I know we don’t post on here anymore but I have a lot of half-written things from the last four months about movie violence and Silver Linings Playbook and Sufjan Christmas music and if you close your eyes real tight you can probably read them all in their finished versions.


The Dark Knight Makes Me Rise

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS PLEASE DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE DARK KNIGHT RISES PLEASE DON’T I’M GOING TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT DON’T LET ME SPOIL IT FOR YOU PLEASE <3 <3 <3

Hi I’m Alex and culture makes me feel things, too! Between ages 4 and 10 I dressed up like Batman all day every day. And if Roberta said I couldn’t bring my cape to Olive Garden, the napkins sufficed. Still, wearing the cape and screaming I’M BATMAN at the waiters and waitresses felt appropriate. Since then, I’ve stopped frequenting Olive Garden (nothing against those breadsticks) and I only wear my cape when it seems ironic enough to be funny. But Batman hasn’t left me.

I was young and silly enough to buy all the Batman Forever and Batman and Robin action figures, placemats, and horribly uncomfortable bed linen, either because those movies and I shared a similar 8 year-old maturity level, or because batnipples caused irrevocable sexual confusion. Either way, our love affair sustained.

Then Batman Begins came out and it was as if Batman and I shared a sort of right of passage as boys to men. It was released in the same year as my Bar Mitzvah, after all. I wasn’t quite ready to understand what that movie meant to me until this past Friday when I saw The Dark Knight Rises and started to cry. No, I didn’t cry when Alfred cried, and no, I didn’t cry at Bruce Wayne’s faux-funeral. I cried at that last image of Batman’s face, the moment before the nuke goes off, the moment I knew would be, for the sake of the myth that has been oh so brilliantly sculpted by Nolan, the last time I see Batman, no matter if (and when) I watch that movie four hundred more times.

But how the hell did Christopher Nolan make me feel like that would be the last time I ever see Batman, my childhood idol, my constant friend, the only man who (as of yet) has been able to make me shiver and smile all at once? I think the answer is more than personal; it’s sort of logical. What Christopher Nolan has given us, the fans of Batman since we were old enough to read Robin’s holy exclamations, is a total and finished myth. He has established a real hero in an unreal world, stirred that hero to his core, destroyed that hero physically, and built him up again to save us from evil, sacrificed him for the sake of his own fulfillment, and somehow still managed to let him live, all while constantly asking us why and how. He’s given us genre fiction and literary fiction in one beautifully expensive package, the sort you can munch your tear-stained popcorn along to, and that’s a rare thing.

I really do respect other critics’ opinions of this movie; in fact, I think there are flaws, and perhaps it’s the most fitting homage to Heath Ledger that the third film suffers without him. But what is so inarguable to me, what is so excruciatingly clear, is that Christopher Nolan has given us, the fans of Batman, the most satisfying reasons how he exists and why he’ll never die.

Batman may always be the man who never leaves me, and I’m so happy with that. I welcome all coming incarnations of the dark knight because, whether we realize it yet or not, his stories are just as important as Hercules’. But what we may never see again is a story as satisfying and conclusive as Nolan’s, so I thank him for respecting my geekery, my childhood obsession, and my favorite modern myth.   


Update on (Partial) Summertime Cultural Intake By Jenny On Wisdom-Tooth-Extraction Drugs

Hi this is Jenny. I wanted to do a general, Chelly-style update on what I am spending my summer on, culture-wise because I am not a should’ve-already-seen-this-movie-watching robot.

