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Slam! Movie Reviews: Y8 Edition

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#8

Spoiler

EVERYTHING WE MISS
 

I'll elaborate more in the review, but I thought that this was well animated with a great choice of director, and it has a message that's necessary for post-Covid audiences to hear.

 

Avocado signified Everything We Miss because the two main characters are Millenials and Millenials love eating avocado!

 

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#7

Spoiler

EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU

 

So I decided not to have one of my own films in my Top 25 because as the first one posting a Top 25, I decided I wasn't ready to take a film of mine and say, "this is my best picture push"--I have a lot of films that, in my opinion, came out with the same amount of quality. And if one of my films really takes off, that's great, and if not, that's fine.

 

It was a really tough decision as to which film of mine to place higher than the others, and I went with Everything because I think that it's a film that's especially vivid in comparison to my other films. The book is really good and I'm glad I adapted it!

 

Onion signified Everything I Never Told You because this film might be a tearjerker to the audiences!

 

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#6

Spoiler

FLOODBATH

 

A vivacious technical achievement that I'm sure Leigh Whannel would approach in an innovative way. I'm excited to see what others think of this!

 

Blackberry signified Floodbath because I figured that the Alaskan setting called for a 'berry', but also that because of the darker tone, I needed to choose the darkest berry possible.

 

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So to build suspense, I'm posting #5-#3 together, and I'll follow it with #2-#1.

 

#5

Spoiler

FLIGHTLESS BIRD: THE FALL OF THE BOEING 737 MAX
 

A documentary that goes to lengths of depths that I've never seen before in Cayom. A historic moment for the game!

 

Banana signified Flightless Bird because many of the entities involved in the groundings were foolish.

 

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Okay, darn. Forgot to post #4 and #3 with #5. Here's #4 and #3.

 

#4

Spoiler

THE LAST AIRBENDER: THE BOY IN THE ICEBERG

 

I'll elaborate more in the review, but everything in the film feels like it's supposed to be there and it has some fantastic visual moments.

 

Lettuce signified The Last Airbender: The Boy in the Iceberg not because of 'Iceberg Lettuce' per se, but because there's a character in the original cartoon who always gets his cart of cabbages destroyed by the fights that the benders get into.

 

#3

Spoiler

LEARNING TO CARE
 

A wholesome and heartfelt film! Nick Robinson and Jimmy Tatro are both great.

 

Pear signified Learning to Care because Pear rhymes with Care.

 

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#2

Spoiler

WORLD OF TROUBLE

 

A fantastic and 'classic'-vibed ending to a great trilogy of films! Ehrenreich's a great replacement for the other guy.

 

Corn signified World of Trouble because one of the characters is a farmer and corn is a popular crop.

 

#1

Spoiler

THE BRONX IS BURNING

 

I'm gonna save my thoughts for the review but I think this is the best film of the year!

 

Squash signified The Bronx is Burning because squash is the name of a sport and the film it's signifying is a sports film.

 

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SLAM'S FULL TOP 25 LIST

 

1 || The Bronx is Burning

2 || World of Trouble

3 || Learning to Care

4 || The Last Airbender: The Boy in the Iceberg

5 || Flightless Bird: The Fall of the Boeing 737 Max

6 || Floodbath

7 || Everything I Never Told You

8 || Everything We Miss

9 || Olive's Hallowed Eve

10 || Heartman

11 || New Tricks

12 || Far Cry

13 || Pokemon: The Case of the Orange Outrage

14 || The Space Between Trees

15 || Christmas Shopping

16 || Dirty Hands

17 || Static Shock: Frozen Summer

18 || The Idiots

19 || The World That We Knew

20 || Returning from Hell

21 || Sandboy

22 || Romance Road

23 || The Gnashing

24 || Sins of their Fathers

25 || Holland Hannah

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Posted (edited)

@4815162342 @Blankments @cookie @YourMother the Edgelord

 

 

PRE-READ OFFERS

 

So as the three writers who had films in my Top 5 + the winner of my fruit/veggie guessing game, you guys will have the opportunity to select a film to pre-read. For writers with two films in the Top 5, you can select two films. These pre-read offers help me because it helps guarantee that a film actually happens--I know some of my pre-read offer films didn't pan out last time, but I think the ideas I have for Y9 are all strong enough to potentially stick. It doesn't matter if people choose the same film to pre-read, so choose whichever film you want!

 

If anyone else wants to pre-read something, please wait until the writers with Top 5 films (and the guessing game winner) select a film, and then you can inquire about pre-reading anything in this list!

