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Rorschach Reviews Y7: The Top 25 Awakens

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The countdown will begin shortly.

 

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Before we dive into the best of the year, let's take a short look at the films on the opposite end of the quality meter.

 

The Top 10 Worst Films of Y7, Part 1

 

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Finders Keepers by @4815162342

 

An incredibly unpleasant dark comedy with dumb characters and an equally dumb plot, though it does contain one of the funniest in-game typos I’ve ever read which gave it some much-needed entertainment value.

 

 

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Hoops 3 by @YourMother the Edgelord

 

I’m very sad to report that this film failed to hold my nuts in the same way that the cinematic masterpiece known as Uncle Drew did. I am very disappointed in you, Mr. Charles Stone III.

 

 

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Higher Ground by @SLAM!

 

Sorry @SLAM!, but I’m gonna have to go with Team @cookie on this one: this was bad. It’s probably my pick for the most disappointing film of the entire game year. What starts off as a rather promising drama focusing on a young tsunami survivor coping with PTSD veers straight into complete what the fuck territory when it suddenly decides to become a horror film – almost completely out of nowhere, too. It is by far one of the biggest out of nowhere heel turns in tone that I have seen in a film. It, unfortunately, sinks the entire film for me and no amount of Rory pandering could’ve saved this story. A big letdown for what started off rather promising.

 

 

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The Turkey Squad by @MCKillswitch123

 

To quote Forrest Gump here: “Stupid is as stupid does.” And boy is this movie just that.

 

 

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Columbine by @cannastop

I read this film before any reviews for it came out… and I knew right away that this was not going to go over well with people, which turned out to be the case. I feel as though a lot of my feelings about this film’s problematic and exploitative elements have already been spoken on at length by other reviewers so I won’t go into too much detail about them here. I guess all I can really say is that I think Alpha’s point about the film playing out like the third act to another film about Columbine is what ultimately serves as the film’s biggest crux. It feels to me that Mendes was far more focused on the actual tragedy itself that he failed to realize that the more compelling elements of the story happen before the film even starts – where we could’ve seen much about the poisonous friendship between Klebold and Harris develop and getting context as too how the roots of the tragic event were able to form. Therein lies a lot of what could’ve made for a far more engrossing, thought-provoking film instead of the hollow, emotionless one we got instead.

 

I feel bad for harping on this film, especially since it is @cannastop's first big film in this game. I do sincerely appreciate all of the content that he has brought to the table this year and I am very excited to see the creative output he shares with us in the near future. I wish I liked this film but I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t make me uncomfortable thinking about it.

 

 

Edited by Rorschach
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The Top 10 Worst Films of Y7, Part 2

 

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Father II: The Resurrection by @YourMother the Edgelord

 

Talk about a film that peaks within its first five minutes, with Demon Slayer Mother Theresa kicking ass then plummeting down in quality for the rest of its runtime.

 

 

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Whoopsie-Daisy by @SLAM!

 

One of the most insultingly unfunny comedies I’ve seen in a very long time. What a complete waste of time and talent from everyone involved in this production.

 

 

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3:32 A.M. by @Blankments

 

By far the laziest film of the entire year. The fact that this is even considered a prequel, A GOD DAMN PREQUEL, is fucking hilarious. It’s definitely time to stop with this series.

 

 

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The Disappointment by @lamamama

 

Normally, this would be my pick for the worst film of the year but lucky for Adam McKay and company, someone upstaged them. Still, this is garbage. It definitely feels like a film that was made 10 years ago but was shelved due to a completely mortified studio being embarrassed at the abomination that they allowed to come into this world. Hell, even by the standards of ten years ago, this feels incredibly dated. An absolute career-low for everyone involved with this production. And lmfao at Donald Trump.

 

 

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Love After Loving by @MCKillswitch123

 

I feel bad for putting this at the top of my list since I know McKill wasn’t intending to make a bad film with this one and I don’t like going too hard on new players to the game, especially since I know firsthand that the first year for players is never their best. I sincerely wish the best for McKill going forward and I’m excited to see where his Cayom career goes down the line.

 

With that said, yeah, this film was an abysmal experience. I don’t feel like I have anything new to say about this that hasn’t already been covered by other reviewers so I won’t go into too much detail here. All I will say is that this is probably the first time in a Cayom film I’ve had a huge out loud reaction to a film that wasn’t me laughing at a joke. Everyone who’s read it probably knows the moment in which I’m referring to so I’m not even going to directly say it by name. But when this certain moment happened in the film, I literally ran my fingers into my head and started shouted “No!” over and over again for a couple minutes or so. 

 

I don’t think I’ve ever had this big a reaction to a film in this game before and not for good reasons whatsoever. I was completely mortified, something I don’t think I’ve ever felt while reading a film. For me, this is up there with The 120 Days of Sodom remake as the most disgusting and vile film in the entire game. All I can really say is I sincerely hope there is never another film like this in the game ever again.

