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Film Review: The Emoji Movie

“My Feelings Are Huge. Maybe I’m Meant To Have More Than Just One Emotion…”

Yes, you read the title correct, The Emoji Movie is indeed a real thing. Whilst films such as Dunkirk and The Big Sick recently showcase the real wonder of what cinema can offer to a wide array of audiences, sometimes you just gotta take the dark with the light and understand that for every Apocalypse Now there is unfortunately a Gods of Egypt, and whilst it’s never healthy to enter an auditorium with preconceived notions about the overall quality of a particular movie, a film entirely based on the existence of Emoji’s does inherently and fundamentally lead you to hold your head heavily in your hands and await your fate. So, enter the foyer and grab your ticket as you grip tightly the cold, smooth surface of your overly priced fizzy pop which aids you in your journey through the passages of hell as you grace your sticky, oversized seat and watch a movie about cartoon faeces and gigantic thumbs. And breathe. One could argue that with The Emoji Movie undoubtedly being a movie aimed at the younger variety of audiences in its’ creation, the thought of a 23 year old coffee maniac sitting down and reviewing it does seem rather disjointed, yet after managing to survive one of the most painful 85 minutes of my entire cinematic life, the horror and sheer toxicity of a film such as The Emoji Movie doesn’t deserve just to be reviewed, it deserves to be stripped down from top to bottom and dissected in hope that the many, many troubling issues at the heart of it can be highlighted to as many as possible in the hope that it simply fades away from cinema entirely.

As mentioned by many already, the overall narrative of The Emoji Movie rather unfortunately bears a sickening similarity to the masterpiece of animation which is Inside Out, a film which effectively highlighted the complications of an emotion-ridden child and built a world within which was both intelligent and fluffy enough to serve both a young and elder audience. With The Emoji Movie however, the key message of the film is for young children to simply use their mobile devices as a way of living your life from beginning to end, where instead of socialising through conversation and active involvement with others, apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Just Dance should be bought and used instead in order to really succeed in life at such an early stage, and whilst such a narrative is inherently toxic and vulgar, the film is made worse by the straight-faced manner in which such a message is played rather than there being any air of irony or satire to accept it. Amidst awful dialogue consisting of conversations regarding piracy, hackers and internet trolls, the evoking of swear words and sexual references make The Emoji Movie one of the most misjudged U certificate films I have ever seen, and with enough saccharin sweet awfulness and ear-piercing musical pieces to make you want to throw up in the aisle, animation has never hit levels so desperately low. In the 1990’s growing up, my generation had The Lion King. In 2017, the animation of the summer is The Emoji Movie, a hate-filled barrel of toxic slumber which deserves to be derided by everyone who pays to see it. What prevents it from being one star you ask? It’s only 80 minutes of your life you will never, ever get back.

Overall Score: 2/10

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Film Review: Logan

“Nature Made Me A Freak. Man Made Me A Weapon, And God Made It Last Too Long…”

With the monumental success of Marvel’s Deadpool last year, the inevitably of a sudden spike in similarly R-Rated comic-based movies was somewhat unavoidable, with Suicide Squad being the first to match the all-swearing, all-shooting red guy in terms of regressing to a somewhat more “adult” nature with naughty swear words and a level of sexual awareness which was unbeknown to the vast majority of audiences who simply couldn’t believe a film could actually be made, let alone be a success. Whilst Deadpool was a middling critical success, Suicide Squad on the other hand was a film which at the time seemed no more than a utter disappointment, yet in almost six months retrospective can only be regarded as an utter, utter clanger. Attempting to establish themselves as the leading figure of recent R-Rated superhero adaptations this week is Logan, a continuation of the X-Men/Wolverine movie franchise directed by James Mangold, famous for movies such as Walk The Line, 3:10 to Yuma and The Wolverine, and of course starring Hugh Jackman in a leading role which since 2000 has arguably been his most iconic and eye-catching amongst the many X-Men movies which have graced our screens over the last 17 years. Most impressively, Logan is indeed the movie everyone wanted since the film first began to play its’ cards in pre-production, but more importantly, it is the film the superhero genre needed. Forget Deadpool, Logan is the ultra-adult, ultra-violent and swear-tastic Marvel film we’ve all been waiting for.

