Edit: I wrote this before I saw Ben's "drive like crazy" post.
John, I loved the write-up for 2011. Not that it really matters, but I'm not sure that I beat Ben in the end; a handful of my posts were youtube videos and/or were non-film/TV related. Anyway, your individual contribution, in my mind, is that you've challenged all of us to view/critique film in a whole new way - a way that has made us all better film critics.
Brandon, reading about the genesis of CR5FC was much more stimulating than listening to Genesis. True, that isn't saying a lot, but still, I've always wanted to hear that story. Agreed, discussing modern film has been more interesting...especially new releases because most of us can catch them at the same time, even if we don't all live in the same area. I can't wait for all of us to unveil our 2011 top ten lists. Also, in my mind, you and John are both the Kings of Film Club. I view myself as something of the film club court jester, and not the Shakespearean kind.
Jason, fighting words work best. I did like the haikus, though. And you wrote the first haiku that I've ever disagreed with (the Zodiac one)...assuming that you feel asleep because you thought it was boring. I listed Black Swan in my honorable mentions for my 2010 update. I'm starting to lose some of the admiration that I had for the film after seeing it in the theater. Despite that, there's isn't enough Aronofsky love in this club; it's disappointing. The suspense in Black Swan is built-up and paced magnificently. I also felt that the ending was a perfect one. Essentially we have a thriller that is synched up to ballet, how cool is that? However, I also agree with Brandon's criticisms of the film and, at times, it's hard to take the film seriously. But overall, I'm still a fan.
Lisa, you had an interesting write-up on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It's always important to hear a woman's perspective on things, but especially with material like this. I completely agree with on Rooney Mara. She's slowly overtaking the Gos in terms of my biggest cinema crush.
Ben, did someone hand you a copy of Fast Five and tell you it was Drive? I say that as a joke, of course, and like Brandon, I completely respect the fact that you didn't like Drive. It's moments like these that make film club truly interesting, and I'm glad you elaborated a bit on why you didn't like it. I also feel like you could've gone further, because right now it just looks like an attack on Chuckie P. I agree with Jeff and Brandon, so I have nothing else to add with regard to Drive. I also feel like we (Jeff, Brandon, and, myself) laid out why we thought there was plenty of substance AND style in Drive in the posts we wrote a few months back. So, with that in mind, I don't assume you were addressing us at any point and I certainly don't take any of it personally.
Transitioning to Book Club...
Like most males my age, much of my teenage years were spent reading Chuck Palahniuk. And I think most of us only read him due to David Fincher's Fight Club. And thinking back on it now, the only Palahniuk books I really loved were Invisible Monsters and Survivor. Anyway, by the time I reached college, I had completely outgrown his work, but never looked back on it with any sort of animosity. And I do feel that every fan of his should eventually outgrow his work. If there are sixty-year-old dudes walking around quoting Tyler Durden in the future, may god have mercy on us all.
Yes, Palahniuk is largely for those who don't like to read, but I feel that if we call him a hack or a terrible writer, we're going to have to keep those words on our label maker as we label most contemporary writers. Palahniuk is an intelligent guy with a clear and distinct voice; how is he any different from the millions of other authors writing today? And I say all that while simultaneously admitting that his writing is gimmicky. One of the arguments that I wanted to make while we were discussing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is that most contemporary literature is crap. It's not popular to point out that these books suck, though, until they're adapted on the big screen. Soon we'll all hear a lot more about why The Hunger Games is horribly written.
It's strange to consider what's actually popular within our society, and yes, when you hold a microscope up to those fans, you find a lot of morons and frat boys. You find the people that Lisa argued with about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - people who might be decent folks, but expressed that deplorable opinion on the rape scene vs. the revenge scene.
But yeah, Ben, you're absolutely right to attack meat heads and frat boys. I'm with you one hundred percent on that, but I guess I just haven't heard too many frat boys praising Drive. That's also research I'll never want to go out into the field and gather either.