Talking Movies: Everything, Everywhere All at Once, 12 Mighty Orphans and Scream (Extended)

Spling reviews Everything, Everywhere All at Once, 12 Mighty Orphans and Scream as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Listen to podcast.

TRANSCRIPT

Good morning – welcome to Talking Movies, I’m Spling…

This week, we’re talking about an action-adventure sci-fi comedy drama, a sports drama and a horror comedy.

Starting off with a film now on Prime Video…

EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE

An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an interdimensional adventure, where she alone can save the world.

Writer-Directors: Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

Stars: Michelle Yeoh, James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis

– While possibly inspired by The Matrix, Kung Fu Hustle and the rip-roaring success of Parasite, Everything, Everywhere All at Once conjures up an imaginative, inventive and experimental sci-fi action-adventure comedy anchored by heartfelt and soulful human drama.
– Finding a way to essentially channel-hop between parallel dimensions and lives, Evelyn tumbles down a rabbit hole to enter a fractious universal consciousness in a bid to rescue her daughter, marriage, family and by extension the world.
– Playing a determined, resistant and resonant Evelyn is Michelle Yeoh whose multi-faceted performance finds her inhabiting many variations of her character.
– If Yeoh is the heart, she’s supported by Stephanie Hsu as the mind in her angst-filled daughter Joy and Ke Huy Quan as the soul in an ineffectual wimp with a warrior alter-ego loosely modelled on all things Jackie Chan.
– While Everything, Everywhere All at Once starts off slow, it moves at a relentless pace with a whirlwind edit and eye-popping visuals to keep you transfixed.
– This film is right up there with The Lego Movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, Kung Fu Hustle, The Matrix and Mad Max: Fury Road for sensory bombardment, maddening intensity, visual audacity and sheer brilliance.
– Yet Everything, Everywhere All at Once is modest, maintaining a realness through its sets and costume and captures an otherworldliness and shape-shifting quality without distraction thanks to its homegrown VFX.
– Overwhelming, overlong and even juvenile at times, the climactic finish elevates it from the realm of a pure popcorn rollercoaster of the highest order into something deeply moving and truly special.
– In spite of its flaws, it works so hard to present its mesmerising insanity in a pleasing way that you can’t help but appreciate everything, everywhere all at once.

A near-perfect 9 on the splingometer!
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Moving on to a movie now on Netflix…

12 MIGHTY ORPHANS

A devoted high-school football coach leads a scrawny team of orphans to the state championship during the Great Depression.

Director: Ty Roberts

Stars: Luke Wilson, Vinessa Shaw and Martin Sheen

– 12 Mighty Orphans is a typical underdog coming-of-age sports drama about an unlikely football team who managed to do the unthinkable.
– While there are familiar trappings to make this formulaic and even cliched drama a bit old hat, it’s refreshed by its historical significance offering a biographical context for one of America’s most famous coaches and Hall of Fame players.
– Tracking with the Mighty Mites, 12 Mighty Orphans finds a coach training up a side from scratch and employing influential game tactics to change the face of the sport forever.
– Leaning on its name cast, Luke Wilson and Wayne Knight deliver the kind of dependable performances we’ve come to expect from them with Martin Sheen chiming in with a charming and heartfelt turn as a doctor turned assistant coach.
– The pick of the orphans as a player and actor is Jake Austin Butler as spirited outsider and determined rogue, Hardy Brown.
– A period drama, the filmmakers have gone to great lengths to ensure the film’s authenticity by way of old buildings, vehicles, wardrobe and kit.
– While fairly predictable, 12 Mighty Orphans adds up to a satisfying, rousing and crowd-pleasing sports drama, recalling many of the old genre classics.

A solid 7 on the splingometer!
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And finally a movie on Showmax…

SCREAM

A new killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett

Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette

– Responsible for The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes and A Nightmare on Elm Street, horror classics that have all been remade, it seemed inevitable that with Craven’s influential ’90s slasher Scream would eventually get the same treatment.
– Now in the wake of his passing, the honour fell to Ready or Not’s co-directors, who have in essence made a requel rather than a reboot.
– Craven turned the slasher inside out, poking fun at a subgenre that ironically just wouldn’t die along with its villains in the ’80s.
– Being self-aware, using the genre’s clichés to lampoon itself and spin off in different directions, the ironic horror intensity emblazoned a new horror franchise.
– Now onto Scream 5, simply titled Scream, the filmmakers have taken on a tricky balancing act to revive the franchise as a tribute to Craven as well as appeal to modern audiences in a stand-alone fashion.
– Picking up 25 years after the streak of brutal murders by a Ghostface killer, much like It, the survivors reunite to put an end to it all.
– Sporting a diverse next-generation cast, these teenagers reference a Stab film series to poke fun at the Scream franchise, re-engineering many classic scenes with a modern verve, social media, inside jokes and the odd twist.
– It pales in comparison to the original, much like the sequels, using its modest budget to inspire creativity.
– The new Scream is competent, entertaining and suspenseful enough to keep the slasher’s flame burning with all the trademark elements.
– Trying to appease old fans and introduce new audiences, it injects wink-wink humour, enough kills and creepy surprises to honour the lore and retro charm of the original.
– A tricky balancing act and love letter, it’s fresh enough to warrant…

A satisfactory 6 on the splingometer!
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So just to wrap up…

EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE… mesmerising visuals, iconic performances and deeply moving human drama compel this sci-fi action-adventure masterpiece… A near-perfect 9

12 MIGHTY ORPHANS… spirited performances and a rousing true story power this familiar and formulaic historical sports drama… A solid 7!

SCREAM… a modest yet competent reboot, sequel and refresh tips the hat to Craven and reignites the Scream franchise… A satisfactory 6!

For more movie reviews and previous Talking Movies podcasts visit splingmovies.com.

And remember, Don’t WING it, SPL!NG it!

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