Coming Soon Trailers: The Emoji Movie, Atomic Blonde.

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Coming Soon Trailers: The Emoji Movie, Atomic Blonde.

One of our most anticipated movies and one of our least make wide releases this week.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.  It was the summer of slick action; it was the summer of crass pop-culture exploitation.  This week we get The Emoji Movie facing off against Atomic Blonde at the theater, and we get a healthy dose of Video on Demand at home.  Let’s see if we can find something to get the stink of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets out of our nostrils.

Coming Soon Trailers: The Emoji Movie, Atomic Blonde.
Yeah…that should do the trick.

Wide Release.

The Emoji Movie.

What, this thing has a plot?  Oh well, here we go:

Gene is an emoji who doesn’t know what his primary emotion is.  Everyone around him in Textopolis (sigh) has one dominant emotion that gives them meaning, but Gene can’t seem to nail his down.  He goes on an adventure in commercial exploitation to find himself.

See It?:  Hell no.

The mascot for this movie is a piece of poop.  It’s dying to be a hybrid of The Lego Movie and Angry Birds, both of which were pop-culture slogs.  I wouldn’t touch this film with a ten foot selfie stick.

Atomic Blonde.

An agent for MI6 heads to Cold War-era Berlin in order to retrieve a stolen list of undercover agents and to get revenge for the death of a colleague.

See It?: Tentative Yes.

I want to give this an un-ambivalent thumbs up, seeing as I put it on our Top Ten Anticipated Movies of Late 2017 list…but I’m still just a bit hesitant.  Charlize Theron is a strong leading actress and she’s surrounded by a solid cast.  The director is relatively new but has already contributed to one of my favorite action flicks, John Wick.  This should be great, but it is still a bit of an unknown quantity so close to release.  We’ll be seeing and reviewing this one this week in order to give you a heads up.

Video on Demand.

Diana, Our Mother:  Her Life and Legacy.

An HBO documentary about Princess Diana, her death, and her contribution to society as detailed by her family and friends.

See It?:  No.

I don’t understand the lingering fascination with Princess Diana.  Twenty years on from her death, the tabloid rack at the super market is still plastered with her image.  Much like the unnecessary People magazine tributes, this trailer is all gauzy photos with no substance.  A pretty princess died…twenty years ago…lets move on people, there’s a world to save.

Who the F**k is that Guy?

A documentary about Michael Alago, a gay man of Puerto Rican heritage who helped shape the music industry over several decades through his work behind the scenes.

See It?: No.

This may have been interesting enough for an episode of MTV’s Behind the Music, but since that series is defunct, we now get this endless stream of documentaries about semi-celebrities in the music industry.  Pass.

Returning Citizens.

A documentary about the struggle of returning to normal life after long-term incarceration in the US penal system.

See It?:  Yes.

This documentary has the three keys to me wanting to watch a documentary:  compelling story, interesting characters, and excellent visual structure.  The trailer does a solid job of communicating its message in a way that makes me interested to watch.  Good job.

The Persian Connection.

A former child soldier who was smuggled out of the Middle East during the Iraq-Iran war winds up in LA.  There he works for a ruthless mob boss until he is able to escape.  Looking to live the American dream, he is instead accused of theft from the mob and has to find the missing drugs in order to save his life.

See It?:  Rent it on the cheap.

There is plenty of aesthetic style in this story, and I like seeing a fairly routine crime thriller through the prism of cultures and characters we don’t usually get (not suprising, as it was produced by the same folks who brought us A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.)  The dialogue is questionable, the acting has some rough patches, and the cinematography looks cheap.  There’s just enough here to make me interested, but not enough to warrant full price.

Simple Creature.

A young college student is nearly killed in a bus crash on her way home.  Clinging to life by a thread, her father uses his sway at a leading nano-tech company to use experimental procedures to save her life.  Upgraded and enhanced, the young woman struggles to put her life together while her father’s company struggles with the consequences of meddling with nature.

See It?:  Rent it on the cheap.

Once again, we’ve got a nice story – this time a more granular take on the nano-tech Frankenstein story – that has some interesting angles and a solid visual identity…but the dialogue and acting is suspect, and several of the characters seem to be threadbare stereotypes (crazy zealot preacher who is a Luddite, avaricious researcher with no morals, etc.)  I liked the trailer when I saw it a couple months ago, I just want a lower price tag before watching.

Sea Gypsies:  The Far Side of the World.

A documentary about a rag-tag crew of sailors who undertake dangerous expeditions around the world.

See It?:  Netflix it.

One part of me hates the documentaries that are about thrill seekers who get into harrowing adventures we are supposed to empathize with.  You asked for this shit sandwich, Agent xXx, so go ahead and finish your meal!  The other part of me has to acknowledge the amazing visuals and one-of-a-kind nature of the shots these knuckleheads are getting.

Strange Weather.

Holly Hunter plays a woman on a back roads journey as she tries to reconcile her current situation after a personal loss.

See It?:  Yes.

This is an effective trailer at providing poignant moments while maintaining ambiguity.  There is mystery surrounding the death of Hunter’s son, there is mystery surrounding who the people involved were, and you get a sense that Holly Hunter’s character may not be thinking clearly or rationally.  It’s a nice trailer to get you hooked.

Person to Person.

A slice of life story about various individuals (an investigative reporter new to the job, a young feminist with conflicting desires, and a music lover searching for a rare record) whose lives intersect during a single day in New York City.

See It?:  No.

As if we needed more proof than Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld’s body of work, New York City is apparently the capital of meaningless stories that artsy types celebrate as being somehow interesting.  Wow, a guy who collects old records.  Fucking fascinating.  A guy who regrets putting sexy photos of his girlfriend online.  What a revelation. A photojournalist who is new and nervous about her job.  Can you get a Pulitzer for being a fictional journalist?

Long rant short, these are boring and ineffectual characters in a hipster ripoff of a Woody Allen movie.  Another contender for the “First World Problems:  The Movie” award.

 

 

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