Recommendations: Everything everywhere at once, Kids in the Hall, Pathway and The Scary of Sixty-one
Happy to see you again! Sorry, we took a week off for you. I hope you didn’t feel too alone. Every week in this space, our editors meet to offer you their recommendations. Sometimes these things might be new, sometimes they might be older, but they’re still worth it, or so we think. Let us help you sort the wheat from the chaff in the hyper-saturated world of “content” and come back every weekend to see what we’ve been up to lately. This week, Hawk was blown away by Everything everywhere all at onceCaemeron can’t help but brood The children in the roomLor appreciated Path on Nintendo Switch, and Paul recommends you check out The scary sixty-first.
Movie recommendation: Everything everywhere all at once
Falcon Ripjaw: Interestingly, so far this year we’ve had not one, but two films about the multiverse: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessand Everything everywhere all at once. The latter is directed by Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), who were responsible for one of my favorite films of recent years, Swiss army manwhich made their new venture an easy choice for the multiverse movie to watch first.
My. God. This movie is amazing. Even with my high expectations, I found them exceeded; I enjoyed every minute. Everything everywhere all at once is dazzling, exciting, hilarious and deeply moving, sometimes simultaneously. Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) runs a failing laundromat and is terminally ill unable to communicate effectively with her optimistic husband and gay daughter. In the midst of a terrible tax audit, Evelyn is confronted by a different version of her husband, who informs her that the multiverse is in grave danger and only she can fight it. Every decision she made split into a different version of herself in the multiverse, and by tapping into those alternate versions, she can use Evelyn’s abilities. From there, Evelyn confronts what her life could have been and what she should cherish about what is happening here and now.
Everything everywhere all at once is a perfect example of a creative vision completely and fully realized. It’s an incredibly bizarre fever dream from a movie: a head explodes into confetti, a wide-eyed rock has an existential breakthrough, and a phallus-focused fight scene ensures you probably don’t want to watch this with your mother. Visually, the film features dynamic costumes and production design, as well as visual effects made on a budget of $25 million. The action sequences hark back to the golden age of Jackie Chan’s gonzo acrobatic fight choreography, and each fight is unique. A wildly inventive score by experimental band Son Lux punctuates every pivotal moment of the film.
It’s a philosophical drama, a sci-fi action flick, a harrowing family piece, a goofy comedy – the film wears many hats and there isn’t a single example of tonal punch. Here are some of the funniest gags of the year, thrilling martial arts choreography and a deep examination of intergenerational trauma and existential nihilism. I never expected to be faced with such a moving thematic climax that I cried in my seat, then laughed through my tears at the sight of two lovers in a universe where everyone has hot dogs for their fingers. frolicking around their apartment with their ridiculous elongated digits collapsing and snapping. In less confident or less skilled hands, it might feel jarring; with Daniels, it absolutely sings.
The film is downright therapeutic: the world is a confusing, scary and overwhelming place, and we all make it up pretty much as we go, but never has it been more important to find and embrace the beauty of people and moments that we love. Tiny as they may seem, they are what make us who we are and why we move forward. In the midst of all its ridiculous chaos, that’s what Everything everywhere all at once means. It’s a celebration of kindness and optimism, anchored by universally fantastic performances from Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis, and it’s one of the most joyous cinematic experiences I’ve ever had. had the pleasure of having.
TV recommendation: The children in the room
Cemeron Crain: I would not really have thought it necessary to recommend The children in the room in general (being a kid of the 1990s, I can hardly imagine a life without occasional references to sketches made at opportune times), but after chatting with a few writers here over the past few weeks, I’ve learned that there’s people who are younger than me and some of those people haven’t seen Children in the room.
What I want to recommend is the new season, which was released on Amazon Prime on May 13. I continue to be blown away by how good it is as much as the work The Kids in the Hall was doing over 25 years ago. But if you’re not familiar with the old stuff, I don’t know if I should tell you to start there or encourage you to start here with the new stuff. I guess either way would work.
Either way, in my opinion, The Kids in the Hall ranks among the Monty Python when it comes to comedy sketches, and it’s a shame they aren’t ubiquitous in the public consciousness in the same way. I think their comedy has a timeless quality to it, in that the humor is more often derived from interpersonal relationships and the absurdity of existence more than anything resembling current affairs.
