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Review: The Emoji Movie

Jul 28 // Drew Stuart
The Emoji Movie tells the tale of Gene, a 'meh' emoji who unbeknownst to his fellow emoji's in Textopolis, can experience more than one emotion. Unfortunately, when he's called upon to make his 'meh' face at the users request, he freaks out and makes the wrong face. Gene is then forced out of Textopolis, and embarks on a quest with his buddy Hi-5 and hacker Jailbreak to become normal like all the other emoji's. The setup is trite from the very beginning, and becomes more mundane the further along the story progresses. You already know all of the beats; our characters form a plan to solve their problems, the villain sends a force to stop them, they clash, one of the characters gets separated from them, the main character decides to rescue them instead of heading straight for their goal, blah blah blah. I could go on, but it's honestly not necessary; if you've seen a kids movie in the last 20 years, then you've seen The Emoji Movie. I've heard some people say that The Emoji Movie borrows steals lot of ideas from Inside Out, and that's just not true. Emoji also rips several ideas from Toy Story, The Lego Movie, and even Shrek. Situations are recreated almost verbatim from these movies, only serving to bore and annoy the audience even further. And it's not like Emoji needs any help with that; the humor and is so atrocious that I almost feel guilty calling this film a comedy. Here's what the 'comedy' amounts to; emoji's simply calling each other by their emoji names, or acting slightly different to each other depending on what emoji they are. That's really it. There's no humor that's so bad it becomes funny, or dialogue that you can ridicule. I didn't hear a single laugh from any of the children in the theater. Nothing. This movie is shamelessly hackneyed and vapid; it cannot be laughed at because it can't understand that it's being made fun of. It is impervious to snide criticism and witty retorts. All you can do is embrace The Emoji Movie, before shoving a pillow into its face. Without comedy, and without plot, the element that is thrust into the forefront of the viewers minds is the concept. And if you'd like me to elaborate on that, now's the time where I'd like to inform all the passengers along for today's flight that, as the title entails, this is in fact a review for The Emoji Movie, and you should be well aware by now that the concept is, on it's face, a bad one. I understand the motive behind it; The Lego Movie made more dough than a Three-Star michelin bakery, and Sony wants a piece of that pie, but it isn't gonna happen with something like Emoji's. The reason being that kids and adults alike adore Legos for their inherent creativity and playful, easy design, which incidentally lends itself incredibly well to a kids movie based around the theme of creativity and being yourself. The other reason being that no one cares about emoji's. Trying to make an emoji movie is such a blatant consumerism-driven cash-grab that I'm astounded Sony had the balls to even try it. Hell, in the opening narration, the movie acknowledges that emoji's only exist because people suck, specifically because they're lazy and don't want to type out their complete thoughts in a text message. So why would anyone even consider making a movie like this? I don't know. The point is, the concept of an emoji-based movie sucks.  Now, here's a weird bit of criticism I never thought I would have to say aloud: Did the entire cast phone in their performances? Sure, you might know that T.J. Miller, Steven Wright and Patrick Stewart were coaxed into this movie, but did you know that, *ahem*, Anna Faris, James Corden, Maya Rudolph, Jennifer Coolidge, Christina Aguilera, Sofia Vergara and more lend their voices to this project? No? Neither did I, until I glimpsed the cast list as I sulked out of the theater. Why do none of these people sound like themselves? Why even hire them if their voices are that unrecognizable? I just don't know. On top of the terrible plot, the terrible concept, and the terrible acting, all of the sensory elements in this movie suck too. The animation lacks any style or visual flair, (as is to be expected) but worse is how little detail there is in the animation. There are points where characters look blurry or unfinished, and nearly all of the backgrounds are painfully copied and pasted as needed. You can see this quite plainly if you compare the trailers to the movie; there are scenes in the trailer that occur in other settings in the final cut of the movie. It feels borderline amateur. Even worse has got to be the music. You'd think that Sony with all of it's music rights would plug today's pop-radio garbage into The Emoji Movie, but that's not the case. Instead, they plugged 2012's pop-radio garbage into The Emoji Movie. Did Sony not believe in this movie either? Why does this exist? Why am I here? You don't need me to tell you this movie is terrible. Just look at it. Some asshole at Sony actually thought this would be a good idea, and somehow convinced a bunch of other assholes to make this putrid movie. The Emoji Movie was farted into existence for the express purpose of seeing if they could do it. And now we all have to sit in its stink. 
To live is to suffer
You know, for the longest time I thought that this movie was a joke. Something invented by film producers to have a laugh. A prank that writers bounced around, but never dared to seriously consider, lest their career be stamp...

