Gray Flannel Dwarf

1/5/2006

Holiday movie list

Well, not really a list.

Saw two movies over Christmas/New Years — well, four if you include the DVDs of Forty Year-Old Virgin and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In the theatres, we saw Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich.

Geisha wasn’t bad. I felt stupid for not knowing sooner — like when I first saw the book appearing on shelves in 1999 or so — that it wasn’t a true/autobiographical account, but a novel by Arthur Golden. It wasn’t until the credits that I found out, dumbly, that it was fictional.

I did find it a little odd — and I know I’m not the first to make this observation — that a “Japanese” movie starred three of the biggest Chinese names out there: Zhang Ziyi, Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh. Actually, I was also a little miffed that Gong Li got a bit slighted in the credits, at least in my opinion. After crediting Zhang, Yeoh, and all the other major characters, they then had the “And Introducing” credits featuring (I think) Suzuka Ohgo and then Gong Li.

Gong got second listing after some nobody, in an “introductory” credits section? Granted she’s been in mostly Chinese movies for the most part, but this was not her first film seen in the West — Chinese Box had her starring alongside Jeremy Irons. Also, it’s not like she’s a forgotten name amongst the many different film festivals — she was a jury member at some of them!

In any case — the movie was beautifully shot and told an interesting story. It also will perhaps set the record straight for morons who think geishas were prostitutes. And despite the good performances by most of the actors/actresses, I like to think that they could’ve found real Japanese actresses to play the major roles covered by “the big three” above, for historical (and visual) accuracy’s sake.

Munich was pretty good too, though very long — a quality not ignored by the two rednecks who walked out of the theatre muttering stuff about the movie and disturbing everyone else in the theatre. It’s basically the story of a tortured undercover agent/bounty hunter hired by Israel, seeking revenge for the Munich Olympic incident. With certain bits of humour, it comes across at times like an Oceans Eleven, but really it turns out to be a quite bitter, scary and emotional movie… not that this wasn’t expected, to some degree… I mean, Munich was real; George Clooney’s tales of bank robbery glory is just schtick.

Both of these movies were worth seeing, each for different reasons, although I did like Geisha more — Munich was missing…something, and I can’t put my finger on it. Would probably be a bit too rich to watch both on the same day, though.


Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 10:59 am

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