Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lost In Translation & Out Three Bucks

With Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray shows off his broad range of
acting ability. Here it's hat off. Credit: Focus Features.

                                     Lost In Translation & Out Three Bucks


                                                                     Jay Agan

      I got Lost In Translation as a three buck "special" at my local Big Lots. I thought I'd get some culture. I thought I'd get some laffs. I thought I'd be entertained. I thought ..... I thought some thinking went into making this flick. Maybe some did but ..... What the heck were they thinking?

      Bill Murray, a bored & boring DEADpan actor, plays an aging, bored & boring DEADpan actor languishing in Tokyo while doing an ad for a local distillery. Being bored, boring & DEADpan he does bored, boring & DEADpan things to pass the time. Why? Because his life & marriage has become bored, boring, & DEAD.

      Into his bored, boring & DEAD existance comes Scarlett Johansson, a not so bored, boring & DEAD actress playing the wife of a celeb photog too wrapped up in his work. As it takes a while for them to warm up to one another, it's love at third sight. And off they go committing adultery lite, that is it doesn't get "consumated". Just as well. Ole DEADpan would have made it look ..... creepy.

      Instead, we see them taking in the sights, not of Japan necessarily, as much of a crowded cityscape full of folks speaking Japanese. I expected something more than a town full or "foreigners". Something more uh ..... Japanesy (Is that a word?).

      This flick could have been shot anywhere/anyone as a two dimensional backdrop. London, Paris, Rome, Delaware  Ohio. Just have a lot of people milling about a cityscape. Saturate it with anything but the English language & you'd have an "exotic" locale. Any cultural uniqueness can be ignored.

      The scene with the pole dancer gyrating to "You Can Suck My T-----s" momentarily raised the bar half a notch. That's how bad this flick is. The tension meter jumped a little when Bill had a (thankfully off camera) one night stand with a hotel bar singer & Ms. Johansson finding out.

      Sofia Coppola may have been hoping for the viewer to garner sympathy for these two. Me, I wasn't disgusted as much as I was bored (& feeling boring & DEAD.). It was like Bridges of Madison County without the scenery. Not only couldn't I sympathise, I couldn't feel anything.

      This flick grossed over a hundred mil at the box office, recieved an Oscar, several other awards & much acclaim. H. L. Mencken was right: "No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."
      The film ends with Murray embracing Johansson among a herd of aimless locals in downtown Delaware Ohio ..... er ..... uh Tokyo. As he does so he mutters something unintelligable. Him & me both.

                                     Article copyright © 8-3-2011 Jay Agan

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  1. I am embarrassed every time I see Bill Murray.

    His brother is outshining him on the small screen with cartoon VO work. One episode of "Flapjack" eclipses Bill's entire catalog of work.

    Except "Ghostbusters".


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