400 Screens, 400 Blows is a weekly column that takes an in-depth look at the films playing below the radar, beneath the top ten, and on 400 screens or less.

This week we face an existential crisis as we approach the box office and must decide between Fighting (253 screens) and Knowing (264 screens). Let's listen in on this inner conflict.

Mind: Clearly we must choose Knowing.

Body: There you go again. You're forgetting that there can be no Knowing without Fighting.

Mind: How so?

Body: Just think about the cavemen days. No one would have had the opportunity to learn anything if the caveman hadn't learned how to hunt dinosaurs.

Mind: That's ridiculous. What have you been watching? "The Flintstones"? And how could the caveman have fought dinosaurs without stopping and thinking about how to make weapons?

p class="MsoNormal">Body: At first no one stopped to make weapons. The caveman just grabbed the nearest club. It was instinct.

Mind: Yes, but one could argue that instinct is a form of "knowing," and not "fighting."

Body: I don't think so. I think instinct leads one to fight. Just look at Channing Tatum in Fighting. He's never trained. He just goes in there and does what comes naturally.

Mind: Yes, but Nicolas Cage also fights, to a degree, in Knowing. He doesn't necessarily use his fists or violence, but he fights to survive.

Body: That's not really Fighting.

Mind: Yes it is.

Body: Channing could beat the stuffing out of Cage.

Mind: He could not. He couldn't, especially if he were fighting Cage in Con Air.

Body: We're not talking about Con Air. We're talking about Knowing. And Channing could beat that guy.

Mind: Cage could outsmart him. He knows things.

Body: You're wrong. That's where Channing's instinct comes in. He fights without thinking. Cage would think too much. His "knowing" would be his undoing.

Mind: Nope. Cage is a survivor.

Body: Cage is soft. He's a teacher. And he eats hot dogs. Plus he didn't do anything to stop that plane crash.

Mind: Stop the plane crash? Are you out of your mind? Like Channing could have done anything to stop that!

Body: Channing would have done something. Cage just kind of wanders around in a daze.

Mind: That's totally not fair. He was overwhelmed by the enormity of that tragedy. Anybody would have been.

Body: Not Channing. He's a bad ass.

Mind: How can he be a bad ass with a name like "Channing Tatum"? It's a chick name!

Body: Oh, don't you go there!

Mind: OK. You want to play tough? Let's put Channing up against somebody like Charles Bronson or Chuck Norris. Or Jean-Claude Van Damme. Then what?

Body: I knew you'd bring Charles Bronson into this. Bronson used guns. Channing could still beat the tar out of him if Bronson didn't have his gun.

Mind: Not Chuck. Or Jean-Claude.

Body: Look at you! Now you're talking about Fighting! Where did your Knowing argument go? Looks like we're choosing Fighting!

Mind: Are not. We are not!

Body: Are too! Are too!

Mind: You're an idiot.

[Body PUNCHES Mind in the face.]
categories Columns, Cinematical