Sunday, 7 December 2008

Entertainments: Louis, Louis and Choke

I'm gonna do a mash up because I've got a little to say on a few things, and you know, I've missed you a bit.
I have to say I've not been enjoying the Law and Disorder series of Louis Theroux as much as I thought I would. Am I shallow to want him to go interview Heather Mills or Posh instead? I do like it when he covers serious subjects, but I prefer it when he's in silly mode. It seems like it could be any film maker doing these documentaries; Louis' personality is getting diluted. Maybe I just want a bit of light relief.
Talking of which, my enjoyment of the X Factor semi-final was marred somewhat by an accidental text telling me who had gone out before I got the chance to see it. The X Factor without suspense is justt a bunch of dickheads singing rubbish cover versions. Having said that, it wasn't a bad night. Alexandra has come on miles, and should probably win it. JLS have also improved. But the real talking point was the 'friendship' between Eeeeeeoooghhhhannn and Diana. How many times did they repeat the word 'friendship' on the Xtra Factor? It was blatantly obvious they are in love. It was like watching Hollyoaks on anti-depressants when Diana got the boot. It was half traumatic/ half hilarious watching him sobbing and mewling and running on stage, ruining her final song. Ah, it was kind of sweet though. Or would be if she didn't look ten years older than him, yet still looked her age, which is 17. I personally thought OWEN's rendition of that Busted song off Singstar was absolutely dreadful, and when he declared that it was the sort of rocky (?!) style he felt comfortable with, I really did have to resist the urge to open a vein. As for Diana doing Dido, bad move. She should have done Kate Nash or something, the tweenies voting would have lapped that up. It made me laugh when Cheryl Cole said Diana's fans were 'probably too cool to vote' therefore declaring the entire X Factor audience 'uncool'. Nice.
I'm sure you're keen to know, the reason I missed the X Factor was because I was at the cinema watching Choke. Now, I listened to the audio book of this Chuck Palahniuk book earlier this year. I enjoyed it, but by Chuck's standards, I thought the plot was holey; I never understood why the people who saved Victor's life sent him money in the first place. I also accidentally put my IPod on shuffle at one point and heard the twist at the end... a twist that was inexplicably, completely left out in the film. Yet they kept in the utterly ridiculous son of god schtick which made very little sense. Chuck gets away with some ridiculous plot devices/ twists, because of his convincing writing style. When his style is removed from the equation, and his ideas put into the wrong hands, it's just left looking a bit silly.
So I KNEW the plot and I still found the film inexplicable in parts. The main character, played by Sam Rockwell, was irritating and reminded me of Tom Cruise (urgh). There wasn't enough of the whole choking thing (it is the title after all). It was meant to be a comedy, which threw me, as the book wasn't, and I don't remember laughing. There probably wasn't enough sex in it, for a film about a sex addict. Why would Cherry Daiquiri go out with Denny when he was so bloody ugly? And as for the whole rock storyline; if you're going to take out the end scene of the book (i.e. probably one of the most interesting and dramatic parts, and one which was infinitely better than what the scriptwriter did here, which was go for the easy option), why even keep the stupid rocks in? I thought the rocks were dumb anyway, but at least they had a dramtic purpose in the novel.
There was also excessive use of flashbacks; always bad in films, as 12 million bad Stephen King adaptations can testify to. Anjelica Houston was OK, but that's about as much as I could say.
If you liked Fight Club, run a mile from this. Chuck is one of my favourite writers, but I'd love to know what he makes of this. If someone murdered my novel in this way, I'd go boot them in the face.


coxon le woof said...

And there I was, looking forward to Choke.

Palahniuk is one of my favourite writers but I think in order for his books to work as films, you need a director with a distinct style/vision. Fight Club worked so well because of David Fincher's input. Think I'll give this a miss. Though I am intrigued - it's been so long since I read the book, I can't think what the twist was. May need to revisit it.

lightupvirginmary said...

you are correct. The director tried to do too many things, and ended up not doing enough. I mean, flashbacks? Spare us!