Via Netflix:

  • I began the summer by finishing The IT Crowd, which I liked a lot aside the from distracting/detracting laugh track.
  • And then I went through Snuff Box in one day— a six-episode sketch comedy series featuring IT Crowd's Matt Berry and his American friend Rich Fulcher working as a hangman and a hangman’s assistant, respectively. Some sketches are revisited each episode—like Matt yelling “Fuck you!” at ladies with boyfriends and six unique reimaginings of the series’s awesome theme song—and then some are more singular while still self-referential for the series. Snuff Box also comes with a lot of time travel and whiskey and pleasure (pronounced plaizzzyurrrre) and a lot of arbitrary unsyncing of voices in a way that makes me just uncomfortable enough to be tv-happy.
  • Workaholics is probably my favorite new (for me) television I have found (been introduced to). It’s cool to see a workplace comedy that does not feel stale or overworked, and I like the characters so much. Also like: the slightly ‘off’ cultural references, i.e. Blake’s interest in getting a Claudograph (Jean Claude Van Damme’s autograph), Ders’s “I saw Tony Shaloub at the airport, didn’t even mention Monk—just winked”, the entire gang’s interest in meeting All That's Lori Beth Denberg
  • I’m on episode 3 of Friday Night Lights , and although I am not always as eager to watch it as some other shows, I like how it introduces emotional investment in its characters and Texas town right from the start. Also like: those beautiful sweeping shots of beautiful Dillon, TX, and those Explosions in the Sky songs they play during those parts.
  • The In-Betweeners , which I am not sure how I feel about but often it is pretty funny.  It’s also got this guy (not Jon Hamm)!
  • Fruits Basket is the first anime I have ever watched that is not Totally Spies and I am so into it/ have watched seven episodes today with ice ace-bandaged to my face like I am some sort of mumps patient. I am super impressed with the show, and it is really funny while also educational about the Chinese zodiac, so, like.

On Real-Life Television:
After finishing up with Mad Men and Girls (wait, that was this summer?), I’ve since been watching…

  • Comedy Bang Bang, which is my other favorite (actually) new (to television) show this summer. I like it because of my like for every single guest that is on the show  (also obviously host Scott Aukerman and bandleader Reggie Watts). I especially like watching Aukerman try to pin down what kind of comedy they do on their show (“random?” “off-kilter?”) and also every moment where it turns into something that is not a late-night talk show anymore.
  • Louie, which is self-explanatory because the show itself is one of my favorite things, the kind of comedy that I solemnly stare at until my dad comes in and asks “Why aren’t you laughing, it’s supposed to be funny” and then I just let my eyes get big and shake my head slowly and say “No, it is much more than that”, but also if that is not enough for you then understand how Louis CK is revolutionizing standup special recordings and ticket sales and is actually just the best person.
  • Workaholics — again! because season 3 is on Comedy Central right now.
  • Breaking Bad!!!!!!  Which is again self-explanatory!! Or like if it’s not.. Also it came back yesterday!! MAgnEts, bitch!!!!

And then also Books exist and I read them:

  • I got to page 250 of James Joyce’s Ulysses before realizing that I could probably dedicate my time to something I liked better and maybe one day / maybe not really ever :(
  • David Boring was the first thing I read post-Ulysses and it was perfect, which is what I have come to expect from Daniel Clowes so yes.
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, which also was in that comfort zone called ‘Books by my Favorite Authors,’ but sometimes that is okay when your favorite authors are the best. Also being nice is nice, as are volunteer fire departments, and do I spy Kilgore Trout because yes.
  • Catch-22 is also long and I am very slow at reading it, but I love it and just about every idea that comes out of it in many ways that are different from all my other bookloves, and I am excited to continue reading until I have finished. Related: Now I get what a Catch-22 is!
  • Finally, I have been reading Chris Hardwick’s ‘self-help for nerds’ book The Nerdist Way as a sometimes-break from Catch-22.  It is Hardwick-admittedly corny, but also something I like because of my interest in Nerdist podcasts, redefining the word “nerd” for a new generation, and trying to organize things, take for example this list of cultural intake.

I Could Be Your Friend-LOST Episodes 9/10

This week on Lost, I watched Solitary and Raised By Another! I’m really excited because I feel like I’m finally making headway on this show and also I’m getting into some stuff that I remember from seeing a season one summary show before the second season premiered. Also I’m almost halfway through the first season. ^_^

Solitary

Of course after I write in a post that I don’t like Sayid, the next episode is about him. Initially I was annoyed by this BUT I actually ended up liking this episode a lot!

