Radio 12.26.08
 
            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 .
            “The Curious 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.