By: BabyRuth and Henry J. Fromage (Six Beers) –
Neil Breen has gifted us with his fifth feature-length theatrical film titled Twisted Pair.
After making the rounds of sold-out screenings around the world, the film has finally been made available for purchase via the website http://www.twisted-pair-film.com/ (be sure to check out the THEATRE AUDIENCE REVIEWS AND COMMENTS) Naturally, Breeniacs Henry J. Fromage and BabyRuth yelled “take my money now!,” ordered it as soon as it was announced, and devoured it like a can of tuna fish upon arrival.
Here are our thoughts:
BabyRuth: Breen has stated that his latest release is unlike anything he has ever done before. True to his word, there are no broken laptops, no running through the desert, and NO MORE BOOKS.
However, this film is also very much like everything he has ever done. So fans of repeated lines, voice-overs, and supernatural powers can rest easy.
Henry J. Fromage: I will be so disappointed if he ever demonstrates any growth as a filmmaker and improves. So disappointed.
BabyRuth: Deep breath.… Okay, here’s my attempt at describing the plot of Twisted Pair. Hot dog-loving twins Cale and Cade Altiar (young versions played by stock footage child-actors; like the fellow great thespian before him, Lindsay Lohan, Breen takes on a dual-role as the adult twins) are abducted by a supreme power when they are children. The supreme being (look out for the white alien face that appears in the enchanted forest) reprograms their DNA with artificial intelligence and then makes them more “humanoid” (which, they were already human to begin with but maybe the supreme being took too much of the human qualities away so had to, put some back?). Anyway, both twins have identical superior powers they are taught to use to fight evil. And by evil, I of course mean corrupt businessmen, politicians, etc.
They also to learn to make really pretty candles from Pier 1 Imports.
But Cale (pronounced like the leafy green superfood) failed his missions, causing the force to remove his powers and release him.
Cade continues to go on missions defeating evil forces using his superior powers while Cale uses his“own form of justice” by kidnapping, torturing, and killing all the bad politicians, lawyers, corporate businessmen, and presidents of the banks. Cale is also a drug addict and lives in a crack den with his fellow drug-addicted girlfriend.
Cade on the other hand, has a nice home with his girlfriend Alana (Sara Meritt), who also works at the same agency where he does. The two have quite an adventurous love life, which includes public hanky-panky and violent role-playing (more on that later).
These twins couldn’t be any more different! How wacky!
There’s a bad guy named Cuzzx. We know he is bad because he wears scarves and fondles a giant goblet of diamonds. He also speaks in a low artificial voice, which is pretty creepy for real. Cuzzx is planning on taking over the world.
And it’s up to one human-turned-AI-turned-semi-humanoid to stop him!
Cade is also sent on a mission that has something to do with programmable virtual reality…. the corrupt version, whatever that is.
That’s pretty much the gist from what I was able to piece together, but of course this is Neil Breen so there’s a lot of stuff that makes absolutely no sense at all (because we mere mortals can’t begin to understand).
Henry J. Fromage: I feel like any plot description is superfluous, but one has to admire his consistency in theme. Get those damned Presidents of the Banks!
BabyRuth: Once again, we must raise a glass to the auteur himself for presenting the cinema-consuming public with yet another peek into the complex inner workings of his mind and unique view of the world that he may or may not have been born into. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – making a film is not an easy thing to do and anyone who would put the work, time, and money (like Pass Thru, this one was partially crowd-funded, but Breen has always stated that his films will be produced whether or not he reaches the goal set) into writing, filming, editing, and distributing a feature-length motion picture deserves legitimate kudos. The best part about Breen, is that unlike other well-known “cult” directors, he doesn’t let outside criticism affect his vision and always stays true to himself. There’s never any doubt that any project he puts out is anything but his product and his alone. I think that’s why his fanbase continues to grow and sticks with him. That’s certainly why I personally had no problem parting with my hard-earned $28.95.
Shall we start with discussing the technical merits of this film?
Henry J. Fromage: OMG the foley effects. The punching! Also, did the twin brother’s drunken girlfriend die from falling off the bed?
BabyRuth: OH MY GOD THE FALLING OFF THE BED IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PART OF THIS ENTIRE FILM! I wonder if that was in the script or if it was the actress being in the moment and really going for it. Or a mistake. Whichever, it is the BEST!
Henry J. Fromage: There’s…. actually a good shot with the drone rising from the floor from behind the hoodie-clad Breen in the abandoned building.
