See now, I remember back in 2013 I saw the trailer for The Lego Movie. I had seen Jump Street at that point, but not Cloudy and Lord and Miller weren’t really a directorial team that I was following. I didn’t know if the film was going to be any good, but I knew I had to see it on the big screen. There just wasn’t anything else ever made that looked like it. There was nothing that moved in the same way.
At university I wrote my dissertation on the similarities between postmodern theatre and video games. Sort of taking what Auslander wrote about in Liveness and reflecting it back; analysing how design is being increasingly influenced by the performative desire of players. As a part of that I looked at Alternate Reality Games, comparing their successes to the continued failure of the modernist design ideals inherent in virtual reality. In short, the gameplay of an ARG is only tangentially connected to the actual puzzle design work of its creator — the real play comes in the interaction between the community trying to solve it.
There’s little more that could be said about Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation that isn’t said in the first shot of the trailer below. One of the best shots of the year, and quite possibly all time. Like, I’ve gone back and watched it over five times while writing these opening sentences and I’ve laughed literally every time. Just thinking about it is enough to set me off giggling.
You expect children’s animated films to be a little sad don’t you? A little salt to balance out the sugar, enough melancholy to allow our spirits to be lifted later on. Nobody expects the death of Anna and Elsa’s parents to be the entire trade of Frozen, they’re just another dash of something in the stock before it’s reduced down to the actual plot.
It seems like through Wes Anderson’s filmography, while his style has moved towards the realm of extreme formalism, the stories he employs it to tell are spacing out into these maximalist folds. His worlds contain seemingly boundless possibilities, unconcerned by form or structure the characters bounce from event to event as strung along by some dream logic. Whatever sense exists in Anderson’s dialogue, and it is easily malleable, buffeted by strange winds and desires, serves to chase the characters to some new episode. Always unexpected, always inventive.
I’m not sure if I were feeling particularly weak in the theatre yesterday. There was not a single point throughout Coco that I was not either laughing or crying. Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina’s film flies straight towards the top of the Pixar canon.
I’ve been struggling to start my review of The Emoji Movie. It’s bad. It’s reeeaaaal bad. It’s so fucking bad. And I think that would probably be the cool way to approach it. You shouldn’t watch the The Emoji Movie because it’s shit. It’s a bad story, incredibly poorly told. It features some of the most grating and uncharismatic voice acting you’ve ever heard in one of these things. It is profoundly, profoundly unpleasant to look at for any long period of time. And despite the fact that it steals it’s every idea from a panoply of better movies not a single gram of their greatness rubs off onto it.