Sayid’s flash backs were interesting and it was cool I guess to find out who that chick was but y’all I am so tired of these torture scenes! Also I found it very exciting that we get to meet another person on the island AND it’s the french chick AND she’s bat ish crazy! Also this is the first time we hear about “the others,” NEATO.

Hurley is officially the sweetest person ever! And the whole golfing bit was adorable. But maybe someone should pay more attention to Walt???

Finally, the Ethan guy is scary and he reminds me of Ethan from Buffy AKA probably a bad guy and also another bad guy from Buffy (more specifically like the crazy priest played by Nathan Fillion).

Raised By Another

This episode opens with a really scary nightmare with Claire, and the whole episode is about her and her unborn child. In the flashbacks she visits a psychic who tells her that only she can raise the child, even though she wants to give it up for adoption. Eventually the psychic convinces her to keep it, only to tell her that actually there is a couple in LA who wants the baby and she should fly there BUT it has to be on a specific flight (very specifically this one). (Suspicious much)? Leading Charlie and Claire to believe that the psychic knew about the flight crashing all along and this was his way of getting her to raise the baby.

This is one of my favorite episodes so far. Locke in the nightmare is super ominous and I really appreciate that in someone. The episode also dealt with the idea of fate AKA Claire is SUPPOSED to be on this island and/or Divine Intervention??? Also her creepy nightmares reminded me of The Stand which as you know I recently read because the pregnant girl in that (Fran) has nightmares about Evil harming her child.

In other news, Sayid made it back to camp (le sigh), and told Jack about how “We are not alone.”

Which brings us to: Hurley’s Census. I remember this plot twist from the season one wrap up show thing and I’ve been looking forward to getting to it in real time and now it’s finally here HOORAY. I’m not surprised that Ethan is Not Of This Group.

In conclusion, I really appreciate Claire asking the original prospective adoptive parents if they could sing Catch a Falling Star to the baby because that’s also in *Princess Diaries* and Love Actually.

PS When I went looking for that Princess Diaries video there was a Lost spoiler as a top comment IS NOTHING SACRED!?


I Should Have Already Seen this Movie: #6- MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO

Why I should have already seen Totoro:

  • One of my best friends is very into Asian culture and she inspires me to be ~*totemo kawaii!!*~ but then HOW CAN I BE without having seen this
  • Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are things (entities?) that I consider to be important, and yet when there was a showcase of 35mm Studio Ghibli reprints/etc at IFC like two months ago I did not see a single film, and so when the same showcase came to Gene Siskel I really wanted to see something.
  • Totoro stuffed animals
  • And also not just stuffed animals, pop culture’s general recognition of Totoro, see for example South Park, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Toy Story 3, This Adventure Time Picture I Always See On Tumblr

THE PREMISE:

Two young girls and their dad move into a supposedly haunted house, the younger girl finds a magical troll, and her sister and dad are very encouraging and want to meet him.  Meanwhile their mom is sick in the hospital and it rains sometimes.

MY FEELINGS:

Besides wanting to be Satsuki because she has short hair and a really cute outfit and makes bentos really well (SEE EVERYTHING I JUST MENTIONED IN THIS PIC), I liked the rest of the movie as well.

I get that all of Miyazaki’s movies require suspension of disbelief—the world is not actually personified lamp posts and fishes don’t eat ham—but I couldn’t tell if the dad’s belief in the supernatural was a component of the movie’s fantastical elements or if other cultures just believe in ghosts and trolls more than us. Or if he was just being a dad and therefore pretending to listen to and believe his children. Whichever reason it is, he lets his four-year-old daughter Mei spend time in some hidden part of the forest with a troll who is actually kind of terrifying.

I was struck by how scary the movie could be. Maybe it’s because I was mostly familiar with Totoro as an adorable stuffed animal, but his growls and groans were frightening. Without that sense of fear the movie would have been a little lacking though anyways. I welcomed that fear with open arms the same way that Mei welcomes Totoro. On my unwritten list of stories that I like I always include “ones that make me sad but are still comforting” and Totoro comes pretty close to this with “ones that scare me a little but are still comforting”.