 

 

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Here are the six films that were good but didn't quite make the cut:

 

Honorable Mentions

 

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Beyblade: The War Unleashed - Let Them Rip!

 

Make no mistake, this is a dumb movie. Like, a really, really dumb movie. By all accounts, it shouldn’t even be close to this list. “Then why is it on the honorable mentions,” you might ask? Because despite how utterly ridiculous I found this movie to be, I still had an absolute blast watching it. There’s just something so charming about its ridiculousness that it’s hard for me to really hate on it. It’s stupid and it knows that and I enjoy the shit out of it. Triple Quadruple point all the way!

 

 

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The Ends of the Universe

 

This was a decent time. I greatly appreciate the studio’s choice of bringing on career voice actors to fill in the roles rather than slapping on random celebrity voices for name recognition. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, though I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel somewhat middling on its story and characters. Both elements are fine but nothing to write home about. Still, I had a good enough time to recommend this and I definitely advocate for more PG-13 animated fare in the future.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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The Gift of Life

 

A nice and uplifting documentary that manages to successfully tug at the heartstrings.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Sir Thymes Time 2

 

Like its predecessor, this was a fun, if somewhat disposable time at the movies, with some solid animation and some neat and inventive story beats all revolving around pretty good music. The plotline itself is nothing to write home about and it's a little disappointing that much of the ensemble voice cast aren’t fully utilized (though Wood and Bridges are great in their roles). Still, I felt fairly satisfied after watching it.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Toons v Reality

 

This is probably gonna go down as my biggest hot take of the year but yeah, I gotta admit, I wasn’t really that big a fan of this film. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of good stuff in here. Everything involving the cartoon characters and their antics was very entertaining. A majority of the film’s best bits revolve around Randy, who provides a lot of the film’s best comedy bits and is well-voiced by John Mulaney. Amira has a few good moments as well. There’s also some pretty good satire thrown in for good measure too that I really liked.

 

Sadly, I couldn’t help but feel very meh about this film. I found Ashley to be an incredibly boring protagonist despite having the groundwork for what could’ve made for a very strong character arc, which the filmmakers don’t really do anything with. On that note, I also found all the other human characters to be very uninteresting and the villain to be a cliche bore. Almost all of the film’s attempted emotional beats fell flat for me and left me feeling uninvested with what was happening. There were also a lot of confusing bits of messy writing that really took me out of the experience, mainly because I had trouble attempting to decipher what was trying to be said.

 


Overall, I felt the film simply just lacked the charm and magic that Endless Animation brought to their past animated projects like Can You Imagine or Gateways. But for all its faults, I did enjoy the first half of the film enough to feel somewhat positive about it. There’s a lot of good to be said about this film but all of those positive notes are brought down by a lot of mediocrity for me to say I really enjoyed this one.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Tower of Babylon

 

As I’ve hinted at before, I was not a big fan of Denis Villeneuve’s Tower of Babylon. At least, not on the first viewing. While I was impressed with the ambitious technical aspects of the film as well as some of the themes and symbolism it touched on, I felt that the film’s lack of interesting characters and the almost mechanical approach to telling its story left me feeling cold and detached towards what I was watching. It left me feeling the same way I did after watching Ad Astra, a film that, while I was impressed by the film’s craft, I just could not get into the story at all. Granted, I think Babylon’s solid worldbuilding gives it enough of a push for me to prefer it over Ad Astra for me but I digress. Regardless, I was really interested to see how everyone was going to respond to this film.

 

But boy was I shocked when this film started getting rave reviews from people. I figured some people would’ve liked it just fine but man, I was definitely not expecting one of the only few people to be towards the negative camp on a film like this. Which got me wondering: did I miss something? Was I too harsh on the film during my first viewing? What were others getting out of it that I wasn’t? I began to second guess my original thoughts on the film and it wasn’t until after @Spaghetti placed the film in his #1 spot that I decided “Fuck it, I’m re-reading this film.” I never usually re-read any films for Cayom within one game year but I felt compelled to with this film, mainly to see if it would improve on second viewing.

 

And I gotta say, it did improve for me. Not by a whole lot but still, going from a C/C to a B- to be a pretty big improvement in my book. 

 

This is definitely a film that warrants multiple viewings to really soak in everything it’s packing into its 100-minute runtime, which I think is a good thing. Perhaps as time goes on, my thoughts on this film will only improve more and more. I still felt a bit cold towards the film in my second viewing but I felt as though I warmed up to it a bit more, knowing beforehand what to expect going back into it. 

 

Regardless of what I or anyone else thinks of this film, I think @Ethan Hunt should be proud of what he’s made here. This was a pretty ambitious swing for the fences and I could definitely feel the passion he had for the source material while reading it. I’m personally very excited to see what he conjures up for the future.

