Monday, July 28, 2008 | 11:26
darkly daring drama
I would assume that most people would have gone out and watch this little movie called 'The Dark Knight' by now already. Like so many others, there would be millions of blog posts out there discussing the movie, its thought provoking struggles, the actors' performances, and the direction of the film. I might or might not talk about them here. There will be spoilers throughout so take heed. Or not.

One of my favourite scenes in the whole movie was actually the "disappearing pencil trick" scene that the Joker did in the beginning of the movie. I almost let out a tiny shriek but managed to keep it in for the sake of the packed theater. It was definitely one of those moments where you don't know whether to laugh or cry or scream, so you nervously snicker and smile but think at the back of your head that that was just so disturbing you actually laughed. From that moment on, you knew that TDK was not going to be just another Batman movie. It's not even just another superhero film. I can sing all the praises in the world for this movie but I think the rest of the world has already done that. It goes beyond of what you would expect from a superhero movie and creates another class of it that enters the epic and classic and reinvents our usual perception of the loud, blasse, empty, and air popped popcorn filled categories of superhero films. I definitely want to watch it again in an IMAX theater to savour the whole experience again.

I loved almost every moment in the movie. Except for those with the Rachel character in them. I actually found out that she was going to die before I watched the movie so I didn't really care and I still don't. She was a waste of script and film eating into the other main characters' screen time. I never knew what to expect from every scene to the next which kept me excited, intrigued, and riveted throughout most of the time. I say most of the time, because at two and a half hours, I think it might have been a little too drawn out and could have cut down a bit more of the melodrama played out specifically by the Rachel person. I may be biased but I really did not enjoy those Rachel moments at all. All I was there for was Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart, whom were all awesome in their own way. Christian looked hot as usual, both in and out of the Bat suit and subtly brilliant, Heath owned the Joker and became the Joker that that was not even Heath anymore but the Joker, and Aaron was wonderful in orchestrating the degeneration of Dent to Two Face seamlessly. Gary Oldman also deserves praise for playing a great character so well. He is Jim Gordon and I can't see anyone else be Gordon anymore in possible future Batman movies. It was quite creepy to watch Heath Ledger's last performance on screen with him being not in this world anymore and I can definitely understand why so many have loved him and really Heath made TDK. Heath made every scene he was in his, and delivered on such promise that it's a crying shame that we cannot see him anymore except on screen.

The story was told really well that it was not bogged down by the craziness of the Joker's antics or the insane goings-on with the Batman trying to keep the city together while it's tearing itself apart with crime. The action sequences were really quite awesome and amazingly well executed. The Nolan team totally reinvented the Batman movies and created two movies worthy of being the equivalent of what the comics and animated shows have portrayed Batman to be so far. Dark, moody, dangerous, and simply stunning all the way. I would love to watch a third movie be realized but the question of whether the Joker will return is so up in the air, it's scary. The ending left open a good storyline to take place next so that would be very interesting as to who the villain would be to terrorise Batman next. There's really no one that could take Ledger's performance and improve anymore on that. It's totally unfathomable to me. But that's just me. As long as the Nolan team are in the next Batman movie, I'm sure there's nothing to worry about.
Jill |

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | 16:28
feet first
I am Jill's obsessive compulsive disorder.

"When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep and you're never really awake."

It's been almost a week since I first watched 'Fight Club'. The movie is on right now for the sixth time as I'm writing this. I don't know how long this compulsion might last but while it does, I should try to convey my thoughts and feelings about this film and its apparently nihilistic ideals before it goes away and I have nothing left to make of it.

If you're wondering why I'm writing in an odd form of the third person, I suggest you just run with it because only those who've watched the movie will understand the significance of it. I hope that's enough to intrigue you already to get the DVD. I can't guarantee that this will be a spoiler free zone so read at your own risk. Like I don't have to tell you that already.

Before I go further, I would like to once again heap praises upon Edward Norton's and Brad Pitt's performances in this movie. Like I said in my previous post, I can't get enough of Edward and especially his brilliant portrayal of the melancholic and
complicated narrator as he goes on a downward spiral journey of self destruction and enlightenment. Norton as the narrator is convincingly depressed, confused, sardonic and quite hilarious at times throughout the movie. Norton and Brad make one of the best on screen pair I've seen in a long time. They play each other off so well, that when the twist ending is revealed, it seems too unbelievable and yet we stay with it because it's too good to be true.

I am Jill's complete lack of absolution.

"If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?"

There are some times in my life that I feel and act like a slightly different person than who I really am. No one really is the wiser but sometimes there are some deviations from the norm and they pick up the little nuances. I don't totally change my mannerisms or language or personality, it's just that I would on some days be nicer or nastier than I would on other days. People change and mature over time and not simply overnight. That would just be insane, now won't it.

