Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Eric Roth
USA release: 25 December 2008
Msia release: 12 February 2009
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Runtime: 166 mins
Rated in USA: PG-13 for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Rated in Msia: N/A

Loosely based (and I mean very loosely) on a 1921 short-story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button follows the life of a man who is born old, grows younger through life and finally dies as an infant. Being a movie that is about the entire life of one man, we don't learn much about Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt). Although the film runs for 2 hours and 46 minutes long, its definitely not enough time to tell the tale of a man's life and have a great deal focus on the character I wish it did.

Benjamin Button
is born in New Orleans, Louisiana right after World War I and his mother dies childbirth. Disgusted and upset, Thomas Button ditches his newborn son on the step of an old folks’ home. Benjamin is discovered by a caretaker at the nursing home, Queenie (Taraji P. Henson) and she takes him in and raises him as her own. Not long after, we see Daisy (Cate Blanchett), who is the granddaughter of a resident at the home and is the love of Benjamin's life. Following Benjamin's life story as he grows younger in appearance, he goes off the sea to work on a tugboat and is thrown into World War II when his boat battles and sinks a German U-Boat. Returning home after the war, Banjamin learns that Daisy has moved to New York and become a successful dancer. When Benjamin visits Daisy in a hospital in Paris after she was hit by a taxi, he's turned away by Daisy, telling him to get out of her life. Later when Daisy returns to New Orleans, Benjamin and her share a period of romance where they have a baby girl. Realizing he cannot be a proper father and husband, he leaves Daisy and his daughter behind. With only the clothes on his back, Benjamin travels the world. Later in his life he returns to visit Daisy one last time before growing into a teenager and suffering from dementia. As Benjamin loses all memory of his life, Daisy takes care of him. Finally Benjamin dies as an infant in Daisy's Arms.

With all the hype surrounding this movie, I went into watching it with high hopes and I really thought I was going to love it. At the end of the movie, I wanted to love it but I just didn't. The few problems I had with it were that it was a bit too long, too much time was devoted to some parts of Benjamin's life and that the focus of the of the character was just not sufficient. The acting was very good from Pitt, Blanchett and especially from Taraji P. Henson. I thought Pitt did the southern accent very well. He made it sound very laid back , lazy and original. I didn't quite feel the chemistry between him and Cate Blanchett. It was definitely no where as close to their performance in Babel a few years back.

There were a few unnecessary scenes and sequences that added nothing much to the movie. Like the opening sequence to the movie about the man who made the clock that goes backwards. And the affair with Elizabeth Abbott in Russia. Too much time was spent on Benjamin's childhood and too little on the illustration of the romance between him and Daisy when they're life's paths crossed. I didn't really like the whole idea of the story being constant flashbacks. When I was really getting into the story and the character, we get pulled out into the hospital room where Daisy's daughter is reading Benjamin's diary. The one sequence I did like though, was when Daisy was hit by the taxi. That was the most interesting the movie got for me.

I must say though that the movie was shot beautifully. I really dug the whole old, musky, yellowish aura the movie had. I especially loved the old nursing home. And who's going to deny that the makeup deserves an Oscar. The makeup and visual effects that went into making Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett look old was simply amazing.

My final verdict is that 'Ben Button' was without a doubt an amazingly well done movie. From the cinematography to the set up to the acting to the makeup and visual effects. But for me, it was just not to my liking. Not my cup of tea if you would. So in my eyes, the tale of Benjamin Button is a curious one indeed.

Doctor's diagnosis: 7 out of 10 Popcorns

Opening This Week: Chinese New Year Special

All's Well, End's Well 2009 (2009)
Starring: Louis Koo, Sandra Ng, Ronald Cheng
Director: Vincent Kok
Writers: Vincent Kok, Min Hung Fung
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Hong Kong release: 22 January
M'sia release: 23 January
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 1 hour 36 minutes
Rated in Msia: U

I didn't know this before but
All's Well, End's Well 2009 is the fourth installment tot he franchise. The first movie came out in 1992 and the last one was more than 10 years ago in 1997. They have always been CNY movies.

Having a family tradition where no sibling is allowed to get married before the eldest sister, Kei (Ronald Cheng) hires Koo Chai (Louis Koo) who is a womanizer to woo Kei's eldest sister Sandra (Sandra Ng) into falling in love and marrying Koo Chai. When he's got Sandra hooked in and falling in love for him, Koo Chai falls in love with another woman and breaks Sandra's heart as well as dashing any hopes of Kei getting married anytime soon.

