Marcel the Shell with Shoes On has always found a way to make people laugh through short films and literature. For their next trick, creators Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate effortlessly expand on their concept to include more of an emotional core to Marcel’s world in this self-titled, feature-length debut.
A family’s secret unravels in A Chiara, much to the surprise of a formally unaware titular teenager (played well by newcomer Swamy Rotolo, confidently leading the film). Chiara is worried and paranoid about her family’s safety, but she’s also angry that nobody will explain the situation to her. She receives reassurance, but that isn’t enough when she’s witnessed her father fleeing a scene before their family car was blown up.
A 420 special guest review by: Jeff Ching As the credits rolled for Everything Everywhere All At Once, I sat there with many things going through my mind.
After Yang chronicles the in-between of a family tragedy. Set in the not-so-distant future (similar to Spike Jonze’s Her), an assistive android named Yang (Justin H. Min, in one of this year’s strongest supporting roles) suddenly malfunctions. Yang’s assigned family are shaken up as they grasp for an action plan. The search for a satisfying resolution falls on the father, Jake (Colin Farrell), who slowly discovers more of Yang’s purpose as he shops around for repair…
Ted K places the viewer next to Ted Kaczynski, infamously known as the “Unabomber”. Portrayed with the utmost commitment by Sharlto Copley (Elysium, Hardcore Henry), Kaczynski expresses distain for a lot of outsider elements that have pushed him towards living off the grid in Montana. The film is narrated by lifted passages from his writing, and the film prides itself on shooting in the same area Ted secluded himself to.
The Cursed (formally titled Eight for Silver) is a morality tale of sorts. Writer/director Sean Ellis (Metro Manila) tells a disturbing story about how shameful decisions made by an older generation can haunt the next of kin.
Flee offers an intimate perspective from a lengthy conversation about rediscovering the past to plan for the future.
With all the commitment the production can offer, Titane tells a tall tale of an adult entertainer who uses her sexuality and a violent temper to hide her flaws. Still carrying the near-death trauma she experienced as a kid, Alexia (Agathe Rousselle) projects her heated emotions on to new relationships (which sometimes includes her bizarre fetish for metal).
After some minor big screen stints and continuing with its long-running success on television, PAW Patrol makes a flawless leap to feature-length with PAW Patrol: The Movie – essentially cobbling together four missions into an entertaining movie for families.
The Exchange is pitched as a film by Borat co-writer Dan Mazer. The ad campaign conveniently omits Mazer’s more recent effort Dirty Grandpa, a hard-R gross-out comedy that was dragged by critics and audiences alike although I feel like those reactions were over-the-top and unnecessary. This exclusion, though, may not be because of Dirty Grandpa’s negative reception, but because The Exchange has more in common with Borat – to an extent.