Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Movie Review "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Valkyrie," and "Paul Blart: Mall Cop"

Just as a change from my last couple of blogs, I'm gonna start reviewing movies. Since three big name movies have come out on DVD in May 2009 that I've seen, I'm gonna review three movies this time.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett

This movie's idea is interesting. A guy ages backwards, starting as a shriveled up baby and dying as a newborn. Most of the film this guy is Brad Pitt, but about two other actors play as Benjamin Button near the end. His white father abandons him to an almost entirely African-American home, and he is raised by a kind woman who can't get pregnant (She does get pregnant later, though). He meets Daisy, who is the grandaughter of some old woman, and thry become friends. About fifteen minutes later, he goes off to sea, getting younger. He meets interesting folks, has a relationship with Daisy, has a daughter, leaves Daisy, and is found in the same home he was raised in as a twelve-year old with amnesia. He eventually dies in Daisy's arms as a baby.

The whole movie is read like a story by his daughter, who's reading it to an almost dead Daisy in a hospital in New Orleans in 2005. The movie is kinda disturbing, especially near the end, because an old woman Daisy is leading a toddler Ben Button who she slept with 30 years earlier. It also has no plot, as if the interesting idea of a man who ages backward who happens to be Brad Pitt would be enoughto keep it going. This movie isn't very good. That little plot device of Button getting younger is the only interesting thing about the movie. Cate Blanchett did a good job despite looking middle aged the whole time she was in the movie. Even when Buttonand Daisy are the "same age," she still looks older than Brad Pitt, which is odd because in real life she's actually younger. Only fans of odd plot points and Brad Pitt will like this.

Score: 4/10

"Valkyrie," with Tom Cruise

Valkyrie is about the most famous attempt on Adolf Hitler's life, but sexualized into a thriller starring a slightly balding version of the secret agent from Mission: Impossible. In the movie, a group of Nazis attempt to kill Hitler with a bomb, led by Tom Cruise missing a hand, two fingers from his other hand, and an eye. He's easily the youngest member of the "Nazi Traitors," since everyone but him is old and saggy. Apparently, his character, Colonel Staffenburg, has been plotting to kill Hitler, and then gets his chance when a group of Nazis offer him mebership in their little clique. There are two attempts on Hitler's life in the movie, one that almost happens, and an actual explosion but doesn't kill Hitler. The plan goes wrong when after the second attempt, Cruise tricks the German Reserve Army into arresting every SS and Gestapo agent in Germany, or something like that. It's ruined when Hitler takes charge of the fight against Cruise himself, and gets him and the rest of his friends arrested. Finally, the traitors are shot. The End.

The movie has a lot less action than I hoped, but unlike Button actually has a plot. The worst part about the movie is the fact that even without trying, you know what will happen, even if you don't know how. Tom Cruise is gonna die. Cruise does a good job, and is actually funny, getting almost hysterical in his "oddly" American accent. Not to mention that every character but Cruise and Hitler has a British accent. At least Hitler sounds German. Add the fact that Cruise and many other characters speak so quietly you can barely hear anyone speaking. Subtitles are reccomended for this film even if you're not deaf. But despite that, it's not bad, and the bad parts are so laughable you can't hate them. Staffenburg's wife only in the movie to provide emotional support and make-out sessions (two of them), and the fact that Eddie Izzard is in the movie but almost unrecongnizable. Though Neo-Nazis and Nicole Kidman will certainly not like it, fans of action, Tom Cruise, and Katie Holmes will like it. So hopefully, for Tom Cruise's sake, you liked Risky Business, because then his WWII flick will get more money.

Score: 7/10

"Paul Blart: Mall Cop," with Kevin James

Paul Blart is to Kevin James what I Am Legend and Hancock was to Will Smith, a movie where only the main character does anything important. This is, by far, the worst role Kevin James has ever had. Blart is stupid, wimpy, and unlikable. He's a mall cop who takes his job too seriously, and actually has the sass to try giving an old man in an electric wheelchair a speeding ticket. Everyone he knows but his mother and daughter hates him. And he has hypoglycemia, which means he constantly needs to eat sugar, and is to him what kryptonite is to Superman and what fat women are to Hugh Hefner. Eventually, this seriousness actually helps when a coworker is revealed to be a hijacker and takes over the mall with the help of some extreme sports loving terrorist wannabes (Considering that one of them actually tries killing Blart on a bicycle, they're not scary at all). By a horrible coincedence (Blart is playing Rock Band as the hijackers attack the mall), Blart's the only mall cop left inside the actual mall. So the rest of the film is a smorgasboard of Blart defeating the hijackers in "inventive" ways (slamming an air duct onto a hijacker's head, launching a fog machine at another, and blowing up an oven in a Rainforest Cafe, a few examples), and stupid antics (putting a Hello Kitty Band-Aid on a cut, getting into a fight with a majorly obese woman in a Victoria's Secret), and wins over his crush, some woman working at a wig kiosk, and saves the few people left in the mall.

Though it's cheesy (and the most kid-friendly flick producer Adam Sandler has ever made), it's kind of funny, and has its moments. For an overweight, wimpy mall cop, at least Kevin James does a good job at a bad role.

Score: 6/10

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