FILM: THE LEGO MOVIE 3-D
CAST: CHRIS PRATT, WILL FERRELL, ELIZABETH BANKS, WILL ARNETT, NICK OFFERMAN, ALISON BRIE, CHARLIE DAY, LIAM NEESON, MORGAN FREEMAN
DIRECTOR: PHIL LORD & CHRISTOPHER MILLER
‘The LEGO Movie’ is the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO adventure.
The original 3D computer-animated story follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as The Special, the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.
Chris Pratt is the voice of Emmet. Will Ferrell is the voice of President Business, aka Lord Business, an uptight CEO who has a hard time balancing world domination with micro-managing his own life, and Liam Neeson is the voice of Lord Business’s loyal henchman, Bad Cop/Good Cop, who will stop at nothing to catch Emmet.
Voicing the members of Emmet’s rebel crew on this heroic mission are Morgan Freeman as the ancient mystic Vitruvius; Elizabeth Banks as tough-as-nails Wyldstyle, who mistakes Emmet for the savior of the world and guides him on his quest; Will Arnett as the mysterious BatmanTM, a LEGO minifigure with whom Wyldstyle shares a history; Nick Offerman as the craggy, swaggering pirate Metal Beard, obsessed with revenge on Lord Business; Alison Brie as the sweet and loveable Unikitty and Charlie Day as Benny, the 1980-something Spaceman.
Anyone who ever designed a universe from a heap of parts on their bedroom floor will know what ‘The LEGO Movie’ writer/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’, ‘21 Jump Street’) mean when they say that, growing up, they always had buckets of LEGO bricks. “We’d build spaceships and all kinds of crazy things, but it wasn’t just the building, it was the infinite possibilities of things to make and express that was so irresistible and exciting,” says Miller.
As filmmakers, their interest took a different focus. “Chris and I were inspired by the ingenuity and humour that comes out of the international LEGO community,” says Lord, referring to such outlets as LEGO Cuusoo, the LEGO Group’s fan submission site for potential new products, “ReBrick” forums where people can share their creations, and the growing number of unique short films, using LEGO bricks and minifigures, that are produced and shared online by individuals from every corner of the world.
Such is the fascination of the LEGO brand. Committed to upholding that principle, Lord and Miller knew from the start that this could be no standard animation but a virtual build, a feature-length motion picture made entirely of LEGO bricks and elements.
“We both thought,” Lord continues, “‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to make a big, fun, action-packed LEGO adventure that captures the feeling of being a kid putting these pieces together, but on a truly epic scale?’ And what if it could retain that handmade quality these little films have that’s so engaging.
Because part of the appeal of LEGO bricks is how accessible they are as an art form, we wanted to make a film that felt like something anyone could do in their own basement…provided they had a gigantic basement and a few million bricks.”
FILM: I, FRANKENSTEIN
CAST: AARON ECKHART, BILL NIGHY, Yvonne Strahovski, MIRANDA OTTO, JAI COURTNEY, SOCRATIS OTTO, ADEN YOUNG, CAITLIN STASEY, MAHESH JADU, DENIZ AKDENIZ, CHRISTOPHER PANG
DIRECTOR: STUART BEATTIE
From the makers of the hit ‘Underworld’ series, comes a gripping new tale of mortal enemies and supernatural rivals, with a modern-day Frankenstein’s creature at its very centre.
The Gothic action-thriller ‘I, Frankenstein’ takes audiences into an ongoing war between vigilant gargoyles and ferocious demons over the souls of humankind.
Now, caught in the roiling conflict is Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s still-surviving creation, Adam (Aaron Eckhart), as both sides race to discover the powerful secret to his immortality.
“This is the story of how Frankenstein’s monster begins to earn his humanity,” screenwriter and director Stuart Beattie says. “We call him Adam in our film and we take him on a modern adventure where he gets caught up in a hidden war between two supernatural races of good and evil. Both sides want him for their own reasons, and he has to struggle to find his own purpose and meaning. He has to figure out who he is, what he is and why he is. He makes hard choices to become the person that he knows he should be … but perhaps doesn’t want to be.”
Like his namesake, Adam was the very first of his kind – but to this day, he remains alone, with no companionship, no communion with anyone else who shares his not-quite-human experiences of the world.
Beattie knew that his version of Frankenstein’s creature would require an actor as skilled with complex emotions as with physical action and suspense. The filmmakers found that unique combination in Aaron Eckhart, known for a wide range of dramatic and action roles that share in common one thing: a palpable intensity. His many notable roles have ranged from Harvey Dent aka Two-Face in ‘The Dark Knight’ and a soldier fighting aliens in ‘Battle Los Angeles’ to a grieving father in ‘Rabbit Hole’ and a silver-tongued tobacco spokesman in ‘Thank You for Smoking’.
Eckhart also had the strong physical presence to carry off a creature whose appearance had to be both haunting and intriguing. Says Producer Richard Wright: “Aaron coming on board crystallized what this character should be for us.
Aaron has a fantastic face. If you’re going to get an actor and put scars on his face and make him up grotesquely you still want him to be good-looking and somebody that the audience can identify with, both men and women alike. Aaron brought those qualities.”
As soon as he took on the role, Eckhart began exploring Adam’s inner world – and his everlasting yearning to know what it would be like to have a human soul. He saw the character as someone hunting for an identity and a reason for his confounding existence. “He’s a man in search of himself. I think a lot of people can relate to that,” says Eckhart.
Eckhart took a lot of his inspiration from Mary Shelley’s original depiction of Frankenstein’s creature. Born from a highly unorthodox scientific experiment, Shelley’s creature is soon reviled and hunted, while longing for kindness and company. In Eckhart’s depiction, even 200 years later he has not yet found any peace.
“Historically the monster of Frankenstein has been considered to be a vicious, feral character,” notes Eckhart. “However in this film and in Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’, yes, he’s outwardly scarred but he’s also inwardly scarred, and that was important. But you also see that he was not wanted by his father, that he has had to fend for himself alone in a dangerous world. You see that he has always been looking for some kind of love.”