The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

curious case of benjain button (2008) movie poster 3 rating  (3/5) [genre]

Reference: imdb6 | wikipedia12

Reviews: Roger Ebert (2.5 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 71% | Metacritic 70%

I had no desire to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2oo8). I did because it the only 2008 film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar that I hadn’t seen. My instincts were right.

It’s a story about a person, born into a baby-sized, old-man’s body, that ages backwards. The story works, but to a point. I can’t help but think a more apt title would be ‘Mork from Ork meets Forrest Gump’. It was similarly narrated and slowly paced. Unfortunately it didn’t hold my interest for it’s whopping two hour and 45 minute length! Bring a seat cushion! 🙂

curious case of benjain button (2008) brad pitt and cate blanchett in bed

benjain button - forrest gump poster [Update: After writing this review, I discovered why I instinctively felt this movie was similar to Forest Gump – they share a screen play writer: Eric Roth – Take  a look at this funny, comparative, Benjamin Button = Forrest Gump? video – scroll down a bit to get to the video.]

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Elizabeth (1998)

3 rating  (3/5) – historical drama

Elizabeth 1998 Poster Reference: imdb6 | wikipedia12

Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 80% | Metacritic 75%

In Elizabeth (1998), Cate Blanchett plays Elizabeth the 1st, daughter of Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth gains the thrown after her half sister Mary dies. From the moment of her coronation, she is challenged on all fronts. Elizabeth meets the challenges, taking on all comers from the House of Lords, to Mary Queen of Scots and the Pope. She is in love with Lord Robert (Joseph Fiennes) but is pressured to marry elsewhere in order to ally England with powerful nations in its time of weakness.

elizabeth 1998 cate blanchett and her ladies in waiting  elizabeth 1998 joseph fiennes begs the queen to run away with him

Cate Blanchett is an undeniably terrific actress. My favourite Cate Blanchett performance was her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in Aviator (2004). She was very good in this movie as well. Geoffrey Rush (excellent in Shine (1996) and Shakespeare in Love (1998)) plays Elizabeth’s most loyal subject, Sir Francis Walsingham. I was particularly impressed by the unknown, to me, Christopher Eccleston who played the Duke of Norfolk, whose chief concern was, like her father before her, Elizabeth’s turning away from the Catholic Church.

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Poster5-rating  (5/5) action, adventure
I had a silly Indiana grin on my face as I strode out of the cinema whistling the John Williams theme song. Did I like it? Yes indeed.

        "Too Much of Life is Wasted in the Waiting"

cate blanchett - indiana jones and the kindgeom of the crystal skullThis quote from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(2008) imdb6 sums things up nicely. It has been a long 19 year wait since Indy and his father rode off into the sunset (literally) at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade imdb6.

I liked it despite a questionable plot, err, ‘twist’. It held fast to the winning Indy formula:

exotic locals, James-Bond-style action sequences, beautiful cinematography, ancient treasure hunts, pictogram puzzle solving, the supernatural, wise-cracking quizzical humour, whips and guns, hero vs. villain, feisty and reluctant love interest, implausible, yet engaging, fantastical story, snappy (and sappy) dialogue, snakes, critters and Harrison Ford’s trademark grin.

mutt, indy and marion - indiana jones and the kindgeom of the crystal skullHarrison was Harrison. A flawless performance despite 19 intervening years. It was great to have Karen Allen reprise her role as Indy’s original love interest Marion. I asked in my recap what happened to Marion? The Crystal Skull neatly answered the question and tied it up in a bow.  Cate Blanchett played a wonderfully eccentric and strangely sexy KGB agent. Shia LaBeouf (a relative unknown to me) adequately played Marion’s son and adventurer in training. The happy-go-lucky Denholm Elliot (Marcus Brody) passed away in 1992 so Jim Broadbent ably stood in for him as the dean of Indy’s college. If you look closely you’ll see a picture of Elliot hanging on a hall wall. But, you won’t have to look closely to see a statue of him. 🙂 Sadly Sean Connery, chose not to come out of retirement to reprise his role as Dr. Jones Sr.

The cinematography, music, special effects, lighting and costumes were all spot on. It was Spielberg’s and Lucas’s ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ movie, and it worked.

Another fun romp. Go see it in a cinema, where it was meant to be seen.

Reference: Roger Ebert  |  IMDB External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes | Metacritic |wikipedia12