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Pre Ninja

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, TV Sep 22 2017 · 73 views

So the Ninjago movie comes out this week... or rather, tomorrow. I had been planning to see it Thursday night, only to check and see that, actually, they don't have any showings for it Thursday. And the showings on Friday are either too early in the day (AKA when I'm at work) or too late (AKA going to bed cause I have work on Saturday too.) So alas, I won't be able to catch the movie until Saturday afternoon, making me jealous of everyone who got a chance to see it early.

Anyway, despite my earlier reservations, I'm excited for the movie. It looks like it will have some nice comedy and action, and I've come to terms that it won't be the same as the TV show. (Which is continuing on its own anyway.) But I've already read for other AFOL reviews, and they seem to be of the opinion that it's good, but not as good as the other movies, and it exceeded their expectations because they expected it to be a flop. Because, like Bionicle, a lot of AFOLs on certain sites seem to dislike the theme because... I dunno, because it has a story aimed at kids? The Ninjago TV show is a fun cartoon, but it's no Star Wars, and adults who don't like the Power Rangers / Ninja Turtle / Super Hero vibe don't like it. That's fine, but it always seems like some assume that since they don't like it, it should (and will) fail. (Disregarding that it's the one Lego theme that consumers did successfully revive after a cancelation and continues to be a best seller.) Even if some of them like the sets, they only "get it for the pieces" and assume the show and story is worthless.

Anyway, that's probably an exaggeration, but that kinda feels like the gist I was getting from the reviews. The "This theme is awful, no way a movie based on it will work" that turned into "Okay, it's good but not AS good as the other movies." And there's legitimate reason's for it; the original Lego Movie was so awesome that it'll be hard to top or even match. (I think the Lego Batman Movie fell quite short of that.) And maybe it's too soon for another Lego movie to be coming out, because I guess people do start getting bored of more of the same and stuff. But I'm going to ignore that for now. I've read plenty of reviews where people who already disliked the genre ended up disliking the film, and I have high hopes, especially given that every new sequence I've seen clips for brings something new and cool to the table, so I'm optimistic that it'll be good. But the negativity right out of the door is a bit off-putting, even if that negativity is "good, but not as good."

(Although one spoiler that the reviews seemed to have confirmed is that the movie is very Lloyd centric. The original show was like that, where the first year focused primarily on Kai's journey. Further seasons have focused on the other ninjas, which is fine when you start getting a long running show, but that doesn't bode well for a movie, which made have started with too large of a cast of characters as is. If your favorite ninja isn't Lloyd, then you might get disappointed.) (Wait, must remain optimistic!!!!)

Anyway, I'll probably post more of my rambling thoughts this weekend after I see it. So far, I've kept myself from buying ALL the sets, only have two of the smaller ones... I'll see if I can continue to maintain that willpower...

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I do think the reviews might be colored by both it being the second Lego movie in a single year, and by its predecessors giving it high expectations (perhaps unrealistically so). And to be fair, the former was not really the original plan—if it hadn't been delayed, reviewers might not be experiencing the same "Lego fatigue". In any case, I'll see for myself tonight when I finally get around to seeing the movie. I certainly doubt it'll be any less enjoyable than any of the cheaper direct-to-DVD Lego movies I've appreciated despite their faults.

Additionally, I've seen a bunch of disgruntled fans of the show putting the blame on the changes from the TV series... but I'm skeptical the TV series would fare much better under the same sort of critical lens. I love it as a fan and it has great moments, but ultimately it doesn't really come very close to the postmodern heights of The Lego Movie either.

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