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Location: Tampa, Florida, United States

A girl living in Tampa Bay for the last 11 years. I mostly fill my time with friends, creative hobbies like community theater and arts and crafts, movies and tv, and other random fun things to try.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Great" Films of the 1970's -- Chinatown (1974)

Eric and I decided to start a watching lauded films of the 1970s. We looked on lots of websites for "best films of the 70's". Chinatown was on every one of them. So we decided to start there. He is posting his own comments on his blog.

First, it's not exactly the most compelling subject matter. It makes me think of Peter Jackson when he directed Lord of the Rings talking about how Sauron is just a big eye -- it's a nightmare to try to make that scary and interesting on screen (though I would say Jackson pulled it off). In the same vein, the whole story of Chinatown centers around water politics. Let's just say water politics just isn't as compelling as nuclear bombs or drug syndicates. Ho-hum. They're diverting water during a drought so a bunch of rich people can buy out the farmers and build real estate? Sounds like another day in these corrupt United States where extreme rich walk all over everybody else. Honestly, this big mystery wasn't a huge deal.

Jack Nicholson plays this really slimy kind of private eye, JJ Gittes. You get the feeling that nobody talks to or does business with him unless they absolutely have to. He makes a terrible protagonist. I just wanted to get away from him most of the time.

*SPOILER ALERT* I'm going to complain about the ending now. You were warned.

Faye Dunaway's character, Evelyn, sleeps with Gittes toward the end. It just seems gross. Maybe that was the point, but I get the impression it was supposed to be sexy, but it really, really wasn't.

So in the end, the crazy rapist father gets custody of his daughter of incest with his daughter (so she's his grand/daughter) and Faye Dunaway's character, Evelyn, dies. Which is probably one of the best things that could happen to Evelyn, really. I hate to speculate about grand/daughter, since we get no sense of her character at all except that she seems horribly confused all of the time. But the problem is not that Evelyn dies, but that there's this whole loooooong, drawn out plot that basically brings us to her sudden death and you're left going, I waited through 2 hours of this for that? I mean, the ending is like taking a long, slow car ride, when for the last 10 seconds there's a sudden acceleration to 70 mph and then you hit a brick wall.

So not my idea of entertainment unless you mean to make fun of the whole thing. Go ahead, have at it.


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