Recommendations: Everything Everywhere All At Once, Kids in the Hall, Pathway, and The Scary of Sixty-First

Michelle Yeoh in black with figures in white to each side of her in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Welcome back! Sorry we took a week off on you. I hope it didn’t make you feel too alone. Each week in this space, our writers come together to offer their recommendations to you. Sometimes these things might be new, sometimes they might be older, but they’ll always be worth your time, or at least we think so. Let us help you sort the wheat from the chaff in the hyper-saturated world of “content” and check back every weekend to see what we’ve been into lately. This week, Hawk has been blown away by Everything Everywhere All At Once, Caemeron can’t stop harping on about The Kids in the Hall, Lor has been enjoying Pathway on Nintendo Switch, and Paul recommends you check out The Scary of Sixty-First.

Film Recommendation: Everything Everywhere All At Once

Hawk Ripjaw: It’s interesting that so far this year, we’ve had not one, but two movies about the multiverse: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Everything Everywhere All At Once. The latter is directed by Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), who were responsible for one of my favorite movies of the last few years, Swiss Army Man, which made their new venture an easy choice for which multiverse movie to watch first.

My. God. This movie is incredible. Even with my lofty expectations, I found them surpassed; 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 unable to effectively communicate with her optimistic husband and gay daughter. In the midst of a dire 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’s ever made has split off into a different version of herself in the multiverse, and by tapping into those alternate versions, she can utilize that Evelyn’s abilities. From there, Evelyn confronts what her life could have been, and what she should treasure about what is in the here and now.

Everything Everywhere All At Once is a perfect example of a completely and fully realized creative vision. This is an insanely bizarre fever dream of a movie: a head explodes in confetti, a rock with googly eyes has an existential breakthrough, and a phallus-focused fight scene ensures that you probably don’t want to watch this with your mother. Visually, the movie boasts vibrant costume and production design, and visual effects that were achieved on a $25m budget. The action sequences hearken back to the golden age of Jackie Chan’s gonzo acrobatic fight choreography, and every fight feels unique. A wildly inventive score from the experimental band Son Lux punctuates every pivotal moment of the film.

It’s a philosophical drama, a sci-fi action movie, a tear-jerking familial piece, a wacky comedy—the movie wears many hats, and there’s not a single instance of tonal whiplash. On offer 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 would have expected to be confronted by a thematic culmination so emotional I was crying in my seat, and then chuckling through my tears at the visual of two lovers in a universe where everyone has hot dogs for fingers frolicking around their apartment with their ridiculous elongated digits flopping and slapping about. In less confident or skilled hands, this could come across as discordant; with Daniels, it absolutely sings.

The movie is downright therapeutic: the world is a confusing, distressing, and overwhelming place, and we’re all just pretty much making it up as we go along, but it’s never been more important to find and embrace the beauty of the people and moments that we love. Tiny as they may seem, they are what make us who we are and why we push forward. Amidst all of its ridiculous chaos, that’s what Everything Everywhere All At Once wants to say. 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 joyful cinematic experiences I’ve had the pleasure of having.

TV Recommendation: The Kids in the Hall

Caemeron Crain: I wouldn’t have really thought it necessary to recommend The Kids in the Hall in general (being a child of the 1990s I can hardly imagine a life without casual references to sketches made at opportune moments), but having chatted with a couple of writers here in recent weeks, I’ve learned that there are people who are younger than me and some of these people have not seen Kids in the Hall.

What I want to recommend is the new season, which released to Amazon Prime on May 13. I continue to feel blown away by the extent to which it’s just as good as the work The Kids in the Hall were putting out over 25 years ago. But if you’re not familiar with the old stuff, I don’t know whether to tell you to start there or encourage you to start here with the new stuff. I suppose either way would work.

Regardless, in my estimation, The Kids in the Hall rank right up there with Monty Python when it comes to sketch comedy, and it’s a shame if they aren’t pervasive in the public consciousness in the same way. I think their comedy has a timeless quality to it, in that the humor is most generally derived from interpersonal relationships and the absurdity of existence more than from anything like current events.

Everything is on Amazon Prime, now, at least in the US (except Brain Candy, which is kind of hilarious if you know anything about that movie—I think it’s a very good movie, for the record!), including the 2010 miniseries Death Comes to Town, which I’ve always felt not nearly enough people have watched.

