This is Ron Salfen, “At The
Movies,” and here’s my commentary on a couple of films opening
this week at The Majestic Theater in Greenville .
Case Of Benjamin Button” is about a guy who ages backwards.
Literally. He’s born an old man, and as he gets
older he gets younger. Sort of. Well,
you have to see it to believe it, and you will believe it, before it’s over,
because it’s done so convincingly, and so winsomely. The
whole movie has the kind of whimsical feel of “Forrest
Gump,” and there’s good reason for that, because it’s the same
Director. Benjamin Button (played mostly by Brad
Pitt) grows up as an orphan in a nursing home, but winds up having a
very satisfying and adventurous life before it’s all over, and we are
rooting for him, not just because he’s different, but because he meets his
obstacles with such thoroughgoing charm, as if the world is just such a
wonderfully inviting place that you can’t help but be enriched by the
experience, despite the difficulties. This is an offbeat,
endearing film that gentle folk of many ages can enjoy together.
“Valkyrie” is the true story of the assassination plot against Adolph
Hitler, hatched by his own military during the height of World
War II. As for The Fuhrer, just because you’re
paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Tom
Cruise plays the German colonel who was wounded in Africa , then
re-assigned as a staff officer, who actually carries the bomb satchel into the
conference room where Hitler was conferring with his generals. But in trying
to make good his escape, the satchel is moved under the table, and the damage
is minimal. We all know, of course, that the plot failed,
but this film does a good job of maintaining the suspense just by telling a
good story, and providing us with some details about contingency takeover
plans that we otherwise wouldn’t have known. If the
attempt had succeeded, would it have stopped the war earlier, and saved
millions of lives? We’ll never know. But
it’s a happy thought to entertain for a little while, even if you do find
yourself, just this once, rooting for the treasonous anarchists.
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” for 93-5 KICK-FM.