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“One for the Ages” – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The raves are pouring in for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Bullz-Eye.com’s David Medsker loved it.

“Benjamin Button” is a welcome sight in such cynical times. Fincher pulls a stunt of James Cameron proportions, in that he’s commissioned to deliver a crowd-pleasing love story and instead delivers a crowd-pleasing work of art. Death creeps around every scene, yet the movie’s tone is optimistic, even when it addresses Benjamin and Daisy’s aging dilemma. Tragic and sad – the movie’s final ten minutes are heartbreaking – but not depressing. Shrouded in death, but not morbid and at times laugh-out-loud funny. This is one for the ages.

Most critics agree, as the film scored a 78% positive rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Prison Break 4.13: “Deal or No Deal”

This episode featured surprises at every turn. I’m cursing myself for not thinking ahead when the writers pretty much punched us in the face with the scene where Michael hid the chip in the bathroom. When it happened, I didn’t wonder what the chip was for or wonder how it would play out later on, I just watched it happen like, “Oh, there’s Michael looking at a computer chip.” I have the same reaction when my dog gets off the couch to get a drink of water.

But I digress. Michael Rapaport has morphed Don Self from a sideshow friend into the main event foil. He thinks he’s smarter than Michael. But they all think they’re smarter than Michael, only no one is. He has a brain tumor and he’s still out-thinking two-bit hacks like Don Self. If Don thinks he’s going to outsmart Michael and get away scot free, he has another thing coming.

Now that Self’s DHS mission has evaporated into thin air, the gang no longer have deals to work towards, so now the show is pointing to a get-rich-and-get-out-of-town ending. There were rumors that the series might be wrapping things up, and if that’s the case, this would be the perfect finish. Don needs Michael and, in a way, Michael needs Don. It’s not clear if there’s a way to bring Don to (traditional) justice, so the next best thing would be for Michael and the gang to profit from the sale of Scylla, because that might be just as damaging to the Company as handing it over to the Feds. (There’s a strong possibility that Don dies in the process, however.)

“Seriously, just put me out of my misery.”

It was highly ironic that it turned out that Sutter worked for the General, though I suppose I should have seen that coming as well. I doubt that Don’s boss would have brought Sutter to the warehouse to see him pull a gun on two fugitives, but what the heck, it’s “Prison Break.” It’s best not to get bogged down in the details.

So now that the Feds are out of the picture, it looks like it’s down to four parties – Don, Gretchen, the gang and the General. Right now, Don and the gang have the power because collectively, they have Scylla, while Gretchen and the General are in a weak position. Gretchen has a little more power because she’s with Don, but presumably, Don doesn’t really need her anymore now that he’s met the Conduit. (I’m sure she’ll find a way to make herself useful, however.)

Meanwhile, Mahone has gone missing. Since he mentioned reaching out to the FBI, I think that is probably where he went.

I spend a lot of time bagging on the show, but I’ll be honest – the last couple of episodes have rekindled my interest. I’d like to see a strong finish to a series finale this season. If they try to stretch this out another year or two, they’d really be pushing their luck.

Day of the Dead

First Look Studios is one crafty little company. Attempting to piggyback on the success of Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead,” the indie label greenlit a remake of George A. Romero’s third zombie flick, “Day of the Dead,” and even went so far as to cast Ving Rhames in a supporting role. It was all done in the hope that fans would believe the film was a follow-up to the 2004 remake of “Dawn,” and since it’s a pretty shady move on their part, I have no problem spoiling the fact that Rhames (playing a completely different character) dies within the first 20 minutes. The rest of the film is spent following a group of soldiers (led by Mena Suvari and Nick Cannon) around a small Colorado town trying to escape a virus outbreak that has turned certain people into flesh-eating zombies. Passed around like a bad cold, the new virus angle may sound like an interesting twist to a familiar tale, but it’s actually much worse. Somehow, this outbreak is only affecting one city, and though some victims turn into zombies after being bitten, others don’t. WTF? As for the zombies themselves, director Steve Miner has decided to stick with the newer, faster versions, but in order to produce their superhuman speed, he resorts to amateurish tricks like speeding up the tape. It’s all pretty lame stuff, and though an action sequence midway through offers gory headshots aplenty, it’s the only shining moment in a poorly made cash grab more than deserving of the direct-to-video treatment.

Click to buy “Day of the Dead”

Heroes 3.10 – The People with the Answers Won’t Tell the People with the Questions the Answers

When a music geek is handed an episode with a title like “The Eclipse,” you’re given a lot of different choices for lyrical references as the title of your blog entry. Should I go with Pink Floyd (All that you slight, everyone you fight…), or should I go with Bonnie Tyler (Once upon a time, there was love in my life…)? Instead, I went with a relative obscurity – a line from the closing track of the Beta Band’s Hot Shots II – but given the way the series has been going, it seemed rather appropriate.

Let’s split this week’s blog into two parts, shall we?

Before the Eclipse:

Arthur has just been a sketching fool since taking on the power of poor Usutu, but, wow, he’s really let his people skills drop off. Really, though, can you blame him? Thanks to his new abilities, he knows what’s coming…and, yet, he can’t seem to do a damned thing to change it.

The relationship between Sylar and Elle turned darker this week than I expected. I mean, I know I made a comment a few weeks ago about how Sylar’s so freaking wishy-washy that he’ll probably switch sides half a dozen more times before the end of the season, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that he left his touchy-feely side behind, but I just didn’t expect Elle to be the one who turned him. She’s a complex character, that one. (Her throwaway description of HRG as “Glasses himself” was hilarious.)

Mohinder really just isn’t a very good scientist, is he? “I, uh, didn’t think the eclipse had anything to do with it,” he mutters. Whoops. From there, it was back to “Return of the Fly,” unfortunately.

Matt and Daphne’s quest to find Hiro turned out to be a short one when he and Ando turned up, courtesy of their comic book intel. I loved the interplay between Ando and Daphne, not to mention Hiro and the turtle, but I’m wondering how long this whole back-and-forth thing between Matt and Daphne is going to go on. That said, once the boys followed Daphne to Lawrence, Kansas, I had to laugh at Hiro’s exclamation: “Holy crap!”

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