 

 

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The Long Way Home

 

This was fine. It has a fun ensemble cast (with Naomi Scott and Jack Lowden’s characters, in particular, being my favorites) with enough of an interesting hook to keep me interested and some decent sci-fi action thrown in the mix as well. Though, I’d be lying if I said that I was completely invested in the journey and I found the abundance of different characters and alien species to keep track of to be a bit much at certain points. Still, it's a solid space opera.

 

 

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Adult Swim Bombscare Documentary for Theatres

 

A solid, informative little documentary that gave me a lot more context for a story I knew a little bit about beforehand but I appreciated learning more about it.

 

 

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I'll Always Be There

 

A nice romantic film that is bolstered by two really likable, underrated leads and a unique presentation style that helps to set it apart from other films of the same genre. It's a bit schmaltzy at times but I’ll admit, I really enjoyed this one.

 

 

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Dear Evan Hansen

 

Hmmm, I feel a bit conflicted about this film. There’s a lot that’s been said about this film and there are clearly two different camps of people who are really passionate about it and those who aren’t. I’d say I’m somewhere smack dab in the middle. There’s a lot that holds me back from really liking this film. I found a lot of the songs distractingly upbeat and peppy for a film mostly dealing with a serious subject, Alex Wolff and Auli’i Cravalho’s characters were very annoying/unlikeable with Wolff’s character feeling like he came out of a completely different movie, and I was constantly frustrated with Evan Hansen’s actions throughout the whole film (which I get may have been the intention and I did sympathize with his character a good bit, but after a certain point, I kinda grew irritated with him). The film’s conclusion also left me on a bit of a sour note in terms of the way certain things wrapped up.

 

Still, there is a lot to like. Lucas Hedges surprisingly brings a lot to emotional depth to his role that allowed me to overlook some of the flaws surrounding his character and Zendaya/the people who play her parents whose names I’m blanking on as the Murphy family were great as well. And for every musical number that didn’t work for me, there were always a few that I managed to enjoy – my personal favorite being the number involving Evan telling the family about a fake memory between him and Connor at the Apple orchard. Amy Adams, whose character seems to pop up every now and again, also has a very nice character moment towards the end of the film that I liked as well. 

 

 

For as much of a mixed bag as it is, I still did like this enough to put it on the list. I think with a film like this, there is a pretty big balancing act it has to commit to regarding its subject matter. While the film does stumble quite a bit, it does manage to toe the line just well enough for me to give it a pass.

 

 

 

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Hypercompetency

 

As someone who really hasn’t been a big fan of the Wachowski films that I’ve seen, I have to say I really had a blast with Hypercompetency. When it isn’t being bogged down by endless exposition, the creative action scenes and very ingenious use of High Frame Rate 3D really helped to enhance the theatrical experience and didn’t just feel like a cheap gimmick. It’s enough to elevate the film to be a fun ride. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

 

 

Edited by Rorschach
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Should You Imagine?

 

I know most people weren’t really big on this film, especially compared to Toons. Personally, I think what made me like this a lot more than Endless animation’s other film was that I actually cared about the characters in this one. While I found Kyle and Jennifer’s storyline to be decent, where the film truly shines is with Ethan and Tiana’s storyline which was quite excellent and really brought a surprising amount of maturity with its focus on death with Tiana’s character and toxic masculinity with Ethan. 

 

The film’s last half is incredibly strong, strong enough to make me forgive a somewhat rocky first half where I felt the film took a bit too much time setting things up and taking too long to get to the Imaginationland section. There’s a lot of charm to be had here, even if it doesn’t quite live up to the impossible task of matching its predecessor’s quality

 

 

 

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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

 

I had really low expectations for this film when I first heard about this film. So you can imagine my shock when I found out how fun this film was. Its story isn’t really anything special but what really helps to elevate this film above being just another bland sports movie is Ryan Coogler’s direction and Gaten Matarazzo’s performance as Chris. Both bring a lot to this movie and help to make it a surprisingly poignant and fun experience. I gotta say, not bad. Not bad at all.

 

 

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Looping

 

Another film that managed to come out of nowhere and surprise everyone. Who would’ve known between this and AWITC that MLP fanfiction provided a goldmine of great stories? Well, regardless, this film was a pretty good riff on the classic time loop story, uplifted by fantastic performances from Hugh Jackman and Marsai Martin. I wouldn’t really say I was over the moon about it like some other critics were and the third act climax kind of dragged down what was otherwise a pretty solid story, but other than that, Looping was a pleasant enough time.

 

 

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Scooby-Doo: Cult of the Creeper

 

This was fun and a marked improvement over the first film. The addition of the Hex Girls and more closely adhering to the traditional Scooby-Doo formula I think elevates this to a pretty solid sequel. Though, the actual “mystery” itself is kind of non-existent and wrapped up about as quickly as it started. Still, an improvement is an improvement.

