Blind Spot Series 2016

Ryan at The Matinee checks out films once a month that he should have seen a long time ago, but never did. Somewhere along the line, this became a yearly challenge that so many people participated in. I joined the Blind Spot Series in 2015 and watched a ton of movies, both very good and very bad, but all that I can finally tick off on my watch list. The sense of accomplishment that I felt when it was all said and done was immense, and hence has prompted me to do this once again this year! Here are my twelve picks for the upcoming year:

Insomnia (2002)

insomnia 2002 poster

SYNOPSIS: Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn’t set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen. – via IMDB

I am a Nolan junkie, as I am sure you guys know by now. I think the man is an utter genius when it comes to film, and yet I have never actually gotten around to seeing Insomnia, despite it being helmed by Nolan and sporting a cast led by Al Pacino and Robin Williams. This is something that I need to remedy effective immediately.

Let The Right One In (2008)

let the right one in poster

SYNOPSIS: Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl. – via IMDB

A movie that piqued my interest ages ago and then just ended up on my huge, dreaded to-watch list, and no matter how many times it was recommended again and again, and how many people tried to persuade me of its awesomeness, I just never got around to it, and every time I see someone write about it or something I cringe. I am over cringing!

The Breakfast Club (1985)


SYNOPSIS: Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they though – via IMDB

This one is here partly because of Table Nine Mutant’s love for it, and after I participated in her John Hughes blogathon an age ago, I figured I would really, really like to understand the cult status this movie possesses, even if I don’t like it. I want to at least be able to say “oh  yeah, that movie” and know what I am talking about, not duck my head in shame and run with the defense of “at least I have seen Ferris” (which sucks, by the way).

Oldboy (2003)

oldboy 2003 poster

SYNOPSIS: After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days. – via IMDB

Film Club once did the 2013 remake for Oldboy, and while I enjoyed it more than anyone else did, I vowed that I would have to see the original to understand why it got so much flak, and because I was interested in seeing how it compared to the original for me, and see if I would still like the remake. The best laid plans, you know? Well, this is the year that I am going to compare them!

On The Waterfront (1954)

on the waterfront poster

SYNOPSIS: An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. – via IMDB

A film that has a lot of love and praise heaped on it all the time and by everyone, and I haven’t seen that. I guess that is sort of the point of these Blind Spot picks, right? I have always wanted to watch it. So now I will.

Into The Wild (2007)

into the wild poster

SYNOPSIS: After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life. – via IMDB

I have always meant to and it just never happened (recurring theme, I know). That’s all I have to say about that.

Swingers (1996)

swingers posters

SYNOPSIS: Wannabe actors become regulars in the stylish neo-lounge scene; Trent teaches his friend Mike the unwritten rules of the scene.- via IMDB

I like Vince Vaughn. There, I said it. Granted, he hasn’t actually done anything really good recently aside from True Detective season two (and the show itself wasn’t the greatest), but whatever. I also enjoy Jon Favreau’s work a lot. People always ask if I have seen Swingers. I always wince and say I haven’t.

Billy Elliot (2000)

billy elliot poster

SYNOPSIS: A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family. – via IMDB

This movie was huge when I was in primary school and it came out. It was on every magazine and newspaper in the damned country, and there were interviews up the wazoo on television and people raged and it went right over my head because I was way more interested in Potter and my books and my magical little worlds. But now I am older and I wonder what all the hype was about concerning a young boy in a tutu. Guess I am going to find out.

Moon (2009)

moon poster

SYNOPSIS: Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems. – via IMDB

A highly praised film that most claim touts of Sam Rockwell’s greatest performances, definitely bumping it up the old watch list this year so that I can agree or disagree with the aforementioned statement.

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

it's a wonderful life poster

SYNOPSIS: An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. – via IMDB

I keep hearing about this movie, reading about it, seeing it everywhere, and yet I have never seen this widely regarded holiday classic, which is actually just inexcusable.

True Romance (1993)

true romance poster

SYNOPSIS: Clarence marries hooker Alabama, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood, while the owners of the coke try to reclaim it. – via IMDB

True Romance has so many talented people attached to it, which begs the question of why, if it has so many things that win points for me to make me want to see it, have I not yet seen it? Examples: Brad Pitt? Gary Oldman? Christopher Walken? Samuel L Jackson? Val Kilmer? A score by Hans Zimmer? Written by the sharp and witty Tarantino? You get the picture, so I will stop right there.

