A send off and a Thank you to a wonderful person
Quite a while back I wrote about becoming a fan of Justin “JewWario” Carmical in the months after he had left us. You can see through his work with You Can Play This and his other video series’ that he was a kind soul who had a real vested interest in all things Japan. When he left us, it left a big hole for all that knew him, his fans, and those who would become his fans. Now, a year and change since he’s been gone, some of his friends got together and presented the movie he wrote to conclude his ongoing story, Farewell, FamiKamen Rider.
A little bit before we get into the movie. I’m not familiar (as of this writing) with Justin’s FamiKamen Rider series. However, just by looking at it you can tell it’s a send up to the Sentai action shows of Japan as well as Japanese game systems. Two things I’ve heard he enjoyed. The character is an offshoot from his JewWario internet persona, a story of him coming from a long line of heros, which is actually explained very well in the movie itself. So even if you haven’t seen the movies up until this one, you are not lost right off the bat.
Getting into the movie more, the story takes place 3 years after the epic battle of FamiKamen Rider and (fellow internet personality) Dr. Holocost. The battle caused an all mightily explosion that left the Rider gone. Rider’s friend Marzgurl (The driving force behind this movie) tried to carry on without him, using the Rider’s belt and Cartridge to activate his power, only for it to reject her. She has kept the belt safe, but the Famikamen Rider cartridge is gone.
Enter Chris, who ends up getting a box of games from a nerd at a garage sale. In it he finds a cartridge he has never heard of before. Quickly things fall apart for him as he is attacked by some mysterious minions before being saved by Marzgurl herself. This brings them together on a quest to find out what is going on, meeting up with Justin’s other persona Yanki J, and fighting the mysterious group known as Ages.
Honestly, if someone who had never seen Justin’s work and didn’t know what he was about watched this, they wouldn’t get it and it would just look like a hokey fan film by a bunch of Video game nerds. But that isn’t the point nor should you judge this movie just on some cinematic scale. This was a tribute and a send off to a wonderful man. I will say that I think this movie is a better project than the Channel Awesome movies, to be honest. It clocks in at 2 hours and stays on point to the plot, whereas the movies for CA tended to be bloated, go in a bazillion different directions, and force feed every joke they can cram into the movie.
Knowing that Marzgurl was one of Justin’s best friends, you can tell this was more than just a movie. This movie really does blur the line of reality and the internet story. She delves into how they met and you can feel through her dialog that she truly misses Justin. Having that feeling, and knowing the reality of it, the ending had me in tears.
It pains me to point out the flaws, but there are a few. The biggest being that Justin wasn’t there. This leads to stand ins for him as both Famikamen Rider and Yanki J, both physically as well as his voice. Honestly, I’d like to think of it was the best way to make Justin himself part of his project. The words from his “You aren’t stupid” video from his own words play a part of this, both on screen and in a way, the film itself. The characters are well written and fleshed out. As said before, They give plenty of background on everything so if you didn’t have the opportunity to see the other stuff leading to this, you still get the idea of what’s going on and what is motivating everybody. Even the special effects are decent for a project of this type and size. This group didn’t screw around when they put this together.
All and all this is a beautiful project. It is both a heartfelt tribute and an amazing send off to a wonderful man who was full of positivity for the things he loved and the people around him. My kudos to Kaylyn and to all the others who helped put this together.
For Justin. For his fans. For Everyone