Jump to content
Ezen Baklattan

Spaghetti Kitchen: Pieces of Eight

Recommended Posts

Do You Miss Me GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

Yeah...I don't have much time to write for this anymore sadly. Doesn't mean reviews aren't fair game!

 

Except here's the thing,

 

I'm doing my top 25 first.

 

No reviews beforehand.

 

Each rank on my 25 will include a mini-review.

 

You can request films ahead of time, but like I said. They'll have to wait until after the countdown.

 

  • Like 5
  • Astonished 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, one quick thing before we start.

 

Losers Weepers

 

Spoiler

Before announcing a (later revealed to be temporary) retirement from CAYOM, I raised eyebrows when I gave a trashy filler a spot in my top 25 above more conventionally acclaimed films. I stand by that decision, and to this day, I remain a fan of Hilda and the Midnight Giant.

 

I kid, I kid.

 

I felt delighted that @4815162342 was basically making this movie just for me, and there's a reason I saved it for the very last thing I would read in Y8. The first film was breathtakingly ridiculous in ways some described as idiotic or terrible, but somehow, it all came full circle to me, back to being a delightfully dark and daffy romp. Now that he knows it has a fanbase that actually has expectations from this franchise....

 

...he has delivered yet again.

 

Ridiculous as all sin, downright reverse in parts, yet undeniably entertaining in how unrestrained in its chaotic energy, Losers Weepers is honestly one of the kinds of films I love reading most in CAYOM. Every performance and setpiece is delightfully over the top without crossing lines, (I was a bit worried about the suicide sub-plot but it gets a pass in its sheer frivolity and lack of any grounding in reality) a complete mess that you never want to look away from for a moment. Who the fuck is watching this and expecting anything the normal tier of Numerator Productions quality

 

Yeah, it's not the most sophisticated and far from the most intelligent, but gosh darn it, I was giddy the entire time. Nobody else is probably going to enjoy this as much as I will, and hell, even I'm judging myself for the ridiculousness therein, but god damn, we're living in a pandemic and this comedy just makes me laugh. I don't know what else I can say, and I got a bit of writing ahead of me so lord have mercy.

 

★★★1/2

 

*I'm using a 5 star rating system.

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Astonished 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ezen Baklattan's Infinite Playlist

--A CAYOM TOP 25--

 

It's that time of year again. No games. No gimmicks. Well, I guess one gimmick.

 

Every film in the top 25 will be paired with a song as well as a small review. I can provide more in-depth analyses upon request, but I won't have as much free time as I did to review these films.

 

Like with before, there will be offerings of pre-reads for the top 3 filmmakers. @4815162342 has existing arrangements to read Aquarius that I need to deliver on, but who will get a third slot? Only time will tell. I might not drop options until tomorrow, though.

 

Small disclaimer: I read a few films during the festival circuit that that I gave certain grades too. I didn't do a full revisit on everything, but a few grades did shift up or down respectively. Also, two honorable mentions got a 3/5, the others got a 3.5/5. I will post full scores after the list reveal.

 

Without further ado, the honorable mentions.

 

Spoiler

 

 

Spoiler

 

DEALER'S CHOICE

 

The ingredients are there for a delightful time, but it's just missing that extra something to really take it over the edge. Waller-Bridge is an absolute delight in it, and I'm all for Cory Finley getting a solid career in this game. It's just missing a little bit more of a kick to really take it over the edge, but without a doubt, this was a fun time.

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

Spoiler

 

DIRTY HANDS

 

I feel kinda bad about this because I was so positive on the film during the festival circuit, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't cool on it. Part of knowing the twist made revisiting it in my mind not quite as smooth, and Cookie's review kinda did bring up a few good points. Needless to say, Numbers still has a ton of amazing offerings this year, which we'll get too soon enough, but I did want to apologize, and remark that I wish I had more room on the list for this. Likewise, I wish it held up a bit better in my mind.

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

THE INSECT GOD

 

Welcome to the game! It's always nice to see a new face, especially one with ideas this promising on paper. There's some interesting animation here, impressive considering the budget, while the plot moves along nicely and keeps engaging if not thought provoking. I do think it ultimately feels a bit slight in parts, not fully diving into all its potential, but there's good stuff here! I look forward to seeing what you do next. Also my goodness, Tone Loc is a fun voice actor to listen to. Just check out the clip above.

