Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Trailer Review: THE EMOJI MOVIE

There are so many phenomenal ideas that exist in the world of cinema, complete with fascinating ideas and compelling scripts. However, on July 21, 2015, Sony Pictures decided its top priority was beating Warner Brothers and Paramount in a bidding war over the winky face you send to inform that creepy guy at work that the conversation is over. That bidding war clocked in at multiple millions of dollars.

Can you imagine a bright-eyed, full-of-dreams animator being ushered into their new cubicle at Sony, where they are promptly informed that their task moving forward will be the ins and outs of a poop-emoji's body language?

My mind is spinning as I think about how many amazing movies could have been made simply with the amount of money Sony paid out to access the rights to girl-dancing-in-a-red-dress-emoji or shocked-kitty-cat-emoji. Real, honest-to-god cinema could have been unleashed on the world and instead we are getting a movie that takes place on the inside of a smartphone from the company that brought us Pixels.

The plot is pitched to us, the audience, as the story of a multi-expression emoji setting out on a journey to become a normal, typical single-faced emoji. I have a feeling that any reasonably intelligent six-year-old can figure out the twists and turns of the plot from there as T.J. Miller (fresh out of the slammer for punching an Uber driver in the face) embarks on a journey to overcome his divergent traits and discovers in the end that his ability to move his facial muscles isn't a bad thing after all. Do emojis have muscles? Does anyone care?

If you are a child and you are emotionally compelled by a movie about an emoji then you are a dumb child. Your parents should be ashamed. Your teachers should be ashamed. The world around you should be ashamed.

As for the teaser itself, it begins as a meh-emoji stands before a white background, apathetically explaining that. . . F*** it. You don't care. You've probably seen it (and can check it out below). You understand that there's nothing redeemable in this trailer except for an almost-funny poop joke at the end that felt like it was written by an SNL reject. It's even shot and edited in a format that makes it the same style as the vertical-cam Facebook vlogs your unemployed cousin makes while he's driving to Kwik Trip about the dangers of the Illuminati and Monsanto.

This movie could turn out good. It could. It probably could. It might. Maybe. Somehow. I can't write it off yet as the worst animated movie of the year without seeing it. However, this lovely minute long descent into a hellish parallel universe where life is meaningless and cinema is dead makes me long for the days of bad, but not offensively bad, Despicable Me 3 trailers.

So. . . a few days ago. So much has changed in a few days.

The marketing is fairly brilliant. It is successfully being so bad that it is basically daring people to not see the movie, which will reverse-psych people into the theaters and make this movie plenty of cash. Meanwhile, next year's Kubo and the Two Strings will fall by the wayside again as trashy, uncreative, talent-void hack-jobs of animated films rake in at the box office while fans of good movies cling to optimism and hope that next time will be different.

This movie exists. How does this movie exist? Why does it exist? What have we done to deserve this?


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