BabyRuth: I caught that too. You know, there were quite a few actually good shots (or rather…. almost good shots) throughout. Like with thought and effort put in. Here’s one that stood out to me:
In addition, this film contains the one moment in all of Breen’s work in which he, for one shining moment, has what appears to be a natural conversation with another human being. I’m speaking of the scene in which he comes across a woman and “meet-cute” bumps into her, then starts yelling at her to meet him that evening at eight o’ clock for a drink. Now I’m not talking about that scene, but rather the one that immediately follows it when he and some random homeless dude (with several rubber rats) talk about how attractive she is. It hits normal back and forth beats and everything! I also enjoyed when he tried to throw some change in the homeless guy’s can and missed. I think he kept that in anyway because he did such a good job nailing that scene.
Henry J. Fromage: Folks, I know our bar is low, but it’s hard to explain how heartening it is when Breen clears it. I mean, we genuinely love this guy.
Henry J. Fromage: So, he’s clearly got some sort of large repository of stock footage, no?
BabyRuth: Yes, this is the spiritual successor to Stock Footage: The Movie (aka Double Down) but now, he has discovered…. LAYERS! I especially love the one of him standing next to the scientist lady watching intently while wearing a doctor’s mask (?). Did you notice he actually credited the actors in the stock footage at the end? All I know, if I was one of those actors who appeared in any of those clips, I would rush to update my resume!
Henry J. Fromage: The action sequence with the soldiers in the abandoned factory or whatever is as fine a Breen scene as exists.
BabyRuth: Did he insert himself into a video game? They were paused at the beginning. (And they were also credited at the end.)
Henry J. Fromage: Perhaps also some community college animators and/or actors at his disposal?
BabyRuth: Let’s give it up for Nevada State College. And, yup, definitely. He is certainly resourceful!
There’s even free Wi-Fi!
Henry J. Fromage: Maybe more than ever before, I really want to know how his films get made.
BabyRuth: Well, are you in luck! Breen is going to releasing a behind-the-scenes video of him providing insight and tips for aspiring filmmakers on the production of his movies. You may be surprised to learn this, but he did not go to film school!
Henry J. Fromage: Nooooooooooooooo… You don’t say.
Henry J. Fromage: Man, I feel sorry for normal people asked to deliver Breen’s dialogue.
BabyRuth: I used to think they were all just terrible actors, but after five films with the same line delivery, I think it’s a style choice on his part. I mean the conference room scene where each person delivers a loud declaration of a technical-sounding phrase (“PROGRAMMABLE MATTER!”) in the same amplified monotone pretty much proves it.
Henry J. Fromage: And the three attorneys- does one have a mustache that is tape with magic marker on it?
BabyRuth: Yup. I think all of the facial hair budget was used up on Cale’s amazing beard.
Henry J. Fromage: The detective has a masking tape mustache too!!!
BabyRuth: Again, he is very resourceful. Why buy props when you save money and make them yourself?
Henry J. Fromage: Love the hot sauce on the walls, too. And all the off-puttingly sexual moans as the camera enters the torture room because the stage directions said ‘moan’, dammit!
BabyRuth: It sounded like a soundbite from a gay porno. I immediately checked to make sure my windows were shut because I was nervous my neighbors might hear.
Henry J. Fromage: The bedroom scene where he’s screaming at shadows had to be unscripted.
BabyRuth: I have a feeling a lot of this film was unscripted. But let’s call it ad-libbing.
Henry J. Fromage: Also, I didn’t really need to know what Neil Breen’s nipples look like.
BabyRuth: Neilpples. At least we were spared side-ballsack this time.
Henry J. Fromage: That playful assault scene is mind-blowing. Only mitigated somewhat by the fact that his 60-year-old body moves more like an 80-year-old one and is about the least threatening imaginable. His line delivery on curse-words like ‘bitch’ is why we sign up for these.
BabyRuth: Okay, this is that part I am most anxious to talk about. This freaked me the fuck out and I was legitimately concerned and upset. I was yelling “No Breen! Bad! Stop that! What are you DOOOING?!” (I wish I could have been at a screening during this part because I can’t imagine how this was received by a live audience).
Then I was confused about whether this was supposed to a role-play thing of if she really was a stranger and he Jedi-mind-tricked her into a relationship at that point (since earlier he says something to the effect of “I can make people do whatever I want.”) Plus all the “How dare you not show up at eight you bitch?!” stuff are his internal thoughts so if she can’t hear them (or can she since she’s an agent or whatever too? I’m so lost at this point) why would he think them? I think it was supposed to role-play, though, with the reveal being an attempt at comic relief (emphasis on the “relief” part) Either way, it was hella uncomfortable to watch and I never want to see it again because it makes me wonder if he has a weird rape fetish and that would break my spirit forever since I imagine him as an alien who has a childlike innocence about sex (= closed-mouth kissing and naked torsos).