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==

 

Spoiler

 

HEARTMAN

 

Another film I really wish I had room for, and wanted to love more than I did. There's a personal passion behind the story that's quite admirable, and the Heartman himself is quite good, even if Glover feels miscast. However, there's a bit of an identity crisis in this movie; it alternates between gruesome horror and 80s style horror adventure in a bizarre way and can't quite stick the ground on where it's meant to land, leading to a film that feels more distant than it should. It's got plenty of fun moments, but I can't help but think about what this film could have been.

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

Spoiler

 

THE UN-TITLE-ABLE SQUIRREL GIRL SEQUEL

 

Okay, I am really, REALLY sorry about this one, especially since I could tell there was a bit of a swing for the fences here. I appreciated that the story is going for more nuanced themes about what it means to be a hero in a world where you don't know what your purpose is, on top of all the fun escapades that we know and love Squirrel Girl for, but...I don't know. It sometimes swings too far between the silly and thematic that it leads to a deeply uneven journey. On top of that, it kinda sacrifices the smooth pacing that the original had, leading to a lot of stretches of the film, that, quite frankly, kind of dragged on. I appreciate what YourMother was going for here, and you can tell that there's a lot of ambition in this film, more than you might initially think. Unfortunately, it just wasn't quite enough to crack the top 25 for me. Consider this slot #26 if you wish.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Ezen Baklattan said:

Ezen Baklattan's Infinite Playlist

--A CAYOM TOP 25--

 

It's that time of year again. No games. No gimmicks. Well, I guess one gimmick.

 

Every film in the top 25 will be paired with a song as well as a small review. I can provide more in-depth analyses upon request, but I won't have as much free time as I did to review these films.

 

Like with before, there will be offerings of pre-reads for the top 3 filmmakers. @4815162342 has existing arrangements to read Aquarius that I need to deliver on, but who will get a third slot? Only time will tell. I might not drop options until tomorrow, though.

 

Small disclaimer: I read a few films during the festival circuit that that I gave certain grades too. I didn't do a full revisit on everything, but a few grades did shift up or down respectively. Also, two honorable mentions got a 3/5, the others got a 3.5/5. I will post full scores after the list reveal.

 

Without further ado, the honorable mentions.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

  Reveal hidden contents
Spoiler

Hey man, I’ll gladly take a 3/5 or 3.5/5 for SG2. No need to apologize. I understand how the tonal shifts and length were problems but I’m glad enough you at least enjoyed it. Thanks for the HMs

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

25.

 

 

Spoiler

MIGHTY FALL

 

I'm partial to any space opera so even with its flaws, which other reviews have documented, I do have a bit of a soft spot for this movie. The shifts between medium are fascinating, even if the animation and characterization sometimes undercuts the world, leading to a weird mix that kind of feels like Valerian at the Space Jam. I still enjoyed reading it, and it absolutely is a feast for the eyes, so I'll give it a pass.

 

 

24.

 

Spoiler

FUNNY BUSINESS

 

It will draw inevitable comparisons to TOONS V. REALITY, if not 2018's downright awful THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, but it manages to avoid missteps in both directors and create a truly fun time at the movies. I partially love the genre of meta animation, so it certainly has me won there, but the characters and humor are all great, and even with the R rating, it doesn't go too far into edgelord humor. A good time!

 

23.

 

 

Spoiler

WET WILLY

 

Another one of those films that's just absolutely ridiculous, but nonetheless a joy to watch. It probably has something to do with using the director of one of my favorite recent movies, but my god this is such a silly, gory, and ridiculous 75 minutes of unhinged and nightmarish summer fun. Slam's sense of writing actually works super well when it goes all in on surreal comedy, and nowhere is that more apparent than here.

 

  • Like 1
  • Astonished 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

22.

 

 

Spoiler

FLOODBATH

 

I love a good disaster movie, and even if the character work is a bit slight, this absolutely delivers. The scene I won't break down because it's a spoiler maybe drags on a bit too long, but god damn it is incredible technical work. Whanell is a very exciting director! Also cool to see Basso continue to do great work after her performance in Borrasca, she sells the terror extremely well here.

 

21.

 

 

Spoiler

LOSERS WEEPERS

 

Refer to review.

 

 

20.

