Friday, February 5, 2010

After careful consideration I decided, as it could possibly led to trouble for my friends, to delete Wednesday’s Blog. I would think there was also a minor feeling of self-preservation involved, cowardice in other words. Such is the state the fanatics have created. I still intend to write part two as previously intimated but it can wait because right now I want to talk about something else – the movie called THE INCREDIBLE CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTONS. Now I am sure there are many who have enjoyed this movie but for me it was boring, tedious, far far too long ( in fact we watched it in two parts) and, fantasy though it might be, totally nonsensical and without any point. Why? It was supposedly based on a short story by Scott Fitzgerald. Well I have just read the Scott Fitzgerald short story and, apart from the basic premise of a man being born old and growing younger with the passing years, the film has absolutely nothing to do with the short story which is in actual fact rather endearing and very funny. In other words the basic premise was given the nod and thereafter the screenplay went its own dour non-merry way, turning what should have been a delightful comedy into a boring melodrama. Why does Hollywood have to do this sort of thing?
The location is changed from Baltimore to New Orleans, one of the reasons maybe being that in the period, any number of black actors could be used in a non-segregationist set-up and thank goodness for the black actors who were the only ones whose dialogue could be heard. Brad Pitt growls and Kate Blanchet mumbles and the sound altogether is terrible. The movie opens with the father rushing from the hospital with his “old man” child in his arms and depositing it on a doorstep and rushing off again not to be seen again until may years have passed and then, in a fit of conscience, making contact with his son. The mother dies in childbirth. The story on the other hand opens with hysterical nurses in the hospital, the mother does not die, the father looks into the cradle and the old man he sees there who is his baby TALKS adult talk! And it is very funny. The baby is not deposited on a doorstep but the parents have to live with this strange phenomenon and the reactions first of all of Baltimore society and then the wider world. There is not an episode in the move that bears any resemblance to the story and all I can say is it is a tremendous pity that the film makers, possibly starting with the screenwriters, felt they are more talented than the originator. I would advise anyone to read Scot Fitzgerald’s story. It is great fun and quite moving as well. I would advise everyone to stay away from the movie even though, according to viewers’ reviews, obviously there are those who have thought this piece of pretentious crap worth a visit.
Was there nothing I liked about it? Some of the period settings are lovely, a revivalist meeting is fun and for once there is a good musical score, well one I liked anyway.
Looking forward now to the new Sherlock Holmes film which word of mouth tells us is very good and in which our friend Michael Jenn has a teeny weenie part. It has had mixed reviews. I hope I won’t be disappointed again.

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