow.

Recent Blu-ray/DVD releases: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Tim's Vermeer, Alan Partridge, RoboCop (2014), Alexander: The Ultimate Cut, Ravenous, Son of God, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection, Stalingrad, The Monuments Men, Pompeii, 3 Days to Kill, Grand Piano, Her, Orange is the New Black: Season One, I, Frankenstein, Final Exam, Evilspeak, Star Trek: Enterprise - Season Four, The Legend of Hercules, Dead Shadows, Sorcerer, Copperhead, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Best of Bogart Collection, Beneath, American Hustle

Now playing in theaters: How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Follow me on Twitter @BeckFilmCritic.

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