Monday, February 17, 2014

Leggo to the Lego Movie!


Since the trailer came out last year, were you one of the families foaming at the mouth for The Lego Movie? I know we were! For us, THIS was going to be the biggest movie in plaything history since Toy Story.
And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint.

Lego, being a household name, could've just come out with any half-assed plot and still hit blockbuster because of its sheer popularity. But nooooo.... Warner Brothers wasn't going to do just that. In fact, it crafted an elaborate storyline AND cast a bunch of big timers to do the voices. Say, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson, among others.

Now, details --what exactly got us rabid about The Lego Movie?

It's just the perfect over-the-top adventure any child would concoct when playing with his own Lego pieces. Evil overlord, All-knowing master, Unlikely hero, Badass heroine, plus, a crazy mixture of Lego play sets. Kudos to the writers for putting their inner child right out there.

There was depth in every character, it's crazy! How did they even have time for that?! Metal Beard had a back story, Bad Cop/Good Cop had a family, WyldStyle had personal issues, Lord Business had control issues, Batman had relationship issues --whew! Don't even get me started on Emett's wht-is-my-purpose issues!

I would have died if the whole movie was made out of real physical Lego bricks and stop-motioned for like eternity. But that would be insane. Instead, the whole movie is made out of thousands of unique Lego bricks and hundreds of unique Lego mini-figures virtually created through a program called Lego Digital Designer. Which means the behind-the-scenes would still be insane. Anyway, the effect is damn authentic! Check out the Lego sea sequence!

Oh, you know how I am with plot twists. The whole movie was a metaphor about father and son relationships? With... with Will Ferrel? Nobody in his right mind saw that coming! Dayum!

Fathers, play with your children. Adults, stop being run by rules and learn to have some fun sometimes. Very timely message there. Oh, and children --let your creativity go wild! It's kinda ironic because every Lego set does come with an instruction manual. But this movie tells us that THAT is just a suggestion. Neat.
There was also this 'Everyone can be special' underlying message in there, but it's a little cliche. So.

Lego didn't scrimp on advertising their existing marketable Lego sets, of course. The Star Wars Lego Set was there. And the real Anthony Daniels REALLY voiced C3PO! Ok, that's just plain geekery... but I smiled when that happened.

Overall, the movie was a fun, original ride peppered with nostalgia for older people and non-stop I-can-relate-to-this awesomeness for the young'uns.

The Lego Movie is on its final few days of showing this week. So if you're one of those people who has a Lego piece stuck under your refrigerator or in between the cushions of your couch, it will do your happy heart some good to watch this.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Papier Macheniacs: Plague Doctor Mask Made Easy

Very, very late post! The past few weeks have been insane! But we, Papier Macheniacs, still managed to squeeze in one very crucial project.
Ok, 'crucial' is such a big word. But Miro needed a mask to spook a friend on his birthday so here it is...


This was so much fun making. It's even more fun that we made it using the most common household items. Paper plates, an empty tissue roll, and cellophane-wrapped polvoron! The polvoron we ate during break time. :)

How did we make such a spazztastic transformation? Pretty easy, really.

First, we did the measuring. Eye holes and breathing holes are always important in mask-making... for obvious reasons. Miro just wrapped a paper plate around his face and put pencil mark guides on where we should cut out the appropriate holes.

Second, the beak. There's a variety of plague doctor beaks out there, but we decided to go with something that resembled that of a hawk's or a falcon's. All it took were 2 plates rolled and taped into cones. And then we taped them together to keep the whole beak sturdy. The A-line cut should be the bottom part of your beak because that's where you breathe.


Next, the straps. Now we wanted straps with a little give so it won't rip with repeated use. We used folded news paper strips for these. Then, we papier mached everything together.

Looking pretty plaguey already, eh?

A little focus on the eyes here. Remember the polvoron we ate earlier? We used the red cellophanes for the goggles, for that extra creepy touch we all aspire for in spooking dear friends. We also painted the
insides of the goggles red so that the whole creepiness reflects beautifully. Oh, and just in case you didn't notice --the goggles are made out of cut tissue roll.

Just a little bit of original painted design touches and --there you have it! Who needs Halloween when you have everyday to creep your friends out? 
Needless to say, my boy Miro's evil birthday plot was a spooky success! :)

See how easy that went? I dare you to make your own Plague Doctor mask today.