David Fincher's THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
Movie review by Dennis D McDonald
I recently watched and listened to some of the extras that came with the special edition DVD of David Fincher’s movie Panic Room. While I enjoyed that film immensely, I couldn’t help thinking, as the technical wizardry of Panic Room was discussed and dissected, that the underlying story was not really worth the superior acting and production values devoted to it. At the end of the day, as Fincher admits in his commentary, Panic Room was basically a “B movie thriller.” I remember thinking, “It would be great to see Fincher devote this level of effort to a more worthy story and set of characters.”
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is such a movie. The special effects are the most impressive I’ve seen since Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Better yet, they enhance the underlying melancholy, sadness, and joy the outlandish story projects, centered as it is on the relationship between the two characters played by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Throw in a romantic sequence with Tilda Swinton (Teknolust) and you have a romantic melodrama that makes the most of the “aging backward” concept that I first read about in Dan Simmons’ novel Hyperion.
Special kudos are also due for the music by Alexandre Desplat and the cinematography by Claudio Miranda.
My only complaint: the one-disc DVD I rented from Netflix has no Director’s Commentary track. I have to rent another DVD for the documentaries but what I’m really interested in is what the director has to say.
Sadly, this lack of a commentary on the one-disc DVD appears to be more evidence of the industry’s continued devaluation of the DVD as it pushes Blu-Ray. I understand value pricing concepts, of course, but in my case this reduces completely any desire I might have had to purchase the one disc version; purchasing the two disc DVD version for social features I’ll only watch once makes no sense. The net for me is that I’ll just rent, not buy. I assume that’s what the goal of the DVD publisher is, right?
Copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald