Sunday, February 29, 2004

Roger Ebert should lay off the fatty foods

I just got done watching Lost in Translation. I'd been wanting to see this movie for awhile, and was pretty sure that I was going to like it. As such, I pulled a Suicide Kings and just bought the fucking thing without having seen it. That turned out to be the right call. Which is more than I can say for the decision to blow that guy in the Best Buy parking lot to avoid paying for said DVD.

I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to spoil anything in the movie. I can't say for sure, since I haven't written the review yet. Look, if you're all that worried, just see the fucking film already. How long ago was it in theaters? Why haven't you seen it already? Sheesh. Hey, I would have seen it myself, but you know what a burgeoning social schedule I have. Shit, I can't get these bitches up off me for three seconds, so never mind getting away long enough to watch a whole fucking movie. I tell 'ya.

In case if you're more socially isolated than me and don't know what the fuck the movie is about, here's a quick rundown. Lost in Translation stars Bill Murray as Bob Harris, an actor who finds himself in Tokyo doing whiskey commercials, and Scarlett Johansson as Charlotte, also in Tokyo along with her husband who's doing some photography work. Bob and Charlotte are both markedly unimpressed to be in Tokyo until they meet and have madcap adventures searching for treasure. Okay, not really. Well, yeah, they meet of course, and stuff happens. Hey, I'm at least trying to not ruin anything.

I'm not really sure how the movie has been promoted, but there's a quote from some critic on the DVD cover who proclaims that the movie is "Flat out hilarious!" I don't know if this is the best quote to be using on the DVD cover, because it just doesn't quite put you in the right frame of mind. There is some great comedy in this movie for sure, but it also has a definite serious side to it, which led to a nice mix.

Shot entirely on location in Japan, it was fun (for me at least) to actually be able to catch all sorts of little elements of Japanese pop culture. Naturally, I'm not all expert and shit, but it was fun to see some things I recognize, in addition to plenty that I didn't. And yes, I was of course on schoolgirl watch. While it wasn't an out-and-out schoolgirl fest, there were definitely some uniforms seen in the movie, and even some loose socks action.

The use of language in the movie was interesting. There's a decent amount of Japanese spoken, and it's not subtitled in English at all. My presumption is that this was done on purpose so that the audience would be as lost and confused as the characters in the film. Look, I know that's probably a pretty obvious thing, but I fucking suck ass at literary and film analysis, and as such am proud of myself when I can actually figure something out. I'm sure Galvin sometimes sees this kind of pride when one of his retarded kids writes their name correctly or fails to drool on themselves for something.

Also, it was very amusing to hear the stupid gai-jin horribly mispronouncing words in Japanese. I know very little of the language, save for a few words here and there and that as a whole it's completely fucked up, but I do know enough to recognize when someone's pronunciation is totally off. Which happens any time a white person tries to speak Japanese.

The opening shot of this movie was fucking brilliant. I won't describe the opening to you, but just let me tell you that that is how you start a goddamn movie.

I also loved a lot of the music choices that were made, especially in the opening and closing scenes. Er, I guess not the very opening scene vaguely described above, but the sequence just after it.

The there's the actors themselves. Bill Murray. What do I really need to say? This guy is so fucking good that it's not even funny. Scarlett Johansson is a little stiff at times, but puts in a good performance. And man oh man is she hot. She doesn't quite have a freshly scrubbed prettiness, but she does start off "pretty hot" and become even hotter as time passes. Oh, and to whoever's idea it was to show numerous shots of those nice legs and feet of hers: great idea.

The whole movie was pretty good, but it didn't really make its full impact until the very last scene. The last scene gives you a sense of closure and satisfaction, while at the same time leaving you with feelings of loss and frustration. Okay, I guess I shouldn't be saying "gives you" as opposed to "gave me." I'm the last person who should be telling anyone how they feel, but you know, some people need that kind of thing.

Anyway, it's because of this closing scene that I'm going to have a tough time watching this movie again. That's not to the detriment of this film; it's the last scene that kicked the movie up a notch from "good" to "yeah, pretty fucking good." Again, for me at least.

Okay, so let's do the list:

Saving the best/worst for last: +1
Schoolgirls: +1, +1 modifier for loose socks
Music: +1
Letting this pretentious fuck feel special for picking up pop-culture references: +1
Some gorgeous scenery shots: +1
A couple of awkward moments: -1
Bill Murray: +1
Legs and feet that were actually nice to look at (take note, Quentin): +1
Going somewhat Empire and "keeping it real": +1

So, how do does LIT stack up against Kill Bill? Well, shit, looks like we got a tally of eight there, too. Fuck it, they were both good enough for me to give them a balls-out review like this, which I rarely ever do, so we can just stop fretting now. If you need to have some kind of winner, just pick for yourself. I'm tired of doing all the goddamn work around here. This was a good movie, and since I've seen it, it gets my Oscar vote. It probably has no chance of winning, though, since as I said, it's a good film. Oh, and Bill Murray had better fucking win for best actor. I mean it, you Oscar fucks.

No comments: