The First Rule of Fight Club is….Make a Sequel?

It turns out the first rules of Fight Club were just trumped by the first rule of Hollywood: Make a buck.

Plans were just announced for a sequel to Fight Club (or, as you all know it, the best movie to come out while I was in high school). The sequel will be in comic book form. Now, as someone who loved the original book and original film wholeheartedly, I have to admit I’m a bit dubious about the sequel. Author Chuck Palahniuk stated that the sequel, a 10-issue comic book series, will explore the origins of Tyler Durden. Really, though, do we need that? Do we need to see the narrator and Marla together, and married? Fight Club (the film) packed such a definitive punch at the end, and Fight Club (the book), while using a different finale, also gave the reader full closure.

Of course, I’ll read every issue, and am beyond curious to see what Palahniuk has up his sleeve. That said, there’s a law of diminishing return in his work past the original Fight Club novel: Survivor had an interesting premise that ultimately went nowhere; Choke bothered me to no end (and tried to utilize a similar “twist” ending as Fight Club, but with minimal impact); Lullaby would have been better off being 100 pages shorter; and I couldn’t get more than 20 pages into Diary.

So why get excited about a Fight Club sequel, despite me logically knowing that it can only disappoint? Well, I guess I’m just an avid member of Project Mayhem after all. And I can guarantee at least one person wants more of the Fight Club story. His name is Robert Paulson.

Agree? Disagree? Feel like hitting something as hard as you can? Or talking about all the ways to make soap? Let me know in the comments.

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The Simpsons is Making me Lose my Perspicacity (but it’s always in the last place I look)

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(For those who don’t understand the title of this post, go here).

FXX just announced the “Simpsons World” app, which will allow subscribers to watch every Simpsons episode ever; search by quote, character, and plot; and basically spend all day, every day watching both classic, golden-era Simpsons through the most recent episodes. (Full details here.)

Tonight on twitter, I asked

Which, of course, leads me to this post. My “favorite” Simpsons clips are too innumerable to count, but let’s just say these are the first ones I thought about watching. I cannot wait for this app and site to launch – what could possib-lie go wrong?

1. Anything with Raphael (my favorite all-time character)

2. McGarnagle

3. Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

4. Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country, localized entirely within your kitchen? (From my favorite episode ever)

5. Literally every joke from the casino episode

(Or, “I’m Idaho,” or Brittania, or Bart stealing Robert freaking Goulet!)

6. “Use a pen, Sideshow Bob”

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7. Homer saying “I am merely a vessel through which genius flows” (my yearbook quote)

8. Every Itchy & Scratchy

9. “I was saying Boo-urns”

10. The Hank Scorpio/Globex episode!

(Don’t forget, the Hammock district’s on third)

11. “Lively up yourself, Dancin’ Homer”

12. “Where’s my burrito?”

13. “OK, Mr. Burns, what’s your first name?” “I…don’t know”

14. Frogurt

15. All of the original songs!

16. This whole scene:

Mr. Taylor: Hi, Lisa, I’m Alison’s father, Professor Taylor. I’ve heard great things about you.
Lisa: Oh, really? I…
Mr. Taylor: Oh, don’t be modest. I’m glad we have someone who can join us in our anagram game.
Alison: We take proper names and rearrange the letters to form a description of that person.
Mr. Taylor: Like, er…Oh, I don’t know, uh…Alec Guinness.
Alison: Genuine class.
Mr. Taylor: Ho ho, very good. Alright, Lisa, um…Jeremy Irons.
Lisa: Uh, Jeremy’s…iron.
Mr. Taylor: Mm hmm, well, that’s…very good…for a first try. You know what? I have a ball. Perhaps you’d like to bounce it?

Well, those are sixteen things I’ll be looking forward to (and there are too many more to list). What is everyone else looking forward to? More Grampa? Moe? Krusty? Sideshow Mel? Kent Brockman and his welcoming of the ant overlords? Ralph Wiggum? Police Chief Wiggum? Snake? Apu? And, last but never least, Comic Book Guy? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

Where is Abe Froman?

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On a very long subway ride home today, I began pondering one of life’s most important questions: Why didn’t Abe Froman show up for his noon reservation at Chez Quis? How were Ferris and Sloan and Cameron able to take his table? This seems like a well-run, fancy establishment – why make a reservation there and then not show up? This was obviously in the days before OpenTable – it’s not like Mr. Froman (the Sausage King of Chicago) simply tapped on an app; he would’ve had to call (or have an assistant or family member call). So, what was going on here?

