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Twisted Pair


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๐ŸŽ™️ EPISODE 396: 12.21.21

I did it! I fucking did it! In (not quite) a month, I watched all five Neil Breen feature films. And I'm pleased to report that, look at me Mom, I fucking did it! As far as completely self-imposed, ridiculously low-stakes tasks are concerned, this was one that barely registers. It's not like I set out to run a marathon. Although, I have done that before and I can say that 100% this task was more arduous and took a far greater toll on my mental health. And when I say "mental health" I mean "my ability to discern what is good and what is bad cinema from now until the day I die," but those are the same thing, right? My biggest take away after completing this journey is not just that Neil Breen is a fascinating and weird dude. Watch three minutes of Double Down and you can glean that. But his persistence, passion, and downright foolish stubbornness feels almost unparalleled.
Like I've said from the get-go, there doesn't seem to be a trace of Tommy Wiseau style Monday Morning quarterbacking with any of this. As far as I know, he doesn't go around the country screaming that he actually intended to make a series of "black comedies," that our ironic appreciation was and is purposeful. And herein lies the mystery of Breen. He either has an unfathomable level of detachment to how his work is being perceived, or — and I think this is the more likely case — he DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK. HE thinks this shit is good, period. And he thinks it doesn't need to apologize for or explain why it is good. You don't make more than one movie if you don't think this. You definitely don't make FIVE FEATURE-LENGTH MOVIES in a decade+ if you don't this. And you absolutely don't make a The Beatles: Get Back length documentary about your process if you don't think this.

And this is the magic of Neil Breen. I have no clue what the R.O.I. on any of this is, but he keeps spending his money making these very horrible films. And it doesn't look like he has any intention of stopping.

So while my appreciation for this work is firmly centered on a highly ironic "So Bad It's Good" detachment that involves both the practical finished product (hilariously crappy acting & bad FX, etc etc) and subject matter (his equally hilarious and obsessive libertarian politics 1, and WTF interpersonal dramas which feel like they written by a machine), I can also step back and applaud this man FOR DOING THE DAMN THING.

He woke up one day, a middle-aged man, and said, "You know what, I think I'll start making feature-length films now" and he just... did that. On some level, that is so inspiring to me. And it's inspiring without a trace of irony. I mean it.

Alright, enough broad strokes, what about Breen's most recent film, 2018's Twisted Pair? Well, I really really liked it. I thought it was easily his most entertaining work since Fateful Findings.







As I mentioned above, my brain has been ruined by these films, and I will probably never be able to accurately decipher what is good and what is bad from what is so bad it is good and all points in between. So, that being said, I'll be damned if this didn't have a — and I can't believe I'm writing this — a coherent plot? Or at least something resembling a coherent plot. Let me try that again: Twisted Pair has the most coherent plot of any NEIL BREEN movie. I think that, at least, is fair to say.

Visually, it's not necessarily a step up, but it is also starkly different from the previous entries. Shot mostly at night at what looks like a college campus, Breen also incorporates countless green screen and stock footage sequences and by far the most LOL digital FX we've seen to date...


And here is the sequence of scenes which I cover extensively in the podcast that might be the strangest, or at least most uncomfortable thing in any of these movies...


This film is also notable for Breen inadvertently predicting the dawn of both the Facebook Metaverse **...


...and NFT's....


Ultimately, this one doesn't disappoint. I'm both happy and sad that my #Neilvember/#Neilcember voyage has come to end. Allegedly, his next independent feature film is a direct sequel to this, and he certainly sets it up that way. The one thing I know is this: it will exist one day. As long as Neil Breen is breathing, he's gonna be doing his feature filmmaking. And there's something kinda nice about that. It's up to you whether you enter Room #23 or not...



FOOTNOTES:

1. A quick note about his politics, which I've tried to dissect several times on the podcast reviews: in general, I don't agree with them at all aside. They are the dumbest of dumb guy politics. They are anti-government in the lamest libertarian way possible. But he also seems to have an anti-corporation/pro-environment streak that shines through and I appreciate that. His ideas, at least at face value, are at odds to some degree. Two more points in regards to this: 1) it's been interesting to see the subtle shift in them from film to film (Twisted Pair continued his deep fascination with new tech — A.I. and machine learning — that we saw in Pass Thru, but it also held the most compassionate message we've seen yet), and 2) it's no shocker that Breen's best movie is also the one that is practically void of long-form soapboxing... until those final ten minutes (as if he forgot to include them lol). [BACK]

2. Speaking of META!!!

[BACK]

#Neilvember [THE NEIL BREEN FILMOGRAPHY WATCH-THRU] chronological
Pass Thru • you are here • Twisted Pair 2??? (coming soon?)


CHRONOLOGICALLY
EPISODE 395 - (YOU ARE HERE) - EPISODE 397 ⫸

๐š‚๐šž๐š™๐š™๐š˜๐š›๐š ๐š–๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š๐š‘๐š’๐šœ ๐š ๐šŽ๐š‹๐šœ๐š’๐š๐šŽ/๐š™๐š˜๐š๐šŒ๐šŠ๐šœ๐š ๐š˜๐š— ๐™ฟ๐šŠ๐š๐š›๐šŽ๐š˜๐š— ๐š๐š˜๐š› ๐šŠ๐šœ ๐š•๐š˜๐š  ๐šŠ๐šœ $๐Ÿท ๐šŠ ๐š–๐š˜๐š—๐š๐š‘!

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⤊ RECENTLY RELEASED MOVIES (HOMEPAGE) • NEWLY POSTED REVIEWS ⤇ Ep. 399B (12/23), Ep. 399A (12/23), Ep. 398B (12/21), Ep. 398A (12/21), Ep. 397 (12/21), Ep. 396 (12/21), Ep. 395 (12/16), Ep. 394B (12/16), Ep. 394A (12/16), Ep. 393 (12/16), Ep. 392 (12/15), Ep. 391 (12/10), Ep. 390 (11/19), Ep. 389 (11/19), Ep. 388 (11/17), Ep. 387 (11/16), Ep. 386 (11/12), Ep. 385 (11/11), Ep. 384 (11/10), Ep. 383 (11/9), Ep. 382 (11/9), Ep. 381 (11/5), Ep. 380 (11/4), Ep. 379 (11/3), Ep. 378 (11/2), Ep. 377 (11/1)

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