Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Everything is awesome

It was a holiday yesterday so my son was off school. I took the day off to look after him and decided that we would have a father/son outing. It's been grey and cold here, with more snow than usual so I chose a movie. The Lego Movie.

A lot of people had the same idea as mine, the theater was packed with kids, which was fine as I had one, too. It's always hard to decide what to expose your son to, what does he know? What will he get out of it?

He did well but was not really interested in the happenings on screen. He watched, then looked around the theater, babbled a bit. Who knows if he had a good time? When the movie was over and the credits started he was instantly out of his seat and wanted out of the theater. I thought that he would be interested in the credits as he always watches them intently at home. Not the case.

The film itself was a visual freak out of nostalgia. Certainly entertaining, though I'm not sure who the target audience is. Having read no reviews I had no idea what to expect, or who did the voices so there were pleasant surprises for me.

Later that evening TCM had a premiere of a little seen film of Jackie Gleason's. Gigot was made in 1962 and to my knowledge is not available on home video in any form. It's also directed by Gene Kelly. It's set in Paris and Gleason plays a mute who works as a janitor. He's picked on and ridiculed by people in the neighborhood regularly and with great cruelty. Then he meets a prostitute and her daughter and finds a friend in the kind daughter.

I wanted to root for this film, but some of the sentimentality and pathos was so over the top it's hard to take Gigot seriously. Reviews were mixed, and remain so. Was Gleason trying to be Chaplin in the Kid, or Tati? His ego was all over the opening credits as his name appeared several times in very large font. Still, it's quite the ambitious film and the effort is certainly there, even with execution that is deeply flawed.

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