Technically, I don’t think Totoro ever actually does anything cute in this movie, he mostly just mysteriously shows up places—and yeah, okay, I guess the umbrella thing is super adorable. And I guess being driven by Catbus is just about the cutest passive verb phrase you can participate in *cue ridiculous Catbus sound effect*.  I was glad to see this movie though and expand upon my understanding of/appreciation for a stuffed animal that does not belong to me. 

Now if only they would make a movie explaining what toys did when we are not looking, we’d be set.


Distracted-What I’ve Been Watching on Netflix #2

OMG I’M SO SORRY TO NEGLECT THIS BLOG FOREVER. 

I’ve been watching a lot of stuff on Netflix and ***real TV*** now that I’m back at home and also I’ve been reading some!

On Netflix:

Sister Wives-the first two seasons. I know what you’re thinking. Judge me all you want. I deserve it, but I also really like this show!

Battlestar Galactica: RLW and I started watching this and we just finished episode 8 of the first season. This show is totally living up to all the hype I’ve heard about it! 

The Stand: I’m about halfway through this three part miniseries based on the Stephen King novel (I read it right when I got back to WA-so good). It has Rob Lowe and I am in love with him. 

On TV: 

Amish Out of Order: guys this is a National Geographic show so it is seriously legitimate reality TV. I’ve learned a lot about the ex-amish community and I’ve really enjoyed it (shout out to Little Blue for recommending it).

Legend of Korra: I’ve actually been watching this online but guys it is SO good. I have a lot of feelings about this show so maybe stay tuned for a season wrap up???

Bunheads: I was pretty on the fence about watching this before it premiered, but it really has ended up being a lovely summer show. I love all the relationships and it has a sweetness that seems to be missing from television lately. 

And of course Teen Mom, Pretty Little Liars, and all the other usuals. 

As far as reading goes, like I mentioned earlier, I’ve read The Stand which was fantastic! I also enjoyed Moloka’i which is a book about leprosy and I really like things about leprosy. And I just started Infinite Jest. 


I’m Tied to a Tree in a Jungle of Mystery

This is me being embarrassed by my inexcusable lack of writing/posting for the last three months or so. BUT GUESS WHAT. I’m watching Lost again. So what we have here is a Lost post which will soon be followed by a post outlining other stuff I’ve been watching! 

This time on Chelly’s Lost Adventure, I watched The Moth and Confidence Man. 

The Moth

So the survivors are divided into their two camps, some on the beach and some by the caves. In this episode Locke gives Charlie the ol’ drug speech and tells him that he can ask for his drugs three times. The first two times, Locke will refuse to give them to him, but on the third time, if Charlie really wants them, he can have them. Charlie asks for them twice but then silly Jack gets trapped in a collapsed cave (whoops guess they aren’t so safe) (also when you google ‘Lost Jack in Cave’ this comes up) and Charlie ends up going in to rescue him. 

We learn a lot about Charlie in this episode and boy, does he have lumps on the inside! He asks for his drugs a THIRD time but then it’s okay cause he’s all sweaty and throws his drugs in the fire. I am very enticed by his relationship with his brother and the whole band situation. Also in general I just really feel for Charlie. 

Oh also there is some ish going on with Sayid and the transmitter and he gets hit in the head at the end of the episode. 

Confidence Man


In this episode Sawyer is accused of hoarding Shannon’s asthma medication, Sayid attempts to torture the information out of him and eventually Sawyer agrees to tell Kate where he hid the medicine, as long as she kisses him. **Um I’m just saying that Kate’s hesitation about this is ridiculous-have you seen Sawyer?!** So she does and COME TO FIND OUT Sawyer doesn’t have the asthma medicine. 

Meanwhile, in the caves, Sun crushes some plants together (Eucalyptus) and rubs it on Shannon and it helps! 