Morgan Spurlock's Rats photo
Morgan Spurlock's Rats

Trailer: Morgan Spurlock's new documentary Rats looks like an intense horror thriller

Vermin, vermin everywhere *vomits*
Sep 16
// Hubert Vigilla
Rats are the worst. Like, seriously guys, the worst. There's this vacant building next to my apartment that's rife with them and the city seems helpless about controlling the problem. We may disagree about a lot of things, bu...
Brooklyn Drafthouse delay photo
Brooklyn Drafthouse delay

Opening of Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse delayed indefinitely, there's something in my eye

Aug 26
// Hubert Vigilla
Aww man, what a bummer. As you may recall, Brooklyn was set to have its own Alamo Drafthouse this summer, which would have made up for the Upper Westside Alamo Drafthouse getting nixed. Turns out we really can't have good thi...

Jared Leto on Joker: There's a 'rated-R or rated-X performance in there'

Coming soon: Suicide Squad - Dong Cut
Aug 09
// Matt Liparota
Jared Leto's performance as iconic Batman villain the Joker in David Ayer's Suicide Squad has been a topic of much debate within fandom. Ever since we got that first shot of the shirtless clown prince of crime all tatted up, ...

Fruit Ninja movie photo
Fruit Ninja movie

They're making a Fruit Ninja movie, may God have mercy on us all

All is lost
May 23
// Hubert Vigilla
It was bound to happen. After The Angry Birds Movie came out (and did well at the box office), it would only be a matter of time before other time-waster mobile games were turned into feature films. Enter Fruit Ninja. Yes. Th...
Pez photo

Pez is getting a movie for some reason

Aug 03
// Nick Valdez
SERIOUSLY WHO IS DOING THIS TO US? F**king Smarties would've made a better movie than this. Or Fruit Stripe. Or Runts. Or basically every other terrible candy.  “PEZ Candy is beloved by children and adults alike, with Cameron Fay we’ve created a world unique to Pez and a story that will touch the hearts of many.” UGH WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [via Collider]
Denny's Fant4stic Menu photo
It's sloberrin' time
If you're new to the site, there's one thing you should really know about us. We like terrible ideas. Although we'll rip a bad film apart in a review, we all secretly love what they do for cinema. Namely, we get weird ideas l...


Aubrey Plaza to voice Grumpy Cat in upcoming Grumpy Cat movie

Sep 18
// Liz Rugg
Look, the world doesn't need a Grumpy Cat movie. Grumpy Cat was fun for like a week in 2012. Besides, basically all cats are grumpy, that's why they're so great. Anyway, regardless of what I think, a Grumpy Cat Lifetime Chris...
F**king Wings photo
F**king Wings

Trailer for Disney's Planes knockoff, Wings is not a joke

F**king Wings.
Jul 26
// Nick Valdez
In one of the weirdest moves in recent home video history, we have the newest trailer for Lionsgate's Wings. Wings is a ripoff of Planes, a Disney direct to home video sequel to Cars that is getting released in theaters...

Video: behind the special effects in Fast & Furious 6

Jun 04
// Liz Rugg
Part of what has made the Fast & Furious franchise thrive under Justin Lin's direction is his insistence on filming as much real action in-camera as possible. In other words, (spoilers, I suppose) for the final chase sce...

Atlus Shrugged Part 3 is indeed coming

Denial in the face of reality is kind of sad
Mar 26
// Matthew Razak
A long while ago we reviewed Atlus Shrugged Part 1 and for a solid chunk of time it was the worst reviewed film on the site. It failed miserably at the box office. Like, really miserably. Undaunted, its right wing produc...
Escape Reboot photo
Because they've rebooted everything else
If it happened in the 80s we need a new one of it now seems to be the mantra of Hollywood at the moment. Next up for "revival" is Escape From New York and everyone's favorite badass, Snake Pliskken. Joel Silver and Studi...


