Tag Archives: film

The Lego Move 2 Review

The Lego Movie 2 Review

It’s been five years since the smash-hit ‘The Lego Movie‘ reached cinemas, garnering Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, winning the Bafta for Best Animated Film, and earning a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Since then the pretty good Lego Batman Movie and pretty average Lego Ninjago Movie have followed, whilst we’ve waited for a proper sequel to the film that started the franchise.

With Phil Lord and Christopher Miller back in the writers’ chairs, exactly half a decade on the sequel has arrived. But is everything still awesome in Bricksburg?

Synopsis:

‘The Lego Movie 2, The Second Part’ picks up exactly where the first ended, and exactly five years afterwards too, meaning real time and Bricksburg time are aligned. That’s quite important, but more on that later.

Finn, the boy whose imagination built the first story, has had allow his sister access his father’s impressive LEGO collection in the basement. The resultant Duplo invasion has led to the destruction of Bricksburg, and Emmett, Lucy (aka Wildsyle), Uni-Kitty, Batman, and a multitude of minor characters now live in the post-apocalyptic ruins under the constant threat of further invasion.

Emmett – hankering for the life he once knew – builds himself and Lucy a cottage outside the city, and unwittingly attracts the attention of one of the invaders, who promptly kidnaps the rest of the characters a departs through the ‘stairgate’ into another dimension…

The Lego Movie 2 The Second Part Review

TLCB Verdict:

Picking up exactly where the first instalment left off has a certain Back to the Future vibe, one that makes itself more apparent as the film progresses. Much of the original cast reprise their roles, with the addition of a slew of new characters joining them, voiced by Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Richard Ayoade, and many others.

The animation remains frenetic and joyous, quite unlike any other computer-animated franchise and all the better for it. There’s more time spent in ‘the real world’ too, with Maya Rudolf joining Will Ferrell in parental duties.

There are jokes aplenty, with more perhaps aimed at the adults in the audience than before, and there’s a wealth of movie references, from Mad Max, Mary Poppins, Superman and – as mentioned above – Back to the Future.

It’s this last reference that provides the story with its genius moment. We were wondering how ‘The Second Part’ could capture the twist of the first, and it’s safe to say that it does – with such surprising depth that we suspect it’ll be lost on The Lego Movie 2’s core audience, but we’re glad it’s there all the same.

The Lego Movie 2 Review

Overall ‘The Second Part’ could never hope to appear as fresh and counter-cultural as the original ‘The Lego Movie’ did five years ago. However the ingenious explanation for Bricksburg’s troubles, a decision that Emmett must make that will resonate with every adult watching, and some of the catchiest (and cleverest) songs that cinema has ever created, make The Lego Movie 2 a gloriously enjoyable watch.

Watch it with an eye on the metaphors too, and you’ll be thinking it over for some time afterwards.

★★★★

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Stop-Motion Special

How to Make Lego Stop-Motion Animation Videos for YouTube

Lego stop-motion animation videos can turn you into a YouTube sensation. Discover the tips and tricks the pros use for creating stop motion animation videos.

If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you’re still obsessed with LEGO. Regardless of how old you are, it probably started when you were a young child. After all, LEGO have been around since 1932. A lot’s changed in the last 86 years, but one thing remains; LEGO are the building blocks of our childhood. In fact, for millions, that passion for the little colourful bricks has extended into our adult years.

Lego Movie Camera

Are you ready to harness that passion and become a Lego Professional? You may be thinking, “How do I do that?” The answer is simple. Create LEGO stop-motion animation and upload it onto YouTube.

Do you think that’s intriguing but sounds a little complicated? Keep reading to find out how easy it actually is.

How to Make LEGO Stop-Motion Animation

So, you want to make your own brick flicks but you don’t know what you need or how to do it. We’ve got you covered.

The first thing you need to get started is – surprise! – a camera. But you’ll also need a YouTube account. Shocked, aren’t you?

Search for “LEGO stop-motion animation” or go to the official LEGO Movie 2 site and check out their trailer. No, it’s not stop-motion, but you can get some pretty cool ideas for your short. Once you have an idea what you want your movie to be about, let the process begin!

