Despiser ★★★½

With the distinct feel of an FMV light gun shooter whose narrative ambitions refuse to be contained by the puny confines of a bowling alley arcade cabinet, it’s impossible not to love this movie for its aesthetic gumption alone. I don’t even mind the narcissistic Misunderstood Artist Messiah shtick because unlike the Breens and Wiseaus of the world Cook actually puts his money where his mouth is. There are no cut corners or half measures here, this is a fully realized auteurist vision, crafted with love, patience, and painstaking labor.

That said, as much as I want to fully embrace this movie I can’t help but ultimately hold it at arms’ length for silly personal reasons, namely that the story is so alarmingly similar to the sort of overweening bullshit I used to write when I was 14 that I’m a bit magnetically repulsed by it. But assuming you weren’t a regular on Newgrounds BBS writers’ threads circa 2005 you should be able to enjoy Despiser’s ample charms without reservations.

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