Henry J. Fromage: I would feel worse about that camera pan-up of fairy lady if I thought there was any chance Breen still had loins to twitch. Likelier he understands in the abstract that Hollywood movies have sex appeal in the same way he understands that villains should look like Palm Springs Pimps.
BabyRuth: She confused me – who/what was she? Why was she there? At what Party City were those wings purchased?
Henry J. Fromage: Why are the fairy shoes so spiked?
BabyRuth: Most likely because it is Vegas and the spiked shoes come with all the stripper fairy costumes. Also, I kind of want them.
Henry J. Fromage: He’s certainly got a theme- I wondered how Trumpian politics would affect his since this is the first film he shot since the election, but this is pretty much the same stuff.
BabyRuth: Yes, I was wondering that too. Trump is epitome of everything Neil is against – I’m so surprised.
UNLESS…. Cuzzx is a Trump-stand in!
Henry J. Fromage: Ohhhh, snap!
Henry J. Fromage: Is it ending with an homage to his own work?
BabyRuth: Do you mean the fairy watching Pass Thru in Breen’s home screening room? I audibly squealed when I saw that. This obviously means that all his films are connected. It’s the BCU!
Upon second viewing, I noticed some other callbacks to his previous work. Like the man wearing the black dress shoes from Fateful Findings (Cuzzx?), there’s talk of biochemical terrorism (Double Down), and a supreme being (I Am Here…. Now and Pass Thru). I also think I’ve seen the two moons before. Oh, the mysteries of Breen! WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Henry J. Fromage: I’m not a little inspired by knowing that Neil Breen will be riigghhht here. PHONE HOOOMME. Oh, and that Cade Altair will return.
BabyRuth: Well, I’m happy because this means there will be another film. But I’m not sure this is the story I’d want to see continued. I’d much rather re-visit the characters from Fateful Findings.
But my biggest question is: was any of this supposed to take place in virtual reality? (And if so, is it the actual version or corrupt version as both are mentioned several times throughout the movie?) If that’s the case, what was real and what was not? And if all the films are linked (or at least this one and Pass Thru– is any of that VR? Stripper Fairy was watching it on a screen?)
And if it IS a virtual reality, it is one in which Ultraviolet exists. WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR THIS? There must be reasons!
BabyRuth: I was definitely not disappointed and certainly enjoyed Breen’s latest, but it falls somewhere in the middle of my ranking of his films. This would not be the one I would have Breen virgins start with, if that makes any sense. Personally, I feel like all the sci-fi stuff gets in the way of the most enjoyable parts. It’s fun and all but the scenes I like the most are the ones that have people’s everyday interactions (This is why Fateful Findings remains my favorite.) I wish he’d attempt a drama or better yet, a comedy (the rented-out restaurant moment in this film gives a glimpse as to what that would be like, and I am HERE for it) without any AI or Jesus-beings or magical rocks. Just regular life, but his interpretation of regular life. I think it would be amazing.
Henry J. Fromage: Man, you give me an alternate reality to dream on. Neil, if you’re reading this, A: we love you. B: please dabble in some new genres. You’ve already got our 28.95s in the bag!
Twisted Pair (2019) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever the picture freezes (the first time this happened I thought my DVD was defective)
Take a Drink: every time Cade says “I miss my brother”
Take a Drink: whenever there is a candle
Take a Drink: whenever Breen smiles
Take a Drink: whenever the cat figurines move
Take a Drink: every time Cuzzx appears. Take Two: when it is a completely different actor
Take a Drink: every time you hear these words or phrases:
- “Artificial Intelligence”
- “Programmable virtual reality…. The corrupt version.”
- “Cyber AND terror attacks”
- “Programmable DNA”
- “Programmable matter”
- “Illegal drugs”
- “Illegal guns”
Do a Shot: for every superjump
Do a Shot: whenever a shot is reused
Do a Shot: “I NEVER HAD A BEARD!”
Do a Shot: for every company listed in the credits with either an “N” or a “B” in the name Take Two: for Eats N’ Eats Craft Services.
Do a Shot: Dectective
Last Call: wait for a very special and touching post-credits moment featuring Cade and Cale