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Forum posts for Lost in Translation

Posted by cosmicfish on Feb 17, 2004
Yeah, dito, this movie is amazing and I'm glad to have articulate friends who can explain its wonderfulness better then I.

quack quack quack
Posted by alltogethernow on Feb 17, 2004
Nice work my boy.. saved me writing another rant on the merits of the movie.. seems we helped each other on this one.....

'As for not knowing what was said in the end, this is just one of Phduffy's quirks that I don't really understand. Like I said before, this is a very private movie, with the relationship between the two characters developing subtly and slowly, so it is very fitting that at the end you do not know what exactly is said to Scarlett Johansson.'

very nice i couldn't quite explain it myself, but you got it there...

Posted by phduffy on Feb 18, 2004
I've been thinking for a while that it would be good to have multiple reviews of the same movie on here. However, I don't know how much sense it makes if people feel the same way about a movie. I thought about adding a second Kill Bill review, but really, I would have just said the same things as you, and not as well.

So this is a good case of the time for 2 reviews.

I know that it's bad form to answer critics when you review something, but what the hell, this is just a website, not Maclean's, so I may respond to some of the questions/comments later.

Oh yeah
Posted by phduffy on Feb 18, 2004
One thing I would like to address, before I start on anything else, is the charge of plagiarism. I didn't lift anything from the Globe and Mail, nor do I even remember their review of it.
In fact, in my original review I didn't complain about the Japanese stereotypes, I complained that they weren't funny.

If I think I'm going to write a review of a movie, or even if it's likely that I'm going to see the movie, I do my best to avoid the reviews.

Posted by Nerhael on Feb 18, 2004
Hm.... I didn't read that as a charge of plagarism as much as saying, "I read the same thing in the globe and mail." Though I'll admit that it comes off more as the former than the latter.

We'll leave it to mister Miguel to address that.

I finally watched that movie last night, and have to say I did enjoy it. It's not laugh out loud type funny, but definitely has some good parts. I think my favourite interaction with the japanese is in the hospital actually. When he's talking to that older women, the two middle aged japanese women behind him to the left are trying so hard no to fall out of their seats laughing. Loved it.

Posted by Miguel on Feb 18, 2004
It was a charge of using something that the Globe and Mail already maybe plagiarism, which is actually not a problem with me. You read the globe and mail, and there was an article not too long go (not an official review but an ed. piece) that talked about stereotypical depictions of Japanese and how they weren't funny.

And I agree with Trevor that the Japanese characters weren't stereotypes (which is a word with very negative connotations, so even if you didn't have a problem with it, many other people would) and I actually did find them very funny.

Different strokes and all that.

Posted by phduffy on Feb 19, 2004
Okay, I just wanted to add a few points.
I had a whole bunch of stuff to add, but to be honest I don't have the energy. I will say that this is the last I'm going to say about this flic, so don't bother talking to me about, I won't get into it after this.
I'm also not going to read any of the responses to this post, so feel free to flame away once I'm done.

Okay, first off, I deserve Zero credit for liking Pirates better then You got Served. However, so does the general public, as Pirates did about 6 times as much business.

In general, I think that I'm a lot less critical of movies then most people, and in particular then most of the people here. There are lots of movies that someone will say they didn't like, and I'm incredulous, as I have to wonder, what were you expecting? Not every movie is going to be The Godfather. (Or... SERPICO!!! FUCK YES!!! Whoa, sorry).
Relax and enjoy them.

That's why I find it amusing that people think I can't handle a movie that's had lots of hype. As far as I can tell, in my entire life I have mentioned that 3 times.
First, for Shakespeare in Love, which was a decent/good movie that was presented as a great movie. Interestingly enough, it's now considered a pretty minor Oscar winner, and many people look down on it as one of the films that Miramax bought all the hype for. If you want to defend it, go ahead.
Second is American Beauty. Similarly, I thought this was pretty good, but not great. I mostly just didn't like the ending.
The third is Lost in Translation, which people said was great, but which wasn't good (I will get more into detail about expectations later).
Some people would like to include Fight Club in here, but I don't remember any hype for it, and I think it's a cool movie, I just think the ending is silly. (Which I think becomes apparent upon reviewing).
So I don't think I deserve this reputation of hating any movie that's hyped.

