Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks - Characters Magically Aging Up or Down

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join the fun by picking three movies that fit the week's theme and writing a bit about them!

I don't think we're really spoiled for choice this week on Thursday Movie Picks, but MAYBE one of mine won't be a consensus pick! Which one? READ ON TO FIND OUT!

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Jack Clayton, 1983) From that short period of time where Disney decided the direction forward for the company would be to make movies that would freak kids the fuck out, but then freaked out themselves over how scary all their movies got. This adaptation of Ray Bradbury's seminal novel was famously re-shot, re-edited, and re-scored by the studio in an attempt to make it more family-friendly. It's still plenty creepy, mind you, especially in the person of Jonathan Pryce's mysterious Mr. Dark, proprietor of a carnival that pulses with dark magic, but it's not quite great.

13 Going on 30 (Gary Winick, 2004) A little "wishing dust" grants 13 year old Jenna's wish to just skip over her teenage years and be an adult already. We've all been there. But now Jenna actually has to live it, a 13 year old in a 30 year old fashion magazine editor's body. Jennifer Garner is beyond adorable in this, and frankly should have gotten an Oscar nomination. And the rest of the cast is ideal: Mark Ruffalo as the love interest and Judy Greer as the best friend... who wouldn't want all that?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher, 2008) On our most recent podcast episode, Matt and I discussed our favorite films of the 10-Year Reunion class of 2008. This one didn't make either of our lists, but at the time I remember being really liking it. I've had very little urge to revisit it, though, partially because it's long and slow (i.e., a bit self-important and self-indulgent). But it's certainly absolutely gorgeous to behold, and I'm not just talking about Brad Pitt's getting younger and younger as the movie goes on. The cinematography by Claudio Miranda is especially great, as is Alexandre Desplat's score. And to say nothing of the film' groundbreaking visual effects, which believably age and youthen Pitt and Cate Blanchett's faces and bodies as she ages normally and he ages backwards throughout the early 20th Century.


  1. 13 Going on 30! I hated Benjamin Button. I remember feeling like the only one who did when that came out. Easily Fincher's worst for me.

  2. We match on Benjamin Button!! I feel the same as you about it- visually beautiful, lovely performances, slow and meandering.

    I never thought of 13 Going on 30 probably because while I thought it was cute that was about it for me and I promptly forgot it. But I seem to be alone in that consensus.

    Something Wicked This Way Comes!! Great catch what a weird dark film to come from Disney! I haven't seen it in years but remember being disturbed by the level of malevolence in it.

    I love the way you put that there was a dearth of choices this week, to put it mildly. I struggled just to come up with a trio.

    Big (1988)-After being denied admittance to a carnival ride 12 year old Josh Baskin (David Moscow) makes a wish he was big on an antique fortune telling machine. He wakes up the next morning to discover his wish has come true and he is now a 30 year old man (Tom Hanks). Panicked he finds his best friend Billy, convinces him of the truth and they go on a hunt for the machine while Josh hides out in New York. By luck he gets a job in a toy company and because of his innocence manages to shoot up the corporate ladder with amazing speed while discovering romance with Susan, another exec at the company. Beguiling comedy with assured direction by Penny Marshall and captivating performances by the cast none more so than Hanks.

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)-In 1918 a child is born with all the characteristics of an old man and over the course of his lifetime ages backwards. Complicated fantasy has a gossamer sheen and thoughtful performances by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and an extraordinary one by Taraji P. Henson as his caregiver Queenie.

    17 Again (2009)-Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) had to abandon his dreams 20 years ago when his girlfriend became pregnant and they wed. He is now unemployed, estranged from his wife and children and living with a friend but an encounter with a stranger allows him to suddenly be 17 again (where he’s played by Zac Efron) and a chance to try and fix all that went wrong. It sounds heavy but it’s played for comedy.

  3. This week was a tough one for me but I have to admit, I haven’t seen many. I have seen all 3 of yours! Something Wicked is a great choice and I totally forgot about it but I haven’t seen it in ages. That 13 Going on 30 is better than I thought it would be but it’s still escapist, mindless fun. We match with Benjamin and I agree with what you wrote

  4. Curios Case of Benjamin Button is such a lovely movie. That special effects thing with making Pitt look older and younger was mind blowing and actually still looks great

  5. Something Wicked is definitely a unique pick this week. Good job. I saw pieces of it as a kid, but never watched the whole thing. I have seen the other two. I like 13 Going on 30 okay, but didn't love it. I like Benjamin Button quite a bit, but yeah, it is on the slow side.

  6. I also went with 13 Going on 30 and Benjamin Button. I saw both years ago and enjoyed them at the time. I doubt I'd feel the same about 13 Going on 30 if I were to rewatch it though.