Tag Archives: Morgan Freeman

Thinking about: The LEGO Movie (2014)

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Okay, so here’s the thing about me and movies: I’m extremely picky about what I will and will not watch. This is especially true with comedy films (I’m especially wary of encountering what I like to call “stupid comedy”, those films that are full of really bad/raunchy jokes and minimal plot).

And, to be perfectly honest, when I saw the first trailer for The LEGO Movie, I thought it was the dumbest thing I’d ever seen. I loved LEGOs when I was a kid, but I didn’t think a concept involving building blocks could carry a whole film. It also didn’t help that a lot of the best parts didn’t show up in any of the previews. So, needless to say, when the movie came out, I ignored it (despite the stellar reviews that immediately followed).

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This went on for several months until the university happened to be showing the film for free one night (they have a Late Night Film Series every semester where we can watch recent films for free, which is pretty cool) and I decided to go ahead and give it a shot (since it was free after all). I went in telling myself that if it was really bad, I could always duck out and leave early.

But once the movie started, the craziest thing happened…I couldn’t stop laughing!! Far from hating it, The LEGO Movie turned out to be one of the funniest movies I’d ever seen! I loved all the pop culture references (the Star Wars cameo still makes me laugh), the LEGO sets are out of this world and, it turns out the film has a surprisingly deep message attached to it (something I would have NEVER guessed in a million years).

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In brief: The LEGO Movie is set in the city of Bricksburg where Emmet (Chris Pratt) lives while he goes about his heavily regulated life as a construction worker. There are rules for everything: you do this at a certain time, you go here at a certain time, life is pretty much a Big Brother-like dystopia except all of the inhabitants seem to be oblivious. But one day…Emmet spots a strange girl digging around the construction site after hours and while trying to follow her, stumbles across the legendary “Piece of Resistance” that will supposedly neutralize Lord Business’s greatest weapon…the Kraggle (i.e. Krazy Glue). From there, Emmet is whisked off on a mindbending adventure (he even meets Batman!!) and ultimately grows into a real hero. And did I mention it has a mind-blowing twist in the third act?

I still watch The LEGO Movie whenever I need cheering up, and I’m impatiently waiting for the sequel to come out.

What did you guys think of The LEGO Movie? Let me know in the comments below!

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See also:

Animated Film Reviews

Thinking about The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

My Thoughts on: The LEGO Movie 2-The Second Part (2019)

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991)

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I can’t believe this movie is 25 years old, but it’s true! On this day in film history, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was released to theaters. Starring Kevin Costner, the film sought to re-tell the classic story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, but in a much darker fashion than its predecessors. If you’re looking for the bright spectacle as seen in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), then keep looking because this is not the film for you.

Robin (Kevin Costner) escapes captivity in Jerusalem with a condemned Moor named Azeem (Morgan Freeman). He returns to England, only to find that his father (Brian Blessed) has been murdered, his family castle burned to the ground and his lands claimed by the utterly corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman). This telling of the Robin Hood story is unusual in that Prince John (typically the villain of the story) does not appear nor is he mentioned.

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Robin becomes reacquainted with Lady Marian (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), a childhood friend (and also a cousin to King Richard). After killing some of the Sheriff’s men, Robin, Azeem and the blind servant Duncan are forced to take refuge in Sherwood Forest, where they encounter a sizable band of outlaws, led by John Little and the brash Will Scarlett (Christian Slater), the latter taking an instant dislike to Robin, even after he beats John Little in a fight and renames him “Little John.”

Robin declares war on the Sheriff and proceeds to rob every rich man passing through the forest, organizing the outlaws into a rather prosperous community along the way. Desperate, the Sheriff (goaded on by the witch Mortiana) hires Celtic mercenaries to track Duncan to the outlaws hideout after Marian is kidnapped by the Sheriff’s men (Duncan having been sent to live with Marian due to his failing health). A vicious battle ensues, and Robin is missing, presumed dead. The devastated Marian learns that the Sheriff wishes to marry her (as he seeks the throne for himself and marrying the king’s cousin would give him a semi-legitimate claim) and believing Robin dead, she has no choice but to accept.

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But Robin isn’t dead, and while they plan their next move, a captured-then-released Will Scarlett appears and informs everyone that a large number of prisoners  taken during the battle (including Little John’s oldest son) are to be hanged the very next day. Will also drops a veritable bombshell: he is the half-brother to Robin, the son of a woman that their father loved for a time after Robin’s mother died. The woman was sent away because Robin didn’t like her, therefore Will holds Robin responsible for the rough life he has led.

The next day, just as the prisoners are to be hung, Robin and his men appear, and chaos erupts. The prisoners are saved just in time, while the Sheriff drags a screaming Marian away to be married (he intends to claim his “marital rights” as soon as the ceremony is completed). Robin and Azeem give chase and just as the ceremony is finished, Robin literally crashes the wedding by entering through a stained glass window.

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A huge sword fight follows between Robin and the Sheriff. The fight is largely equal, until the Sheriff’s sword breaks Robin’s blade into pieces, leaving him pinned against a wall. But just as the Sheriff lunges for the killing blow, Robin reveals his last weapon: a dagger given to him by Marian (who received it from the Sheriff) plunged straight into the villain’s heart! With the Sheriff dead (and Mortiana the witch dying soon afterward), Marian and Robin are reunited and shortly thereafter, married, with the returning King Richard (Sean Connery) in attendance.

I’ve seen this movie get a lot of flak because of Costner’s performance, but personally I enjoyed it very much. It’s a different spin on the Robin Hood story and it’s full of humorous little moments. Alan Rickman in particular slays the role of the Sheriff (he allegedly refused the role three times until the director offered him carte blanche in how he played the character). Another favorite character is Friar Tuck (played by Mike McShane), a hilariously funny character, with a big booming laugh and an obsession with beer!

If you haven’t seen this film, it is definitely worth seeing at least once. It also features a great score by the late Michael Kamen.

*poster image is the property of Warner Bros. Studios

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