Mainstream Movies

Mainstream Movies

Ganga Subramanian and Hannah Shaw

Fight Club (5 stars)

A man who suffers from an unnamed mental illness (feel free to psychoanalyze) goes to support groups to ease his insomnia. Eventually, he meets an estranged soap salesman named Tyler Durden, and his life takes a drastic turn. His life splinters even more when Marla, fellow support group impostor, inadvertently distances the partnership.

I have to say, I did not expect to enjoy this movie at all. Due to the horrific culture that surrounds Fight Club that definitely did not interpret the message of the movie correctly in the slightest, I had a less than good view of it. In addition, the run time is particularly intimidating, as is any movie that lasts longer than two hours. For all the things that were working against this movie, it managed to subvert my expectations entirely. It was fast-paced, entertaining throughout, and proved worth every two hours and nineteen minutes.

Recommended for: those who choose flight over fight, the pretentious, and the short attention span havers.

American Psycho (3.5 stars)

Patrick Bateman, one Vice President of many for a company on Wall Street, has one thing that really sets him apart: his homicidal tendencies. Periled by the many struggles of upper class living and economic success, he just cannot seem to connect with people. His frustration manifests itself in a variety of more violent outlets all while teaching us the less appealing side effects of toxic masculinity.

My biggest concern with American Psycho is the number of times I have heard the phrase “you probably didn’t get it” in response to virtually any and every critique of the movie. In reality, it is not that hard to understand. That being said, I have some critiques of my own. The movie is beyond graphic almost to the point of meaningless violence. I think the reason so many men find it hard to understand why women are not huge fans of the movie is because they are not watching a woman assault and murder tens of hundreds of men. I do however think it was significantly better than I was expecting.

Recommended for: anyone with a superiority complex, people whose dinner of choice is steak and potatoes.

Pulp Fiction (5 stars)

Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega are a pair of hitmen working for another man named Marsellus Wallace. Our story begins with a hunt for a mysterious briefcase but splinters off into following the stories of Mia Wallace, Butch Coolidge, Pumpkin and Honey Bunny, and a few other characters, all of which intertwine into the mosaic that is Pulp Fiction.

If you ask me, the movie lives up to its reputation. Undoubtedly the most impressive part of this movie (aside from the soundtrack) was the relationships between all the characters. Some of that is certainly thanks to the highly convincing big name actors like Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta and Uma Thurman. Most shocking to me was the amount of one-liners I recognized despite never having seen the movie before. If you’re a big fan of Quentin Tarintino movies you’ll surely notice the references to some of his other films like Kill Bill and Reservoir Dogs. It is worth the almost three hours it takes to watch.

Recommended for: Italian mafia bosses, people desperate to understand pop culture references.

Lady Bird (3 stars)

Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is a senior in high school who leaves her public school to go to a private Catholic school. Known for the school’s wealthy elite, Lady Bird is certainly not that. She struggles to juggle college applications, her overbearing (but caring) mother, and new love.

If the phrase “I’m not like other girls” were to materialize, it would take the form of Lady Bird. In the name of honesty, I will say the only reason I ever watched this movie in the first place was for Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet. I understand the appeal, and I see how so many teenage girls can relate to this. My only complaint is the same general complaint I have about all coming-of-age movies: this does not resonate with me. The acting is great, and the movie is entertaining. If someone invited me to watch it a second time, I would not say no, but it would not be my first choice.

Recommended for: frequent hair dyers, cat people (in both ways), anyone who romanticizes dorm life Pinterest boards.

Jennifer’s Body (5 stars)

The year was 2009: think tracksuits, low-rise jeans, multicolored tights, and a United States economy grappling with the repercussions of the ‘08 housing crisis. Hardly a simpler time, Jennifer’s Body was conceived out of wedlock and entered a massively unreceptive public audience. It was considered a flop by commercial means, but it soon catapulted in popularity as a cult classic. Jennifer, a hot high schooler, undergoes a deadly transformation and requires the flesh of her male classmates for sustenance. Her best friend, Needy, finds out and pledges to put an end to Jennifer’s misdeeds.

I can definitely see how a movie such as this can be misconstrued as a dreadful mischaracterization of teenagers with its strange and sometimes painful dialogue. But if one navigates the treacherous minefields that is eccentric teen dialogue, Jennifer’s Body proves to be a well-made horror and comedy movie.

Recommended for: the ones who analyze novels in English through the gender lens, horror film enjoyers, and for comedy connoisseurs who aren’t afraid to get risqué.

Gone Girl (4 stars)

Amy Dunne, the inspiration for her parent’s Amazing Amy children’s book series, disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary. The prime suspect is her husband, Nick Dunne, whose apathetic appearance to the press and to the people around him is unconvincing of a grieving husband. As the media and the police begin to investigate, the pressure is on, and Nick and Amy’s image as a happy couple begins to fade.

Gone Girl is an incredible psychological thriller. I thought the movie was a little boring in the beginning at times, but when it hits its stride, it hits hard. Providing solid commentary on marriage and appearance, the movie gives what is not necessarily a realistic portrayal of marriage but certainly a harrowing one.

Recommended for: the rom-com lover, those who enjoy soliloquies in Shakespeare tragedies, and the dramatist in your life.