Set in 2029, an elderly Wolverine strives for survival in the heat of the Mexican border alongside a severely ill Professor X within a world in which the mutant race has all but been wiped out with no sign of a mutant birth in over 20 years in a Children of Men style world crisis. After colliding into the life of young Laura however, Logan is forced to battle his demons and seek closure not only from his own life and the past he most desperately is seeking to leave behind, but for the future of mutants entirely. With Logan being released half way through the week, my view count of the movie has already hit the lofty heights of two, resulting in a much more aligned opinion of a movie in which hype and excitement has once again preceded its’ release. With the parallels between Logan and Deadpool almost inevitable, the difference between the two is astronomical in terms of tone and overall satisfaction levels with the former being a hard-hitting tale of age and loss and the latter just an open canvas for a silly, albeit moderately enjoyable, teenage fantasy of sex, violence and breaking of the fourth wall. Logan is the type of movie in which pain is transposed from screen to audience, with the sharp swoosh of Wolverine’s claws being as piercing as they are deadly, resulting in a wide array of foes and enemies which are violently massacred in jaw-dropping moments of action which bring to mind everything from Kill Bill to The Raid.

One of the main questions arising from the release of Logan however is why has it taken this long to finally see a Wolverine this exciting and deadly? With Hugh Jackman on top-form almost every time he kicks into the character of Wolverine, the foresight of witnessing a rip-roaring Logan in his prime is mouthwatering to say the least and although Mangold’s movie does indeed mark the end for both Jackman’s portrayal of the iconic character and Patrick Stewart as Professor X, Logan is the melancholic, character-based superhero movie no one was really expecting, yet a movie which makes crystal clear sense in regards to a conclusion for characters which have graced our screens for nearly two decades. Whilst not exactly The Dark Knight in terms of overall superhero greatness, Logan is a surprisingly powerful Westernised drama which just happens to feature mutants. Obviously Jackman deserves to take the plaudits for his conflicted and degrading portrayal of the titular hero, but kudos too belongs to Stewart and newcomer Dafne Keen whose ambiguity and bad-assery threatens to steal the limelight away from her elder counterparts. Logan is excellent, there are no two ways about it, with the second viewing only increasing the levels of enjoyment of which the film secretes throughout a running time which simply flies by. A fitting end for one of the most iconic big-screen characters of this millennium so far, Logan is brill. That cross turn bro, that cross turn.

Overall Score: 8/10

Film Review: Green Room

“I Can’t Die Here With You…”

Of all the previews released into my local world of cine this year so far, Jeremy Saulnier’s latest splatter-fest Green Room, is by far the least publicised and most unknown entity I have ventured into seeing, being one of the few rare times in which I begin a film without an inch of prior knowledge, a rare commodity if ever there was one in this day and age of stuffed-down-your-throat propaganda-esque trailers and endless streams of publicity both on the large screen and the small. Not recognising the director’s name at all until the end of the movie when my overused IMDB app was swiftly opened up, Green Room was indeed the work of a mad-man, one who has an obvious love of blood splatter B-Movie greatness, harking back to the days of grindhouse pictures, whilst having an uncanny knack of relieving tension in the most horrific of scenes with the jet-black comedy element blending seamlessly with the complete and utter carnage that occurs on-screen throughout the film’s more than modest 90 minute run-time. If you can handle sharp objects, killer dogs and death, lots of death then continue to read on; Green Room is one of a kind.

