Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: Characters Magically Aging Up or Down

If you read this on the day it originally posts, take a look at the countdown at the top of the page. You'll notice that it's wasting away to another birthday. It's less than a week away. I don't even like celebrating my birthday. Why did I put that thing up there? Because I had a senior moment. If you still smell like baby powder and breast milk, i.e. you're under 30, you might not know what that is. It's when you temporarily forget something you would normally know automatically. Have you ever completely forgotten the reason you walked into a room? You step foot in it and then stand there dumbfounded, trying to recall why you made the effort to move your creaky body from one place to another. It's enough to make you cry when you add in the fact you just had one child graduate from high school, and worse...for my youthful self-image....another child turn 21.

Sure wish I had a way to reverse this aging process...or just stop it all together.

I might not be able to do either, but they can in the movies. And that's what this week's Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves is all about- characters magically aging up or down. Since we've been talking about my unwanted but inevitable birthday, I'm going to take the topic in a different direction than what I think was intended. Instead of going with movies where characters were magically aged one way or another, I'm going with movies where the actors themselves were cgi'd to death magically de-aged to play younger versions of themselves. Yeah, it's not always a good look, not even when you're appearing in a gazillion dollar budget Disney production...

Tron Legacy

Old Dude Magically Made Young: Jeff Bridges
When you release a sequel to a movie that's a quarter of a century old, and was a bust, you're not necessarily starting with sound decision making. So of course, you'd take the star of the original and run his face through Photoshop (or something) in order for him to play one of the two characters you need him to. The movie as a whole? Meh. The job they did on The Dude's mug? Ugh.

Captain America: Civil War
Old Dude Magically Made Young: Robert Downey Jr.
This is the movie that introduced the idea of superheroes having consequences for their actions. It worked wonderfully and carried the movie. On the other hand, I'm guessing there were no consequences for whoever signed off on having Robert Downey Jr. digitized to play a younger, even brattier version of Tony Stark. I love the movie, hate plastic Tony.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Eternal Princess Magically Made Young: Carrie Fisher
We can argue it if you want, but this is one of my favorite movies in the Star Wars franchise. It introduced great new characters, some of whom we unfortunately may never see again, and made some bold narrative choice. A poor artistic choice? Insisting on throwing a drawing of Princess Leia on the screen and trying to pass it off as something human.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Old Dude Magically Made Young: Johnny Depp
I don't love the first movie in this franchise the way many of you do, but I enjoyed it enough that I was looking forward to the second movie. That second movie, I think I like a bit more that most of you, so I was like bring on the third. When the third came, it was TERRA-BOOOOL. The movies after that one were as bad or worse. That includes this one. You know what's worse than the movie as a whole? The five minute flashback it contains starring DigiDepp.


  1. I've never seen that last Pirates film though I have seen everything else in that list as I went on a more conventional approach with the topic. Yet, your take is better as I liked what they did on Civil War while I actually liked that moment in Rogue One as I screamed "Carrie!" as I saw the film weeks after she died.

  2. I'm 0 for 4 here though I've seen the origin movies for each if that counts for anything.

    I saw Tron in the theatre back in the day and remember how everyone said it was so cutting edge, which it was for the time, but I gave it a look a few years ago and it is hopelessly dated. Jeff Bridges was an extremely good looking young guy but that top picture looks nothing like the extremely good looking young Jeff Bridges! It looks like a wax figure of Jeff from about 10 years ago!!

    Of the others RDJ looks the closest to his young self....Depp at this point probably wishes he looked 1/10 as good as that! He's frightening and scary and sad now.

    I went the more traditional route but it was tough. If you remove all the body switching films from the equation there really aren't that many choices, at least that I could find.

    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 (Elizabeth Perkins), 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.

    1. I saw Tron for the first time only a few years ago (though I did play the game back in the 80s) and yeah, it has not aged well. As for the new Tron, it mostly looks good, despite what they did to Bridges. Still, the movie is only meh.

      Believe it or not, I've never seen Big. I've caught a minute or two here and there, but never sat and watched it. I'm not even sure why. I'll get to it at some point.

      I have seen your other two picks. I really liked Benjamin Button. 17 Again was okay.

  3. I am LOL-ing at this list and your commentary. Fun picks!

    The one of these I liked best was EASILY Rogue One (although I haven't seen Tron Legacy), and I didn't really love that one because I thought the first hour or so kinda dragged. But once the main plot kicked in it was really good. Pity that the CGI Princess Leia was SUPER distracting.

    I didn't like Avengers Thr... I mean... Captain America: Civil War very much at all. Bloated and stuffy. But then, I'm not connected to these comic books or these characters, so I was NOT an easy mark for that one. The third Pirates is just the biggest MEH. I can't believe that franchise continued for as long as it did.

    1. Thanks! It's amazing they've made so many Pirates movies. I can't decide which I'm more surprised is still going, Pirates or Transformers.

  4. I really liked the direction you went here and I'm jealous I didn't think of it myself. lol

    1. Thanks! Not a lot of choices out there so my hand was kinda forced.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks!!!! I love it when folks drop the B-word on me.

  6. I have had these moments many times and often at work! I was visiting my dear friend in Vancouver last week and went on his tour to the Rockies. When we came back we went to the restaurant his husband works in. His husband is 27 while my fmriend is 52 and I’m 54. When his husband asked what we were going to do after, we just look at him incredulously and started to laugh because all we could think of was going home and going to sleep! The Pirate movies need to be shelved and I still have to see the one you mention. I liked the Star Wars film but that image of Leia is not great. Tron Legacy is not great at all

    1. 27? I have socks older than that! No, you don't have to see that last Pirates movie.

  7. I have not seen the original Tron, still decided to give Tron Legacy a shot. It went downhill fast after the first ring throwing(?) battle. The movie was soooo boring.

  8. Nice picks here. And I agree, the CGI-ing actors to their younger selves is often so problematic. I am VERY curious to see how Scorsese handles it for The Irishman.