Lost In Translation

There's something about Matchstick Men that just is a no-go for me so I decided to see this Lost in Translation movie. Although I usually don't read up on stuff before going in to flicks- it was difficult to avoid the gushilygush kissassiness that critics gave this movie and to Sofia Coppola. Not sure why that happened. Still not sure why...

Anyway, I headed out to see an 8:00 showing on Friday night and picked up 2 16oz Budweisers and some peas. When I got to the little Cobble Hill theater there was a line. I was immediately nervous cause I knew it was gonna be crowded. Uch. I found a seat pretty quickly halfway down a row but then I got surrounded by people and freaked out and moved up to the third row by climbing over rows of seats. It's always weird when you blatantly 'move away' from people. In my third row, I tried to keep people from choosing to sit by me by acting weird, keeping my hood up, and blatantly drinking beer. Figuring 'who wants to sit next to that?' But it was no use. The place was sold out.

This flick was ok. It had its moments. As a matter of fact the whole movie was made up of moments. Subtle things. Seconds. Beats. Zones. Some of the moments were really good. And there was funny funny in a slapschticky (Ha! Ha! Japanese!) way. Bill Murray plays this aging movie star (which is actually weirdly difficult to swallow) who goes to Japan to film a whiskey commercial. The shots of him filming the commercial was probably the highlight of the movie. I could have sat there the whole time watching him do take after take. Easily could have killed an hour and half and walked away happy. 

Instead this flick was a low-key pseudo romance type thing. Two lonely people trapped in Tokyo for whatever reasons latch on to each other for dear life. And as a plot I was onboard. I'm fine with that. Seems like a good movie to me, but it was good only really in theory. If you take Japan out of this movie you're stuck with a nice looking entertaining snoozefest. Tokyo itself saved it. Weird tv shows, offbeat hotels, accents, karaoke, politeness, ja-merica, lights and color. The flick was coolio to look at. It felt good. It smelled fresh. And it flowed nicely. But it just didn't work for me in the bigger sense. I didn't care about it. I did appreciate it... from a distance. Maybe it kept itself at arms length from me because it was so slathered with hipster sauce.

Alot of people in the theater laughed out loud at pretty much every joke that was thrown up on the screen, regardless of its degree of funny. It made me wonder if this this movie was somewhat presold.  Maybe the undercurrent of arthousey 'you-have-to-like-it' buzz gave it a head start. Because I found it only sorta funny and only sorta touching. Yeah yeah human relationships. Choices. Connection. Restraint. Whatever. Yawn. Really worthwhile performance from Bill Murray will get him an Oscar nomination no doubt (long overdue since he was snubbed for Stripes). And Sofia Coppola is definitely a good director. She picks her shots to create a dead-on mood. I'd just prefer some mood shifts now and then to keep me on my toes... because after a while this thing became so (hah-so) whatevery...

Three Good Things About This Movie

- Toyko looked really cool and the whole place seemed like nutty fun.
- Bill Murray was really good. And they got him singing 'More Than This' all loungey lounge.
- I liked looking at the movie.

Three Bad Things About This Movie

- The 'connection' between Murray and the chick never locked in for me.
- There was no emotional impact like a breaking window. Any impact was more like a dull thud on your bedroom wall. 
- It was so low-key that I often had to strain to hear it. 

All in all, the people in the theater seemed to really dig this movie. They laughed and seemed touched. After it ended I had to shove my way out excusing myself down the row because everyone sat to watch the credits. So that was that. When it came down to it, I felt the same way I would to seeing an old movie star shilling for some whiskey company... definitely kinda entertaining but when push came to shove- I simply wouldn't buy it.