 

Also Daphne x Shaggy is such a perfect ship.

 

 

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Banjo-Kazooie

 

I am wholly unfamiliar with the source material but as is, I found this movie to be incredibly enjoyable and wholesome. I think a lot of that can be attributed to the dynamic between the two titular characters, whose camaraderie and friendship really are the heart and soul of the film. Freddie Highmore and Beanie Feldstein both do good jobs in the voice roles as well and while the plot itself is nothing to write home about, the adventure Banjo and Kazooie embark on was fun enough.

 

Nothing much to say other than this was a really good time.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Rorschach said:

#16

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Birdwing

 

A solid musical with some great animation, good songs, and a really good message. However, it’s greatly held back by a surprisingly complicated and dense opening prologue that kind sets the film on shaky waters for the first third or so. Once the main plot gets into gear though, the film does pick up considerably. 

 

Ardwin makes for a very compelling character and the animal sidekicks get a good laugh every now and then. Most of the other human characters are pretty boring, with King Rafe being a fairly one-note protagonist and Queen Rose, whose role is played up significantly by the film’s plot insisting on her importance, is not really given anything substantial to do outside of the prologue and the very, very end.

 

 

But for all my gripes, I did really like this film quite a considerable amount. Had it started off on better footing, I think this could’ve been something really special. As is, it's just merely good.

 

 

 

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The Final Cut

 

A very odd and different kind of film from any other that came out this year. Kelly Marie Tran and Christopher Walken both give very Oscar-worthy performances here, with Walken hamming it up to the max. The only other thing I can really say is that the resolution with his character is oh so satisfying in the best way possible.

 

 

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Roman Fever

 

Very much plays out like a dinner scene you so desperately want to get away from but can’t as you’re absorbed more and more into the drama. A very well-written and well-acted little film. Well done, EGK.

 

 

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Pillars of Eternity: An Ancient Legacy

 

A solid conclusion to a very good trilogy. I would say I definitely prefer the second film to this, but definitely prefer this one over the first one. There’s a good chunk of this film where I felt as though there was just a tad too much going on in the first and second thirds for me to really get fully invested into what was happening. What did hold it together for though were the likable band of characters that we’ve gotten to know over the course of this trilogy. The third act is probably the best section, acting as a nice payoff to the flashback sequences shown throughout the film as well as providing a surprising twist that flips everything we knew about the world up to that point on its head. All of that is to say, the ending left a really positive note on me and acted as a nice little bow wrapping up the current storyline.

 

 

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Fatal Attraction

 

Though I’ve never seen the original film this is based off, I get the impression that this film does a pretty solid revamp on the premise to fit within the context of modern times, touching on the #MeToo movement and such. Along with that are two very compelling performances from Maggie Gyllenhaal and James MacAvoy in the center of the story, the latter in particular giving an effectively creepy turn. While I do think the way the film wraps up at the end was a little lacking, everything leading up to that was solid all around.

 

 

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#10

 
 
 
 
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The First Month

 

I am not the biggest fan of Alex Garland’s work, both irl and in the Cayom projects that he’s been attached to. So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I read this and thought it was actually very, very good. It’s a hugely tense engrossing film that acts as a nice study on the developing hysteria that happens after the fallout of the world. Definitely at the top of my ballot for Original Screenplay.

 

 

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Green Lantern Corps: Home

 

While it isn’t as heavily packed with action like its predecessor (though it still has quite a few memorable set pieces thrown in for good measure), GLC2 is a notable step-up in terms of its story and its focus on themes, namely on racial discrimination. While I wouldn’t necessarily say the film’s approach to tackling these themes is subtle per se, it still makes for a bold direction for what could’ve been a disposable action flick a step above some of its other contemporaries. Part of this is due to Joaquin Phoenix’s compelling and excellent turn as Sinestro, who takes over the role of protagonist from Armie Hammer’s Hal Jordan in this. Phoenix brings a lot of emotional depth to his role that’s really required to help to invest us in this particular story and I think he does a phenomenal job in this. 

 

The film’s biggest weak links, for me, are its villains. While Atrocitus does get some amount of focus for the first half, the film kinda drops the ball with his character in the second half, making him feel like less of a threatening presence than he initially did and almost forgetting about him for a significant chunk of the runtime. Rachel Weisz’s hammy turn as Imparta, while well-acted, didn’t leave much of an impact on me. Some of the other side characters don’t leave much of an impression either but they’re serviceable enough to get the job done. 

 

However, in the grand scheme of things, this is a very good movie and a solid improvement over the overstuffed first film. It also provides a great ending that acts as a satisfying conclusion to the film’s contained storyline while setting the groundwork for the future installments to come. I am very curious to see where YM takes the story next.

