The Emoji Movie

We’ll always have Paris, Mary.


I honestly do not have a bad thing to say about this film.

I hadn’t heard anything about the reception of ‘The Emoji Movie’ until five minutes before I walked into the cinema this afternoon when I heard someone describe it as “a train wreck” but I genuinely have no idea what they were talking about, the storyline was flawless – I think.

The story mostly takes place inside a young boy’s iPhone. Every time he inserts an emoji into a text message, the selected emoji living inside his phone must be scanned, the scanned image is the emoji that appears in the text. This means that if the emoji does not pose correctly when they are scanned, the wrong emoji will appear and the user will not be happy – which is exactly what happens to Gene on his first day officially working at the text centre.

Main character, Gene Meh – as in the “meh” face emoji – is a loveable and fun guy, even though he is supposed to be “meh.” He has always dreamed of woking at the text centre so when he scans incorrectly he wishes for nothing more than to be a real “meh” – like he is ‘supposed to be.’ It is obvious that identity is the main theme of this film, alongside friendship and the acceptance of individuality.

When Gene messes up his first day on the job and scans incorrectly he is soon referred to as “a malfunction” and is sentenced to be deleted forever. Luckily he escapes from the evil bot characters who are trying to delete him and finds Hi-5, a once loved and popular emoji who no longer gets used. Hi-5 informs Gene that if they work together to find a hacker, they can reprogramme Gene to become a real “meh” and programme Hi-5 to appear back on the popular list of emojis. A hacker named Jailbreak ( aka Linda) agrees to help them as she has never seen an Emoji capable of showing multiple expressions like Gene before.

The story follows Gene, Hi-5 and Jailbreak as they travel through different apps on the phone trying to reach The Cloud where Jailbreak believes Gene can be ‘fixed.’ They are up against the clock as with each new obstacle their actions make the user believe that his phone is faulty and makes an appointment to get his phone completely restored – meaning that Gene’s world will be completely destroyed.

Two of the strangest and funniest characters were Mel and Mary Meh, Gene’s parents. Unlike Gene, they were successful at maintaining their “meh” persona which made their scenes very comical, especially when they were searching for their lost, endangered son. We only found out half way through that Mrs.Meh’s name was Mary which made me love her even more.

I was happy with the ending of this film and genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. Months ago, when I first saw the advertisements for The Emoji Movie I thought, that is ridiculous, who would pay to see that? But I have no regrets. 10/10 would recommend.

I am looking at emojis differently now sand it’s weird. 

Ps: There was a definite lack of tortoise and squirrel emojis. :/ 

😒💩🖐🏻👸🏽🐘☕️🍤🍩💡🍕👀

 

 

Dunkirk

“They know where you were.”

I actually thought that Dunkirk had been released months ago. I remember seeing the trailer last year and thinking, ‘that looks dramatic, and grey.’ I had never really planned on watching it until last week when my Twitter feed was flooded with excitement and amazement over the new release. It felt like everyone had seen it except me, so that had to change.

What did I expect?

I didn’t know much about the film prior to seeing it, just the basics. I knew that it was about soldiers who were stuck on a beach during World War II. I knew it was directed by the same guy who directed Interstellar – which I’ve yet to see but heard good things. And of course, I knew that Harry Styles was in it. I had no idea what the story was going to be like, or who was the main character – it turns out there isn’t one.

The timeline

At first, I was very confused with the order of the film’s events but luckily this didn’t affect my understanding of the overall story. The film is split into three different timelines focusing on different characters and challenges.

1. The Mole

The first section of the film, set mostly on the beach at Dunkirk is called ‘The Mole’ which refers to the long, pier-like structure the soldiers used to reach the boats. The scenes from The Mole felt like the most dangerous and hopeless of all. Most of the time thousands of soldiers just stood there, waiting helplessly, on the beach for someone to rescue them. Watching Tommy and ‘Gibson’ run through the crowds with the stretcher, only for the boat to sink moments later, emphasises just how hopeless and desperate their situation is.

