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Crypto Dreams: Cryptomania First Impressions

By Brent Johnson

As a long time fan of the Crypto Dreams series, pioneered by the ingenious James Francis Kwan, the press screening for the latest entry, Crypto Dreams: Cryptomania, was troublesome.

Crypto Dreams: Into the Metaverse, while being unexceptional in all ways, was at least an understandable film. There was a clear narrative--even if it was a boring narrative--and the acting was goofy enough to carry the innately absurd premise.

Crypto Dreams: Metaverse of Madness was, at the time of release, the greatest film by James Kwan. He’d a comfortable through his rigorous productions of his Kwan-Chi movies--an unexceptional set of films. Kwan’s reliance on music eliminates much of the awkwardness of the first film while never allowing a song to take over a scene. The performances remained adequately goofy--even more so in Metaverse of Madness with the inclusion of several burgeoning Kwanzini actors like Ryderon Bracht, Andrew Hoots, and Erik Lund. However, the incomprehensibility of the script was worsened by Kwan’s grander scope. He included far too many characters and left the story to rot.

That brings us the press-screening of Cryptomania. I was led into a dark backroom of the school to maintain the film’s secrecy. It was then I learned that Cryptomania clocks in at twenty minutes, fifteen minutes longer than the first film. Jesus, I thought to myself, how am I going to get through this? I did. I sat through all twenty minutes of Cryptomania. The film isn’t looking so hot, ladies and gentlemen.

Kwan’s biggest problem is the length of his scripts. I was told that the initial screenplay for the third entry of Crypto Dreams ran sixty pages long, which roughly equates to an hour of film. That script was burned by Kwanzini actors in the Walmart parking lot out of protest.

It was after that when me and Erik Lund entered Crypto Dreams with a new idea for the series. We envisioned an end of the west film to conclude Crypto Dreams. That script ran at fifteen pages. This script was also scrapped because, according to James Kwan, it didn’t fit the Cryptoverse.

While the twenty page script for Cryptomania is significantly shorter than the controversial sixty page script, the film feels artificially long. There are worthless characters added for the sake of just standing there. Kwan plays three different characters, confusing and muddling the plot as a whole. Seldom are there funny jokes. The acting remains the film’s best attribute, but Kwan’s style seems to remain untouched since the last Crypto Dreams. There are few improvements on the second film stylistically, in spite of the creation of more Kwan-Chi films between the second and third films.

While there is still time for Kwan to polish his film in the editing room, his principle photography leaves little room for improvement. Crypto Dreams was once Kwanzini Studios flagship franchise, but now it is just a husk of what it once was. I fear Crypto Dreams is heading in the same direction as the Kwan-Chi films.

On a final note, Kwan the Conqueror is a fantastic character and intriguing villain! He is absolutely essential to the plot, and I look forward to his inclusion in the long awaited Protectors! I hope for a third screening just to see him some more! I’m confident that the quality of the film will increase tenfold by then!

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