Critical Dissent: Debating Inherent Vice with Yen Nguyen

It’s fair to say that Inherent Vice, the latest from American auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, is a divisive film. This adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel is a digressive, intoxicated journey through 1970s California as perpetually-stoned PI Larry Sportello – everyone just calls him “Doc” – (Joaquin Phoenix) stumbles into a world of neo-Nazis, property…

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl (2014)

As a long-time David Fincher devotee, the first half hour of Gone Girl represents the first time I’ve doubted the director (full disclosure: I’ve never seen Benjamin Button). The film intercuts between Nick Dunne – writer, bar-owner, Ben Affleck – and his wife Amy – writer, actual-owner-of-the-bar, Rosamund Pike – through the past and present.…

Sarah Snook in Predestination (2014)

Predestination (2014)

As a teenager, I would’ve loved the Spierig Brothers’ time travel thriller Predestination; over a decade later, I’m not as enamoured of its conceptual ambition. The film sees Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook dart and swerve through an entwined net of plot twists taken from a conceptual short story (“All You Zombies”) by Robert Heinlein.…

The Hunger Games (2014)

The Fault in our (Movie) Stars – The Lack of Social Media in the Cinematic Medium

The Fault in our Stars is a Young Adult phenomenon, combining healthy box office receipts with a generally positive critical reception, but it’s yet another example of a mainstream movie that fails to engage with modern teenagers’ reality. Despite flaunting contemporary technological trappings – X-Boxes and iPhones (with increasingly popular texts-appearing-on-screen imagery) – The Fault…

Invisible Monsters

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club – through Tyler Durden – stated that “self-improvement is masturbation. Now, self-destruction…” Invisible Monsters – written before Fight Club but released afterwards – is a novel expanding upon that idea, arguing that self-improvement and self-destruction are one and the same, each as solipsistic as pleasuring one self. The unnamed narrator of…

Awards Roundup – Family, Liebster, Sunshine Awards

(Note: this post does not follow the normal 200-word word limit of this blog) First up – I’ve been pretty slack when it comes to posting these awards. This is mostly because I’m still venturing my way into the blogosphere (if that’s even a word), and partly because it was basically impossible to do an…