21 November 2009

It's All or Nothing. I am Not Worried.

It's been a very long time since I've come across a movie that, when it ended, I was so fully unimpressed. Sadly, this was the case for Clark Gregg's screen adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's book, Choke.

Now, I've never been a reader of Palahniuk's books and I'm very aware that his mind works in an odd and creative way. Fight Club is, hands down, one of my favorite movies ever. And with much hype behind both the book and the movie, I was really expecting to be wowed on some level. Not even close.

The film stars Sam Rockwell, which was enough to make me think it might be pretty good. A few of Rockwell's other movies - including Moon, Frost/Nixon, The Assassination of Jesse James and Matchstick Men - were really fantastic and he was such a fitting character for his roles. I feel, though, that this role for him was a huge miss.

With Rockwell narrating the story (a la Tyler Durden), you get a great feel for the depth of the story beyond what the characters are saying and doing on screen. And the wonderful Anjelica Huston's role as Rockwell's mom brings a delightful dynamic to the film. But the rest simply leaves a lot to be desired. The story feels choppy and disconnected. The overall feel of the film seems like a more perverted version of a kitchy, summer, high school comedy. And the signature "mystery" that's revealed at the end isn't the most mind-blowing thing around.

If you're looking for a film to make you think or to entertain you or to simply stand out visually, then I'd stay away from this one. If you're a Palahniuk fan or have read/seen Choke and have thoughts, I'd love to hear 'em.


The title comes from the Counting Crows' song, Anna Begins from their debut record, August and Everything After


At 10:09 AM, December 05, 2009 , Blogger AAQ said...

Yeah, this movie was not great, but I thought it was at least entertaining. I've not read anything by Palahniuk, but I got the feeling watching the movie that the book would be a good read.


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