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


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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Transcript


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

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Hello and welcome to The Film Review on BBC News.

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

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So James, what do we have this week?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Valerian is possibly the most expensive French film ever? Most

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You said you wanted the shortest way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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an attractive hand Fist Bump!

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Come on in. Fist Bump?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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man and Gianni and Emily Gordon are celebrating how good romantic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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day, not as

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