After last night's Inception liveblog for the SparkNotes Movie Club, we’ve decided to look at some of the most brain-hurting films of all time. Inception is surely a trippy movie that forces you to pay attention and keep notes on your arm in Bic pen, but it doesn’t even compare with these headscratchers. Take some Advil, put on your thinking caps and thinking capes, and read on...
5. Donnie Darko
Splintered realities are such a pain the ass. Don’t even get us started on them. Just the other day, in a splintered reality, we were all killed by a squirrel. In our defense, it was a rather strong squirrel. This movie showed us that we were not alone in our annoyance with splintered realities. But don’t watch the director’s cut, which tends to over-explain everything. (Side note: If you’re a fan of Donnie Darko and the video game Portal, you will love this T-shirt design.)
The film that helped bring modern anime to America is a visual treat. But what the hell happened in the last 10 minutes? Is everyone dead? Do they all live inside a blue light bulb? Pure energy, much like splintered realities (see above), can ruin everything.
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
A visual poem set to classical music, this movie may not have been accurate in its predictions of what the year 2001 would see, but it’s still a jaw-dropping spectacle if you have the patience to sit through 30 minutes of breathing. The end is when everything goes wonky in the best possible way. What happened to Astronaut Bowman? Perhaps he communicated with an alien entity, or God. Or maybe he ate an expired Go-Gurt.
Before making Inception and super-duper Batman flicks, Christopher Nolan made a twisting crime movie about a man who has no short-term memory. Memento makes Inception look like Marley and Me. The main character must tattoo valuable information on his body if he’s ever going to catch the man who killed his wife. We tattoo important information on our body as well. It’s how we avoid buying Grape Nuts cereal. (We can never remember if we like it or not.)
This low-budget indie film is the best time travel movie since Back to the Future, and it doesn’t rely on flashy special effects, the charm of Michael J. Fox, or incest humor. Two young engineers working in their garage accidentally develop a way to travel into the recent past. Things quickly spiral out of control. We won’t spoil anything, and, to be honest, we couldn’t spoil anything because we don’t understand it. At all. We even stared at this chart that is supposed to help audiences figure out the plot. The filmmakers said the movie makes sense if you watch it carefully, but…without giving too much away…the characters in this movie put time machines inside time machines!!!! Even typing that sentence made our head gurgle with thought-juice. See this movie. See it now.
Have you seen anything on this list?
Related post: SparkNotes Movie Club Presents: Inception