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Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Interstellar Review and The New Norm For Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of all time. I will blindly go see any movie the man makes. Hell, I went to see Man of Steel in part because his name was attached to it. It was my blind faith that I even went to see Interstellar in the theaters at all. Nolan was coming off of his worst movie since his debut of Following, The Dark Knight Rises, and the trailers made Interstellar seem horrible and boring as shit. I was neither looking forward to nor excited to see Interstellar. But this was still a Christopher Nolan film, and as such, I needed to go see it.

And bow howdy am I glad I did.

The reason I will go see any movie that Christopher Nolan makes is because between 2000 and 2010, the director had one of the greatest runs in the history of American cinema. You would have never guessed that a man responsible for the 1998 indie film Following would go off on the hot streak that Nolan did. (At one point, and it still might be, Following was streaming on Netflix. I watched the first half hour of it and I had to turn it off because it was so bad and it was not compelling).

Why The Hunger Games Represents The Best of the Young Adult Adaptations

I'm going to go on the record and say that I enjoy The Hunger Games franchise. They're not great movies by any stretch of the imagination, but they're mind-numbingly enjoyable as shit. Now I most certainly am not a fan of all movies that are adaptions of YA novels, but I do enjoy The Hunger Games. I think I like the franchise so much because it fills the void that Harry Potter left behind. As a man in his late 20's, I grew up on Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released when I was 10, the movie adaptation was released when I was 14, and the 8th and final film came out when I was 24. The Harry Potter books and films have literally been a part of half of my entire life.

The Harry Potter franchise works because it fulfills that innate desire that we all have to want to be destined for something better, especially among little kids. As a young boy, the character Harry Potter was not only told that he's a wizard, but he's the child of two extremely popular and skilled wizards and that he defeated THE most powerful wizard known to wizard-kind. Harry Potter was not only famous in the wizard world, but he was wealthy beyond his wildest imagination. Harry Potter was an incredible athlete, would constantly get away with rule-breaking (and often get rewarded for it), and ended up saving an entire civilization. What little kid reading a book series like this wouldn't be enchanted and compelled by this world? The Harry Potter franchise gave you hope that you could be whisked away into another world where your best wishes are granted.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why Nightcrawler Is The Better, Improved Version Of Gone Girl

There are a lot of similarities between David Fincher's Gone Girl and Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler: both star a career-best performance by their A-list leading man, both are a dark, twisted tale brought on by a sociopath, and both are a scathing satire on the relationship Americans have with the media. The only difference is that Gone Girl is directed by an experienced director with a rookie screenwriter, whereas Nightcrawler is directed by a first-time director with a veteran screenwriter. While we like to think as movies as the director's forum (whereas TV is the writer's playground), the reality is that if you do not have a great, or even good script, there's nothing even the best directors can do to tell a masterful story.

That's the main problem with Gone Girl. While David Fincher is at his best in his latest film, and he probably does some of the best directing work of his career, Gone Girl is just an average movie. There's nothing that Fincher could have done to save Gillian Flynn's script, and in fact, Flynn's script in the hands of almost every other director is a flat out bad movie. It is not that Flynn is a bad screenwriter, it's that her original story (Flynn also wrote the book Gone Girl) is so bonkers, bat-shit crazy that I'm surprised it ever became popular enough as a book to get Hollywood's attention. You can read my full review of Gone Girl here.