Tag Archives: Maya Rudolph

Cinema Dispatch: The Emoji Movie

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The Emoji Movie and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Tony Leondis

I’m not ready for this.  Seriously, why am I doing this!?  WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO DESERVE THIS PUNISHMENT!?  Actually, don’t answer that.  Okay… focus.  Deep Breathes.  Sigh…  So The LEGO Movie was a big hit and so was The LEGO Batman Movie which means the imitators and knock offs were sure to follow; culminating in THIS which I can only assume was the first idea that someone threw out at Sony and they just decided to run with it.  It’s got a pretty good cast, and I have liked Sony Animation films in the past, so maybe this has a shot!?  Yeah… probably not.  The best thing we can hope for is that it won’t be TOO painful…  So then!  Will this be a SLAM DUNK for the Oscars, or have we somehow managed to find a new low in cinema?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is all about the MAGICAL world of living apps that live inside all of our phones and in particular the messaging app that contains those ADORABLE and MARKETABLE Emojis we all love so very much!  One such Emoji is a Meh in training named Gene (TJ Miller) who’s ready to start his first day as an… OFFICIAL Emoji… I guess.  See, how it works is that these Emoji creatures wait around all day in vertical cubicles (basically a thirty by six Hollywood Squares setup) and are scanned whenever their MASTER USER wishes to use one of them.  Why they couldn’t just have their pictures taken and then scan THOSE when the user needs them is beyond me, but asking questions like that only breaks the immersion!  So anyway, Meh’s first day ends in utter disaster as he PANICS and makes the wrong face; leading to the user thinking the phone is malfunctioning and will therefore take it to be replaced.  Now all the Emojis are ready to hang him in the middle of the street because he’s bringing about Armageddon with the good ol’ Smiley Emoji named… wait for it… SMILER (Maya Rudolph) leading the charge!  He manages to escape with another Emoji named HI-5 (James Corden) who used to be one of the user’s favorites, but has fallen on hard times and needs to find a way to force himself back into their good graces and thinks that helping Gene find a way to… fix his bad Meh face I guess… will also lead to a solution to HIS problem.  The answer comes in the form of a hacker named Jailbreak (Anna Faris) who agrees to rewrite their code or whatever if they can help her get to THE CLOUD!  Okay then.  Will Gene find a way to be more meh, or is his less meh qualities really a gift instead of curse?  Will the three of them manage to save the phone and live for another few months before their owner switches out his current one for the latest model?  What sick and twisted God is responsible for giving such miserable creatures any degree of sentience AND WHY AM I SITTING THROUGH THIS NIGHTMARE!?

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“Kill… Meee…”

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Cinema Dispatch: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone

Weird Al got a movie, Oingo Boingo got a movie, and now The Lonely Island have one.  I’m sure you can point to ten awful musician movies for every good one, but there are some all-out classics in that very strange sub genre.  The aforementioned UHF is a lot of fun, Forbidden Zone is an absolute classic, hell, let’s go ahead and throw in The Blues Brothers and Walk Hard: The Dewy Cox story while we’re at it!  True, the musicians in question for those movies are known more for their comedies than their music, but you can pretty much say the same thing about The Lonely Island!  Does this mockumentary into the absurd world of pop stardom turn out to be the perfect update to the Spinal Tap formula, or are these guys not up to the task of stretching their material out for an entire movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is presented to us as an documentary into the life of Conner 4 Real (Andy Samberg) whose debut solo album (Thriller, Also) was a record smashing hit and launched him into super stardom after he left The Lonely Island… I mean The Style Boyz.  We start the movie on the eve of the release of his second album which has a pretty amazing title (CONNquest) but it turns out to be a finical and critical flop.  From then on, we follow Conner as he tries more and more desperate moves to salvage the fledgling album and boost his ticket sales while also coming to terms that he may not be as good as he thinks he is (or at least as good as his Yes Men tell him he is).  Along with him on this journey is his DJ Own (Jorma Taccone) who was one of The Style Boyz back in the day, his manager Harry (Tim Meadows) who’s trying to juggle Conner’s insane ego with his duties of keeping their empire afloat, and many others who make up the eclectic group of misfits that Conner surrounds himself with.  Can he manage to find his creative spirit once again and come back stronger than ever, or will he hit rock bottom as he slowly begins to isolate those who are trying to help him.  Oh who am I kidding?  It will probably be both!

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“Would you fuck me?  I’d fuck me.”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Angry Birds Movie

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The Angry Birds Movie and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly

After the disaster that was Ratchet & Clank, this COULDN’T be worse… right?  Honestly, with the track record that video game adaptations have, it’s not like a shitty movie based on a mobile game can tarnish their legacy any more than Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li did, which isn’t to say that I have any hope for this movie; just that it’s not in a position to do much damage.  Does this turn out to be an unexpectedly competent surprise, or just another awful adaptation to add to the pile?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the angriest bird in Birdville, or whatever this place is called, named Red (Jason Sudeikis) who has finally pushed the citizens of Bird-opolis to the breaking point!  After an “incident” gets out of hand involving a slightly messed up cake and cracked egg, Red is assigned to mandatory Anger Management which is led by Matilda (Maya Rudolph) and is attended by Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride), and Terence (Sean Penn); none of whom are particularly well adjusted.  That’s only the first half of the movie though.  Eventually, a ship chock full of pigs arrives at the Island of Birds and come offering friendship and gifts of the outside world!  Only Red can see that they’re up to no good though, but no one wants to listen to him because… well he’s an asshole.  Still, he manages to get Bomb and Chuck on his side enough so that they agree to go with him to find the LEGENDARY MIGHTY EAGLE who is said to watch over Bird-sylvania and aid it in its time of need.  Can red get over his anger issues long enough to do some real good for his fellow birds?  Can the LEGENDARY MIGHTY EAGLE save the town before the pigs enact their nefarious plan?  Have these birds never bothered to go off of their island!?  How have they never heard of pigs before!?

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“Whatever it is, I think we should worship it.”     “Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?”     “HERETIC!!”     “Don’t you mean… HAM-etic?”

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