Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Two Movies

Now that the Pocono Cinema and Coffee Shop--or rather, the Pocono Community Theater--is back open, we finally got a chance to go inside to see a movie. We saw "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The last hour is extremely sad, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. The way the movie is directed is the best part--I really think David Fincher is one of the most talented directors working today--and although there were a few directorial flourishes (there is a recurring character who always talks about the seven times he's been struck by lightning, and each time flashes to an old-fashioned movie clip of the lightning strike) that were obviously just thrown in for Fincher to show off, they didn't detract from anything that happened in the plot. There's one subtle touch as the movie goes on, which is a little difficult to notice at first: when Benjamin gets injured in World War II, he gets a scar next to his left eye, which changes as he gets younger, until when he is a child and it's just a few dots where the shrapnel hits him. There's something about the fact that this never gets mentioned, it's just always there, that really stuck with me when I left the theater.

Over the weekend, we saw "Doubt." The directing wasn't as great as Benjamin Button, but the script was outstanding. When we left the theater, Allison turned to me and said, "I expected there to be some question at the end about whether he did it, but it's pretty clear that he did." And I said, "What do you mean? I don't think he did anything!" I like that kind of ambiguity in a script, the kind that makes you talk about the writing after you've left the theater. Of course, it helps when your script is being performed by three award-winning actors.

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