2. The Air

Scenes at The Mole were heartbreaking and painful, but every single scene from The Air was captivating and tense. I was completely invested in these scenes. I genuinely felt anxious as I watched Tom Hardy’s character use chalk to record the fuel levels of his plane on the control panel. Christopher Nolan created a real sense of urgency in The Air, especially when Collins finally landed his plane in the sea. Imagine surviving all of those shots in the sky to potentially drown in the water because your window won’t open… no thanks.

3. The Sea

I loved The Sea. The more we learned about the English father and son (and George) on the boat, the more I liked them. When they rescued Cillian Murphy’s shell-shocked character the tension was so high I felt like I was on the boat with them. Two of my favourite moments from the entire film took place on this little boat:

  1. Peter’s indecisiveness about locking the door while Cillian Murphy sleeps. You can tell that his mind is running wild as he desperately tries to figure out what is the best thing to do. His father’s reaction to what he has done is equally interesting.
  2. The nod of approval Mark Rylance gives his son, Peter, after hearing him lie about George’s health in order to protect Cillian from any further trauma and distress.

Despite this, I really don’t understand why George had to die, it didn’t prove anything and it just made no sense – to me. His death and the ending it led to annoyed me quite a bit.

Final thoughts

Overall, it was great. I really liked Dunkirk, but something is holding me back from telling everyone I know to go and see it. I think the only thing that ruined it for me was the ending – the ‘inspirational’ Churchill speech left me feeling conflicted. The reason I liked Dunkirk was that it generally didn’t make war look satisfying or empowering – it looked painful. People drowned and were shot and bombed and killed in the name of the war – something so violent and meaningless. Dunkirk shows the true helplessness and heartache of World War II, up until the very end, but then they try and make us feel proud of it.

On a lighter note, I now have a new found love for Cillian Murphy and turtle neck jumpers.

 

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(Warner Bros)

 

 

La La Land

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Photo taken by Mary Boag

I guess I’ll see you in the movies.

I’m always excited to watch new films. Going to the cinema is one of my favourite hobbies and I try to go at least once a fortnight, but this week I was especially excited to go out and see La La Land.

There are many reasons why I had high hopes for Damien Chazelle‘s latest masterpiece. Number one being that it features one of my most favourite actresses ever, Emma Stone as well as Ryan Gosling – well known for his emotional performance in The Notebook. I was also excited about this film because it is so well critically acclaimed, winning a record-breaking seven awards at the 74th Golden Globe Awards. And finally, because it’s a new musical. There is always room for a new musical in today’s theatres.

Since watching La La Land I can happily confirm that it completely lives up to my high expectations. Set in sunny Los Angeles, California the story follows the blossoming romance between Mia, a struggling and undiscovered yet passionate actress and Sebastian, a pianist playing any gig he can get while trying to achieve his dream of saving jazz music from social extinction. The emotional story of two young artists ever growing fondness mixed with beautiful filmography and several catchy musical numbers creates one of the most heart warming and colourful films I have seen in a long time. But it will also break your heart.

You can watch the trailer for La La Land here and catch it in cinemas while you still can!

 

 

Love Actually

Love Actually on STV on Christmas Day, taken by Mary Boag

Aren’t you a bit young to be in love?

As we are well and truly into the holiday season I thought it would be a good idea to review Love Actually; a classic, festive film from 2003 that is aired on TV at least once every Christmas.

Those who have already seen and loved Love Actually will be surprised to find out that many people have never watched it, and those who haven’t seen it will be wondering what the fuss is all about.

Love Actually is a romantic British comedy/Christmas film. The story line is fairly complex as it looks at 9 different intertwining stories about love, some of which are completely heartbreaking while others are really funny, but once you get used to it – which you will – it’s really easy and enjoyable to watch. The range of stories makes the film really interesting and means that everyone watching can relate to it in one way or another – some main characters are the UK Prime minister, 12 year old Sam and an ageing pop star named Billy Mack.

Something that helps keep the film entertaining throughout is the number of well known faces we see on screen; Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Andrew Lincon, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson and Claudia Schiffer are only a few examples of the great actors and actresses with starring roles in Love Actually.

I’m sure we are all aware that there is and endless amount of Christmas films out there but Love Actually really is worth watching, after all it wasn’t voted the nation’s favourite Christmas movie by the Radio Times for nothing.

Thanks for reading! You can watch the trailer for Love Actually here, and it is available to buy on DVD and iTunes.