DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - DVD Review


Although Brad Pitt takes on a supernatural role for the third time, I feel his grim reaper in Meet Joe Black still stands out, even surpassing his undead character from the Interview with a Vampire. That said, his Benjamin Button character is not only off the wall, but in a subtle way proves a timeless message-whoever you are or whatever you do, there is always a beginning and an end.

The Curious Case of Banjamin  Button The story is narrated by a dying elderly lady, through the title character's journal. It begins one night in post world-war one New Orleans when a hideous baby is born, extinguishing his mother's life as he begins his own. Aghast by this abomination, the father immediately abandons the infant hoping it would never see the light of day. But a kind hearted black woman finds and shelters the baby. Benjamin, as she names him, is a freak of nature as he is born old and frail with no apparent chance of survival. However, that doesn't stop her from raising him as her own. Then a strange thing happens, while learning to walk and talk, Benjamin starts to â"grow" younger. As the years go by, he gradually becomes younger, while everyone around him are aging and dying. Along comes Daisy, an adolescent redhead who strikes an immediate bond with a very senior Benjamin. But their new found friendship is short as she pursues a career in professional dancing while Benjamin starts work on a tug boat. As the years fly past, their paths cross many times until a point when they are almost the same age, allowing them to grab a moment in time succumbing to a relationship both secretly hoped for. The anti-climax here on hints at a sad ending, emphasizing that nothing lasts forever.

Forrest Gump is one of my all time best movies. But I couldn't help notice some uncanny similarities between these two films; starting with the Southern setting and the very Southern accents from several characters in both films. There are also mutual references to the violent hurricanes that frequent these US regions. Both Forrest and Benjamin are ridiculed and loathed from a young age, but go on to become legends of sorts. Sub-plots from both films blend with actual American history along with a short yet intense war scene. Finally, both films have an unrequited love theme that is reciprocated too late.

If it weren't for Slum Dog Millionaire, this film would have easily won best picture at the 81st Academy awards. Seeing how Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett would look when they get old is one of the reasons why this film did win an Oscar for â"Best Makeup", amongst two other Academy Awards. Having worked with Pitt before, this epic film from renowned director David Fincher will take up more than two hours of your time, but this is why such Hollywood movies are enjoyed the world over.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
4 stars
4 stars
DVD Experience
4 stars

DVD

DVD Details:

2-Disc Special Edition

Screen Formats: 2.40:1

Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: DTS 5.1 Surround

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; interviews; featurettes.

Supplements:

* Commentary
o Feature-length commentary track with Academy Award-nominated Director David Fincher
* Featurettes
o Interviews with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett
o Interview with acclaimed composer Alexandre Desplat about the score
o Footage revealing the innovative techniques behind the Academy Award -winning visual effects and makeup
o Step-by-Step examination of the motion-capture process aging Brad Pitt
o In-depth exploration of David Fincher's creative process on the set
o Featurettes on the film's storyboards, costumes, and Academy Award-winning Art Direction
o An Essay by film critic Kent Jones
* Photo Galleries - Stills Galleries, including costume designs and candid behind-the-scenes production photos

Number of Discs: 2 with Keepcase Packaging

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