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Kitty Mammas | Review

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“Wait, you’re literally having your own cat’s baby!”

In documentaries, the point is to examine and present the truth. In mockumentaries, however, the unbelievably absurd is treated like the truth. In the instance of Kitty Mammas, a camera crew follows a literal mad scientist – Dr. Han (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) – as he leads a clinical trial in which four women give birth…to kittens.

Though slightly disgraced from previous endeavours, Dr. Han has been presented the opportunity of being a modern day Frankenstein of sorts. The experiment, made possible by financial backers and desperate participants, lasts over a three month period which sees the cat foetus grow to the size of a kitten with next to no visible bump. Plus, the participants even get to keep the kitten if successful! The diversity in the mothers-to-be ranges from the LGBTQ+ community, undergrad students, middle-aged mothers, and vloggers, but they all want one thing: to give birth to a kitten. This is a common goal like no other.

With the participants’ diverse range of backgrounds comes a diverse range of issues and obstacles which they must endure. The challenges they face range from financial inheritance, online backlash, and acceptance. Running parallel, Dr Kittenstein faces the annoying persistence of Darryl (Drew Nelson), a journalist desperate to expose the grotesque experiment, but also in pursuit of revenge. After the 90-day period, what will be of Sylvia (Janet Porter), Joan (Kathryn Kohut), Maria (Vienna Hehir) and Rose (Morgan Kohan)? New mothers? Human-cat hybrids? 

As a mockumentary, Kitty Mammas exists as both a surreal comedy and a drama which deals with serious issues too. The balance of both is certainly effective in its execution, though the mockumentary style is much more frequent and attempted when dealing with the surrealist nature of the clinical trial. Kitty Mammas almost feels like a hybrid of two movies, but with the same cast. A major issue, however, is that in the mockumentary, extraordinary and out-of-this-world characters and situations are depicted realistically, despite being completely unbelievable and unrealistic. The unbelievable is made believable. In Kitty Mammas, whilst the characters deal with such realistic, relevant, and hard-hitting issues outside of the clinical trial, there is an overwhelming ambiance of the film not feeling one bit real. Kitty Mammas doesn’t even feel like a documentary. 

Of course, there is an excruciating difficulty in making such a wild concept seem at all plausible. Humans giving birth to kittens is just mind boggling. The heart of Kitten Mammas really lies within the social issues explored outside of the medical practice. The four performances of the trialists are all terrific respectively, especially that of Vienna Hehir. Under the screenwriting of Katrina Nicholson, the characters – specifically the trialists – are empowered to really showcase both the power and vulnerability which they possess within. These are strong characters. Strongly written characters. 

Ultimately, from director Dennis Alexander Nicholson, Kitten Mammas can be read as a film with a hidden agenda… The kitten trial stuff is just for show. Essentially, the concept is just the overcoat covering a body which provides a commentary on social issues. This form of trickery is terrific in that it, to some degree, pays off because the issues explored are done really well. Probably the best aspect of the film overall. Though a great exploration of issues, one can’t imagine that much of Kitty Mammma’s audience will be coming for a class on sociology, but instead, they’ll be wanting to see something totally messed up, like the film initially suggests.  

Rating: 2/5

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Adventure

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest

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Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest is a deadly serious comedy film about friendship and arcade games that’ll surely put a smile on your face and tug at your heartstrings. Set at Bip Bip Bar, it tells the story of a group of unlikely heroes aka friends who help Kim Cannon Arm attempts to be the first in the world to play Gyruss an arcade machine from the early 80s for 100 consecutive hours. The film showcases these heroic outsiders with dreams about becoming legendary world record holders. 

Watching Kim and his friends embark on this quest was certainly like preparing for a marathon as Kim’s friends make him get an annual physical checkup from the doctor, It was easy to get swept up and share their excitement. Director Mads Hedegaard introduces these bunch of endearing misfits who truly make up a kind and supportive community. We learn several details about each of Kim’s friends including careers, favourite games, bands, family life and plenty more. Each are unique and the Documentary made me feel like I’d known this group my whole life. 

The film is also able to capture the gaming atmosphere as it blasts through the 80s with synths and neon lights, which created a stylised, exhilarating journey into Kim’s brain and the world of Gyruss. Montages and Iron maiden tracks also feature and “I Need a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler features, which to me represented each member and the story which was ultimately made for pure entertainment. 

Themes of achieving success is a presence in this documentary as it has scenes filled with pure joy, sentimental bliss and deep philosophical moments of the loss of a friend and acceptance. As we watch Kim make his way through hours and hours of his challenge we see his friends are always with him for comfort and to help keep track. They play Iron maiden music to boost his moral but its clear to me that with friends like this, Kim has already won. 

https://youtu.be/d-AidtIZF64

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Comedy

A24 | Red Rocket – Official Trailer

Finding himself down and out in Los Angeles, ex porn star Mikey Saber decides to crawl back to his hometown of Texas City, Texas, where his estranged wife and mother-in-law are living. Just as this dysfunctional family seems to be making things work, Mikey meets a young woman named Strawberry working the cash register at a local doughnut shop. He falls right back into his old habits.



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Genre:

Comedy, Drama

Release Date:

2021

Director:

Sean Baker

Cast:

Simon Rex, Bree Elrod, Brenda Deiss

Plot Summary:

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Comedy

Don’t Look Up | Official Trailer

The story of two low-level astronomers, who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet earth.



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Genre:

Release Date:

December 24, 2021

Director:

Adam McKay

Cast:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Timothée Chalamet, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett

Plot Summary:

The story of two low-level astronomers, who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet earth.

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