Monday, February 2, 2009

The Curious Case of Forest Gump

This weekend, At the Movies played another rerun--the worst 10 films of the year. I have little to add from my last review of this episode, but I cannot help but reiterate the following--did Ben Lyons really put Synecdoche, New York as the third worst film of the year? And does Ben really think that there are only 9 films last year that were worse than Twilight? According to this blog posting, he actually referred to it as a "phenomenal new flick," so I don't think he is beign very honest. But you probably knew that.

Without a new episode of At the Movies to review, I was lucky to catch this on Spike Feresten's Saturday night talk show:

Most of us recognized early on that there were similarities between Gump and Button. I have to say, though, that Feresten makes a pretty devastating case which may even cost the movie the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Screenplay--not that it deserved either in the first place. I missed this video when Feresten showed it the first time around but he showed it again this weekend with a "film critic" to defend it. That would be the only "film critic" in the country (as far as I can tell) who called Button the best movie of the year: Ben Lyons.

Lyons gets schooled by Feresten, who is no Roger Ebert but he clearly has higher standards than Lyons. Here is their first exchange:

Spike: "When you saw this movie for the first time, you said this was your favorite movie of 2008."

Ben: "Yes it was, my favorite movie of 2008."

Spike: "Who paid you to say that?"

Another exchange went like this:

Spike: "You said that films like this don't come along too often."

Ben: "Well, hold on, Forrest Gump came out 15 years ago."

Great comeback, Ben. Later, Spike quizzes Ben by asking him to identify things that happened in which of the movies. The first question is "Which movie had a hurricane in Louisiana" and the answer is "both", which was the answer to all of the questions. He asks a couple more like this, my favorite is the last:

Spike: "Which movie used a feather as a cheap symbolic device?"

Ben: "Well, Benjamin Button used a hummingbird."

Spike: "Which is a collection of feathers."

Now that talk show hosts don't have George Bush to kick around any more, maybe they will go after other public figures who are greatly under-qualified for their jobs--crappy film critics like Ben Lyons.

Watch the entire exchange between Ben Lyons and Spike Feresten here


Anonymous said...

Holy crap! If this was a boxing match, Ben would be on the floor clutching the ropes and shrieking with pain.

That dude wiped the floor with him!

Anonymous said...

TCOBB was a terrible adaptation of the story that was simply as a film only similar in characters and title. I enjoyed the actors and the visuals but the screenplay was a hot mess. Eric Roth who wrote for Gump does not deserve a nomination especially in the Adaptation category.

It is also very similar to Big Fish which also is primarily a southern film which I swear was shot around Shreveport or New Orleans.

Anonymous said...

Michael Sragow, who is actually a really good critic for the Baltimore Sun ranked Benjamin Button as the best film of 2008. He is the only person besides Lyons to do so and the next closet is that critic from the Wall Street Journal who ranked it 3rd.

Anti-Benjamin Button Club said...

For fellow folks disgruntled and aggrieved by the horrific mediocrity of Benjamin Button -- join the club. Literally!

Scott said...

That's awesome. Maybe some time later in the week I will highlight that blog in post.