Kevin Smith considers Clerks sequel book rather than film

An episodic look at Dante and Randall with emphasis on "audience interactivity"
Feb 19
// Hubert Vigilla
Kevin Smith has been mulling a Clerks sequel for a bit. At the end of 2012, it seemed like the only missing piece was Jeff Anderson (Randall) signing on. But then the project kept morphing, from a film, to a web series, to a ...

Flixistentialism 02 - Dre's Two Circumcisions

One was by accident, the other on purpose
Dec 21
// Andres Bolivar
Flixistentialism is back folks, now with slightly improved audio. On this episode I tell the story of my two circumcisions (that's right...TWO!) and we give my dick the most awesome name EVER. We also discuss holiday movies,...

Darkseid is a terrible choice for 2015's Justice League

Dec 03 // Sean Walsh
Oh, where to start on why this is a terrible decision... Aside from his eye-beams (which can disintegrate people, resurrect the dead, et cetera, and he can control them, because why not?), also known in Jack Kirby-ese as the Omega Beam, I really don't even know what Darkseid's powers are. TO WIKIPEDIA! Okay, so, he's got the 'Omega Force' (presumed source of the Omega Beam and Omega Sanction, which send people and Batmen back in time), super strength, super endurance, immortality, invulnerability, and genius-level intellect. Cute. Now, let's compare that to Thanos and his powers: superhuman strength, stamina, durability, longevity, and intelligence, energy manipulation, telekinesis, and teleportation. Advantage: Thanos. But this isn't about comparing the two. And before anybody goes to accuse me of being a Marvel fanboy, I'm no big fan of Thanos either. I just think that his goal (courting Death and wrecking shit with the Infinity Gauntlet) is way cooler and less nonsensical than solving the Anti-Life Equation. (I love and respect Jack Kirby, but the more I write out these things the more I realize I don't know what the hell was going on in the sixties.) Let's take a deeper look at the Anti-Life Equation. From Wikipedia: "Jack Kirby's original comics established the Anti-Life Equation as giving the being who learns it power to dominate the will of all sentient and sapient races. It is called the Anti-Life Equation because 'if someone possesses absolute control over you - you're not really alive.'"  Scottish madman Grant Morrsion actually gave us the eqaution in his Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle mini-series (wherein Darkseid and the other Fourth World characters were all reborn as black people in the ghetto...or something) and this is that equation: loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding × guilt × shame × failure × judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side Yeah. Okay. Sure. Thanos just wants to please his lady Death, not do stupid math. When the Justice League was originally formed in the Silver Age, they came together to fight a giant space-starfish named, appropriately, Starro. Do I found Starro a compelling character? Hell no. But do I think that super-teams can be founded fighting a starfish who can possess people via face-hugging? Yes. Do they need to be formed by going up against someone who is traditionally a Big Bad (to borrow a term from the Whedonverse)? No, because then you've got to out-do it the next time. Therein lies my biggest issue with them deciding to go with Darkseid in Justice League. It echoes my complaints about the Avengers being brought together to fight a giant army of space aliens when originally, in the comics, they came together to stop a rampaging Hulk: you've got to out-do it next time. The Avengers get to fight Thanos in the second film, but after that the number of Thanos-tier bad guys is slim pickins. Justice League isn't even building up to Thanos-tier, they're just diving right on in to the deep end. Who will the Justice League face in the theoretical JL2? Emperor Joker? Some new garbage villain from the New 52? I can't even think of another Darkseid-tier villain from DC. What they'll have to do is a Legion of Doom thing where they fight a bunch of bad guys, because they already busted their great and powerful evil god nut in the first goddamn movie. Now, I said this article wasn't about comparing Darkseid and Thanos but I've realized I'm wrong. Ultimately, that's exactly what it's about. Avengers 2 and Justice League both come out in 2015 and both have a Big Bad from outer space that will tear the teams a new asshole. The obvious advantage The Avengers, and by extension Thanos, has is build-up. Warner Brothers is pulling off the sheet and going, "TA-DA!" whereas we know Thanos is coming. We've been waiting years for him to show up and slap Thor and Captain America around. Casual fans will see through Warner Brothers just as easily as us long-time readers and cry out bullshit. And, if you ask me, they're right. Why do we care about this team in the first place, outside of the bat-symbols and super-crests? These aren't our Batmen and Wonder Women. We haven't spent the last decade watching their trials and tribulations unfold before they are brought together to face a world-ending threat. It's just some people in familiar costumes finding a guy in a skirt (no, really). What it boils down to is Darkseid sucks. I couldn't be less excited for Justice League. There's been no world/universe-building, the villain is lame and way too over-powered for a first movie, and one time, Superman beat him by singing at him. For real. This was after Darkseid had won. He'd basically taken over the world, 'killed' Batman, and was basically chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool. Then Superman sings at him. It's more complicated than that, of course, but he is ultimately felled by the dulcet tones of Superman. Read Final Crisis to see what I'm talking about. And that is the villain they'll be facing in Justice League, desperately trying to out-do The Avengers in 2015!
Because nothing says 'bad guy' like a skirt and a helmet
I've read probably hundreds of thousands of comics in my lifetime, starting at the ripe young age of four and half with issue #21 of Archie Comics' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures and having most recently completed Av...


