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Buffalo's This Week in Movies

Posted: Jan 01, 2009

Welcome to the new. streamlined version of GRITZ movie reviews. I wanted to make them more personal, more conversational. Rather than individual reviews, I will be talking about all of the films I have seen for the week, comparing and contrasting. Let me know what you think.

One of the best, and longest, movies I have seen in some time is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This modern day fairy tale tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who is born old and gets younger, digressing all the way back to infancy. Along the way, Button (Brad Pitt) runs into more life adventure than Forrest Gump. From working on a tug boat, to fighgting in World War 2, to falling in love with Cate Blanchett, who manages to meet him in the middle during the 1960’s, it’s non-stop adventure and heart warming adventure. Blanchett is beautiful as a teen and equally mesmerizing as a 60-year-old, and Pitt deserves an Oscar for this one, heavy makeup and CGI effects not withstanding.

Marley & Me is another five star movie. Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson are a pair of young newspaper reporters who, recently married, decide they need a third presence in the home. Not quite ready for children, they adopt a lab puppy, which begins to grow like the proverbial weed and chew up and eat everything in their house. Meanwhile, you guessed it, Jen gets pregnant, and the first of three kids is brought into the picture. The family has their usual growing pains, often made more stressful by the high energy giant, Marley. It’s just a great movie about life, love and loss, and one every dog and animal lover should see.

Doubt, based on the prizewinning stage play, stars Oscar winners Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep, and takes place in a Catholic school and church, where the busybody nun (Streep) becomes suspicious that the Priest is doing bad things with one of the altar boys. Amy Adams (Enchanted) is excellent as a rookie nun who is a lot slower to judgement than Streep’s character. Streep never ceases to amaze me with her talent for becoming the character, and her dialects are always dead on. Here she sounds a little like Tony Soprano’s wife. Hoffman is excellent as usual, helping to make Doubt a very fine piece of drama.

Valkyrie is a good historical drama based on (loosely) the true story of an attempted assassination of Adolph Hitler and failed takeover. Tom Cruise does a good job, but his fresh as home baked wheat bread face makes it hard to see him as a Nazi traitor. That and the extremely loose version of the true story of Operation Valkyrie make this one more of a three star movie for me.

The Spirit was a lot of fun, done in that same comic style of Sin City, based on the comic book series by Will Eiser. There are babes galore in this one, including Scarlett Johansen and Eve Mendes. Good Stuff.....Yes Man was hilarious. Jim Carey at his usual craziest, along with the adorable Zowie Dechannel...Seven Pounds was a drag and a bore for me. Will Smith, what are you thinking? Depressing waist of time....The Punisher 3, the third attempt to capture this Marvel Comics icon with the third actor to play him, comes pretty close to scoring big. Lot’s of action, lots of guns, about a three and a half star ranking. Comics fans will like it anyway. That’s all for now.

-Michael Buffalo Smith



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coconut1955 says...

Marley & Me was awesome. Owen Wilson is the best.

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