Friday, November 13, 2009


The Curious Case of Disagreements Between Like-Minded Friends

I finally got around to seeing Benjamin Button this past Saturday night.  I went in biased against it (I couldn't help it but at least I was aware of it) and left it feeling underwhelmed.  I was hoping to find something there that would make me appreciate the film in some small way, but I couldn't find a thing.  The romance at the heart of the film didn't work for me so nothing here really mattered.  I hated the Katrina framing device.  The aging backwards and all the themes that accompanied it was stupid and worked out implausibly.  I liked some of the music and the special aging effects were alright.  The film's most obvious reference point is Forest Gump, but I think that it also shares affinities with countless biopics in its failed attempt to tell a sweeping life story in under three hours and make it all MEAN something.

So, why do we disagree?  Isn't it as obvious as the elpephant in the room that this picture just isn't so good after all?

It's tempting to think that I'm always right and those that disagree with me are wrong.  But, I was given a wife to be witness to how often I'm wrong.  I just can't get away with it.  Even though she agrees with me about Benjamin Button.

Besides admitting that I can be wrong, I have to grapple with my respect for you as a person and specifically for your opinion regarding movies.  We're so often in agreement that the disagreements are striking.

How could you possibly fall for the schmaltz of Button?  Why do we look at 25th Hour so differently?  

I insist on loving Julien Donkey-Boy and recently became quite enamored of Dear Wendy, another film that it seems every critic loves to hate.  Terror In a Texas Town, easily dismissed, is my ideal Western, above any Ford or Hawks.  I'm sure there are plenty of other examples.

It's a funny thing.

I am really glad that you liked Still Walking.  The more I think about it, the more I think it might be the best movie (that I've seen) of 2009 so far.  It's only been four days since I've seen it, but I haven't been able to watch a film since.  I almost went to see Where the Wild Things Are on Monday afternoon, but I got to the AMC parking lot, then couldn't do it.  I haven't even been interested in the DVDs I got from the library.  I want Still Walking to rattle around in my head a little longer.

Also, I was a bit dismissive of Beeswax.  I shouldn't have been.  It's among the best 2009 releases that I've caught so far, easily in a top ten if I was forced to list a 2009 top ten right this moment.  Movies like this one should be championed and held above the megaplex offerings and most of the arthouse fare.  It still doesn't particularly resonate with me deeply and personally in the same way that something like Moon did, but it has a quiet power.  To get in one last dig, Beeswax, in its small way, has all of the fierce veracity that Benjamin Button, in all of its bombastics, lacks. 

1 comment:

Storm and Stress said...

is it just me or was this post a little harsh?

"I have to grapple with my respect for you as a person specifically regarding your opinion on movies."

that is a bit much my friend.