Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Summer Movie Reviews

Everybody thought Fight Club was pretty down, right? Chuck Palahniuk has got to be one of the most irreverent contemporary writers I have encountered. He makes me laugh, albeit uncomfortably. You know, like when you find yourself laughing while his characters make a**es of themselves? You shouldn't laugh, but like an itch you can't scratch, everything is futile.

Choke is a funny book. Not as great as Fight Club, but y'know, amusing. The story is about Victor who pretends to choke as a part-time job. I think I made a review about the book already. Interestingly, it is now on film with Sam Rockwell in the lead role. I know I should be bored with most of it, but Sam Rockwell is good. He makes the unlikeable character actually like-able. Score that one point down for the anti-hero. I don't remember laughing out loud during the film, there were parts which were quite explicit and crude. But it was really more of the tongue-in-cheek humor variety. But Victor wasn't meant to be protrayed so sweet. The story lost some of its edginess because they toned Palahniuk down a bit. But well, it made it watch-able, at least in my opinion.

Watch if you want to find a life more miserable than yours.

Well, what do you know? Hollywood managed to make me watch a Nicolas Cage film voluntarily.

Obviously, I'm not a Cage-r. When people say he is one of the most intense actors around, I agree. But I also make clear that his is a type of intensity I don't care to watch. I know he can act, but his voice and his stare feels all so very wooden to me. He was okay in City of Angels because he is supposed to look and feel strange, but when he's playing real people, it just don't cut it.

But Knowing i did watch. I like the premise of the story. It asks one of the greater effing “What if?” I could ever imagine. So, what if, your son gets a kind of numerical listing of all the dates and locations of the world’s biggest tragedies for the last 50 years AND the very short future? Well, that’s what John got. An astrophysicist by profession, in effing MIT no less, and yet he keeps making stupid choices with the gift / curse that somehow made its way to him.

Cases in point:

  1. Somehow you knew an accident will happen in New York tomorrow, so you go and notify the police. Understandable. But you also have to consider that people might not understand how you got the information; some might even think you’re a terrorist. So why would you go to New York and start haranguing the police why the place you indicated still hasn’t been cordoned off? Of course they’ll want to get their hands on you.

  2. Somehow, you figured out that the world is about to end because it lies directly in the path of one huge solar flare. Astrophysicists may not be geologists, but even fifth graders know that hiding inside caves will not save you. So why would a professor in MIT even suggest it?

There was also another character in the story why just made my bristles stand up on end. She’s the daughter of the first psychic, and now she’s also got a daughter of her own to protect. She works with Cage to figure out how to save themselves but turns ballistic in the end. She couldn’t wait five effing minutes for Cage to finish what he is doing, and she makes off with the children in an effort to go to the caves. Stupid. Moronic. I’m glad she died in the film. Whoever wrote the script has a very mean view of our intelligence as humans. I felt like I was being patronized and led on at the same time.

So when they got to the out of this world ending, I just didn’t care anymore. I just wanted it to end so my brain cells may live again. They’ve stretched my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point and beyond.

So here’s my mixed review: Not disgusting, but not good. Worth renting the video, but probably not paying for the theater experience.

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