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New Escapist Column! On “The Batman” as a Movie About Life Lived Behind Screens…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With The Batman continuing to perform well at the box office, it seemed like an opportunity to take another look at the film.

Much has been made of how much The Batman owes to David Fincher’s se7en and Zodiac. However, the film also owes a lot to the director’s work on both Fight Club and The Social Network. At its core, The Batman is a story about masculine violence and what happens when life is lived behind a screen. The result is a film that manages to riff on some of the most interesting films of the past quarter-century, filtering them through the lens of the superhero genre and reframing them for a modern context.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Non-Review Review: Motherless Brooklyn

Motherless Brooklyn is a profoundly odd film.

On the surface, it looks like another one of those “movies they don’t really make anymore” that tend to get a small release around awards season, like Bad Times at the El Royale or Widows. It is an old-fashioned private detective story that starts with something relatively small before pulling back to reveal a vast and insidious conspiracy at work. It is a movie that is both a genre piece and a statement, and so seems an appropriate release for this late in the calendar.

Railing against the system.

However, on closer inspection, Motherless Brooklyn is much more surreal piece of work. The film was a passion project for writer, director and star Edward Norton. Norton had been struggling to bring the film to screen for the better part of two decades. It is a period piece in more than just its fifties New York setting. It feels like a time capsule. Although Motherless Brooklyn is only Norton’s second theatrical film as director, it arguably feels much more tailored to Norton’s style and interests than his actual directorial debut Keeping the Faith.

However, Motherless Brooklyn feels like it is lost in more than just time. The film is meandering, indulgent and unfocused. It has moments of incredible beauty and surprising power, but lacks the discipline to streamline everything else around those elements. Motherless Brooklyn is not a great film, but it is a strange one.

Evil plans.

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151. Fight Club – Summer of ’99 (#10)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guests Charlene Lydon and Alex Towers, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT.

This time, continuing our Summer of ’99 season, David Fincher’s Fight Club.

1999 was a great year for movies, with a host of massively successful (and cult) hits that would define cinema for a next generation: Being John Malkovich, Magnolia, American Beauty, The Green MileThe Insider, The Matrix. The Summer of ’99 season offers a trip through the year in film on the IMDb‘s 250.

A successful young insurance claims adjuster finds himself comfortable existence literally blown to pieces after two chance encounters: first with his unlikely kindred spirit Marla Singer and then with charismatic anarchist Tyler Durden. However, what initially seems liberating quickly escalates into something that is much less comfortable.

At time of recording, it was ranked 10th on the Internet Movie Database‘s list of the best movies of all-time.

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99. Rang de Basanti (#195) – Indian Summer 2018

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guest Giovanna Rampazza and Babu Patel, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode thrown in.

This year, we are proud to announce Indian Summer, a fortnight looking at two of the Indian films on the list. We hope to make this an annual event. This year, we’ll be covering Rajkumar Hirani’s PK and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti. This week, we’re discussing the second of those two films, Rang de Basanti.

A documentary filmmaker Susan travels to India in order to produce a documentary about the daring Kakori Train Robbery in August 1925. While there, she strikes up a friendship with an unlikely group of listless young students who are looking for purpose and meaning within their own lives.

At time of recording, it was ranked the 195th best movie of all-time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: American Animals

“To do this thing would take extraordinary effort,” observers Warren Lipka of his fiendish heist scheme in American Animals. “Not ordinary effort.”

Written and directed by Bart Layton, American Animals is a blend of documentary and dramatisation. It explores the true story of the effort by four young men to steal a collection of precious books from the Library of Transylvania, a scheme that went disastrously and spectacularly wrong. Adopting a style that recalls Bernie or a slightly more grounded I, Tonya, Layton slices interviews with the real-life criminals into a narrative reconstruction of the attempted crime. The results are intriguing, occasionally veering into an exploration of the malleability of memory and the limits of personal perspective.

Up to their old tricks.

At the same time, American Animals is very much engaged with a masculine middle-class malaise. A recurring motif of the film has various figures from around the four criminals pause to reflect upon the character of these young men. “They were good kids,” various talking heads assert over the course of the documentary, talking fondly about their childhoods and their schoolwork and their aspirations. The four young men at the heart of American Animals did not plan (and botch) a heist because they were bad kids or because they needed the money. They did not act out of desperation or anger.

Instead, American Animals suggests that the characters enacted this ambitious and absurd scheme out of a sense of boredom, out of a desire to escape the mundanity of their everyday lives, to do something “extraordinary” to transcend their so-called “ordinary” lives.

Model citizens.

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The X-Files – Fight Club (Review)

This September, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the seventh season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Harsh Realm.

Fight Club is an unpleasant episode of The X-Files.

It’s not “unpleasant” in a good way, like (arguably) Signs and Wonders or (definitely) Theef. It is “unpleasant” in a way that feels ill-judged and tone-deaf. Following on the charm and whimsy of Hollywood A.D., the script for Fight Club seems packed with forced charm and staged whimsy. At its most basic level, Fight Club is a comedy episode that simply isn’t funny. More than that, it’s an episode that isn’t particularly funny or clever to begin with, but then spends forty-five minutes insisting upon its own wit.