 

 

 

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The Scavenger Wars Part III

 

Out of all the films that have come out this year, I would have to say that the third installment of the Khouga saga contains some of the highest highs from any story that has come out of this year. The writing is perhaps some of the best I’ve ever seen in this game, with some phenomenally crafted action sequences and a focus on building up tension in the first half to set-up an explosive finale that encapsulates all of the franchises main themes up to this point. Added to that some phenomenal character writing, performances, with Ben Foster and Letitia Wright being perhaps my favorite performers in the film, and Carrie and Enyo being pretty great and kickass new additions to the franchise, there is so much going for this film that very much has the foundations to have been one of my favorite films of the entire year.

 

So why is it at #8 instead of being in the Top 5 you might ask? To tell the truth, despite all of those admittedly great elements I mentioned before, there was a part of me that felt a bit underwhelmed while I was reading this. For every phenomenal few beats of writing in the film, there was always about one story beat that I didn’t quite jive with. I don’t know, it’s really hard for me to put into exact words what irked me enough to keep me from fully loving this. I think part of it maybe has to do with the film’s climax which, while good, felt a bit overblown to everything that came before it. Where I think the film really succeeds is in its more intimate moments between characters as well as some of the smaller-scale action bits (with Tamara and Carrie facing off against the Dominion and Lucina and Jarek’s final confrontation coming to mind). Where it doesn’t quite work for me is where it goes really big. The film’s ultimate villain is kind of a letdown for me and I kind of have to agree with Ethan’s assessment that Zedium is never really given a chance to feel all that threatening before she is nuked to smithereens by Ares at the end. Pretty much everything surrounding Zedium in the film brought everything down a notch for me (and also sacrificed some of my interest in Luna as a character as well, seeing as she really becomes nothing more than a glorified pawn in the grand scheme of things). There’s also a few bits of cheesy dialogue every now and then that kinda took me out of the film as well but that’s more going into nitpick territory for me personally.

 

It's frustrating because there’s so much of this film that is absolutely phenomenal and I stand by some of the writing here is some of the best in the game so far. It's just that, unfortunately, there were too many little things that irked me that added up to make me feel just a tad bit underwhelmed when everything was all said and done.

 

 

 

#7

 
 
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Megalo Box

 

To get negatives out of the way first, the first third or so of this film starts everything off on a bit of a rocky foundation, with some weird editing choices and choppy story beats that took me out of the experience. I also really wasn’t a huge fan of the film’s very ending, with the choice to stop the film where it did a tad frustrating in my eyes. 

 

However, besides those gripes, I have nothing else to say other than this film kicks so much fucking ass. Once everything is settled in and Joe’s boxing journey begins, everything is smooth sailing from there on. Sure, from a storytelling perspective, this underdog story isn’t anything new. But everything about the film brings a lot of personality and kinetic drive to plot that you can’t help but get wrapped in seeing Gearless Joe defy all the odds and make it to the top. Luke Pasqualino is great in the lead but it's surprisingly Benicio del Toro’s turn as Coach Ned that really helps to elevate the film from being merely good to great. The fights are also an adrenaline fueled rush of awesomeness, being very well choreographed and well directed.

 

What easily could’ve been just another tired underdog story turned out to be a very absorbing and energetic sci-fi infused take on the sport of boxing, one that I couldn’t help but feel invested in all the way.

 

 

#6

 
 
 
 
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Ms. Blakk 4 President

 

A fascinating character drama from Marielle Heller that brings to light a relatively unknown but secretly impactful story Joan Jett Blakk, who ended up making a small but noticeable difference in bringing attention to the LGBTQ community. Titus Burgess’ phenomenal performance as the title character as well as Heller’s touch of intimate, introspective character study really helps to elevate this material to greatness. While the film does have a few meandering bits here and there and it didn’t quite reach that level of emotionality for me to be fully absorbed into it, I still thoroughly loved it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

#5

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Countdown City

 

The Last Policeman was by far the biggest surprise last year in terms of how much I loved it. It managed to shake up the standard crime drama formula by setting it against an impending apocalyptic background. Needless to say, I was very excited for the follow-up film.

 

While I wouldn’t say I liked this film as much as its predecessor, namely because I found the central mystery that Hank finds himself wrapped up in to not be nearly as compelling as the mystery in the previous film, I still found myself heavily absorbed into this world and its characters, with the film’s ultimate main focus centered around its increasingly dire setting. It takes more time to really explore how this impending doom has affected Hank and the people around him, which, in my opinion, helps to elevate the standard mystery at the center of its plot to a more emotional resonance. Nothing much more to say here than I am extremely excited to see how this trilogy wraps up.