If you enjoyed The Kids in the Hall as a youth, definitely go and check out the new episodes when you get a chance. If you’re unfamiliar with them, go do the same or start with the old seasons. Either way, I think you’re likely to fall into a delightful rabbit hole. Something about The Kids in the Hall is absolutely joyful in my estimation, and I’ve recently found it to be a nice palliative for our troubled times.

And also you should watch Reg Harkema’s documentary, The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, which released on Amazon Prime on May 20. There’s some really interesting stuff in there, along with Mike Myers expressing a lot of envy of what the troupe has accomplished, which I find both noteworthy and kind of funny.

Gaming Recommendation: Pathway

Lor Gislason: Listen, if I like a game, and you port it to the Nintendo Switch? There’s a pretty good chance I’ll buy it a second time. I’ve done this song and dance before (Hades, Enter The Gungeon, and The Binding of Isaac all sit on both my laptop and Switch) and when I saw that Pathway, originally released in 2019, was on sale for a couple of bucks? Had to grab it.

The best way to describe Pathway is Indiana Jones: The Game. Your crew of adventurers fights 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 level up. Putting together a well-rounded team is essential: I usually go with a sniper, healer, and a melee fighter. Some, like Monsignor Veduti, are doubly beneficial as he is both a sniper AND a medic. During a turn, you can do two actions with each character: an attack and a movement/special. Combat isn’t terribly difficult by any means but it’s quick and satisfying. Better weapons and armour can be picked up from encounters and bought from trading posts dotted around each level. You’ll also need to keep an eye on your fuel, ammo and supply levels. Obviously, if you’re out of fuel you’re S.O.L. Supplies are used to replenish grenades and medkits.

Each mission, while having a specific end goal, has a variety of random encounters that make each playthrough unique. The difficulty level can be customized a lot as well if you find it too easy! A huge amount of in-game achievements add some nice rewards and bonus EXP. (Rose, for example, is unlocked after completing a mission with only women.) Each mission is replayable and I get into a groove levelling up my guys. The pixel art is also super detailed, with gorgeous greens and windswept sandy dunes.

A shot from the game Pathway features characters fighting with a bar of options at the bottom of the screen

Film Recommendation: The Scary of Sixty-First

Paul Keelan: In The Scary of Sixty-First, Dasha descends into familiar territory (for anyone familiar with her podcast): crafting intentional trash-art about Epstein conspiracy theories, fugue states, psychic possession, depersonalization, and the dark arts (apothecary, Satanism, hypnosis). Lurking beneath the deadpan posturing and psychobabble, there is definitely the skeleton of a decent movie. Its flesh, however, is mostly decorticated by postmodern sarcasm and art-school irony.

The cast refreshingly consists of no-names (I assume members of Dasha’s inner circle/coterie). As Noelle, Madeline Quinn (who also gets a screenwriting credit) nicely complements Dasha’s droll delivery; lanky, wry, and airy, she resembles a feminine hybrid of a sarcastic New York hipster figure. As Addie, Betsey Browne goes for broke 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 cameo of Anna Khachiyan (Dasha’s cohost on Red Scare) as Ghislaine Maxwell‘s doppelgänger.

On a technical level, the film is competent. Dasha’s directorial chops are clearly inchoate but she shows sporadic glimpses of startling ingenuity (disorienting the viewer with mirrors, Internet screens, and vertiginous montage sequences). Eli Keszler’s pulsing Carpenter-inspired score is another standout component—elevating the grainy cinematography, which is blatantly inspired by paranoid ’70s thrillers (think: The Conversation, Possession, and Rosemary’s Baby).

Stuffed with scenes of autoerotic asphyxiation and pedophilic fantasies, this is no doubt the cinematic byproduct of an enfant terrible. If you can get past the lo-fi production design and squeamish taboos, you might even soften up to some of Dasha’s devious provocations. There’s definitely charm in the scrappiness of it all—one might even argue the amateur acting, paper-thin plotting, and nonexistent character development deliver a thrilling subversive-ness/Dadaist edge. I’ll let you decide for yourself.

You can rent The Scary of Sixty-First on Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.

Written by TV Obsessive

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