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Posted by Dennis

Choke Premieres Tonight At Sundance!

Choke at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival!

Tonight's the night, folks.  It's been eight years since Fight Club graced our screens and started a cult following that had a big influence on the history of this website.  And now, tonight, in Park City, Utah, Clark Greg's adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's fourth novel Choke, premieres to a sold out crowd.  Chuck will be in attendance and will be doing a Q&A after the event.  He emailed me the February Workshop Essay last night, along with this message:

Hello Dennis --
This time tomorrow I'll be sweating bullets, seeing the Choke movie for the first time -- but in public.  Shit.
In case I hang myself in the hotel room, here's the essay for next month.

So, guys, if any of you reading this are there, and you see Chuck floating around, definitely be a sport and go give him a pat on the back.  I can imagine how nervous it must be, seeing something you birthed be shown to you for the first time, with possibly 300 other people.

Some of us out there have already seen Choke though.  Here's a review that FJ found off Aint It Cool News.  It's the first review we've seen (though expect a ton more), and, while the guy hated the book, he had a lot of good to say about the movie:

[quote]The most surprising thing about Choke is that I didn't hate it. I don’t want to blaspheme, but I do hate the novel written by Chuck Palahnuick. Having said that, I have to say that I love Sam Rockwell. I could watch him drink coffee, find it interesting, and then probably laugh, so when I see him fake-choking on food in restaurants so a stranger can save him and feel better about their lives and help take care of him with money and gifts I am very entertained. When our protagonist travels carelessly from mother obsessed scenes to the sex addicts anonymous meetings he goes to to meet women and women at, I struggle a little bit as it’s just not sold as well as it was in Fight Club (let’s face it, it’s pretty much the same thing). I always enjoy watching Sam Rockwell though. But, in the last third of the movie, I struggle as the movie attempts to convince me that Victor Mancini (Rockwell), is the son of Jesus Christ and a healer of the sick. As this prosperous and dysfunctional story becomes the center of the movie, and demands that you believe this in order to proceed along with the movie I am forced to slap my forehead in agony. The thing is thought I do believe people are going to like this movie. I do on some level.

Rarely can it be said that the film is better than the book. In this case it is. But, I just didn’t like the book all that much to start with, so that’s a testament to the director about how deftly he adapted and then cast the film.

The relationship between Kelly MacDonald's character is a very charming one (it reminds me of what the relationship between Marla Singer and the nameless narrator of Fight Club), this one actually works though.

Overall, I would suggest seeing this if you have a dark sense of humor. You might find it as preposterous as I did, but you'll certainly enjoy yourself.[/quote]

I'll start a separate news thread for all future reviews we'll be seeing, and people can post their reviews in the Comments section.