Chinatown (1974)

chinatown poster

SYNOPSIS: A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder. – via IMDB

Neo-noir mystery? Old school Jack Nicholson? Private eyes and murder, spans of mystery? Never had time to get to it (this theme)? The one I saw floating around on Netflix the other day and guiltily remembered that it was high time I got to it? The one that haunts me? Yep, this is the one!

Review: Fight Club: A Novel – Chuck Palahniuk

fight club cover

(if you have somehow managed to avoid this story since the book release in 1996 and the movie in 1999)

Someone tells us their life story. They are boring, bland, and unfulfilled. They are an insomniac, but their life is about to take a turn for the best and the worst. The Narrator has issues sleeping, blurred lines between reality and his brain resting for a few minutes. His doctor tells him to go to a support group to see what real issues look like. Real issues, life and death issues, not insomnia. At one of these meetings, the narrator finds the cure to his insomnia: the release that a support group offers. He comes, he listens, he meditates, they share, they cry, he can sleep. He seems to have the perfect little arrangement, until one day Marla Singer arrives, completely ruining his perfect little antidote to the sleepless nights he has been suffering. Marla appears at all of his support groups, stripping him of his ability to cry, to exhaust and free himself, to purchase his sleep… they have got to split up the support groups so that he can sleep again.

Travelling around the country as a product recall specialist for a car company, the Narrator suffers from severe jet lag, the guilty party for the insomnia he suffers. On a business trip he meets Tyler Durden, a man with a free soul, a whole new outlook on life, not limited or set back by anything. He is enigmatic and charming. Returning home, the Narrator learns that his condominium has blown up, and not having anyone to call, he calls Tyler, asking him if he can stay there. Having a few drinks at the bar, the Narrator and Tyler get into a fight, and both feel gratified by the end of it. Moving in together, the two eventually form a fight club, where other men meet with them for fights, somewhere they can all earn their release. The club has a specific set of rules.

Marla eventually attempts to contact the Narrator when she notices that he has not been attending any of his support groups, and gets Tyler to save her instead when she threatens to have overdosed on Xanax. Her and Tyler enter into a sexual relationship, truly peeving the Narrator. He wants Tyler, Marla wants Tyler, he wants Marla gone. It seems that she will not go. Later, though, the Narrator begins to question whether Tyler and Marla aren’t the same person, seeing as they are never seen together. Tyler and the Narrator run their fight club, which is rapidly blossoming and branching out, becoming something so big and vast they are losing track of it. They are making soap from their home and selling it to the rich, and later Tyler turns their house into the home base for Project Mayhem, a little thing he has put together for members of fight club. This, too, is governed by its own unique set of rules. Tyler is spreading his anti-consumerist ideas, creating a  following, all the meanwhile moving further and further away from the Narrator, who has slipped back into extreme states of insomnia, suffering heavily from it at work. Project Mayhem is becoming increasingly destructive, and the Narrator is not comfortable with that, but is also dealing with the fact that he cannot get in touch with Tyler anymore, who seems to have bigger plans at hand.

What is going on with fight club? Do Tyler and the Narrator have any power of what happens with fight club anymore? When will Project Mayhem come to a close? How far can it be pushed until there isn’t any control anymore? Will the Narrator find Tyler? What is the deal between Tyler and Marla? Will the Narrator be able to rest again sometime soon?

GRADE 8This was definitely a solid book, well written and well presented. It was a different read, a trip into someone else’s mind. It was definitely well written and captivating from the get go. Naturally, there are differences from the movie (I know that many will ask if the comparison is not put up here), but I must say that the book was fantastic and the movie was a simply phenomenal adaption of it, differences and all (though they certainly weren’t overly massive or deal breakers). The narrator referring to all the fight club members as space monkeys later on amused me, and reading what the narrator had to say about his life and his perceptions was interesting. Tyler Durden was a cool character, though he was certainly not all together upstairs. Not because he was necessarily loopy or anything like that, but just because he was a little out of touch with reality. The narrator was a sad character, being walked on by other people and alright with it, though I must also point out that he was also quite a douche. Then there is the issue of Marla, who is definitely cooked in the head, no two ways about it. The way that the narrator treats her is awful, though at the same time we understand his childish ways and why he does what he does. Knowing the big reveal changed my perception of the big reveal in the book, though I liked the execution of the narrator starting to wonder if Tyler and Marla were the same people, and later basically being told point blank he was Tyler Durden, but at the same time not really buying into that. I thought the reveal was handled a little better in the movie, it really hits you deeply and out of nowhere, whereas all the time in the book it is hinted at. Palahniuk is a pretty damn good writer, though this is the only book I have read, it has certainly inspired me to check out some of his other work.