Sunday, February 09, 2014

"The Lego Movie": can an ordinary guy master the universe (at least his own)?

For me, the best part of “The Lego Movie” occurs toward the end, when the relationship between the “real world” and the toy world is shown.  There is a little boy, but the Lego model city seems to be the work of his dad (Will Ferrell) who apparently works as an architect and has a real-life project to complete and sell.  The city rather looks like a model of Dubai. 
  
Inside the play world, perhaps the boy’s imagination (and then the dad’s), there is a whole struggle.  An evil Lego dictator wants to glue all of the universe together, transcending the speed of light barrier that keeps civilizations safely separated.  A lowly, humble construction worker gets recruited, but decides he wants to shine and be “special”. 
  
The “imaginary” world may start with Dubai (including the Burj), but there are plenty of other lands, including the US Old West. It seems you get to these through wormholes.  It’s hard to get a feel for what the real layout of the kingdom is, because it’s a whole collection of galaxies.  Is this a Type 1 civilization?
Now, it is interesting to see a whole universe constructed of discrete interlocking blocks, including the people.  Call them quantum packets.  Remember how we used to build cities of blocks as kids?
  
There are lots of characters: Batman (Will Ammett), Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte), The Green Lantern (Jonah Hill), Emmett Brickowski (Chris Pratt, “Bright” from Everwood,  the “Everyman” construction worker who wants to play Clark Kent), the Good-Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), and Shakespeare (Jorma Tacone).
  
The Village Roadshow and Warner Brothers film was made in Australia, and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, with story by Dan and Kevin Hagerman.

The paradigm for the story is the retrograde of my own 2004 screenplay "Baltimore Is Missing", where the protagonist is abducted and finds himself living inside someone else's model railroad when the Earth is about to be destroyed by collision with a rogue brown dwarf star.  Remember, a kids' movie like today's feature can have many layers of very adult meaning. 
   
  
The official site is here  Some of the clearest Lego work is at the end credits, with the song “Everything Is Awesome” playing.
  
For today’s short film, there is a review of “Dispatches - Hunted”, by Ben Steele and Liz Mackean, 43 min, British television, about homophobia in Russia, on my TV Reviews blog today. 

Two of the pictures above are from model train shows in York PA and Ellicott City, MD (near Baltimore).  One of the pictures reminds me of the Los Angeles County Courthouse.  I guess "I've made it."  

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