Valerian, England is Mine, The Emoji Movie The Film Review

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Valerian, England is Mine, The Emoji Movie

Mark Kermode gives his unique take on the best and worst of the week's film and DVD releases, with Jane Hill.

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Now on BBC News, it's time for the Film Review.


Hello and welcome to The Film Review on BBC News.


To take us through this week's cinema releases is James King.


So James, what do we have this week?


It certainly is a funny week. We have Valerian And The City Of A


Thousand Planets, a mega budget sci-fi from Luc Besson starring Dane


Dehaan and Cara Delevingne. England is mind takes a look at the early


years of Manchester's answer to Oscar Wilde, Smiths front man


Maurice E. And to quote the man himself, panic on the streets of


London, panic on the streets of Birmingham. Yes, The Emoji Movie has


been let loose onto an unsuspecting British public. Be afraid! O, Lord.


That start with sci-fi. That is an odd week. It is August. I read that


Valerian is possibly the most expensive French film ever? Most


expensive European film of all time. Actually, 20 years ago, there was a


film called The Fifth Element which Luc Besson, the same director, made


which did well. At that point, that was the most expensive European film


of all time. Now it is Valerian, with a budget of 200 million


dollars, which could not buy Neymar, but it is still a lot of money. It


is that in the 20th century. It is about a couple of intergalactic


secret agents who are investigating strange goings-on at the office


space station. Cara Delevingne and Dane Dehaan start. Let's see.


You said you wanted the shortest way.


Wow. Would I be right in saying you can see the money? You can see the


money. But watching it, I just thought how much has changed in the


20 years since The Fifth Element. The sci-fi and space movies we have


had from people like Christopher Nolan and JJ Abrams with his Star


Trek and Star Wars movies, and Alfonso Cuaron and actually,


Valerian looks expensive, but it looks like an expensive 90s movie. I


don't think it looks as elegant and as chic and certainly not as


readable as the more recent science fiction films we have seen. It


actually looks a bit gaudy. We saw it towards the end of that clip. It


looks quite gaudy and camp and dare I say it, quite silly at times. You


are allowed to say that. 20 years ago, there was a silliness about The


Fifth Element, but we were more forgiving. But a lot has changed in


that 20 years, so now I am not so sure that Luc Besson's style, and he


does have a distinctive style, feels so of the moment as it did then. And


what do you make of Cara Delevingne? Everyone wants to know that. Well,


she's clearly very comfortable in front of a screen. She is arguably


the world's most famous model, so she looks completely at home. Is


she, on the evidence of this movie, the new Meryl Streep? I think so.


However, she's very young and there is plenty of time for her to


improve. I think the leaves are not the most charismatic. If you see the


trailer, you will see Rihanna in the trailer a lot. She's not in the


movie that much. That is a bit of a cheat on the part of the marketing.


Would have liked to have seen her in it more and Ethan Hawke in it more.


They are very much supporting characters. Is it just looked really


good, I would have forgiven it these problems. All right. We couldn't


have anything more different for our second film, England Is Mine. This


is a biopic of Maurice E's -- Liszt's early years in the run up to


him meeting Johnny Marr and forming the Smiths. The title is from a


Smiths song, still ill. It stars Jack Lowden, who is in Dunkirk as


well. He plays an RAF pilot. He is Tom Hardy's colleague in that movie.


Very good in Dunkirk and very good in this as a young Morrissey. The


downside is that the first half of the film, Morrissey is so painfully


shy as a teenager that he is virtually mute. So you have a film


where you don't know what is going on in his head because he is such an


insular character. And the film is about him coming out of his shell.


Most interestingly, the women in his life encouraging him to come out of


his shell, his family and female friends. Do you need to be a fan of


the Smiths to enjoy it or could this be a coming-of-age film? That is


certainly what it's trying to be. It is -- there are Adrian


Moleesque-macro elements of it with the nerdy, shy teenager, but also


about if you follow your dreams, they will come true, which perhaps


is always what you think of when thinking of Morrissey, but it is


there in the movie. The second half is better. That is when he does come


out of his shell and becomes more flamboyant. OK. It's August,


children are not at school. You take them to the cinema a lot. In


watching the trailer for The Emoji Movie made my eyes hurt. Do you


think Morrissey has ever used and emoji? I doubt it, somehow. Yeah. In


terms of plot, The Emoji Movie is very convoluted. You can sum it up


very simply. It is trying to be the Lego movie, desperately, which was a


couple of years ago and a huge success critically and commercially.


It is about this emoji living in a phone in this emoji city which is


very uniform and regimented, but he is different. He wants to prove he


is different to everyone else and special and doesn't follow the herd.


There is actually a meh frets, indifferent, the feeling I had when


coming out of Valerian. So he is a meh face, but he wants to be more


than that. In this clip, we have, I can't believe I am saying this, Sir


Patrick Stewart voicing a poop emoji and James Corden voicing a high five


emoji. Let's hear that. Come on, tell me you aren't just


a little bit tempted. Come on, man, it's Hi-5.


You know me, I'm a favourite. I mean, look at me, I'm


an attractive hand Fist Bump!


Come on in. Fist Bump?


He's a knucklehead, literally! Look at him.


I can look like that. OK, I get it. What age-group do you


think this is aimed at? I would say young and in discriminating. Maybe a


first film when you haven't seen anything else. If it were funny, we


would forgive it and of course, the Lego movie was very funny. Pixar


make funny animations. The level of muddy in animations is very high.


But I have read a lot about the cynical nature of it and the product


placement. Because it is not funny, you are looking at the downside,


which is that it feels very corporate. Even though it is


supposedly about and emoji he was to be an individual a bit different,


actually, what it is selling you are very corporate and mainstream apps


and games. So it does feel a bit like an advert as they run around


this phone and went a different apps and games. Trying to get them young.


Better children's films are available this summer. I would say


so. Best out at the moment, The Big Sick? Doing very well at the box


office, so that is good to see. A romantic comedy about an interracial


relationship. It is also literally about a girlfriend in a coma,


speaking of the Smiths. The lead female character gets very ill, and


it is written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon. It is their story, the


story of how they got together. So even though it is dealing with big


topics, it feels very personal and charming. They are happy to tip


their hat to Richard Curtis and Judd Apatow, who produced the film. I


like romantic comedies when they are done well. We are often down on them


as a genre, but when done well, they are charming. I am pleased that the


man and Gianni and Emily Gordon are celebrating how good romantic


comedies can be. If you want to sit on the sofa instead, what is your


recommendation? Free Fire, from Ben Wheatley, co-written with his


regular partner. He works across different genres, comedy and crime


and dystopian sci-fi, but in all of his movies, there is this great


feeling that things are about to go pear shaped. Things are about to


kick off, literally in this film, because it is about a meeting in the


70s in this warehouse in Boston that goes wrong. It is a meeting between


gangsters and arms dealers, and it is very tense and nerve-wracking and


under Free Fire of the title kicks in. It is not just a shooter 'em up,


though. There are great actors in this. Brie Larson, Gillian Murphy --


Cillian Murphy. It harks back to gutsy 70s action films. Martin


Scorsese is the executive producer of this film and it does have that


dirty feel about it that we had in the 70s. James, thanks very much.


See you next week. Enjoy your cinema going if you can.


As we said, quite a varied bunch. It has been another fairly showery


day, not as