I sort of feel like Elaine in Seinfeld (in regard to The English Patient). Here's a movie that you're supposed to love that I think is bad, and I can't go around and say what I think, as it marks you as a social outcast.

Of course, all of this is my opinion, and we could go back and forth forever. You can't believe I don't see the beauty, I'm incredulous you could consider this interesting, I'm flabbergasted you don't like LOTR, I'm befuddled that you don't like the books, I'm out of words in the Thesaurus. So there's not a whole lot of point to that.

Alltogehternow suggests that I didn't give this movie a fair shake. That's bullshit. On one of the message boards that I frequent there was a discussion of the Oscar nominated movies. It quickly turned into a bash LIT session, and I started to get pissed off. Don't these people understand movies? This looks like a great movie!
When I watched the movie, the people I was with started to say negative things about it. I started to get upset, because I wanted them to shut up and wait for the movie to get better. Unfortunately it never did.

Okay, now since I've revealed how I feel, I've heard lots of reason for why I didn't like it. Here's a list with my comments:

The most frequent piece I got was that this was simply an over hyped movie. Most people said that it was a good but not great movie, that got over hyped. Some people have said, well no one's claiming this is that great of a movie.

The version I rented mentions on the cover that it has been on 80 top ten lists, won various film critic awards, etc. On this board it was called "One of the truly great, important and different movies". A frequent poster to this board told me that this film will be looked on as one of the all time greats, and that's it's one of the best romantic comedies of all time. I found this ironic as the movie is neither romantic or a comedy, but I'll save that for later. I would suggest that if you think this is a truly great and important movie you need to see more movies, but I know that the people that made those comments have seen lots of movies. What I think happened is that this movie did something fantastic that they liked, so they overlook its flaws. Whatever, the point is that it was extremely hyped. But feel free to ignore this point.

It's ironic comedy, you just didn't get it.
It's subtle comedy, you just didn't get it.
It's not a comedy, you didn't get it.

I love that I got all these, as it shows that it's not quite evident what this movie was doing. If you want to argue that it's not a comedy, that's fine. However, if you talk to people who watched it (ie the people that were all laughing at the show) or go to, you'll say that there were definitely people that thought it was funny. So it's not unreasonable to assume they were going for comedy.
When I talk about the Stereotypes (and yes, they are stereotypes) I'm just saying that I didn't find them funny. I'm not saying that they're true or not, I don't really care. I'm just saying they're not funny. If you don't like MEEC, fine, watch the Simpsons where they go to Japan. I found that funny, and I just didn't find these jokes funny. I'm not sure why.

There is a plot, it's just not a plot that requires ADD.
Of course there's not plot, it's not a movie about plot!
It's a character driven movie, not plot.

I also love this, as I love how many different response people had to this movie. Now, apparently many people just like the characters in this movie, and fall in love with them. Which is fine, but I don't understand why. You've got Scarlett's character, who we're told is smart in one throw away line, but goes through the movie acting as a spoiled brat. "Oh No, I'm stuck in Tokyo all day, I think I'll just lie around in the same pair of fucking underwear all week and mope and hang out at the bar." What’s that rule again, tell don’t show? Wait, that’s not it…..
And in Bill Murray you've got a guy that also decides to just sit around while in Japan, and maybe falls out of love with his wife, and falls for Scarlett's character. So, he then cheats on his wife with the lounge singer. WTF? This is a guy I'm supposed to cheer?

Other criticisms:
You don't understand that movie because you don't believe in love.

Well okay, I don't have any response to that. Maybe that's true.

This isn't a movie you watch, it's a movie you experience.

