Blu-Ray Review- The Lego Movie- Everything is Awesome Edition
Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Street Date: June 17th 2014
Technical Specifications: 1080P 3D, Color, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Runtime: 101 Minutes
As a parent of two small children, finding animated movies that are entertaining for the whole family can be challenging. The last decade of animated titles have offered some great content, but there are maybe a handful of titles that I could sit and watch anytime with the kids, laugh out loud, and enjoy just as much they do. The Lego Movie is one of those experiences. It’s brilliantly written, has fun and unique characters, features outstanding animation, and leaves you with a heartfelt message to share and discuss.
The Lego Movie begins with the dastardly Lord Business (Will Ferrell) stealing the super-weapon known as the “Kragle” from Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), a wizard in Lego world. Vitruvius tells of the prophecy to restore balance to the universe, as a day will come when “the special” one will find the “piece of resistance” and stop Lord Business once and for all.
Fast-forward to eight years later, and we meet the incredibly ordinary Emmet (Chris Pratt), a construction worker who follows the instructions, goes by-the-book, and enjoys everything mainstream and orderly about the world he lives in; a world now ruled by “President” Business. One day after work, Emmet happens upon the “piece of resistance” at the construction site, which after a series of mishaps ends up glued to his back. Soon he is kidnapped and questioned by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), one of President/Lord Business’ minions, but is able to get away with the aid of Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). Emmet is introduced to the various Lego “worlds”, and meets Vitruvius, who explains that he is in fact, the “special” one, capable of becoming a master builder, stopping Lord Business, crumbling the façade he has created, and bringing peace back to the Lego-verse.
I hesitate to say too much more about The Lego Movie. There are too many creative in-jokes, cameo appearances (for Lego fans), and unique storytelling turns that I wouldn’t want to spoil for my dear readers. The action sequences are cleverly executed, the jokes are laugh-a-minute, and the message about conformity and human uniqueness is a strong and important one. The Lego Movie remains one of my favorite films of 2014 thus far, and is a “must-see” for the entire family.
This could very well be the epitome of a perfect Blu-Ray. Both the 3D and 2D presentations are a wonder to behold in High Definition. Detail is so incredibly clear, you will feel like you could reach your hand in the television screen, grab a piece, and start building. Colors are vibrant, bold, and authentic to the theatrical presentation. The picture here is so good that you each unique Lego piece seems tangible to the viewer. There are no anomalies or inconsistencies in the picture quality, not a single fault here. This is an absolutely gorgeous presentation!
Just as thrilling as the video presentation is the 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio track. The dynamic range is off the charts, and provided my audio system with a healthy workout. It’s all in the details here, and each sequence provides a very detailed and clear presentation throughout the channels. From the clickety-clack of Lego pieces during the assembly sequences to the crystal clear dialogue and action sequences, this is a reference-grade audio presentation.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has provided fans of The Lego Movie with an incredible edition to own on home video. From great packaging (more on that below) to some entertaining bonus material, there is plenty to adore about this Blu-Ray release. Here’s a breakdown of what’s included:
- Audio Commentary- This hilarious and consistently entertaining audio commentary features Chris Miller, Phil Lord, Will Arnett, Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, and Alison Brie. The cast and crew clearly enjoy the film they made, and enjoyed their time working on the movie. There are plenty of jokes from the cast throughout, as well as behind-the-scenes details and “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” anecdotes throughout the running time. Watch the movie first, and then listen to the commentary, because this is fantastic!
- Batman’s a True Artist- This short segment was made by a brilliant six-year-old named Markus Jolly, and runs over a minute long. Billed as an “Untitled Self Portrait”, Markus assembled various Batman Lego figures and places them in some funny situations, all while Batman’s Darkness…No Parents song plays in the background. Very cute and clever.
- Michelangelo and Lincoln: History Cops- Yet another short film with Michelangelo and Abraham Lincoln fighting crime as History Cops. There is some fun dialogue here set against a Grindhouse-style filter complete with off-colors, scratches, and editing mishaps. Very cool!
- Enter the Ninjago- A two-minute short film where a Hollywood producer approaches Emmet about adding Ninja Lego’s to various scenes from the film.
- Behind the Scenes: Bringing Lego to Life- Running over twelve minutes, this is a great featurette on the making of the film narrated by Emmet (Chris Pratt). This is a humorous and fascinating look at nearly every aspect involved in production including building Lego sets, computer animation, sculpting, character designs, storyboards, voice-over acting, and so much more. The absolute best part of this segment is seeing Director’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller tour the Lego factory in Denmark. It’s overwhelming and amazing how much effort went into the making of this film!
- “Everything is Awesome” Sing-Along- Just what it sounds like! This is a pretty cool three minutes of the song set against scenes from the film, with sing-along lyrics provided. My children (ages 3 & 5) asked to watch and re-watch this several times.
- Behind the Scenes: See It, Build It- Modeling Artist Adam Ryan takes us on a tour through Lego Digital Designer, a computer program that was utilized in the filmmaking process. Anyone can actually download this program at home, which makes it that much cooler! We get to see Adam build the famous “double decker couch” as well as Emmet’s car.
- Behind the Scenes: Stories from The Story Team- This is an interesting look at the storyboard process from the individuals involved in this creative process.This segment even features unused storyboard sequences from the film.
- Fan-Made Films: Top-Secret Submissions- About three minutes of various clips from fan-made Lego films, including the winning submissions to the contest. Very fun!
- Outtakes- About two minutes of faux outtakes in the vein of the Toy Story end credit sequences.
- Additional Promotional Content- About four minutes of various television spots and online video promos for the film.
- Alleyway Test- This is a rough test cut of the first animated scene from The Lego Movie, featuring Wyldstyle building the motorcycle in the alley.
- Deleted Scenes- This section of the bonus features runs just over three minutes and features two storyboard sequences that were cut from the final film. The scenes in question involve Emmet being held prisoner on the pirate ship and Wyldstyle’s interrogation at Lord Business’ headquarters.
- Featurette: Dream Job: Meet the Lego Builders- This one runs about thirteen minutes and focuses on the real “master builders” (designers) at Lego Headquarters. These fine folks seem to really love their job, and we get to hear all about their involvement and input during the making of the film and it’s character design.
As you can see from the “Unboxing” pictures below, Warner Home Video’s “Everything is Awesome” edition is the one you need to pick up, especially if you have kids at home that love Lego figurines. This great edition features a clear case, a 3D Emmet display piece, a Vitruvius mini-figure, and the 3D/2D/DVD disc set featuring some fun artwork. On the reverse of the case art you’ll find a list of special features, production stills, and a plot synopsis for the film. Inside the case you’ll also find a coupon for LEGOLAND Parks, a flyer for the Lego Club and Lego Club Jr. magazine, an advertisement for The Lego Movie videogame, and your Ultraviolet Digital HD code. The Emmet figurine seen in the photos is a promotional item from Warner Home Video and is not included with retail releases of this edition.
The Lego Movie remains one of the best cinematic experiences of 2014 thus far. The animation is jaw dropping, the voice acting superb, the jokes are hilarious, and the film even offers a touching and important message. This is family friendly material at it’s best, and it gets even better with repeat viewings. The “Everything is Awesome” Blu-Ray edition features outstanding, reference-grade 3D/2D video, incredibly dynamic audio, and hours of fun bonus content. The Lego Movie receives my Highest Recommendation!
Pete Macabre (“Film Fan” Pete)
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