1. Gather Everything You Need

You’ll need a LEGO set, a camera, a computer, and your imagination. Seriously, that’s it. With more than 130 different sets sold in the U.S. every year, you’re bound to find one you like. You may even be sitting on a Back to the Future set or a LEGO Batman set that was your source of inspiration for making the movie in the first place.

2. Build Your Set

Yes, your LEGO set, but you’ll have to build your movie set, too. This will be your backdrop for your film, so get creative. Or, don’t. You can use a plain fabric backdrop for a minimalistic approach.

3. Frame Your Shot

Set up your actors, put your camera on a tripod or stand, and frame your shot. This means looking through the lens and making sure everything looks the way you want it to. Doing this now will save you from having to go back and re-shoot scenes because they weren’t centered.

Also, make sure there’s no glare and that you can’t see anything unsightly in the shot, like, that pile of dirty clothes in the corner. Make adjustments as needed. When everything looks good, you’re ready to film.

4. Action!

This is the time-consuming part. Stop-motion animation takes a long time to film. How long? Let’s do the math…

You’re going to want to edit it at 15fps for the best results. That means “frame per second.” So, if you’re dreaming of a five-minute movie, that’s 15 frames per second or 900 per minute. That’s 4,500 shots for a five-minute stop-motion video.

You’ll actually want to take more in case some of the don’t work out. Perhaps then it’s best to start small, maybe no more than a minute, then build your way up as you improve.

Move your actors, but only a little. This is discretionary. The smaller the movement, the more fluid it will look. But, considering you need to take over 900 shots, you can plan on moving the Minifigures two paces or so for each movement. Keep this up until you reach the number of shots you need.

5. Get Ready to Edit… For a While

You can use any stop-motion application on your computer that you can set to 15fps. Use Windows Movie Maker, iMovie – any of them will work and are easy to use.

Upload your photos and put them in your storyboard order. You may decide you don’t need all the photos you took, which is expected. Go ahead and delete them but don’t forget to keep one for your thumbnail. This will let the viewer know what your video is all about.

As a rule of thumb, the best YouTube thumbnails have added graphics like typography. There are programs out there like Adobe Spark that will guide you through this step.

6. Finishing Up

Once you’re done editing and everything looks good, you’re ready to upload your movie.

Bonus Tips

Since your LEGO Minifigures can’t change expressions on their own, you’ll need to do it for them. To do this, you’ll have to swap heads with other Minifigures.

This will add a lot of production time, so you may not want to do it until you get the hang of the Lego stop-motion animation process. If you’re thinking about getting a new LEGO set for your brick flick, be sure to check out our Reviews and remember to always Play Well!

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Easy Rider

Lego Easy Rider Motorbike Harley Davidson FLH

‘A man went looking for America. And couldn’t find it anywhere’. The protagonists in Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda’s 1969 cult movie Easy Rider may not have found America, but they found a lot of other things along the way.

Lego Easy Rider Motorbike Harley Davidson FLH

This brilliant Model Team recreation the Harley Davidson FLH motorcycle that Dennis Hopper rode in the film comes from previous bloggee Andre Pinto, and it not only recreates the bike in glorious detail, it’s been appropriately chromed (and flamed!) too. Hit the road in search of free love and LSD* via either Eurobricks or Flickr.

Lego Easy Rider Motorbike Harley Davidson FLH

*Not the second one. 

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Gymkhana 7

Lego Ken Block Ford Mustang

Ken Block’s Gymkhana series is a YouTube phenomenon. A series of expertly choreographed driving stunts seamlessly sewed together, Ken’s online exploits have created a worldwide army of fans. TLCB Elves are included in this, and each new Gymkhana video release is followed by days of Elves riding anything with wheels (and a few things that don’t) around the office, annoying everybody.

Gymkhana 7, published three years ago, has racked up over 43 million views on YouTube alone, and stars an 800+ bhp all-wheel-drive 1965 Ford Mustang and some enticingly deserted Los Angeles streets.

