Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jack vs. CITIZEN KANE (1941)

I like movies, yet I've never seen the movie that a lot of critics call the greatest movie of all time... Until tonight.  I recently bought the CITIZEN KANE 70th Anniversary blu-ray set.  Why?  Because I'm terrible with money, and the movie snob in me wanted this for my respectable movie library.

How good is CITIZEN KANE?  CITIZEN KANE currently has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.6 on IMDB (and #38 on the top 250 list)... so it appeals to real critics and armchair critics.

I've decided that I would live-blog the experience of watching this classic for the first time.  It's gonna be weird.  Most of my knowledge of CITIZEN KANE comes from The White Stripes' "The Union Forever."  I do know what "Rosebud" was, but I don't really know how that will affect the way I watch it.  Hope it doesn't.  I hope I can enjoy it like I enjoyed Harry Potter knowing that Voldemort dies... (Fake spoiler alert: Rosebud was a wizard, and he's killed to save Malfoy.)  

"Spoiler."  Hehe... You get it if... you know that... Nevermind.

I will do my best to make this entertaining for all of us.  That's why I'm with my friends Gentleman Jack and Coke... Wait, not Coke... Diet Dr. Thunder.  Jack and Diet Dr. Thunder... Awesome...Drinking game: I will take a shot every time someone in the movie says "Dude, where's my sled?"

So, without further... stalling, Orson Welles' classic... CITIZEN KANE

And... Here... We... Go.  (More after the jump!)
I guess I should say refresh this page... semi-frequently.

00:00 Wait, this isn't CITIZEN KANE.  This is KANE I CITIZEN ON YOUR PENIS.  Crap, I got the porn version... (Joke)

00:02 Ominous music... Fake looking mansion and monkeys.  Setting a dark atmosphere.  Spooky... and beautiful.  It reminds me of this one time at band camp.

00:02 ROSEBUD!!!... Awwww, shit.  Another dead white man.

00:03 "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree -- "  Okay, I can already tell you that this movie is too smart for me.

00:04 Lots of exotic locations and things, and they're all using the same Star Wars screen wipe.  This feels too much like stock footage.

00:04 Oooooooooh... Xanadu is the place we're talking about.  (Shiiiiiit)

00:06 Exposition with more stock footage.  More whiskey.

00:07 Black and white movies are inherently classy looking.  Even Sin City... Stylish.

00:08 Now of the opinion that this isn't stock footage... So far, it's all presented like an old-timey, pre-movie advertisement.  Nice.

00:09 I have a feeling that I'm gonna be talking like the narrator for the rest of the night.  "I.  am going.  to drink.  more.  whiskey."

02:00 Jack, this is you from the future.

00:10 ...What?

2:00  This is you an hour and 50 minutes from now.

00:10 Dude, I'm busy.

2:00 Don't forget the laundry.

00:11 Charles Foster Kane finally speaks!  Oh, speak again, bright angel!

00:12 The narrator is done, and it WAS a pre-movie advertisement.  Brilliant.

00:12 I can't stress enough how beautiful the movie is.  How it's lit.  How it's framed.

00:13 Got to the plot.  They're trying to find out what Rosebud is.  (Shiiiiiit.)

00:14 "El Rancho Floor Show/ Susan Alexander Kane /Twice Nightly"  All the fat kid in me got out of that was "El Rancho."  I want a quesadilla.  Shit, my spell check doesn't recognize that.  Did I spell that right?

00:16 Okay, so they're trying to talk to his widow.  She's drunk and doesn't wanna talk... but she "never heard of Rosebud."

00:17 "Dude, where's my sled?!"  Shot!

00:20 Shit, timeout... I think they're (Kane's parents) selling young Charles Foster Kane to the bank.  I gotta wikipedia that because that doesn't sound right... Doesn't really say...

00:21 Charles Foster Kane's (no idea why I'm going full name) mom is a bitch.  So, he's definitely being sold or loaned to Mr. Thatcher... and Mr. Thatcher is gonna take him on a train with a bunch of lights.  I may be taking my work home with me, but that doesn't sound right.

00:22 Would I be okay with being molested by a rich guy if it makes me rich?  Are these the problems the wealthy have?  Because if so, I'm sorry to mock yall.  That's tough... but I think I'd do it... err... him.

00:23 He got sled...

00:23 Now 25 years later.  And he owns a newspaper.  And he's either very unethical or very ethical.  (After researching it, unethical.) 

00:26 Lightsaber battle?  G'damnit, George Lucas!

00:30 Really not sure what's going on... But people are convinced Rosebud is a girl.  That's definitely not a girl's name.  Was it a girl's name in the 20s?

00:33 Impressed with the editing so far.  Flash forwards.  Flash backs.  Smoke monsters...

00:34 This just became bad schtick with the newspaper editor.  Appreciating the sense of humor.