 

 

 

#4

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Hilda and the Midnight Giant

 

This film marks Cookie Pictures’ first non-Scavvies feature since Y3’s The Number One Dime, which made me extremely excited to finally watch this. And I was definitely not disappointed.

 

There aren’t too many films that exist that I can say feel tailor-made for my specific tastes but in Hilda’s case, it definitely is the kind of film that I feel the filmmakers used all those elements for to make something that I’d fall in love with. This film perfectly captures the kind of fantastical but laid-back stories I very much get into, with an extremely likable cast of characters and a sharp sense of humor, all while capturing the beauty and wonder of its fantastic world. Reading this film made me feel relaxed and at home more so than any other film this year did and I absolutely love it. If there is one thing for me to complain about, it's that the third act is a bit too hectic with too many moving pieces at play. Other than that though, I absolutely adored Hilda and the world she inhabits and I can’t wait to make a trip back there again.

 

 

#3

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Notorious

 

Similar to Fatal Attraction, we get another classic and revered film updated for a modern context. This time around, we have an updated version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious, trading in the Cold War setting for a modern take on the current War on Terror. And again, similar to Fatal Attraction, I have never seen the original film.

 

However, after reading this film, I am eager to go and revisit that original film because I absolutely loved this. It’s a near-perfect blend of a romantic drama and suspenseful thriller, helped by Karyn Kusama’s brilliant direction and two fantastic performances from Oscar Isaac and Golshifteh Farahani. It manages to balance both the sharply written espionage plotline and the warm and charming romance that blossoms between its two leads, all this to make a film that enthralled me and captured my heart as well. I don’t really know how much of that can be attributed to the original versus what this film brings to the table but I still loved it nonetheless. Absolutely incredible.

 

 

Edited by Rorschach
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#2

 
 
 
 
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Attack on Titan

 

This is going to be a bit brief compared to what I initially had planned to say about this film given how short on time I am at the moment of writing this. To put it simply, Y7 was a very rough year for me. Even disregarding all the stuff going in the real world right now, 2020 has been a bit of a down year for my Cayom stuff, mostly due to the late winter blues that put me on writer's block at the beginning of the year that put in a bit of a funk to my failure to get Penpal out on time due to unforeseen hiccups in the writing process of that film (don’t worry, I still plan on getting it out for Y8). There was a small bit of time where I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to get anything done for the year and even now, I feel a bit of my self-esteem in terms of my writing abilities kinda reached a low-point during this year.

 

Given all that, it was sort of a miracle that I was even able to get Attack on Titan out this year at all. This is a film that has been in the cards since early in the game and it would be an understatement to say I was dying to finally get the rights for this film. This is a series that really holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first real anime series I really got into and acted as a gateway to other anime series as well (Death Note, One Punch Man, Cowboy Bebop, My Hero Academia, etc.). 

 

It also holds a special place in my heart in that it got me through a very rough period in my life in Freshman year of high school where I felt rather isolated and alone, not having that many people I could truly call friends at the time. As violent and grim as the series can be at times, an underlying theme it also has is hope, which is the main driving force the characters have that helps to overcome their giant adversaries. And as the series goes along, even as things get more complicated and the characters' world-views drastically change, that feeling of hope allows them to continue forward, even when all of the odds seem figuratively and literally against them. For this and other reasons as well, I fell in love with the series and it will always remain an important franchise to me, personally.

 

As far as my adaptation goes, I know for a fact that it's far from perfect. I really wish I had had more time to flesh out the story and fix some kinks that still kind of bother me, but the amount of time it took me to write Penpal, as well as the added factor of online school work taking my priority, didn’t really allow me to give this the proper focus it deserved. I think all of the main criticisms directed towards this film are right and well-justified but regardless, I still love it and am mostly happy with how it turned out. I think my expectations may have just been a bit too high for the critical reception (I’m still admittedly perplexed with the notion that the film is considered “divisive” since its two lowest scores are the equivalent of C+’s, which isn’t really that bad at all and the rest of its scores are mostly on the positive side but whatever –– it’s all water under the bridge at this point). I think it being the only film I was able to release this year as well as coming off of the disappointment and burnout I felt after finishing Penpal kinda fed into me having those really high expectations that, realistically, was probably never going to be met, which I have long since accepted now that the year is starting to come to a close.

 

Still, I am proud of the film, if not just for the fact that I was able to complete something this year. And going forward, knowing what’s in store for the future, I feel extremely confident about the sequels and hope that I can maybe change the minds of those who weren’t as positive on the film as others were. I have nothing but hope that that future will come to pass.