When I got home, I went down the rabbit hole of some online research. It seems like there are a few theories floating around out there, the third of which I find most interesting. First, maybe Ferris made the reservation in advance, and just used a fake name. It’s possible, but then why would he check the reservation book for a party of three? Second, Ferris et. al just lucked out…which seems a bit too convenient. Ferris has luck throughout the movie, sure, but he’s a character who plans every angle – just look at how Sloan and Cameron act as his lackeys during this scene with the maitre d. In fact, isn’t this why his sister can’t stand him? Because he gets away with everything, that he himself is responsible for?

The third theory, though…that’s one that I really like (even if I don’t subscribe to it). It’s the “Fight Club/Tyler Durden”) theory of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”: that Ferris himself never existed.

I love this theory for two reasons. First, Cameron obviously had some mental issues (including the scene when he’s catatonic at the pool), so it’s not that far a stretch to think he invented someone as perfect, daring, and, well, non-Cameron-ish as Ferris. Second, it also explains the (obvious) unrequited feelings Cameron has for Sloan. He knows that he’ll never be with her, so he invents a character in Ferris who is her ideal. It’s the equivalent of the Tyler Durden “I look how you want to look” speech, personified.

So, what do you think, dear reader? Did Abe Froman just run really late that day? Is Ferris Bueller a construction of Cameron’s imagination? A different theory? Let me know in the comments.

The Problem with Girl Meets World

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When I first heard that “Girl Meets World” was going to air on Disney channel, I was excited. Beyond excited, really. A chance to see Cory and Shawn and Topanga and Eric and Jack and Mr. Feeny again? Great. And then I saw the first episode, and naturally my sky-high expectations weren’t met. And I realized why: the show is suffering from the same symptoms that another recent spin-off/sequel did: 90210.

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Just Because….ER edition

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Today I needed an extra push to get through the work day. Looking for inspiration, I turned to one of my favorite shows of all time, ER (which, by the way, has an underrated theme song).

Anyway, while there are numerous plot lines and scenes for which I could have searched, I knew the most inspirational one: “You set the tone.”

In the history of the show, Dr. Morgenstern first said those words to Mark Greene in the pilot.

Later, when Dr. Greene was outside with Noah Wyle’s Dr. John Carter, he tells him, “You set the tone, Carter.”

Finally, when Dr. Carter was leaving the show (the first time), he tells Archie Morris “You set the tone, Morris” (same clip as above). Of course, Morris had no idea what Carter was talking about, and the chain was broken. A funny moment, played well by both actors, but you have to appreciate a show with such a strong through-line with one distinctive catch phrase. It’s no “live together, die alone,” but for today? Today, it was enough.

Best of the Rest

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Especially in the summer blockbuster season, it seems that the only movies released are giant, action franchise tentpoles. Just this summer, we’ve had a new X-Men movie, Trans4mers, Godzilla, and Spider-Man, and we’re only two days into July. And I’m not alone in thinking that the good, mid-range movie has gone the way of the dodo (or, flocked to AMC and FX and HBO to become the next great miniseries. See: Fargo. See also: True Detective. See further: Mad Men.)

Vulture interviewed Billy Bob Thornton in advance of the premiere of Fargo, and this is what he had to say about television versus cinema:

It’s been a long time since you’ve done series TV. Why come back now?
It’s where we are headed. If you’re going to make something for adults, the mid-level movies the studios used to make, they’re gone. TV is where you do it. This is where actors get to actually do the kind of acting we used to do. If you’re going to do an independent film like I’m known for, now they give you $2 million to make it, and they want you to have 12 movie stars so you can get the foreign value, so we’re really restricted in a lot of ways in movies. Meanwhile, the studios are making big event films or real broad comedies or action movies, and that’s really not my bag.

While I would never disagree with Sling Blade (mmhmm), I happen to think that there are some solid, mid-level movies that have come out in the last few years. So, with that in mind, I wanted to highlight some of my favorites. Outside of Star Wars, the Avengers, and countless Lego movie sequels (I hope), we’ll just call these the best of the rest. Continue reading