I saw Emperor two or three weeks ago. I forget when. Actually I haven’t forgotten. I saw at on Wednesday, 2.20 at the Post Group screening room on Cahuenga. And I tried to tap out a review three or four times, and every time my forearms felt like concrete and my six typing fingers felt like iron — they weighed 10 pounds each. The mere thought of reviewing Emperor made me get out the vacuum and then wash the dishes and then drive down to Gelson’s.
It’s a conservative…make that a stodgy period film. Blah blah blah blah blah. With a half-interesting…make that rote performance by Tommy Lee Jones as Gen. Douglas MacArthur, doing the old lazy bark and smoking the corncob pipe. The best summary I’ve read came from Newark Star Ledger critic Stephen Whitty, to wit: “This is just a dull procedural, with the bland Matthew Fox driving around in a jeep in post-World War II Tokyo and asking questions of various government figures and not having them answered (when he’s not having perfectly cliched flashbacks to a fictionalized romance with a rich Japanese girl).”
That’s it. That’s all it is. Emperor is so dull it’s not even an airplane movie. It’s not a what-the-hell-there’s-nothing-else to watch Netflix or Amazon or Hulu movie for a Monday or a Tuesday evening. Uh-oh, I’m starting to feel sleepy again. My fingers are getting heavier and heavier. Okay, that’s all.