The Emoji Movie 😞

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I am not going to say I was at a loss for words when watching The Emoji Movie because I don’t want to resort to emojis to express how I feel. Surprising, I wasn’t angry or annoyed when watching the Emoji movie but that was because I had quickly adopted two techniques towards watching The Emoji Movie to becoming bearable.

These two techniques are sleeping in small intervals (10 minutes awake and 10 minutes asleep) and treating The Emoji Movie as a bizarre avant-garde children’s comedy. The rest of the review will show you why.

The Emoji movie is about the personified meh emoji called Gene (T.J. Miller) who lives in a society with other emojis. This society lives in a place called Textopolis (I am not making that word up) which is an app on a smartphone owned by a kid called Alex. Gene is considered a malfunction because he cannot sustain an expressionless “meh” face and wants to travel to the cloud to reprogram himself to have a perpetual meh face so he can do his job.

The reason Gene is important is that Alex is crushing hard on a girl and a Meh face emoji is the most critical emoji to send to her so she falls in love with him. The movie even says that words take too long to truly express how someone feels.

Because the premise is shallow and not movie length worthy, the movie takes its characters to various apps that have nothing to do with plot and story progression. It’s more of an exhibit than a movie. They play games like Candy Crush and Just Dance, interact with a firewall, go to Youtube and Facebook, and ride the Twitter logo to their destinations.

Because The Emjoi Movie did this over and over again I decided to sleep, feeling that when I wake up I would not have missed anything. I was right, and I repeated this process until the climax when I realized I could leave in ten minutes if I stayed up.

The other bizarre thing about The Emoji Movie which occurs frequently is when all these emojis are put into situations where their emotions don’t match the tone or the situation.
Gene’s meh parents at one point argue and fight at each other about finding their son but entirely through expressionless faces and voices. You’d think they would express sadness and frustration instead on nonchalance, but it’s not played for laughs.

Similarly, when Smily (A smiley faced emoji) is constantly angry, it is weird seeing her smiling throughout the movie. It was such a poor directorial choice to do this I pretended to think it was an experimental avart grade kids movie just to get my head over the stunning ineptitude. Not that it was funny, but I was tying to find my own justifications to continue watching.

I could go on with other things like
1.how the entire movie is just a blatant ad to kids to consume more technology or;
2. How there are numerous dance-offs just to fill time and;
3. The fact that all the jokes are always the first bad pun you think of when encountering an emoji
But I was not offended by the movie because it was such void that it sucked any energy that would require anger.

By the end, my face was like a zombie. I was both stunned at how inept The Emoji Movie was while being so sleepy tired because nothing happened that was remotely interesting. I would just watch Inside Out a thousand times instead    ➖ 

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Logan: A Great Send Off

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Logan is a great movie that meets the high standards that Marvel have produced in recent years. Logan is much better than the mediocre X-Men Apocalypse and ventures into concepts that don’t get deeply explored in a normal superhero movie. Those concepts being mortality and familial relationships between generations. For a superhero movie, Logan is amazingly down-to-earth.

Set in 2029, Mutants have become nearly extinct, Logan’s (Hugh Jackman) health is failing  and works as a limo driver. He takes care of a frail Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in hiding. Logan is approached by a woman to take care of this girl called Laura (who is a mutant) and send her to North Dakota before this evil organization captures her. The girl, location, and organization are significant, but I won’t elaborate further as they are large plot points which I don’t want to spoil it.

Logan’s Struggle Within

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What I enjoyed the most about this movie is Hugh Jackman acting as he portrays a human being more than a superhero. There is no motivational rhetoric or spandex. It is about how he helps people despite being hounted by his mortality, and yet still has to learn from life. What is so good about Logan is that the movie does not detract from that message.

An example of how they don’t stray from Logan’s struggles is the action set pieces being low-key (very few explosions and CGI special effects). I believe they are deliberately set up to be low-key so the viewer doesn’t get distracted from the characters. It’s kind of funny that a movie like Logan works off this thing called character development. It’s an unfamiliar concept to too many action movies. They should try it out sometime!

Logan’s Sidekicks being Sidekick-ey

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Logan’s lovely sidekicks. I realised that this movie could be interpreted as a superhero version of Manchester by the Sea. I am an odd person.

Speaking of character development, they have great supporting actors that help accentuate the character of Wolverine. Patrick Stewart has two great moments as Charles Xavier but the best supporting actor goes to the bilingual Dafne Keene who plays Laura- a character that rarely speaks. Keene plays it with a peculiar hybrid of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (The growling, violent tendencies) with Alex Hibbert in Moonlight (The silent child internalizing her struggle and learning about the real world). She gets into some comedic situations at a service station that inadvertently gives Logan some humanity. It was simultaneously funny and sweet.

Out of all the Marvel movies I have reviewed so far, Logan is the one that feels like a character study. This was a smart move because it’s different and it works. I did not love Logan to the extent of hardcore fans (I have talked to a couple of them. They believe it is perfect) but I understood and liked the sentiment behind everything. It is a worthy send-off for The Boy From Oz and the man on The Enterprise ****1/4

Green Room Review

Green Room is one of the best thrillers of the year.

Written by Nelson Cumming

In his second directorial effort, Jeremy Saulnier has created something as old as the hills but something unique. Green Room is a thriller/horror movie that is incredibly graphic and brutal which is a rare compliment because it’s supported by great storytelling, tension, and acting. Green Room just left me in intrigue and suspense nearly the whole way.

Green Room is set in the sketchiest places imaginable. A heavy metal band, who struggle to make money perform at a neo-nazi venue. At the end of their set, the band witnessed a grizzly murder in a small confined room. When the event organizers realize what they have seen they attempt to kill the band members. The band members barricade themselves in the room and that is the set up for the cat-and-mouse game that ensues.

The most surprising and enjoyable aspect to “Green Room” is the performance of Patrik Stewart who plays the leader of the neo-nazi group. Everything he says is either witty, chilling or immersing. Yes that comes with a good script but the way he says all of his lines is flat, cold yet calm. He delivers with a great amount of controlled evil that I greatly respect it, especially since his role is a substantial departure from all his previous work.

The other things that worked are the jump scares and the gruesome scenes I previously mentioned. They made me wince and cringe. In the case of Green Room, making me wince and cringe were good things. It made me more invested in the story. There was just the right amount of gruesome for a good horror movie and it didn’t go on exploitation as a lot of horror movies do.

The main flaw that Green Room has, like many other horror films, is the use of old cliches. Without going into too much detail, you know the moment the protagonists leave the safety vessel bad things will happen. You know if the leader of the protagonists says that the group should split up bad things will happen. I saw a couple of scenes (not most) toward the middle where I knew how the scene was going to end. Given that Green Room dies nearly everything else right, the complaint can be easily mitigated. But it does prevent Green Room from being one of the very best of the year.

Overall, Green Room is a great effort from everyone involved from the actors, the set designers, the scriptwriters, and director  Jeremy Saulnier. This is easily one of the best horror/thriller films of the year with great intensity and action ****1/2