Classic Review: Fight Club (1999)

I’m breaking Fight Club’s first two rules here: i.e. don’t read this if you haven’t seen the movie.

Fight Club is angry. It’s nasty, filled with vitriol and it wants everyone to notice. It’s a bitter and bitterly funny exposé of a hyper-masculine fantasy, itself a critique of a so-called “IKEA lifestyle” whereby men are domesticated through consumer culture and societal expectations. Continue reading “Classic Review: Fight Club (1999)”


Classic Review: Se7en (1995)

 Se7en is less violent than I imagine most people would remember. Its ugly, damp, mordant atmosphere perfectly introduced with an intricately stylised, morbid and scattered opening credit sequence belies a lack of violence. The creative, grizzly murders left behind for detectives Somerset and Mills – Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt – to dissect and analyse leave such an impression as to make us feel like we’ve actually witnessed the events. In David Fincher’s 1995 crime hellscape masterpiece, we are left to voyeuristically peer at what is left in the wake of violence. Continue reading “Classic Review: Se7en (1995)”

Classic Review: Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972)

What a great treachery that will be!

This review contains spoilers. It is advised that you watch the film before reading this review. 

 In his made-for-TV documentary Wings of Hope, Werner Herzog details the account of Juliane Koepcke, soul survivor of the 1971 LANSA Flight 508 – an aircraft carrying 92 passengers that broke up mid-flight after a lightening strike over the Peruvian jungle. Continue reading “Classic Review: Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972)”

Classic Review: Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Jacob’s Ladder is a high dive into the fractured mind of Jacob Singer; a divorced Vietnam War veteran who carries the mental scars of war and the loss of his youngest child with him. The film opens with his battalion under attack from an unseen enemy. Panic, unease and chaos usually accompany war scenes as they do here, but in this case we understand something unusual is happening though it is unclear what. In the aftermath of these disturbing events, Jacob is taunted by what he can only describe as demons, hellish beings. Some of them are without faces; sometimes they pull him out of reality, bring him close to death and lay bare his issues. Continue reading “Classic Review: Jacob’s Ladder (1990)”

Classic Review: Videodrome (1983)

A word of warning, since this is a classic review, spoilers are contained herein. Though this article will not dilute the effectiveness of Videodrome for first time viewers, those sensitive to plot details are advised to watch the movie before reading this review

“Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome?” asks its curator, Barry Convex (played by the late Leslie Carlson), head of the Spectacular Optical Corporation, an eyeglasses company that behind the scenes, specializes in NATO weapons manufacturing and serves as the antagonistic presence in the David Cronenberg movie that birthed the term “Cronenbergian”. Continue reading “Classic Review: Videodrome (1983)”