The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Snow, Shoulders and Benjamin Button

Posted by That Other Mike on 15/02/2009

OK, I know I haven’t posted anything for a while. I’ve been kind of busy, really, and then I was abducted by aliens… Well, OK, maybe not.

We had snow down here, several days in a row. At one point, it was bad enough that I got half way to work and had to turn back because I couldn’t see where I was going. In the end, I was going to go in when the snow had died down some, but I got a call to say not to bother.

In other news, I’ve been having some problems with my shoulder recently. A few aches and pains, reduced movement in certain ways. Rather than being all McCain-y and saying that I couldn’t tie my shoes or use the interwebs, I went to my doctor. He confirmed what I had suspected – I’ve injured my rotator cuff, which is not so good. Basically, it controls rotational movements in the shoulder.

It usually becomes injured through mechanical means, such as executing lifts with too much weight or with incorrect form. I seem to have done mine in through using too much weight; I’m a victim of my own success with working out.

The muscles can become more than adequate to lift a certain amount of weight, while the rotator cuff, being mostly soft tissue, doesn’t have the strength to cope with the strain being put on it. So I’m off working out, at least with anything involving my shoulders, for a couple of weeks. The sad thing is that even on the way back from the doctor’s office, I was thinking up ways to exercise without putting any strain on it. I will be following doctor’s orders on this one; if you work out while the rotator cuff is injured, not only can you cause yourself further damage, you can also end up not ever being able to work out using your shoulders again. Not a cool prospect; not only would it put the kibosh on actually doing exercises for the shoulders, but it would also ruin my ability to do flyes and the like permanently.

Our final story for this broadcast is film-related. I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button yesterday, and I enjoyed it a great deal. For those who don’t know, the story revolves around Benjamin, who was born as an old man and became progressively younger throughout his life, until finally he becomes a baby. The story is told via the remembrances of a dying old woman speaking with her daughter in the hospital, as well as a “last testament” written by Benjamin himself. The story is pretty moving, and the actors certainly deliver. All in all, it’s done very well; the special effects are very good, and the parts where Benjamin is an old man, the same size as a child, are seamless. Not so concentrated on are the brief shots where Brad Pitt plays a younger version of himself, which are also very well done.

The story successfully tugs at the heartstrings on many occasions, but there are also some very funny parts in it as well; it’s not quite an emotional rollercoaster, but it does take you to some highs and lows, and does so surprisingly well.

Brad Pitt delivers a consistently good performance throughout for what must have been a challenging role, and really manages to show a young mind in an old body, and vice versa. Taraji Henson, who plays Button’s adoptive mother, is utterly credible in the role, and deserves praise for fleshing out a character who might have become a mere cypher or symbol in the hands of another actor. Cate Blanchett is good, and even delivers a credible New Orleans accent; her character is rather flat to begin with, but quickly develops and matures, which may have been intentional. Julia Ormond, who plays Blanchett’s daughter, is competent and believable, if not really given a lot to do; Tilda Swinton is good, but one wouldn’t expect anything less.

The effects are excellent, as I said, but what tends to be ignored in discussions about the film are the cinematography and lighting, which I thought were very good. The modern day sequences in the hospital are all slightly tinged with blue; other colours are relatively muted, and the edges of things are sharp. The flashbacks, in contrast, seem to have the lustre of an oil painting; they are almost sepia toned, as if every light used were an oil lamp, and the grain of the film is always evident, giving everything a slightly softer edge. In all, I’d say that this in itself is almost enough to commend the film to anyone; add in the compelling storyline and acting, and you have a winner.

I recommend it highly to everyone.

Finally, to round off this post, I’m going to leave you with some music by God Himself, Mr Eric Clapton:


3 Responses to “Snow, Shoulders and Benjamin Button”

  1. Lottie said

    Sounds like a great film! I’ll see if Bonnie wants to order it through Netflix sometime.

    Take care of that shoulder, Honey. I know I’ve already told you how worried I am, but I thought I’d go ahead and put it in writing. There.

    I love you!

  2. Mike said

    It’s a good movie, you should see it.

    And I have been taking care of it 🙂

    I love you too!

  3. saintpaulgrrl said

    Bonnie definitely wants to see that film. It’ll go on the Netflix queue promptly.

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