I am super bummed this film didn't make the finals! I was sure it would, and I am saddened that CRAB CRAB CRAB's chaotic energy won't be absorbed by the audience this year.
What I liked:
The costume design, as always, is remarkable. The performance of the cake man is pitch perfectly terrifying. I loved the horrific melting pot of all the holidays, and how some directly contradict each other - and along with the costume design, the set dressing really adds a lot here. The Spring Break Nog and being told there's a spider in the cracker (but not even seeing it) are my two favourite jokes from the film. The premise is a great way to incorporate everything under the Holiday genre umbrella, and CRAB CRAB CRAB were the perfect team to tackle such a task. Part of what bums me out about this not making the finals is that I think this is all the best parts of CRAB CRAB CRAB boiled down into one film, and my favourite from the team since the gold standard that was WHEAT, MYSELF AND RYE.
What I think could be improved upon:
If anything holds this film back, I'd say its story arc feels like it brushes with brilliance but doesn't quite stick the landing. I think we probably didn't need to start in media res, and could have cut the first minute or so and start us straight in the lab - the only important piece of information that isn't relayed here is that the hero picked all the holidays, but this could have been slipped into the dialogue. I think cutting the beginning down would also let you expand on the second half of the film- I loved seeing the hero try bring back Christmas, but it only whet my appetite to see him attempt to bring back every holiday. Maybe still end on the Christmas scene though, but it would have been cool to see the chaos from the first part of the film continue through into some kind of morally bankrupt montage as he tries to bring back Easter, Valentines day and Halloween too.
With the judging process changing from panel to individual opinion maths this year, I think you guys at CRAB CRAB CRAB maybe should take this opportunity to step up your game. While I hold you in high regard, I feel forced to think about your team's weaknesses, and I GUESS what I would say is, you always deliver such a visual spectacle but the story lines often fall by the wayside in favour of unbridled madness. So, if reclaiming your spot in the finals is important to you as a team, maybe next year pour as much effort into the storytelling and plotting as you do into the art direction. I always like seeing teams go sentimental, or grandiose and epic (though those are only my personal preferences). I think the madness of CRAB CRAB CRAB paired with a weightier story could be something very special and very important to the landscape of Christchurch 48.
TITLE REVIEW: Cheernobyl is one of those titles that just makes you excited reading. Probably my favourite title of the year after EASTER BUNNY GETS DESTROYED BY A HUGE BOWEL MOVEMENT.