"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" lands on DVD and on Blu-Ray (presented with prestige by the Criterion Collection). There's no doubt the film seemed to divide audiences - those who were moved by the melancholy sadness of a man living backwards, and those who detested the abhorrent length and conflict free sappiness. Click HERE to see what I thought. But, at least for Fincher fans who disliked the film they get a full dose of the fastidious director in this glorious special edition, unlike the lame 2-Disc version of Fincher's previous outing, "Zodiac".
A documentary even longer than the film is the showcase piece for the special edition. Divided into three 'Trimesters', plus a final chapter called 'Birth' every aspect of the project is given detailed examination. The most interesting of the documentary elements is the development of the project which began in the mid late 1980's. It seemed to be one of those legendary projects in Hollywood which got turned around numerous times passing through many different creative hands - Frank Oz, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, with names like Martin Short and Tom Cruise attached.
We expect the best from Criterion and indeed we're saved the annoying EPK retooling we usually get on regular studio releases. The package delivers a true making-of documentary, with fresh new interviews artistically photographed against a stark black background with the subject looking straight into camera.
Of course, it's still a promotional piece, and there's much praising all around for everything to do with the film, but it does provide fun adecdotes and tidbits of information for all cinephiles. Techies will certainly appreciate the attention given to the choosing of the camera. Fincher, who nows works in the digital realm, had a number of 2k Digital Cameras to choose from - but it came down to the Red or the Viper, which will it be? Not high stakes drama but a fun nod to the American Cinematographer geeks who will buy the disc.