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Monday, February 16, 2009

In Defense of Bill Murray: Lost In Translation...

We all have different tastes in movies or music or reading and such, so usually it isn't worth even giving someone else's opinion about something a second thought. If they agree with your view, great and if they don't; big deal. I wouldn't even bring this up, but once again, someone has publicly ridiculed one of my favorite movies, Lost in Translation with Bill Murray.

I was driving into work this morning and flipping between the usual banter on The Big 99 and the news on WOAI with Charlie Parker. Turns out, news girl Charity McCurdy had seen Lost in Translation for the first time this weekend, and she reported that it was a great movie (and, she is correct - it is a great movie). Meanwhile, Parker and Stan Kelly (of "Oowwwch" fame) can't stop talking about what a worthless and crappy movie LIT was. They went as far as suggesting she dump her boyfriend over the matter.

I will confess to enjoying movies that aren't always the top picks by critics and further, I often simply don't see the brilliance in what everyone else seems to think is the best movie ever. Like I say, hardly worth arguing over in most cases. But I have to take a stand on this one. LIT was a great flick. Years of working crazy shift work made it easy for me to appreciate the jet lag Murray and his co-star, Scarlett Johansson were experiencing.

Oh sure, it would be sorta creepy for the older Murray to actually hook-up with the daughter-aged Johansson, but thankfully, writer/director Sofia Coppola stayed clear of that and the two characters experiencing similar issues at different points (ages) in their lives become fast friends in a respectful enough manner that you didn't feel the need to take a shower afterwards.

I'm not into movies where the dialogue is so Dennis Miller smart that the average person can't get it. This wasn't one of those, yet, you had to get into the characters to appreciate their point of view. I don't know; maybe it is that I have been to places where I'm amongst only a few people who speak English (I live in San Antonio, after all), and of course, that whole issue of jet lag and going for days not being able to get the sleeping pattern right. I won't spoil the ending for you in case you haven't seen it, but I can tell you - we never learn what Murray says to Johansson at the end of the flick. Unlike the ending of No Country for Old Men (which made no sense), here, it works.

Does all this have the making of a good storyline? Maybe not for Parker and Kelly, but as someone who hates to watch movies more than once or twice, this is one that I can pick up at any point in the movie when it comes on TV and enjoy it. More importantly, with LIT we learn just how bad it can be to listen to someone attempt to sing Roxy Music's "More Than This" on Karaoke. Unless your last name is Ferry, don't attempt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I lived in Japan for a number of years and LIT is one of my favorite movies. To me it covers both the lost in a sea of a foreign culture and the feeling of being in a hazy sea of time change....almost a dream world cause it makes no sense to most amercians.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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