ALL PAWS ON DECK – Cletus, a yellow lab, looks out from the deck of the F/V Jackpine this morning as ANB Harbor empties out. Today is the opening of the summer troll season and with good weather much of the Sitka fleet is now out on the fishing grounds. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

The Movie Review: The LEGO Movie

By Daniel Olbrych

    My childhood consisted of two things: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and LEGOs. This movie has both.
    But before you bring up the fact that this movie is more or less an hour and a half toy commercial, ask yourself this. If it inspires kids to play with LEGOs instead of an iPad, to use their imaginations again instead of flinging birds at rickety buildings, to not let the instructions hold them back from invention, isn’t it all worth it?
    I hope LEGO stock goes up, I really do. Because everything, and I mean everything, about “The Lego Movie” is awesome.
    Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”) prove once again that they are brilliant. Not only will “LEGO” entertain kids but the adults too. It doesn’t hurt that the film is also gorgeous, at times looking like real LEGO blocks. Down to every detail, the 1980-something space guy even has a crack in his helmet where mine did too. And if you had that figurine, then you know what I’m talking about.
    It’s truly remarkable. Lord and Miller clearly have a love for the building blocks and the end result is so good it brings you back. The attention to detail is remarkable. Almost like they built a LEGO city and went in there with little cameras to film. The texture of the plastic mold can be seen in every piece.
    And then there is the style in which the world comes to life, part stop-action, but more limited by the physicality of the LEGOs themselves. Nothing you see is out of the ordinary for what a LEGO man, or woman, would move like. Explosions, clouds, and laser blasts glide through the world in a fashion as only a child could design.
    You will recognise the voices of Chris Pratt (“Parks and Recreation”), Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks (“The Hunger Games”), Charlie Day (“Always Sunny ...”), Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman, to name a few, and the list goes on. The star power is there, sure, but the impressive thing is just how funny these performances are. Lord and Miller demonstrate yet again that a “kids” movie doesn’t just have to entertain the kids. Chris Pratt is extremely funny throughout the entire the film. But it was Charlie Day’s delivery of the line “spaceship” that had me in stitches. The “spaceship” line combined with the excitement of going into the third act, it was like I was 7 years old all over again.
    The dialogue is witty, often inspiring. Generally, there’s a nice balance between its goofiness and sincerity. “The LEGO Movie” has a big heart and is not afraid to show it. It topples over the recent supply of animated films. Really showing up Pixar, proving that “Brave” wasn’t that good and “Planes” should have never existed.
    The thematic elements tackled are some hefty real world, philosophical issues. As far as this genre goes, there hasn’t been an animated film quite as suggestive as this. Though touched upon in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” written by Lord and Miller, “LEGO” actually openly criticizes modern society and encourages people to think differently.
    It’s an interesting subject to sneak into a kids adventure film. And perhaps the reason why it succeeds as it does. Things were different 25 years ago. Really different. “LEGO” brings up a scary thought: have kids slowly been losing their prowess to imagine? And are LEGO building blocks the key to saving young minds from being imprisoned by society?
    And so yes, there is that, a little issue that you are going to want to play with LEGOs shortly after seeing this movie. It is kind of an ad, I suppose, but whatever. Because if it is an ad, it’s pretty much the best ad, ever.
    I hate to say this movie is perfect. But it basically is.
With a soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo), really, what’s not to love. “The LEGO Movie” does everything a movie like this should. It offers a good message while it entertains. Not bogged down by racial stereotypes or stupidity, “LEGO” is clever in a way more animated movies wish they were.
    It’s nostalgic goodness wrapped in animated beauty that only modern technology can delivery. I can’t recommend it enough. This isn’t just the best animated movie in years, more than that, it’s simply one of the best movies of recent times, period.

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-1-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Monday: 38

Total statewide – 978

Total (cumulative) deaths – 14

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (5 resident; 3 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 11 (8 resident; 3 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 68.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

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Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020

NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHERS

TO READERS AND ADVERTISERS

For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website sitkasentinel.com. Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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