Memoirs of a Geisha
What could I possibly say about Rocky that hasn’t been said before? Nothing. I will instead take this time to relay my experience this watching. I watched it with 3 other people (that’s Sarah, Aaron, and Kempo for those in the know), 2 of which had never seen the movie before. After we finished watching it, both remarked that the movie had not played out how they expected. Our society is inundated with certain spoilers, the famous “ADRIAN!” scene from the end of this movie and running up the stairs to “Gonna fly now!” being a couple of them. The fact of the matter is that even though this movie’s climax is a huge boxing match, Rocky can hardly be called a “sports” movie. Sylvester Stallone crafted an amazing character study filled with laughs and tension, wrapped around the premise of a simple man with low expectations for life suddenly being thrust into a limelight he had no reason to ever expect. It’s funny, Apollo Creed thought he was doing some shmoe a favor by giving him a “shot” at his title, never considering the possible upheaval to that man’s life. Rocky could at first be simply painted as the tough guy with a heart of gold, a cliché in today’s age, but as we follow him through the movie we see the depths of his character, and it is just an amazing feat of cinema. This movie is a masterpiece in my opinion and this time I felt slightly embarrassed by the stairs scene where he is jumping around in triumph, but that’s my hang up. It really is flawless film making.
Kempo (http://www.etsy.com/shop/KimchiCutie) said that this movie is one of the best love stories brought to screen, and I totally agree. Can you guys just get over your preconceptions about the movie and watch it already if you haven’t?
Silent Movie (1976):
This was the last Mel Brooks movie unwatched in my collection, and I am sorry to say it was not a high note. The movie is fine, but I predicted almost every joke that was going to happen. That makes for a pretty boring watch. I enjoyed the celebrity cameos, but they pretty much spent the currency for that gag on their first celeb. I mean, Burt Reynolds, c’mon! There’s not really much to say about it unfortunately. I used to love Mel Brooks but after this personally assigned endeavor, I’m left feeling like my film education has corrupted a small piece of my sense of humor. Wow, that’s depressing.
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005):
How much did this movie cost to make? According to Wikipedia, 85 million smackaroos. Yeah, it’s all up there on the screen. Beautiful actors and actresses, fantastic costume and set designs, amazing score. It really was a delight to the senses to watch. Substance wise though? Not much there. The story was predictable through and through, which is the norm for crowd pleasers like this. I really can’t complain though, it was a very enjoyable watch. I really liked the geisha training montage, because how else are you going to become geisha #1 without a training montage? No chasing a chicken around though, minus points for that. And it’s kind of creepy that the Chairman had been pining for the little girl from the bridge all these years, but it’s not like they’re related. The moral of the movie is eventually life always turns out the way you want, as long as you endure long enough. Amen!
Elmer Gantry (1960):
Man, that Burt Lancaster. He was something alright. Watching him parade around in Elmer Gantry, grinning wide and sweating so much it practically falls off the screen is something to behold. Lancaster is what holds the movie together. The story of a scoundrel who becomes a revivalist preacher with unclear motives is an interesting subject, but everything surrounding that in the movie doesn’t hold up too well. Jeans Simmons as Sister Sharon Falconer starts off as an interesting character, but eventually gets side lined by Lancaster, which I can’t complain about. The Audrey Hepburn style of acting has never appealed to me, and Simmons spends the movie putting on an accent and saying things that are supposed to inappropriate for a preacher, therefore shocking. The act goes cold fast. Thank the Lord for Lancaster. The movie runs almost 2 and a half hours but manages to be entertaining almost all the way through. The ending is pretty whackaboo, and in my opinion is a pretty big left turn from the rest of the plot. I cannot praise Lancaster’s performance enough. This movie was part of a 2 film collection DVD that I own along with The Birdman of Alcatraz, which I very much enjoyed as well.
Next week I will finish off the project, very far away from my goal. I don't really mind, those movies aren't going anywhere. Look forward to some depressing movie reviews, as I'm pretty sure I'm going to watch Grave of the Fireflies and Brokeback Mountain next week. Thanks for reading!