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February 21, 2014

NASH: Everything is awesome

When I was younger, I remember traveling all the way to the Showcase Cinemas on Bardstown Road in order to see movies. Back then, it was a special occasion to see a film.

In my late teens and early 20s, with first-run movie theaters now on this side of the river, I was likely to see a movie every week. Usually I would see the blockbusters on opening weekend and others I would wait until they showed up at the “dollar” theater. I remember how disappointed I was when the “dollar” movie was raised to $1.50.

 Flash forward a few years and movie-going started to dwindle. When the children were infants and were too young for kids’ movies, it had to be a special occasion again. You had to now have a baby-sitter in order to get out of the house for the evening. The price of the movie and the obligatory tub of popcorn and soda also became prohibitive.

As my children grew, taking them to the movies became an event again. Over the last decade, there have been quite a few great animated films that have come out which were fun for kids as well as things that adults would enjoy. There was also the Harry Potter series based on the J.K. Rowling novels that my kids and I both read well before their theatrical adaptations.

By the end of this year, three of my kids will all be teenagers at the same time. Finding the time to take them to a movie is tough enough. Finding a movie that they are willing to go with their father to see is nearly impossible.

Now, with infants again, going to the movies may be gone forever. With the availability to rent movies several places within a short distance from our house, it seems silly to waste money at the movies. We also have the option to “rent” a movie through our cable provider for a price cheaper that one admission to the theater.

We are able to pause it if we have to go to the bathroom. If we happen to fall asleep before it is over, we have a couple of days to watch again to see how it ends. Many of these movies are the ones that have just finished their run at the movie theater.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to once again take in a movie at the theater. Our family had been indoors for weeks taking care of our newborn twins and just trying to stay warm from this winter we were stuck in. I had to get out of the house, so I took my 12-year-old to see “The Lego Movie.”

Growing up with thousands of Legos myself and later sharing the love for them with my boys, I was interested to see if they could make a movie out of a toy that needs a lot of help to become exciting. GI Joes and Transformers have mad the leap to film rather successfully but they were “action” figures. They also were cartoon series before they hit the big screen.

I was also interested in seeing the movie because a Fox Business television host labeled the movie “anti-business,” a claim that was clearly made by someone that hadn’t seen the movie. It was a nearly two-hour commercial for a children’s toy that has come a long way from the simple blocks I had when I was a child.

Just because the main antagonist characters name was President/Lord Business does mean the movie was anti-business. If the movie was anti anything, it would be anti-conformity and pro creativity.

It had several different themes, including family relationships that occurred during a surprising plot twist that happened about two-thirds of the way through the movie when the background of why things were happening the way they were in the movie was revealed.

Someone even suggested that the villain looked like Mitt Romney. Clearly, this was a stretch because besides wearing a suit, the guy looked like your run-of-the-mill Lego man. If he looked like any real live person, it might be actor Will Farrell, who supplied his voice. Farrell also made a surprise appearance in the movie, which was part of the surprising plot twist you’ll have to see the movie to understand.

The film turned out to be a lot of fun, with enough action to keep the attention of children and enough nostalgic stuff to keep this parent grinning. I especially liked the scene when the Lego Millennium Falcon, from the Star Wars saga, pulled up and had a quick chat with the heroes in the movie.

If you walk out of the theater after seeing “The Lego Movie” and you are not humming along to the featured song, “Everything is Awesome,” there might be something wrong with you. The simple yet catchy tune really fits in to the themes of the movie.

I came home and noted that it should at least get an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, even if it gets a little annoying after listening to it repeatedly.

Of course, it’s not nearly annoying as stepping on a Lego barefoot, which is a hazard every Lego parent will ultimately face.

— Matthew Nash can be reached at dmatthewnash@gmail.com

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