Monday, November 7, 2011

Grit your teeth and think of Johnny Depp

That's basically my strategy for getting through Buster Keaton movies. Thinking about Depp's portrayal of a mentally ill man who styles himself after Keaton in Benny and Joon seems to be the only thing that makes these "comedies" tolerable for me. Having said that, I liked both Our Hospitality and Sherlock Jr. better than Steamboat Willie. Junior. What's the deal with all the "juniors" in Keaton movies? He plays whoever McKay Jr. in OH. Is it a play on Keaton's diminutive size? He is truly tiny. The closing tableau of OH with teensy Keaton and his teensy wife with the slightly larger pastor and the normal- to tall-sized other actors looked like the scene in Fellowship of the Ring when the hobbits and dwarves were standing with the men, wizard, and elves. Speaking of which, when is effing LOTR going to come up in our rotation?

But back to what we did have to watch. I wish OH had been a half an hour long. And I don't mean condense the action of the film into a half hour--I could lose that interminable train scene and be just fine. I only want the half hour where Keaton discovers that he's safe from his girlfriend's brothers if he doesn't leave the house. I found that mildly amusing. The rest of it was so mundane that, because I was waiting for Walking Dead to come on, I spent most of the film imagining what would happen if all of the sudden silent zombies invaded the screen. Much like High Sierra, the dog(s) were the best part. I couldn't even get engaged enough to be offended that spousal abuse was played for laughs.

As for Sherlock, I thought the jumping in and out of the movie screen was interesting, mainly because it is clearly what inspired Woody Allen to make Purple Rose of Cairo, one of my favorite movies.

I also remembered last night that even if we're done with Keaton, we've still got a slew of Chaplin movies, I'm almost certain. Bring on the Dude! We've earned it.

1 comment:

  1. Zombies would have been an excellent addition! Totally agree about the cutting the train altogether and making the film a half hour--at least then it would have been a bearable bore.