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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Genre: Drama
Format: Blu-ray
Director: David Fincher

It's a plain simple fact: David Fincher just can do no wrong. No matter what genre he tackles, the results are always mesmerizing. Yes, this means I am one of the few people who actually enjoyed Alien 3 - I always get a "boo" whenever I make that statement. For all of its soft tenderness, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a very dark movie that explores the notion of life and death in a very... peculiar manner.

The story follows the life of said Benjamin Button who was born at the end of World War I. Born as an old man (or a hideous old-looking baby), he was soon abandoned at an elderly care residence. How ironic is that? We then follow his journey growing up in the opposite direction of the significant people in his life. Just like everyone else though, he gained knowledge about life through tough lessons learned from love, loss, and everything in between but the reversed aging process made him prone to some genuinely confusing situations while providing him an acute sense of observation and understanding. The movie contains many masterful segments that focus specifically on certain life situations and characters but the message is as consistent as it is blatantly clear: nothing is permanent in this world - even if you turn back time.

Brad Pitt, who plays the title character, and Cate Blanchett, who plays his lover, both did an incredible job playing their roles and the special effect works that transform the two of them into younger/older versions of themselves are terrific. The movie gets increasingly sadder as it moves closer and closer towards its eventual end. Though logic is not really the film's most flattering asset, you never question the authenticity of the feelings that it is able to invoke because it really doesn't matter how you twist or turn it, death is imminent. Every day in our lives, we reach out for the glimpse of happiness that's within our reach and we hold on to it as long as we can. Young or old, male or female, rich or poor, life has always been a lonely journey but it's worth exploring for the many curious things that it has in store for us.

RATING: 5 out of 5

3 comments:

Blake said...

There we go, a movie we both liked!

Horror movies that I liked.
"Feast" its campy to the point of army of darkness and has a tales from the crypt feel. That way the silliness feels justified has opposed to stupidness.

But, I told my friend who also likes horror movies and he thought it was the dumbness movie he ever saw.

Altered, a great movie with good gore and again, that element of humor, which I like. Not to be confused with stupid people doing stupid things just to push the plot along. Has my wife says to me,"Darryl, if they didn't do the stupid thing there wouldn't be a movie". Sometimes I wish that instead of the movie.

Slither, A great B aliens inside me movie. That and I like Nathan Fillian. Again this movie has that humor that I find entertaining without making me fly into a violent rage when people are being stupid.

That recent ghost movie that came out. Haunting in Connecticut. The one where ghost manifest themselves as protoplasm from inside people. That was a movie that more smart that dumb. Mainly because it was based off a true story. But if you want to see something scary. Watch the Discovery channel version. They do a great job for what it is.

Those are a few horror movies that I really enjoyed. But its different for everyone. I have one friend who doesn't care if theres stupidiness in the movie or not. He watches them purely for the gore and boobies. And if the movie delivers on those, its a damn good movie.

Loner Gamer said...

Thanks for the suggestions, I really appreciate it. I have seen half of the movies you listed and I have added Altered as well as the two versions of the Connecticut haunting into my Netflix queue. I always wanted to watch Altered and I have completely forgotten about it so I am very glad that you brought it up.

Feast was pretty entertaining. Have you seen the direct-to-DVD sequels? I have watched them both and they were much better than the first movie. If you haven't, don't worry: they were made by the same people who made the original. Slither was campy fun. I remember watching that in the theater.

Sounds like you like a dash of humor in your horror. Have you seen Peter Jackson's earlier movies? The best of the bunch is Dead Alive. Just like Sam Raimi, I think he needs to go back to his roots and write/direct horror movies again.

Blake said...

Yeah, Peter Jackson earlier stuff was pretty funny, I enjoyed them, bad acting and all.