Everything is on Amazon Prime, now, at least in the US (except brain candywhich is pretty hilarious if you know anything about this movie – I think it’s a really good movie, for the record!), including the 2010 miniseries Death is coming to townwhich I always had the impression that not many people had watched.
If you loved The Kids in the Hall when you were young, check out the new episodes as soon as you get the chance. If you don’t know them, do the same or start with the old seasons. Either way, I think you might fall down a lovely rabbit hole. something about The children in the room is absolutely joyous in my opinion, and I recently found it to be a good palliative for our troubled times.
And also you should watch Reg Harkema’s documentary, The Kids in the Hallway: Comic Punkswhich was released on Amazon Prime on May 20. There’s some really interesting stuff in there, with Mike Myers expressing a lot of envy at what the troupe has accomplished, which I find both remarkable and kind of funny.
Game recommendation: Path
Lor Gislason: Listen, if I like a game, and you transfer it to the Nintendo Switch? Chances are I’ll buy it a second time. I’ve done this song and dance before (underworld, Enter the dungeon, and The Binding of Isaac all sitting on both my laptop and Switch) and when I saw this Path, originally released in 2019, was on sale for a few dollars? Had to grab it.
The best way to describe Path is Indiana Jones: The Game. Your team of adventurers fight in turn-based skirmishes against Nazis, Zombies, and Cultists. A variety of characters can be unlocked and they all start with different skills, adding more as they progress. Building a well-balanced team is key: I usually go with a sniper, a healer, and a melee fighter. Some, like Monsignor Veduti, are doubly beneficial because he is both a sniper AND a medic. During a turn, you can do two actions with each character: an attack and a move/special. The combat isn’t terribly difficult by any means, but it’s fast-paced and satisfying. Better weapons and armor can be picked up from encounters and purchased from trading posts scattered throughout each level. You will also need to keep an eye on your fuel, ammo, and supply levels. Obviously, if you run out of fuel, your SOL supplies are used to replenish grenades and medkits.
Each mission, while having a specific end goal, features a variety of random encounters that make each playthrough unique. The difficulty level can also be customized if you find it too easy! A huge amount of in-game achievements add nice rewards and EXP bonus. (Rose, for example, is unlocked after completing a female-only mission.) Each mission is replayable, and I get into a rhythm by leveling up my guys. The pixel art is also very detailed, with gorgeous greens and windswept sand dunes.
Movie recommendation: The scary sixty-first
Paul Keelan: In The scary sixty-first, Dasha descends into familiar territory (for anyone familiar with her podcast): creating intentional trash art about Epstein’s conspiracy theories, fugue states, psychic possession, depersonalization, and the dark arts (apothecary, Satanism, hypnosis). Hidden beneath the deadpan posturing and the psychobabble, there’s certainly the skeleton of a decent movie. His flesh, however, is mostly dissected by postmodern sarcasm and art school irony.
The cast is refreshingly made up of no-names (I guess members of Dasha’s inner circle/coterie). As Noelle, Madeline Quinn (who also gets screenwriting credit) complements Dasha’s funny delivery nicely; lanky, wry and breezy, she looks like a female hybrid of a sarcastic New York hipster figure. As Addie, Betsey Browne goes bankrupt with hilariously mixed results; she deserves credit nonetheless – it can’t be easy playing a possessed/born-again 13-year-old Epstein fetishist. And there’s even a clever appearance from Anna Khachiyan (Dasa’s co-host on Red Scare) as a Ghislaine Maxwell lookalike.
Technically, the film is competent. Dasha’s directorial chops are clearly incomplete, but she does show sporadic glimpses of startling ingenuity (disorienting the viewer with mirrors, internet screens, and dizzying editing sequences). Eli Keszler’s heart-pounding Carpenter-inspired score is another standout – elevating the gritty cinematography, which blatantly draws inspiration from ’70s paranoid thrillers (think: The conversation, Possessionand Rosemary’s baby).
Filled with scenes of autoerotic asphyxiation and pedophile fantasies, it is undoubtedly the cinematic by-product of a enfant terrible. If you can get past the lo-fi production design and tricky taboos, you might even mellow out some of Dasha’s sneaky taunts. There’s definitely charm to the scrappines of it all – you could even argue that the amateur acting, paper-thin plotting, and non-existent character development provide an exciting subversive/Dadaist edge. I let you decide for yourself.
you can rent The scary sixty-first on Amazon, iTunes and Vudu.