Friday, August 18, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Dave Made A Maze

5 of  5 viewers "Liked" "Dave Made A Maze" (2017, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

The Berkeley Blazer - "Dave Made a Maze is an inventive delight almost from beginning to end. There is beauty for the eye and the mind in the chambers of the titular cardboard and paper maze that magnify rather than distract from the hilarity. There is a documentarian element used for meta-narrative comment that is genuinely interesting, and with the exception of Dave himself the performances were pitch perfect. There are a few moments where the film attempts to be emotionally resonant or profound that struck me with immediate and profound --albeit very temporary-- boredom that was paradoxically jarring. In this case though, who cares? This movie is rad." - 4 Stars

Trash - "Extremely inventive, sweet and crafty, while managing to not be at all precious. It's a science fiction set, constructed purposefully and intricately, and it's used to tell the story, really well. The filmmakers are comfortable making very dumb jokes, that are sometimes super funny, and sometimes made me roll my eyes, but didn't turn me off. The movie's biggest weakness is at times it feels like an extended YouTube video. But when it goes into real shit, like avoiding actual life issues and making literally anything just to not feel like nothing, it stops seeming like a clever video, and becomes a real story." - 4 Stars

Math Mage - "Excellently tragic/cathartic horror comedy." - 4.5 Stars

Lord Battle - "When a film is based on or marketed as a gimmick, you always hope that they can either sustain the gimmick throughout the film or manage to sneak in/deceive you with an emotional story. Dave Made a Maze is an adult drama, disguised as a fantasy/adventure film, disguised as a rom-com, and amazingly succeeds on all levels. The pace may betray you in the beginning as it seems they are buying time rather than developing characters until they enter the labyrinth, but damn does it deliver once they get in! I don't think I've been visually stunned like I was watching Dave Made A Maze since... you know I really can't compare this film to anything else. The look/vibe is untethered indie film, yet the set design will have you asking; How much was the budget? And How long did these sets take to build?! Dave Made a Maze is a must see!" - 4.5 Stars

Huntress - "Intricate details and jaw-dropping set design are the backdrop to the nonstop adventure story within Dave Made A Maze, and they alone warrant a second and third viewing, just to get a taste of how much work went into them. The fantastical element of this movie, which drenches everything within the cardboard world, tempts you to forget your adult life and beckons you to take every blind turn and hopeful leap with the adventuring party. Fantasy runs wild in this labyrinth, but the characters handle their hurdles rationally and realistically, so you never lose sight of them as real people. But no, that didn’t detract from how much I enjoyed the original and thematically appropriate ways in which the party members fell to the maze's traps and insane monsters. Dave Made A Maze is unlike any movie I’ve seen, and it’s not likely to be replicated any time soon." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

I'm sure some people thought of Dave Made A Maze as a poignant emotional exploration of gender, culture, and the modern struggle to create something worthwhile, and I truly think they are right. But what I saw as I watched everything unfold was the need to escape reality by creating an elaborate fantasy. Thing is this emotional ride also turned out to be a kickass fantasy film, so I thought Math Mage and I should put it to our test and see if this undercover fantasy film was also hiding the Secret of Cinema Steel!
The Secret of Cinema Steel

A fantastical beast must make an appearance, be it help or hindrance
Lord Battle - "John "Minotaur" Morrison" - (1pt)
Math Mage - "Cardboard golems aka Origami" - (1pt)

The World must contain more than just one story
(Non Epic)
Math Mage - "Do something cool (actually never finish anything so you can say you never fail) vs rescue your boyfriend (though not from what you think)" - (1pt)
Lord Battle - "Pick your plotline. Depending on which narrative you follow this film is about all sorts of things..." - (1pt)

Multiple protagonists are needed for a proper adventure
(Characters/Adventuring Party)
Lord Battle - "Not the most inspiring adventuring party but they come together when they have to." - (1pt)
Math Mage - "The core adventuring party (girlfriend boyfriend his other friend the film crew) other characters only exist to pad the body count (see violence below)" - (1pt)

With fantasy risk there better be fantasy reward
(Treasure/Magic Items)
Lord Battle - "Not a cardboard coin in the house." - (0pts)
Math Mage - "There is no treasure at the center of the maze (until they make it); the real treasure is maturity" - (0pts)

Class and Racial tension is great for storytelling, adapt it to fantasy
(Classes/Multiple Races)
Lord Battle - "Dave Made a Maze had a cleric, a couple fighters, and filmmakers." - (1pt)
Math Mage - "Filmmaker and his crew are filmmakers and his crew, the rest of the cast is millennial and loser." - (1pt)

Solutions and obstacles must sometimes surpass realities limits
Lord Battle - "Curse of the cardboard fist? Brutal." - (1pt)
Math Mage - "Why did all this happen? It's not important and an explanation would make it less magical." - (1pt)

True adventurers are greedy beyond reason
Math Mage - "Is more properly called a labyrinth." - (1pt)
Lord Battle - "Is it first degree murder when your booby traps kill your friends?" - (1pt)

Heroes and beasts must look good fighting and dying
Math Mage - "Quite a few deaths but they are the themed killed of a slashers rather than violent battle deaths." - (1/2pt)
Lord Battle - "This party was full of lovers, not fighters but on the up side, they died beautiful deaths." - (1pt)

Misogyny isn't for children
(Adult Themes/Nudity)
Math Mage - "The childish pandering routinely found in S&S is replaced by a serious adult relationship (expect for a couple of traps no one falls for)" - (1pt)
Lord Battle - "I think the dungeon is nude at one point..." - (1/2pt)

Characters should look of the land and vise versa
Math Mage - "Amazing set designs and period appropriate costumes." - (1pt)
Lord Battle - "They literally have cardboard clothes at one point!" - (1pt)

With a total of 17 out of 20 points, Dave Made A Maze is concluded to be 85% Sword and Sorcery. In my book that's good enough for a stamp of Cinema Steel approval!

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 8/14/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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