 

 

 

Spoiler

STATIC SHOCK: FROZEN SUMMER

 

Surprise! This was YM's best superhero film of the year all along! It moves with a greater smoothness and confidence than the first film did, and the arcs, familiar as they made be, legitimately resonate surprisingly well, and even the ending hits in the heartstrings. I do think it balances personal struggles with hero duty better than TUSG2, and the character work is quite solid for a summer film. Not an absolute masterpiece, but a good way to cool off during the summer and then some!

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Astonished 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

19.

 

 

 

Spoiler

RETURNING FROM HELL

 

First off, Awkwafina isn't Korean! Second, I do think, as others have said, the film lingers too long on reveling in every detail of trauma to the point where it basically is just the reddit post adapted straight through (I especially agree that flashbacks would have gotten the point across) and I'd also argue that Eric Stonestreet feels deeply miscast in this. However, when it works, it really works. Comments about Awkwafina aside, she does give an excellent performance, and the entire final third of the movie is pure catharsis. I think a bit of restructuring and recasting could have made this truly shine, but it shows a lot of potential.

 

18.

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

Or should we say...emergency induction port song.

 

MASS EFFECT: REVELATION

 

So Numbers is finally adapting the games. The film works best when it allows the characters, especially my favorite alien friends including the namesake of my kitty, to spend time together and explore their new lives in the fight against Saren and his magical spaceship of terror. The balance of Shephard losing her relative spotlight felt like an outcome hard to avoid, but it's not too egregious, even when compared to the first two films. I'd say as someone whose least favorite game in the series was the first one (I don't think the ME3 ending is that bad!!) I think Numbers adapted it as well as he could have.

 

 

 

17.

 

 

 

Spoiler

HOLLAND HANNAH

 

During the film festival, I criticized the slight plot of the film, but upon further thought, it was never meant to really be a plot vehicle. I do think it works better a 40 minute concept album or short film than a feature length movie, but there's still a simmering tension and longing even when it's not raining bullets on the dance floor. Corbjin's direction, Sy and Debicki's performance, the FUCKING CINEMATOGRAPHY, it's all so fucking sexy. It doesn't quite sustain itself the full time, but when it hits, boy, it's a cloud you never want to get off of.

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

16.

 

 

 

Spoiler

THE WAR BETWEEN ANTS

 

A topic I like, sure, and a story I'm familiar with, but I really enjoyed this documentary. A part of me would have liked to have seen it as a narrative feature instead, but I still found the story told in an engaging and accessible way.

 

15.

 

 

 

Spoiler

LEARNING TO CARE

 

There's a charming and heartwarming slice of life energy to this film, and I could find myself relating to and caring about every one of these characters. I do think it's missing something to ultimately take it over the edge, but honestly, I don't know if it needed to be anything more. It feels like a warm hug, a nice cup of hot chocolate on a breezy fall day, unsure of what lies ahead but tranquil in this one moment.

 

14.

 

 

 

Spoiler

THE WORLD THAT WE KNEW

 

It's not without its flaws, but man, I've kept thinking about this ever since its festival premiere, and a lot of its ambitious storytelling and pathos-infused performances stuck with me. Waterson remains excellent as the heart of it all, and while not every beat hits as it needs to, I remained as compelled as I did to this deeply atypical WWII film. It almost became my favorite film of the festival, but more on that later...

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

13.

 

 

Spoiler

THE LAST AIRBENDER: THE BOY IN THE ICEBERG

 

Like Mass Effect: Relevation, it has the herculean task of adapting a sprawling source material into the package of a 20k word, 160 minute film, and it ultimately succeeds in capturing what made this show special far more than that director who has nonetheless redeemed themselves. It doesn't quite hit the same highs, but this might change as we approach the meatier later seasons. Jon Chu and the entire cast should be incredibly proud of their work in this magical, beautiful, and exciting adaptation.

 

12.

 

 

Spoiler

THE SPACE BETWEEN TREES

 

As a whole, though, I'm still not quite sure how I felt about the plot. There isn't a lot of purely objectionable or shocking material that could completely throw you off guard, like in, say, BORRASCA or IN THE AEROPLANE... but it's a story where...I guess I was kind of expecting more and less than what we got, if that makes sense. A lot of it doesn't quite have the impact to resonate me and invest me in all of these characters, even as I felt curious how the cookie would crumble,  but I wouldn't even fault the ending too much in this regard, although I did feel that things resolved a bit too quickly. I guess the script just didn't wrap me in as much as the other elements of the film, and it feels like its spins it wheels for too long.