Again, I don't have any response to that, as I don't have a fucking clue what that means. Is it like a ride at Wonderland? What, do I gain a level and change character classes after I watch it?

You're an idiot.
Maybe you'll understand it better when you grow up.
If you were more sophisticated you'd like it.

I have no response to these.

The best reason I've heard so far, that might actually make sense came when talking to a friend of my mom's. She hated the Last Samurai and loved Lost in Translation, and I felt pretty much the opposite. She says that she really likes movies about characters and doesn't like plot. I realize that I'm the opposite. I want a movie to have a plot. Now, I think that the best thing to do is combine the two. Which is why I think a movie with no plot, like Lost, sucks. I just like a plot.

I have more to say, but damn, this is fucking long. So just assume I had lots more of good stuff to say.

Now, as mentioned, I've been trying to figure out why I didn't like this movie, so I read reviews after I posted mine. And the best thing I found was that even the critics agree with me about how the ending is fucking bullshit.

What pisses me off even more about this scene, is when I compare it to Pulp Fiction. I believe that Tarantino didn't know what was in the briefcase, and couldn't write himself out of the scene. Years after he drops hints that it's a soul or diamonds, and he thinks both ideas are cool. Same with why the dude was thrown out the window.
Okay, now in Lost in Translation, Coppola apparently knows what was said! She fucking knows exactly! But in order to figure it out you're supposed to sit and listen to the Jesus and the Mary Chain lyrics at the end of the movie and decipher it. That's absolute garbage, as I mentioned, I shouldn't have to go on the internet to figure out the ending of a movie.
Hey, maybe next movie I watch I'll just shut off 5 minutes before the end! Wouldn't that be awesome! It's private, so I don't want a resolution!

Words I read to describe it include "Amateur, pretentious, underhanded, etc"
I think that it's pretentious arthouse bullshit that has no place in a serious movie.

Okay, so if anyone has managed to make it through this, I invite you to watch the movie and fall in love with it. Then, cross your fingers and hope that Sophia Coppola becomes a man so that you can fellate him.
After that, please come here, read my review, and laugh and laugh and laugh at it.

Finally, I'd just like to once again mention that I won't be reading the posts here, nor will I be talking about this again.

Posted by phduffy on Feb 19, 2004
I forgot to mention the other movies.

Okay, I saw Big Fish a few weeks ago. This movie is better in every sense of the word. It disapoints me that this movie did so much worse, and yet is so much better.

All of Big Fish, The Last Samurai, Kill Bill, Seabiscuit and Lord of the Rings are significantly better. Now, none of these are love stories. (I actually found the love story in Last Samurai to be its weakness) but they're all better. They're better shot, better scripted, better directed and acted just as well. I was going to include L'Auberge Espanole, but since no one has seen it it's probably not fair. And it is a love story.

Also, I meant to close with a quote from my dad. I knew he didn't like it a ton, so I asked him what he thought:
"This was a terrible movie. The pacing is horrible, the story non-existent and the dialogue is lame. There's no reason for it to be set in Tokyo, it could have just as easily been set in Toronto, or Muskoka or even Hanover. It's a shame that this movie got nominated for anything, and it makes me wonder about the people that vote for these things"

Okay, now I'm done with everything.

Enjoy and flame on!

Not a flame but....
Posted by Miguel on Feb 19, 2004
Apparently you're not going to read this, but I want it on record anyway.

I am offended, angry but mostly disappointed that you choose to include this:

"Maybe you'll understand it better when you grow up.
If you were more sophisticated you'd like it.

I have no response to these."

This was a private MSN conversation, and I said it as an obvious joke (and I remember even saying that it was a joke). And you choose to put this up as fodder to make you look good and draw sympathy, and it makes it look like whomever says it is a patronizing retard.

Fuck you.

We're friends, and I would hope that I can joke around with you in good faith. And i'm sure Trevor probably said the same thing as a joke.

Over and out