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Cryptomania: A Plea

by B. Allan Johnson


Often are great artists ostracized in their present, but in hindsight, we see them as unbridled geniuses. Van Gogh, Edgar Allen Poe, Galileo, and XXXTENTACION. While he may not be an innovator, James Francis Kwan will be looked favorably upon in hindsight, and so too will Crypto Dreams: Cryptomania.


Many of the complaints of Cryptomania I find to be absurd. Ryderon Bracht, certainly not a credited film critic nor a revolutionary filmmaker like myself or Francis, said the film is a product of James Kwan’s sincere effort, and while that is true, I ask you: what did you want? You wanted him to actively fail? Don’t you understand that by attempting to fail the film would feel less genuine? He needs to try in order to fail. Truthfully, he failed, but he did so gloriously.


I think a lot of the animosity for the film comes from personal experience. The audience of this film are the same people that acted in it, so to see their hard work being turned into a nightmare of incomprehensible storytelling and incompetent action must’ve been a horrible feeling.


But neither of those complaints has anything to do with the movie itself.


Yes, Cryptomania is bad, but isn’t that in the spirit of the Crypto Dreams franchise? Into the Cryptoverse and Cryptoverse of Madness are horrible movies held together by a thin yarn of irony. Cryptomania is of the same quality and just as authentic and ironic.


I think the problem is burnout. Not in the brilliant James Kwan, but in the audience. We can only laugh at the same kind of humor so many times. We expected Cryptomania to feel just like the original, but like our wasted youths and misguided loves, that feeling will never return. Perhaps it is time for Kwanzini studios to retire, lest it ends up like aged rock stars thinking they can still sport tight, leather pants and sing like they could when they were young. Kwanzini Studios is on the path of Mick Jagger.


That’s far too cynical for me, though. Kwan has a choice. He can decide to become that aged rock star trying to stay relevant, or he can innovate yet again, like Brendan Fraser. Brendan Fraser, after years of silence, returned to make The Whale, and he won an Oscar for it. Kwan can choose to write a film--because he’s never really written one before. He can choose to plan out his creative style--which he has never given a thought to before. He can choose to direct his actors competently--being on set with him reveals that he’s not much of a director. Kwan has the capability to make a real movie, a funny movie.


The ball is in your court, Kwan. You can choose to shoot another safe three-pointer, or you can slam dunk. I eagerly await your choice.


Oh, and Kwan the Conqueror is a great villain!



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