In the flashbacks we learn that Sawyer was a con man and in present day we learn that his family was destroyed by a con man named Sawyer and Sawyer assumed that man’s name (Sawyer isn’t Sawyer). 

I really like Sawyer but this episode was hard to watch because I really don’t like con men (who does, amirite) and also the torture seen featured my biggest fear ever AKA stuff being shoved under fingernails. Also Sayid tells Kate he is going to leave and map out the island, I hope this is true because he is driving me crazy! And finally, my love for Hurley grows more and more with each episode. 


I Should Have Already Seen this Movie: #5- Dazed And Confused

Sometimes I forget I wrote 75% of a blog post and then I spend a weekend on the west coast listening to Oldies Radio in Chelly’s car and then I remember to finish my blog post.

Why I should have already seen Dazed and Confused:

  • In a situation similar to my Fight Club situation, I know Matthew McConaughey as the male lead in The Wedding Planner (brown M&Ms! …or something) (and now Uncle Sam! or something), and therefore am not really into it when he shows up in Eastbound And Down because I’m like “What’s this Prettyface doing here”
  • In a situation similar to the above situation, I’m embarrassed that out of all Richard Linklater’s films, I have only seen School of Rock (*celloooo you have a [girl who played the] bass [went to high school with me for like a year lol]), and am highlighting the mental note I have to watch Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly
  • From the Wikipedia “Legacy” section:  Entertainment Weekly ranked DaC #17 on “Top 50 Cult Films” and #6 on “Cult 25: The Essential Left-Field Movie Hits Since ‘83”. Quentin Tarantino included it in his top 12 films on a Sight & Sound poll.
  • I cut together my understanding of being young in the 1970’s from that one picture of my mom with long, straight hair in her Cat Stevens shirt combined with movies like Dazed and Confused, so, like, this is me learning lessons.

THE PREMISE:

It’s the first night of summer and the new high school seniors want to beat up the new freshmen, but also hang out with them if they are cool! Also Pink doesn’t want to sign a stupid contract, because he wants to be able to do drugs.

MY FEELINGS:

There are only three things I can ever remember my mom turning off as we were watching them together. The first is an episode of classic Adam West Batman, which she thought was ridiculous and begged me to switch it to The Simpsons. The second is the pilot of Weeds, which we got from Blockbuster together and watched half of before she decided she didn’t want me watching anymore.  The third is Dazed and Confused, which my brother and I were watching on television when Mom came in, saw Parker Posey yelling “Bitches!”/”Sluts!” at a bunch of girls sucking on pacifiers, and asked if this was really appropriate for him to be showing me.  

So maybe some of that assumed “inappropriateness” had stuck around when I went to see Dazed and Confused with Caitlin the other day (It was second in a double feature with Wet Hot American Summer! A fantastic, slightly more satisfactory pairing than the Zombieland/Shaun of the Dead double feature we saw last month.) The hazing stuff still freaked me out—and luckily not something I have ever experienced because I was a 2000’s Catholic high school-that-was-far-from-my-house teenager.  

After the hazing parts, though, I got pretty into the movie. It had a pretty sick ensemble cast that clearly all contributed to the movie (I’m looking at you, Mark from RENT), featured an awesome character haircut guy that is Matthew McConaughey, conveyed a very “slice of life” story that is not very easy for me to make comments about it because I want to be like honestly just watch it but that is not how blogging works. A lot of what I’ve read about this film comments on how it is a pop culture anthropology lesson, and although I know it is life-to-a-T for many grown-ups (and life-to-a-junior-not-completely-but-sorta-t for suburban kids my age), for me Dazed and Confused was a window into a situation unfamiliar to me, with reflections of familiarity coming through at the I-don’t-know-where-this-metaphor-is-going. I came, I saw, I learned, I hung out in a place with air conditioning for four hours (it is so HOT outside, y’know? because SUMMER), I got to watch the movie with not too many interruptions besides everyone’s “Woot”s when Matthew McConaughey entered the picture, I got MM and Bradley Cooper confused for at least a couple hot seconds because anything goes at summertime double features guys!

