UPDATED – THUD: YEP, SMALLVILLE…SEASON 9
January 8, 2009
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE RED-EYE
January 9, 2009

Benjamin Button and the lack of anything worthwhile

When his father passes away in his presence, where is the pain of losing a parent barely known? There is a formula here;
When (something happens to Benjamin), why doesn’t he (react appropriately.) There is no arc, more notably there is no performance. The shot of Benjamin at his mother’s funeral looks like a Tag Huer commercial. He’s posing, doing nothing. Just being there. Carried forth, when Daisy’s voice over explains that the child Benjamin has troubles remembering a life he lived, why doesn’t Fincher give a child actor the chance to struggle with this problem? Instead of acting, there is voice over. Cate Blanchett made up to look old in bed croaking doesn’t make up for it. In the final scenes of her with child Benjamin; there is. no. performance. The film is full of those Days of Our Lives shots where something very important has happened, and the character directs a frozen look off screen before a scene cut. So my beef with TCCOBB is that yeah there’s no arc, there’s fuck all in the way of performances. And this is compounded by the fact that it’s almost 3hrs long. BUT (and here comes the big, big problem) it is filled with top notch special effects. And so, 3hrs of special effects, no arc, lack of acting, fuck me it’s a long Star Wars film. I don’t care that visually it is remarkably composed. In fact I wish the cinematography would let us up close to a character’s face once in a while, hopefully whilst the character is crying or in pain, or feeling joy, but noooo. I don’t care about the music. There is never anything on screen resembling emotion for the music to fuse with. It’s 3hrs of special effects from one of my favourite directors who has not bothered to draw performances from anyone involved. Of course, I don’t know Fincher, don’t know what he had in mind with this, but the impression is that the man focused so much on the how the film looked, he forgot about how it should feel. This is a story of a man living life out of sync with the world, yet it doesn’t change him. The latter scenes of a child struggling with dementia should be heart wrenching. A man choosing to leave the love of his life because of something he cannot control? Why the fuck was there no conflict in Pitt’s face?! Daisy meant the world to him and he left in the middle of the night, looking like he was advertizing an expensive watch. And then there’s hurricane Katrina and the daughter. Dammit. This movie was far from good. Many directors have delivered films light on story and heavy on CGI, but it’s fucking puzzling coming from Fincher. Zodiac was full of great perfomances. And Robert Graysmith has a journey. He found the killer and looked him in the eye. Benjamin Button? He watched things happen and spent the last few scenes as a child in long shots. I can’t find anything worth praising in this film. Saying the old man effects were fantastic is just as empty as praising Revenge of the Sith for that really long opening shot. Good on ya Lucas, that was a very long shot. And good on ya Fincher, that was a very long film. A very long film.
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