Old reviews don’t necessarily reflect my current opinion ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There’s something about the morbid and fatalistic tone of these films that makes them genuinely upsetting beyond a standard slasher, even while the elaborate death scenes are darkly funny. This one - with its direct reference to 9/11, many references to assassinations of US Presidents, setting the climax at a town’s ‘Tricentennial’ celebration, and especially through the goth characters - sees the American empire as a teenager, obsessed with imagining its own death but unable to comprehend it when faced with the reality.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I know several people whose opinions I respect that have loved this film and even rate it among their favourites, but having read the book and now having seen the movie I’m still at the same conclusion, that Chris McCandless was at times an insufferable prick who believed he was some divine combination of Thoreau and Jack London. He didn’t deserve to die for this stupidity (many his age think they're indestructible) but he doesn’t deserve to be mythologised either.…
I like my substance abuse surrounded by dry British humour (though I'm not really a fan of Trainspotting). Withnail & I is full of narcissism, paranoia and gleeful disobedience but also a sense of despair - an understanding this lifestyle is unsustainable and self-destructive - adding the pathos that makes a comedy last. You can tell it was based on real experiences (of the writer-director, Bruce Robinson, who hasn't done that many films, but I really need to check out How…