Movie Review Monday returns! I apologize that I couldn’t post this last week, I was in a cellular dead zone for several days. However, today MRM is back featuring the Lego film: “Bound”.
“Bound” is what is known as a brickfilm, set in medieval times with a compelling story filled with rescues, ambushes, and adventure. We ride along with Nathan, Abigail, and Micah on a journey to rescue their brother Zathan from his physical imprisonment, but also his spiritual chains.
These two have to go hand in hand, either they are the detriment of each other or the compliment: without exception. As we step into the story we are introduced to the main players immediately. The opening sequence is superb, however, the movie takes several steps back immediately after in terms of quality. As much as I don’t want to play the grouch here, I have to say it was the fault of the way the acting was portrayed. Not the acting itself, but rather a culmination of the difficulty of acting a voice-over roll combined with the lack of expression shown by any of the Lego characters. I loved the acting roles, but it was difficult to establish an emotional scene without any expression on the part of the Lego figures. In real life, what is known as body language makes up 75 percent of acting, the absence of that entire spectrum made the movement of the script obsolete.
The animation was above my expectations. Any time I hear “free animated movie” really horrible imaginations pop into my mind. I was pleasantly surprised with “Bound” in terms of the quality of animation.
Here is another duo, which in animated films are inseparable. Rather than compliment the amazing story in this film, I think the script actually detracted from it. This is not the fault of the script writers, nor the actors who performed the script. They went for the angle of a playful, mock-up script that exploited the fact that they were Lego characters; however, you have to be very careful doing that because it’s easy to make the film look childish and amateurish. I would’ve loved to see this film in live-action, the story was excellent and I’ll watch this film many more times for that.
Now, to get to know the creator a bit more.
Gregg and his sister Monica are the ones responsible for bringing Legos to life. In 2010 Greg had the idea for a story which would eventually become the brickfilm “Bound”. I had to ask, you know me, I just couldn’t be satisfied until I discovered the motive behind the makers of the film. So, I had a conversation with Greg a week or so ago about his latest production.
Me: First off, why Lego? What was the thinking behind making a Lego film?
Greg: Children relate to Lego; adults relate to Lego; everyone does. It’s a universally liked and accepted medium that has an inherent sense of humor and quality. Plus, when I started I had no funds to do live action, so animation it was. Then I just sort of never stopped.
Me: What was the inspiration behind “Bound”?
Greg: A love of adventure, the Middle Ages, and anything epic. Plus, it was a movie, and I love film. Honestly though, when you write a film it’s not just a single inspiration source. A multitude of things inspire you all along the way.
Greg told me over the course of our conversation that he had been a part of several brickfilm projects for various purposes. To get an experienced answer on how brickfilmmaking differed from live action filmmaking, I asked him directly about it.
Me: What specific dynamics come to play in a brickfilm that you don’t see in a live action film?
Greg: Endurance. No seriously, it takes about 8 hours to capture an average of 10 seconds of footage AFTER you’ve built all the sets. There is, and I’ve worked a lot of different jobs, nothing I know that is more tedious than stop motion animation. But can we all agree that the results of stop motion are pretty incredible? Okay, besides that, you just have to try to think a little Lego-ey. How might a character with no elbows or knees climb this ladder?
When it comes to building sets, it’s a matter of creating every detail as faithfully rendered to the original as possible but in brick form. With audio recording, there’s no editing down the road. What you lock in before you begin shooting is it.
There are no take twos. Well, if there are you momentarily hate the universe. That whole “8 hours to capture 10 seconds” thing.
It was very enlightening to learn about this new frontier of filmmaking I hadn’t traversed until this review. When you consider the caliber of difficulty it takes to produce a quality brickfilm, “Bound” seems more a masterpiece than a decent attempt. Knowing the dedication and perseverance of the people behind this film to produce a story in the most appealing and engaging way they can, it causes me to be inspired to do the same.
Despite whatever flaws I may have found, whatever problems the movie may have I can forget knowing the level of dedication the filmmakers had to their message. The film is wonderful and pleasant to watch. If the Tulls put this level of effort into every project they do, I can’t wait to see the next one. I encourage you to go and watch “Bound”. The best part is, it’s free! No way! That blew my mind! This film is deserving of so much more than a handful of YouTube views and you can help its success grow to encourage these filmmakers to keep producing quality and fun entertainment. You can watch “Bound” by clicking here!
As always, thanks for reading and be sure to check out Greg and Monica’s company Montiogo Studios for information on upcoming projects.
Facebook: Montiogo Studios
–the anonymous novelist