"Some of us are looking at the stars..."

“Some of us are looking at the stars…”

There is also a sense of unpleasantness about the themes and content of the episode in the context of the late seventh season. After all, it is no secret that the production team were facing considerable internal and external pressure. These pressures included a lawsuit involving the show’s lead actor and the show’s creator (not to mention the show’s network) and the fact that everybody on the production team was waiting for David Duchovny to determine if they would have a job the following season.

With all of this going on in the background, maybe an episode the implicitly features the show’s two lead actors knocking the stuffing out of each other for no good reason is not the best idea in the world.



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Non-Review Review: Fight Club

Fight Club was released in 1999, and seems to perfectly capture a brief moment in the history of disemfranchised American masculinity.

Situated between the end of the Cold War and the start of the War on Terror, Fight Club is the story of disenfranchised middle-class masculinity, a cultural group gripped by sense of impotence and despair and lost amid an era of financial prosperity and material success. “We’re the middle children of history, man,” Tyler Durden informs his followers. “No purpose or place. We have no Great War… no Great Depression.” It’s a line that gets more bitterly ironic with each re-watch.

A film frequently misunderstood by a significant portion of its fans and its critics, Fight Club is perhaps the quintessential cult film of the nineties. A clever hook that encourages further viewings, a mean subversive streak and a bleak irreverence that is impossible to look away from, Fight Club manages to perfectly encapsulate a moment of shared cultural consciousness and insecurity.

Seeking a friend at the end of the world...

Seeking a friend at the end of the world…

Note: This review contains spoilers for Fight Club. Consider yourself warned.

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Watch! Jameson Cult Film Club Fight Club Prank!

The guys over at the Jameson Cult Film Club sent on this video of a prank pulled by several people on their friend. While not quite Project: Mayhem, it’s still worth a look. The video is included below, but just a reminder that you can still enter our draw for a set of tickets, or pop over to the Jameson Cult Film Club website and register there for the screenings next week.

To launch the Jameson Cult Film Club screening of Fight Club on the 4th and 5th of June in Dublin, Jameson helped fans prank a friend. All they had to do was invited them out…for a Jameson.

The Jameson Cult Film Club is a unique consumer experience, bringing cult films to life. The experiences are held in locations high relevant to the film’s theme, genre, set or storyline, in order to transport the audience into the world of the characters and script in a playful, edgy &contemporary way. The experience is brought to life via live theatre and staging.

Subscribe to the channel, Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/JamesonIreland or go to the website www.jamesoncultfilmclub.ie to register for free tickets.



Win! Tickets to the Jameson Cult Film Club Screening of Fight Club!

Due to popular demand, the Jameson Cult Film Club returns to Dublin for one of the biggest double screenings to-date. Continuing on from the successful Jameson Cult Film Club screenings of The Usual Suspects, Jaws, Predator and Intermission, organisers will be challenged with transporting the audience right into the world of 1999 cult classic FIGHT CLUB, which will be screened at a secret location on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th June 2014.

These free events are much more than just your typical screening as attendees are treated to live theatre and special effects timed perfectly with on-screen action creating an electric atmosphere throughout. The secret venue is only revealed to ticket holders and will be completely transformed into a series of sets from the movie. Lucky ticket holders can expect to see an insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soap maker get the Jameson Cult Film Club treatment on the night.

The first rule of Jameson Cult Film Club is to register for free tickets. Join the fight on www.jamesoncultfilmclub.ie.

Jameson Cult Film Club screenings of Fight Club - June 4th and 5th - Dublin

If you would like to get your hands on TWO TICKETS to the Thursday 5th the below question:

This competition is now closed. The winner will be contact

Please note that the information provided will only be used to contact the winner of the competition.

All entrants must be over 18. Enjoy Jameson Sensibly. Visit DrinkAware.ie.

Fight Club © 1999 All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC.

Fight Club Blu Ray

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Jameson Cult Film Club Screenings of Fight Club, June 4th and 5th 2014!

The Jameson Cult Film Club is a wonderful excuse to celebrate cinematic classics. The group organise screenings throughout the year inviting audiences to immerse themselves in a much-loved cinematic classic – for example, Silence of the Lambs, Predator, or even The Blues Brothers. Taking a familiar Dublin location and turning it into something like a set from the film, the Jameson Cult Film Club works as a celebration of these iconic films.

This summer, the team are doing a double screening of David Fincher’s classic Fight Club on the 4th and 5th of June at a top secret location in Dublin. I’m violating the first and seconds rules of Fight Club by telling you this, but I’m sure it’ll work out okay at the end. One of the better things about the Jameson Cult Film Club is that the screening are absolutely free – tickets are raffled to film fans who apply via the Jameson Cult Film Club website.


Whether you’ve seen Fight Club, or whether you haven’t, it’s a wonderful excuse to appreciate one of David Fincher’s defining cinematic works, and one of the films that solidified him as a talent to watch, only a few months before the release of Gone Girl, his latest effort and adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling thriller.

I’ve included the fill press release below, but you can head over to the Jameson Cult Film Club website and apply for tickets. (By the way, I love the poster design.)
Jameson Cult Film Club screenings of Fight Club - June 4th and 5th - Dublin

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