It’s this video that builder Primoz Mlaker has chosen to recreate in Lego form, building both part of the Los Angeles set and Block’s ferocious classic Mustang. But it’s not just a static diorama…

Lego Ken Block Mustang

Yup, thanks to some hidden Power Functions motors Primoz’s Mustang can throw down the moves from the film, including the obligatory Gymkhana donuts and also the opening seen from the video involving the Mustang’s unique all-wheel-drive system and a very strong chain…

You can see all the images and videos of Primoz’s brilliant moving diorama on Flickr by clicking here, plus you watch the original Gymkhana 7 film on which this creation its based by clicking the link above.

Lego Gymkhana 7

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Grand Theft Lego

Ever wondered what would happen if the wholesomeness of LEGO met the debauchery of Grand Theft Auto? Well thanks to digital media wizards Nukazooka you can wonder no more! The Lego Car Blog Elves are watching this madness on loop…

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The LEGO Batman Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Review

It’s been three years since The LEGO Movie became the surprise hit of the box office. Rapturous reviews (including here at The Lego Car Blog), a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96%, nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and winner of the BAFTA for Best Animated Film, the animated adventure shook up a cinematic genre that was starting to look a little tired.

Fast forward to 2017 and LEGO, DC and Warner Bros. are hoping to repeat the huge success of the original with the spin-off we all hoped for. Yes, LEGO Batman has got his very own movie.

Reprising his role as the Very Very Dark Grey Knight, Will Arnett is joined by an all-star cast including Zach Galifianakis as an inspired Joker, Michael Cera as Nightwing, and the brilliant Ralph Fiennes as Batman’s long-suffering butler Alfred.

It is Batman of course, who narrates the opening credits… “All important movies start with a black screen…”, Arnett growls, and The LEGO Batman Movie duly does.

The Lego Batman Movie Review

A frenetic opening returns movie-goers to the colour and vibrancy that only a world built from LEGO bricks can provide. The animation is absolutely first class, and there are some brilliant adult-friendly sight gags and pop-culture references throughout, including a nod to every Batman movie ever made (especially the bad ones) and a long-running joke about the pointlessness of many of DC’s superheroes (kudos to DC for the self depreciation!).

The story itself is pretty engaging, probably on par with even some of the better Batman movies – whilst some of the worse ones would be glad to trade their plot for this one – and it employs a wealth of cameos and small-part characters to keep the amusement coming.

The Lego Batman Movie Review

Our favourites though, are the two leads. Arnett’s mini-figure Batman we know and love from the original LEGO Movie, and Zach Galifianakis’ Joker is no doubt his equal, being both brilliantly comedic and delightfully scary in equal measure. Our warmth for these characters doesn’t extend to Nightwing though, who is just as annoying as he is in the trailers, and is surely the Scrappy Do of the entire Batman franchise. To that end at least, Michael Cera has nailed it.

The Lego Batman Movie is a wonderfully self-aware addition to the Batman franchise, poking fun and reverence at the comic’s history, whilst also managing to continue the LEGO Movie saga.

However, the film is not quite as fresh or clever as The LEGO Movie of 2014. Whilst a very good family-friendly animated movie, and no doubt enhanced by the inclusion of the LEGO universe, The Lego Batman Movie could ultimately have been animated in any number of ways and remained a very good family-friendly adventure. It’s a film made because the box office demanded it, and with The Lego Ninjago Movie on the horizon too, we could be entering a period of diminishing returns.

The Lego Batman Movie is the film that cinema deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

★★★½

The Lego Batman Movie Review

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Doof

Lego Mad Max Doof Wagon

The proliferation of vehicles from the Mad Max – Fury Road movie has slowed in recent weeks, but Flickr’s Matt De Lanoy has awakened the theme with a bang today. You can see more of his brilliant mini-figure recreation of the Doof Wagon at the link above.

