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The Emoji Movie Review

Weak

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining movies have been made using far less as source material (see The Lego Movie). But while there are some hilarious verbal and visual gags peppered throughout this movie, it all hinges on a script that's painfully obvious and animation that simply isn't inventive enough to hold the attention without a decent story and stronger characters.

It's set in Textopolis, an app inside the smartphone of the teen Alex (Jake T. Austin). The central character is Gene (T.J. Miller), who has far too many expressions for a meh emoji. His parents (Jennifer Coolidge and Steven Wright) worry that he has some sort of defect. Threatened by the cruel senior emoji Smiler (Maya Rudolph), Gene and his pal Hi-5 (James Cordon) sneak out of the app in search of the hacker Jailbreak (Anna Faris), who can help reprogramme him if they can make it to the cloud. But Smiler sends a team of killer bots in hot pursuit.

Yes, the plot is cursory at best, and essentially exists only so the film can namecheck carefully placed apps in a series of sponsored, rather pointless extended set pieces. This leaves the movie feeling like a low-rent variation on Wreck-It Ralph, although only a few of these sequences have any visual interest. The Candy Crush world is at least a colourful alternative to the dull digital look of most of most of the movie. And the lack of imagination shows in the depiction of music streaming as a stream and a firewall as a wall of fire. There's also a strange rush to violence in almost every sequence, as the bots continually try to delete our heroes.

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Steven Wright attends the world premiere of 'The Emoji Movie' at Regency Village Theatre in Westwood - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 23rd July 2017

Steven Wright
Steven Wright

Emoji Movie Trailer


We use Emojis in text messages and social media everyday, but have you ever thought about what these images get up to when you put away your iPhone? When a high school boy goes to send his crush a 'Meh' emoji, it turns into something quite different. To the disappointment of his parents, Gene has never been quite as apathetic as he's expected to be, so when he messes up his moment it causes quite the problem for everyone else. Now the boy thinks his phone is broken, and he's on the way to get it re-set. That's not looking good for the emojis who find themselves desperately trying to back-up their world in the Cloud before their whole world gets wiped out. Meanwhile, Gene is about to learn that having more than one expression may not be such a bad thing after all.

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David Reichart, Todd Stanley, Steven Wright, Breck Warwick , Matt Fahey - 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater- Press Room at Microsoft Theater, Emmy Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 12th September 2015

David Reichart, Todd Stanley, Steven Wright, Breck Warwick and Matt Fahey
David Reichart, Todd Stanley, Steven Wright, Breck Warwick and Matt Fahey
David Reichart, Todd Stanley, Steven Wright, Breck Warwick and Matt Fahey
David Reichart, Todd Stanley, Steven Wright, Breck Warwick and Matt Fahey

Steven Wright Tuesday 26th October 2010 4th Annual DundeeWealth's Stand Up for Kids held at The Royal Conservatory Koerner Hall. Toronto, Canada

Steven Wright
Steven Wright
Steven Wright
Steven Wright
Steven Wright
Steven Wright

Steven Wright and David Letterman Monday 1st June 2009 outside the Ed Sullivan Theater for the 'Late Show With David Letterman' New York City, USA

Steven Wright and David Letterman

When Stand Up Stood Out Review


Good
Comedian Fran Solomita can hold his breath and stamp his feet all he wants, but that isn't going to make 1970s-to-80s Boston much more than a footnote in the history of stand-up comedy.

Like The Aristocrats' Paul Provenza, Solomita is also a comedian who figured he'd take a stab at directing a documentary, and for his topic he figured he'd pick, well, himself and his pals from Boston. According to Solomita, at the time, there was no comedy scene anywhere in the country except for L.A. and New York (pity Chicago's Second City, founded in 1959, which merits no mention here at all). But thanks to a Chinese restaurant in Boston, good old Beantown got on the map as a comedy venue, too.

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So I Married An Axe Murderer Review


Extraordinary
Shhh. Don't tell anyone. There is a legion of us Axe Murderer fans out here. Most of us live in San Francisco, but we're really quite universal. Wayne's World? Pathetic by comparison. So I Married an Axe Murderer is easily Mike Myers' best movie -- hilarious, with Myers taking his comedy to a new level not hidden within a funky costume (as in Wayne or Austin Powers). We long for a sequel. And much to the annoyance of our friends, we quote it incessantly. Give this film another chance or we'll practice the ancient from of Scottish martial arts on your ass -- Fuk Yu!

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Coffee And Cigarettes Review


OK
Coffee and cigarettes. What is it about this magical combination of caffeine and cancer that's so irresistible to millions of café and pub patrons around the world? Despite its title, don't go looking to Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes for the answer. A series of vignettes populated by an all-star cast of actors and musicians, the film has the laid-back attitude of its tobacco-smoking, java-gulping protagonists, each of whom spends his screen time ruminating on a host of arbitrary issues involving class, race, and physics. However, like its central delicacy, Jarmusch's comedy is apt to provide a slight, delectable buzz but little nutritional value.