The Wedding Game (2009)
Starring: Fann Wong, Christopher Lee, Saiful Apek
Director: Ekachai Uekrongtham
Writers: Dennis Chew, Desmond Sim
Country: Singapore
Language: Mandarin, Hokkien, English, Malay
Singapore/Malaysia release: 25 January
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes
Rated in Singapore: PG
Rated in Msia: PG-13

Interestingly, this film was partly shot in Malacca. And it also features our very own '
Cicakman', Saiful Apek.

Jack Fang (Christopher Lee) proposes to Vikki Tse (Fann Wong) on live television in front of a public audience. Vikki says yes and they get married. What people don't know is that the two celebrities have despised each other from the moment they met. The marriage was just a publicity stunt arranged by their managers to up their status and popularity. When fans and media start to find the truth wrong, things start to go downhill.

Red Cliff: Part 2
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Vicky Zhao
Director: John Woo
Writers: John Woo, Guanzhong Luo
Country: China
Language: Mandarin
China release: 8 January
Msia release: 23 January
Genre: War, Drama, History, Action
Runtime: 2 hours 16 minutes
Rated in Msia: PG-13

Red Cliff will be released in two versions. In Asia, it will be split into 2 parts, the first of which was released in the middle of last year. Outside of Asia, only one drastically shortened, 2 1/2 hour version will be released. Having a budget of $80 million, Red Cliff is the most expensive Asian movie ever.

Based on the Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms, the film focuses on historical figures like Cao Cao, Zhou Yu, Liu Bei and Sun Quan in the early 3rd century. Warlord and Prime Minister Cao Cao convinces the Emperor Han that the only way to unite China is to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu and Wu. The leaders of both kingdoms, Liu Bei and Sun Quan become allies in the fight against Cao Cao's army which outnumbers the armies of Xu and Wu combined. The only chance they have is to take the battle to sea where Cao Cao has little experience.

I hope this preview gave you guys some really good info on some Chinese films out in time for the New Year. Have a good one everybody!

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Gong Hei Fatt Choi

Happy Chinese New Year of the Ox

Another Awesome Trailer From Japan

This time its Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Enjoy.

81st Annual Academy Awards Nominations

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

Best Director
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant - Milk
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Screenplay
Courtney Hunt - Frozen River
Mike Leigh - Happy-Go-Lucky
Martin - In Bruges
Dustin Lance Black - Milk
Andrew Stanton - WALL•E

Best Adapted Screenplay
Eric Roth + Robin Swicord - Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley - Doubt
Peter Morgan - Frost/Nixon
David Hare - The Reader
Simon Beaufoy - Slumdog Millionaire

Best Foreign Language
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex
The Class
Waltz with Bashir

Best Animated
Kung Fun Panda

Catch The Oscars, hosted by Wolverine himself (Hugh Jackman), a month from today.
Set your calendars. 22 February 2009!

Check out my source for the nominations of the other categories.

Opening This Week


Starring: Brendan Fraser, Helen Mirren
Director: Iain Softley
Writers: David Lindsay-Abaire, Cornelia Funke
USA release date: 23 January
M'sia release date: 22 January
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Runtime: 106 mins
Rated in USA: PG for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language
Rated in Msia: PG-13

Based on the children's novel by Conelia Funke, Inkheart is the tale of Mo (Fraser) who has the power to bring the characters of the stories he reads to life. When Mo gets kidnapped by a villain he brought to life through his story-telling, his daughter along with her aunt and friends set out to rescue Mo.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Starring: Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Rhona Mitra
Director: Patrick Tatopolous
Writers: Danny McBride, Dirk Blackman
USA release date: 23 January
Msia release date: 22 January
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Horror
Rated in USA: R for bloody violence and some sexuality
Rated in Msia: N/A (should be an 18PL or something like that)

Rise of the Lycans a prequel to the previous installments of the Underworld franchise, the story revolves around the fight between the Lycans who are werewolves enslaved by the mighty vampires and the vampires themselves. A Lycan named Lucian (Sheen) along with his love interest, Sonja (Mitra) battle the vampire king, Viktor (Nighy) and his army for the freedom of the werewolf race.

Fast But Not Furious Enough?

A new trailer. Don't like it as much as the first one though. After watching it, my interest in the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise is dwindling.

Tell me what you think. Hope you enjoy it.

Golden Globe Results

Best Motion Picture - Drama
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Kate Winslet - Revolutionary Road

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Mickey Rourke

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Colin Farrell - In Bruges

Best Director
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire

Big winners on the night were John Adams, 30 Rock, Slumdog Millionaire and Kate Winslet.

Check out all the winners here.