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Toretto

Lego Fast and Furious Dodge Charger

Dominic Toretto had the coolest ride of all the Fast and Furious characters. As long as there were no corners a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, fitted with huge supercharger, will outrun almost anything. Flickr’s -derjoe- has recreated the iconic car beautifully in miniature. His Town scale version of the R/T was suggested by a reader and you can see the full image via the link above.

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Smokey and the Bandit

Lego Kenworth 900-A Snowman

This gorgeous Model Team recreation of the famous 1975 Kenworth 900-A from the cult classic ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ has been built by the recently returned Chris Melby. Chris is working on the trailer too, so expect more in the coming weeks. There’s more to see of the superb tractor unit at Chris’ photostream on Flickr – click the link above to get Eastbound and Down.

Lego Classic Kenworth Truck Smokey and the Bandit

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The Last Law in a World Gone Out of Control…

Lego Mad Max Ford Falcon Interceptor

…Pray that he’s out there somewhere.

Mad Max Fury Road is currently setting movie screens alight, but it all began way back in 1979. Ralph Savelsberg has added the Ford Falcon Interceptor from the film that started it all to his movie cars catalogue. There’s more to see on Flickr – click the link above and Get Mad.

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Oh What a Day! What a Lovely Day!

Lego Mad Max Fury Road

It hasn’t taken long for some of the incredible vehicles from brilliant 2015 film ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘ to start appearing in Lego form. The first to appear here come from one of our favourite Town-scale builders; Flickr’s _Tyler. There’s lots more to see at his Mad Max photo album, including these epic recreations of vehicles from the latest movie, as well as earlier creations from the first Mad Max movies of the 1980s. Click the link above to witness him.

Mad Max Lego Car

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Asphinctersayswhat?

Wayne's World LegoWhat? Ahh… the Mirth-Mobile… You can see more of this AMC Pacer from the 1992 cult movie ‘Wayne’s World’ at Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist)’s Flickr photostream.

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Batman’s Back! Probably.

Lego Matman Movie

The surprise movie hit of 2014 was surely the The LEGO Movie, which received both rave reviews and piles of cash at the box office. Such has been its success that The Lego Movie’s sequel, snappily titled ‘The LEGO Movie Sequel’ is already in the works and set for release sometime around 2018.

However production company Warner Brothers is rumoured to want even more from their new franchise, and so everyone’s favourite very very dark grey crimefighter might be getting his very own movie!

The as-yet-untitled LEGO Batman film is expected in around two years’ time, with the fantastic Will Arnett reprising his role as the Dark Knight.

We’ll bring you more on this story once we’ve catapulted a few more Elves into the Warner Brothers’ offices, but for now you can click this link to see what Batman got up to after The Lego Movie ended.

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Our Fine Four Fendered Friend

Chitty 01

Okay, we admit it, the Elf Riot was our fault. It all started when we promised our pointy-eared workers a night off, watching a DVD. The story was based on a book by the man who wrote James Bond and the film features some explosions and a transforming car. What could go wrong?

The Elves settled down in expectation of seeing something with Megan Fox, fireballs, Megan Fox, Optimus Prime, Megan Fox… Well you get the idea. Dick van Dyke just didn’t cut it. The Elves who made it through the ensuing mutiny and endured 144 minutes of 1960s musical spectacular have been irredeemably scarred.*

Anyhow, relax and feast your eyes on Ralph Savelsberg’s latest creation in his series of vehicles from film and TV. Featuring detachable wings and a brick-built Caractacus Pott, this Lego version of the most expensive theatre prop of all time looks splendid on its vintage, 1970s wheels. Click the link in the text to see more photos of this car, including WIP shots and Ralph’s neat solution to building Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s long exhaust pipe.

Chitty 02

*They’ve started to demand payment in Toot Sweets instead of Smarties.

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Vanishing Point

Lego Dodge Challenger 1971

This radio station was named Kowalski, in honour of the last American hero to whom speed means freedom of the soul. The question is not when’s he gonna stop, but who is gonna stop him.

Ralph Savelsberg pays homage to one of the greatest road movies of all time. See more of Kowalski’s Dodge Challenger here.

Lego Vanishing Point Challenger

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