101 in 1001: Watch American History X

T and I watched four movies in the last weekend. And oh, this was a good ‘un. First off, it has Edward Norton and quite frankly that is enough reason to watch any movie. I am not ashamed of my unabashed love for him.

The movie itself is eye opening and graphic and completely enthralling. Norton’s journey through neo-nazism is horrifying and shocking and captivating. It is not a film for the lighthearted or for anyone looking for an easy watch. This questions values, morals, race and judgement. It explores the influence of attitudes and beliefs on out children. It shows the change that can come over a human being.

Oh, it’s a good ‘un.

9 Kinda Disturbing But Still Totally Awesome Movies You Should See

1. Fight Club

Let’s start easy. This is my favourite movie of all time. It’s excellently written, excellently acted and if you ponder on the concept too long, you realise it involves psychosis, random violence and taking advantage of people with cancer. It’s a great movie.

2. Primal Fear

Another Edward Norton movie. Have I mentioned that I love him? A court case about the murder of an allegedly paedophilic priest by an altar boy. You know you want to watch it.

3. Secretary

I watched this last night on the advice of Niamh who claimed that this is the story line of 50 Shades of Grey but made 10 years ago and a lot less rage inducing and shit. My opening opinion of the film was that it was weird. But its fantastic. Don’t watch if your parents are in the room, you’re freaked out by BDSM or are squeamish of self harm. This is a fucked up and amazing movie.

4. Labyrinth

This is a kid’s movie. This is a David Bowie movie. All fine so far. And then you watch it and wonder whether, like Alice in Wonderland, it is anyway similar to mind tripped out on drugs. But it still has David Bowie so it is really good.

5. 8: The Mormon Proposition

I think this was the first movie in a long time to make me cry. Documenting the part the Mormon’s played in passing Proposition 8 in America, this is a heart breaking account of the opposition the LGBTQ community can face in the world today. 

6. American Gangster (Or Any Gangster Movie Really…)

I love gangster movies so much but point blank shooting people in the head still makes me flinch.

7. Mysterious Skin

On the plus side, there’s Joseph Gordon Levitt (yay!) On the down side, there’s a lot of rape (boo.)

8. Hard Candy

A young Ellen Page shows an internet paedophile what’s what. Need I say more?

9. Bowling For Columbine (Or Any Micheal Moore Movie Really…)

The main reason that these powerful documentaries are disturbing is because they show the true horror that the human race can subject others to. Watch immediately.

Review: Dorian Gray

Meg had a tough day today. Between yelling and laughing and potential death, she revealed how excited she gets to read my blog. So this is in honour of you 🙂

As I constantly proclaim to anyone who will listen, The Picture of Dorian Gray by the legendary Oscar Wilde is the greatest book on the face of this green earth. Ever. I got into Oscar Wilde back in TY, when faced with the excruciating task of an Irish History Project, I somehow convinced my teacher that the author of The Happy Prince (the only Wilde literature I had read at the time) was worthy of the same report based treatment as the famine and Countess Markievicz. It was when I was researching for this, that I came across the beautiful quote “All art is completely useless.” I had fallen in love. And thus an obsession was born.

Two years after this momentous occasion, Clodagh, Meg and I ambled along to the Oniplex to see what Hollywood had done to this masterpiece.

***I’ll try keep the spoilers to a minimum but I can’t guarantee*** (Either way, go read the book. Now.)

The Good: First off, great cinematography. In the same way the book was beautiful to read, the film delivered a perfect and appropriate portrayal of the era with wonderful imagery. Oh God, I sound like an English essay. Moving on. The movie retained all those classic Wilde quotes, mainly from Lord Harry Wotton (Colin Firth – oh yes, we like him 🙂 ) Another thing, which I’m not quite sure I liked, but I think I did, was the way the implications of the book were drawn out and built upon but not changed completely. It made the movie easier to follow and the implications of the characters all that greater.

The Bad: They changed the ending ever so slightly. And that got to me. Just because I’m a book snob. I suppose it can’t be helped, Hollywood needs some leeway. And it was still good. Just not the same. Also, Harry had a daughter. Not a bad thing, just saying. The other thing was the sheer amount of sex. A little bit I’ll get over – but there was SO very much. At least it was tasteful and I didn’t have to see anybody’s areas. Shudder at the thought. Also why did he come onto that old lady??? I know it was a bet – but major vom.

The only thing that really really got my goat (yeah I said it) was the painting snarling. That couldn’t happen in real life! And I’m aware technically none of it could happen in real life. But still, ugh.

The Verdict: I really did love it. Well worth the nine euro and I will be forcing everyone around me to see within the next week. Also read the book, read the book, read the book. If I can’t subliminally message, I’ll just nag til you do it.