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11/01/2003: "lost in lameness"

Finally saw 'Lost in Translation' last night -- whatta waste of time! Self-involved, irritating and worst of all boring! Nice soundtrack though. Gotta go w. what Gygax said on ILX -- 'edit it down to 10 minutes and you've got a great video for 'Just Like Honey' (extended 12" remix)'. (Speaking of which, playing 'Just Like Honey' at the end + wide-angle shots of city streets = easiest, cheapest form of emotional prodding ever! Come on, at least try to do something creative and/or interesting!) I felt the same way when the My Bloody Valentine song 'Sometimes' came up during footage of bridges &c. -- at least do the beauty of the song justice! You can make anything feel 'deep' by soundtracking it to a good song!

Even from a cinematography/photography angle I don't think that the scenes of Shibuya were all that great -- so tentative and wobbly, not nearly as expansive or heartbreakingly grand as I would have liked, nothing to bring that dislocation/disconnection/isolation home like say Wenders circa 'Wings of Desire'. I felt zero empathy for the characters, too -- Murray on autopilot in typical sad-clown-mode, Johanssen wooden, simpering, one-dimensional. Plus was it really necessary to derive the only humor from the film at the expense of making fun of Japanese customs/mannerisms? The complete failure to engage with Tokyo on any genuine level made the characters seem to drift against a cardboard background that could have been ANY foreign city -- ok some might use that as an argt for the film's 'universality' but instead it makes all the sentiment fall horribly flat. All I can say is I'm glad someone else paid for me to see this one.

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