Posted on 1/03/09 09:09 AM
It's about a man who teaches you that, as long as you have a great inheritance, you too, can be a nomad.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has all of the makings of a great film: great performances by Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt; an intriguing protagonist borrowed from the great F. Scott Fitzgerald; and a talented group of CGI and makeup artists to make our protagonist grow from a wrinkled old man, to the most handsome man on earth. Other than that, there really isn't much to Benjamin Button or this movie. We see him live his life. We see the country progress and change. But rarely do we see how anything ever affects him. It's unexpectedly... ordinary.
However, the movie is interesting to watch. Director David Fincher does a great job creating a photographic dance of sorts between the viewer and the characters. He is able to capture the sparkle of life and the wisdom of old age. Periodic flashbacks also lend themselves to the beauty of silent-movies and slapstick comedy. Even the background music is sort of magical.
Yes, the movie is still worth seeing. It provides viewers with 2.5 hours of entertainment. However, I wouldn't recommend trying to find any meaning beneath the surface.
Posted on 11/21/08 09:34 AM
Last night's midnight premiere of the uber-hyped teenage love story, Twilight, showed exactly what movie execs at the fledgling movie company, Summit Entertainment, had hoped: gaggles of girls going gaga over every on-screen, real-life interpretation of their favorite character. Movie theaters across the country sold-out; girls, having gotten permission to stay up on a school night, flocked to their seats as much as two hours before showing. But unlike fans of other hot novel-turned movies like Lord of the Rings or -dare I compare - Harry Potter - Twilight seems to rely solely on its millions of lovelorn teenage readers as the backbone.
Ask any fan of the series and you will most likely receive a raving review, even though deep-down inside, she knows it could have been better. If fans ever want to see the pale-faced Edward Cullen again, they need to make sure the first film breaks $150 million dollars. Secondly, girls need to be reassured that the crazed Internet following, complete with its official countdown clock and movie production updates, was indeed, worth it.
As a whole, you reap what you sow. Movie execs skimped on the production costs and put most of its resources in advertising and publicity. $37 million dollars later, it's no surprise critics are bashing on everything from the acting, cinematography, to special effects. Granted, the cast and the crew did what they could, but the film suffered from major problems from the start: a poorly written screenplay filled with either cheesy dialogue or intense staring. The film also tried to convey the surprising love seen in other movies like Titanic but ended up with awkward eye glances and a freakish heartthrob. It tried to be fast-paced but ended with mindless transitions; it tried to portray a sense of suspense, but succeeded instead, with trite music aimed at filling the emotional gap that was not captured on screen. The special effects, which took its cue from Crouching Tiger, seemed fake. Even the magical scene in the book where Edward's skin is supposed to sparkle light diamonds, doesn't have the "oh wow" impact viewers had hoped. In fact, many viewers in the theater found it comical.
What the film does have on its side, is that it does a remarkable job sticking to the book. The actors do a good job staying true to their characters. Some even come out very likable. But in the end, it seems to reach out only to its readers, leaving skeptical male critics who wondered how a vampire movie like this could be made, in the same exact position they started with.