The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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It’s now been five years since The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was released. Maybe I’m alone, but it hasn’t felt like five years. That’s fitting for a movie that deals with the power, or curiosity, of time. Upon its 2008 release David Fincher‘s epic was a modest success. The pricey drama was a hit with audiences, but it wasn’t exactly a universally loved film. Some Fincher fans considered it one of his lesser works and, as they were ever so fond of calling it, “Forrest Gump 2.” If The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of his lesser works, which it is not, then this Fincher guy sure is talented. It is also no Forrest Gump 2, because Fincher’s film is far more thoughtful, moving and honest than Gump. That’s not to say the movie isn’t without its problems. Eric Roth‘s script is often a tad on the nose  — “you never know what’s coming for ya”  and the hummingbird — but, more often than not, this F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation is deceptively dark. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is about living life to the fullest, but this is a movie where death is a constant reminder. Nothing lasts forever, not even New Orleans. With that said, Fincher still shows his softer side, and that sincerity opens itself up to easy criticisms, both fair and unfair. What we can all agree on is it’s an extraordinary vision following an unextraordinary man. Benjamin’s a normal man dealing with even more normal problems, despite his disease, and […]

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Apocalypse Now

This content series is in partnership with smartwater. smartwater, good taste travels well. Click here to learn more. It’s widely known that Quentin Tarantino worked at a video store before making it big, but it’s a widely held misconception that he earned his movie education while restocking the shelves of Video Archives. The filmmaker told MSN in 2009: “I want to clear something up about this. People always say I became a movie expert by working in a video store. I was employed by the video store because I was a movie expert. Before I went to Video Archives, I’d get the TV guide every week and read it cover to cover. Look at every movie playing. Circle all the movies I was gonna record. When I first discovered Howard Hawks, I spent a year and a half reading the TV guide and they played about 80 per cent of his entire oeuvre on Los Angeles TV.” Obviously, “Watch as Many Movies as Possible,” isn’t much of a secret, but it’s a more honest, tougher-to-take method for success than our vision of Tarantino soaking up movie knowledge through osmosis in Manhattan Beach. The secret involves a lot more homework. In that same spirit, here are 3 other secret ingredients that made great films as great as they are (and in some cases, possible at all).

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Studio logos are an iconography all their own, but nothing puts a grin on my face like a spiffy send-up of a traditional company emblem tailored made to gel with the film I’m about to watch. Don’t get me wrong — nothing’s going to top classics like Alfred Newman’s Fox fanfare, Jerry Goldsmith’s Universal tune or the countless other openings ingrained in our cinematic memories. But when someone takes the recognizable logo and makes it their own…well, that’s when I get giddy. For decades, movie studios have been allowing filmmakers to tinker slightly with the prestigious logos that preface every film they release. Nothing too crazy — maybe a color shift or a throwback to a retired bumper — but nothing that would tarnish their reputations. These days, most movies are free to run wild. Many stick to the time-honored traditions of their studios, but the ones that don’t feel that much more special. Regardless of a film’s quality, a great logo is like the cherry on top for most movie buffs. Here are fourteen modern variants that bring a little extra magic to the pictures they kick off:

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Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

Wait, The Dark Knight still wins awards?

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What, last week’s Blu-ray Report posting this week? Does that mean that we get two Blu-ray Reports this week? Yes friends, it does. Try to contain yourselves.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil and Kevin go completely ga-ga over the new Star Trek movie, singing praises to J.J. Abrams and the gang. Neil also laments the fact that he now has to start reviewing movies again while Kevin gives us his take on Next Day Air.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Only one paltry release worth buying this week, but it’s an award winner! And for those of you not interested in a Forrest Gump redux we have plenty of rentals to keep you busy…

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benbutton-science

Have you ever wondered how makeup artists go about making an actor or actress look as though he or she has aged 30 or 40 years? Probably not, given the fact that until recently most Hollywood age-jobs were so horrible that you could tell exactly how they had made the actors look older—with bad makeup.

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Hold Onto Your Breakfast. It

Hold onto your breakfast. With Neil at Sundance, I can do whatever I want with the site, and I’ve decided to keep it classy by presenting this list of the Best Cinematical Barf Scenes.

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Fans of The Dark Knight were pleased to find out that The Producers Guild of America (PGA) nominated it as one of the five best films of the year, right alongside Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Milk.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released the names of the 7 finalist in the Visual Effects category.

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Well, there’s not much news to report this weekend at the Reject Report. Thank you very much, Hollywood, for not rolling out any new wide releases and giving me (and a lot of movie fans) a free weekend to watch football on TV.

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rr-newyear

This first weekend of 2009 is going to be a status quo one all the way at the box office, it looks like. There’s only a couple of new releases, Defiance and Good, and they are in very limited release (two theaters each).

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2008review-editorspicks

As is customary this time of year, it is my duty (and honor) to present you my list of the Ten Best Films of 2008. And in the past year we’ve seen an interesting range of films, have we not?

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2008review-ladies

The 2008 film season brought us beauty in both traditional and unconventional ways. While there has been an argument that leading ladies are few and far between, I think there’s a strong case to be made against that. This list of ten female figures will hopefully offer proof of that.

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The box office has been going to the dogs throughout the fall with funny animals winning at the box office all the time. Now that we are into the winter, things are no different.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil bring on the fruitcake with their big, fat Christmas special. They question the correlation between Nazis and Christmas with the release of Valkyrie and The Spirit.

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FSR

FSR’s resident chubby film critic Kevin Carr runs down the reviews on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Valkyrie, The Spirit, Marley & Me and Bedtime Stories.

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rr-marley-header

This week we preview six movies — five new flicks and one expanding — on what is bound to be a star-studded weekend at the box office. We are in for a weekend loaded with big stars. Adam Sandler! Tom Cruise! Jennifer Aniston — and this time she is actually wearing clothes… No Doubt about it, we have a Spirited box office race to look forward to this weekend.

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benbutton_finchersitting

Step inside The Curious Production of Benjamin Button, with insights from the producers, actors, and writer of the Holiday Oscar contender.

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