 

 

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#1

 
 
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Laika

 

Wow. Just, wow. I don't think words can do justice to describe how amazingly touching and emotionally gripping this film is. In a year full of really great films, not a single one comes an inch close to the emotionally powerful heights that this film reaches. Yes, it is indeed a true story where you already know the outcome before you even step into the theater. But like most great historical films, you completely forget about the fact that's even the case as you become so drawn into the emotional wringer that this film puts you through. Even before we get to the film's heartbreaking ending, the film is a near-tearjerker as we watch the little Laika/Kudryavka endure hardship as a stray mongrel in the streets to finally finding a place at a facility that takes her in with the full knowledge that the odds of her survival is slim to none. It's amazing how much the film can absorb you into a story you already know the outcome to yet still manage to be completely devastating nonetheless. 

 

And even beyond the great story, everything about this film is just so impeccably made, with wonderful animation and a great ensemble voice cast helping to back it up. I have to hand it to @Alpha for adapting a powerful story like this and doing it as masterfully as he does. Bravo!  

 

 

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Full List

 
 
🙁
 
 
 
 
 
Spoiler
  1. Laika 
  2. Attack on Titan
  3. Notorious 
  4. Hilda and the Midnight Giant 
  5. Countdown City
  6. Ms. Blakk 4 President 
  7. Megalo Box
  8. The Scavenger Wars Part III
  9. Green Lantern Corps: Home
  10. The First Month
  11. Fatal Attraction
  12. Pillars of Eternity: An Ancient Legacy
  13. Roman Fever
  14. The Final Cut
  15. Birdwing 
  16. Banjo-Kazooie 
  17. Scooby-Doo: Cult of the Creeper
  18. Looping 
  19. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 
  20. Should You Imagine
  21. Hypercompetency 
  22. Dear Evan Hansen 
  23. I’ll Always Be There
  24. Adult Swim Bombscare Documentary for Theaters
  25. The Long Way Home

 

Grades

 
 
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January

Vixen and the Flying Feather - B-

Father Knows Worst - D+

Hypercompetency - B

Finders Keepers - D+

Outside the Law - C

 

February

Broadway Selects: Burn This - C

Love After Loving - F

Starlight - C+

Carver - C+

Plastic Man - C

Conventionally Wiser - C-

 

March

In the Doghouse - C+

Dazzling - C

Higher Ground - D

Pillars of Eternity: An Ancient Legacy - B+

Hoops 3 - D

The Last Fifer: Portrait of a Clarinetist - B-

Beyblade: The War Unleashed - Let Them Rip! - B-

 

April

Father II: The Resurrection - D-

Hilda and the Midnight Giant - A-

Snow Leopards - B

Vengeance - B-

Looping - B

Monster Bugs Wars - C+

I’ll Always Be There - B

Whoopsie-Daisy - D-

 

May

Dual Consequences - C+

Sir Thymes Time 2 - B-

Cruis’n USA - C+

Fatal Attraction - B+

Call of Duty: Eye of the Storm - C

Flying High - C

 

June

Adam and Cindy - C+

The Final Cut - B+

Yang - B-

The Scavenger Wars Part III - B+

Dear Evan Hansen - B

Hearts of Fire - C

Should You Imagine? - B

 

July

Looney Tunes: The Classics Remastered - B

The Exchange - C+

Out on the Lake - C-

Scooby-Doo: Cult of the Creeper - B

Scout’s Honor - C-

 

August

Lena and the Featherweights - C-

Roman Fever - B+

The Long Way Home - B/B-

Loving a Shadow - C+

Tongues - C

The Perfect Life - B-

Snakes - C

 

September

3:32 A.M. - F

The First Month - B+

Banjo-Kazooie - B

Columbine - D

Dawn of the Last Six - C-

Fish Fry - D+

Laika - A

 

October

Countdown City - A-

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater - B

Broadway Selects: Beetlejuice - C+

The Layover - B-

Megalo Box - B+/A-

Adult Swim Bomb Scare Documentary for Theaters - B

The Turkey Squad - D

 

November

Ms. Blakk 4 President - A-

Toons v. Reality - B-

American Barbeque - C

Notorious - A-

Red Flavour - C

Tower of Babylon - B-

Birdwing - B

 

December

The Written Word - B-

Wii Play - C-

The Gift of Life - B-

Green Lantern Corps: Home - B+

Until Dawn - C+

Temple Run - C+

The Ends of the Universe - B-

Making Waves 2 - D+

The Disappointment - F

 

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Posted (edited)

@Alpha @4815162342 @cookie

 

Since your guys' films made up my Top 5 this year, you each get a pre-read of one of my upcoming films slated in the next two game years. Since @4815162342 was on the list twice, he gets to pick two films.

 

Given that the list is mostly Y9 heavy, it'll be a while before I get to some of the films slated for release then. However, depending on who chooses what, the films chosen will be the ones I make my main priorities when Y9 roles around.

