First, a confession.
One of the many quirky things about me is that I refuse to watch movie previews. Most of them today completely ruin the movie - either telling you the entire plot or making it obvious what the big twist is going to be. They are infuriating!
Therefore, when I'm with my wife or someone else at the movies, I make them talk to me (very quietly) during the previews. If I go alone, which I sometimes do to take a break from writing, I listen to my iPod very loudly with eyes closed until the previews are over. Commercials on TV? I either mute it or fast forward. I don't read reviews, which are usually worse than the previews in giving things away!
Sidenote: a lot of my friends and family ruthlessly make fun of me for seeing movies alone. Which I think is funny. People watch TV alone all the time. What's the difference? If you don't have the self confidence to see a movie by yourself, worried that people will think you're a loser, then go take some self-esteem classes! (I'm just kidding here - I'm a complete dork for going to movies by myself, but I don't care.)
Anyway, if you think I'm psycho, I issue you a challenge. Try it. Movies are SO MUCH BETTER when you don't know ANYTHING about them beforehand. Trust me on this. Now, does this mean you'll see some lemons? Yes. But you can usually at least tell from the poster/ actors/ director/ writer whether or not it'll be halfway decent. And you'll have some movie experiences that you'll never forget. Try it.
Sometimes its impossible. But I've gotten very good at it. Movies are my second love behind books, and avoiding previews has made it all the richer. I'm not pyscho! Try it!
I thought you'd find that interesting. And the reason I thought of it was because I did accidentally see the preview for THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. And they basically told you the entire plot for two full minutes. And I honestly think that's why I REALLY liked it, but didn't really LOVE it, as I did our first movie of the reviews:
I'd wanted this movie to be good since the first time I heard about it. I love WWII history, I love Tom Cruise (despite his interesting off-field shananigans), and I loved the other cast members. I was a little worried about the X-Men and Superman Returns (blah) director being in charge of a history movie, but I still couldn't wait. But he also did one of the greatest movies EVER: The Usual Suspects.
Then I spent the last year ignoring all the bad press about it, and then the massive marketing campaign, and then the early reports that Tom Cruise had performed one of the worst acting jobs in history.
Bullocks. So he didn't use a German accent. THAT would've made it stupid. I thought he was great, the Tom Cruise I know and love. This movie, despite knowing the ending because obviously Adolf Hitler was not assassinated, gripped me from beginning to end. You can feel the unbelievable stress of taking on such a monumentally risky operation, and there's never a dull moment. Plus, it was so moving to see the bravery of these men, to see that there were people in that regime willing to do whatever possible to topple the evil that had taken over their homeland, knowing the slightest mistake meant certain death for them.
I loved it. I really, really loved it.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
I did really like this movie. Despite being almost 3 hours long, I can only remember maybe a 10 minute stretch where I "kinda" got bored. And there were so many good things about it. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were great, but they were almost overshadowed by the supporting actors. The music was great. The directing, the cinematography. The writing was excellent. The makeup and digital enhancements for the aging and "younging" process are so amazing you won't believe it. And the narrator constantly throws out these little tidbits of wisdom that have still stayed with me.
An example, and I'm paraphrasing: Our lives are defined by our opportunities, often by those we fail to pursue.
As long as you go into it knowing it's long, I think you'll really like it.
I'll keep this short and simple. Liked it, laughed a lot, loved Jim Carrey. And the movie was surprisingly touching and inspiring. My only warning: do NOT see this with little kids or, even worse, your mom or mother in law!!!!!!! There's a small scene we absolutely couldn't believe was in a PG-13 movie. (And trust me, I'm not a prude.)
Well, there you have it. My first movie reviews in many months. I need to do that more. I'm not really a movie critic - I try to go in with an open mind and enjoy it if it's at all possible. I love movies. I love movies!!!!!!!
Have a great weekend. Go catch a flick.
Friday, January 9, 2009
First, a confession.
Posted by James Dashner at 6:20 AM