The Climb ★★★★

It's always sketchy extending a short film into feature length, and it's safe to say that this probably doesn't add much in terms of story and themes. It's still a story about the friendship of two thinly drawn characters where one is a pushover and one is a selfish screw-up. The visual style of a long tracking shot of the two biking up a hill is also stretched out into other scenes that are allowed to play out largely uninterrupted. That is quite a compelling style, and supports natural dialogue in a way that chopped up takes don't.

What makes the movie great isn't just that it is comfortable to watch long takes, but the post-mumblecore and post-Kevin Smith comedy. Every scene is packed with funny little character moments and callbacks and even if it's mostly just cycling through the same character bits, these things do build over time like that titular escalation.