The new releases are a bit late this week. I have an excuse. I had to write about the first film and it took me a while to build up the gumption to do it.
1. The Emoji Movie (Sony/Columbia, 4,075 Theaters, 86 Minutes, Rated PG for rude humor, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 3% Fresh [31 Reviews]): Hollywood will chase money wherever it leads. No concept is impossible for them to do if there might be money in it for them. In this, the digital age, this means concepts that are popular, such as emoji’s, getting films.
But what about these concept makes for a good film? HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s a laugh. This is a pre-fab concept, created not with intelligence, passion and a desire to tell a story, but by corporate mandates from studio executives looking to cash in to a cheap fad in order to make a quick buck. Quality isn’t even on the table. They only storytelling they are interested in is just enough to make the concept work in the least amount of run time possible. Put it out in the most theaters and hope to get enough suckers in to make a profit and then make the dash. Maybe, maybe, try better with the sequel, if you get one.
And the truly sad part about this is that people will come out to see this! My 8-year daughter wants to see it! Two poops talking? Why wouldn’t she? (and, sidebar, in the history of comedy, the “We’re Number 2!” gag is one of the worst jokes of all time–and it was the best joke of the trailer! That tells me all I need to know about this movie). How many other parents will be dragged to this drek?
Resist. Believe the reviews, which is only one lukewarm review away from 0% fresh, and stay away. Let this film flop with a sound that will be heard for generations.
2. Atomic Blonde (Focus Features, 3,304 Theaters, 115 Minutes, Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 74% Fresh [117 Reviews]): This is the summer of the comic book adaptation. We are getting the third this month.
Yes, this film was based on a graphic novel–Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s 2012 Oni Press offering, The Coldest City. It details a female spy in end-of-the-Cold-War Berlin who must get to the bottom of who is killing former spies.
I am rooting for this film for many reasons. One, I’d like a non-superhero, non-DC or Marvel comic book film to succeed. Also, I want the myth that a woman can’t open an action film to go away. It is the best bet this week (although, if it was performed by puppets that only spoke Esperanto, it’d still be the best bet, so that’s faint praise). Hopefully, people go see the film.
Next week, the new releases slings some guns as Stephen King’s epic arrives on the big screen.