Following in the footsteps of recent B-Movie blood-splatter gems such as the brilliantly comical You’re Next and even last years’ Marmite picture Knock, Knock, Blue Ruin director Jeremy Saulnier brings to life a fusion of punk rock sensibility to the genre, with Anton Yelchin’s power quadruple being caught within a rather sticky situation after performing at a isolated Neo-Nazi clubhouse ran by Captain Picard himself, Patrick Stewart. What follows is a tension-filled gore fest with explosions of violence that can hold up against anything in its’ respective genre in terms of shock value, yet the undercurrent of comedy helps to differentiate the film from being a proper downer of a movie in line with something such as Eden Lake, a movie with no laughs whatsoever, with a recurring joke about desert-island bands being particularly humorous right up to the final scene. Twists and turns, blood and guts, Green Room most definitely isn’t for everyone but if you are like me and enjoy the twisted nature of B-Movie greatness, check it out. Just don’t east beforehand.

Overall Score: 8/10 

X-men: Days of Future Past – Review – SPOILERS

XMen 2If you’re a normal human, X-men Days of Future Past has managed to grab your attention. The relentless advertising campaign undoubtedly will make this instalment of X-men one of the biggest movies this year. If you’re wondering if its worth going to see it, you are a sad human-being. Of course you need to see this. Days of Future Past stands as one of the best movies I have seen this year so far. With already established characters that need little introduction, jumping into the fold is easy, as long as you’ve seen First Class.

As you should have guessed, the story is about the extinction of mutants and the majority of the world. The extinction of the race comes down to these giant robots called “Sentinels”. Programmed to trace the mutated X gene in people who will give birth to mutants and mutants themselves. So the decision is made to send Wolverine back to when Xavier and Magneto were young to unite them against the catalyst that would signal the next 50 years of war between mutants and humans. Let’s be honest, we know how its going to end without seeing the movie. Yet the movie manages to disguise it and keep you guessing until the very last moment.

Over the past few days I have been sat thinking about X-men and how I’m going to review it. Everything was epic. Just looking straight at the acting, we have same of the best actors to grace our screens altogether in one group. Although some do not come into contact with each other, the Magnetos (Michael Fassbender & Ian McKellen) and Xaviers (James McAvoy & Patrick Stewart) are some of the best casting out there. McAvoy’s tormented Xavier gives a whole new level to a character that was always fairly confined. His execution of lines and accent allows for real power to be portrayed in many scenes. “I don’t want your future!” is one that features in the trailer but really sticks well in my mind.The there is Fassbender who I have critiqued quite a lot for many of his movies. Most recently would be the movie “Frank”. I chose not to review it as it aggravated me to the point that I debated walking out of the cinema. Compared to The Counsellor, Fassbender needs good directing to push him for a good performance and its evident that the stone cold Magneto is the role for him and the directing is perfect to make it work and challenge McKellen’s portrayal.

What it really comes down to is the action and excitement. As with every Marvel movie, humour is always present and a scene with Quicksilver just demonstrates the pure technical abilities and comedy style that has served them well for years. Many of the scenes with CGI are gorgeous to look at. Everything looks real and its amazing to see and it never looks fake. As if you could almost reach out and touch it. Now we have the violence and action. Fighting sentinels which are meerly computer generated must be a hard thing to do when you are on a green screen but it is executed perfectly. The scenes with Blink are incredible to see as the blend 4 or 5 different angles due to her portal abilities. We must not forget the core man of the X-men franchise; Wolverine. Now I thought he was big in his recent solo outing, yet somehow, Jackman looks like he’s spent time in prison and looks like a road map for Britain. The flow of the action is great and it really is exciting. Yeah, sure there are parts I could be critical of but we don’t know the true potential for the sentinels so simply cutting them in half may be harder than it seems and leaves a lot to the imagination.

Considering that I have left this to the last minute and Watch_Dogs has just plopped into my hands, I feel I should clear a few things up. This movie is amazing. But I do wonder, The Wolverine shows Logan without the metal claws at the end and in the last X-men outing, Xavier dies?…I understand the reboot of the universe and characters return can happen but in a movie it seems to much of a cheap shot. Although I would have liked to have seen more of the future it doesn’t really bother me as the movie was great fun to watch and stands as the best X-men movie ever and deserves a 9/10

XMen