Friday, December 26, 2008

A Curious Benjamin and a Frosty Nixon

Another Family Tradition of mine is to go check out the new releases on Christmas Day.

This Christmas was no different.

I was a little disappointed that the long awaited Kate and Leo reunion in Revolution Road was not released on Christmas Day.... Thanks for nothing Santa.

So we opted for a double feature of  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button followed by Frost/Nixon.   Both good choices and both worth seeing.  Comparing the two is difficult but poignant.  

Here's what I liked about Button:

1.) Brad Pitt gets younger and hotter through the film- Although I have to admit, a 60 something Pitt, with mad scientist wild white hair is just if not more sexy than a 30 something James Dean Wannabe Pitt.  Incase you forget during the first two hours of the film that the wrinkly man is the "dreamy" Brad Pitt, the director reminds you with model shots of Pitt on boat, on a motorcycle, and in the mountains.  It almost feels like a Ralph Lauren ad montage.  But okay I guess that's why you go see Pitt in a movie.  
2.) Visually Beautiful - And I don't just mean Pitt, the colors were all so vibrant, from the wardrobe to the set design to Cate Blanchett's blazing red mane were all very visually stimulating

Things That Bugged Me:

1. Pitt's an okay actor- I know I get bashed for this opinion a lot.  But if you doubt me I urge you to see this movie and then rent Burn After Reading.  In Button, honestly Pitts wrinkles and CGI did most of the "acting" just like his Coen Brother's do was his crutch in Burn After Reading.  This was apparent when the wrinkles came off.  I thought to myself "Oh yeah he's cute, but the acting.. eh."
2. I'm Still Curious About Benjamin - 


You never find out about why Benjamin has this condition.  Something with a clock but it never makes sense of why only him?  I think they were too busy making Pitt look old to realize this 

3.  It Practically Begs for an Oscar - When you jam pack a film with Oscar veterans, release it over Christmas, and drop a whole lot of dough making it a period piece and making Brad old, you might as well open the film with caption that reads "Hey Academy how about you nominate this for best picture?!?"   Yes its good, but in a pretentious and forced way.  I respect films more when they are good in a effortless way.  Frost/Nixon and Milk nailed this. 

On that Note ... onto Frost/Nixon

I liked it because...

Nixon was awesome- the actor who played him (Frank Legella) was much taller than Nixon actually was.  But he was so convincing in his mannerisms and movement that the height didn't bother me

Great Story and well told -  Almost documentary style at times but still telling the story of David Frost and Richard Nixon I was drawn

It's one Flaw:

Gucci Loafers- in the very last scene Frost gives Nixon a pair of Gucci loafers, Nixon called feminine during their interview.  Nixon holds the box on a ledge over a ocean.  He takes out the shoes and places them back down on the ledge.  We zoom out and fade to black.  The movie's over.  Titles start saying what happened to Frost and Nixon after the interview blah blah blah.  I read it over and over.  Nothing.  The one thing I was most concerned for in that last scene is: What happened to the Gucci Loafers?  Did Nixon wear them?  Throw them over the ledge?  Give them to his wife?  

Do you think if I looked this up in some history book there might be the answer?  I'm concerned.

Overall two flicks worth seeing.  If you see them and an answer my curiosity about Benjamin or my  Gucci Loafer cliff hanger   I would greatly appreciate it

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