MacFarlane confirms Family Guy movie is still happening

Dec 03
// Nick Valdez
Now that Seth MacFarlane's Ted has gone on to become a reasonable success, he pretty much has free reign to do whatever he pleases (much like how he owns Fox's entire Sunday evening lineup). With this much power and mone...

WB interested in Casablanca 2, incites global facepalming

The greatest love story ever told! Again!
Nov 05
// Xander Markham
A long-standing joke about creatively soulless Hollywood executives has a young buck standing up and proposing a sequel to the 1942 Humphrey Bogart/Ingrid Bergman classic, Casablanca. Inevitably, that joke is now threatening ...

MGM continuing Twilight without Pattinson or Stewart

OMG WTF no more R-Patz K-Stew Robsten Pattinswart ohs noes!!!
Oct 18
// Xander Markham
Everyone loves R-Patz and K-Stew, correct? Him with his stupid hair and shiny face, her with her grumbly countenance and sloppy posture. Truly, 'tis a love story for the ages, except for when she cheated on him with a forty-y...

First image of Scary Movie 5 confirms it will be terrible

Sep 21
// Nick Valdez
You know how every Scary Movie is supposed to have a random celebrity cameo who has no business being in movies? Like how Scary Movie 3 had Pamela Anderson, Scary Movie 4 had Dr. "My PhD is For Realsies" Phil, or th...

Trailer: A Christmas Story 2

Sep 06
// Hubert Vigilla
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I watched a clip of Rock of Ages so you don't have to

Jun 12
// Alex Katz
Are you looking forward to Rock of Ages? Hang on, let me stop you right there. If you were about to say, "Why yes!," then I've got some unfortunate news for you. You're an idiot. I'm sorry that I had to be the one to tell yo...

Listen to Tom Cruise warble Def Leppard in Rock of Ages

May 17
// Alex Katz
Is "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard your favorite song? Wait, seriously, it is? Really? Can I have a long conversation with you? I'm not a therapist or anything, but I think it's for the good of medical science that pe...

Scary Movie 5 has a 'plot', no Anna Faris

May 08
// Xander Markham
The Scary Movie series didn't start well and has been getting worse ever since, with its only conceivable merit being the dedication of star Anna Feris to the trademark gross-out 'humour'. Even Faris seems to have realised th...

Human Centipede 3 to feature chain of 500+ people

Mar 14
// Hubert Vigilla
More details have emerged about The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence). The epic finale of ultimate vileness will apparently feature a chain consisting of 500+ people. To quote our own Alex Katz, "[This] fits with my theory t...

Check out this creepy Disney Princess torture porn

Feb 20
// Jenika Katz
There are a lot of different types of princess fan art out there, and a lot of it portrays a more dystopian viewpoint. I'm a big fan of Dina Goldstein's Fallen Princesses collection. It's a dark look at a more modern princess...

Matt Lieberman to write doomed Short Circuit remake

Feb 03
// Hubert Vigilla
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Trailer: The Dictator

Dec 14
// Liz Rugg
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Trailer: Alvin and the Chimpmunks: Chipwrecked

Oct 14
// Alex Katz
This? This right here? This is why we can't have nice things for our children. [MSN, via /Film]

Underground filmmaker George Kuchar dies at age 69

Sep 07
// Liz Rugg
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KatzSmith Productions, made up of David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith, just signed a two-year film production deal with Warner Bros. Along with a collection of original projects, the two have big plans for Beetlejuice 2. ...

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