9/19/2006

"Where Is My Mind?" (Pixies, Surfer Rosa)

There's an odd little comment from the most random fan I've ever accumulated, ever, on the comments of yesterday's post, Lizziebeth-1 from Sydney. (Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oy Oy Oy.) Read it for yourself, but basically, Lizziebeth read a user comment I posted way back in October 1999 on the IMDB comments for Fight Club when I first saw it at a premiere screening Edward Norton introduced. Me, a doe-eyed freshman. Fragments from my not-terribly-well-written IMDB comment (I wasn't exactly attempting my A-material here):

"This film owes a lot to The Game, David Fincher's last movie, in that it ends up with a complex plot that is solved a little too easily and non-logically...the movie basically builds up to a climax that just doesn't resolve much, and then resolves that with a further illogical ending. The laughs along the way are not for the faint of heart or those who don't appreciate black comedy, but they are the highlights of the film...[It's not] the combination of nihilism and comedy doesn't send the movie into mediocrity. It's when the movie turns serious that it starts to turn sour, as the plot twists out of control and a strange comedy turns into just another movie in the Seven/The Game/The Matrix genre of stylish, mindless violence..."

Lizziebeth wondered how I felt about this old opinion of mine, and I think she sides on the non-fan side here. I do too, but not as much as I thought I did. The movie is more a disappointment than it is a failure. But it got me to thinking about pieces of pop I never really liked even though some of my friends did, or did even if some friends of mine didn't. Opinions are like assholes; they need regular cleaning. Here's some revisions on my first opinions.

FIGHT CLUB
--A movie I ended up watching several more times, by accident more than design, especially when it was on my parents' satellite TV as I sat, bored as hell, at the old home in Mexico City. I also read the book a couple years ago, and lemme tell you, the Jim Uhls' screenplay was perfect insomuch as that raggedy-ass book is written like a screenplay, which is irritating in nonmovie form.

The first act, from The Narrator's insomnia to the very first punch that starts fight club, might actually be one of my favorite pieces of movie. It deteriorates later. A work that can't decide if it's against some ill-defined elements of our tamed society or against those who violently oppose them...or for that matter, what it actually thinks of violence and its necessity(/nonnecessity?)...well, it's just sorta fucked. Pretty well-directed and acted though. I think I blame Chuck P.

then: "...the fuck?"
now: "30% awesome, and nice use of the Pixies over the credits."


GHOST DOG: WAY OF THE SAMURAI
--Like all Jim Jarmusch movies, it's deliberate, sometimes a bit too much so, which is probably why some friends of mine slept through this. I love the transposition of samurai principles to hitman ways, the portrait of a weary, pathetic organized crime family left operating out of the back of a Chinese restaurant, the performances by Forest Whitaker (making the most out of few lines), as well as That Haitian Guy and That Italian Guy Who Loves Flavor Flav. The latter character is just awesome.

then: "I'm going to buy The Code of the Samurai and Rashomon and Other Stories right now, because this awesome movie bigged them up."
now: "I don't need to rewatch it again, six times later, but don't you talk shit about this flick. Did I mention the RZA did the music??"


THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU
--It's the most Wes Anderson movie Wes Anderson could make, and that's not a good thing. I love The Royal Tenenbaums, one of about three movies that made me cry in the last eight years, but Life Aquatic just uses the bells and whistles to no particular effect. Cate Blanchett is awesome as the pregnant journalist; Bill Murray enters OverLaconicLand. Perhaps Bill Ghostbustin-Ass Murray wasn't just acting stoned.

then: "Eh."
now: "Eh."


LUNA: RENDEZVOUS
--Lazy, unfocused, not terribly hooky, boring music by a bored band minus the amazing song "Astronaut," which sounded better when it appeared on the Close Cover Before Striking EP. But it is good background music for making out.

then: "Why am I so tired?"
now: "I need to either sell this record, get a girlfriend, or both."

That was fun. Imagine what would happen if I received comments a little more often than Terence Malick released movies.

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