Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Movies

Like most patriotic Americans on Memorial Day weekend, I usually spend a good bit of time watching movies. On the big screen in the community cineplex. On the small screen in my bedroom. From Blockbuster for $3.99 (for a whole week), or a nearby Redbox for $1 (for one night). Doesn't matter. At some point or another, I'll watch one movie - or two or three - from beginning to end.

I've seen two so far.

Saturday night's film was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, rented from the Redbox. Button was filmed in such a gorgeous manner, with such a beautiful city (New Orleans) and such striking actors (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Julia Ormond, and Tariji Henson), that I was completely taken aback by how utterly boring I found it. Pitt and Blanchett seemed to have no chemistry together. Should I not have expected more from them? Pitt and Henson were nominated for Oscars, but I didn't find their performances to be particularly moving. I found the most striking character to be the tugboat captain Benjamin worked for, and I mourned his passing because he was the only character who seemed full of life and vitality.

When Blanchett's Daisy tells Pitt's Benjamin that he is "perfect," I almost expected him to say, "Well, of course I am - I'm Brat Pitt!"

Last night's film was Night at the Museum, shown on the ABC Family channel. I was charmed by the film when I first saw it a few years ago, and it still has its pleasures. I think it'd be great fun to have an Easter Island head around the house, but I wouldn't let it get away with calling my "dum-dum." I particularly enjoyed seeing Dick Van Dyke (a Vermilion County native!) and Mickey Rooney as two of the "bad guys" of the film. Has there been another film where Van Dyke has been the villain? Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think there is.

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