The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button: The Criterion Collection

DVD Reviews | May 13th, 2009

Image used with permission for review purposes.

Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Elias Koteas, Jason Flemyng, Tilda Swinton, Julia Ormond, Taraji P. Henson
Written By: Eric Roth
Directed By: David Fincher
Studio: Paramount
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The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button was one of the films that got nominated for just about every Award this Winter. I think people are amazed by the fact that Brad Pitt looks like a little old man than actually liking the movie. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind when watching this, but I thought this film could have been a lot better, less-sappy…and a lot shorter!

Benjamin Button’s life was a curious case because he was born as a little tiny old man. His mom dies giving birth to him and his Dad takes off after he was born. Benjamin is found by a couple that works at a nursing home and they raise the baby as their own. Benjamin appears to be dying, since he was almost blind and his heart was ready to give out. But there’s something different about him. Instead of just dying like everyone thought he would, Benjamin is aging in the opposite way. While Benjamin grows older, he appears younger. Along the way, he meets a young girl named Daisy whose Grandmother is living at the nursing home. They become friends but end up going their separate ways for awhile since Benjamin works on a tugboat and experiences some action in the war. Their paths keep meeting up together but there’s always something in the way that prevents them from getting together. Pretty much the movie is like this throughout but at least there is some satisfaction towards the end when the two finally get together.

Let’s get this out of the way, the movie is long. It’s about 2 hours and 45 minutes but it almost feels twice as long. It’s a slow paced movie so that’s why you get that feeling. I thought the movie was good and done very well, I just wish it was a little more exciting. Perhaps over time I’ll like this film more than I did originally. The special effects were amazing and I’m sure that’s what most people will probably be talking about (besides the length of the movie). David Fincher used a lot of CGI and camera tricks to get the right look for Brad Pitt’s character. Brad Pitt’s head was pretty much used on other actors’ bodies. It doesn’t look bad, but it can be distracting at times. Especially the movement of the mouth and when Brad Pitt spoke.

The story is okay, it’s similar to the love story of Forrest Gump. I kept hearing that the movie is similar to Forrest Gump but now I know why it was being compared to that. I thought it would be Benjamin interacting with known figures or being through famous events like Forrest was. It was more about the love story between Daisy and Benjamin. I didn’t really care for the love story, and honestly; I thought it creepy to watch when Benjamin was old-looking hanging out with a young girl. But I guess you have to put in your head that his character is her age as well. Towards the end of the film, the film rushes through some things but at the same time, feels like we’ve been watching a 24 hour movie about someone’s life. I honestly thought they could have taken an hour out of the movie and perhaps it would have been better for me?

If you enjoyed the Benjamin Button, there is a lot of bonus material that add up to a feature length movie. But thankfully, I found this part more interesting. You see how the movie came to be (over 15 years in the making!), how the movie was done, and how all the special effects were done. Just everything you ever wanted to know about the movie is in the 2nd disc of bonus material. My favorite parts were the production featurettes, which were separated in half. Then there’s the special effects featurettes which shows you how everything is done. If you got the time, I highly suggest watching the featurettes.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a long, slow-paced love story. If you’re not prepared to sit through a 3 hour movie; you’re going to dislike this. I was preparing myself but I just got uninterested in the story halfway through, or I just needed to go to bed. I might give the film another chance when I’m not so sleepy.

– Interviews with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett
– Audio Commentary Featuring Academy Award-nominated Director David Fincher
– Footage Revealing the Innovative Techniques Behind the Academy Award-winning visual effects and Makeup
– Step-by-Step examination of the Motion-capture process aging Brad Pitt
– In-depth Exploration of David Fincher’s Creative Process on the Set
– Interview with Acclaimed Composer Alexandre Desplat about the Score
– Featurettes on the film’s Storyboards, Costumes, and Academy Award-winning art direction
– Stills Galleries, Including Costume Designs and Candid behind-the-scenes Production Photos
– An Essay by Film Critic Kent Jones

Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

English, Spanish, French

Bottom Line: The film was made very well but I just didn’t like it.
Running Time: 165 mins
Rating: PG-13
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating:


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