On a completely different note, I need ideas for a short film so if you have any, and you don't mind sharing them with me, don't hesitate in letting me know.

Golden Globes 2009

As you may already know, this year's Golden Globes will be televised live on Star World (Astro Channel 711) at 8am. So don't forget to set your alarms up. But if you'll be forced to miss it due to work or school (like me), then there will be a primetime re-run the same day at 8pm. So whatever you do, don't miss it.

Below are the noms for a few of the categories.

Best Motion Picture - Drama
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas - I've Loved You So Long
Kate Winslet - Revolutionary Road

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio - Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Burn After Reading
In Bruges
Mamma Mia!
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Rebecca Hall - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky
Frances McDormand - Burn After Reading
Meryl Streep - Mamma Mia!
Emma Thompson - Last Chance Harvey

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Javier Bardem - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Colin Farrell - In Bruges
James Franco - Pineapple Express
Brendan Gleeson - In Bruges
Dustin Hoffman - Last Chance Harvey

Best Director - Motion Picture

Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes - Revolutionary Road

For the full list of categories and nominations, go to the official Golden Globes site.

Heath Ledger Wins Best Supporting Actor At Critics Choice Awards

This got me so emotional.

Revenge of the Fallen Teaser Poster

FINALLY! The teaser poster for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has been released. Check it out. I guess teaser is a very appropriate name eh?

This poster has not been officially released yet. At least I don't think so. I found this on Michael Bay's blog.

To read his latest post about the poster, click here.

Revenge Is Coming people. We'd better start saving up for a Chevy Camaro.

Why Do The Japanese Get A More Awesome 'Watchmen' Trailer?

Check this out. If you understand Japanese, good for you. If you don't understand Japanese, just watch it and enjoy.

2009 Must-See Movies Part 4

This is the 4th and last post of my Must-See list of this year. Thank you if you've checked out all of the previous ones. I hope everyone's had a great start to the year.

If you think I missed any movies that you think deserves a mention, just let me know in the comments section or in the popcorn chat section. As always I look forward to all your comments. And don't forget to tell people what movies you're most excited for this year in the poll on the right sidebar.

October 23
Astro Boy

November 6
The Wolf Man

A Christmas Carol

November 20
Sherlock Holmes

New Moon

December 18

Sorry for the lack of posters and trailers. The later we get into the year, the less pre-release material available out there. But be sure to be kept up-to-date when it all becomes available.

2009 Must-See IMAX Movies

Sorry to interrupt the ongoing '2009 Must-See Movies'. I still have Part 4 pending. Last part. Hopefully will be posted tomorrow. Latest by the weekend. Been quite busy today so real short post. Another 2009 Must-See list. Keeping up the spirit of that. So I hope you enjoy this list if it doesn't excite you first.

If you didn't know before, Warner are re-releasing the dark favorite of last year, The Dark Knight. If you caught it in regular cinemas last time and didn't get the IMAX experience of The Caped Crusader, seriously consider doing that this time round. Re-release happening on the 23rd of this month. Hope it reaches Malaysia on that day too. Not sure. Will keep you guys posted. Enough talk already. Here's the list in no particular order.

1. The Dark Knight
2. Under The Sea (3D)
3. Watchmen
4. Monsters vs. Aliens
5. Star Trek
Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian
7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
8. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
9. Avatar

This great list was found at

2009 Must-See Movies Part 3

July 1
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Public Enemies

July 10


July 17
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

August 21
Inglorious Basterds

September 9


2009 Must-See Movies Part 2

April 13
Fast & Furious

May 1
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

May 8
Star Trek

May 15
Angels & Demons

May 22
Terminator Salvation
(combo poster)

Night At The Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian
May 29

June 5
Land of the Lost

June 19
The Year One

June 26
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Don't hesitate to share and comment.
Check back tomorrow for Part 3!

2009 Must-See Movies Part 1

<all dates are USA release dates>

January 9
The Unborn

February 6
(click here for trailer)
Pink Panther 2
(click here for trailer)

February 13
Friday The 13th

March 6
(click here for trailer)

March 13
Race To Witch Mountain

March 20
(click here for trailer)

March 27
Monsters vs Aliens

Check back tomorrow for part 2. You don't wanna miss it.

Part 2 covers summer blockbusters in 09.

2008 - A Tribute To The Movies

Yesterday I showed you guys the compilation video made by Matt Shapiro. Today, I have another collage/compilation video of 2008 movies, created by Kees van Dijkhuizen, who is only 15-years old and already an amazing editor.

Enjoy, comment and share.

Related Posts with Thumbnails