Tuesday, February 5, 2008


So, I finally got around to watching Once. I think it was Moriarty at Ain't It Cool News who finally convinced me to see it. I know it made it in his top 20 movies of the year, but I'm not totally sure where exactly it fit in. So, yeah, he liked it and I tend to like his judgment so...now I've seen it.

Well, my thoughts are mixed. Personally, I thought it was pretty boring. Also, I'm quite confident that the anime I download has higher picture quality. Obviously, the music is supposed to be the movie's strong point, and, yes, it is. But, the music is just okay. It's certainly not bad, but I didn't think it was all that special either. You know, brit pop. Everybody wants to be Radiohead or Coldplay or David Gray or Travis or whoever. And, well, these songs could fit in almost any of their songs alright (okay, obviously, it would never in a million years fit in Radiohead's songs, because it is neither brilliant nor borderline unlistenable, which Radiohead is somehow capable of being). In any case, not all that exciting.

But, there was stuff I did like. I totally liked the ending. That was awesome. You could never get an ending like that in America. We don't need to see him score the record deal. We just need to see him find the courage to leave and actually try (I admit, I thought he was totally BS'ing about leaving for London on Monday, until he did...on Tuesday). I also liked the documentary feel to it. It truly managed to pull me into the fantasy (when I wasn't getting annoyed by the fact that the picture quality sucked, of course).

I didn't really like that he got back in touch with his ex. That was unnecessary. I mean, just because he's not over her, doesn't mean he should try to get back together with her. That's just silly. She doesn't deserve him. On the other hand, considering that she inspired all his songs, I guess he probably needs to spend some time with her so that he can get inspired for the full CD.

I also didn't like the scene on the bus where he uses music to talk about his past since he's not comfortable having a conversation like a normal human being. I thought it was annoying. Also, it made this feel a little too much like a musical, instead of a...um...love story, I guess, with music. I did like that they were willing to admit the scene was ridiculous by having him get too into it and start just singing cursing words at the top of his lung and upsetting the other passengers. That doesn't excuse them for it, though.

On an unrelated side note, all I could look at on the girl was her nose. She had a very Czech nose, I guess. Moving on...

The guy was cool, though. Apparently, he was also in the significantly better movie, The Commitments. That movie had so many strong points it's hard to know where to begin, but I guess you have to start with the music, and it was awesome. It also had a great ending. And comedy, something this movie sorely lacked. And interesting characters. Did I mention the music already? Oh, I did. Well, I probably didn't emphasize the awesomeness of the music enough. Especially the singer, doing Mustang Sally. It was also cool since the singer was an ass. Did I mention cute Irish girls? Nope, well, it had them too.

Back to Once. I promise not to compare it to The Commitments, since obviously it's not even remotely fair (multiple cute Irish girls beat a Czech girl with a sizable schnoz everyday of the week). Although, before I totally drop The Commitments, one similarity between the movies is the fact that it gets tough to understand the characters due to their heavy Irish accents. Once didn't have quite as much of a problem on this front, but The Commitments demanded multiple viewings to get all the dialogue (and for the awesome music, of course). Once, though, adds in equally unintelligible Czech accents, though, so boo on them.

One thing I am curious about, though, is the meaning of a couple of the things the girl said to him. At one point he asks her how to ask if she loves her husband in Czech. She responds in Czech, of course. It would have been nice if he could have found out what her answer meant. At the time, I assumed it meant "I love you", but since they didn't end up together, the meaning is back up in the air. Also, at one point she associates spending time with him with "hanky-panky". I have no idea what that was supposed to mean. At least, I don't think he did either.

But, so, yeah. Just okay. It definitely wasn't bad, but I wasn't all that impressed. I am glad that I managed to stay awake during the really long and boring middle section (I got so bored at one point I started thinking about work, which I normally completely forget about when I'm home).

That is all.


PS - So I went to Wikipedia and apparently she did say "I love you". Also, it wasn't in the script. And the actor didn't know what it meant either. So, I'm not sure if it actually counts as having been said at all. In addition, I guess the budget was only $160,000 dollars, so I probably should forgive the poor quality. But, I'm not really feeling generous at the moment.

Lastly, apparently we never learn the characters' names. Which is weird because I could swear she introduced herself to him when she first interacted with him (and I didn't catch the name since it was something unintelligible but very Czech-sounding, and, no, I'm not going back to make sure). Also, I totally thought she called him Oliver at one point. But, whatever, the characters didn't get to have names in the credits, so I'll just trust the credits and assume they had no names (which could make it harder to get a record deal...just my thoughts).

That is all.

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