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Flash Movie Review: The Emoji Movie

INTENTLY drawing on their construction paper the students were following the teacher’s assignment to draw a picture of their favorite animal. Each child had their own box of crayons; some had the bigger sized containers with more colors. The teacher was walking around the classroom, checking up on each student’s artwork. She would offer words of encouragement or ask a question or two about the animal. Walking up from behind she looked over the shoulder of a boy who was carefully working on something the teacher could not figure out. There was nothing on the paper that resembled an animal. The teacher asked the student what he was drawing and he gladly explained the scene he created on his paper. What he had drawn was an elaborate jungle scene, using a variety of brightly colored crayons. Off to the side barely visible were 2 eyes staring out; the boy said it was a tiger. The teacher told him that was not the assignment.     TECHNICALLY the assignment was to draw your favorite animal; the student did just that, except had the animal hidden in the jungle. One could say the boy was very creative and in fact, encourage the continued use of his imagination. However the teacher did not see it that way. She liked everyone to conform to the same thing. To look at something a different way was not something the teacher was comfortable with evidently. Assignments were supposed to be followed according to what the teacher believed was the “right” way; in other words, the way she thought things were supposed to be done. Someone with imagination would not easily conform to restrictions; they would as they say, “think outside of the box.” Personally I feel it is always an advantage to have people around who see things differently than you do. This animated, adventure comedy knows what I am talking about.     EVERYONE living in Textopolis has one facial feature that they hope gets picked by the phone’s user. Considered an anomaly was Gene, voiced by T.J. Miller (Deadpool, Office Christmas Party), who had more than one facial feature. With a cast that included James Corden (Into the Woods, The History Boys) as Hi-5, Anna Faris (The House Bunny, Mom-TV) as Jailbreak, Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Sisters) as Smiler and Steven Wright (Reservoir Dogs, Son of the Mask) as Mel Meh; I thought the concept for the story was admirable regarding differences between people. From that idea to the big screen something got lost in translation because the script was bland and uninteresting. I could not get over how you make a film with colorful emojis and then do not offer them some excitement and fun. Overall there were no laughs or emotions to this picture. Not one child in the audience I was sitting with expressed any happiness towards a scene. At least the actors’ voices were fun to listen to, especially from James and Maya. Sadly out of all the emojis shown in the movie, the one that best describes my feelings about this film is “meh.” There was an extra scene in the middle of the credits.

 

1 ¾ stars  

 

 

Flash Movie Review: Office Christmas Party

THEY had known me for several years. Every week the friends would come to my class. After class they would stay behind to thank me or ask about a certain movement we did in class; in fact, we talked on the fitness floor whenever I was there doing weight training. So imagine how amused I was when I bumped into them at a restaurant and they did not recognize me. Not until I told them my name did they realize I was their aerobics instructor. We laughed about it as they blamed their confusion on the fact I was not dressed in my workout attire; I was dressed in a pair of jeans and a sweater without my baseball cap.   THIS type of scenario happens to me quite often; truth be told I have done the same thing when a member from my class comes up to me outside of the health club. Isn’t it funny how a different set of clothes and different environment alter one’s perceptions? It works the same way I believe in any work environment. I worked at a place for several years with the same employees for most of the time. Every day we would talk to each other during one of our breaks or lunchtime; but it was not until we had our 1st holiday party where I learned several of my fellow employees had a completely different life than the perceptions I had formed from our daily communications. It was almost like an alter ego; for example, there was one employee who was a falconer and another who was part of a dance troupe in the city. I do not know if we would have found these facts out if it wasn’t for that holiday party.   DETERMINED to keep his company’s branch open and prove his sister CEO Carol Vanstone, played by Jennifer Aniston (We’re the Millers, Horrible Bosses franchise), wrong; Clay Vanstone, played by T.J. Miller (Deadpool, Silicon Valley-TV), decided to have a huge holiday party to woo a potential client. The only issue was whether the representative liked to party. This comedy came with quite a competent cast of actors such as Jason Bateman (The Family Fang, The Gift) as Josh Parker, Olivia Munn (Ride Along franchise, Magic Mike) as Tracey Hughes and Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters, Masterminds) as Mary. Filmed in Chicago, the scenes were a mix of indoor and outdoor shots. The story may have been a good idea, but I did not find anything new compared to other movies of this type. There were a few scenes where I chuckled and surprisingly I thought Jason Bateman was the weak link in the story. As for the script it could have used a rewrite to tighten up some of the scenes that dragged on for me. Granted I have never attended a holiday party like the one in this film, but at some point I thought the story was getting ridiculous. The feeling I had after the film was over was neither a positive or negative one; it was just an okay feeling, though I did enjoy the outtakes early in the ending credits. If your employer throws a party like the one depicted in this picture, maybe you will have a better time watching this party.

 

2 stars

 

 

Flash Movie Review: Deadpool

Superheroes were good and nice individuals when I was growing up. I was exposed to a couple of them at a young age. There was the camp counselor who lifted this bully off of me by grabbing their pants’ belt, using only one arm. It looked just like something I had seen on my Saturday morning cartoon shows. I remember a friend’s parent donated new school supplies for our class one year. When I was doing charity work for a health organization I encountered a score of superheroes who did so much to make their patients’ lives comfortable. In fact, if  I think about it I would say some lottery winners who donate part of their winnings to charitable organizations could be considered superheroes. As far as I’m concerned superheroes come in all shapes and sizes. What they have in common is kindness and thoughtfulness. The thing you have to be careful about is the false ones; the ones that pretend to be doing a good deed, but have an ulterior motive for personal gain. There was this officer of an organization I encountered some time back. On the surface they came across as a caring, empathic person. However, their motivation was to get rich, so everything they did came with a price. All I have described so far did not prepare me for what I would find in this action movie. I never saw or heard of Deadpool before; but based on the crowd that showed up before me at the theater, I must be in the minority.    WHEN a medical procedure did not turn out the way he expected Wade, played by Ryan Reynolds (Woman in Gold, The Proposal), had only one goal in mind, to get revenge against the people who promised they could cure him. This superhero adventure comedy was not your typical one; it was rated R for a reason. So why in the world were there families in the audience with their young children? Excuse my bluntness but those adults were there to satisfy their needs first before thinking about their children’s welfare. The script was filled with foul and hard language besides the inclusion of sexual scenes. With that off my chest now, I can say I was laughing through this fantasy film. The jokes and barbs were fast and furious. Those of you who may not be up on pop culture may not get all the humor in this picture. Ryan was perfect with the role; I understand this film was a decade long labor of love for him to get to the big screen. The script was straightforward; this was a revenge story. Some viewers may tire of the constant barrage of jokes and remarks; it pretty much was a main character of its own. Since I was not familiar with the character Deadpool, I felt I was missing something about the story. At the moment I do not know if Deadpool is a true hero. There was blood and violence throughout the film.

 

3 stars

 

 

 

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