 

Your six options are as follows:

 

One Punch Man: A Monster Rises

Genre: Superhero Action/Comedy

Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein

Release Date: May 24, Y8

Cast: Taron Egerton, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Alexander Skarsgard, Lily James, Ludi Lin, Anna Kendrick, Harry Styles, Dylan O’Brien, Miles Teller, Iko Uwais, Kim Kold, with Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, and Chow Yun-Fat, and Donnie Yen, Featuring BTS as Dreamboat

 

Plot: Following the events of the first film, the One-Punch hero Sam Capebaldi (Egerton) unwillingly finds himself in the center of a growing circle of followers -- including his loyal cyborg disciple Genos (Heaton), the secretly unpowered and introverted S class hero King (Skarsgard), the extravagant and confident B class esper Felicia Helios aka Miss Blizzard (James), and the vengeful ninja-assassin Speed-o’-Sound Sonic (Lin) -- who all recognize his true power and seek to learn from him. Meanwhile, an influx of monster attacks on the various cities is spearheaded by the increasingly powerful and mysterious Monsters Association. However, another rising threat comes in the form of Garou (Keery), the disgraced former disciple of S Class hero Bang (Yun-Fat) and a self-proclaimed “Hero Hunter”, who is hellbent on fighting and defeating every hero in order to grow stronger. As the Hero Hunter and Monster Association's paths to total domination manage to flip the entire hero world on its head, the answer for salvation points more and more towards the self-proclaimed “Hero for Fun” to step in and save the world. 

 

--

 

Abomination

Genre: Horror/Drama

Directed by Ali Abbasi

Release Date: October Y8

Cast: Adam Driver, Naomi Scott, Laurie Davidson, Samara Weaving, with Malcolm McDowell, and Tom Hiddleston as Victor Frankenstein 

 

Plot: A re-imagining of the classic horror novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, told mainly through the creature’s perspective. Young scientist Victor Frankenstein (Hiddleston) gains insight into the creation of life and gives life to his own autonomous Creature (Driver). However, upon animation, the scientist is horrified by his creation and flees his laboratory. Later escaping the confines of the laboratory, the abandoned Creature sets out into the wilderness, alone and frightened of the world around him. Eventually, the Creature finds shelter in a farmhouse connected to the cottage of a poor peasant family. Sparking up a secret friendship with the family’s housekeeper (Scott), the creature continues to live on the family’s property, learning more about himself and the world around him while holding out hope that the family, and the rest of humankind, will one day accept him for what he is.

 

--

 

Siren Head
Genre:
Horror

Directed by J.A. Bayona

Release Date: Spring Y9

Cast: John Kransinski and Sasha Lane

 

Plot: Two park rangers (Krasinski and Lane) are tasked with investigating several mysterious disappearances within their national park, including the young daughter of Krasinski's character. As their investigation thickens, the two rangers discover that the link between all of the missing peoples all leads back to a mysterious, humanoid creature lurking within the vast wilderness.

 

--

 

Star Reaper

Genre: Animated Sci-Fi/Action/Adventure

Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

Release Date: Summer Y9

Cast: Billy Magnussen, Mandy Moore, Justin Theroux, Morena Baccarin, Michael Fassbender, Chadwick Boseman, Ana de Armas, Rosa Salazar, Lee Pace, Noah Jupe, Jason Ritter, Seth MacFarlane, Steve Blum, with Liev Schreiber, and Sophia Lillis 

 

Plot: Dim-witted Peter Kobbee (Magnussen) and his tenacious younger sister, Dana (Moore), find themselves in over their heads when they accidentally stumble upon a top secret meeting of intergalactic bounty hunters. To save themselves from certain death, the two siblings reluctantly embark on a mission with the bounty hunters to retrieve an ancient treasure from one of the most dangerous and hospitable planets in the known universe.

 

--

 

Blockbuster

Genre: Biographical Drama

Directed by Theodore Melfi

Release Date: Fall Y9

Cast: Jay Baruchel, Devon Bostick, Carrey Mulligan, Kyle Chandler, Matthew Rhys, Chiwetel Ejiofer, Logan Marshall-Green, Daniel Wu, Nick Robinson, and Christian Bale

 

Plot: Young up-and-coming filmmakers and friends Steven Spielberg (Bostick) and George Lucas (Baruchel) rise, and struggle, their way to prominence amidst the evolving landscape of 1970s Hollywood.

 

--


Samsara

Genre: Sci-Fi/Thriller

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Release Date: Holiday Y9

Cast: Steven Yeun, Henry Golding, Sofia Boutella, Mads Mikkelson, Cillian Murphy, and Daniel Henney


Plot: New York City, December 2099 – the eve of the new century. Two detectives (Yeun and Golding) are tasked with infiltrating two dangerous underground android cults in the hopes of stopping an all-out war between the two groups from breaking out. As the two detectives each make their own shocking revelations, they find themselves in a limbo between whose side they are really on.

Edited by Rorschach
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I'll take Star Reaper kthx

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Blockbuster

Samsara

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