Other things I liked: when everyone listened to “Low Rider” and Caitlin leaned over to whisper something about George Lopez in my ear, the way that MM says he likes redheads, the fact that I pseudo-‘get’ this movie now and wouldn’t have at the beginning of high school (even thought this movie is about the beginning of high school!) so maybe it is for the best that Mom stopped me from watching it back then, the fact that BAM I just made the end of this post sorta touching and cute so I am done, FIN


I Should Have Already Seen this Movie: #4- NETWORK

Returning from an absence of blogging because summer is for watching movies that I have not seen before, like today I watched Network (on the Netflix)!!!!

Why I should have already seen Network:

  • Things Dad said as he walked intermittently through the living room where I was watching (all very accurate): This is one of the best movies ever made, Put a computer and a newer-looking telephone on the desk and this movie could have been made yesterday, This movie was made before cable television so before any of this crap was a real thing.
  • But seriously, this movie addresses a whole lot of things that didn’t exist yet—things that later turned up in real life in the form of Jerry Springer, Long Island Medium, and a million other programs—which is incredible and terrifying and incredibly terrifying 
  • I live in New York, which is not the same as 70’s New York, so I build a lot of my understanding of 70’s New York based on what I see in dramas like Taxi Driver and also Woody Allen movies
  • This year especially I have finally begun to understand networks and ratings
  • "I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore"—aka the Network rant—is important in society (or at least the hallways of society that I frequent), in Aaron Sorkin’s programming (hey, Newsroom premieres tonight!) and also on jumbotrons at sporting events.  Also in conversations with Dad. 

THE PREMISE:

In the midst of the 1976 economic recession and ratings decline, soon-to-be-retired news anchor Howard Beale rants inappropriately on the air, which horrifies everyone until a jump in ratings inspires the network to take advantage of his insanity by giving him his own show specifically for apocalyptic rants.  Which works until he takes it too far.

MY FEELINGS:

As (probably) per usual, Dad was right.  I went into this movie with medium-high expectations (medium only because I was sleepy, and this movie’s kinda long), and I was intensely satisfied.

One thing I found interesting was the experience of watching a movie where you are familiar with just one part.  Every instance that Beale was on the air, I was expecting to see “the Network rant”, but instead got little bits leading up to a bigger moment.  When THE rant actually happened, I… cried. The context of the whole movie combined with the intensity of the moment (watching people scream out their windows is intense!) produced wells of tears in my eyeball pockets and I tried not to look at my dad because I was embarassed. Shortly after this scene, you see the same kinds of people who were just yelling out their windows moved to the studio audience, screaming the same “I’m mad as hell” but with completely vacant looks on their faces. Moments like this made Network awesomely funny while also heartrending and upsetting—I think I’m just describing satire. I think Network is one of the best, most on-the-nose satires I’ve ever seen.

At first I felt like head-of-Programming Diana’s romance with fired-head-of-News Max was kind of out of place, but then it yielded some of the funniest parts of the movie.  In one scene, Diana talks about programming throughout the entirety of her and Max having sex, finishing as she lays her head on his chest, whispering “What about a homosexual soap opera—Dykes…"  Her pseudo-robotic I-cannot-love-I-can-only-program-television made me laugh while also making me nervous about my ability to connect to humankind.  Which was okay because everyone knows THE BEST LAUGHS ARE NERVOUS LAUGHS.

Diana also pitches and implements the Mao-Tse Sung Hour, a docudrama series following a radical terrorist group called the Ecumenical Liberation Army (based on the real-life Symbionese Liberation Army that operated in the 70’s) which ends up being one of the most upsetting and hilarious (upsettingly hilarious? I’m just gonna keep doing this with adjectives) subplots in the movie. Once again, I think I’m just describing the concept of satire, but moments like the afro’d Communist lady telling terrorist leader Ahmed Khan “They gonna make a TV Star outta you, just like Archie Bunker! You gonna be a household word” and twenty minutes later Khan and other terrorists sitting in a circle with network executives as they read through contracts—I liked these parts because they made me laugh so hard, despite having a serious aesthetic—not just deadpan, almost a step further than deadpan. 

