BUTTON, BOWS, and BOOMS

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A rainy, cold holiday weekend gets one thinking of the multiplex, and the ATL Rectors are not immune.   We hit three interesting — and quite diverse — flicks over the four-day escape:


THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

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My film club had a screening of this buzz-worthy film on Friday morning, so Masha and I bombed downtown to check it out.     I had read a few things about it, and wasn”t sure if would be to my taste, even though its credentials were pretty impressive: adapted from a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald by Eric Roth, who wrote Forrest Gump; directed by David Fincher (Alien, Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac); and starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchet.   The story arc involves a man’s entire life;  its concept hinges on his aging backwards from birth.   Beautifully shot, its primary settings include New Orleans, Russia, New York, and Paris.   It is odd, yet strangely compelling.     Our theatre was sold out…the audience sat transfixed: hardly a cough was heard, or a squirm noticed during the entire 165 minutes of the film.     It goes into release on Christmas day.   Set aside some time to experience it.   You won”t regret it.   Here’s the trailer.


4 CHRISTMASES

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A fun take on the old “going home for Christmas” plot.   Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn are a cosmopolitan couple living the life in San Francisco, who avoid their divorced and dysfunctional families by lying to them every year about being too involved in charity work (“You can”t spell “families” without “lies”).     Robert Duval, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, and Mary Steenburgen play family members, along with a delightful bunch of expansive character actors filling in the edges.   Catch it this holiday season, or just grab it on Netflix after.   It’s a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes.


TRANSPORTER 3

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The Transporter franchise is based on the Frank Martin (Jason Straham) character as the ultimate solution to a “distribution issue”,he can deliver anything, anywhere.   No matter what the legality or danger.   His specially equipped Audi S8-12 can effectively escape from any tight situation, rarely losing its paint’s luster.

The third installment is a strange movie—there’s some stellar fights and some trick Hong Kong-like notes (Statham’s opening drive to classical music), but mostly it succeeds by pummeling you with constant, mostly plausible havoc, delivering a lot of   fairly believable guilty CGI fun in the process.   An incredibly well choreographed jacket fight with Statham making use of his wardrobe to throw people around is a joy; and the chase thru a market in Bucharest —requiring Statham first to make like OJ thru the marketplace, then jack a bike and use dumpsters as ramps for a ride over sweatshop tables, and finally crash through the car window and throw someone out (the car, of course, being precisely stopped outside the sweatshop window).   Transporter 3 is relentlessly loud, a constant roar, and director Olivier Megaton—a former graffiti artist who apparently thinks he has a vision—cuts everything to coherence’s breaking point. This is why I love Transporter movies.

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