The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Blu-ray)
While the multiple Oscar-nominated The Curious Case of Benjamin Button might have been overhyped during award season, it deserved every single technical accolade it received. It's those technical achievements — namely the amazing visuals that made Brad Pitt both an 80-year-old baby and a teenaged grandpa — that make this Blu-ray release really shine.
This wacky tale of a man who ages in reverse — based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story — doesn't seem all that wacky in the hands of accomplished director David Fincher. In fact, the bits about Benjamin Button's fantastical life are the movie's high points, thanks to stellar performances, particularly Taraji P. Henson as Ben's adopted mother. However, "real-life" drama of the impending landfall of Hurricane Katrina in the framing device is laughable. It's in those hospital deathbed sequences that the movie gets way off track and you start checking your watch. Plus, the real meat of the story is so interesting, you don't need all that extra doom and gloom, especially since it really doesn't add much to the whole in the end.
As is true with most of Fincher's releases, the bonus features are where it's at. And if you thought the movie's running time was long, wait for the four-part, three-hour documentary on the movie's production. (In truth, it was almost more fascinating than the movie.) Any lover of film owes it to themselves to see this exploration on just how our favorite flicks get put together. If you don't have the time, there's also a commentary track.
Again, whatever quibbles we have with plot or pacing, the movie is an absolute pleasure to look at. Hardcore Fincher fans will want to pick this one up, but the casual viewer may struggle finding themselves wanting to sit through this one again and again, making a rental the best choice.