 

I said this back in October until I could process that, like Holland Hannah, it's not so much about the story as much as the characters that inhabit it, and it works a lot better with this perspective taken into account. A brilliant and sobering coming of age drama within an atmospheric character study.

 

11.

 

 

Spoiler

WORLD OF TROUBLE

 

Good lord, that was bleak. It ends the Last Policeman trilogy on a note that, ultimately, I should have seen coming, but the way it oozes in atmosphere and leaves the characters to look within rather than search the world around them for anything resembling answers left me shaken in ways both good (Numbers writing) and bad (like I said, it's very depressing!) Alden takes on the role from the abuser who shouldn't be named excellently. Nice work, Ansolo! (Note, I'd probably rank the series as CC > WoT > TLP)

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

10.

 

 

Spoiler

THE SINS OF THEIR FATHERS

 

Another sexy, brilliant Numbers thriller....in SPACE. An ensemble of excellent performances anchor this thrilling, thought provoking tale as humanity takes to the stars but risks what it might bring along the way. Colman is a big standout here, (honestly a queen) but Awkwafina is actually more compelling and skilled as a dramatic than a comic actor and I will fully die on that hill. I can't say much others haven't already said, but this was a great port, well crafted in every regard, and it's nice to see Branagh make a good film again!

 

9.

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

UP IN THE SKY

 

I would have liked to have seen the main character played by a deaf child actress, as well as a bit more to relate the cosmic big history journey with her own struggles in life, but there's a youthful, powerful magic here that ultimately won me over in every regard, and I'm proud to put this film up on my list. The ending honestly got me a little emotional. On top of that, my goodness is it a feast for the eyes. See this on the biggest screen that you can.

 

 

8.

 

 

Spoiler

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

 

Noah Baumbach is great at oozing out the humanity, through all its tragicomedy and awkward moments, out of even the most mundane moments. Through the ritual of holiday shopping in a country that measures affection through spending, the story of a family in flux and the siblings trying to go through it all and do good to the people they love, I'd be lying if I said it didn't hit. Adam Driver in weird supporting roles in every movie please, and Charlie Plummer being a secret surprise in everything he does.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Astonished 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

7.

 

 

 

Spoiler

FLIGHTLESS BIRD: THE DOWNFALL OF THE BOEING 737 MAX

 

In a game where getting good documentaries out there felt like pulling teeth, we all decided to finally give a shit this year, and nowhere is that more apparent than with Cookie's masterful and rage inducing case study of corruption, murder, and how far people are willing to go in their worship of the dollar bill. Impressively researched and presented in a manner that an average viewer can understand easily, every step of this film is meticulously crafted and transcends its genre to be something truly incredible. Even in how it goes through every fact, I didn't get bored or lost for a moment. We need more muckracking cinema like this, the kind conservative media loves to accuse us of making when we're usually quite...you know what, onto the next number.

 

(Was that song in bad taste? I'm so so so so sorry)

 

 

6.

 

 

Spoiler

SANDBOY

 

Another film I talked a lot about in the festival, and I forgot this was during that. Great movie! Very pretty, nice music, almost wish this came out when I was a kid.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

5.

 

 

Spoiler

THE BRONX IS BURNING

 

Numbers plus Scorsese is a match made in heaven, and nowhere is more true than with this compelling tale of the Yankees in a year hot as hell and city's underbelly to match. I noticed the opening didn't quite match what I remembered in 2.0, but it almost flows a bit better this time around, not that I had many complaints at all in that iteration of the game, nor do I now. You're in store for 160 minutes of kickass performances, a genius filmsmith working at his peak, and more.  Needless to say, I loved it just as I did in 2.0. I don't know how to go too in depth about it but I guess I can say that I'm slowly becoming a Cannavale stan while MBJ is one of my man crushes so this really is heaven for me.

 

Edited by Ezen Baklattan
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

4.

 

 

Spoiler

EVERYTHING WE MISS

 

I need a bit more time to formulate my thoughts on this film, but as it stands, Cookie, Luke Pearson, and Michael Dudok De Wit have crafted a tale that dabbles in the cosmic and the deeply personal, the poetic and the mundane, and everything we miss in between. It all combines in a symphony that shows us how small we all appear to be, yet how that might not be a truly the worse thing. It is a reminder to be honest with yourself and those around you, to take in your world and each moment in the sun. I think it's maybe a bit too abstract to give it a higher rank, but it really is great.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines. Feel free to read our Privacy Policy as well.