Any complaints I had with the movie—that Diana and Max’s romance was unnecessary, or that I couldn’t see how the terrorist reality series fit in with the main plot—were put to rest by the end of the movie as I once again found my eyes pouring out pails of water. I really liked Network.


I Should Have Already Seen this Movie: #3- FIGHT CLUB

Hi, how are you I haven’t talked to y’all in so lo—GUYS I WATCHED FIGHT CLUB FOR THE 1ST TIME/ LIKE TWO WEEKS AGO/ THIS IS SOMETHING.

Why I should have already seen Fight Club:

  • I am almost not a teenager anymore so why haven’t I seen it already?
  • When I say that I haven’t seen Fight Club, a lot of people tell me that they want to watch me watch it so they can see my initial reaction.
  • To me Edward Norton = The Illusionist/ the guy who I never saw play the Hulk, and Brad Pitt = a bunch of sort of silly roles / that one lady’s fiancé, and Helena Bonham Carter = mismatched shoes.  I know that to everyone else these actors are “badass” or “absurdly talented” or “etc.” and have long felt out of this loop.
  • ALL of the references and ALL of the Tumblr posts and ALL of life.
  • But actually things that reference Fight Club: WoW, Neopets, things that are neither WoW nor Neopets
  • I have no reference point on Chuck Palahniuk at all despite the fact that I know he is important and I know that a movie is not the best way to familiarize yourself with a book-writer but still (but still)
  • I like the Pixies

THE PREMISE:

A nameless blue-collar guy discovers a cure for his insomnia through physical violence and starts an underground Fight Club with a stranger. (Hijinx ensue!)

MY FEELINGS:

As a whole, I liked the movie.  Somewhere in the middle of it, I decided that this must be the edgier Shawshank Redemption* or something.  Which is to say I can’t imagine anyone straight-up saying they dislike Fight Club.  It seems that everyone I’ve met—everyone who watched it with me, talked to me about it before I watched, or listened to me talk about it after I watched—either likes the movie a whole lot or thinks it’s a pretty okay thing.  Which is interesting—I get that it was a controversial movie in 1999 and that there are some messed up situations of kids trying to emulate the movie.  Also, it’s about an underground Fight Club.  

I think a lot of why people like it has to do with the acting.  Brad Pitt was good but I found his outfits distracting, Helena Bonham Carter was obvs intense, and Ed Norton was soo good and I really like Ed Norton now and yeah that’s it.

SPOILERS AHEAD, I guess… as I watched the movie, I came up with my idea of the movie’s “moral”.  And then two weeks happened, and I forgot what that moral I came up with was—I think it was something vague, like “Don’t be boring, and let out your anger/ God doesn’t really love you"—I didn’t completely get it at the time.  But I mention this because at the point halfway through the movie when I noticed the narrator was just repeating a lot of things that Tyler said and I asked if Tyler was just part of the narrator’s imagination and Beth and Ray just pretended to ignore me even though I was pretty correct, I wondered what becomes of the moral (or "theme" as regular adults probably call it).  I think it just stays the same but is just amplified, because it is not the narrator’s acquaintance giving him life lessons but rather it is himself.  On a personal level, though, I wasn’t sure that the theme was something I was into (because I want to be a special snowflake, gosh darn it!) and so I kind of molded it like playdoh according to my own needs, made it into a “Express yourself [through violence?]!” lesson, but moreso a “Consume [sometimes violent] pop culture” lesson. 

Idk.  I’m glad I watched it.

*Now I am imagining that maybe Morgan Freeman is just a figment of Tim Robbins’ imagination and he really escapes from jail all on his own and I don’t remember how that movie ends but do they play the Pixies at the end of it?
PS:

As a final note, if nothing else, this.