The Lego Movie ... one big ad.
As you arrive to see a movie named after a toy, you already know it's going to be one massive advertisement. After all, when that movie is called The Lego Movie, there's no beating around the bush.
Everything you see on screen is available in toy form. There are songs and computer games to download, and there's no need to stop the Lego frenzy at mealtime. Simply grab a Lego Happy Meal on the way home.
Soon enough you wonder what came first - the idea for a movie or the idea for the massive marketing push. For too long, Lego has attached itself to popular movies such as Harry Potter. See the film, buy the Harry Potter Lego set and keep the magic happening. Now Lego has simply cut out the middle man and produced its own movie with - surprise surprise - toys attached.
Are filmmakers so bereft of ideas they have to look to products for story ideas these days? I have to say Lego is not the worst idea I've seen. Battleship probably takes that prize - a movie based on the childhood game Battleships. Wow, I can't wait for the Noughts and Crosses movie. That will be awesome. Those crosses will kick the noughts in the backside.
It seems that in Hollywood, someone, somewhere, has been given the task of going through every childhood game, cartoon and memory and seeing whether there's any movie potential there. What about Space Hopper the movie? No? OK, how does Pet Rock the movie grab you? What about Paddington Bear the movie? Too late, it's coming out next year.
I think we should just go all-out and embrace commercialism, so what about KFC the movie or even KFC versus Maccas, like Aliens versus Cowboys? Who wouldn't go to see thousands of Colonel Sanders battling against an army of Ronald McDonalds. Hit 'em with some Zingers and drown them in a McFlurry. I'm already entertained at the thought.
That's all good for kids, but us adults can't wait for Ikea the Musical. The movie writes itself - a couple is trapped in an Ikea store and through the canny use of an Allen key, some Swedish words and songs, they find their way out and everyone gets an 80 cent ice-cream at the end.
Can you believe some of us grew up in an age when movies were just that - movies? No tie-in, no Hungry Jack's offers or spin-off TV show. Can you believe that a great movie such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory launched with no Cadbury special offer? Can you fathom that Jaws became a smash hit with no sponsorship from the fish and chip shop industry? (''You've been scared by Jaws. Now eat him with some chips.'')
We in Australia need to get on the front foot and claim some of our own stories before Hollywood grabs them. So, by mentioning the idea here first, I am officially owning them.
I have sifted through all the unique Australian experiences and have come up with the following. First, Auskick the movie. It sells itself and, as a marketing executive would say, it has a built-in audience. OK, so you're not sold on a film that features seven-year-olds kicking a football on a Sunday morning while hung-over parents look on? What about Cracker Night the movie. Yeah, now you're on board. It's a cross between The Castle and The Hurt Locker. An average Aussie family struggles to build a bonfire in the paddock for cracker night, while battling those tiresome bureaucrats at the council, who, of course, want to ban this spectacular night, when children regularly have fingers blown off and their eyebrows singed. OK, maybe that lacks relevance in today's society.
We need to launch a movie that every average Aussie can relate to, so how about Bin Night the movie? It has everything - tension, climax and nail-biting scenes, such as when the university students hear the rubbish truck and run out in their pyjamas to put their bins out. Will they make it? What a hook to get the punters in and then sell them Bin Night T-shirts, rubbish bags and disinfectant.
At least The Lego Movie was funny and the music was done by the guy from Devo.
The overall message was heartwarming, too - you don't have to follow the instructions; you can build whatever you like out of your Lego; just use your imagination.
And just in case you have no imagination, all the toys from the movie are available and, yes, they come with instructions.