Sunday, January 04, 2009

Movie reviews

Over the holiday I've had the opportunity to see a few movies and I thought I would give anyone that cares (hopefully no one) my opinion of the three I saw; Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Valkyrie.

Slumdog Millionaire is about a kid from the slums of India that somehow, without the slightest hint of a personality or on-screen presence, makes it through the tryouts for the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and makes it onto the show. He proceeds to do quite well, and the show host grows suspicious and calls in the police who proceed to question him over night, before he returns to answer the final question. It seems that his life has been full of little events that have enabled him to answer these questions, and given him the suspicion and gumption to answer the questions that he doesn't know the exact answer to. All in all, it's an OK attempt at the classic man-tries-to-do-everything-to-get-woman-to-love-him story. I would give it 2 out of 4.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is about a guy that appears to have been the unfortunate recipient of the time warp caused by a clock maker that, because of the loss of his son in WWI, makes a clock to run backwards for a train station. He's born old, with all the infirmities that come with it, and slowly grows larger and younger, then smaller and younger as he ages. He eventually dies as an infant, but I was rooting for him to become an embryo. This is a total chick flick, and while I normally don't mind a good chick flick, this movie was especially boring. Like someone once said, "Not all movies can have explosions and car chases, which is why there's nudity and espionage." Unfortunately, this movie has none of that and suffers for it. I never connected with the character, so when he dies I felt nothing. The women to my sides, however, were weeping. Chick flick. I give it 1 out of 4.

Valkyrie, on the other hand, has both explosions and espionage, and is right up my alley in terms of the kind of movies that I like to watch. It's about the 15th and final attempt on Hitler's life, by some of his highest ranking soldiers. They drop a bomb off at his planning session, but due to an unfortunate change of circumstances, it doesn't kill him. During the chaos that ensues, they attempt an otherwise bloodless coupe by invoking "Valkyrie", a set of plans to be used to secure Berlin and Germany in the case of an attempt on Hitler. They use Valkyrie as a way of getting the SS out of power and themselves into power, with the idea of negotiating a peace that won't destroy Germany with the Allies once they have succeeded. Unfortunately, Hitler doesn't die, and they are all caught and executed. The part that got me choked up at the end was knowing that the only monument to German soldiers in WWII is to these soldiers, the "traitors". I definitely liked it and would give it 2.5-3 out of 4.