00:38 Just checked imdb... Orson Welles is Charles Foster Kane?!?  Daaaayum.  He let himself go towards the end.

00:39 Homeboy just broke the fourth wall.  He looked straight into camera and said, "I have a hunch it might turn out to be something pretty important.  A document-"  Come on... That was a bad choice and probably a red herring.

00:40 Charles Foster Kane buys shit like Batman.

00:41 To my anonymous commenter, I have fixed the settings.  Lemme know if it doesn't work.

00:42 I can't look at "hot chicks" in old movies without thinking, "Wow, they're dead now."

00:43 So far, I'm getting the biggest kick out of the parts that are used in the White Stripes song.

00:46 Something else from IMDB... Orson Welles is going to be the narrator of a  movie called Christmas Trails... but he died in 1985... He's a gh-gh-gh-ghost!

00:47 Terrible lines...
Guy 1: Hey, everybody!  Lookie out here!  (He's looking out the window).
Guy 2: Let's go to the window!"

00:48 CFK got us into the Spanish-American War... Is it bad that I don't know if that's a real war or not?

00:49 Ooh, I like this line... "I can remember absolutely everything, young man.  That's my curse.  That's one of the greatest curses ever inflicted on the human race: memory."

00:56 He just met his second wife.  She's cute... but kind of stupid... and I think he tried to rape her...

00:58 Yeah, she's stupid.  He made shadow puppets for her, and I think she'd blow him for it...I like her more than his first wife.

00:59 He cured her toothache with laughter.

01:01 Now, he's campaigning for governor...and he's using a big boy voice.  I'm gonna walk away from this with a man crush on Orson Welles.  Some people have a great speech voice. 

01:04 Ooooooh, his political opponent forced his mistress to send a note to his wife about having an affair... and now he's blackmailing him to quit the election.  Oh no he di'int.  (Shit, I need more whiskey.)

01:09 He picked the stupid one.

01:10 I'm having trouble understanding why we're supposed to care about CFK.  He's mostly a dick.

01:11 The makeup in this movie is outstanding.  Maybe it's the black and white that helps, but the old and young makeup in CFK is really terrific.

01:15 Kane married to stupid one, now.  And he looks happier.  He built his wife an opera house... and things have gotten very loud...

01:20 So, I'm updating now mostly to stay awake.  Wifey can't sing, and Kane's former colleague is in the midst of writing a scathing review... but homeboy passed out on his typewriter.  Also taking this opportunity to check facebook... Nothing new.

01:21 Kane finished the review, and he continued to write terrible things about Wifey.  OUCH.

01:22 I type faster than CFK.  I type faster than you.  And your mother.  And their mother.  And their mother.  And that bitch was fast!

01:23 All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

01:27 If they remade this, I see Bill Hader as CFK... although that's mostly because he can play everyone.

01:34 So, Wifey 2 is a terrible singer, but he makes her sing anyways.  It isn't pleasant.  It hurts me brain hearers.

01:37 Just realized I haven't peed yet.  Is that weird?... More as this develops.

01:37 So, he wifey 2 tried to kill herself because she kept having to sing in front of audiences that hate her.  HARSH.

01:40 So, now they're living in Xanadu... 49,000 acres.  The home is huge, and everything echos (which is a brilliant choice).  And such brilliant cinematography. 

01:41 Out of whiskey.

01:42 Boy, am I tired of watching this dude's crumbling marriages.

01:46 She left him because he's a dick that only cares about himself.  There's a commentary on money and possessions and materialism in here.  Too tired.

01:47 Sneaky man in black says he knows what Rosebud is.  Apparently, it's a cork that holds malevolence and evil on an island.  (I know the man in black never said that, but you get where I'm going.)

01:49 He's tearing shit up!  Kiss the rain, Billie Meyers!  I could use some vocalization though.

01:50 Looking at a snowglobe and saying rosebud with tears in his eyes.  Son of a bitch this dude was an actor.  If they ever do this and offer the part to Channing Tatum, I'm quitting this blog.

01:51 To be fair, I did enjoy STEP UP as much as any heterosexual man could...

01:53 I can kind of identify with him.  Collecting crap.  Filling your life with material possessions... like CITIZEN KANE on blu-ray... Oooh... full circle.

01:54  "Mr Kane was a man who got everything he wanted, and then lost it.  Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn't get or something he lost.   Anyway, it wouldn't have explained anything.  I don't think any word can explain a man's life.  No, I guess Rosebud is just a piece in a jigsaw puzzle."

01:55 Big reveal that Rosebud was his childhood sled and the last time that he was happy an uncorrupted by money and greed... and it's thrown in the burner.  (BOOM... LOST)

02:00 Going back in time to rewatch the stuff with the sled... and to remind myself not to forget the laundry... because I forgot the laundry.  A review to come.


  1. Rosebud is keyser soze!

  2. Its no fun if you have to approve every comment...

  3. To my anonymous commenter, I have fixed the settings.