The LEGO Movie: Review and Q&A with Elizabeth Banks (VIDEO)

Hello... my name is Sugar... and I KRAGLE.

I'm working on my issues, which didn't seem to be so bad, until I watched The LEGO Movie. This movie could have been filmed inside my son's head. In fact, the whole time I was watching, I felt like I had been transported into his imagination. It was sweet, except for the parts that brought twinges of guilt to my OCD heart.

Little things kept popping up on the "evil" side of the story. Things like "micromanagement bots" and "nail polish remover" and "KRAGLE". Things that I thought were harmless... helpful even. I realize now that I was only fooling myself. With the help of my patient LEGO loving son, I'm working to rid myself of my KRAGLE issues.

One day at a time.

What is this insidious KRAGLE thing? It's the secret weapon of the evil Lord Business who is seeking to destroy all the free thinking and imagination in the LEGO universe. An unassuming hero, Emmet (Chris Pratt), who lives his life in the same way, every single day of his life, finds that everything is NOT awesome in his instruction following world. After meeting Master Builder Wyld Style (Elizabeth Banks), he discovers that he's destined to help save the worlds from the imagination killing intentions of the evil Lord Business who plans to end the world on Taco Tuesday.

WyldStyle doesn't understand how Emmet, the not-so-special instruction following guy with so little imagination is going to save them. But swallowing her pride, she works with him to help find his creative side. Along the way, she introduces him to other master builders, The Wizard (Morgan Freeman), Batman (Will Arnett), a jacked up pirate, a Spaceman that really wants to build a spaceship, and a rainbow kitty with a unicorn horn named UniKitty. There are a few other LEGO minis that you'll recognize. Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Super Man, Gandolf, and a host of other nerdy characters.

After a special preview of the movie, I was invited along with a group of Southern California bloggers for a special Q & A with the voice of WyldStyle, Elizabeth Banks. We met her in what will be a new attraction at LEGOLand California, opening to the public this summer: The actual set of The LEGO Movie. When the mic came to me, I asked Ms. Banks something to the effect of:

What was the thing you pretend played when you were a kid?

This was her hilarious answer:

The loud guffaws were mostly me, with a few bursts of laughter coming from Mary Burt-Godwin of The Mama Mary Show. Everyone left the room talking about how cool it would have been to grow up with Elizabeth Banks.

The movie has plenty of hilarious references that will keep adults' attention (you'll DIE when you see what happens to the Millennium Falcon!) and it's a fun, quirky adventure that the kids will absolutely love. 

Hope you get a chance to see The LEGO Movie! Don't be surprised if you start to think that "everything is AWESOME!" ;)


One Direction: This is Us - Review and Cheat Sheet

I know... I know... It's movie about a boy band.

But this boy band really is so much fun to watch! Not only that, this is a completely different rise-to-stardom story that's fascinating. The members of One Direction only met competing against each other and were brought together by Simon Cowell because they LOST.

And then they became One Direction and won and won and won... 

and LOST again.

But after that loss, things were different. They had die-hard fans on their side, and those fans had social media. How the fans (Directioners, as they call themselves) helped build the buzz for the boys is part of the story. And it really is a great story. Not to mention, the actual editing of the movie keeps the audience (even the uninitiated) engaged. You get the sense that you're on this wild journey with them.

When I took my daughter and her friend to watch a special screening of One Direction: This is Us, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I suppose I should have expected the screaming, but I was hardly prepared for the actual volume. Shows what I know. Before the movie even started, the boys come out in an ad for branded back-to-school supplies that support an anti-bullying campaign with Office Depot. The girls laughed at each other when they realized they had freaked out over an ad, not the movie.

And then the movie came on.

I should've brought ear plugs. Not because I don't care for the music. It's actually grown on me over the last year, and they do some covers of a few tunes I was raised on. Their cover of Blondie's One Way or Another is pretty good, and all the proceeds go to a charity helping people in Ghana. 

No, the reason I should've brought the ear plugs (and you would do well to learn from my mistake) was the screaming Directioners. By the end of the movie, my daughter and her friend had both lost their voices.

The other thing I should have brought?


There's a part of the movie where the families are introduced. We learn that these boys have barely been home since they went to audition at the X Factor. Their meteoric rise to fame has meant staying on the road and away from family. The moms killed me, but there was one scene where one of the dads talks about missing his son that just made me lose it. 

I left the theater completely on my daughter's side about One Direction, and ready to convince all of you parents of Directioners that it's okay... you can handle the movie. If for some reason you are still in the dark about which one is which, here's a little cheat sheet (written by my Directioner) for you to review prior to heading to the theater:.


This is Them 

by H.R. Jones

From left to right: Liam, Zayn, Harry, Niall, Louis

From left to right: Liam, Zayn, Harry, Niall, Louis

Harry Styles -

Harry is most paid attention to by the media, and it seems like people make it as if he's the only member of One Direction, but he is 1/5. The media always tries to make him look like a bad person, but he's honestly the sweetest person I've ever seen. His fashion sense consists of black skinny jeans, band t-shirts, scarves used as headbands, brown boots, and Ray-Bans. Although he's the tallest, he's the youngest. Harry also tells cheesy jokes.

Louis Tomlinson -

Louis is pronounced Lou-ee, girls will pounce on you if you say "Lewis." He is the oldest, but he's the most immature. Louis is the funniest in the band. He always plays pranks and tells jokes, and Niall laughs at basically everything he says. He has very blue eyes and caramel hair. Louis is also a professional soccer player for the Doncaster Rovers.

Niall Horan - 

Niall has a very thick Irish accent that is different from the other boys' British accents. He has really soft blonde hair and really pretty blue eyes that EVERYONE loves. He plays guitar for most of the album and on stage he always jumps. It's actually weird how high he can jump.  

Liam Payne -

Liam was known as the most sensible of the group, but he's more laid back now. He tried out for the X-Factor once in 2008, but was turned down before Judges Houses and was told to come back two years later. When he auditioned in 2010, he ended up in One Direction. He has a strange obsession with Iron Man and Batman.

Zayn Malik -

Zayn is a very quiet person, but when he's around the boys of One Direction he comes out of his shell and goofs off just as much as the rest of them. He comes off as a "bad boy", but he is very calm and sweet. I think he keeps the rest of the boys sane.

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How about you?

Do you have a die-hard Directioner at home? Have you seen the movie yet?