Could a person deliberately do something so drastic just to change their life? I don't know if I could purposefully destroy all my worldly possessions, give up my comfortable life, just to realign my perspective on life and open my eyes to what I've been hiding myself from the whole time. If you talk to yourself, does that mean you're a crazy person and just trying to live vicariously through another personality and person to escape the rudimentary. To go against the grain of what the media and the commercial has us believe what we would want to be and do and let the pieces of what remained in your life fall into place on its own, is what 'Fight Club' subscribes to. I don't wholeheartedly agree with the nihilistic opinions and dilapidated states of the characters' lives but it definitely is something to opine over and ponder its deeper meanings.

I had a very strange dream last night which ended with me waking up in the middle of the night with a cold sweat and my heart racing. It was like my brain was pumping acid through out my body and all I could do was lay there and try to calm down this sudden panic attack. I don't know why such a strange sensation was induced or even what I had dreamed to maybe cause it. The good news, is that I managed to go back to sleep after only five minutes of it. Nevertheless, it is very disturbing but it could have resulted from having watched 'Fight Club' a bit too many times.

I am Jill's eyes wide open.

"On a long enough time-line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero."

Watching this movie is not going to save your life. Nor will it change, alter, enlighten or make a 180 degrees turn on your own self worth, motivations, perceptions on life, and esteem issues. In all probabilities, it won't change a thing that you might see in yourself, your life and in others as well. When you wake up, nothing would have changed. Your problems wouldn't be solved and you will have to go through the same routine again. If it does, then good on you. But for the most highly and likely of outcomes, watching this film could just simply blow your mind and allow you think a little bit more than you did the day before.

Preaching ideals and thought processes about what you should think or not think, is and never has been my strong forte nor do I want it to be. But once in a while, I like to think that I can influence others' in their perceptions and outlook on life and all that it has to offer through a carefully composed essay. Nothing would have changed with the end of this essay. I would like to think that I have changed my life just that little bit with this composition but in all likelihood, that's not going to happen.

A movie is still a movie. And your life is your life. Despite trying not to think too much about what you want to do, how about actually doing it? I should speak. But what I can is do.
Jill |

Sunday, July 20, 2008 | 15:29
the films you want to watch
Including the food you want to eat, but I'll save that for another time.

I've been on an Edward Norton films kick lately. They're all pretty old movies except for 'The Incredible Hulk' but I've watched 'Fight Club', ''American History X', and '25th Hour' in the last two days excluding 'Hulk' which was about three weeks ago.

Actually it kinda all started with 'Hulk' and then it went on to 'Fight Club' which I absolutely loved and cannot believe I missed out on watching such an awesome movie for so long until now. Ed Norton is unbelievable in his character and Brad Pitt's performance was simply riveting. I've already watched it almost half a dozen times already since last week and I can go on about this movie forever but I won't since it's Edward Norton and his movies that I wanted to concentrate on.

There are of course other movies like 'Death to Smoochy', 'The Italian Job', and 'The Illusionist' which are really good. I would really like to watch 'Primal Fear' which was Ed's breakout role and allowed him to do all the other great movies that followed. All of his performances so far have been nothing short of amazing and just so mesmerizing to witness. I've loved all of his movies that I've seen so far and aching to watch more of his older ones.

I've been an Ed Norton fan for a very long time already, way before Milo V., all the three Hughs that I go ape for, Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. He has always been the shiny actor's actor that I wished all actors could be. I think he was my first celebrity crush. Or maybe that title belongs to Johnny Depp.

Anyways, the point is that all his movies (or at least 90% of the time) have always surprised, intrigued, inspired and awed me. He has this aura of those smart, witty and charismatic people that they carry with them, which naturally attracts other people to them without you realizing it. He has managed to act in such a wide range of characters from a reformed Neo-Nazi skinhead, a DPD affected white collar worker, a children's show animal host, an illusionist, a Brit doctor, a green hulking superhero and a troubled cop including many others more in his wide ranging career thus far.

I never tire of watching him on screen and really don't care that other people can't understand why or how I can come to be a fan of this enigmatic man. I'm sure Ed Norton fans all over will concur.

There have always been actors and celebrity people who walk in and out of a person's obsessive compulsive life (or maybe that just applies to me). But Edward's status has never wavered and I am a firm fan and supporter of his works and whatever he does in his life. Most people know about his strict privacy life and really nothing much is known about what he does, what he eats, who he dates, which music he listens to, who he dislikes or likes. In spite of all the crazy and insane celebrity goings-on that can consume actors, he's always managed to maintain a level head and remain cool and calm.

I don't know how he really deals with all the craziness that must sometimes take a toll on him but I really admire his guts in not falling into the whole celebrity business shit end of the stick. He has a new movie out later this year called 'Pride and Glory' which he co-stars with Colin Farrell and I must watch it. I know nothing about the movie except that Ed is in it and that is all I ever need to know about any film that has him in it.

Watch out for my dissertation on 'Fight Club' coming to a blog post near you. Very soon hopefully.
Jill |


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