The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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Kazu
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Post by Kazu » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:28 pm

When I saw the trailer for this film, I was really taken by it. Since I haven't been reading the industry trades in a long while, I knew nothing about its production. Now that I know it's directed by David Fincher, I'm extremely interested in seeing this. With Fincher coming off of doing his best work (in a pretty illustrative career) on Zodiac, this looks like a big film for him. I thought Zodiac was by far one of the best films of last year, and it was especially impressive to see someone take a story about unresolved crimes and obsessive drives and turn it into a 3-hour film that is completely engaging and satisfying. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to this now...

http://movies.apple.com/movies/paramoun ... _h480p.mov
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dark77778
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Post by dark77778 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:46 pm

Curious is right, I don't really know what to make of it, but I'm sure it'll be nominated for something. I think it's too early to call anything on it just yet besides the fact that it's going to be a unique premise...as long as it's nothing like R.L Stein's Coo Coo Clock of Doom.

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Post by Ganter » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:04 pm

Oh yeah, this one. When I first saw the trailer, it reminded me of The Time Traveler's Wife. Since it's by the same guy that did Zodiac, though, I'm interested in it even more! It definitely looks beautiful. Lots of painterly shots!

It's also kind of like that music video, "Return to Innocence" hehe remember that one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JpJjsHgYHA

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dark77778
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Post by dark77778 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:47 pm

Yaaay Enigma. [The band that did that song in case somebody else is reading this that doesn't know. Screen behind the mirror and Le Roi est mort have a better song selection than the album Return to Innocence is on.] They do some really good sounds and I'm very surprised nobody's put any of their stuff into film yet, but I digress.

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Post by Michael Firman » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:30 pm

I'm quite looking forward to this as well. I love Fincher; though I disagree about Zodiac, Fight Club and Seven are two of my favouritest films. And Panic Room wasn't bad either.

What I already like is how the trailer provides the premise and aesthetic of the flick without spoiling too much of the plot.
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Post by cecil » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:46 pm

this movie is sort of based on an f. scott fitzgerald short story of the same name. i read somewhere one time that fitzgerald wrote it because he heard mark twain talking about how the best part of life is at the beginning and the worst part at the end.

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Post by Dan Santat » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:21 pm

I don't think you can really go wrong with David Fincher directing a feature. I've pretty much liked everything he's done. Even Panic Room.
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Post by mr cow » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:54 am

oh man! how did i not know that was fincher? i'm usually so on top of those things. i saw the trailer awhile ago and thought it looked great. now i'm REALLY looking forward to it. :)
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Post by mr cow » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:56 am

also- am i the only one here that really respects the kind of roles brad pitt chooses?
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Post by [adam] » Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:56 pm

mr cow wrote:also- am i the only one here that really respects the kind of roles brad pitt chooses?
or that we all disregard Fincher's man crush on Pitt?

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Post by elara » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:47 am

anybody see it yet? I think after new years I'm gonna check it out
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Post by Gunwhale » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:14 am

I've seen it. I didn't think I'd like it going into it, but the story kept my interest the entire film, and I ended up enjoying it. I think it's almost 3 hours long too.
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Post by Ganter » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:19 pm

Hm... I just saw this last night and didn't like it at all. I must've checked my watch several times, and I actually zoned out a few times. It was just so long and boring, and I really didn't like the main character. He barely said anything, and didn't do much beside stare at people, "have women", accidentally survive a WWII battle, travel to third world countries to "enlighten" himself, and abandon his kid. He barely made any active decisions, and just wandered through life aimlessly without any insights to its pains and joys aside from luke warm, painfully dull commentary that lacked any feeling of empathy.

I dunno. Maybe I was expecting more because the trailer was so promising, but I felt like the whole movie was pointless and a pain to sit through. I've heard stories from neighbors that were more exciting than this by leaps and bounds. A real disappointment.

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Post by Kazu » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:51 pm

I was also pretty disappointed by the film. It looks nice, but the characters are hard to like and the pacing is slower than it needs to be. I found that the film is often searching for something to say, or the right emotion to convey, and it never finds itself. Benjamin Button, despite his extraordinary circumstances and the unique world view he is given, ends up being a rather unextraordinary person who roams around the world being a nice unassuming man who likes to have lots of sex. Unfortunately, none of his adventures tends to be romantic, erotic, or emotionally engaging outside of the feelings of loneliness and self-importance that permeate the entire film.

Technically, the film is impressive. Great special effects and moments of good filmmaking are scattered throughout, but none of it really works together for the whole package. Everything Fincher does well seems an awkward fit for this particular story. His films are at their best when they're about cold and calculated details (Se7en, Zodiac) or creating a dreamlike environment (the better parts of this film, and The Game), but when attempting to create a grand romantic vision of life, it just feels forced. Throughout much of the film, I was left thinking about all the things that could have been ("this or that could have been better if only they did this..."), so I left the theater unsatisfied, but looking forward to seeing Fincher back in his element when he returns to making suspenseful crime dramas. Apparently, his next film is based on a serial killer manhunt led by Eliot Ness, so that should be interesting.
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Post by dark77778 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:24 am

Reactions here seem to be the same as everywhere else: disappointment. That's a shame really because I think it has a neat premise to it...and I was getting so excited for the film too. Oh well, maybe it won't be such a disappointment if I see it expecting to be disappointed.
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