Sunday, January 4, 2009

Go See Benjamin Button, Unless…

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a great movie to see, unless you feel like you have already seen it. Or have already seen another schmaltzy/romantic time-traveling film like it. Or if you are in the mood for something funny. Or you’re on a date. Or you’re a teenager. Or you’re really old. Or if you’ve recently lost a loved-one. Or if you get emotional over hurricane Katrina footage. Or you’re kind of sleepy. Or you have anything else to do for the next 2 hours and 45 minutes.

I’m not saying I didn’t like it, because I did, I’m just saying that it is not a great movie for everyone to see. Disclaimer Moment: I am a marketer, not a movie critic; for a professional’s opinion, go here. IMO, the demographic for this movie is Middle-Aged Women. You know, the same people that loved The Notebook, The Lake House, or The Bridges of Madison County.

If you’re the kind of person that loves going to movies with the intent to cry through the whole second half, then this is a great movie for you. Or if you like the idea of seeing Cate Blanchett age before your eyes. Or if you love hummingbirds. Or if you are in the Somewhere in Time Fan Club. Or if you believe Brad Pitt is an Oscar-worthy actor.

Now, I’m not ruling out Brad and Cate for Oscars for this one, in fact, they’ll probably get Oscars for it the same way Charlize got one for Monster and Nicole Kidman for The Hours. We all know that getting ugly gets the Academy’s attention. I’m just saying I’ve seen better movies come out this year and I’ve definitely seen better film adaptations of books.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 24-page original story is here and it is a great story in its own right. However, besides the title and the lead character’s name, it has little in common with Fincher’s film. My wife says it borrows heavily from the 2003 novel The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I haven’t read it, so you’ll have to take her word for it. Or, if you don’t feel like reading it, you could just wait a few month’s and see it in theaters. I just read that Brad Pitt’s production company has picked up the title, which is set to release later this year. I, for one, won’t be going to see it. Unless I decide I’m in the mood for another romantic time travel film.


insomniaclolita said...

I want to see Benjamin Button :( Im not saying im gonna like it too but people are talking about it all the time, and i watch all types of movies..
thanks for the review :)

Ms. Lily said...

Hi Shawn,

Watched it a week ago. Loved the movie. I think it's one of Brad Pitt's best works.

Lily M

Charlee said...

Well--I loved it, but my friend whom I saw it with thought it was too long, and I'd have to agree that for the ADHD-affected amongst us, it could have been a bit more well-edited.

That said, I think the great amount of content it featured was to help capture the subtext of the film--that is, an examination of mortality, the momentary nature of life, and the fact that whether or not we're prepared to deal with it, time is always a factor in life.

The love affair was nice too, obviously, but for me it wasn't the main thing I got from the film--then again, I hated The Notebook, and didn't see the other two films you named.

Anyway I liked it and I'm not a middle-aged woman, but I have to agree with you on the fact that it was not the year's best film and is probably slightly too formulaic.

BB said...

Hey Shawn, just wanted you to know that Zak and I enjoy reading your blog together. This entry is so funny, not a chance in the world we're going to see this movie.

Have you seen the viral marketing for the new extreme Bentley...I think we're putting our names on a list. Not on a list for a Bentley have you, but some kind of list.


Shawn Butler said...

@BB - I LOVE viral marketing! It is the epitome of zero-breakeven spending. What is the ROI of name collections? Let me know the details...

@insomniaclolita - I never said I didn't like it... I HOPE you like it. However, people talked a lot about Wanted, too. [shudder]

@Ms. Lily - Completely agree. I think he keeps getting passed up for Oscars because he is too good looking. They keep giving 'em to ugly people, like Philip Seymore Hoffman, because they're like, "He's ugly, but he's an actor... hmmm, he must be really talented."

@Charlee - Perfect case-in-point. I never said it was a bad film, it's a Great Film, it's just not for everybody, the way it was being touted like it was Bolt.

LiLu said...

How on EARTH did they turn 24 pages into a 3 hour movie?? No thanks.

Jigsaw said...

This movie was too slow altogether!! They forgot it was meant to be based on a SHORT story!!!!! My rear was numb as the movie was so long!!

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