When I was young -- I guess I must have been six years old -- the pages of DC Comics were filled for a time with ads for "1941." I never saw the movie (for chrissakes, I didn't see "Stripes" until I was 30), but the ads were memorable -- two-page spreads, with a chaotic scene of, well, just about anything in the movie. As I grew older, I knew the film had a reputation as a flop, but those ads and the wonder they evoked stayed with me.
This past week, I finally rented "1941," and I can say: what a terrible movie. I laughed about five times, four of those connected to John Belushi scenes. It's the worst thing that I've sat all the way through since, well, geez. As long as I can remember. (A bottle of Little Penguin Pinot Noir helped get me through it.)
This will probably dim my recent interest in revisiting "Ishtar," too.
* * *
#31 -- "When We Were Orphans" by Kazuo Ishiguro
Also disappointing, though not on the same level. On one level, of course "When We Were Orphans" is a great book -- Ishiguro is brilliant, after all. The problem for me lies in the main character, who presents something of a dilemma. Christopher Banks is obviously intended to be somewhat frustrating, self-centered, and occasionally bull-headed and dense. Ishiguro succeeds too well in getting this across -- during a fairly tense scene, Banks's behavior marked perhaps the first time I've ever found myself hissing advice at a character in a book.
Then, of course, it gets completely emotionally shattering. I guess this was actually pretty good -- just after being leveled by "Never Let Me Go" last year, I was expecting a repeat.