Jarmusch enlists a diverse cast of indie stars and former colleagues for this modest ensemble, but his uncharacteristically wheezy writing frequently undermines the film's wry humor. Cate Blanchett, in a dual performance, plays an arrogant version of herself as well as her skuzzy, jealous cousin, but the piece's portrait of jealousy and resentment loses steam after you become accustomed to seeing the actress talk to herself. Similarly, The White Stripes' Meg and Jack White provide a brief lesson on inventor Nikola Tesla's Tesla Coil, but save for the creepy, Mao Tse-tung-inspired portrait of Lee Marvin hanging on the wall behind them, the skit is nothing more than an overly long non sequitur. And even a brief appearance by Steve Buscemi can't rescue an insipid bit about two argumentative African-American twins talking racial politics in a Memphis diner.

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Babe: Pig In The City Review


Terrible
The problem with sequels is that they try too much to be like the original. Sure, there are a few exceptions. I can't think of any right off the top of my head, but rule #665 in The Critic's Bible: there are exceptions to every rule. Babe, by all accounts, was an intelligent, thought out movie. Babe II: Pig in the City, tries and tries but can't quiet do it.

Sure, the humor is moderately intelligent and the narration includes things like a mention of the chaos theory, but when it boils down to it, Babe II was just like every other sequel: an attempt to carbon copy the original. But, friends, the great copy machine known as Hollywood is broken, and has never gotten a repairman, so we are doomed to watch screwed up attempts at copying, remakes gone wrong, and things screwed up.

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Son Of The Mask Review


Terrible
You may have read about film critics who quit because they just can't tolerate the poor quality of the movies they're watching. I'm willing to bet more than a few threw down their notepads, cursed their career choice, and considered graduate school options after watching Son of the Mask.

The long-delayed sequel to the 1994 Jim Carrey hit is a terrible movie. Let's not mince words. It's an awful, unoriginal, infuriating, and endless mess. The always likeable Jamie Kennedy stars as Tom Avery, a struggling animator whose life is in flux. His wife, Tonya (Traylor Howard from TV's Monk), wants a baby badly, but the immature Tom doesn't want that responsibility. He's content to play with his precocious dog, Otis, draw on his sketch pad, and kid around with his tolerant wife.

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Coffee & Cigarettes Review


Good

Not unlike his cigar-shop patter with Harvey Keitel in "Blue in the Face," the great American filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has now released a feature length collection of café-style conversation. It consists of eleven semi-fictional segments, the first three of which were released as short films in 1986, 1989 and 1993 respectively. In each, various agents of cool meet at cafes for the title beverage and its symbiotic smokes.

The participants can be as well known as Stephen Wright, Roberto Benigni, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Cinque and Joie Lee, Steve Buscemi, Steve Coogan, Alfred Molina, Bill Murray, the RZA and the GZA, or, like the gorgeous Renee French, they can be unknown to everyone except Jarmusch and a small cache of insiders. No less a talent than Cate Blanchett appears opposite herself, playing both a movie star and the movie star's lesser-known cousin.

Nothing much holds the eleven segments together, other than their luscious black-and-white photography -- shot by several different cinematographers over the years -- that only emphasizes the eternal coolness of smart people sitting around and talking about nothing. Certain lines of dialogue pop up more than once, and more often than not the talkers don't really connect on either a verbal or spiritual level; most of the conversations are lively disagreements. None of the world's problems gets solved.

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The Muse Review


Good

Sharon Stone has always been an under-rated actress, but she may finally get her due with her sparkling comedic turn in the title role of "The Muse," as a literal, inspiration-spawning, divine daughter of Zeus living the good life as a hanger-on in La La Land.

With vivacious whimsy she plays her fussy, pampered, domineering demi-goddess -- the secret spring of creativity for Hollywood elite when their tapped-out talent needs divine intervention -- as a mix of Norma Desmond and the Spice Girls in both attitude and wardrobe.

Martin Scorsese comes to her for advise on a "Raging Bull" remake. So does James Cameron. "Stay away from water," she advises him. "No sequel?" he pouts.

Continue reading: The Muse Review

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Steven Wright Movies

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

Emoji Movie Trailer

Emoji Movie Trailer

We use Emojis in text messages and social media everyday, but have you ever thought...

Advertisement
Coffee And Cigarettes Movie Review

Coffee And Cigarettes Movie Review

Coffee and cigarettes. What is it about this magical combination of caffeine and cancer that's...

Son of the Mask Movie Review

Son of the Mask Movie Review

You may have read about film critics who quit because they just can't tolerate the...

Coffee & Cigarettes Movie Review

Coffee & Cigarettes Movie Review

Not unlike his cigar-shop patter with Harvey Keitel in "Blue in the Face," the great...

The Muse Movie Review

The Muse Movie Review

Sharon Stone has always been an under-rated actress, but she may finally get her due...

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