 

Choose from this list:

 

Among Us - dir. James Gunn - Sci-Fi/Comedy/Mystery

Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans - dir. Justin Lin - Action/Sci-Fi - February - IMAX 

Grace and Mercy - dir. Stella Meghie - Dramedy - TBD

The Mirage - dir. David Bruckner - Horror/Thriller

The Needles of Haystack County - dir. Jon Favreau - Fantasy/Action/Western - IMAX

Out-of-Competition Festival Selection (mystery film)

Plight of the Pattersons - dir. Karey Kirkpatrick - Animation

Tennis! - dir. Jason Reitman - Sports

Through Flesh and Through Steel - dir. Miguel Sapochnik - Sci-Fi/Drama

Xenoblade Chronicles: Power of the Monado - dir. Wes Ball - Sci-Fi/Fantasy - Summer - IMAX

 

Edited by SLAM!
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Posted (edited)

NOVEMBER ISSUE

 

Jimmy and Jerry's Front-Page Feature

Spoiler
Spoiler

CASTAWAYS

 

There's so many superhero films and superhero television shows that even though it's likely the main source of inspiration for many writers, audiences can't help but feel that the genre's reaching a point of saturation. So it can be hard to gauge whether a superhero film is dry/unoriginal or if it's got something going on in its machinations. Thankfully, Castaways offers some fascinating action and an interesting cast of characters that we think will have no problem keeping audiences engaged.

 

The specific cast members were selected with evident passion, as Yara Shahidi brings lifeblood to the film, and Jack Lowden shines as the cyborg. (Lowden deserves more roles!) I wish Mary Elizabeth Winstead had more of an opportunity to display her trademark spunkiness (for lack of a better term)--but the choice to make her stoic and determined was a gutsy one. Simon Pegg is a treasure, though it's a shame that most of his dialogue is expositional jargon.

 

I think this film is examining what a superhero is from an original perspective. The specific location choice of the climax put the outer space element of many superhero films into a new light, at least for us. Having the characters be a little more adult and having them fight in a casino--that was a great pairing of tone and setting. And the post-credits scene intrigues the viewer in a way that causes them to consider how that scene and the film as a whole might be connected.

 

This film isn't perfect, especially due to the reliance on exposition. But the film offers fascinating characters and a narrative that is unquestionably coherent. We can't wait to see where Horizon Entertainment goes next!

 

Archibald's Canny Column

Spoiler
Spoiler

THE LAST AIRBENDER: THE BOY IN THE ICEBERG

 

You can't imagine how many strings I had to pull to be able to talk about this film. It's the Force Awakens of the year, after all! The editors were telling me, "oh, Archibald! This is are front page story!" And I told them, "am I not on the front page in the list of inside stories you greens?!" And I used my interest in Asian culture to further haggle my way to talking about it!

 

But The Last Airbender: The Boy in the Iceberg is an excellent film. With a cast of actors that all fit their roles perfectly and unforgettable setpieces, Airbender is a success. It's awesome to see the story come to life with a lot of great set design, visual effects, and artistry to immerse the viewer.

 

I'm not sure if every scene was necessary, but I'm amazed with how well it all fit together. The Jet felt like a side story, but I understood why it was there and felt that it added depth and an adventurous spirit to the film. 

 

The Boy in the Iceberg reminds me of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi in that it's a blockbuster success story that ties together all of its elements--world-building, characters, action--and makes movie magic. I implore audiences to see it!

 

Edited by SLAM!
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November Y8 Review Scores

 

 

Everything We Miss

Harrowing and breathtaking, Everything We Miss is a gutsy film with piercing dramatic tension, great visual storytelling, and a necessary message that can speak to millions (especially nowadays). 9.25/10

 

The Three Caballeros Ride Again

The animation is nice and the bond between the birds is pretty complex… But this isn’t for me. Seeing Donald Duck engage in these activities is jarring, to say the least. A departure for Disney that dabbles in two different genres that, in my opinion go together like peanut butter and ketchup. 4/10

 

The Bronx is Burning

There’s no crying in baseball. But let me tell you—there’s crying in the movie theater. This is a stunning movie that encapsulates a moment of New York history and provides a whole host of fun characters to root for and get invested in. It’s one of Scorsese’s less violent films, but it trades in that aspect of his films for boatloads of charm and “cinematic cool.” 10/10

 

The Last Airbender: The Boy in the Iceberg

An impressive achievement in that the film makes it seem like everything is supposed to be there (even if some scene teeter on the edge of not being necessary), but it all comes together as a beautiful and fresh blockbuster. Reminiscent of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi in that it balances world-building, adventure, character introduction, and the like to a tantalizing degree. 9.25/10

