Cinema Dispatch: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once and all the images you see in this review are owned by A24

Directed by Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert

I heard a lot of good things about this movie going into it, but what really grabbed my attention was finding out that this was directed by The Daniels. Their previous film, Swiss Army Man, was a pretty fantastic little indie film (that I did a pretty poor job reviewing despite giving it a good score) and I’d always wondered what they had been up to since then. You probably don’t need me to tell you if this movie is good given how far-reaching the praise has been for it (and the fact that I’m reviewing it almost a month after its release), but maybe my little voice out there in the universe will ultimately make a difference for someone! Is this as great as everyone says it is, or will I be the bearer of bad news that’s about to rain on everyone’s parade? Let’s find out!!

Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) is not very happy with her life. She runs a laundromat with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), her father (James Hong) has health issues and needs to be taken care of, and her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is bugging her about something when all she wants to do is keep everything from falling into chaos. Throwing a wrench into her plan is the IRS who is auditing her business, and the agent assigned to her case (Jamie Lee Curtis) is not exactly the most amenable to her stressful situation. Sometimes you just have to wonder where things went wrong and if there’s a better version of you out there. Fortunately for Evelyn though, she gets an answer to that question when her husband starts acting very weird and tells her to wear these wireless earpieces that end up sending her to alternate dimensions. It turns out that Evelyn may just be the key to solving some sort of inter-dimensional timey-wimey nonsense and that her husband is being controlled by a parallel version of him from the Alpha-verse that is able to hop dimensions and is searching for a way to stop a terrible threat that is about to shatter all of existence. Sort of a lot to drop on someone already struggling to make it through the day, but when the alternative is talking to someone at the IRS, it’s pretty easy to figure out which is the better option! Evelyn has to find the strength within her and put everything she holds dear on the line in order to save the future (or something like that), but can she juggle the problems of multiple versions of her life when she’s struggling just to deal with the one she’s got? What is this all-powerful threat that Evelyn needs to face, and is Alpha Waymond keeping some very important secrets from her? Can you apply deductions from businesses in an alternate reality, or do you need separate filings for each parallel universe?

“This may be a bit hard to believe.” “Let me guess. You’re from the planet Mars and the stream deck you tried to write off was for parts to rebuild your spaceship?” “I mean, you’re not TOO far off.”
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Cinema Dispatch: Swiss Army Man

SAMCD0

Swiss Army Man and all the images you see in this review are owned by A24

Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

From the guys who brought us Dogboarding and the Turn Down for What music video, we now have the feature film debut of the duo simply known as DANIELS (Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert).  A lot of great filmmakers started out with shorts and music videos before becoming household names, just look at Spike Jones, David Fincher, and Michel Gondry.  True, that list also includes Michael Bay, but you can’t peg a winner EVERY time, and it’s not like he’s never made ANY good movies!  Can these green filmmakers prove themselves to be the next big thing with their movie about a farting Daniel Radcliffe corpse?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with Hank (Paul Dano) who’s been stuck on a very small island for some time and is ready to kill himself when something washes up on the shore.  It’s not Wilson from Castaway, but instead is a dead body (Daniel Radcliffe) who seems to have the uncanny ability to fart continuously and forcefully enough for Hank to ride his ass back to civilization!  Well sort of.  He hops aboard the Daniel Radcliffe express and washes up on a new shore, but there’s a forest between him and presumably other people, so he starts hiking his ass through the woods carrying the dead body with him in case he needs anything else from it.  At one point though, it’s clear that this is more than a magical farting corpse, but is instead a LIVING magical farting corpse who actually has all sorts of wacky powers that are discovered along the way.  Hank gives him the name Manny and they quickly become friends because… well there isn’t anyone else around, now is there?  Manny by the way has a whole lot of questions about what it’s like to be human and about life itself, so Hank has to keep answering these annoying and probing inquires while he uses the body to get whatever he needs to survive.  Is the body actually alive which would mean Hank isn’t as crazy as he thinks he is?  What is the story behind Manny in the first place and are there memories to be uncovered?  Were the filmmakers dared to see how many fart jokes they can put in a movie and STILL get it to be an indie darling?

SAMCD1
“Fart you magnificent bastard!  Fart us all the way to FREEDOM!!”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Swiss Army Man”