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Funny, poignant, entertaining
Traceroute is a wonderful journey through a life history that is very relatable for me. It explores various facets of nerd culture's evolution over the past forty years. It's intellectual, humorous, absurd, entertaining, and poignant. The production seamlessly and unapologetically blends styles, camera types, storytelling approaches, and content. It's a fun movie to watch and presents a nearly agendaless examination of the goods and bads, the beautiful and the toxic, and the celebrated and the outcast.
Phantasm: Ravager (2016)
Great new installment for fans following the whole arc of the series
I've now seen it twice and I really loved Ravager. Yes, it was made with modest resources, and that is visible, but it accomplishes all of the important things a film in this series should accomplish. It explores a story about how fear manifests when faced with terribly difficult realities.
I love how the first film is about a young person coping with the deaths of their family, and Ravager is about an aging person coping with the loss of their memories as they face death. I love that full-circle, complementary nature of it. Without spoiling, I love that the Tall Man undergoes a real kind of transformation in it. In fact, it might be the most humanistic film in the whole series.
I just really think the movie was made with real care and understanding of the heart of Phantasm. I'd much rather see a low- budget film that really gets it, than a higher-budget film that doesn't.
So, in summary, Ravager is totally in the spirit of the films and gives tons to think about. If you're watching it and just griping about CGI, you're probably not watching Phantasm for what I consider the right reasons. This is really a film for people who love the first four films, and for us, it is a solid, sentimental payoff.
I really appreciated all four previous films and now I love the fifth as well.
And if you're writing a review that treats the series as literal narrative, and you are complaining that your literal narrative questions were not answered, please back away from the Phantasm movies slowly, because you are likely to trip over your own shoelaces.