 

Loving Shadow and Light

These pets need a play date with Adam and Cindy. I think that’d be a nice crossover event. 3.5/10

 

Castaways

A solid superhero romp that relies a little too much on exposition but still manages to showcase some great action scenes. 7.75/10

 

The Turkey Squad: The Fred Durst Cut

Gobble! Gobble. Gobble? Gobble gobble?! GOBBLE GOBBLE! *clears throat* Sorry about that. I was in the theater, and I was staring at the corner of the screen for so long that I didn’t realize the movie turned me into a turkey. Well, if you’ll excuse me, I need to apply some evasive maneuvers to escape all of these hungry pilgrims. They’re the only other people in the audience… I guess that’s this film’s audience. Hungry pilgrims. Huh. 0/10

 

Slam! Movie Review's review of Returning from Hell has been postponed to the December issue at the request of Archibald Asparagus.

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DECEMBER ISSUE
 

Jimmy and Jerry's Front-Page Feature

Spoiler

ENDLESS ANIMATION'S THE UN-TITLE-ABLE SQUIRREL GIRL SEQUEL

 

Endless Animation's Squirrel Girl sequel is bar none of the best animated films of the year! With excellent moments of action and a fun cast of characters, the film and its impressive animation holds the viewer in and doesn't let go.

 

Anna Kendrick is unsurprisingly good as Squirrel Girl, with Dana, Melissa Morbeck, and Doctor Doom all providing a ton of fun. There was probably too many characters introduced as main characters for my tastes--the film trying to juggle too many plot threads and some of the characters like Nancy coming up short in terms of being the most necessary addition to the cast, but the film overcomes that with a solid voice acting cast all around. We also didn't care for the self-deprecating attitude that the film seemed to have about itself, but we found that to be a minor issue.

 

All around, the film is excellent and is definitely worth seeing in theaters!

 

Archibald's Canny Column

Spoiler

RETURNING FROM HELL

 

Niki Caro is a director to watch after The Zookeeper's Wife and Disney's live-action remake of Mulan--and I think she was a perfect choice for Returning from Hell. Her direction imbues the film in an empathetic and hopeful light that attaches us to the mian character and her dilemma--a dilemma that deserves more attention from Hollywood and major films as a whole due to how pervasive it is in society.

 

Awkwafina shines in the role of Sarah James, showcasing how weakness can be overcome through courage and strength. I would also say Piper Curda is great just because of what the film asks her to do. Eric Stonestreet... It's not that he's miscast, but it's that his role in the film destroys his friendly celebrity image--like, utterly eviscerates it. It's a surprising choice, but I'm sure he does a good job.

 

Revenge stories aren't my cup of tea, but the film justifies the actions as a means to make sure the man cannot harm Sarah ever again, which is a smart play on the part of the writing. I also think that once a certain event happens, the film peters out a bit due to the protagonist's struggles seeming too easy to manage.

 

But the film is an effective dramatic piece that asks important questions about what love really is as well as noting the accessibility of help that victims might not be aware of. Great execution, great acting, and great storytelling for storytelling's sake. Kudos!

 

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December Y8 Review Scores

 

 

As Far as I Can

There’s definitely an engaging film hidden behind the lack of content on the actual plot summary. And there’s room for some engaging dramatic tension between the characters, too. I just wanted more of the actual crimes and more of the fallout from those crimes—and more McKenzie, too. That Maroon 5 song is kind of catchy, though… 6/10

 

Returning from Hell

I really love this movie. Awkwafina’s performance is amazing, and Piper Curda is stunning in terms of how she handles what the script asks of her. Eric Stonestreet is slightly miscast—the role definitely tarnishes his image as the “television personality” kind of comedian/celebrity—but I think the film overcomes that to a degree because of strong writing as well as direction from Niki Caro. Tension peters out a bit at the climax, but I came away from the film more impressed than disappointed. 8.75/10

 

Dreams

Somewhat discombobulated and less dreamlike or imaginative than I’d want it to be, but everyone involved is clearly putting a lot of themselves into the project. 7.25/10

 

The Un-title-able Squirrel Girl Sequel

Very well-animated and told with much of the same spunk as the original, Endless Animation’s sequel to their smash hit Squirrel Girl film is fun for all ages! Kelly Hu’s Melissa Morbeck is a fun villain and Doctor Doom is a riot. Though I do think it was stretched thin in regards to the amount of characters it tries to focus on. 8.25/10

 

Sins of Their Fathers

The film had some potential to go deeper than a standard thriller, but I still found the story to a) work, and b) be enticing and riveting. Great casting, too. 8/10

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